Debates- Friday, 27th November, 2009

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Friday, 27th November, 2009 

The House met at 0900 hours







Madam Deputy Speaker: I wish to inform the House that the National Assembly of Zambia will on 30th November, 2009 join the rest of the country in commemorating the Sixteen Days of Activism Against Gender Violence whose theme for 2009 is “Commit, Act and Demand: We can end violence against women.”

The Sixteen Days of Activism Against Gender Violence which will run from 25th November to 10th December, 2009 emanate from the formal proclamation by the United Nations of 25th November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

It is in line with international obligations that the National Assembly of Zambia will hold a Sensitisation Day on the Sixteen Days of Activism Against Gender Violence on Monday, 30th November, 2009.

All hon. Members of Parliament are invited to attend this important international day and should be seated in the auditorium by 0845 hours.

I thank you.



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

On Tuesday, 1st December, 2009, the Business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. The House will then consider the First Report of the Committee on Government Assurances for the Fourth Session of the Tenth National Assembly. Thereafter, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply on the 2010 Budget and the following Votes will be considered:

Votes 90 to 98 ─ Office of the President ─ Provinces.

Madam Speaker, on Wednesday, 2nd December, 2009, the Business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. The House will then consider Private Members’ Motions, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will consider the Second Report of the Committee on Government Assurances for the Fourth Session of the Tenth National Assembly. The House will then resolve into Committee of Supply on the 2010 Budget and will continue considering the following Votes:

Votes 90 to 98 ─ Office of the President ─ Provinces.

On Thursday, 3rd December, 2009, the Business of the House will start with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. The House will then consider the First Report of the Public Accounts Committee for the Fourth Session of the Tenth National Assembly. Thereafter, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply on the 2010 Budget and will consider any provincial Votes of expenditure that may still be outstanding. The House will also consider Vote 99 ─ Constitutional and Statutory Expenditure.

Madam, on Friday, 4th December, 2009, the Business of the House will commence with His Honour the Vice-President’s Question Time. This will be followed by Questions for Oral Answer, if there will be any. The House will then deal with presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will consider any outstanding Business before it.

Madam Speaker, it is my intention, on this day, to move a Motion to suspend the relevant Standing Orders to enable the House to complete all Business on the Order Paper and all matters arising therefrom and thereafter, enable the House adjourn sine die.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.




The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Dr Musokotwane): Madam Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to make a statement to this august House on the progress we have made in the area of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) since this House passed the PPP Bill last session in July, 2009.

I wish to report to the House that my ministry has already commenced the process of operationalising the PPP Act. To date, the process of appointing the PPP Council by the President has been done in compliance with the PPP Act. My ministry is working very closely with private sector institutions in order to obtain suitable candidates to be appointed on the technical committee.

I further wish to report that institutional arrangements in the Ministry of Finance and National Planning have reached an advanced stage. A PPP Unit has been established in the ministry and the director and key staff of the unit have been appointed. The unit will continuously be strengthened so that the staff complement is commensurate with the volume of work at hand. Continuous capacity building in the Ministry of Finance and National Planning will be extended to all user ministries and institutions in implementing PPP programmes.

Kindly allow me to report further that, in accordance with the Act, the Government has approved the following projects to be considered for financing under the PPP model:

(a)    development of the Kasumbalesa Border Post infrastructure on a build, operate and transfer basis;

(b)    development of the Kazungula, Mwami, Kipushi and Jimbe Border posts infrastructure on a build, operate and transfers basis;

(c)    development of Kitwe/Chingola Road on a build, operate and transfer basis;

(d)    development of the Chingola/Solwezi, Solwezi/Lumwana, Lumwana/Mwinilunga and Mwinilunga/Jimbe roads on a build, operate and transfer basis. Adverts of these projects are either already running or will be appearing in the press, both local and internationally;

(e)    a feasibility study for the Kafue Gorge Lower Hydro-Power Station has been approved and the transaction advisor has been tasked to proceed to the next stage of identifying a would-be developer through a transparent method; and

(f)    development of the Chirundu/Kafue Road on build operate and transfer basis.

All these projects that I have just referred to are being advertised in stages so that the Government can find suitable private partners and implement the projects under the PPP model.

In addition, within the same PPP model, the Government will carry out a study within the next few months to ascertain the various options available on the rehabilitation of the Indeni Oil Refinery and the Tanzania-Zambia Mafuta (TAZAMA) pipeline in particular whether to rehabilitate the current refinery or expand and design the pipeline in order for it to transmit finished products. All these options will be carefully studied in order to map the way forward for Indeni Oil Refinery and the TAZAMA pipeline. 

This august House may wish to be apprised that some of the sectors where there is potential for a PPP project in Zambia include, but are not limited to the following:

(i)    housing estates;

(ii)    office accommodation;

(iii)    health;

(iv)    education;

(v)    social benefit scheme;

(vi)    correctional facilities;

(vii)    road infrastructure;

(viii)    agriculture; and

(ix)    energy.

My ministry has also commenced the process of developing a Public-Private Partnership Master Plan which will be developed in the framework of the National Development Plan. It will also provide an update on all projects that are being implemented under the PPP model and contain information on all possible future, eligible PPP projects identified by both the Government and the private sector.

In the coming year, the Ministry of Finance and National Planning will embark on a vigorous sensitisation programme aimed at explaining how the PPP model works; the role of the public sector and that of the private sector and the financial markets and the banking sector. The sensitisation programme will be targeted at the Parliamentarians, Government ministries and other spending agencies, the private sector, financial institutions and the communities where these PPP projects will be implemented.

Madam Speaker, let me take this opportunity to encourage all Zambians to take keen interest in the developments that are currently taking place under the PPP model. What it takes for any person to participate is to identify an economic viable project which can attract financiers who may then wish to finance it. Zambians should not only be the end users of these projects, but should participate in the designing and construction of these projects not only to enhance their social well being, but also to advance economic development in the country.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the Ministerial Statement given by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning.

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Madam Speaker, I would like to know the names of the board and unit members.

Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, the names are as indicated in the Act, that is, for the official positions. For those outside, I am sorry, I did not bring those names with me, but I can provide them with you in the course of the day.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister indicated that the development of the Kitwe/Chingola Road and Chingola/Solwezi Road will be on a build, operate and transfer basis under this PPP. I would like to find out from him what length of time the operate will take before transferring these roads back to Government control and whether or not there will be provisions in the law to change the tax collection from the fuel levy to the toll gates.

Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, the duration of the concession is something that has to be negotiated project-by-project. The reason being that the economics of that particular project must be taken into account, for instance, when can we consider it reasonable from the point of view of the investors recouping their money and so forth? Therefore, that is to be negotiated point-by-point. 

The issue about the fuel levy and the collection thereof either from the fuel stations or from the toll stations is something that is still being worked out.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Lubinda: Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what measures his Government has put in place to ensure that when these PPP projects are advertised, there will be devoidable practice of changing the conditions as bidders put in their bids, as we have heard is occurring currently, on the procurement of crude oil for 2010/2011.

Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, the advertisements are already running and the hon. Member is encouraged to take a look at those advertisements and determine for himself whether what he fears is, indeed, the case from our point of view. One of the cardinal issues about the PPP, given the long period of time that the concession runs, is that we must as much as possible ensure stability because in the absence of stability, people will shy away from committing their money for a long time.

I thank you, Madam.

Major Chizhyuka (Namwala): Madam Speaker, clearly from the projects that the hon. Minister has indicated which are already lined up for the PPP programme, these project roads are associated with the mines and mine mineral development. What chance does a project like the one on the Monze/Nico Road which is fully rural based and requires US$16 million, but has been lumped together with a set of projects in areas which are economically viable in terms of agriculture? What chance does the PPP have on a project like that in rural Zambia?

Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, the Government is open to possibilities of PPP on any project. However, clearly, one of the fundamental factors for that to happen is that potential developers since they are using private money must convince themselves that the potential, indeed, does exist for them to put their private money there and for them to recoup the money. Coming back to the specific projects that they have indicated, if there was appetite that people can come forth and do it, would be very glad to take it up and market the road.

Having said that, I also wish to clarify that the fact that we are doing PPPs does not mean that all the roads must be financed by PPPs. Clearly, there are certain areas where, at least, for now, it may not be apparent that the potential does exist for the roads to be economically viable and as and when money becomes available, the Government will continue to extend the road network all across the country.

I thank you, Madam.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Madam Speaker, in his statement, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning did not mention the Pedicle Road as one to be built under the PPP although the hon. Minister of Works and Supply has indicated it thus. Indeed, the Pedicle Road is one of the roads that is being considered. On a preliminary basis, we believe that there is a good case for it because, as we all know, the route through the Pedicle Road, joining the Kawambwa/Luwingu/Kasama Road, is, certainly, one of the shortcuts to the east coast of Africa. The road is one of those that we are considering under the Public-Private Partnership.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): Madam, have any individuals or firms already come forward to partner with the Government in reconstructing the Chingola/Solwezi/Mwinilunga Road? If so, who are these individuals or firms?

Dr Musokotwane: Madam, yes, I can confirm to the House that there have been some interests expressed, but we have advertised the roads to individuals and companies who may be interested in bidding for the project. Of course, there is one individual who has expressed interest, but I do not wish to disclose the name because I am not sure they would want me to do so at this stage.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr D. Mwila (Chipili): Madam, would the hon. Minister indicate that collections of levies from fuel levy or toll gates will be dealt with at a later stage? What sense does it make not to define the most critical point of revenue collection ...

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! 

The hon. Member may ask in a different meaning without using the word “sense” in that particular way.

You may ask the question and continue.

Mr D. Mwila: Madam, I will replace it with “logic”.

Dr. Musokotwane: Madam, in the earlier question, I answered where I indicated that the issue of collection of tolls is something that is still being worked out. Clearly, this is a process and we should expect that everything should be done at the same time. There is no particular urgency about this issue at the moment because there is no toll that has been created. However, we recognise, of course, that it is an issue that needs to be clarified as soon as possible.

I thank you, Madam.{mospagebreak}

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Madam, the Mufulira/Ndola and Sabina/Mufulira roads are critical to the development of the mines and I am sure they will be considered under PPP. What plans are there for other roads which will not be considered under PPP for them to have a good surface as well?

 Madam Deputy Speaker: The hon. Minister may re-emphasise that point on the other roads.

Dr Musokotwane: Madam, let me say, once again, what I said a few minutes ago. The Government does not consider the PPP model to be the only answer to the way to construct and maintain roads. The PPP route is just one complementary. The Government will still continue to use public resources from its budgets and co-operating partners to do the work on the road network of the Republic.

I thank you, Madam.


The Minister of Education (Ms Siliya): Madam Speaker, I wish to thank you for giving me an opportunity to report to the House on the participation of Zambia at the 35th Session of the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Scientific Organisation (UNESCO) which was held at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris from the 6th to 23rd October, 2009. 

More than 3,000 participants, including Heads of States were in attendance. The Zambian delegation comprised members of staff from the Ministry of Education and also the following other ministries: 


Technology and Vocational Training;

Community Development and Social Services;

Communications and Transport;

Sport, Youth and Child Development;

Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources; and

Information and Broadcasting Services. 

In the entourage, were also the hon. Minister of Community Development and Social Services, Mr Kaingu, and the hon. Member for Matero, Mrs Sinyangwe, the Zambian Mission in Paris and two Commissioners from the Zambia National Commission for UNESCO.

Madam Speaker, the General Conference is UNESCO’s supreme ruling body that is responsible for determining the policies, programmes and activities for UNESCO. It approves the programmes and budget of UNESCO and also elects members of the Executive Board and Director-General. The General Conference meets every two years and it currently has 193 member States, including Zambia which became a member in 1964 shortly after attaining independence.

The main focus of the 35th UNESCO General Conference was twofold:

(i)    to elect a new Director-General of the organisation; and

(ii)    adopt a new programme and budget for 2010 to 2011.

Madam Speaker, I wish to report that Ambassador Irina Bokova of Bulgaria was elected as the UNESCO Director-General. She emerged victorious in an election that initially had nine candidates. The election of Mrs Bokova was not only momentous, but also historical in that it ushered in a female Director-General after sixty-four years of UNESCO’s existence. Dr Davidson Hepburn of the Bahamas was appointed President of the General Conference to replace Mr George N. Anastassopoulos of Greece, the President of the previous session.

The elections of the Executive Board Members and subsidiary bodies of UNESCO also took place. Zambia’s membership to the Executive Board will end in 2010. I am also pleased to report that Zambia was elected a member of two of the subsidiary bodies, namely; the Headquarters Committee and the Intergovernmental Bioethics Committee (IGBC).

As per rules of procedure, the General Conference established seven commissions and other subsidiary organs as it deems necessary to deal with the business of the session. It was in these commissions that the Zambian Delegation took part and the full reports thereon are available with the individual ministries.

Madam Speaker, the General Conference reviewed all of UNESCO’s programmes, revised the Medium-Term Strategy for 2008 to 2013 and adopted the programme and a US$653 million budget. This represents a nominal increase of 3.5 per cent. From the previous programme, education remains top priority.

Among the numerous education decisions taken during this year’s session, UNESCO will notably give priority to literacy, teachers and technical and vocational skills development. Additional funding will be allocated to twenty countries furthest from achieving the goal of Education for All, mainly in Africa. It is gratifying to note that Zambia is not one of the twenty targeted countries because she has made tremendous progress in attaining the Education for All goal.

Madam Speaker, there were also some pre-conference activities which served as a prelude to the General Conference. These included the Youth Forum, the Southern African Consortium for Monitoring Education Quality (SACMEQ) meeting, the Forum for Parliamentarians and the Partnership Forum. 

The General Conference also provided an opportunity for Ministers and heads of delegations to participate in the general policy debate by organising ministerial segments, round table discussions and ministerial forums. The outcomes of the general policy debates were:

(a)    the need for governments to have closer co-operation with institutions of higher learning and research, particularly universities;  

(b)    the need for systematic inclusion of new information technologies in knowledge policies;

(c)    capacity building in member States in the areas of analysis, assessments and data collection; 

(d)    following up on national policies;

(e)    investing in science and technology to accelerate growth; and

(f)    promoting cultural diversity to strengthen societies and spell confidence and creativity for a better future.

The conference noted the following concerns:

    (i)    the need to strengthen the link between education and the world of work;

(ii)    the need for quality education to encourage critical thinking and a more analytical and enquiring attitude;

(iii)    the capacity gap in science education which has serious implications on national economic growth and development; and

(iv)    the crucial ethical role of education in promoting the values of human rights and the respect for each other in a shared world. 

Madam Speaker, Zambia expressed interest in participating in the TEVET Strategy Pilot Programme. Nations in this pilot programme will receive up to one million Euros over a period of three years. Zambia stands to benefit significantly if she becomes part of the pilot programme.

Madam Speaker, participation at the General Conference also accorded a chance to the Zambian delegation members to have personal contact and discuss pertinent issues with some key persons at the UNESCO Headquarters. 

The Zambian delegation held discussions with the Head of Alternative and Renewable Energy Programme. The discussion focused on the need for UNESCO to facilitate capacity building for alternative and renewable energy research in the country. 

The delegation also met with other officers from the International Institute for Education Planning and requested for support in capacity building programmes for planers and managers of training institutions. The request will receive due consideration.

It was noted that in the past, Zambia had not benefited from UNESCO-sponsored fellowship programmes. To this effect, the following measures and strategies will be put in place:

    (i)    aggressively publicise UNESCO vacancies and positions;

    (ii)    facilitate and support UNESCO’s young professionals internships; and

    (iii)    strengthen inter-ministerial collaboration.

Madam Speaker, in the area of culture, Zambia supported a number of draft resolutions for the establishment of museums, training centres and various cultural programmes. In this regard, Zambia was invited to participate in the executive board meeting for the return of cultural property illegally appropriated from countries of origin and in capacity building for cultural statistics.

Madam Speaker, the Communication and Information Commission acknowledged the following common issues:

    (i)    communication contributes to development;

(ii)    media freedom and access to information plays a key role in empowering the poor;

(iii)    media and ICTs define people’s cultural identity and self expression; and finally, 

(iv)    preservation of and access to information is crucial to national development and creation of a knowledge society.

To this effect, the commission resolved that UNESCO should help member states in building capacity for the establishment and application of internationally recognised legal and regulatory standards for freedom of expression, information and free independent and pluralistic media, but without detriment to the democratic governance and most of all the constitutional order established in each country.

Delegates urged governments and other relevant bodies to establish and adequately fund libraries and library systems that offer free information services to culturally-diverse communities. Emphasis was placed on the need for governments to take keen interest in preserving and protecting audio, video and other heritage materials to ensure that the memory of the world programme succeeds.

Madam Speaker, the National Commission for UNESCO (Natcom) for Africa highlighted the challenges and future actions of the regional bodies. Among the challenges highlighted were the big discrepancies among the UNESCO’s Natcom and little support and limited resources and also a high turnover of Secretary-General in the Natcom Offices. It was hoped that, in future, there would be improved co-operation and collaboration among member States in the context of reforms, advocacy and training of Natcom staff to enhance their capacity. 

Madam Speaker, it was announced that the UNESCO Africa Department will have specialists in post-conflict management issues. To this end, each Natcom was advised to have a focal point person in conflict management who would be sent for training in mobilising extra budgetary funds. The trainees would learn how to approach the private sector and foundations. The meeting held that an amount of US$1.5 million for training of specialists in conflict and post-conflict management was available.

Also notable at the 35th UNESCO Conference was a contract of US$5 million signed with Libya for the promotion of African languages.

Madam Speaker, finally, I wish to conclude by saying that the participation in the UNESCO General Conference was a success. It was an important milestone in the development of the various sectors, as it enabled Zambia as a member State to exchange ideas and experiences in the different competencies. 

The delegation, indeed, also witnessed a milestone in the appointment of the first female Director-General after sixty-four years of UNESCO.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Madam Speaker, first of all, I would like to commend the hon. Minister for the statement. Many conferences are attended, but this House is not informed. This is a good start. 

The Hon. Minister said the report is available at the two ministries. Will she make an undertaking to make that report available to this House and, through this House, to the citizens who are interested in matters of UNESCO?

Ms Siliya: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member of Parliament for Kabwata for his kind words. UNESCO has a number of competencies which include science, culture, communication and transport, education, information and broadcasting and tourism. The delegation comprised members from the various ministries. 

A common report has been produced by the Ministry of Education. Additionally, specific reports on particular competencies have been produced by each ministry and this is why I said that specific reports are available in each ministry. 

However, I am sure it will be possible, in collaboration with my colleagues from the various ministries, to make these reports available to the hon. Members of Parliament as the UNESCO programme is a national one. It is important that leaders and hon. Members of Parliament appreciate what is being done to assist our citizens.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): Madam Speaker, two years ago, UNESCO recognised the Nyau of the Eastern Province and the Makishi of the North-Western Province as world cultural heritages. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what UNESCO is doing to promote these two world cultural heritages worldwide for the benefit of Zambia.

Ms Siliya: Madam Speaker, culture is one of the competencies that are promoted by UNESCO. When we went to Paris, we took the issue of the Makishi and the Nyau as well as the plains in the Western Province which are supposed to become a heritage site. I believe that the hon. Ministries of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources and Community Development and Social Services made their case so that we continue to promote these sites and the traditional practices. 

I thank you, Madam.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Madam Speaker, I commend the hon. Minister for that comprehensive statement on the conference. I also commend the ministry and the Government that Zambia was not put among those countries which are lagging behind and therefore, need special attention in the area of providing universal education. 

Could the hon. Minister ensure that, in Luapula Constituency, islands that hardly have school infrastructure and pupils sit in community churches which are collapsing and sometimes do not even have a chance to go to school are given schools. I am talking about Buchinda, Mandwe and Mung’omba Islands.

Ms Siliya: Madam Speaker, access to education was a big concern for everybody at the conference in Paris. In Zambia, in particular, we have, as I have stated many times on the Floor of this House, embarked on a huge programme to ensure that we provide access to education. We might not be able to meet everyone one’s needs at this point, but we have plans is to ensure that by 2015, we build, at least, 600 extra schools that would provide 16,000 extra classrooms. 

As we have already passed the Budget for the Ministry of Education for 2010, we are now sitting down to plan where the most need is, currently, for us to provide access until 2015. What is important is that, we are committed and clear with the plan to provide access.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Magande (Chilanga): Mr Speaker, I would also like to thank the hon. Minister for this very extensive statement on the UNESCO Conference. I join her in congratulating the new female Director-General because it is not very easy for our womenfolk to get these jobs. Obviously, I would have loved to hear that she got the job, but I do not know whether we nominated her name for the election or not.

Madam, in discussing the principles of education for the future, the hon. Minister said that one of the important things is that there must be a link between education and the world of work. Clearly, as we spoke about education and science and technology yesterday, I saw the need to have this linkage, but it has to start from the classroom. 

I would like to find out from the hon. Minister when the Government is going to complete the revision of our irrelevant syllabi which our children go through, learning about David Livingstone being the first whiteman to see the Victoria Falls, which has nothing to do with learning, as part of our heritage, how the rhinoceros in the parks are supposed to be maintained for the future?

Ms Siliya: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Chilanga for his kind words. We heard this week that, at every point in time, there are about 300,000 students who are churned out of our education system. Our tertiary education, that is, universities, colleges and skills training centres, can only take, at a time, 40,000 students. This means we a big have a shortfall. 

I made a commitment in September that one of the first things we have to do in the ministry from 2010 is to review the Education Policy so that we can provide quality alternative programmes. We would like to put an academic pack in place for those who want to go to high schools through to universities. We must also provide other alternative programmes that are part of a skills training pack for those who may not want to go to universities. The nation is built not just by white collar jobs, but by bricklayers, carpenters and everybody else. Those are nation builders. We must provide training for people to be able to leave schools at various points such as Grade 9 and 12 with the necessary skills that will make them productive in society.

Now, the whole education system provides labour for the private sector. It is important that we have a clear link between the labour force we are producing with the world of work. What are the needs in terms of the world of work? The Government cannot do this alone. It has to collaborate closely with the private sector. Two days ago, the Ministry of Education held a meeting entitled, “Investment in the Education Sector” to look at ways of turning the gap that we are currently experiencing into an opportunity for jobs and wealth creation by citizens and anybody else to invest in the education sector. The education sector is a place where money can be made quickly. It is a 250,000 gap. There is already business. 

Therefore, we call upon the hon. Members of Parliament, private sector and everybody else to invest in the education sector so that we can truly provide the skills that would be linked to the world of work. This can truly transform this country into a middle income country by 2030.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Madam Speaker, I also congratulate the hon. Minister of Education for her statement.

Zambia is feared to have a deficit of plus or minus 600 megawatts of electricity by the end of 2010. According to the statement, I know that the conference dealt with the issue of soliciting for funds for a pilot project for alternative sources of energy. I would like to thank her very much for her initiative. 

However, I would like to find out from her, what her Government has done to try to reduce dependence on hydro power in this country for them to qualify for funding for this pilot project for alternative sources of energy.

Ms Siliya: Madam Speaker, the concern for a green world affects everybody. This was quite a big concern even at UNESCO. Zambia, as part of the global world, is looking forward to finding ways of providing efficient and cheaper energy resources that will ensure that we continue to look after our mother earth for future generations.

This is a problem that is not just for one ministry or the Government alone. As we heard yesterday, there is a need for more collaboration in terms of research and investment in science and technology, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training and Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources so that we can provide alternative energy in this country. This will enable us move away from the dependence on hydro energy and charcoal which result in damaging the environment in that sense.

As a Government, we are committed to that issue and we have held meetings on bio-fuels. This is an issue which I know the hon. Member of Parliament feels strongly about. We will continue to go in that direction so that we look for much cheaper and cleaner sources of energy to support hydro energy.

I thank you, Madam.




212. Mr Malama (Mfuwe) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing when the following chiefdoms would benefit from funds for market construction:

(i)    Chief Nabwalya; and
(ii)    Chief Mukungule.

The Deputy Minister of Commerce Trade and Industry (Mr Muteteka): Madam Speaker, I wish to inform the august House that the Government has plans to build markets in all the districts in Zambia, including Mpika where Chief Nabwalya and Chief Mukungule chiefdoms are found.

Madam Speaker, based on the work plans prioritised by councils, my ministry is currently implementing the Market Rehabilitation and Maintenance Programme whose objective is to repair, rehabilitate and maintain existing markets in all the districts.

  Madam Speaker, in recent years, my ministry has expanded this programme to cover the small-scale construction of markets in some districts and Mpika is one of the districts which has already benefited from this exercise. To this effect, in December, 2007, my ministry released K2,515,000,000 to various councils across the country for the small-scale construction of markets. Mpika District Council received K90 million out of which K30 million was meant for the construction of markets in Mfuwe Constituency.

Madam Speaker, this year, my ministry released K105,000,000 to Mpika District as budgetary support to the District Annual Work Plan for the construction of prioritised markets in the district. Out of this money, K33,535,000 went to support the construction of markets in Mfuwe Constituency where Chief Nabwalya and Chief Mukungule are found. The other funds have seen the completion of the construction of the market at Chambeshi in Kanchibiya Constituency.

In view of the above, the markets mentioned in part (a) of the question should be prioritised by the council. 

For markets mentioned in part (b) of the question, the council is also advised to prioritise their construction, which should be included in the Annual Work Plan for 2010, to enable the ministry source funds for the construction of the markets.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Malama: Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that Chief Mukungule area is not near Chief Nabwalya’s area? If he is aware, when will they construct a market in Chief Nabwalya’s area which is about 120 kilometres from the nearest market?

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Dr Kazonga): Madam Speaker, we are aware of that distance. As was indicated in the response that we gave to the question, if there is that need to construct that market, it is important that the local authority in its plans for next year, includes that particular project as a priority area. Since we are now talking about the bottom-up approach to development projects, let it start from there then we can facilitate in terms of financing. The hon. Member of Parliament may also consider the use of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). These are the two alternatives that we can use to address that issue. 

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mwewa (Nkana): Madam Speaker, while commending the Government over the few markets that have been constructed, for example, in Chimwemwe Constituency in Kitwe where we have very beautiful markets, may I find out what is causing the delay to officially open these markets because their construction was completed quite a long time ago. At the moment, the marketers are still operating from ramshackle markets.

Dr Kazonga: Madam Speaker, the councils can actually allocate these stalls and the official opening is some ceremony that can happen at a later stage. I will find out what is causing that delay from the council. I would encourage the hon. Member of Parliament to also make an initiative to liaise with the management of Kitwe City Council so that a solution can be found immediately.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kapeya (Mpika): Madam Speaker, arising from the hon. Minister’s answer that K90 million was given to Mpika District Council to work on the markets and only K30 million was given to Mfuwe District, where did the balance of K70 million go?

Dr Kazonga: Madam Speaker, that amount of money went to Mpika District Council. In Mpika District, there are a number of constituencies that are there. Therefore, the balance must have gone to the other constituencies. All in all, what I can say is that in the case of how the money was used, we have a normal programme of audits which looks into that.  If there was any misuse or misapplication, we can verify that at an appropriate time. Definitely, the money went to Mpika District Council.

I thank you, Madam Speaker. 


213. Colonel Chanda (Kanyama) asked the Minister of Works and Supply:

(a)    under what circumstances the Government took over ownership of the new Government Office Complex in Kamwala;

(b)    whether the previous claimants were compensated and, if so, how much money was paid out;

(c)    which Government ministries were accommodated at the new Government Complex; and

(d)    whether the Government was leasing out part of the Complex and, if so, to whom and how much the rentals were. 

The Deputy Minister of Works and Supply (Dr Kalila): Mr Speaker, the Government took over the office complex on the basis that it was built using a loan from China to the people of Zambia and supplemented by donations from local companies and citizens.

Madam Speaker, the previous claimants were not compensated as it was considered that public funds had been used to construct the complex.

The Government ministries that are accommodated at the complex in the Kamwala area in Lusaka are as follows:

(a)    the Ministry of  Information and Broadcasting;

(b)    the Ministry of  Mines and Minerals Development;

(c)    the Ministry of  Sport, Youth and Child Development;

(d)    the Ministry of  Commerce, Trade and Industry; and

(e)    the Ministry of Gender in Development.

Madam Speaker, the departments that situated there are:

(a)    Decentralisation Secretariat – Ministry of Local Government and Housing;

(b)    Standing Accidents Board – Ministry of Finance and National Planning;

(c)    Teaching Service Commission;

(d)    Great Lake Envoy – Ministry of Foreign Affairs;

(e)    Zambia Institute for Diplomatic and Industrial Studies (ZIDIS) – Ministry of Foreign Affairs;

(f)    National Technology Business Centre - Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training.

Madam Speaker, the Government is renting office space to the under listed firms/institutions:

Tenant                No. of Offices Occupied    Monthly Rental (k)

Kachelo Travel Limited        01                1,207,675.00

Equal Access (Z) Limited        01                1,055,808.10

Microfin Africa (Z) Limited    01                    472,442.40

Beta Supply                01                1,176,997.50

Zamkor Ministry Corporation    03                4,926,079.20

Retirees Association            01                   324,301.42

IFMIS Project            23                      22,205,504.50

ZAMNET                01                   370,125.00

Civil Service Workers Union    01                   525,904.00

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Colonel Chanda: Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister if he is aware that the original intention of the Government was to accommodate all ministries under one roof for the purpose of easing the burden of doing business. What calendar framework is in place to ensure that all ministries are, in due course, housed under one roof?

Dr Kalila: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Kanyama for his interest in matters of the United National Independence Party (UNIP). However, it is not possible to accommodate all the ministries in one building.  

I thank you, Madam. 

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC. (Chasefu): Madam Speaker, to allay doubt, and to set the record straight, may the hon. Minister confirm that when UNIP wanted to claim ownership of this building, it challenged the Government in court, and that both the High Court and Supreme Court confirmed that this structure did not belong to UNIP ,but the Government because public funds were used in the construction. Can the hon. Minister confirm this?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalila: Madam Speaker, indeed, I can confirm that it was subject of litigation at the time and that is how, eventually, it was taken over by the Government upon production of evidence that it was built using public funds provided for in the Budget at the time. I can, therefore, confirm this and I thank the hon. Member for the emphasis. 

Madam Speaker, I thank you. 

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kapata (Mandevu): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister said that some of the rooms have been rented out to private companies. I would like to find out from him whether this money is being directed to the completion of the incomplete structures surrounding the complex. 

Dr Kalila: Madam Speaker, I thank you …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! The hon. Minister will wait to be called upon so that he can settle the answer in his mind. 


Dr Kalila: Madam Chairperson, I thank you for your guidance. 

Madam Speaker, firstly, the money being realised from the rentals from the private companies is necessary for the maintenance of the property. Shanghai Construction Company, which is working on finishing the incomplete structures, is on site. The money realised from rentals, therefore, is going towards maintenance, general upkeep or cleaning of the building to ensure that the place remains in a habitable state. 

Madam Speaker, I thank you. 

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Beene (Itezhi-tezhi): Madam Speaker, I am sure the hon. Minister will confirm that this is one of the most magnificent buildings we have in the country and I would like to thank the Chinese for a job well done. However, is it your culture to keep the surroundings of this beautiful building, particularly the north side, in such a bad state? There is scrap metal everywhere. When will you complete this building and clear the surroundings? 

Dr Kalila: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for complimenting this Government. I also thank our Chinese partners who have been very helpful in ensuring that we achieve our development agenda. Firstly, as I already indicated, the rationale for leasing out part of this building is to ensure that such matters are taken into consideration. 

Secondly, the contractors are back on site to complete construction of the building and in the course of this construction, the issues raised, including the keeping of the surroundings clean, will be attended to. In other words, it is an administrative matter which is being looked into by the people managing the property. Therefore, the hon. Member can be assured that it will be as beautiful as he put it. 

Madam Speaker, I thank you. 

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!




Mr Mooya (Moomba): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that the House do adopt the First Report of the Committee on Local Governance, Housing and Chief’s Affairs for the Fourth Session of the Tenth National Assembly, laid on the Table of the House on 23rd November, 2009. 

The Chairperson: Is the Motion seconded?

Mr Mwango (Kanchibiya): Madam Speaker, I beg to second the Motion. 

Mr Mooya: Madam Speaker, during the period under review, your Committee transacted the following business: 

(i)    consideration of the 2009 report of the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing on the summarised audited accounts of local authorities; and 

(ii)    consideration of the Action-Taken Report on the Committee’s report for 2008. 

Madam Speaker, your Committee also considered the following topical issues:

(i)    the establishment and management of cemeteries in Zambia;
(ii)    the management of public parking spaces on Lusaka; and 
(iii)    an update on the Decentralisation Policy.

Madam Speaker, your Committee also undertook a foreign tour to Uganda to share experiences on the decentralisation process. 

Madam Speaker, I trust that hon. Members have had time to read your Committee’s report.

Madam Speaker, following the consideration of matters raised in the hon. Minister’s report on the audited accounts on local authorities for 2009, your Committee express concern at the continued failure by local authorities to abide by the requirements of financial regulations in the management of public funds. They note that guidelines pertaining to retirement of imprest and utilisation of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), among others, are still widely overlooked. 

Your Committee also sadly note the growing tendencies by principal officers to misapply funds meant for development purposes on other needs such as payment of workers’ salaries. Your Committee are further saddened that most recommendations of your previous Committees have not been addressed by the relevant principal officers. This is tantamount to demeaning the authority of your Committee and this House. 

Madam Speaker, your Committee, therefore, strongly urge the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, whose responsibility it is to supervise the local authorities, to take stern disciplinary action against erring officers in order to ensure that laid-down guidelines and financial regulations are followed. 

Madam Speaker, let me now comment on the challenges faced in the establishment and management of cemeteries in Zambia. I will spend a bit more time on this matter because it is a subject which has been given little attention in the past. Cemeteries exist because every life is worth loving and remembering even when it has passed on. Cemeteries provide an environment for communities and family members to accord respect for their departed.

Your Committee are, however, saddened to note that the management of cemeteries in Zambia is one of the most neglected areas of service provision. Most cemeteries have been subjected to gross neglect and vandalism which is often compounded with rampant thefts. Firstly, the legal framework, through the Public Health Act Cap 295 and the Local Government Act Cap 281 of the Laws of Zambia, is too weak and fragmented to provide guidance to the stakeholders. Secondly, there is no national policy in place, leaving individual local authorities to determine what level of service to offer.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! May the House pay a little more attention?

You may continue.

Mr Mooya: Thirdly, there is widespread shortage of land for burial purposes which, if not urgently handled, will drift into a crisis. The situation has arisen because of poor planning and lack of prioritisation of the generally poor financial position of most councils. Burial services such as grave digging, mourners’ shelters, access roads, kiosks, security services, record keeping and general maintenance of cemeteries are almost non-existent.

The view of your Committee, therefore, is that the Government should urgently review the laws pertaining to cemeteries with a view to coming up with a comprehensive and updated law to meet the current challenges in cemetery management, especially given the entry of private players in the service. Such a law would help address many cemetery management issues which are not adequately covered by the current laws to ensure smooth operation of cemeteries. Further, your Committee agree with the proposal by stakeholders that the Government should consider establishing a national inspectorate of the management of cemeteries that should ensure stakeholders, both public and private service providers, meet the approved minimum standards.

Madam Speaker, the issue of shortage of land for to be used for burial in major cities should also be looked at critically. The Government should work closely with local authorities and stakeholders such as traditional leaders to secure land for burial purposes. Further, local authorities that still have adequate land should be encouraged to have foresight in their planning so that they reserve adequate land for future cemetery needs.

Madam Speaker, your Committee’s report on the update on the Decentralisation Policy from the Secretary to the Cabinet and their subsequent foreign tour to Uganda is quite detailed. I shall, therefore, only touch one issue, which is that of the need for commitment for the decentralisation process to succeed. Your Committee note that decentralisation is a political process which requires strong political will and support of stakeholders. The Central Government must demonstrate political will to engage in a shared exercise of power and authority while the Civil Service must be willing to facilitate the transfer of power, authority functions and, indeed, the requisite resources to local authorities.

Your Committee observe that the Zambian Government has not shown the political will necessary to move the process forward. Since the policy was launched in 2004, but no significant work has been undertaken. They are disappointed that the Decentralisation Implementation Plan has not been approved despite having been submitted to Cabinet in July, 2006 for consideration. Your Committee fear that this lack of resolve on the part of the Government will send wrong signals to stakeholders and the nation at large. In fact, Madam Speaker, this was sadly confirmed by the Secretary to the Cabinet who informed your Committee that some key stakeholders, such as line ministries and donors, had already reduced their participation in the process.

On this score, your Committee observed that the Ugandan leadership did very well as President Yoweri Museveni and key stakeholders, such as donors and civil society, supported the process from inception. Further, Madam Speaker, a bold decision was made by the people of Uganda to quickly entrench the policy in the National Constitution and in an Act of Parliament. This was an important move as all stakeholders, including the civil servants involved, had little choice, but to abide by the highest law in the land.

Madam Chairperson, in conclusion, allow me to thank all town clerks, council secretaries and the Ministry of Local Government and Housing for the co-operation rendered during the consideration of the report of the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing on audited accounts. They also wish to thank the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing who briefed your Committee on the implementation of the Decentralisation Policy. They also thank all stakeholders who appeared before them on the other topical issues.

Your Committee further thank the offices of the Auditor-General and the Clerk of the National Assembly for the advice rendered during the deliberations.

Finally, your Committee wish to record their indebtedness to you, Madam Speaker, for the guidance given during the session.

Madam Speaker, I beg to move.

Mr Ntundu: Hear, hear!

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

Mr Mwango: Now, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker, in seconding the Motion, let me thank the mover for the able manner in which he has highlighted the issues that were deliberated by your Committee.

Madam Speaker, I will only touch on two issues.

I will comment on the issue of lack of capacity by local authorities to handle decentralisation functions. During their tour to Uganda, your Committee learnt that at inception, Uganda was faced with a similar problem of deciding whether to proceed with decentralisation with the existing capacity or to wait until the requisite capacity was built. Your Committee learnt that a decision was made to proceed with decentralisation while efforts to build the necessary capacity continued. Further, due to such concerns, Uganda decided to implement the decentralisation process in a phased manner as highlighted by your Committee’s report.

Madam Speaker, let me remind the House that similar arguments of lack of capacity were advanced by colonial masters when we sought to be independent. They said we had no capacity to run the nation. However, we just have to look back now and see how we have strengthened ourselves and our institutions.

Your Committee, therefore, favour the view to proceed with decentralisation while implementing measures to develop capacity in local authorities. Madam Speaker, let the decentralisation process start. If we have any concerns, let us start by piloting the process in a few selected districts.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Mr Mwango: Madam Speaker, allow me to comment on the management of public parking spaces in Lusaka. A study thereon was undertaken by your Committee following a request by the Zambia Institute of Planners.

Madam Speaker, the precarious situation the Lusaka City Council (LCC) has found itself in, as regards inadequate parking spaces, is a direct result of the local authority’s failure to observe and implement required planning standards. In fact, the problem of inadequate parking spaces should be viewed as a symptom of failed planning. The same can be said about the poor road network, sanitation and housing. As regards parking, it is sad to note that the council allowed the construction of high-rise buildings without taking into account the necessary parking requirements. 

Sadly, even in the management of existing spaces, the council has not performed well. For, example, your Committee wonder why the council has allowed “call boys” to take advantage of the situation by charging motorists thereby compounding the shortage of parking spaces.

The lesson to be drawn here is that all local authorities, especially those yet to fully develop should take the planning function seriously. All local authorities should develop master plans catering for all anticipated future uses. As for cities whose plans have already been overtaken by new challenges, the only solution is to consider developing ambitious town renewal plans in order to adapt to the new demands. The LCC, for example, should engage the owners of high-rise buildings to persuade them to undertake structural redesigning of their buildings to allow for the transformation of ground floors into parking lots.

Madam Speaker, in concluding, I urge the House to support the report of the Committee.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mwansa (Chifunabuli): Madam Speaker, I thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to support the Motion.

Madam Speaker, I would like to begin my contribution by commenting on the whole issue of local governance and the concerns that have dogged it for a very long time and that it is our failure, as a nation, to do what is absolutely necessary for the development of our country.

Madam Speaker, local governance is absolutely essential for development. I have said this before, but allow me to say it again. It is always the best programme that allows the local people to determine their affairs and fate. When people are enabled to think for themselves in their local environment, they are likely to develop faster than when thinking is done at the corporate or national levels, if I may use that terminology.

Madam Speaker, we take too long to make decisions that affect people at the local level because we always think of a centralised system of Government, a trend we need to run away from as quickly as possible. I do not subscribe to the idea that when we talk about decentralisation, all we are saying is giving power to the districts. At the district level, we need to go further and break the districts down into smaller groups, probably, sub-districts, to enable the people at the local level make decisions. A good example is Lusaka. Running Lusaka, as a district, is very expensive and if it becomes centralised, consequently the system will slow down.

However, if we had to break up Lusaka and entrust the people of Makeni to make their own programmes of development, if we let the people in Matero begin to think about development in their area and so on, the difference would be immediate because whatever money they would raise in their areas would be utilised locally and the people would see development reaching them almost immediately.

I know that we have fear of decentralisation partly because we have officials in certain areas who are not very trustworthy, if I may use the terminology, but that should not deter us from doing what is right. The responsibility of the Government is to ensure that those who do not obey the rules and laws are punished, but not to stop the process from going ahead. We must remove, from the system, those who do not retire imprest. One of the problems of our system is that even when we know the mal-factors in our system and the district councils where the officers have been mismanaging our resources, we still allow these officers to continue working. It becomes a political issue to remove them and consequently, the system gets bogged down with inefficiencies because we are failing to do what we ought to do.

We need to agree that there is a need for the Central Government to share power with the local Government. We need to agree that decisions must be left to people at the local level as regards development in their localities. There is no doubt that there are some programmes and projects that the Central Government must undertake because those are beyond what a local authority can do. Those should be the areas of concern for our ministries to ensure that the projects that go across the districts are handled by the Central Government and that way, things will be made easier.

Madam Speaker, allow me to discuss a matter that is of great concern and interest for me and that is the issue of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). There is a perception in our country, at the moment, that hon. Members of Parliament are supposed to take development to their constituencies. This is a perception you cannot erase from the minds of our people because they believe that when we come to Parliament, we share the money and hon. Members are given a particular chunk that they use in their constituencies. Do not fight people’s perceptions, but work along them and improve them. If this has been the perception for the last twenty years now, I have only missed five years in this House, then we need to ask ourselves how best we should make progress on this issue.

When we, as hon. Members of Parliament, go back to our constituencies, people will bring financial problems for us to solve, but as we all know, the system is such that it is not an hon. Member who has the money to solve problems in the localities even though people are saying that they sent us here, to this House, to take development to the constituencies. What we should have done a long time ago was to ask ourselves a pertinent question of how to enable hon. Members to answer to the cries of the people in their constituencies and that would be the easiest way of solving this problem. In my opinion, this is what the CDF is intended to do. It is intended to empower hon. Members to solve some problems in their constituencies. Again, what we need to ask ourselves is, has this programme been working well?

Madam Speaker, no hon. Member would say that the CDF is a bad programme, in fact, all of us cry for more funding. We would like more money to go to that programme. There is a concern, and a genuine one, that certain hon. Members have not used that the CDF properly, but that must not be the reason for not increasing the money. The way out of the problem is that even the officers in Local Government who misuse the CDF should be dealt with and let the programme go ahead. I suggest that we re-look at the guidelines concerning the CDF. They have existed for sometime and we know what the loopholes are and where we need to strengthen them. We should face the fact that hon. Members should be in-charge of the CDF and if they misuse the money, they should be punished because there is nobody above the law, not even an hon. Member. We founded this programme as hon. Members and surely we must be allowed to run it ...

Hon. Opposition Members: To own it.

Mr Mwansa: … and own it.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: Madam Speaker, we need this money in our constituencies and even the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing is smiling, knowing that a little more money allocated to the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) ensures his stay in power in his constituency.

Madam Speaker, therefore, what I am saying is that we need, as quickly as possible, to review the guidelines concerning CDF and make sure that there is control. In fact, in this day and age and, especially after the introduction of constituency offices, we have officers of the Government called Parliamentary Assistants, who should be of great use and help to us all, as pertains the use of CDF. These are officers of the Government and will be subject to audit by the Auditor-General. Therefore, they can control that money at that level …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: … rather than keeping the money at the district level where, currently, part of the money gets misused by the officers in the districts. Why should we go on with protocols that can be changed without destroying anything?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: Madam Speaker, the K20 million that is being cut from CDF to service the districts is too much. Districts that have three constituencies need K6 million of that money and the question is, do these officers even know where the projects in the constituencies are?

Hon. Opposition Members: Nothing.

Mr Mwansa: The answer is no. That money is simply being used at the Boma, if I may use that terminology. There are many projects going on, and yet they do not even know where they are. They depend on hon. Members of Parliament and the councillors to collect the data about how money has been used then they send a report to the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing. Why should we do things like this when we know very well that this is money intended for development in constituencies?


Madam Deputy Speaker: The House is getting a little too lively. Can we listen to the debate.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hammer!

Mr Mwansa: Madam Speaker, I am pleading with the new hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing to immediately pick the guidelines and bring them, if he wants, to this House, for us to tease and ensure that it answers to our desires as the movers of CDF.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: We, as hon. Members of Parliament, have particular interest in that programme because even if the Government has takes in giving as other money, if CDF properly reaches my constituency it is extremely difficult to route me out because I will make sure that people are satisfied with the way I do my work in my constituency.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Not the Mabenga way.

Mr Mwansa: No, this is about this country it is not about individuals. We are interested in developing our country and all of us, including our …


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! A very interesting point, but can we, please, debate the report rather than spend a lot of time away from it.

Mr Muntanga interjected.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!


Mr Mwansa: I am obliged, Madam Speaker. I was just trying to emphasise how …

Madam Deputy Speaker: No, go on and debate the report.

Mr Mwansa: … decentralisation ensures that people’s interests and wishes are actually enabled by the availability of funds in those areas.

Madam Speaker, allow me to move on to my last point and that is the issue of the chief’s affairs. I am aware that in the colonial days, the colonial masters used chiefs to keep us apart. They used chiefs to rule us indirectly and in a sense, we have remained with a morbid fear that to give anything or any power to the chiefs would be taking ourselves back to the colonial days.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: Madam Speaker, I think there is a way we can positively utilise the local authorities that are already embodied in our chiefs. If the Government and the local authorities, especially our chiefs sat together, they would find that it is much easier to improve the livelihoods of our people by using the local chiefs in ensuring, for example, that villages in their chiefdoms are kept clean. The chiefs can inspect those villages in their chiefdoms and ensure that they comply with the rudiments of a hygienic way of life and that these villages begin to take on the face of modernity. They can ensure that the records of the people born in those chiefdoms are kept. 

Madam Speaker, this is one country where it is difficult to trace roots. When people move into this country, they can easily become Zambians by simply moving into a particular village, settling down comfortably and before long, just be accepted as part of that people. There is no problem with being kind to those who come into our country, but let us also remember that there is a need to ensure that our country is safe. Foreigners should not be allowed to move into the country and become Zambians without any process. This is because the dangers are that foreigners may overrun us, as citizens, in numbers and before we know it, we may begin to look like aliens in our own country.


Mr Mwansa: There is an absolute need, therefore, to keep records of our people from the village level.

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes.

Mr Mwansa: We need to know how many people are born in Chifunabuli, particularly in Chief Mwansakombe’s village. There must be somewhere I can find that data. 

Mr Muntanga: Yes.

Mr Mwansa: Madam Chairperson, the importance of this is simply that, as a country, we need to be sure that when new people enter the country, there is a record of their coming in. We are not saying that they should not enter the country, but that, upon coming in, we must have a trace of how they came in, where they settled and so on so that we can know, if they become …

Mr Muntanga: Mischievous.

Mr Mwansa: … mischievous in times of trouble, how to handle them. 

Madam Speaker, I recall at one time in American history, during the Second World War, in the war against Japan, it became necessary for the American people to confine the Japanese Americans because they were not sure that these people were sympathetic to the interests of America. Of course, they apologised later, but it made their war much easier at that point. All I am pleading for is that, as a Government, we use the local chiefs, our traditional rulers with their headmen and headwomen, to help us keep a record of Zambians born in the villages.

Mr Muntanga: Especially border areas.

The Deputy Speaker: Order! Stop debating from your seat.

Mr Mwansa: You come into town and there is virtual confusion. There are some townships in our country where the population is so large and nobody knows who stays where except the local people themselves. How can you plan for development in a squatter whose population you do not even know.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: How can water, sewerage and post office services be planned for if the number of people to use the services is not known? 

Madam Speaker, all I am saying is this, as we think of governance, especially local governance, we need to let the local people in these compounds begin to help us with information and the only way we can do that is by demarcating our towns which are big into, I do not know whether to call them Bomas or sub-Bomas, smaller communities that are easy to manage and handle. I plead with the hon. Minister, who is coming in with a fresh mind, to be very opened-minded to the possibilities that things can change. That life should not be as it was yesterday, today and forever. That we, as a country, have the capacity and capability to ensure that our country is better governed and respond to the challenges of modernity because we have the capacity and the brains, the human computers on our heads, to make the necessary changes that we require for the wellbeing of our country.

Madam Speaker, as I support this great Motion, I would like to say that we need to look at ourselves, again, vis-à-vis the way we run our affairs and begin to improve the way we run them because we can. We only need the determination to make our country better.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Lumba (Solwezi Central): Madam Speaker …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lumba: … I rise to make my maiden speech in this august House. Firstly, I want to begin by thank thanking you most sincerely for giving me this opportunity to deliver my speech.

Secondly, I would like to salute the people of Solwezi Central Constituency and say thank you to them. It is my honour and privilege to represent and serve them all as their hon. Member of Parliament. I express my appreciation to them and my commitment to work towards the achievement of our shared objectives.

I thank the many supporters, of various political thinking, who supported our candidature, the United Party for National Development (UPND), the Patriotic Front (PF), Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) party members who were not able to come out in the open …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lumba: … and particularly the long-standing and dedicated Electorate Committee workers who stood with us and worked so tirelessly. This result is a credit to their efforts. I see it as a portent for 2011.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lumba: To the other candidates, I thank them for providing my party and I a tough contest. They fought and marshalled a tough campaign and I was declared the victor because of them. To the many hardworking people of Solwezi who worked tirelessly for the other candidates, I wish to thank them all for their earnestness. I would like to let them know that I will be their hon. Member of Parliament and will represent their interests as vigorously as I can. I look forward to working with them all.

Madam Speaker, I also thank the president of my party, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, his colleague, Mr Michael Sata of PF, my campaign manager, Hon. Stephen Katuka of Mwinilunga East, and the entire leadership of the UPND/PF Pact for their confidence in my candidature and for tirelessly directing an informed, issue-based and spirited campaign. The unity shown by the UPND/PF members from the top leadership right down to the grassroots portends well for the future of this country.

Hon. UPND and PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lumba: Madam Speaker, allow me to thank my wife, Patricia, and my daughter, Rachael, my family and close friends. These are the people on whose love and support I have depended. Finally and above all, I wish to acknowledge God’s love and enabling grace. I am grateful to the Almighty for this privilege to serve his people in this way.

Madam Speaker, as hon. Member of Parliament for Solwezi Central, I follow a string of illustrious predecessors whose political history and contribution to this country is immense. There was Mr Humphrey Mulemba and Dr Ludwig Sondashi, inter alia, who served Solwezi Central Constituency with distinction. Allow me now to pay homage particularly to the memory of my immediate predecessor, Hon. Benny Tetamashimba, who passed into eternity in September, 2009. Mr Tetamashimba will be remembered as one of Solwezi Central Constituency’s great Members of Parliament. I honour his memory. May His Soul Rest In Eternal Peace.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lumba: Madam Speaker, deciding to enter politics did not come naturally to me. Some of my family members and close friends argued against it. “What are you thinking?” they asked. “You have got a family, a successful career, but why jettison all that for a life in politics?” Their views reflect the same frustration any attentive listener hears across Zambia; that our politics are not listening or responsive to the plight of the people and that our politics are “dirty”. My decision ultimately …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1045 hours until 1100 hours.


Mr Lumba: Madam Speaker, I wish to pick, for my extended discussion, the state of politics in our country. Politics are about power. They are about the power of the State. It is about the power of the State, as applied to individuals, the society in which they live and the economy in which they work. Most critically, our responsibility in this Parliament at Manda Hill is how that power is used. Is it used for the benefit of the few who have access to power or of the many who give those few that power. 

In my first speech, I would like to speak on the fundamental principles that I believe should govern the exercise of political power and the reason, therefore, that I am a member of UPND and sought election to this Parliament. I want to speak on how these beliefs shape my approach to some of the great policy challenges now facing our young nation. I also want to speak on some of the practical problems facing the local community that I am now privileged to represent in this august House. I believe that ideas are important. Ideas shape behaviour of governments, bureaucracies, businesses, unions, media and individuals. As it is written in the book of life, the Bible, “Whatever a man thinks, so is he.”

Madam Speaker, debate, therefore, is about fundamental ideas, particularly ideas about how political power must be used in developing our young nation. The proper role of the state in the economy and society is critical to an informed discussion on policy in this House. Unfortunately, this is lacking. For as long as I can remember, it has become fashionable in our young country to accept that politics do not deliver sustainably and lack imagination; that hard work does not pay; that there is a dearth of principled positions; the triumph of neoclassical economics which are less understood even by their proponents and the politics of non-issues which are devoid of any discernable ideological position. 

We continue to waste time and resources on non-issues. Put crudely, it is the degrading view gaining ground in our nation that says, “Forget the ethics and morals, everything goes. The end justifies the means” and also that, “Everything is up for sale at the right price”. In Solwezi, however, the concept of the highest bidder secures, has clearly failed. Politics based on this argument becomes little more than theatre; a poorly staged public performance necessary to convince the electorate that the country is moving or needs new management.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lumba: Madam Speaker, I disagree and I do so fundamentally. I believe there remains a fundamental need for us, as a people of Zambia, to clearly define and articulate our national interest that transcends party affiliations. Under girding such national interests should be ethical and moral issues that include setting ourselves to honour virtues of hard work, honesty, trustworthiness and decency.

Madam Speaker, at this stage in our national development, it is unavoidable that politics play a very important role in determining the direction of our young country. This is precisely where the use of political power becomes very important. Our people want to move from underdevelopment to development.

Individually, this is a lifetime journey, but for politics to lead, it must of necessity contain some basic fundamental morals, values and correct knowledge. How can we hope to develop when our politics are used not to serve the large public group, but the people in politics? How can we move this young country forward if we do not possess the basic understanding of the sound tendency of governance such as democracy, liberty and economics?

Madam Speaker, the rest of the world is marching forward through globalisation with or without us. If Zambia will not stand up to be part of this march, it will be sucked in nonetheless.

How have we done in the past few years on this account of making progress? Admittedly, Zambia has made progress, but it is the progress that we should be ashamed of because we could have done much more. Progress in some areas like growth in the trade and non-traditional agricultural sectors has been negated by backslides in the quality of education and health system among others. I wish to suggest that this is due to our failure to articulate our national interests clearly and make them a priority. Our fate, as a nation, is bound together and no section of our society can prosper sustainably without leaving behind the vast majority of people in ignorance and abject poverty. This is where ethical politics come in. Our Government has a role of ensuring that we begin to put in place an organised Zambia. Why is it that, as a country, we are more disorganised than pre-19991? My view is that we have the wrong politics.

Mrs Masebo: Wrong politicians.

Mr Lumba: Madam Speaker, allow me to digress and give some aspect of my life history that inspired me to seek to serve the people. I come from a family of fourteen of which nine are sons. My father is seventy-nine years old and has spent forty of his years as a pastor in the Baptist Church. My mother is seventy-five years old and raised all of us. Growing up in this family, we were taught, as many in this house I am sure were, values and virtues rooted in Scriptures that called on us to love God first and fellow man. I, therefore, believe that without a sense of wanting to serve fellow man, man used generically to include woman, politics becomes devoid of the soul.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lumba: However, how can we serve man without love and how can one love man without the love of God, the giver of true love? Madam Speaker, I strongly believe that the service to our fellow Zambian and our country should be informed by principles of virtue that will, once again, make our people proud of themselves.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lumba: Madam Speaker, Zambia has vast natural resources that we need to harness. But I fear that the Government is taking too much of minimalist interest in the management of the exploitation of these resources and the income therefrom.

Mr Muntanga: Windfall tax.

Mr Lumba: We had better take charge and control the proceeds from these resources or else we are doomed.

Hon. Masebo: Hear, hear!

Mr Lumba: I am sure it is clear to us all that the often heralded foreign investors will leave Zambia one day once these resources are finished. And we will be left with large holes in the ground and serious environmental issues. My call is that politics and leadership should be used to get our fair share of these resources.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lumba: Madam Speaker, as a people, we are all a product of our own experiences and the ideas with which we have been confronted. These are the simple experiences and unremarkable beliefs which cause me to sit proudly here rather than on the benches on the opposite side.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lumba: I believe unapologetically in the active role of the Government in leading the development of this country. I believe that this active role should have, as its foremost guiding principle, a commitment to equality of opportunity. It is a principle that should permeate all that we do in the education, health, water supply and sanitation and mining to mention, but a few.

 I also believe that any government in power should not just turn in on itself, but instead have the fundamental responsibility to pursue the public group first, locally and then internationally.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lumba: Our party is a combination of experience and youth. Through this, it possesses the intellectual horsepower and the policy craft necessary to carve out an alternative vision for the nation as well as a programme of action of realisation of that vision.

Madam Speaker, we are not afraid of the vision in the UPND, nor are we afraid of doing the hard policy work necessary to turn that vision into reality. Parties devoid of any ideological stand will tend to react to issues; will be caught unawares by the obvious and offer no solution to the complex challenges of the 21st century. If Zambia must survive in this country, we need new thinking.

The first fundamental challenge for this country is to learn to feed ourselves. Feeding ourselves is fundamental in anything else that we may wish to do. It is not only a matter of national priority and confidence, but also of national security.

The second fundamental challenge facing our nation lies in our nation’s education system. Education is both a tool for social justice as well as a fundamental drive for economic development. I believe that the nation needs a revolution in the education system. We have State curricula of highly valuable quality and a decline of critical subject areas such as science. Some schools teach science without laboratories. We have a demoralised teaching profession whose energies are now dissipated in school administration and free-driven tuitions rather than in syllabus delivery. We can call for and receive all the foreign direct investment in the world, with an ill-educated population, we will reap the whirlwind. 

I believe that if we are serious in our national rhetoric about having the next generation of Zambia attaining and driving a middle-income country by 2030, then we must, through the school system, equip them to do that. I understand that my remarks will be met by the inevitable chorus of “There is no money”, but I ask the question: As a nation, can we afford not to? I believe that equity and economic development demand it. In a global economy, a first-class education is one of the few forms of real security that the State can provide to its citizens. An educated citizenry may be the main key that we need to make progress as a people.

Madam Speaker, Zambia once had an enviable position regionally and internationally. Lusaka used to be a must-stop destination to influential world leaders. Our First and Second Republican leaders stood shoulder-to-shoulder with their peers. Not only did we pride ourselves in our achievements, but we were also respected as an effective international citizen. This is no longer the case and we ask ourselves: “What has happened”. We are content …

The Deputy Speaker: Order! The Members are louder than the noise itself. Can that, please, be stopped. You may continue.

Mr Lumba: Madam Speaker, I am in this place first and foremost as a representative of the local community of Solwezi Central Constituency which has done me the great honour of electing me as their representative. My time here will be dedicated to representing their interests, a humble and hardworking people in places like Kiafukuma, Kimasala, Kamiteto, Kyawama, Mushitala, Zambia Compound, Sandang’ombe and Kapijimpanga.

Mr Nkombo: Hear, hear!

Mr Lumba: In these communities, there are three main challenges that I wish to mention here. The first of these is health. The existing health infrastructure is poor and inadequately equipped. The health centres are so widely spaced, resulting in people walking long distances. 

As for education, the story is no different. Infrastructure is in a dilapidated state, no desks, few teachers and a very demotivating learning environment. Community schools have sprung up in many areas, but unfortunately, these are not regulated and therefore, unlikely to be offering education of an acceptable quality.

Madam Speaker, one of the major employers in my electorate is Kansanshi Copper Mine. The story of the interaction between the mines and the community is a sad one and I am not seeking to blame anyone, but I have no choice, but to place the blame on someone in the Government of the day. What we are seeing is that benefit in terms of jobs and other benefits are not being shared equally. I would wish to call on the Government to look seriously in the matter of how to create a win-win situation between the people of Zambia and the foreign companies exploiting the mineral wealth in the North Western Province.

Madam Speaker, I do not know whether I will be in this place for a short or a long time …

Dr Chituwo: A short time.

Mr Lumba: This is for others to decide, but what I do know is that I have no intention of being here for the sake of just being here. 

Hon. Nkombo: Hear, hear!

Mr Lumba: Together with my colleagues in the UPND/PF, it is my intention to make a difference, starting with decent, informed and ethical politics.

God Bless the Republic of Zambia.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! One Zero!

The Deputy Speaker: As we continue with the Motion on the Floor, let me, once again, from this Chair, advise the House that as has already been advised, the report is our report. It is here for the Executive to look at. We are not seeking new evidence. Therefore, I will allow a few people to speak, but do not use all the minutes just going through the same points round and round so that we can move on and have the report given for the Executive to react.

Mr Muyanda (Sinazongwe): Madam, thank you most sincerely for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Motion on the Floor. I also wish to thank the mover and seconder for presenting this Motion.

In the first instance, Madam, I wish to support the report. In my submission, I will be brief and precise. I wish to borrow the words of wisdom from one of our highly-experienced politician, Hon. Vernon Johnston Mwaanga. He once said that there is no permanent enemy in politics and, to date, that wisdom has been absorbed and is prevailing in the Republic of Zambia.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Phiri: Hear, hear!

Hon. Member interjected.


Mr Muyanda: Madam, as I submit the facts before me about this report, may I say that this Government requires complete surgical overhaul. 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: Madam, I will concentrate my debate on housing. I will not say anything beyond that to save time for others who may have better points. 

Mr Sejani: Maanda.

Mr Muyanda: The animal kingdom has shelter. Shelter for other creatures is deemed as colonies. When the sun sets, animals duck into holes and rest. Equally, a human being ought to have shelter. Who takes the responsibility of creating shelter? It is the Government.

Madam, the Government on your right, from 1991 to date, has ruined the housing system in this country. There is no clear policy. The so-called National Housing Authority (NHA) only exists in Lusaka. The people in Sinazongwe do not even know what this is all about ...

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! 

I just want to generally guide the hon. Member here that he must debate the report and not introduce issues that are not part of the report. The purpose is not to debate the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, but the Committee’s report. Therefore, hon. Members must not just stand and say anything about Local Government. You have a Motion on a report. Therefore, you must make reference to the report as you debate. It is not a general policy debate on Local Government.

The hon. Member for Sinazongwe may continue with this in mind.

Mr Muyanda: I thank you, Madam. I have one cardinal point to submit. Firstly, I urge this Government to decentralise the National Housing Authority. It does not exist in Nchelenge, Kaputa and Solwezi. There is what I may define as organised chaos by the MMD Government.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: Madam, the policy on decentralisation is supposed to be consistent and clear to the entire nation. The National Housing Authority should be abolished for one good reason and this is because it does not exist in Sinazongwe, Livingstone, Mbala and other areas. It does not serve the common person.

Madam, since the MMD Government came into power in 1991, no villager in Kaputa, Lundazi or Chama has ever bought a house, yet they ought to own houses. There is abject poverty of basic housing. Even a squirrel or monkey will climb a hill or tree when it is dusk in order to take a rest. When an animal is resting, all sorts of nature facts will prevail.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: Madam, a serious Government ought to stand up if the laws against the National Housing Authority, which is now being used ...

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! 

Is the hon. Member for Sinazongwe debating the National Housing Authority or decentralisation?

Mr Muyanda: Madam, it is decentralisation.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Can you debate decentralisation?

Mr Muyanda: If you decentralise the National Housing Authority, each Zambian will have a house in the Republic. Even in Kaputa, Chama and Lundazi or whatever area ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! 

Every hon. Member here knows what you are talking about. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Can you speak to the report? Maybe the hon. Member did not read the report, therefore he wants to just talk and say things. You wait for the right time, but if, for now, the hon. Member has not read and does not speak to this report, your debate will be curtailed. Can you, for now, speak to the report and show the House you have read the report?

You may continue, please.

Mr Muyanda: Madam, I am most obliged. I will stick to the contents of the report. Decentralisation basically means giving the power to the people. It is not complicated. You do not need a degree to understand decentralisation. The people of Zambia, through constituencies, must access housing even just 120 square metres in size. Surely, all of us in this House want our relatives to be properly housed. This is why the Government must decentralise the National Housing Authority. We all do.

Madam, I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker: That was decentralisation.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Thank you very much, Madam. I want to support the Report of the Committee on Local Governance, Housing and Chiefs’ Affairs. 

In debating this important report, I would like to begin by congratulating the new hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing, Dr Kazonga, whom I am very sure, will do a good job.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Madam, I also would like to congratulate the new Permanent Secretary, who is the former Town Clerk for Lusaka. I think they will make a good team to make a difference for this country.

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

Your Committee looked at very interesting issues which are not formally talked about and one of them is the establishment and management of cemeteries in the country. 

From the outset, I would like to state that according to Section 61 of the Local Government Act, cemeteries are established and managed by local authorities.

It was, therefore, interesting to read some of the submissions from some of the stakeholders to the Committee on the issue of cemeteries. It was as if, suddenly, local authorities do not know what they are supposed to do.

Madam Speaker, the law, as it stands, is sufficient. In the past, local authorities established cemeteries and managed them properly, especially in cities. For example, the Old Leopards Hill Cemetery was well established and managed. That part of the cemetery had and still has numbers for people who were buried there such that one can trace the burial site of someone who died and was buried there in 1930. 

Obviously, over the years, due to the collapse of the system, most councils have reneged on their functions and have allowed some cemeteries to look derelict such that you have difficulties to find the graves of your loved ones who were only buried five to ten years ago. 

Madam, that has nothing to do with the fact that there is no policy, but everything to do with management because this is a function that local authorities performed so well in the olden days. I am happy that the new hon. Minister has some good understanding of those issues because we spent a lot of time deliberating on these matters together, hence the decision to buy hearses. At least, he was part of that meeting.

I hope that the councils can, once again, begin to perform their functions in accordance with the Local Government Act of establishing and managing cemeteries properly without talking about the lack of a policy as the reason for failing to manage cemeteries.

Madam Speaker, currently, there is no law that allows the private sector to establish private cemeteries. However, I note that some cemeteries are being run by the private sector. I hope the hon. Minister can look at that issue critically in line with the law, taking into account the new policies of the Government with regard to the Private-Public Partnership (PPPs).

Madam Speaker, in my view, the issue of cemeteries is also a security issue. This is not an area where the Government can go to sleep and leave the private sector to run. The Government has to be part of that arrangement because you may not know what might happen to the bodies that are being buried if it is not keeping an eye on the graves.

The point that the communities are not participating in running the cemeteries is neither here nor there because there are some cemeteries where the communities, working with the local authorities, have been managing well. For example, the one in Rhodes Park is a well-managed cemetery. It is beautiful and clean. The dead are really taken care of there. I think it is just the mindset of the people and that we have lost touch with some of the functions which are straight forward.

Madam Speaker, the Committee also looked at the issue of parking spaces. The new hon. Minister must take a keen interest in this issue. I know that there is no law which bars the public from accessing a public parking space. What has happened in Lusaka is unfortunate. I also know, for a fact, that the councils were directed to ensure that they take over parking spaces which had been privitised to the exclusion and inconvenience of the public. You cannot have a situation where you have few parking spaces and a certain clique of people is allowed to take and keep them for their exclusive use for an entire ten years.

 I know, as former hon. Minister, that we directed the councils to ensure that after the expiry of the contracts, they must not renew but, instead, begin to look at issuing public parking metres or, indeed, any other means which would allow everybody else to access those parking spaces as opposed to just a few individuals, as is the case at the moment.

Madam Speaker, I know that there was an hon. Minister, whose name I will not mention, who went and parked his vehicle with a flag at one of these parking spaces. You will not believe what happened. His vehicle was clamped because somebody claimed they had paid the Lusaka City Council for that parking lot.

Mr Chibombamilimo: There is no Government.

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, it was so bad that this hon. Minister had to beg this person to get his car out. I remember this because I was still hon. Minister when I got that report. That is wrong. It was just that this was a good and humble hon. Minister.

Hon. Member: Decent.

Mrs Masebo: He just said it was okay, but we just have to ensure that the councils make these parking spaces available to everybody. We do not have enough parking spaces in Lusaka. It is a pity that we continue to construct big buildings with little parking spaces. Our idea of investment is very narrow. We think that as long as there is a beautiful building, that is development even if it only has ten parking spaces.

It is important that the Government reject certain developments regardless of the fact that an investor has a lot of money, if the investment will turn out to be a public inconvenience. The leadership must understand that there is what is called public inconvenience. You cannot have one investor inconvenience the whole of Lusaka because he is making money and you think that is development. You sit and say you are a Government and this is development, leave the developer alone. 

Parking is part of development. The time that is wasted due to the inconvenience brought about by the lack of parking space must be a source of concern. This is why some buildings, like the one at the Lusaka Girls, for example, were discouraged. You may have a big and beautiful building which will accommodate several offices where all occupants drive, then where will they park? They will park next to houses and that is a public nuisance. 

Therefore, it is important that when a construction is disallowed, people understand and appreciate. They must not judge using their naked eye to just see a beautiful building and think that it is the beginning and the end. No. There are other issues of planning that come into play. When an hon. Minister says no, it is not that the Minister has an interest, but that he understands the public nuisance that this is going to become in the future.

Madam Speaker, the other issue which, I think, your Committee adequately looked at was the auditing of council accounts. You will note that in almost all the councils they went to, your Committee found problems with either spending without supporting vouchers, missing receipts, unaccounted for imprest and so on and so forth. All this financial mismanagement in the local government system is mainly a result of ill- qualified staff in the accounting departments and, obviously, at the levels of the council secretaries and, in some cases, town clerks who are not qualified in accordance with the Local Government law.

 I want to urge the new hon. Minister that the Bill which was withdrawn for further consultations must be brought back. This is the Bill on the Local Government Service Commission. This commission, as I said earlier, is very important in as far as capacity building in councils is concerned. Once there is a specialised commission, we shall see a crop of qualified officers being employed. 

Currently, some of the people are employed because they are related to councillors or the Members of Parliament. If you just look at the document and Solwezi Council in particular, you will see the errors that your Committee found. From just a look at the management there you will understand why. There must be a problem of skills. The errors that your Committee found in most places easily tell that it is a question of management. You will understand why there must be a problem of skills. That is why the Government was supported in its efforts to establish the Local Government Service Commission except the manner in which it was created. It has a lot of weaknesses which could have created problems for the Government. Those of us on the Backbench and, indeed, the Opposition were against the Bill to establish the commission on principle. I am sure the Government appreciated that fact. I would like to urge the new hon. Minister to ensure that he works very hard to bring that Bill back to the House so that, through you, Madam, the Bill can be passed and we can begin to see qualified staff in the local government system.

This brings me back to the issue of implementing the Dencentralisation Policy. I would like to state from the outset, that the Government wanted to adopt that policy. Thus, the the Government supports the policy of decentralisation. The MMD party which is in Government supported the policy of decentralisation. The problem that we have is the adoption of the strategy to implement the policy. The weakness is in how to actually implement the policy. How do we go about it? That is where the hitch has been. It is sad because you recall that when the President came to this House, he said the Cabinet was going to adopt the strategy that year, but to date, it is clear that the political will to implement it is lacking.

Now, let me just give a timely warning to the Government, through you, Madam Speaker. Currently, the NCC is looking at the local government system and I am a member of that committee. The Mung’omba Commission that went round submitted that the people wanted a decentralised governance system at the local level and that was what was adopted. 

The committee of the NCC which we also belong to overwhelmingly adopted the Decentralisation Policy. I just want to give notice to the Government that even as this report goes to the plenary, I can tell you that 100 per cent of the people in the group will say decentralising our system is the way to go because that is what the people are saying. That is the will of the people. If the Government that already has adopted that policy does not take the lead in pressing for the adoption of the policy, what is going to come out of that process and what is going to come in here and finally in the implementation may be too drastic in a way that may be even negative. The Government may begin to think that in fact, adopting the policy of decentralisation was a mistake, when it was not. 

The implementation of decentralisation is challenging everywhere. I am sure the committee that went to Uganda must have found that there are challenges in that country’s decentralisation process. It is not easy because it does not only entail devolving power, but also taking money and not just taking functions, but also human beings to those places. Therefore, it is important that the Government takes the lead in implementing the Decentralisation Policy because it has already thought through this process and already consulted the people. Since the people in Government already understand exactly what should be done, it is better that they begin to move, instead of waiting for the public to push them to move in that direction because it can be disastrous at that stage. Some of the proposals that the people are putting forward for inclusion in the Constitution are too demanding. Speaking for myself, who is an advocate of decentralisation, I can tell you that we need to move smoothly. We need to build capacity.

However, we should not use capacity building as an excuse for not implementing the programme because when you talk about capacity it is not as if you are saying give certain functions to the councils of course to form the local government, without matching resources which include money and skills. When you move certain functions to councils, you will also move the human beings who are  currently performing those functions at the national, provincial and district levels.

Let me now look at what my colleague, the hon. Member for Sinazongwe, Hon. Muyanda, said regarding the decentralisation of the National Housing Authority (NHA). I would like to say that we should have already decentralised the work of that institution because the councils are supposed to perform the functions of the NHA. I do not know what his council is doing. Yes, the NHA may not be building houses in Sinazongwe, but the council can build houses in Sinazongwe because that functionshas already been given to them. The council is supposed to work in collaboration with the NHA. In 2007, Resources were given to NHA to work with councils that are cognizant of the fact that they are supposed to build houses. I thought I should just make that comment. 

Madam Speaker, lastly, I would like to talk about the CDF regulations. I just want, again, to caution my colleagues that we need to be very careful with these regulations. You have seen that in the last four years, no hon. Member of Parliament has been cited for any irregularities in as far as the management of the CDF is concerned. This idea of trying to get hon. Members of Parliament to be directly involved by them carrying the money in their pockets will create problems. What we should be fighting for is more resources. The amount must be big. As you noticed in the part of the report which talks about the creation of shelters at cemeteries, one of the recommendations of your Committee is that the hon. Member of Parliament must consider using part of their CDF for that purpose. When the hon. Minister of Works Supply is asked about a road, he talks about CDF. When the hon. Minister of Health is asked about clinics, he talks about CDF. Therefore, there is a need to increase CDF to K1 billion as a minimum because it is clear that it is the only money which is working for the good of our people in our constituencies. That is part of the decentralisation process because you are taking money directly to the community and this time at the constituency level and not just at the district level. Next time, we could even go down to the ward level once the policy gets properly implemented.

The point I was making is that we should not ask for things that will just create problems for us. We should just ask for things that will make us develop. Speaking for myself, I want CDF to be increased to K1 billion. The ministry can look at ways of updating the regulations from time-to-time, even though I must add that some of the hon. Members of Parliament do not understand those regulations. So you want to change regulations even before you understand them.


Mrs Masebo: No!


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mrs  Masebo: I am talking based on the reports that come from constituencies and some of the demands that we make as hon. Member as well as the things that officers do in as far as the following of regulations are concerned. This report clearly tells us what has been happening to CDF vis-à-vis its management. It also tells us that others are against the regulations while others are saying that they will make good use of them. Clearly, you can see that some of them do not know what they were actually doing. 

Let us not change the regulations and give power to hon. Members of Parliament as individuals. You will just give yourselves a bad name. You know is it very difficult to do things that way. You yourselves have talked about the way we are perceived. Already people think that they will be controlling this money. Once one starts thinking that one should be the one to control this money, it is the beginning of the end. You will just find yourself in problems. Therefore, let us just ask for more money and the streamlining of the rules. We should look at issues such as were someone says that K20 million is the minimum or rather that is the maximum on a project and that you cannot go beyond that. At your level, at the Commitee level, as the hon. members of the councils resolve, you can spend less than what is on those regulations. Other councils were doing that. Again, those are administrative issues because regulations say you shall spend for administrative purpose up to this amount of money. Of the proposed amount, you can spend less, but not higher.

Madam Chairperson, with those few remarks, I would conclude by saying that the local government system is important. The Government of the day must put more effort and time in running the local government system. This can be shown in the manner that the resources are given. The Decentralisation Implementation Plan will become a campaign gimmick in 2011. If we do not now move as MMD …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! The hon. Member’s time has lapsed!

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Dr Kazonga): Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to make a few comments on your Committee’s report.

I will quickly comment on a few a number of issues that your Committee raised. The first one is the hon. Minister’s report on the audited accounts of councils. My ministry has noted your Committee’s observations and recommendations and will ensure that the affected councils provide responses to the outstanding audit queries which auditors will have to verify.

Dr Kazonga: Madam Speaker, my ministry has noted your Committee’s observations and recommendations and will ensure that the affected Councils provide responses to the outstanding audit queries which auditors will have to verify.  

Establishment and Management of Cemeteries in Zambia

Madam Speaker, my ministry has noted the observations of the Committee. We shall liaise with various stakeholders to see how these issues can be addressed. 

Management of Public Parking Spaces in Lusaka

Madam, we take note of the observations, particularly, of the hon. Members’ debates who have touched on this particular area. We shall adequately attend to that in our detailed Action-Taken Report. 


Madam, a number of hon. Members have talked about decentralisation. The observations and recommendations made by your Committee on the status of the Decentralisation Implementation Plant (DIP) are appreciated. The ministry presented the DIP back to Cabinet this year and it was deliberated in September, 2009. Cabinet made some observations on the approaches to take in the implementation of the Decentralisation Policy and also the financial implications. Therefore, Cabinet set a Committee of Ministers which is chaired by His Honour the Vice-President, to address the issues and make recommendations to Cabinet for consideration and approval. 

Madam Speaker, the Government is also committed to ensuring that councils have their capacities enhanced by ensuring that appropriately qualified staff are employed in councils to drive the decentralisation process. The proposed amendment Bill on the creation of the Local Government Service Commission was referred back to my ministry and the Ministry of Justice. Currently, further consultations to clarify a few issues raised by this august House are in progress. Once all the concerns are clarified, the Bill will be presented back to this august House for debate and enactment which will pave way for the introduction of the Local Government Service Commission.

Madam Chairperson, my ministry will also commission a baseline survey to assess the current capacities of councils so that findings will assist the Government in designing programmes aimed at developing appropriate capacities. 

Action-Taken Report on Outstanding Audit Queries

Madam Speaker I wish to state that my ministry will make further verifications on the outstanding audit queries in the affected councils until they are normalised. The councils’ responses will be consolidated in our action-taken-report. 

Challenges Met by Councils 

Madam Speaker, on the issue of challenges that are being met by the councils in terms of obtaining title deeds, my ministry will closely work with the Ministry of Lands to ensure that the system is improved. 


Madam Speaker, in conclusion, my ministry will study the observations and recommendations that have been made by your Committee and will work with relevant government institutions and other stakeholders to address all the concerns that were raised in the report. I want to assure this House that my ministry will continue to provide policy guidance to all councils so that their operations are within the provisions of the Local Government Act, other pieces of legislation and local authorities financial regulations, to ensure transparency and accountability which are tenets of good governance.

With these very few remarks, I fully support your Committee’s Report.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mooya: Madam Speaker, I would like to thank everyone for the support.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to.



The Income Tax (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, 2009

The Value Added Tax (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, 2009

Report adopted.

Third Readings on Tuesday, 1st December, 2009.


The following Bill was read the third time and passed:

The Customs and Excise (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, 2009




VOTE 46/15 ─ (Ministry of Health ─ North-Western Province ─ K69, 934,076,091).

(Consideration resumed)

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Chairperson, before the House adjourned yesterday, I was trying to seek clarification on the fact that the hon. Minister of Health had stated that donor funding had started pouring in. Therefore, how are we going to account for that since it is not included in the Budget?

Mr Simbao: Mr Chairperson, I thank the hon. Member for Kantanshi for his concern.  However, he knows that when we have extra funding, we do move supplementary votes. When this money comes in, we will move a supplementary vote to allocate it. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Vote 46/15 ordered to stand part of the Estimates. 

Vote 46/16 ─ (Ministry of Health ─ Northern Province ─ K91,643,450,299).

Mr Mukanga:  Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Unit 2, Programme 9, Activity 04 ─ Remuneration for Contractual Personnel ─ K236,542,426? There is an increase from K147 million to K236 million in this activity. I would like to find out whether it is Government policy to move from permanent to contractual personnel. 

Dr Musonda: Mr Chairperson, we need to budget for some funds in order to pay some contractual workers. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Chairperson, I would like to find out whether it is Government policy to shift to contractual operations rather than permanent ones because there is an increase of about 100 per cent. 

Mr Simbao: Mr Chairperson, it is true that we have personnel on contract. It is, therefore, true that it is part of Government policy. 

I thank you, Sir.

The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Dr Musokotwane): Mr Chairperson, I beg to move the following amendments:

(i)    under Unit 5 ─ Chilubi District Health Management Team, Programme 1, Personal Emoluments, Activity 02, Salaries Division II, by the deletion of the figure K728,283,505 and the substitution therefor of K7,124,148,055;

(ii)    under Unit 14 ─ Chilonga Mission Hospital, Programme 1, personal Emoluments, Activity 03, Salaries Division III, by the deletion of the figure K3,528,075,350 and the substitution therefor of K65,172,721; and

(iii)    under Unit 15 ─ Mbala General Hospital, Programme 1, Personal Emoluments, Activity 03, Salaries Division III, by the deletion of the figure K5,429,092,269 and the substitution therefor of K127,545,046.

Amendment agreed to. Vote amended accordingly. 

Vote 46/16, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Estimates. 

Vote 46/17 ─ (Ministry of Health ─ Southern Province ─ K157,958,652,599).

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Chairperson, I beg to move the following amendments: 

(i)    under Unit 1 ─ Livingstone District Health Management Team, Programme 1, Personal Emoluments, Activity 01, Salaries Division I. by the deletion of the figure K2,325,691,938 and the substitution therefor of K597,323,529;

(ii)    under Unit 1 ─ Livingstone District Health Management Team, Programme 1, Personal Emoluments, Activity 02, Salaries Division II, by the deletion of the figure K7,464,873,783 and the substitution therefor of K547,527,387;

(iii)    under Unit 4 ─ Kalomo District Management Team, Programme 1, Personal Emoluments, Activity 02, Salaries Division II, by the deletion of the figure K6,423,336,938 and the substitution therefor of K107,292,657;

(iv)    under Unit 5 ─ Kazungula District Health Management Team, Programme 1, Personal Emoluments, Activity 02, Salaries Division II, by the deletion of the figure K1,279,933,092 and the substitution therefor of K5,620,282,717;

(v)    under  Unit 6  ─  Livingstone General Hospital, Programme 1, Personal Emoluments, Activity 02, Salaries Division II, by the deletion of the figure K6,683,683,541 and the substitution therefor of K5,620,282,717;

(vi)    under Unit 7 ─ Choma District Health Management Health Team, Programme 1, Personal Emoluments, Activity 02, Salaries Division II, by the deletion of the figure K9,074,265,936 and the substitution therefor of K7,630,565,253; and

(vii)    under Unit 8 ─ Mazabuka District Health Management Health Team, Programme 1, Personal Emoluments, Activity 02, Salaries Division II, by the deletion of the figure K13,241,221,836 and the substitution therefor of K11,134,565,371.

Amendment agreed to. Vote amended accordingly. 

Vote 46/17, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Estimates. 

Vote 46/18 ─ (Ministry of Health ─ Western Province ─ K68,913,032,428).

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Chairperson, I beg to move the following amendment:

(i)    under Unit 1─ Mongu District Health Management Team, Programme 1, Personal Emoluments, Activity 02, Salaries Division II, by the deletion of the figure K4,520,231,804 and the substitution therefor of K3,133,617,670;

(ii)    under Unit 2 ─ Kaoma District Health Management Team, Programme 1, Personal Emoluments, Activity 02, Salaries Division II, by the deletion of the figure K6,326,621,496 and the substitution therefor of K4,479,172,234;

(iii)    under Unit 4 ─ Lewanika District Health Management Team, Programme 1, Personal Emoluments, Activity 02, Salaries Division II, by the deletion of the figure K3,713,099,039 and the substitution therefor of K2,871,306,469; and 

(iv)    under Unit 5 ─ Kalabo District health Management Team, Programme 1, Personal Emoluments, Activity 02, salaries Division II, by the deletion of the figure K2,767,024,092 and the substitution therefor of K1,833,164,349.
Amendment agreed to. Vote amended accordingly. 

Vote 46/18, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Estimates. 

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

VOTE 89 ─ (Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives ─ K 875,292,933,911).

The Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Dr Chituwo): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for this opportunity to deliver the policy statement and to address the House on the 2010 estimates of expenditure for Head 89, Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives. 

Mr Chairperson, our Mission Statement for the ministry is to promote the development of an efficient, competitive and sustainable agricultural sector which assures food security and increased incomes. This is in line with the objectives of the National Agricultural Policy, the Fifth National Development Plan and the Vision 2030. 

Mr Chairperson, my ministry recognises the important role that the agricultural sector plays in the economic development of our country. Achievement of broad-based poverty reduction and attainment of the Millennium Development Goal Number 1 “Halving poverty and hunger by 2015” may only be realised with significant growth in agricultural productivity and output.  

Our efforts in 2010 will be on strengthening and expanding the emerging opportunities and to deal with current challenges facing the agricultural sector such as high food and input prices, climate change and the global economic crisis. 

Mr Chairperson, allow me to briefly highlight some agricultural programmes that the ministry was able to undertake this year, 2009. With increase in the budgetary allocation to agriculture from 5.7 per cent in 2008 to 7 per cent of the total National Budget in 2009, the ministry made significant progress in the implementation of some priority programmes. 

Mr Chairperson, during the 2008/2009 agricultural season, the country recorded a food surplus of 672,367 metric tonnes compared to 564,547 metric tonnes in the 2007/2008 season. The country recorded a significant harvest in maize production of about 1.9 million metric tonnes compared to 1.4 million metric tonnes produced in the previous year, giving a surplus of 203,271 metric tonnes this season compared to only 43,000 in 2007/2008 Season. In addition, the country recorded increased production in cassava, rice, wheat, cotton and tobacco.

This year, a total of K100 billion was allocated for the purchase of the strategic food reserves by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA). However, considering the large crop of maize that the country produced, FRA had to source for additional finances in order to mop up the bulk of the crop that was still with the farmers. The private sector has also continued to play a leading role in crop marketing and value addition. This is how it should be.

Mr Chairperson, regarding the irrigation sector, my ministry was able to complete rehabilitation of the Shantumbu Irrigation Scheme in Kafue and Kabulamwanda Irrigation Scheme in Namwala. For these two irrigation schemes, forty hectares will be brought under vegetable production. 

At Nega nega Irrigation Scheme, bulk water supply infrastructure from intake to reservoir has been completed. However, only 50 per cent of the channel network has been done. Once completed, 500 hectares of land will be brought under irrigation.

At Magoye Cotton Development Trust (CDT) a weir was completed. This will facilitate the production of eighty hectares of breeder seed cotton under supplementary irrigation.

In terms of farm block development, progress has been recorded as follows:

(i)    at Nansanga Farm Block in the Central Province, Serenje District, in terms of power, 33kv power line from Serenje Boma to Kabeta has been completed and two sub-stations at Luombwa and Kabeta have been installed. In addition, 11kv distribution wire passing through Luombwa has been erected;

(ii)    with regard to water, a second dam on Munte River has been constructed and twenty-one boreholes have been sunk north of Kampumbu and around Kabundi;

(iii)    in terms of road works, 120 kilometres of trunk roads from Serenje Farmers Training Centre to Kabeta and from Mulilima to Kabeta have been constructed. On farm demarcations, out of the fifty-two re-planned commercial farms, thirty-five have been demarcated; and

(iv)    For other farm blocks, community sensitisation and soil surveys have been undertaken. Negotiations with the traditional leaders and provincial administration for more farm block land in some provinces have continued. 

Mr Chairperson, in order to strengthen the extension and advisory services, significant progress has been made in construction and rehabilitation of block and camp houses for Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives staff countrywide. We plan to rehabilitate 147 and construct forty-eight camp and block houses across the country. So far, with funds released, 139 camp and block houses are under rehabilitation while thirty-seven are under construction. For example, in Luapula Province, twenty-one camp and block houses are under rehabilitation while seven are under construction.

In terms of transport, 475 motor cycles have been procured for agriculture extension workers and are being distributed to all districts. In addition, a hundred 4 x 4 motor vehicles have been procured and are being distributed to districts, research centres and training institutions.

Mr Chairperson, allow me, now, to highlight what my ministry intends to focus on in 2010. 

The Government is actively promoting increased investments in agriculture with emphasis on irrigation, farm mechanisation, agri-business, research, extension and agricultural infrastructure, among others. This will enable the sector to significantly contribute to improved food security and agricultural growth.

My ministry is also committed to agricultural diversification through promotion of production, marketing and value addition of other primary agricultural commodities such as cassava, soya beans, groundnuts, various vegetables and horticultural products.

Sir, as measures aimed at mitigating and adapting to climate change, my ministry will continue irrigation development, land management and scaling up conservation agriculture. 

In next year’s budget, my ministry has been allocated K875 billion of which K708 billion, representing 81 per cent, will come from the Government, our own resources, and K167 billion, or 19 per cent, will come from our co-operating partners. This allocation to the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, excluding the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development and Forestry is 6.1 per cent of the total National Budget.

In next year’s budget, a total sum of K45 billion has been allocated to the core programmes as follows: K15 billion for irrigation development, K15.4 billion for agricultural infrastructure and land development. K1.5 billion has been set aside to support the construction of farmers training centres in Nyimba and Luwingu districts. The remaining K13.1 billion has been allocated to general extension, technology development and information dissemination.

Mr Chairperson, the K15 billion allocated to irrigation development is for completion of eight irrigation schemes in addition to rehabilitation of four dams in Chibombo, Kafue, Sinazongwe and Lundazi districts. It is expected that about 500 hectares of land will be brought under irrigation through these initiatives. This is in addition to supporting small holder irrigation schemes countrywide.

K15.4 billion has been allocated to infrastructure and land development programmes, K8.1 billion has been set aside for various farm block developments with emphasis on Luena Farm Block. K4.1 billion has been earmarked for sustainable land management support to address the effects of climate change and its mitigation. K1.6 billion is for the establishment of mapping and remote sensing and geographical information system laboratories. There will be one in each province. K1.6 billion is for participatory agricultural land use planning in some districts.

In next year’s budget, the FRA has been allocated K100 billion for the purchase of maize and other crops. My ministry has allocated K500 million to explore possibilities of setting up a public-private partnership (PPP) marketing institution.

The Government has revised the Fertiliser Support Programme (FSP) in order to incorporate concerns from stakeholders. The programme has since changed its name to Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) in order to include other agricultural inputs. The programme should, therefore, be given enough time before other major changes are proposed. A total of K430 billion has been allocated to the programme. The ministry will support 500,000 small-scale farmers with 100,000 metric tonnes of fertiliser and 5,000 metric tonnes of maize seed during the 2009/10 farming season.

Mr Chairperson, my ministry is committed to spear-heading agricultural development through co-operative development. In this regard, the Government, this year, approved the National Co-operative Development Policy which will provide a clear framework and guidelines to stakeholders on how they will manage co-operatives. The approval of the National Co-operative Development Policy also lays the ground for the review of the Co-operatives Societies Act No. 20 of 1998 and its subsidiary legislation in order to align them with the policy.

In next year’s budget, K4 billion has been allocated for co-operative development.

Sir, the ministry, through the Zambia Agriculture Research Institute (ZARI), will generate and provide demand-driven research technologies and services in soils, crops, plant protection and farming systems. This will contribute towards increased crop production, productivity and diversification. Support to ZARI will cover twelve research stations across the country, the construction of offices and houses at border posts, exit sites to improve agricultural research, plant quarantine and phytosanitary service in the country. A total of K8.25 billion has been allocated in next year’s budget for the above stated activities.

My ministry is also committed to supplying quality seed to the farming community. The Government has allocated K5.8 billion in next year’s budget to ensure the production and utilisation of good quality seed under the seed control and certification institute (SCCI).

The ministry has allocated K5 billion for agricultural training institutions. This allocation will enable the seven agricultural colleges and training institutions to continue playing their role of providing trained human resource for the agricultural sector.

Mr Chairperson in next year’s budget, K167 billion has been allocated for programmes and projects which are mostly financed by our co-operating partners. The Government has in addition provided K1.3 billion as contribution towards counterpart funding to projects and programmes financed by our co-operating partners. I sincerely thank our co-operating partners for this continued support.

In conclusion, allow me to appeal to all hon. Members of this august House to support the budget estimates for my ministry in order for it to continue with the current work that our administration is implementing. This includes commercialisation of the 1.3 million small-scale farmer households so as to assure national and household good security, reduce poverty, reverse rural-urban drift, increase the volume and earnings from agricultural exports and exploit the enormous agriculture potential that the country is endowed with.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.{mospagebreak}

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Mr Chairperson, I rise to support the Vote.  I have often and will continue to appeal to the Government to try as much as possible to, at least, reach the SADC agreement and the Maputo Protocol as it allocates money to agriculture.

Mr Chairperson, we should have the 10 per cent as per the SADC agreement because the 7 per cent going to agriculture is not enough. We have always said that agriculture should be the centre of our economic development because it is true that this sector is the biggest employment generator. If the people working on farms and other agricultural institutions were counted, it would be discovered that they are many. If this Government is desirous to be accepted in the rural areas, it should support agriculture in terms of funding.

I am worried that of this K1 trillion, most of it is going to maize through the Fertiliser Support Programme and there is a K100 billion for purchase of inputs. The amount allocaed to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) for purchase of maize is not enough. Last year, it was given K80 billion, but K300 billion is what was spent. The FRA had to be asked to go to the banks to borrow to buy the crop.

Mr Chairperson, the hon. Minister talked about improved production. In essence, the Government has allocated merely the same amount of money to the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) as it did in the last Budget and yet the hon. Minister has been emphasising that the production per unit of land utilised will be increased production. This means, therefore, that production will be higher than this year, if this programme is working. You will have more maize produced even when you have not allocated more money to buy that maize. Therefore, the Government anticipates to produce more without facilitating the purchase.

This year, we had a sad situation where villagers had to line up for bags of maize at various places looking for customers. We have turned small business people into buyers of maize and even the announced price of K65,000 per 50kg bag benefited very few farmers. The farmer who produced was only able to sell 50kg bag for K40,000 and the ones who got the K65,000 announced price are the small business people who were offering that. Hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives, you should continue appealing to the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to give you more money. What I have come to realise is that you think that agriculture is not giving you money and is just a waste of funds.

Mr Chairperson, however, any country, which cannot feed itself, has problems because it will be fed by another country and thereafter be enslaved by it. Even if one stopped wearing suits and ties, they would survive for as long as they eat. However, if one just wore a suit without eating, he or she would just be given three weeks in that suit to get to the grave. We tend to think that because farmers are conservatives, they cannot come together and fight their cause. This Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government is known for somersaulting and not being sure of what it is doing. In 1991, it said that there was no need to hoard maize. It even stopped buying the commodity. However, in 1993, people went hungry and the Government was quick to import maize. The Government was ready to spend more money on importation. Early this year, the Government was ready to import 100 metric tonnes of maize, at whatever cost. However, the Government was not willing to spend that amount to pay the local producers to produce maize. 

Mr Chairperson, it is very nice to talk about irrigation, but what is the Government doing about it? It is a story we have heard before which is like a broken record. How much money has been allocated for irrigation? How many dams has the Government built? At one time, we were asked to look for sites for dams. There are many sites for this activity in our constituencies, but there is no construction going on. How are we going to irrigate? Sometimes, I feel we talk to deaf ears and if the Government does listen, I do not know what it hears. When is the Government going to listen and do something good?

This FSIP is not properly managed. Why does the Government want to grade a farmer in comparison with the lowest producer? The scheme started with supporting farmers with a hectare each. After complaints, the Government is now supporting half hectare farmers. When Russia wanted to improve her economy, Stalin made sure that the people who were going to do the task were the highest producers and asked all the people to produce at that level. However, in Zambia, we are looking at the least producer. 

I know that in certain areas where they are not really traditionally agriculturalists and where hoes are used to farm, the support of half a hectare is correct. Please, the Government should not cause those areas where there are traditional agriculturalists to start farming half hectares using hoes. No wonder the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives went to launch farming at the end of November. Maybe the hon. Minister forgot that the rains started earlier than that. Farming starts in October, and yet he launched it in December. Why should you do that? I am trying hard to be as soft as I can be.

Hon. Opposition Member interjected. 

Mr Muntanga: No, just look at them. 

Hon. Opposition Member: They do not even know the banking system.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, what remains of this particular budget when you remove the money for fertiliser is money for wages and salaries. Where is the money for people to borrow because farmers cannot go to commercial banks and borrow or else the farmers will burn their fingers and lose their farms. 

Hon. Opposition Member: And interest rates.

Mr Muntanga: The interest rates are killing because it has to wait until at the end. The Minister of Finance and National Planning knows that there is no country that does not know that. In America, they buy maize and throw it in the ocean to feed the fish so that they can keep the farmers going. In Italy, they tell farmers not to farm in a particular year and the Government pays them for that. In Zambia, you do not even have money to support your own farmers. If you hear a farmer is very good, they will all go to him. Where is your input as a Government? There were Government projects under the RDC, but the MMD sold the farms and totally destroyed them because it thought it was like a criminal offence to go to some of these farms.

Mr Chairperson, the Government is now talking about rebuilding the Mbesuma Bridge, and yet it first destroyed it, but is now saying it wants to rebuild livestock by buying fifty cattle. The Government will spend K400 million to buy fifty cattle.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to appeal to the hon. Minister to remove the retired officers who are occupying houses since now the Government has employed most of the agricultural extension staff. There are twenty retired officers in Kalomo who are still occupying Government houses. The new officers whom you sent there are just sitting in town and are not serving the people at all. What is the Government doing?

Mr Hachipuka: Mabenga and he has just run away.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, you will have extension staff not being able to move. They are just seated in town. Hon. Minister, as you allocate this money, can you pay the man in Dimba because it is critical now. Please, go and pay that person the K5 million as repatriation fee because we need that House. However, there are other twenty retirees, but for the next two weeks, I want that man in Dimba to move out because the people want the services there. Why can we not do the least things correctly? Sometimes, I feel that I have talked so much that I do not know what else to say. 

Mr Chairperson, now, you have told us that you need money from donor funds. When this money does not come what happens? It will be like the Ministry of Health. Feed your people by providing money that is required to agriculture. All these agriculturalists you see once you give them money - if you give me enough money to run my farm properly I will leave you to run this country because I will know that you are running it well, but not at this rate. You want me to become a half hectare farmer …

Hon. Opposition Members: No.

Mr Muntanga: … with a tractor. What is wrong with you? 

Hon. Opposition Member: Mutati.

Mr Muntanga: Even if it is Mutati, I would like him to start farming with ten hectares.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Hon. Mutati.

Mr Muntanga: Hon. Mutati, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: Yes, can you continue. That is what I wanted.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, I know that even in Lundazi, there are some very good farmers.


Mr Muntanga: Therefore, we need those farmers not to go to Malawi to get fertilisers or sell maize there. We always talk about Malawi. When the late Banda used to run that country, when he was touring, he called the officers, come with me, where is your farm? He would start by inspecting the farm for the Provincial Agricultural Officer. Now, if I say we are going to inspect farms and I want to inspect the farm for Dr Chituwo first, I will find that he has nothing.


Mr Muntanga: This is the problem. If I say now I want to talk about livestock diseases and I say Mulonga, can you come with me, I will find that he has no cattle, but he wants to be in charge.


Mr Muntanga: How can you do things like that?

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! He is Hon. Mulonga not just Mulonga.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, to talk about the cattle disease control and when I say Hon. Mulonga, let us go and inspect the animals, he will say I do not have even a dog or cat.


Mr Muntanga: Now, at least, you have moved Mbewe, who has some ideas of agriculture.

The Deputy Chairperson: No, he is Hon. Mbewe.

Mr Muntanga: Hon. Mbewe, at least, has pigs.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, I want these hon. Ministers to understand that we mean well when we are asking. I have been very soft, but we need serious support not the way you are doing it.

Hon. Kalenga has gone to the North/Western where the land is beautiful. If there is something that I would have stolen, it is the land from the North/Western Province and taken it to the Southern Province because it is extremely good. Maybe, they have already taken it up. These are the things we are appealing to these people …

Mr Hachipuka: Hon. Mulyata.

Mr Muntanga: And Hon. Mulyata and Hon. Dr Musokotwane, in the Western Province kwa Liuwa, the land is good. You cannot talk about economics if you cannot feed your children. You will not eat economics, my friend. 

Mr Muyanda: He wants to import rice.

Mr Muntanga: This importation, whom do you think grew that rice in those countries, and yet you are not supporting your own relatives in Mongu.

The Deputy Chairperson: Address the Chair.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, they are not supporting their relatives. There are no two ways about it. That man who used to live in Choma now lives in Mwandi. He abandoned farming after failing and he has sold his farm. I understand his problem.


Mr Kaingu: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kaingu: Mr Chairperson, as you could see, I was humbly listening to the hon. Member on the Floor. Is he in order to bring me into his debate when what we know  the animals he has are the pigs and chickens which they are intimate with in the Southern Province? Is he in order to do that? I need your serious ruling.

The Deputy Chairperson: Now, I think the hon. Minister of Community Development and Social Services, you have made your point. I cannot make any ruling on that point of order.

Can you continue, please.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, I want to thank the man who is trying to love pigs for he has put them at his little motel. Therefore, I want him to do it properly.

I thank you, very much, Sir.


The Minister for Southern Province (Mr Munkombwe): Mr Chairperson, I thank you most heartily for allowing me to say a few words on this Vote. As everyone is aware, I have been farming my whole life. I have never had any proper employment. After completing school, I taught myself how to stamp trees. If politics were employment, I would not have joined it. I have no propensity for being employed. That is my nature.

Mr Chairperson, I think the policies of the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government on agriculture are working.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munkombwe:  In Siachitema North and Chikanta areas in Kalomo Constituency, you cannot go into a village without finding five vehicles. The people there have a lot of money. It is true that here are certain things on which the Opposition should continue advising us. However, nobody can deny that whereas in the pre-independence era growing crops was restricted to a few people who were called “improved farmers”, this time around, in the Southern Province, people have moved from being beginners to being middle level farmers. Some of our own peasant farmers are slowly becoming commercial farmers. This is happening because of the environment the MMD Government has created for the private sector to flourish and to encourage a lot of our people to participate in business. It is true that we cannot please everybody. Even in America, there are people who scrounge for existence, but the majority of them are comfortable.

Mr Chairperson, as regards livestock, our people must be told that there is no corridor disease at Hon. Muntanga’s farm because he knows that it his own responsibility to look after his animals.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Munkombwe: If a farmer has 100 animals, it does not make sense to wait for all of them to die and then blame the Government after all of them have been wiped out. The best solution would be to sell three or four of them so as to raise money for medicines to preserve the others. In the end, we will be demanding that somebody must even cook food and feed us while we open our mouths aimlessly …


Mr Munkombwe: … like a baby. We have a responsibility to look after what is ours. I personally look after the property at my farm. 


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Munkombwe: Therefore, the onus is on us leaders to teach our people how they can improve their livelihoods. Leadership means that we must be in the forefront and set an example. We should not be afraid to lose support if we are doing the right thing. During my hay days in politics, I used to tell some people that I did not want their votes. Therefore, even the hon. Members on your left should not be afraid to tell those who support them that they do not like the votes of those who want them to do wrong things. Tell those who support you that I do not like your vote. I have won elections just as I have lost elections, but I won more elections than those that I have lost. Therefore, let us zone these projects. If you know that a particular area has no experience in rearing cattle, why do we not mechanise by providing tractors since it is our role to do so.

Where we know that, in some places, they let the horns of their animals grow long, we need to take bulls there and show them that they are living in the Northern Rhodesian age. 


Mr Munkombwe: I have offered one or two of them to come to my farm so that I offload one or two bulls to them. It is up to them to come and get the bulls. Let us show that we are leaders and stop complaining. Of course, we must demand roads because without them, you cannot farm. When the Government subsidises the fertiliser through the Fertiliser Support Programme, it is not meant to be permanent. If you benefit from it for three years and you cannot move to another level, it will not help you.

Sir, I retired from borrowing some twenty-five years ago. I do not make any application to any institution because I am self-sufficient. I sell a few goats to put up a minimal crop which suits my status. However, if you want to borrow everyday until you are suffocated, then you are not a strong farmer. Therefore, please, you should call us as a Government for things such as many dip tanks are in the Southern Province, Kalomo in particular. Which one of them are not usable and which agricultural camps are not functional and why? That is the information which we want so that you can sharpen our horns.

 If you say you will reduce the number of bags of fertiliser from eight …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

There are too many people talking while seated.

Mr Munkombwe: … to four so that many people benefit, even if it is enough for just one lima, you will help many people. However, what was happening in the past was that even if it was eight pockets per hectare, in some cases, two people were sharing four pockets each while some were sharing two pockets each; one D-compound and one top dressing. As a Government, we know that this was what they were doing except that we are too shy to admit it.

Hon. Members know that, but if you said that in that particular area we fear our voters, then that is dangerous. Therefore, these loans are there to help you, but they are not there permanently. There must be a stage where you throw away your animals like what my younger brother, Mr Vernon Mwaanga does. He gave me some animals …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

Mr Munkombwe: I am sorry, Sir. Hon. Mwaanga gave me some animals to use and I am using them effectively.

Hon. Member: Free.

Mr Munkombwe: Yes. There is nothing I do for the animals, not even dipping, but I still benefit from them. He does not know that I benefit more from the animals.

I do not think there will ever be a better government than the MMD Government which will do well in agriculture. Of course, there are people who hope to come and run this country, but I think it is just a dream. Everybody is entitled to his or her own idea. People are not stopped from dreaming. Some realities cannot be changed into dreams. Realities are realities. 

Madam, hon. Members should not excite people against an established system.

Hon. Member: He will raise a point of order.

Mr Munkombwe: No, he is my son, so, I can direct him. 


Mr Munkombwe: Do not make this country ungovernable just because you are in the Opposition. If by some miracle you found yourselves here, others will make your stay in Government uncomfortable as well...


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Will hon. Members on my left, please, consult quietly.

You may continue, please.

Mr Munkombwe: Mr Chairperson, we are a strong country because we are self-sufficient in food production. The situation only becomes difficult when we are faced with a drought or natural calamities which cannot be avoided because it is nature. However, under normal circumstances, the Western Province, in particular should be self-sufficient in food production. In 1974, I grew more food than Luapula and North-Western provinces put together.

Hon. Members: Ah!


Mr Munkombwe: Yes, records are there.

Hon. MMD Member: One person!

Mr Munkombwe: One person. 

Dr Machungwa: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Dr Machungwa: Mr Chairperson, I normally enjoy the debates by the veteran politician, the hon. Deputy Minister for Southern Province, Mr Munkombwe, because he debates with vigour. Is he really in order to allege that he produced more food at his farm at some point more than the North-Western and Luapula provinces put together? Is he in order to allege that without producing any evidence and instead continue arguing?

The Deputy Chairperson: The Chair also wonders whether that statement is true, but I will give Hon. Munkombwe the benefit of doubt. I am sure he will prove that at some point. The hon. Deputy Minister for Southern Province must take that point of order into account.

You may continue, please.

Mr Munkombwe: I am privileged, at least, to know the crop production levels province by province, what time ...

Hon. Member: Which crop?

Mr Munkombwe: I am talking about the maize crop because we do not talk about anything else.


Mr Munkombwe: At that time, I knew what the Western Province produced. In 1974, Luapula Province produced 13,000 x 90 kilograms of maize and the North-Western Province produced 17,000 x 90 kilograms of maize, giving a total of 30,000 x 90 kilograms of maize. During the same year, I produced 47,000 x 90 kilograms of maize. You can go and check because the records are there.


Hon. Member: Mune sosa.
Mr Munkombwe: Mr Chairperson, all that we now need to do is raise …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Munkombwe: … the level of credit that is accessible. We should ask the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to intervene with regard to the issue of high lending rates by commercial banks. Loans under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) are meant for subsistence farmers and not those of us who are slightly more advantaged than others …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! The hon. Member’s time has expired. 

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Chairperson, I want to go a bit off track because I know how tiresome it can be to you if we just articulate the same issues.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Dr Scott: I think one thing that is always very striking about policy debate on agriculture is the sense of going in circles. We are always talking about rehabilitating, restructuring or restarting things which we had before but failed. One thing which interests me is why we have never had analysis along the way of the very successful groundnut industry which collapsed and the reasons for its collapse. We now need to establish these reasons and come up with ways to rebuild the groundnut industry, of course, taking into account certain measures to prevent it from collapsing as it did before. The hon. Minister, who is a medical doctor, knows that if you have the same causative agents or preconditions, you obtain the same consequences. 

The groundnut industry is just one example I have plucked more or less at random. Nonetheless, if we are going to rehabilitate dams, we should ask ourselves how those dams become debilitated in the first place. What is to stop them becoming run down again and in need of rehabilitation? 

Mr Chairperson, I would like to, also, comment on the co-operative system, which has so much been talked about. I have heard that we are going to revamp this system with the new National Co-operative Development Policy. However, it should be noted that there is a history to the co-operative movement. It did not simply suffer from some kind of mysterious passing disease. 

The co-operative movement was co-opted by the United National Independence Party (UNIP) Government in 1989 after this House was used to close the National Agricultural Marketing Board (NAMBOARD). The Zambia Co-operative Federation (ZCF), which is the mother body, was obliged to take over the functions of NAMBOARD together with the Credit Union and Savings Association (CUSA). CUSA was actually a private organisation and should not have been subjected to Government pressures, but was pressurised anyway. The third part or third leg of that stool or chipuna was Lima Bank. This bank, if the hon. Minister recalls, was the fourth reincarnation of the Land Bank that kept going bankrupt and always needed rehabilitation …

Mr Beene: It was caused to go bankrupt.

Dr Scott: Yes, there was a cause for its always going bankrupt. It was originally called Land bank, Agricultural Finance Company and all other sorts of names. 

Therefore, when the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) came to power in 1991, it actually found this Troika of ZCF, CUSA and Lima Bank in place. As hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives, I worked with it we made a good feast of a very difficult situation. I was replaced by Simon Zukas who asked these institutions if they were willing to continue in their role and make themselves self-sustainable as maize marketers. Both ZCF and CUSA pulled out of this union as they were free to do so and suddenly, we had a void in the agricultural marketing system which was filled with a new arrangement - one of the many series of new arrangements …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

(Debate adjourned)



[MADAM SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress reported)


The House adjourned at 1256 hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday, 1st December, 2009.