Debates- Thursday, 23rd July, 2009

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Thursday, 23rd July, 2009

The House met at 1430 hours







The Minister of Education (Ms Siliya): Madam Speaker, I thank you for according me this opportunity to inform the House on the current status of the University of Zambia and the Copperbelt University.

From the onset, I wish to inform the House that universities are established to provide university education, promote research and advancement of learning. The universities are primarily run by management and the university councils as stipulated in the University Act No. 11 of 1999. The management structures of the University of Zambia and the Copperbelt University are similar to those obtaining in other parastatals as they are established by a statutory instrument.

Madam Speaker, while the Government has the overall responsibility of running education, including the affairs of the universities, university councils have been entrusted with the mandate of running the universities on behalf of the Government, as stipulated in Act 17 (1) that:

“The university council shall be responsible for the governance, control and administration of the university in all other cases, not otherwise provided for by the Act and shall act in the best interest of the university.”

Therefore, amongst its many functions council is expected to carry out the following functions:

(i) the provision for the welfare of staff, and students at the university;

(ii) determine the salaries and other conditions of service of the staff at the university;

(iii) administer funds placed at the disposal of the university for specific purposes;

(iv) determine all fees; provided that when determining tuition fees the senate is consulted; and

(v) establish administrative or services sections or units at the university as it considers necessary.

This mandate enables the university councils to ensure the smooth running of the universities. It is, therefore, the responsibility of the university councils to do everything possible to ensure the smooth operations of the universities. The Ministry of Education, on the other hand, is responsible for policy development in the educational sector and for giving guidelines to tertiary educational institutions.

Madam Speaker, with regard to the funding of the two public universities, I wish to inform this House that in 2008, the grant to the University of Zambia was K135,779,513,000 and an additional K20 billion as supplementary funding. In 2009, the university grant is K122.3 billion.

The grant to the Copperbelt University in 2008 was K57,114,856,000 with an additional K10 billion as supplementary funding and, in 2009, this grant is K48.6 billion.

Madam Speaker, in 2008, the salary negotiations for the University of Zambia resulted in an offer by management of 15 per cent as salary increment across the board to the staff and 8 per cent for the Copperbelt University. This year, in 2009, the University of Zambia management and the council offered 3 per cent salary increment which the union has since rejected. Prior to the commencement of the negotiations, the Government had issued guidance to all grant-aided and statutory institutions, including the University of Zambia, not to offer salary increases exceeding 5 per cent in 2009 due to the current financial constraints.

Arising from the above, the unions at the University of Zambia:

(i) declared a go-slow action on 29th June, 2009;

(ii) demanded the withdrawal of Minute No. MF/101/9/5 from the Secretary to the Treasury dated 8th April, 2009 which gave guidance to grant-aided institutions;

(iii) demanded for a salary increment of at least 15 per cent as offered to Public Service workers;

(iv) demanded for the immediate conclusion of the negotiations; and

(v) demanded for the payment of all outstanding contractual obligations.
The University Council took the immediate step of meeting with the leadership of the represented groups. The council appealed to the leaders to persuade their members to return to work while the council made efforts to seek a resolution to the impasse in the view of the financial implication of their action.

The negotiations did not bear fruit and the unions made further demands that included the resignation of the entire council and management and the auditing of the financial reports at the University of Zambia. Although the unions did not accept the 1 and 3 per cent offered, they did resolve to go back to work on 17th July, 2009, while tasking the Government to look into their concerns.

According Section 16 (1) and (2) of the University Act, it is the responsibility of the council to cause to be kept proper books of accounts and other records relating to its accounts and ensure that the books of accounts are audited annually by the Auditor-General. Unfortunately, this has not been done for the last ten years, resulting in failure by the council to submit, annually, to the Ministry of Education, the audited reports. The council has since been instructed to ensure that their records are brought up to date and submitted to the Minister of Education in accordance with Section 17 of the Act.

Madam Speaker, while negotiations were still going on at the University of Zambia, I wish to inform the House that negotiations at the Copperbelt University were concluded in line with the provision of the law and in line with the parameters for salary awards as guided by its University Council.

Madam, the current problem that the University of Zambia is facing is partly the culmination of inadequate financial resources to the university for almost two decades. Consequently, the university is heavily indebted in terms of statutory and staff contractual obligations. The University of Zambia relies heavily on both tuition fees and the monthly grant-in-aid to fund its operations.

Madam Speaker, it is important to note that the budget for 2009, of the University of Zambia, is K447.2 billion out of this K135.8 billion is Government contribution and remainder, of K311.4 billion, is to be financed from internal resources. Out of this total budgetary requirement, K266.7 billion is for Personal Emoluments representing 60 per cent of the total budgetary requirements while K56 billion representing 12.5 per cent was also budgeted for to settle part of the outstanding bills. This will, therefore, leave the university with only K125.5 billion or 27.5 per cent of the budget for Recurrent Departmental Charges and Capital Expenditure. In the current 2009 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure (Yellow Book) the Government provided K139.1 billion to cater for both personal emoluments and recurrent departmental charges.

In addition, the University of Zambia has a total of K380.7 billion outstanding bills, as at April 2009, mainly related to Personal Emoluments. In this year’s budget, K5.3 billion was provided by the Government for dismantling of arrears.

Madam Speaker, I wish to inform this House that the Copperbelt University has outstanding bills amounting to K154.9 billion, as of April, 2009, also mainly related to personal emoluments. In this year’s budget provision for dismantling arrears, there is a K2.67 billion. This situation requires immediate attention as it is not prudent to continue to defer the payment of these outstanding bills as most of them arise out of the non-remittance of contributions to statutory bodies and non-payment of terminal benefits to retired and deceased employees.

Madam Speaker, while it is appreciated that it is the responsibility of the Government to support the universities, it must also be realised that the demands on the Government are many and varied, all drawing from limited resources. This, therefore, means that the provisions from the Government may not be sufficient to meet all requirements and thus the need to exercise efficiency in the use of the meagre resources.

Madam Speaker, it is for this reason that the proposal by the University Council to sit down with the unions and find a sustainable solution must be pursued. Madam Speaker, in order to deal with this situation, management and council are currently preparing a survival plan to address the immediate problems as well as in the medium and long term.

Madam Speaker, while the unions have a duty to represent their members, they equally have a duty to request their members to be patient and give them enough time to dialogue with management. In this regard, I am pleased to inform the House that on 17th July, 2009, all unions involved in the go-slow called off their go-slow at the University of Zambia and urged their members to return to work. I am, further, pleased to report that the situation at the University of Zambia has since returned to normal. This development is commendable and will work to create a conducive atmosphere for the parties to arrive at an amicable and sustainable solution.

Madam Speaker, I also wish to commend the students for exhibiting maturity by remaining calm and maintaining peace at the University of Zambia during the go-slow. As earlier stated, the Copperbelt University negotiated and concluded the agreement with the union, and so there were, therefore, no disturbances at the institution.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members are now free to ask question on points of clarification on the ministerial statement.

Mr D. Mwila (Chipili): Madam Speaker, an institution like the University of Zambia has books of accounts not being audited for ten years and this to me is a scandal. I would like to know from the hon. Minister if there is a possibility of removing some of the members of the University Council since they have been there for more than five years.

Secondly, I would like to know if the negotiations will be re-opened to make adjustments on the percentages.

Ms Siliya: Madam Speaker, as I stated in the ministerial statement, the responsibility of managing the university in their day-to-day affairs falls squarely on management and the council. I do agree that it is not a healthy situation to have a public institution going unaudited for such a long time. This matter is being addressed and efforts are being made to make sure that the situation is normalised. Currently, the council is meeting with management and unions to try and come up with a sustainable solution to the problems at the University. This is fairly a new council and we are confident that they are doing everything possible to make sure that we find a long-term solution for the university.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Sichamba (Isoka West): Madam Speaker, how will the ministry determine their indebtedness with such financial irregularities at the highest institution of learning in this country?

Ms Siliya: Madam Speaker, I did mention, in the ministerial statement, that the debt at the University of Zambia is over K300 billion but, at the same time efforts, have been made to try and normalise the situation in terms of audited accounts and they have been working backwards to try and audit the accounts. So far, I know that they have done the accounts for the last seven years to try and catch up. At the moment, they only have three years going backwards to try and finish.

Madam Speaker, I concede, it is not a healthy situation and this is why, in our discussions with council, we said that for them to be able to make their case, they actually need to sort out some of the administrative problems they have so that they can actually make a case on whether it is funding from the Government or from elsewhere which is needed.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): Madam Speaker, I listened very attentively to the hon. Minister enumerating the various problems that the University of Zambia and the Copperbelt University are facing but, in her conclusion, I did not hear her state clearly what the Government’s solutions are to the various problems that those two universities are facing, particularly in terms of …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Ask a follow-up question.

Mr Kakoma: Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Education what solutions this Government has, especially in terms of finance to resolve the numerous problems that are faced by the two universities, apart from passing the buck to the council.

Ms Siliya: Madam Speaker, in the ministerial statement, I stated clearly that the Act clearly provides for the council and management to manage the institution and this Government has the responsibility to give guidance since we are committed to higher education and this is why we commit funds. They might not be adequate but we commit funds to the management at the university. The problems in Zambia are numerous and we are all looking to the Government to deal with those problems and this is in all sectors: education, the police, health and everywhere else and so we need a long-term solution to the problems at the university.

Madam Speaker, financing education is a big challenge. There are many possibilities that the council is exploring and one of them, as they do in other countries, is the possibility of support from the alumni. Most people in this country have passed through that University of Zambia and they commit no funds to the institution. This is done in many other countries successfully and so we have to look at ways in which the university can partner with the private sector. It is not strange that when the country has seen an unprecedented economic activity in the mining sector especially, that there should be a close financing partnership between the Department of Mines at the university and the mining sector. So, there are many possibilities. I can say that this problem will not be solved overnight. We have to think critically and the council will have the mandate, at this point, to think seriously and discuss with those stakeholders - the unions and even the students’ unions - so that we can find a lasting solution.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Milupi (Luena): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister, in her statement, has enumerated a number of problems at the two universities. Would she accept that these problems of lack of accountability, indebtedness and others are also prevalent in other Government institutions like parastatals and councils? Would she, therefore, accept that the real solution to the problems of the universities lies with sorting out this Government because these problems are resident in the Government itself and until such a time that the Government can get their act together and begin to govern properly, the problems in these institutions will continue?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Madam Speaker, the problems at the University of Zambia (UNZA) concern all of us and, I think, we all need to take responsibility because …

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Kambwili: Question!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! You do not yell. You just speak.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Hon. Minister you may continue, please.

Ms Siliya: … as the Ministry of Education and a Government, we have a very specific role to oversee the education policy in the country. We have also facilitated that the everyday management of the council of the university will be done by the management and supervised by the council. As citizens in those institutions, in terms of hierarchy management, we must take responsibility. So, I think this is an issue for all of us, as citizens, to start taking responsibility in whatever position of decision making we are in because the hon. Minister of Education does not operating at the university everyday. We have given that mandate to the council, management and people who work at that institution. So, to me, it is a national problem that we must address and we must all take responsibility for.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Madam Speaker, through you, hon. Minister, education is very expensive and we know that fees charged by private primary and secondary schools are quite high. As painful as it may be, is it not time that a re-look is made at what the universities are charging in terms of fees so that we bring them in line with what is happening in the rest of the country?

Ms Siliya: Madam Speaker, as I stated in the ministerial statement, the council, right now, is trying to articulate a survival plan and I am sure that they will take into consideration issues of economic fees and matching the number of students at the university with the infrastructure that is at the university. Therefore, as a Government, we are waiting for the council to give us their survival plan so that we can begin to discuss from there.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Beene (Itezhi-tezhi): Madam Speaker, arising from the hon. Minister’s statement that the university has a debt of K380 billion, can she confirm that the university is bankrupt and that the Government has to immediately intervene the way it did with the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) by increasing its tariffs? Can we hear something from the hon. Minister?

Ms Siliya: Madam Speaker, we are working with the council and management because we want to make informed decisions so that we take the right steps. The council is currently studying the situation and we realise that the debt problem is serious that even the Government, as I said in the ministerial statement, will not always have sufficient money to meet the various demands in the nation. Therefore, we have to make sure that we have value for money and use these meagre resources as efficiently as possible. Therefore, working with the council, management and other stakeholders, we are saying, let us look at the problem in totality and find a lasting solution. Just increasing salaries this year or next year or as we did last year, is not the solution because there are some serious structural problems that need to be dealt with. Some of them are non-money issues such as administration, supervision and confidential issues. We have to deal with all these issues so that we can truly have a sustainable solution to the problems of our learning institutions in Zambia.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Madam Speaker, listening to the hon. Minister articulate the problems at the university, I get the feeling that, as a Government, we are waiting for the council to come up with this survival plan. My question to the hon. Minister is, does the ministry responsible for this institution have any survival plan because these problems of the university are not new? Does the ministry have any plan in place which will firstly look at dismantling the outstanding wages? Secondly, does it have a plan that will look at the real issue of the salaries and conditions of service of the lecturers and thirdly, a business plan considering that the university’s main job is research and training? Is the ministry looking at the issue of research and training as a means of raising internal resources apart from depending on the Government?

Ms Siliya: Madam Speaker, in agreeing with the hon. Member of Parliament for Chongwe, we want to make an informed decision. We do not want to solve problems just for the immediate term and the Government has delegated authority to the council and management. This is why they are employed and get paid so that they provide the vision. The Government provides the overall direction for education and not just university education, but college, primary, including nursery education. We have mandated the council to find a survival plan so that when they come and talk to us, as a Government, we will not continue to just put money into a hole and not see any benefits. This is because they are many other pressing development needs in the country and I agree that something needs to change at the university. We cannot continue this way.

Madam Speaker, like I said, there are some problems that are not even money related, but are just administrative. It means to become more efficient, they have to re-look at their systems and conditions of service and ask themselves if they are sustainable. They also, need to ask how the institution itself manages to raise funding by making sure that it promotes support from the alumnae, that there is good governance and that they partner with the private sector. So, as a Government, we are a very interested party in the problems at the university, but we have given a specific job to the council as authorised in the Act so that they think seriously about this and the Government is supervising that process.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out why it took ten years to realise that the university has not been audited. Who is responsible? Can the hon. Minister confirm that the MMD Government has failed to run the universities and they are incompetent?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mwila: Bwekeshapo!

Ms Siliya: Madam Speaker, I can confirm no such fact because we are working and this is why the university is operational.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Ms Siliya: This is why we are trying to do something about the problems that are there now. Like I said, we concede that it is not healthy to fail to audit the institution. However, this responsibility does not just lie with the hon. Ministers or the Government or MMD. It is all of us, as citizens, who are employed in various institutions …

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Ms Siliya: … who must take responsibility.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Question!

Ms Siliya: We must change our way of doing things and take our jobs seriously because, obviously, it is somebody’s responsibility to audit and that somebody did not do his or her job. We do agree that we, probably, should have supervised better, but this is why we are doing something about it now.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Madam Speaker, may I be allowed to quote the law concerning the audit of UNZA and I quote.

“Copies of the report of the Auditor-General shall be furnished to the Minister and such other persons as the council may determine and the Minister shall not later than seven days after the first sitting of the National Assembly next after receipt of such reports cause to be laid before the National Assembly, the report together with the council reports for the financial year ended.”

Now, in view of the fact that the law requires the hon. Minister to bring an audit report to Parliament, which they have not done, can she confirm that since they have failed, she is prepared to resign?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! The hon. Member should have finished citing by giving us the Act and Section.  However, the hon. Minister of Education may continue.

Ms Siliya: Madam Speaker, I did cite the provision of the law in my ministerial statement that, indeed, the audited report must be presented to the hon. Minister of Education so that it is submitted to Parliament. In fact, even hon. Members of Parliament should demand for these things because we make the law.


Ms Siliya: So, this is why I am saying that it is a national problem and we all need to change our attitudes as far as management of national affairs is concerned.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Order! The hon. Members should show a little interest by allowing the hon. Minister on the Floor to give the response clearly so that everybody understands what she is putting across.

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Madam Speaker, in the university council’s quest to increase the institution’s revenue, it has run several programmes such as parallel streams of classes where students are paying huge sums of money. However, when problems like go-slows arise, these streams of classes are also closed. Some of us are partnering with universities by supporting our children there. However, if the problems at the institution affect all classes, it means that the partnering that the hon. Minister was referring to is not helping the situation. This is a policy matter. What is the Government doing to make sure that those who partner with it by supporting their children in schools are not affected because we cannot afford to have our children graduating after ten years?

Ms Siliya: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member of Parliament for Mbabala for that question. As I have stated, we have to overhaul the way UNZA operates. We have mandated the university’s council to look at all systems so that we see how we can find solutions to these problems.

For instance, the School of Law at the university does not close. Therefore, we need to copy some good practices on how the school is being managed. We also need to find out why some science schools do not get affected when there is a strike at UNZA. We have to look at why problems are more persistent in the School of Humanities. There is need to find out whether the problem is cultural or it has to do with high levels of enrollment. We, actually, have to do a proper sort of surgery so that we diagnose the actual problems and see what solutions we can find. Just raising lecturers’ salaries, every year, has clearly demonstrated that it is not a lasting solution. Something else needs to be done.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

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

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister indicated that everybody has a responsibility and role to play in the management of national affairs and I agree with her. It is true that the retirement conditions at the university are part of the biggest problems that the institution is facing because management, who run the institution on a day-to-day basis, have decided to pay themselves five months salaries for every year served when they retire. When will the Government intervene to streamline that matter so that, at least, the debt that accrues to retirement does not go out of proportion?

Ms Siliya: Madam Speaker, I also thank the hon. Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central for that question. We have asked the council and management to review the situation at the university in totality. I was looking at some of the salary structures this morning. One of the highest paid persons gets over K15 million a month. That is more than even hon. Ministers get. So, we have to address this situation. In addressing the sustainability of such salary structures, we need to, actually, look at whether the institution can meet its operational costs through its own revenue. 

I believe even when one resigns, lecturers are still entitled to six months of gratuity for every working year. I think these must be the best conditions of service in the whole country. So, we have asked the management to re-look at these issues. Even when a lecturer retires, he or she continues to be on the payroll and stays in an institutional house until after they have been cleared in terms of their benefits.

In order for the institution to be able to meet its demands and operational requirements, it has to have supporting revenue and must look at how many students is the optimum number for it to be able to meet its revenue from tuition fees. So, I would like to repeat and emphasise that we need to do a total overhaul and that the Government is not just a bystander. We are working with the university council and management very closely.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mwenya (Nkana): Madam Speaker, the MMD has been in Government for over twenty years and …

MMD Members interjected.

Mr Mwenya: … the issues at UNZA have been running every year. The debt that the university has accumulated is quite shocking. Instead of politicising the issue, I would like to get a definite answer from the hon. Minister when the Government is going to sort out the issues at the university. We need a time frame because we do not want to continue talking about this issue. We expect the problems at the institution to be resolved, this year, so that they do not arise, again, next year.

Ms Siliya: Madam Speaker, if the hon. Member of Parliament had been listening carefully instead of politicising the issue, he would have actually heard that I said we do not want to provide short-term solutions. We want to review systems, conditions of service and everything else that is happening at the university so that we can actually make an informed decision.

I want to repeat that just raising salaries, every year, has not proved to be a long-term solution. There are other underlying factors that make the provision of education at UNZA very difficult. Maybe, the fees at the institution are not cost reflective and as such it is failing to raise enough revenue. There will never be a situation whereby the Government will have enough resources to give the university. That is a fact. So, we have to be more innovative and creative because the Government has many other demanding problems that we need to deal with. We welcome any ideas that the hon. Member of Parliament might have so that we can deal with this problem once and for all.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


The Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Dr Chituwo): Madam Speaker, I wish to thank you for giving me this opportunity to make this ministerial statement to this august House on the country’s current agriculture production and marketing situation. I shall do this in three parts. The first part will be on crop production estimates for 2008/2009. The second is on crop marketing for 2009/2010 marketing season and the third is on the issue of maize exports.

Madam Speaker, according to the crop forecasting results for the 2008/2009 agricultural season, the food security situation in the country is favourable. Production of most of the major staple food crops such as maize, rice, wheat, sorghum, millet, sweet potatoes and cassava has increased compared to last season.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo: The areas where most of these crops are grown has also increased. The national food balance sheet for the 2009/2010 marketing season based on the crop forecasting survey for the 2008/2009 agricultural production season shows that the country has produced sufficient maize for both human consumption and industrial utilisation. For an estimated population of 12.9 million people, the food balance sheet shows that the total maize required for human consumption amounts to 1,263,098 metric tonnes. The estimated maize requirements for industrial use, specifically stock feed and breweries, is 200,000 metric tonnes.

Maize grain retained for planting and post harvest losses are estimated at 114,439 metric tonnes. Provisions for informal cross-border trade are estimated at 60,000 metric tonnes. Therefore, total national requirements are estimated at 1,747,537 metric tonnes.

The total maize production in the 2008/2009 season has been estimated to be 1,888,773 metric tonnes. Due to unfavourable weather conditions experienced in the 2007/2008 season, which resulted in the relatively low production, the country had a modest maize carry-over stock of 62,035 metric tonnes. Adding the maize carry-over stocks from last season to the maize production for the 2008/2009 agricultural season brings the total available maize for the 2009/2010 marketing season to 1,950,808 metric tonnes.

When total maize requirements are deducted from available maize, the food balance sheet indicates that the country has recorded a maize surplus of 203,271 metric tonnes. The increase in maize production this year is attributed largely to the good rains that were experienced in most parts of our country. Further, the number of beneficiaries under the Fertiliser Support Programme (FSP) also increased from 125,000 to 200,000 this current season.

The average yield for maize this season is approximately 1,7 metric tonnes per hectare, in comparison to 1.3 metric tonnes per hectare in the last season. This represents an increase of about 31 per cent.

Madam Speaker, the country has consistently recorded a surplus in cassava production for the past ten years, even in very stressful years when all other staple food crops are in a deficit. This is very good for Zambia’s food security. In our quest for crop diversification, the Government will continue supporting and promoting the growing of cassava in all parts of the country.

The country also recorded increased production for other crops. These include rice and wheat. Rice production is estimated at 41,929 metric tonnes. Wheat production has been projected at 195,000 metric tonnes for the 2008/2009 season. Further, there has been a general increase in the production of key cash crops such as soyabeans, sunflower, groundnuts, tobacco (both Burley and Virginia).

Madam Speaker, I wish to commend our hardworking farmers who, despite experiencing high input costs, especially with regard to fertiliser and seed at the beginning of the season, increased in cultivated areas under most crops, thereby increasing the supply of both food and cash crops in the country. I am happy to note that, once again, agriculture performed very well and that overall, the country is food secure.

Notwithstanding the reported national food security situation, there will be some communities and households that will require support from the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit under the Office of the Vice-President. This is as a result of the unfavourable weather conditions and other related factors that impacted negatively on these communities.

2009/2010 Crop Marketing Arrangements

Madam Speaker, on crop marketing arrangements for the 2009/2010, the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) Crop Purchase Programme for the 2009/2010 marketing season was launched on the 1st June, 2009 by the Republican President, His Excellency Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda in Lusaka. This coincided with the commissioning of the FRA silos at Mungwi Road Depot. For the FRA, the maize purchase exercise will run from the 1st June, 2009 to 30th September, 2009.

The FRA plans to purchase 110,000 metric tonnes of maize and 1,200 metric tonnes of rice. 110,000 metric tonnes that the FRA will purchase represents only about 5 per cent of the total production. The remainder of the crop will be purchased by the private sector, namely millers, grain traders and others. The 110,000 metric tonnes of maize and 1,200 metric tonnes of rice to be purchased by FRA is based on the K100 billion budgetary allocation approved by this House for the crop marketing season and an additional K100 billion which is yet to be sourced. The FRA is in a position to purchase more grain if additional resources are made available.

Madam Speaker, the FRA will operate a total of 67 main depots throughout the country. In accordance with the plan for this year, the FRA has opened 469 satellite depots at an average of seven satellite depots per main depot, which works out at approximately seven in a district.

The FRA has so far received K10 billion which, together with its own resources, has been used to purchase the maize. Meanwhile, the FRA has continued to mobilise resources through the Ministry of Finance and National Planning. This process may also entail the possibility of exploring the financial markets.

Following the attainment of the correct moisture content of 12.5 per cent in a number of locations, the FRA started to receive maize at the satellite depots on 13th July, 2009. Reports from the field indicate that with the attractive price of K65,000 per 50 kilogram bag, most of the depots have been overwhelmed with maize deliveries from the farmers to the extent that some of the satellite depots have already reached the maximum planned purchase quantity per satellite depot of 4,690 X 50 kilogram bags.

Madam Speaker, the crop marketing system has been strengthened further this year in order to promote efficiency and keep away ‘ghost’ farmers. The system has included the issuance of the certificate of quality and quantity by officers from my ministry who have been positioned at the satellite depots to verify the quality and quantity standards that are delivered.

The private sector are encouraged to strongly participate in crop purchasing especially in accessible areas so that the FRA can concentrate on areas which are inaccessible and economically disadvantaged.

Maize Exports

Madam Speaker, in light of the surplus reflected in the food balance sheet, my ministry wishes to review the issue of maize exports. Following consultations with key stakeholders and the agricultural sector, it has been resolved that a window for export of maize be made available under close supervision and monitoring by the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives. The ministry, therefore, will initially allow only a 100,000 metric tonnes to be exported.

All interested parties and would-be exporters are advised to go through their respective mother bodies such as the Zambia National Farmers Union, the Grain Traders Association of Zambia and the Millers Association of Zambia, in processing their application.

Madam Speaker, exporters are further advised that the ministry will only allow export quantities in small lots of only up to 600 metric tonnes at a time. However, each export permit will only have a maximum quantity of 30 metric tonnes on the basis of a single exit.

Any further exports by respective firms or individuals will only be considered upon providing proof that earlier issued export permits were executed.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the ministerial statement made by the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives.

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Madam Speaker, I just want to keep it very simple and say that even if we neglect the commercial crop and we take out the exports from formal and informal, the hon. Minister or the system has the problem of buying millions and millions of tonnes of grain. Somebody has to pay the K65,000 per bag to the small-scale farmers who have grown this crop. When this money comes to the Government through the FRA or the banking system, with a liquidity requirement of over K1 trillion just to pay the farm debt pricing and, maybe, another trillion for the handling, transportation and so on and so forth, has the hon. Minister got assurances from the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning in these hard times, where interest rates are exorbitant, that the amount of money can be sourced within the system without causing inflationary pressure?

Madam Deputy Speaker: I do not know whether the hon. Member for Lusaka Central is soliciting for a response or it is just a comment.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, this House approved an allocation of K100 billion for this exercise. As I indicated in my response, this will be done through the supervision of the capable hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning whose duty and mandate is to see that, indeed, in these hard times, if any institution has to borrow money, he has to look at the balance sheet. What will be the effect of this on the issue of inflation or money supply? I can assure the hon. Member for Lusaka Central that through the options that I have mentioned, those will be closely supervised by the Ministry of Finance and National Planning.

Thank you, Madam.

Mr Ntundu (Gwembe): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has clearly indicated (pointing at the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives)…

Madam Deputy Speaker: There is no need to use that finger. You can speak with your mouth, hon. Member.


Mr Ntundu: Madam, the hon. Minister has indicated in his ministerial (pointing)…


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Put your finger down, hon. Member.

Mr Ntundu: I am most obliged, Madam. Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has indicated in his ministerial statement that the country has, continuously, for the past ten years, recorded an excess in cassava production, but I am surprised that he has not mentioned in his speech that the FRA…

Madam Deputy Speaker: Pointing a finger is not a polite way of speaking to somebody. It is a serious matter, hon. Member.

Mr Ntundu: I am most obliged, Madam Speaker, but it comes as a reflex action.


Mr Ntundu: Why has the hon. Minister not indicated in his ministerial statement (pointing at the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives)…


Madam Deputy Speaker: Point at yourself. Address the Chair. I think they would like to know where the finger will go.

Mr Ntundu: I would like to find out why the hon. Minister has not indicated in his ministerial statement that FRA will actually buy cassava (pointing at the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives).


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, the cassava crop is an example of what the small-scale farmers can do. The demand for cassava flour is increasing and has been increasing. We now have two mills. One is in Mansa while the other is privately owned in Ndola. The demand for cassava flour is very high. I suggest to the hon. Member for Gwembe that he has a very good opportunity to start trading in cassava and he will be assured of serious profits.

Thank you, Madam.

Mr Nsanda (Chimwemwe): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister why they were quick to pay for maize, especially from South Africa. Why is it difficult for the Government to buy maize from the Zambian farmers who work very hard and, at times, borrow fertiliser and fail to pay back?

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, I think we all know the genesis for not only the import of maize, but also what we did in terms of purchase of maize locally from the farmers. Clearly, that was an urgent situation and it was at a time when there was a serious demand.

Madam Speaker, the payment of such transactions is an on-going process. In fact, we are still paying for the exported maize through the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning.

With regard to the assertion that we are failing to pay our farmers, I just stated in my statement that, in fact, the FRA started purchasing the local maize on the 13th July, 2009. The process is on going. There has been no failure as such because the process has not come to an end. We are still purchasing maize from our small-scale farmers. 
Let me also emphasise the point that the FRA mandate has been to purchase maize from farmers in those remote areas where, in fact, the private sector is unwilling or would not want to go because it would not make economic sense. There is continuous subsidy into the marketing of maize in order to ensure that our small-scale farmers get rewards for their labour.

Thank you, Madam.

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operative regarding the strategy for marketing surplus maize that has been mentioned in the ministerial statement. In the past ten years, we have been hearing the same old story. What is the Government doing to stop this perennial problem? We have had surplus maize even in the past, but at the end of the year, it is not there. At times, we have even exported maize, but ended up importing at four times the price. When is the hon. Minister going to come up with a long-term strategy for the production and marketing of maize so that we do not get into these perennial problems which create inflation in the long-run.

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, I am grateful for that concern from the hon. Member of Parliament for Chongwe. Maybe, we forget very easily. One of the strategies that we wanted to bring into play was the introduction of a crop marketing authority. I think that hon. Members of Parliament will recall that it was shot down in this House. Clearly, when one looks at the Food Reserve Agency Act, they will notice that it has got a limited mandate. There is no room for the institution to engage, seriously, in grain marketing. We have started pursuing that course of action so that we have one wing that specialises in production. The Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) is best suited to promote production of all sorts of crops.

Therefore, it is important that another organisation is formed whose role will be solely that of marketing. I would like to assure the hon. Member of Parliament for Chongwe that when we do that, that is, organising production and marketing activities separately, it would be a very strong incentive for most of our farmers to invest in agricultural activities.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Madam Speaker, through you, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives whether he is aware that there is a syndicate of unscrupulous businessmen in collaboration with FRA officers who are buying maize at a cheaper price from the peasant farmers and then later reselling it to FRA at a higher price thus denying the peasant farmers their right to have their maize purchased at the recommended Government price.

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, I am not aware of that syndicate. The report I received, recently, showed that our farmers are still waiting to have a better price than the one that is being offered by FRA, right now. However, I would be very grateful to receive specific information on this syndicate from the hon. Member of Parliament for Monze because it will assist us.

Madam Speaker, the other issues have to do with the buyer and seller. We have, many a time, repeatedly, appealed to our farmers to hold on to their maize because we will certainly reach where they are and buy their crop. Therefore, I would like to appeal to our small-scale farmers that, as a Government, we will do everything possible to buy their maize. Let them just hold on for a little while.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mrs Mwamba (Lukashya): Madam Speaker, peasant farmers willingly sell their maize cheaply because of the difficulties that they face or because they wait for too long before they can sell their maize. When is the Government going to come up with the deficit which is K90 billion so that they can buy off this maize from the peasant farmers before the grain dealers rip them off completely?

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, I stated that, as budgeted for, my colleague, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, certainly will make good of this K90 billion which will be supplemented by the FRA’s own efforts in sourcing for money for use in the  marketing season.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Chazangwe (Choma Central): Madam Speaker, today, Zambia is ranked tenth in the world in terms of malnutrition because, right now, in Lusaka, a twenty-five kilogramme bag of roller meal is being sold at K69,000.00.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chazangwe: As a result, people in compounds are not able to have three meals per day. The hon. Minister has told us that farmers have done their best by producing maize, cassava and other crops. Now, we have often told this Government that, FRA …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Ask your question and do not be tempted to debate. Ask for your point of clarification on what has been stated in the ministerial statement, hon. Member.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chazangwe: I thank you, Madam Speaker.

How will this Government manage to reduce poverty in this country if they fail to buy the maize that the poor farmers have grown in rural areas because the Government has stated that they are going to buy about 45,000 bags per depot, but that can be produced by one farmer? What about the produce from the other farmers? Could the hon. Minister, please, tell us? That is why I think Rupiah Banda …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Chazangwe: Sorry, Madam Speaker.


Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, there seems to be a growing notion here that the Government must buy everything. I would like to state very clearly that the Government’s role is to provide an enabling environment in which all of us here and the private sector can participate. When the private sector participates in an economy effectively, they are able to generate employment. I am sure the hon. Member of Parliament is aware.

Madam Speaker, this is why I have stated here that we need an institution which is private sector driven that will engage in grain marketing for not only maize, but other crops as well. Unless we amend the Act under which the FRA was established whose role is to maintain and administer a strategic food reserve and get involved in marketing only when conditions are such that we want to protect the price of maize, our staple food from escalating, we will continue facing this problem. This is why, from time to time, in order to stabilise the mealie meal prices, the FRA is instructed to offload maize on the market. Our plan is to have 50 per cent from the FRA and 50 per cent from traders so that the mealie meal prices are kept stable. The concern of the hon. Member of Parliament is also our concern. However, unless we have a vibrant private sector, we will have to grapple with this issue of high food prices.

Madam Speaker, the other issue beyond our control was that last year, the prices of oil and fertiliser such as urea rose to US $1,300 per metric tonne from the previous US $500 per metric tonne. Therefore, one can see that the cost of inputs impacted on the prices of food. This year, in order to avoid a repetition, we started the procurement process early and fortunately, the oil prices have gone down. We therefore, anticipate that the prices of fertiliser will be slightly cheaper than last year.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mushili (Ndola Central): Madam Speaker, arising from the hon. Minister’s self performance appraisal, what plans does this Government have to cut down on the production costs of growing maize which will act as a catalyst to encourage farmers to grow enough for export markets which are exploited by our neighbours whose production costs are very reasonable?

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, my statement did indicate the performance of the industry. The agricultural sector is not solely a responsibility of the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives. There are many players. Therefore, its performance is a reflection of the input of the agricultural sector players. In our quest to cut down production costs, the ministry has put in place a number of measures.

Madam Speaker, firstly, we are seriously encouraging conservation farming for our small-scale farmers. It is very clear that production per hectare is two to three times more than that from conventional farming. We are scaling up this. It is not only in terms of relegating our small-scale farmers to the use of a hoe, they can also use other tools, for instance, the Magoye reaper. Basically, the science behind all this is to disturb the soil as minimally as possible. On the issue of exports, we have many a time stated that we have been allocated in each province, approximately 100,000 hectares of land by traditional leaders. We are actively inviting foreign investors with the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry and the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA). We also would like to invite our local investors so that these areas are, solely, utilised for the export market.

Madam Speaker, for instance, at Nansanga Farm Block, we have tried to put in place basic infrastructure such as an all weather road, power and a huge dam which is being built. This is the kind of model that we want to replicate through out the provinces. We will promote the improvement of production per hectarage of small-scale farmers, ensure household food security and crop rotation in legumes and cotton. Through our support, they will be able to have some money from their cash crops. In so doing, we believe we can reduce on poverty.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.




311. Mr Malama (Mfuwe) asked the Minister of Health:

(a) whether the Government had any plans to construct additional health facilities in Mpika District and, if so, when the plans would be implemented;

(b) what the total number of health centres in Mpika District was, constituency by constituency; and

(c) whether communities in the following areas in Mfuwe Parliamentary Constituency qualified to have a health facility;

(i) Katibunga Mission in Chief Mukungule’s area;

(ii) Salamo in Chief Mpumba’s area;

(iii) Kalimba in Chief Nabwalya’s area; and

(iv) Mabonga in Chief Mpumba’s area.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Mr Akakandelwa): Madam Speaker, in accordance with the Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP) and National Health Strategic Plan (NHSP), the Health Facility Infrastructure Development (HFID) Plan is an on-going one. Mpika District has some dilapidated and uncompleted health infrastructure. Hence, the ministry has first embarked on the rehabilitation and completion of existing facilities before embarking on new construction.

Madam Speaker, in 2008, the Government, through the Service Improvement Fund, under Cabinet Office, funded the district for the rehabilitation and extension of health facilities. These are Kabinga, Kopa, Kaonda, Chiundaponde and Muwele rural health centres at a cost of K530 million. For 2009, the district has plans to complete Chaya Rural Health Centre in Mfuwe Constituency at a cost of K250 million and Kasenga Rural Health Centre in Mpika Central Constituency at a cost of K250 million.

Madam Speaker, the total number of Government health centres in Mpika District is twenty-three and the distribution is as follows:

Name of Constituency Number of Health Facilities

Mpika Central              6

Mfuwe                       6

Kanchibiya                11

Total                         23

Madam Speaker, Katibunga, in Chief Mukungule’s area, Mabonga and Salamo in Chief Mpumba and Kalimba in Chief Nabwalya’s area do not qualify to have rural health centres because the population of these communities is less than 3,500. For example, Kalimba has only a population of about 250 residents. The policy of the ministry is to have a rural health centre for a minimum population of 10,000 people and to establish health posts for smaller populations with a minimum of 3,500 people. However, these communities are entitled to outreach posts which already exist where primary health care services are provided once a month. It should be noted that these communities will in future be considered for rural health centres as our vision is to have a health facility within a five kilometre radius.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.{mospagebreak}

Mr Malama: Madam Speaker, I am worried to hear from the hon. Minister that the named places do not qualify to have health facilities. At Katibunga Mission, where this same the Government has opened a high school, there are a lot of people. Therefore, in case of an outbreak of diseases such as H1/N1, what measures have you put in place to control the situation?

Mr Akakandelwa: Madam Speaker, we have already said that where the population is below the required minimum, we have provided outreach posts. Secondly, we have indicated that these people will be considered for health facilities as long as the nearest facilities are outside the five kilometre radius.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Madam Speaker, arising from the answer that the hon. Minister has given and looking at the number of health facilities mentioned, how does the Government intend to achieve the millennium development goals (MDGs) numbers 4, 5 and 6, which pertain to primary health care?

Mr Akakandelwa: Madam Speaker, although that is slightly off the mark, I will however endeavour to let the hon. Member know that the reasoning for the answer to his question can be gotten from yesterday’s question in which his neighbour was asking why the Government has undertaken a crash training programme for midwives. The motive is to address the issue of maternal mortality health which is MDG No. 4. That answers your question and your neighbour should have actually helped you.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Dr Katema (Chingola): Madam Speaker, we heard from the hon. Minister that in areas where the population is less than 3,000, they have outreach posts. I would like to find out whether we will have permanent structures at these outreach posts to avoid ante natal mothers being examined under trees as is the case in most places.

Mr Akakandelwa: Madam Speaker, there is a model where, in each district, there are four centres that provide maternal facilities. Mpika is one such district. However, where such a facility does not exist, it is not advisable to ask the expecting mother to go there for delivery because there are alternatives in every district.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.


312. Mr Tembo (Nyimba) asked the Minister of Home Affairs when permanent structures for the Immigration Department would be constructed at Nyachimbwi Border Post in Nyimba Parliamentary Constituency.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Bonshe): Madam Speaker, the Department of Immigration is faced with challenges vis-à-vis infrastructure development. The problem has remained unsolved due to limited funding.

Madam Speaker, the House may wish to know that in this year’s budget, we have provided for the construction of seven border posts. Meetings have been held with our counterparts from Mozambique and both parties have agreed to construct permanent structures. Construction of a post at Nyimba will be considered in 2010.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! The House should consult quietly. The Chair cannot hear some of the things being said.

Mr Tembo: Madam Speaker, the Nyachimbwi Border Post is porous, with a lot of activities such as drug trafficking, money laundering and illegal trading taking place. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what temporal measures he will put in place to stop such dangerous activities from happening at this border post.

Mr Bonshe: Madam Speaker, patrols by police and immigration officers have intensified at the border post and around the area to ensure that security measures are put in place.

I thank you, Madam.


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

(a) how many branches of the Zambia National Commercial Bank (ZANACO) had been opened since Rabbo Bank took over the running of the Bank;

(b) how much profit ZANACO had made year by year under the Rabbo Bank administration; and

(c) what the economic benefits to Zambia had been since Rabbo Bank took over the running of ZANACO.

The Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning (Ms C. M. Kapwepwe): Madam Speaker, I wish to inform the House that ZANACO has opened two new rural branches since April 2007. One of these branches is in Senanga and the other one is in Chirundu. The opening of these two branches brings the total number of ZANACO points of representation to fifty-six.

Madam Speaker, the profit made by ZANACO from 2007, when Rabbo Bank took a stake, to 2008 is as follows:

(Billions of Kwacha)

Year    Profit before Tax  Profit after Tax  

2007     13    12

2008      67    50

Madam Speaker, as can be seen from these numbers, the bank’s profitability has more than doubled in 2008.

The economic benefits accrued are many. ZANACO has returned to operational profitability after several years of tax loss and carry forwards. In addition, ZANACO is now in a tax paying position, paying 40 per cent of net income as income taxes to Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) or K34 billion in 2008.

The bank has maintained a banking presence nationwide, supporting the economic empowerment of urban and rural areas. It has also been listed on the Lusaka Stock Exchange (LuSE) and, through the Zambia Privatisation Trust Fund, the Government sold 25.8 per cent of the shares it owned in ZANACO to Zambians and eligible Zambian institutions, including ZANACO employees, through an employee share ownership programme thus empowering a wide cross section of the Zambian population in having a stake in the bank.

The bank continues to expand its involvement with the agriculture sector through the provision of loans to commercial farmers as well as emerging indigenous farmers and to small-scale farmers through joint programmes with the Zambia National Farmers’ Union (ZNFU).

Madam Speaker, the bank has pioneered new technologies in Zambia, including the sale of cell phone airtime top-up through automated teller machines (ATM’s) as well as the launch of mobile banking under the brand name “Xapit instant banking” both of which were first launched by ZANACO on the Zambian market. There are already 20,000 individuals who use ZANACO’s mobile banking product. The bank has significantly grown its ATM network from about thirty-five machines to close to 100 machines nationwide. 

Madam Speaker, ZANACO’s financial position has also strongly improved as it now has the second highest capital base of all banks in Zambia. It has regained the number one deposit taker position thus cementing ZANACO as the main domestic bank, with continued involvement by the Government which retains 25 per cent ownership.

The bank, for the first time in its history, raised a loan in the offshore markets and borrowed a US $25 million term loan from FMO/Proparco whose proceeds are on-lent to the Zambia productive sector.

Madam Speaker, the bank employs about 1,000 employees, thus providing a livelihood to a large number of people and their dependents. It has also rolled out a medical insurance scheme for its entire staff. The bank has launched its corporate social responsibility programme focused on building financial literacy for school-age children and adults.

Madam Speaker, finally, the bank maintains one of the lowest base rates among the leading banks of Zambia, namely 20 per cent. The bank’s dividend payout to shareholders over the year 2008 will increase to K18 billion, subject to approval by the Annual General Meeting, from K10 billion in 2007.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Government Member: Quality!

Mr D. Mwila: Madam Speaker, my concern is on the opening of new branches in rural areas. Can the hon. Minister indicate to this House in which areas Rabbo Bank intends to open up new branches in future?

The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Dr Musokotwane): Madam Speaker, clearly, the decision as to which branches are going to be opened is a business decision that the bank itself will have to determine on the basis of various factors such as potential for profitability and business development.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Chisala (Chilubi): Madam Speaker, last year, ZANACO had a plan of opening up branches in Mwense and Nakonde districts while a mobile bank was scheduled to be opened in Chilubi Parliamentary Constituency.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chisala: The plan came to a stand still in the aftermath of the resignation of the then Director of Retail Marketing who went to join Access Finance Bank. Now, since our people in villages have resorted to the hoarding system of saving money, how best does the hon. Minister intend to bring this barbaric and retrogressive way of saving money to an end?

Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, I wish to repeat that he issue about where the bank opens a branch is a business decision that only the bank itself can undertake. However, I also wish to say that there other instruments available to the country for serving the rural people, including NATSAVE.

Madam Speaker, I also want to indicate that when you look at a home or bank, there are a lot expenses involved in developing a branch. Therefore, clearly, in the first instance, there is to be sufficient volume or minimum of business, even if it is loss-making, to justify a branch. To the extent that there may not be sufficient business, temporarily, while we wait for the conditions to improve, the hon. Member of Parliament for Chilubi can encourage his members of his constituency to develop credit unions which I know are functioning quite well, serving the communities as reasonable forms of saving money in certain parts of the country.

 I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): Madam Speaker, when Rabbo Bank was bidding to take over ZANACO, one of the strong points they had advanced was that they were going to roll out a programme of opening branches in rural areas. After three years of operations, they have managed to open only two branches. Is the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning satisfied that two branches in three years compared to their promise to roll out  a programme of opening branches in rural areas is satisfactory or is it that the bank cheated this Government?

Madam Deputy Speaker: Can the hon. Member withdraw the word “cheated”. Use the correct word.

Mr Kakoma: Madam Speaker, is it that the bank told falsehoods in order to get ZANACO?

Madam Deputy Speaker: That is the best you can do.


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, the hon. Member is not satisfied that in the last two years, the bank opened only two branches in rural areas.

Madam Speaker, we, in Zambia, need to learn to be patient. I have said this before and I am saying it now that, sometimes, patience, in relation to the economy, is important.

Madam Speaker, I am saying this because there could have been a possibility of the bank expanding very and too fast on a weak balance sheet and a weak income base. Obviously, that just ends up threatening the liabilities of the whole institution. As for me, I am quite confident that with the financial results that we are seeing coming out in terms of increased profitability, stronger balance sheet and increased deposits, it creates a stronger foundation for more branches in the rural areas to be developed.

Madam Speaker, let me also say that the hon. Member should not try to make a comparison by saying Rabbo Bank only managed to open two branches in two years. He needs to make an analysis looking at the time ZANACO was established somewhere in 1968/69 up to 2007 which is close to forty years. How many branches were created over that period? If that is the case, would you really be saying that two branches in two years is too little compared to fifty plus two branches in forty years? It is about the same. Therefore, just be patient.

 Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Kambwili: Madam Speaker, it is common knowledge that the equity partner in ZANACO is a foreign company. May I know how much was externalised from the K12 billion and K50 billion profits in 2007 and 2008, respectively? 

Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, I am unable to answer the question. Maybe, if it can be raised as a new question, I will be able to do so.

 I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Malama: Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that in rural areas where banking facilities are lacking, Government officers are using money without depositing it and, thereby, creating audit queries? If he is aware, how is he helping this situation in rural areas?

Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, even though this is separate question, let me attempt to answer it.

Madam Speaker, Clearly, Zambia is a very vast country with a population that is spreading all over the place. Many of these aspects of infrastructure, whether physical or otherwise, are expensive to establish. Therefore, we should not always think that because there is a school here and a border post there, there must be a bank. That should not be the case.  If it makes economic sense in a very remote place for officers to keep cash temporarily until it is accumulated to a substantial amount, it is better to do so provided that there are checks and balances. If you are going to insist that because there is a border post where there is K2 million being collected every month by the immigration people, then there must be a bank, clearly, we will not be utilising our money wisely. Therefore, in as much I accept that Government money must be banked as quickly as possible, we have to look at the economic situation of every case carefully.

 I thank you, Madam Speaker.


314. Mr Katuka (Mwinilunga East) asked the Minister of Defence:

(a) what the current status of the Zambia National Service  (ZNS) Emerald Mine in the Copperbelt Province was;

(b) how much, in US  dollars, had been invested in the mine ; and

(c) how much revenue had been realised from inception to date.

The Deputy Minister of Defence (Dr Kazonga): Madam Speaker, the Emerald Mine which is wholly owned by the Zambia National Service (ZNS) is currently at the exploration stage.

No capital funding has been injected in the mine since its inception. The mine has not yet started production, hence, no revenue has been realised.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mubika: Quality!

Mr Katuka: Madam Speaker, I am aware that prospecting of a mine takes two years. When did the licence for prospecting of this mine begin and when will it end?

Dr Kazonga: Madam Speaker, this process takes a long time.

Hon. Government Member: Yes!

Dr Kazonga: The Government is, indeed, committed that this can, actually, result into a very good industry. Looking at the major constraints that this particular mine has been facing, we have already identified one critical element which is that of equipment. The Government is addressing the issue of equipment so that it can start production. We know that it is possible for this particular mine to produce results which, in turn, can assist the defence forces.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Madam Speaker, I had the privilege of visiting this mine on the Copperbelt and I find it very hard to agree with the hon. Minister when he says that there has been no capital spent on this mine and no production is going on. When I visited this mine, I found the green equipment from ZNS digging at that mine. There is a big hole at that mine. My concern was that there was not enough technical input in that mine because the mine …

Madam Deputy Speaker: You are now debating!

Mr Simuusa: My question is, can the hon. Minister be truthful and tell the House what the problem is at that mine and why are we not producing emeralds after we have committed equipment and there is, actually, activity going on at that mine?

Dr Kazonga: Madam Speaker, the ministry and the ZNS have thoroughly analysed this particular issue. I wish to emphasise the fact that the major problem at that mine is that of appropriate equipment. The aspect of human resource is in place. However, the major problem is equipment. For example, equipment for core drilling is not there. Right now, as a starting point, they are improvising by using equipment that is meant for road construction. That is a limitation on its own. That is why we are saying the major limitation is known and it is that of equipment. Therefore, with the Government’s commitment, we know that we can address this particular issue. We are committed to going into production with funds being available.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.{mospagebreak}




The Deputy Chairperson: When business was suspended the House was considering Question 314 on the Order Paper and the hon. Deputy Minister of Defence (Dr Kazonga) had just finished answering a follow-up question raised by the hon. Member for Nchanga (Mr Simuusa). We now move on to the next question. However, before we do that, I have an announcement to make.

Hon. Members, I wish to inform the House that owing to the ill disposed condition of the hon. Member for Chililabombwe Parliamentary Constituency, Mrs E. M. Banda, MP, I have allowed her to come into the Chamber in slippers.

Thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Government Member: Poverty!


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


315. Mr Mukanga asked the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development:

(a) how many expatriate workers had left employment in the mines from October, 2008 to-date, mine by mine;

(b) what measures each mining company had taken to reduce or prevent job losses resulting from the global recession; and

(c) what incentives the Government had provided for the mining companies to prevent high human resource turnover.

The Deputy Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr Nkhata): Mr Speaker, a total of 408 expatriate workers left employment in the mines from October, 2008 to date as follows:

         Name of Company   Number of Expatriates

Luanshya Copper Mines Plc   13

NFC Africa Mining Plc     3

Konkola Copper Mines Plc   33

Mopani Copper Mines Plc   37

Bwana Mkubwa     5

Kansanshi Mining Plc   10

Lumwana Mining Company 307

Total  408

The measures taken by each mining company to reduce or prevent job losses are as follows:

(a) Luanshya Copper Mines Plc

There were no measures taken as the company was placed under care and maintenance. The company has resumed operations and plans to recruit 1,700 employees by the end of 2009.

(b) NFC A – Chambishi Mine

There were no measures taken as the company intends to ramp up production to 50,000 tonnes. The teams for underground extraction and tunnelling will actually be beefed up.

(c) Konkola Copper Mines Plc

The company has mounted an aggressive campaign to reduce the cost of production and increase production and productivity.

(d) Bwana Mkubwa

There were no measures taken as the company has been placed under care and maintenance.

(e) Mopani Copper Mines Plc

The company has mounted an aggressive campaign to reduce the cost of production and increase production and productivity.

(f) Kansanshi Mining Plc

The company moved from two to three shifts by:

(i) adjusting operating plans to achieve better efficiencies; and

(ii) optimised human resource base and redeployed staff.

(g) Lumwana Mining Company

The company has not taken any measures to prevent job losses because the company is presently ramping up production after successfully commissioning the mine in December 2008. The 307 expatriate workers who left the company were engaged in construction works. The company has retained the entire Zambian workforce and recruited more.

Mr Speaker, as regards part (c) of the question, with regard to incentives provided for the mining companies, the Government, through the 2009 National Budget, provided for the following:

(a) the removal of windfall tax;

(b) increase of capital allowance to 100 per cent;

(c) reduction of duty on heavy fuel oils from 30 per cent to 15 per cent ; and

(d) removal of customs duty on imported copper and cobalt concentrates, copper powder, copper flakes and copper blisters for procession in Zambia.

Mr Speaker, these measures are expected to reduce production costs of mining companies and enable them remain profitable.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out what mechanism the Government has put in place to monitor the incentives which they provided for the locals other than the foreigners.

The Minister for Presidential Affairs (Mr Mukuma) (on behalf of the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr Mwale)): Mr Speaker, the mines are being encouraged to engage or take up their own corporate responsibilities and that is to identify themselves with the community and take up some community work that will help and benefit the communities around the mining areas. In addition to that, preference is being given to the Zambian workers by encouraging the mines to come up with very progressive training programmes and also clear progression radars for all the Zambians. So, it is our sincere hope that the incentives that we have given to the mines will certainly benefit the locals more than the foreign workers.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, there has been a problem of expatriates getting five times more than the salary of their Zambian counterparts and we have been assured, in this House, that the Government is going to resolve this problem.  When the hon. Minister who has answered this question was hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security, he promised that this issue would be resolved. May I know what the Government has done, so far, to sort out this mess?

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, indeed, there are disparities in salaries between the local and the expatriate staff. There are other things that should be taken into account and education and experience are some of them. However, what the Government has done is and, in fact, this is not only true to the mining sector, but to all other companies in other sectors …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Can we consult quietly so that the hon. Minister can be heard?

Mr Mukuma: I thank you, Mr Speaker, for that protection. One of the measures that the Government is taking now is to revise the labour laws and to make it clear that there should be equal pay for equal work in all places of work irrespective of colour or religion. Once that is put in place, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security will move in to ensure that all the people doing equal work, whether expatriate or Zambian should be receiving the same conditions and salaries. That measure is only delayed because the Employment Act has not been amended yet, but that is one of the amendments which will feature in the Act.

Mr Speaker, the labour laws also prohibit discrimination of any form at places of work and so there are really a lot of measures being put in place to ensure that the discrimination at places work is not continued. The Ministry of Labour and Social Security in conjunction with the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development will constantly monitor not only to ensure that there is equality, but that there are also equal promotions made available to the Zambian workforce.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): Mr Speaker, some mining companies came up with the concept of profit sharing. May I know what has happened to this concept because it seems it has died a natural death?

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, I can only guess that the idea is not dead, but probably temporarily shelved because of the economic melt down that we are experiencing. However, we are hopeful that when things become normal, such schemes will again be revived.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mwansa (Chifunabuli): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister alluded to the fact that the ministry and the Government, in general, are encouraging corporate bodies to undertake social programmes and responsibilities within their areas of operation. Is there a way by which the Government, during the negotiations with these industries, could ensure that, within the framework of the agreements, certain social responsibilities that industries should have towards the people of this country are included.

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, there are certain social responsibilities like, road maintenance, the provision of hospital facilities and schools, which are standard, the mining companies are expected to engage themselves in. The hon. Member may also wish to know that there is what we call the mining trust. This fund is created for the mining companies to contribute and it is meant to be used for the community facilities in the areas where the mines are. So, that requirement which the hon. Member has mentioned is already taken care of.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


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

(a) what the financial status of ZESCO Limited was as of 31st December, 2008;

(b) what the future development plans for the company were; and

(c) whether ZESCO Limited declared any dividends in the 2008 financial year and, if so, how much.

The Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Mbewe): Mr Speaker, the company’s turnover in the first nine months of the year was K915 billion against a budget of K916 billion. A profit of K11 billion was recorded after an exchange loss of K188 billion, arising out of massive depreciation of the kwacha against the US dollar in the later part of this period.

Mr Speaker, as at 31st December 2008, the company had positive cash of K155.6 billion and total overdraft facilities of K65.6 billion and, therefore, a net cash flow of K90 billion.

Mr Speaker, with regard to part (b) of the question, the future development plan for the company is to reduce debt owed to the company in the tune of K490 billion by various customers, as well as reinvest its profits in customer expansion.

Mr Speaker, in terms of consumption, ZESCO has embarked on the expansion of the Kariba-North Bank Power Station, 360 mega watts (MW) and construction of  the 120 MW Itezhi-tezhi Power Station.

In terms of transmission, ZESCO is part of the Zimbabwe/Zambia/Botswana and Namibia project which aims to improve security of supply in the region. ZESCO is also embarking on the Itezhi-tezhi/Mumbwa/Kafue West line to support the Itezhi-tezhi Project. Other transmission developments in the medium to long term include the Solwezi/Kolwezi line and Zambia/Tanzania/Kenya inter-connector.

ZESCO has further embarked on an expansion programme to improve the quality of service to its customers. Some of the projects, among others, include Lusaka – 132 KV ring upgrade of Coventry Street sub station, upgrade of Roma Sub-station, Mapepe 88 – 132/33 KV substation upgrade.

Mr Speaker, with regard to part (c) of the question, ZESCO did not declare dividends to the Government in the years 2007/08. The company’s focus was on completion of the Power Rehabilitation Project by using whatever resources available.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr D. Mwila: Madam Speaker, the Deputy Minister has just informed us that ZESCO has a debt of K490 billion and it made a loss of K188 billion in 2008, which means that the financial position of the company is not good. Would the hon. Minister indicate to this House whether, after ZESCO increased the electricity tariffs, we expect any improvement on the financial position of the company?

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, yes, I can confirm that the company’s financial position will improve after the announced tariff adjustment of the average of 35 per cent by the Energy Regulation Board (ERB). This is because before the company requests for tariff adjustment, they make known of their cash requirements. So, yes, I can confirm that the company will improve its financial position because, among others, ERB has just directed the company to reduce its operative costs.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mushili (Ndola Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has just said that if the Government grants ZESCO the high tariffs, it is going to improve its financial status. This is a company which is so careless that at the end of 2008 it had a debt of K154 billion and an over draft of K65 billion.

The Deputy Chairperson: What is your question, hon. Member?

Mr Mushili: Mr Speaker, is ZESCO management competent enough to manage the taxpayers’ money when it can allow an overdraft of K65 billion when it had, in fact, K154 billion in the account? What led this inefficient and incompetent company to have such an overdraft?

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, it is normal business practice even if you have cash in your account, you can still have overdraft facilities.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, I would like the hon. Minister to explain further part (b) of Question 316. He indicated that Itezhi-tezhi Power Station is one of those developments that he anticipates to see ZESCO undertake. What is the current status with your partner at TATA? Have they managed to get their counterpart funds in order for you, through ZESCO, to engage into this project because, to date, there is nothing going on at Itezhi-tezhi?

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, I can confirm that the partner that ZESCO has engaged to develop the Itezhi-tezhi Power Station is going to bring forth their 50 per cent of the required money to develop the power station. What might appear to cause the delay is that by law when you engage in a project like this one which involves international competitive bidding, a lot of work is put in before various consultants are assembled. That is what could have caused the delay in implementing this project but, now, I think that stage has been overcome and the project is moving on course.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisala (Chilubi): Mr Speaker, in 2007 and 2008, some ZESCO workers in Chilubi and Samfya Districts were issuing fake receipts to customers. Notwithstanding this, ZESCO has threatened to disconnect these people. These customers have now …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! You are making your introductory remarks too long. Just ask your question.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, now that these customers are threatening to take legal action against ZESCO, does the Government intend to intervene so that the company does not lose out?

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, the Government is not aware that false receipts we given to ZESCO customers in the said area. I would be very grateful if the hon. Member can bring that information to my office so that we can take up that issue with law enforcement agencies. Of course, members of the public who feel that they have not been treated in accordance with the ZESCO customer charter are free to take up that issue especially with the ERB, which is the regulator in the sector, so that those concerns are addressed.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Matongo started talking without switching his microphone on.

Hon. Government Members: Switch on your microphone.

Mr Matongo turned on his microphone.

Mr Matongo (Pemba): Can the deaf hear me now?


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! The fact that they have asked you to switch on your microphone does not justify you calling them deaf. They were just reminding you to turn it on.

You may continue.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Matongo: I can react to that but I will just apologise for calling them deaf. I think the issue of ZESCO should be looked at in a more cogent and serious manner than this country is doing. In my view, there is no way we can …


Mr Matongo: It is a question. We cannot expect ZESCO to perform any better without additional investment into the company and I think that is the main issue. Now, with the 35 per cent tariff rate increase that we have just agreed on, we cannot expect ZESCO to make returns on investment.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Ask you question.

Mr Matongo: Against that background, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what is being done to raise ZESCO tariffs to reasonable rates in order to recapitalise the company so that our children can enjoy better ZESCO facilities.

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Pemba for that question. Presently, ZESCO is 100 per cent owned by the Government. Nonetheless, ZESCO strives to manage its financial affairs and ensure that the company is run profitably. In order to achieve this, among other measures, ZESCO applied to the ERB for a tariff adjustment of 66 per cent. As I explained in response to an earlier question, ERB looked at ZESCO’s annual cash requirement for operations. Hence, the ERB deemed it appropriate to adjust customer tariffs by 35 per cent in order for ZESCO to manage its affairs for the 2009 to 2010 financial year. Of course, being the sole shareholder, the Government will also find ways of recapitalising the company.

The House may also wish to know that in the 2008 to 2009 financial year, the Government made US$50 million available to ZESCO as part of its recapitalisation efforts.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chongo (Mwense): Mr Speaker, an increase in generation output and tariff charges will not be solutions to ZESCO’s problems as long as customer obligation to pay bills stands at less than 60 per cent. What is the ministry doing to ensure that the efficiency in the collection of bills is improved so that faithful customers are not inconvenienced? The customers that always pay should subsidise those that fail to do so.

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, I am grateful for that question. ZESCO has embarked on installing pre-paid meters on all of its customers’ premises. This is one way in which the company hopes to reduce the debt that customers owe it because customers will now be responsible for managing the energy use at their premises. This means that electricity at customers’ premises will only be available when units, which will be equivalent to the energy to be used, are purchased. Energy supply will automatically cut off when the units expire.

Therefore, we hope that customers who are inconvenienced by those that do not pay will be saved through this measure embarked on by ZESCO. Customers will now be responsible for energy management at their premises.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Kasongo (Bangweulu): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that one of the best ways to improve the financial status of ZESCO is to increase its customer base and that this can only be achieved if the Government decides to attract direct foreign invest? If he is aware, when is the Government, through the Ministry of Energy and Water Development and other ministries, going to explore that avenue or window of opportunity?

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Bangweulu for that question. It is true that the current customer base for ZESCO is quite low. Only 25 per cent of the total population in the country has access to electricity. The idea is to increase this access rate to more than 50 per cent of the rural population and 95 per cent of the urban population. Now, to achieve this, we will need to make energy available to all the customers.

The current levels of generation are low and because of this, ZESCO is unable to provide electricity to all customers even if it wanted to do so because it will result in massive load shedding.

In order to attract investment in the electricity sector, ZESCO had to apply to the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) for an increase in tariffs because most potential investors are unwilling to invest in the sector that cannot repay them if they invest in power generation. They will also not be able to equip that investment in the period that they should do so.

Some of the efforts that ZESCO undertook to redress this was to ask for tariff adjustments so that progressively, the company can move to tariffs that will not only generate enough cash for it, but also be interesting enough for potential investors in the generation of power. When more money is invested in the power generation sector, there will be enough energy to go round the country. This will allow ZESCO to increase its access rates to 50 per cent of the rural population and 95 per cent of the urban population by the year 2030.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


317. Mr Mwansa asked the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development:

(a) when mineral explorations would be carried out in Samfya and Luwingu districts; and

(b) what measures the ministry had taken to ensure that the local people in areas with mineral deposits were enabled to own the mineral rights.

Mr Nkhata: Mr Speaker, my ministry has no immediate plans to carry out mineral exploration in Luwingu district. However, part of the area, Kalaba in Samfya, on 1129 North West quarter degree sheet has been partially geologically mapped by my ministry through the Geological Survey Department. The report and maps will be compiled after completing the mapping of the quarter degree sheet.

The petroleum exploration in 2008, for oil and gas, using microbial prospecting for oil and gas techniques also covered parts of Samfya District.

As regards part (b) of the question, my ministry has taken the following measures:

(i) under the Mines and Minerals Development Act 2008, artisan and small-scale mining ranks are exclusively for Zambian citizens;

(ii) provision of extension services through the regional mining bureau which assists local people in the development of mines;

(iii) Zambian mining companies are encouraged to access direct foreign investment to exploit industrial minerals; and

(iv) The current Mines and Minerals Development Act, 2008 allows for would be small-scale miners to apply for small-scale and artisan mining rights within existing large-scale mining and prospecting licenses as long as consent is given by the mining rights holders. A number of such licenses have been issued across the country.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chongo (Mwense): Mr Speaker, would I know from the hon. Minister since he has alluded to the fact that artisan mining licenses are issued …

Mr Matongo: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Matongo: Mr Speaker, I sincerely apologise to my brother who was on the Floor. Be that as it may, I have a point of order of public interest.

The distribution of funds for Recurrent Departmental Charges (RDCs) as they are known in Government and, indeed, project funding in the budget year, 2009, particularly, in the months of May, June and July, have been very sluggish to a point of crippling operations in some government departments, provinces and districts, and to some extent, here in Lusaka. In fact, some hospitals have cut meals to two instead of three. Mbereshi Mission Hospital is one such hospital and there are others in Choma District.

We would like to know what the problem is regarding the distribution of project funding and timely distribution of the budgeted for RDCs for government departments to operate efficiently. I have not heard from my good friend, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, who is sitting there very comfortably and satisfied with himself, an explanation as to what difficulties he is facing in funding ministries, departments and others. Would he, please, give us a ministerial statement to explain the circumstances so that we assist the Government in explaining some of the difficulties? Is he in order to keep quiet and sit there comfortably without telling us why money is not flowing to the departments?

I really do not ask for frivolous points of order, but I need a very serious ruling directing this hon. Minister …

The Deputy Chairperson: You have asked your point of order.

Hon. Members, it is clear that we, presiding officers, have the responsibility to remind you that much as some of these points of order are important like the one you have raised, we want to encourage hon. Members to abide by our own rules. It was only the day before yesterday that I stated that points of order should be relevant to the issue under discussion. It must be on procedure and decorum. Like I have said, important as that point of order is, I think we have had several similar incidents in here. The latest was the one raised on Tuesday where I had asked the hon. Member for Monze Central to put it in writing. Similarly, can you, hon. Member, put your question in writing?

May the hon. Member continue?

Mr Chongo: … to mining right holders, when is the ministry going to stop giving out large chunks of land for large-scale prospecting to people if they cannot, themselves, do the job adequately? Why should you subject the people of Zambia to begging? You are giving out large chunks of land in a seemingly corrupt manner.

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, to start with, I wish to state very clearly that there are no mining licences that are corruptly issued out. The issuance of mining licences…

Mr Mushili: Question!

Mr Mukuma: … is done following the procedures.

Mr Speaker, the mining industry itself involves substantial investments. One must have money in order to invest in mineral exploration for many years for him or her to recover what has been invested.  As such, a very large area will be needed for exploration and then, subsequently, mining. Therefore, we give land according to the needs of an investor. If the investor is coming in with a lot of millions of dollars to invest in an identified area which he wants to explore, we do give them with that consideration in mind. However, when we give the investor a prospecting license, it does not mean that the land has already been acquired. We have to wait until he agrees that he wants to mine.

Now, in the meantime, if somebody else say a small-scale miner has identified minerals other than the mineral that the holder of the rights of that mine has got, say for instance, if somebody has applied for copper and a small-scale miner has identified maybe emerald, he can apply to the rights holder to allow him to mine emerald even if that land is covered by his rights which were given to him by the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development. We do not, first of all, give the land corruptly, we give land taking into considering that the investors need to invest a lot of money for so many years so that they recover it from that particular mineral exploration.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simuusa: Sir, it is a known fact that the operations on the ground that the hon. Minister has talked about do not work because the holders of these large-scale operating licenses actually refuse and in most cases, they are foreigners, to allow Zambians with smaller interests to actually mine. In fact, even the chiefs are involved. What is the Government doing to compel the large-scale investors, mostly foreigners, to allow the small-scale local people to take part in mining exploration activities?

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that follow up question. There is a law stating that if the holder or owner of that land who has been given the rights to explore has not accepted to allow the small-scale miners to exploit the minerals that they have identified on his land and ninety days lapses, then the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development moves in and compulsorily issues the rights to that small-scale miner to start mining in that area. The other issue is that we have not sensitised the community enough for it to know that there is such a standing regulation. I hope that we will do our best as a ministry to sensitise the people so that everyone is aware that there is such a requirement.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chanda: Sir, I am happy that the hon. Minister has alluded to that issue. I will ask a very specific question. In one of the areas in my constituency, the area under question was given to Mopani Copper Mines Plc. After doing what they did, they said that it was not viable for them as a big company to continue working in that area. When is the ministry going to persuade Mopani Copper Mines Plc to give up that area to small-scale miners?

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, I do not know whether the hon. Member wants to know whether Mopani Copper Mines Plc is surrendering the land or whether it will allow the small-scale miners to mine there because in my view, the miners can start their mining even when Mopani Copper Mines Plc has not surrendered that land in accordance to the standing rule that I have mentioned.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Opposition Members: Ah!

Mrs Banda (Chililabombwe): Mr Speaker, I just want to find out from the hon. Minister if the ministry monitors the companies which come in for exploration because I have seen some small-scale companies such as Caledonia Mining Corporation in Chililabombwe which is mining in the name of exploration.

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, all those who come into this country to explore are required to submit their exploration reports and so the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development monitors them in that way. In addition, we have our field officers who actually follow these companies wherever they are. We are indeed monitoring and we know what progress each company that applied for exploration rights is making.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, what happens in cases where the large-scale miners have refused to give rights to the small-scale miners in their area? Have you had cases in the past where certain action has been taken?

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, obviously, the large-scale miner will refuse if he or she is interested in the same mineral, but if one wants to mine another mineral which he or she has not applied for, there is no restriction. You can mine and if there are such cases, please, bring them to the attention of the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development so that appropriate action is taken.

I thank you, Sir.

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

Mr Nsanda (Chimwemwe): Mr Speaker, does the Government know the difference between exploration and mining? All the people they have given exploration licences are busy mining copper ore and exporting it.

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development is fully aware of the difference between mining and exploration. We also know that when you are conducting exploration activities, there is a bit of finding out whether it is the right mineral that you have underground. After discovering exactly what is underground, that is when they come to report. However, if a particular applicant has engaged in full scale operations without the ministry knowing, then it is a case. Please, if there are such cases, I request you to report them to the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mushili: Mr Speaker, the current system of procuring mining licences is cumbersome, especially for the local potential investors. Does the Government have a deliberate plan to revisit the system of issuing licences to the local potential miners because the current one is cumbersome and favours foreign large-scale miners?

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, at the moment, the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development is carrying out an assessment of the impact of the 2008 Act on the mining sector. This is not only for the large-scale miners but small-scale miners as well. We are monitoring just to assess its impact and responsiveness to the current needs. One of the areas that have been identified for review is the requirement of the small-scale miners to acquire licences. Yes, that particular problem is now under review and we hope that recommendations will soon come to the ministry for appropriate action.

I thank you, Sir.


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

(a) when the clinic at Chiboko in Kanchibiya Parliamentary Constituency would be operational; and

(b) when medical personnel would be posted to the clinic.

Mr Akakandelwa: Mr Speaker, the health post at Chinkobo in Kanchibiya Parliamentary Constituency became operational in July, 2009.

The ministry has posted a male Zambia Enrolled Midwife (ZEM) to the health post and other staff will be posted in due course. I must add that the hon. Member has confirmed the status I have just reported.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwango: Mr Speaker, a male nurse cannot work alone. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister when they are going to post support staff at the clinic.

Mr Akakandelwa: Mr Speaker, I indicated that support staff would be posted in due course and that was contained in my reply.

I thank you, Sir.


319. Mr Malama asked the Minister of Home Affairs when national registration cards (NRCs) would be issued to eligible citizens in the following areas in Mfuwe Parliamentary Constituency:

(a) Changalilo;
(b) Mukungule;
(c) Katibunga;
(d) Mpamazi;
(e) Mabonga;
(f) Kamwendo; and 
(g) Chishala.

Mr Bonshe: Mr Speaker, issuance of NRCs is ongoing at all district registration offices. Areas that are far from the offices will be covered by the Mobile Registration Exercise.

The House may wish to know that the Mobile Registration Exercise commenced in June this year covering three provinces; Eastern, North-Western and Western. Phase 2 of the exercise will commence in September and will cover the remaining provinces.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Malama: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether he is aware that less than 100 citizens have NRCs at Kamwendo Community. Since the hon. Minister has just stated that it is an on-going exercise, may I find out why the NRC officers have not reached this place? This is a very big community which has a school and a polling station.

Mr Bonshe: Mr Speaker, as I stated earlier, the National Registration Office is there in the district. Those who are eager can travel. We have also indicated that a Mobile Registration Exercise is going to reach those areas, but those that are able can go to the National Registration Office.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Mr Speaker, in many parts of Southern …

Mr Magande: You do not come from Southern Province.

Mr Lubinda: … Luapula and Northern provinces, during the last exercise, in 2006, many of our citizens who were eligible for obtaining NRCs complained that they were left out on the premise that registration officers claimed that their stationery ran out before they completed the exercise.

The Deputy Chairperson: What is your question?

Mr Lubinda: Sir, could the hon. Minister assure this House, and the nation at large, that this time around, the registration officers will not go out of these provinces before they finish registering all eligible citizens as a way of preparing themselves to rig elections?

The Deputy Chairperson: You see, sometimes, we become liberal by allowing questions that are outside the main question but, sometimes, the presiding officers get a bit worried when they end up with a question of that nature. It becomes difficult for one to answer.  Anyway, I will allow the hon.  Minister to respond to that question.

The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Mangani): Mr Speaker, as we have already indicated, the issuance of NRCs in all district offices is still ongoing. However, we recognise that areas such as the ones indicated on the Order Paper are very far from the district offices, hence, the need to use the Mobile Registration Exercise. In fact, we have to start from somewhere. We are also committed to ensuring that we cover even areas that have not been mentioned.

With regard to the issue of stationery, we are committed to ensuring that these places have enough equipment and materials to complete the exercise.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister stated that there is a Mobile Registration Exercise for Eastern, North-Western and Western provinces. Given the situation that the team that he sent to North-Western Province, and Zambezi West in particular, fails to carry out that exercise because the streams are still flooded …

Mr Magande: Remove the water.

Mr Kakoma: … and the people are left out of that exercise, may I know what the hon. Minister will do to ensure that people left out of the this exercise get their NRCs and are not disfranchised because of failure by this Government to give them NRCs?

Mr Mangani: Mr Speaker, as you know, this exercise was supposed to end in your province by 1st August but we have decided to extend it a bit to accommodate some of the people that could not have been covered during that time. Your role is to encourage people to go and register. I know that by September, the streams could be dry. Therefore, you should encourage the people to go and register.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, I am a little bit worried about the language of exercises. The law covering national registration is forty-five years old. It makes it a legal obligation on every sixteen year old Zambian to have a national registration card. It is routine…

The Deputy Chairperson: What is your question, hon. Member?

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, why do we have to treat this issue as if it were a special exercise now and then? Why is the ministry not routinely registering sixteen year old Zambians and arresting anybody older than sixteen who has not got a national registration card, in accordance with the law?


The Deputy Chairperson: I think we will move on to the next question.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


320. Mr Chisala asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing:

(a) how much money was given to Luwingu District Council by Irish Aid in the 2009 financial year;

(b) for what programmes the money was provided;

(c) whether there had been an audit of the money; and

(d) what the results of the audit were.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Dr Puma): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that no money was given to Luwingu District in 2009 by Irish Aid. The fact that no money was given to the district means that there was no programme, hence, there was no audit. Therefore, this question does not arise.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, Luwingu is one of the districts which were earmarked for funding by the donor in question, last year. May I know why funds were no released?

Dr Puma: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member asked how much money was given to Luwingu in 2009 and we have said that no money was given. If he wanted to know what happened last year, he could have asked such a question and we could have given an appropriate answer.

I thank you, Sir.


321. Mr Mushili asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing when Ndola City Council and other local authorities would be equipped with road maintenance machinery to enable them maintain roads in their localities.

Dr Puma: Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that the Government has plans to equip all councils with road maintenance equipment. The Government has started the process of procuring road maintenance equipment and, so far, a number of equipment has been procured by the Ministry of Works and Supply and distributed to all provincial centres.

Sir, this equipment is available for use by the local authorities as and when need arises.

I thank you, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: The hon. Minister for Ndola.

Mr Mushili: Mr Speaker, I am not yet a hon. Minister. Anyway, thank you very much for that.


Mr Mushili: Mr Speaker, how much saving will this Government make as a consequence of the road maintenance equipment procured by the Ministry of Local Government and Housing for the work done per kilometre in view of the unjustified costs that this Government continues to pay despite my advice early this year that this Government walks or drives the neighbouring countries…

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Your question is too loaded. I think the hon. Minister got your question.


Dr Puma: Mr Speaker, the maintenance of roads has been done through the Road Development Agency (RDA). They are the people who know the cost of maintenance and, so, I request the hon. Member to direct that question to the Ministry of Works and Supply.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, we are informed that it costs us about US $1 million to work on 1km of a bituminous road. Is that cost real? Has our Government gone around the neighbouring countries to find out exactly how much the other countries are paying for this?

Dr Puma: Mr Speaker, that question should also be directed to the Ministry of Works and Supply.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, in answering this question, the hon. Minister made reference to the fact that the Government has procured road maintenance equipment and distributed it to provincial headquarters. The question was to do with local authorities. Therefore, can I find out from the hon. Minister what administrative arrangements have been put in place to ensure that provincial offices that are holding this equipment will release it in accordance with the plans and desires of local authorities and their councillors?

Dr Puma: Mr Speaker, whilst the machinery has been given to the provinces, the provinces are looking after all the local authorities in that particular area. The works that they are going to do with this equipment will depend on the availability of funds. The hon. Members will recall that early this year, we had allocated funds for this equipment to be maintained. I think it was about K2 billion for each province to ensure that this equipment is put to good use. Depending on how big the province is, that will determine how many roads will be done.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Nsanda: Mr Speaker, we were earlier told that this Government has already procured these machines from China.  Since I completed school, I have been working in open pits. Therefore, what measures have been put in place to make sure that these machines are maintained because after one week, they need vigorous maintenance? I am saying so because the councils have already sold their workshops to different individuals.

Dr Puma: Mr Speaker, it is very important that these machines are looked after well and we need to make sure that they are well serviced. The Government is doing everything possible to ensure that these machines are serviced and in good working condition.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, the amount of money available for this equipment at provincial level is K8 billion per province. Therefore, why has the Ministry of Local Government and Housing not utilised the engineering squad of the Zambia National Service to maintain these roads in order for them to cut down on maintenance costs?

Dr Puma: Mr Speaker, in certain situations, the Zambia National Service has been used to work on the roads. As at now, since we have the equipment available in the province and funds allocated, we are making use of the equipment that is in our custody.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


322. Mr Mwenya (Nkana) asked the Minister of Science, Technology and Vocational Training when the Government would take over the running of the former Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Trades Centre in Kitwe.

The Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Vocational Training (Mr Imasiku): Mr Speaker, currently, the Government has no intentions of taking over the running of the Trades Training Centre in Kitwe.

The former Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM) Trades Training Centre in Kitwe is owned and run by KCM and is currently offering free training exclusively to KCM employees. We have no reason to believe that the ownership of the institution is likely to change soon. It is the policy of the Government to encourage private ownership of training institutions to complement training offered by public institutions.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mwenya: Mr Speaker, I always have a problem with this Government. It was only last year when I raised a question over the same institution after we heard that KCM had intentions of removing equipment from that training institution and take it to Chingola. The then hon. Minister responded that the institution would be handed over to the Government. I would like the hon. Minister to tell this House what his ministry is doing to ensure that the equipment is not removed from that institution and taken elsewhere.

Mr Imasiku: Mr Speaker, what we are aware of is that KCM wants to commercialise training at this institution. This means that they have no intentions of removing any equipment.  The information given by the hon. Member is not available to us. Should it be made available, we will cross the river when we get there.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


323. Mr Kakoma asked the Minister of Works and Supply:

(a) how much money was required to complete the tarring of the Mutanda-Chavuma Road;

(b) how much money was owed to Belga, the contractor tarring the road, as of 28th February, 2009;

(c) when the tarring of the road would be completed; and

(d) what measures had been taken to speed up the tarring of the road.


The Deputy Chairman: Order! We are not listening. Somebody has asked a question and we want to hear the answer.

You may continue, hon. Minister.

The Deputy Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Ndalamei): Mr Speaker, the 103 kilometres between Mutanda and Kasempa Turn-off was upgraded to bitumen standard in 1999. The 227 kilometres section between Kasempa turn off and Kabompo is currently being upgraded to bitumen standard at a cost of US$ 47million. The estimated cost for upgrading the remaining 235 kilometres between Kabompo and Chavuma is K705 billion.

Mr Speaker, as at 28th February 2009, the contractor, Belga Construction Company, was not owed anything in outstanding unpaid certificates. However, as of today, the contractor is owed US$2,262,321.10.

The current contract for upgrading the road up to Kabompo is expected to be completed by May 2011. It may take a further four to five years to complete the upgrading of the road to Chavuma, subject to availability of funds.

Finally, Mr Speaker, the only solution is to allocate more funds to the project. Though desirable, it is difficult to ensure allocation of the same because of limited resources.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Kakoma did not indicate.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! I think that you should really be anticipating. Once the hon. Minister has finished answering, we look out to see whether you want to make a follow-up question. In this case, I think that the hon. Member for Zambezi West took a little too long to indicate that he wanted to speak and I thought that he did not have a follow-up question. However, you have your follow-up question.

Mr Kakoma: Mr Speaker, given that the remaining portion of the road between Kabompo and Chavuma has not yet had a feasibility study done, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister when it will be done and how much it will cost. Further, I would like to know if the road would be done if money were available at the moment.

The Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Mulongoti): Mr Speaker, if it will take four to five years to do the road, surely, there is sufficient time in which to do the feasibility study. With the current technology, it is possible for consultants to go ahead of the contractor doing the feasibility. This is being done elsewhere. So, there are no difficulties with that.

Mr Speaker, funds permitting, it will be done. However, we have a four to five-year period to work. We do, therefore, have sufficient time to prepare for this.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Major Chizhyuka (Namwala): Mr Speaker, I just want to ask the hon. Minister who enjoys my salute…


Major Chizhyuka:… and misses it.  Hon. Minister, are you aware that, in fact, two thirds of Zambia’s copper, as from next year and beyond, is going to come from North-Western Province? This means that North-Western Province will be contributing, given that copper is …

The Deputy Chairman: Order! General or hon. Member for Namwala, I know that you are really capable of coming to a question straight away. You do not have to debate. Can you quickly ask your question?

Major Chizhyuka: I wanted to bring certain facts …

The Deputy Chairman: No. What is your question?

Major Chizhyuka: Are we going to allow the people of North-Western Province…

Hon. Government Member: The indigenous people of North-Western Province.

Major Chizhyuka: The indigenous people of North-Western Province…


Major Chizhyuka: …to continue, year in and year out, to ask for the Mutanda/Chavuma, now the Kabompo/ Chavuma Road to be done, when they are contributing, as a province, in excess of 45 per cent to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP)? Given the rise in their contribution by way of copper mining, will this Government, in which you are hon. Minister, continue to deprive them of a good road?
The Deputy Chairman: Order! I think that the question is clear.

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member who was referred to as a General did not deny it. You are not a General, but a Major.


Mr Mulongoti: Retired.


The Deputy Chairman: Order! Hon. Minister, do not engage in that discussion. Give us your answer.

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, our response alluded to the fact that part of that road was done in 1999. That time, there was no copper being mined in the province. It was done because we believed that Zambia was a unitary State. Therefore, the question of whether a province produces copper or not does not arise when looking at the development of this country. We have an equalisation formula. Those who are deprived must persist to develop as well. We are committed.

Mr Speaker, let me say that depending on the time of the year, the contractor is able to tar 400 metres per month in the dry season and bout 200 metres in the rainy season. It is a slow process. Therefore, if you look at the distances that we are talking about, from Kabompo to Chavuma, it is quite a long distance. We are conscious of the fact that the little resources that are available must be made available also to make it possible for other people in other provinces to benefit.


The Deputy Chairperson: We do not seem to be listening. It appears that we are not interested, but I can see that the hon. Member for Namwala wants to listen except that others are disturbing him.

Can the hon. Minister, please, continue.

Mr Mulongoti: Therefore, to answer your question, Major, be assured that we have the interest of North-Western Province at heart. Apart from that, the party which I belong to has got a lot support there. Therefore, we do not want to lose that support.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, would it not be better that this Government looks at its formula for equalisation, if it will not spend money on roads that will bring more money to the country and have a multiplicity effect? Would it, also, not be better to spend money on roads that will increase your GDP rather than overlook this simply because you want to continue with your formula of equalisation? I find that very difficult to understand. Please, can the hon. Minister of Works and Supply help me understand that?

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member is inciting the Government to be discriminatory which I do not think is appropriate. 

Hon. Government Members: Yes! 

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, North-Western Province does not only deserve a road, but also a rail line. Therefore, we are looking at various ways of making it possible for the copper to move. Therefore, our concentration is both in the road sector and the rail line. I can, therefore, assure you that we will not abandon the equalisation formula because we believe that we must carry every part of Zambia as we develop. So, if that formula is difficult to understand, I appreciate because your time has not come to rule, but we will carry it on our part.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.



324. Mr D. Mwila asked the Minister of Health:

(a) when the construction of Musonda Falls Rural health Centre in Chipili Parliamentary Constituency would be completed;

(b) how much money had so far been spent on the project and how much it would cost on completion;

(c) why the project had taken long to complete and whether the contractor was working within the scheduled contract period and; and

(d) when the construction of the planned staff houses would begin.

Mr Akakandelwa: Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the construction of Musonda Health Centre has been completed. The building was handed over to the District Health Management Team on 13th March, 2009.

The total cost of constructing the rural health Centre is K311,940,601. So far, a total sum of K193,520,012 has been spent. The balance of K118,420,589 is yet to be paid to the contractor this year.

Mr Speaker, three are a number of reasons why the project has taken long to complete. The prominent ones are:

(a) initially, the project was funded for construction of a health post, but due    to the high population in the area and long distances to the nearest health facilities, the District Health Management Team, in consultation with the community, decided to construct a rural health centre. Under this agreement, the community undertook to provide bricks, sand and stones which they did not honour. The cost was transferred to the District Health Management Team (DHMT);

(b)  there were some extra works on he construction of the substructure due to poor soil formation in the area. This inevitably required variation to the Bill of Quantities (BOQ). This required that the works be re-tendered which contributed to delays in completing the project; and

( c) generally, the BOQs which where done by the Provincial Buildings Engineer were grossly underestimated which led to almost 90 per cent variation.

Mr Speaker, as a result construction of staff houses, VIP toilets could not be undertaken because the funds were exhausted. However, the DHMT is actively considering the matter by way of sourcing alternative accommodation in order to ensure that the facility becomes operational.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, I agree with the hon. Minister that the clinic has been completed. I would like to find out if this Government will open the clinic without the VIP toilets.

The Minister of Health (Mr Simbao): Mr Speaker, we have said that we are going to look at the possibility of building the toilets. We cannot run a hospital without sanitation. Therefore, we will quickly look at ways of putting up this facility. If we do not have enough money, we might not build VIP toilets, but ordinary toilets.

Thank you, Sir.


325. Mr Chisala asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing why the Government had neglected the upgrading of roads leading to cemeteries country-wide such as Leopards Hill, Chingwere, Chimwemwe and Kantolomba.

Dr Puma: Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this House that this is to the contrary. The Government, through local authorities, has been maintaining roads leading to cemeteries country-wide, including the roads mentioned in this question.

Mr Speaker, I wish to implore all hon. Members who are also councillors in their councils to take a leading role in ensuring that programmes aimed at improving the quality of life in their communities are captured in both the councils’ budgets and annual work plans. This can only be done if all hon. Members attend councils meetings and effectively contribute in the planning and budgeting processes. In the spirit of decentralisation, service should be demand driven and the community will only receive the service they demand as opposed to imposing a service that has not been demanded by the community.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, it is a well-known fact that roads leading to cemeteries country-wide are in a deplorable state, and yet these roads play a very important role in terms of burial activities. Why can the Government not put in a deliberate policy of rehabilitating these roads annually?

Dr Puma: Mr Speaker, in his question, the hon. Member specifically mentioned Leopards Hill, Chingwere, Chimwemwe and Kantolomba cemeteries. If the hon. Member went to these places, these roads are being maintained. Maybe, it is a long time since the hon. Member last went to a graveyard.


Dr Puma: I would like to advise the hon. Member to visit one of these graveyards and he will see that the roads are being maintained.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chanda: Mr Speaker, contrary to what the hon. Minister has ascertained that the question is about Kantolomba, Leopards Hill and Chimwemwe cemeteries, the question is talking about upgrading of roads countrywide. He has alluded to that in his answer. However, I am very surprised that the hon. Minister is not being honourable enough because in my constituency I have taken the trouble to ask Mopani Copper Mines to give me the equipment to …

The Deputy Chairperson: What is your question?

Mr Chanda: What is this Government doing because there is no such thing on the ground?

Dr Puma: Mr Speaker, the grading of roads country-wide is under the councils. The hon. Member who has just raised that question is a councillor in that area. It is his responsibility to ensure that in the event that the road is not in a good state, it is reflected in the budget. Kitwe City Council’s budget is relatively good and is able to do that road.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Mr Speaker, when were the roads at Leopards Hill Cemetery last graded?

Hon. Opposition Member: Yes!

Dr Puma: Mr Speaker, I have just alluded to the fact that the upgrading of roads that lead to cemeteries is under the local councils. Therefore, it is important that councils ensure that these roads which are very important, leading to such places where all our colleagues and ourselves will finally go, are properly looked after.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, arising from that answer just given by the hon. Minister, what is the Government doing to compel those councils that are not grading the roads leading to the cemeteries?

Dr Puma: Mr Speaker, as a ministry, if we find that there is a serious complaint in a particular area, there are two issues we are able to do. In some cases, we give funding to councils which they use on various projects and in other cases, we look at the work plan. If we feel that a complaint from the community is about that particular road, we adjust the work plan like we did in Lusaka where we advised that they should include drainages which were completely excluded in their work plan in its K160 billion budget.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


326. Mr Chongo asked the Minister of Home Affairs:

(a) when the Mwense Police Station cells would be rehabilitated and extended;

(b) when sanitation for the Mwense Police Station and staff houses would be improved; and

(c) when a borehole would be sunk at the police station to improve sanitation and provide clean water.

Mr Bonshe: Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Home Affairs has noted that some police cells need to be rehabilitated as they are in a state of disrepair. Some cells need to be extended as in the case of Mwense Police Station.

To this effect, the ministry has embarked on rehabilitation and extension of police cells so that detainees are guaranteed a reasonable stay in the cells. As of 2008, some police stations had their cells rehabilitated while others are still undergoing construction. These are as follows:

(i) Westwood – construction of a small cell with a budget of K29 million for materials;

(ii) Mumbwa – construction of a new station and a cell at a cost of K170 million;

(iii) Kanyama – construction of a station and cell at a cost of K160 million;

(iv) Chisamba – construction which is at window level with a budget of K150 million;

(v) Chelstone –construction which is at roof level with a budget of K150 million;

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Hon. Minister, I am getting a bit lost. This question relates to Mwense but the answers you are giving relate to places outside Mwense. Maybe, it was an oversight. However, if you do not have an appropriate answer, I will give you time to have a go at it next time.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chongo: Long live the Chair!


327. Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi) asked the Minister of Health how many Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) centres had been established in Dundumwezi Parliamentary Constituency as a of 31st January, 2008.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Mr Akakandelwa): Mr Speaker, currently, there are 331 health facilities that provide Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) countrywide and there are 218,000 people receiving treatment. Southern Province has thirty-one ART centres and Kalomo has two ART centres at Kalomo District Hospital and Zimba Mission Hospital. There are no new ART centres established in Dundumwenzi Constituency as at 31st January 2008.

Major Chizhyuka: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Major Chizhyuka: Sir, thank you for according me an opportunity to raise this very serious point of order on that hon. Minister who comes from Western Province. Is he in order to continue pronouncing the name of the constituency as Dundumwenzi and yet the constituency is called Dundumwezi?


Major Chizhyuka: Is he in order?

The Chairperson: Order! Let us proceed. That is his special way of pronouncing the name of that constituency.

Can the hon. Minister continue?


Mr Akakandelwa: Mr Speaker, I may not have the vocal cords to lower the voice to the level he has done. However, I will try.

There were no new ART centres established in Dundumwezi Constituency …


Mr Akakandelwa: … as at 31st January 2008. However, the ministry intends to open an ART centre at Moomba Rural Health Centre in Dundumwezi Constituency. The facility has already been assessed in line with the Medical Council of Zambia ART Accreditation Guidelines and the plan has been developed to address the identified gaps which need to be fulfilled before the facility can offer ART services.

Sir, provision of ART is complex and, as such, it is important to ensure that before a health facility is able to provide ART, it meets a minimum accreditation standard as set by the Medical Council of Zambia. That will ensure that citizens are availed safe and quality services. This involves training of personnel, access to laboratory services and management of various medical logistics. A training and accreditation programme for rolling out the ART Programme has already commenced. The objective of this programme is to ensure that more ART centres are established countrywide.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.


Mr Sing’ombe: Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Health has always encouraged people to go for HIV tests so that they know their status. Why, as a ministry, are they failing to establish more ART centres in places like Dundumwezi to assist the vulnerable people who cannot manage to travel to Kalomo or Zimba?

Mr Akakandelwa: Mr Speaker, like we said in our reply, handling ART is not an easy matter and this is why we have said that you need a lot of professionalism in the management of the ART programmes. If the hon. Member is a keen observer or listener, there was a conference recently in South Africa where the issues were being looked at and from the resolutions which are not yet official, there are moves to see how best the sub-region can manage ART programmes. There are issues of laboratory tests that are perceived to be expensive for some communities and so they are trying to look at ways of rationalising the management of ART programmes so that it is universally accepted or administered  to communities in Africa.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


328. Mr Mwango asked the Minister of Works and Supply when the following bridges will be constructed in Kanchibiya Parliamentary Constituency:
(i) Kanchibiya-Chewe Bridge; and
(ii) Lusa Bridge to connect Chinkobo to Chief Kabinga’s Palace.

Mr Ndalamei: Mr Speaker, the ministry has immediate plans to complete the construction of the Kanchibiya-Chewe Bridge which was originally being undertaken by the Mpika District Council through funding provided by the Northern Province administration under the Poverty Reduction Programme in June 2006. The estimated cost for the construction of the bridge was K76,440,000. The remaining works to be carried out include decking and construction of approach roads to the bridge.

In the 2009 Annual Work Plan, there is a provision of K300,000,000 to carry out the construction of the bridge which amount is not sufficient to complete the revised scope of the works. The construction of the bridge is now being considered to be completed in 2010.

The construction of Lusa Bridge which will connect Chinkobo to Chief Kabinga’s Palace has not been included in the 2009 Annual Work Plan of the Road Development Agency because the Mpika District Council which has been appointed as a road authority for feeder and rural roads in the district did not include it in their submission for projects to be included in the 2009 Annual Work Plan.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


329. Mr Katuka (Mwinilunga East) asked the Minister of Works and Supply when the Chibwika-Kamapanda Road in Mwinilunga East Parliamentary Constituency will be repaired.

Mr Ndalamei: Mr Speaker, the Chibwika-Kamapanda Road in Mwinilunga East Parliamentary Constituency has been earmarked for rehabilitation by the Rural Roads Unit (RRU) and works are expected to commence by the end of July, 2009.

The ministry, through the RDA, will co-ordinate with the RRU to avoid duplication of plans.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


330. Mr Mwango asked the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives:

(a) how many bags of fertiliser were distributed in Kanchibiya Parliamentary Constituency in the 2008/2009 farming season;

(b) how many farmers benefited from the fertiliser at (a) above; and

(c) what the expected maize output was.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Kalenga): Mr Speaker, the Fertiliser Support Programme (FSP) inputs are allocated per district, and not per parliamentary constituency, to beneficiaries belonging to co-operative societies or any other farmer organisation. Since beneficiaries may belong to co-operative societies or farmer associations operating within or outside the borders of a parliamentary constituency, the ministry can only give an estimate of the number of beneficiaries and number of bags of fertiliser distributed in a particular parliamentary constituency.

It is, therefore, estimated that 9,568 x 50kg bags of both basal and top dressing fertiliser were distributed in Kanchibiya Parliamentary Constituency in 2008/2009 farming season. Approximately 1,196 farmers benefited from the FSP in Kanchibiya Parliamentary Constituency in the 2008/2009 farming season. The expected maize output in Kanchibiya Parliamentary constituency is about 3,568 metric tonnes.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether he is aware that due to the fact that there was very little fertiliser taken to constituencies, most of the members of the co-operatives ended up getting one bag of fertiliser. If he is aware, what is the ministry doing to ensure that this is resolved?

Mr Kalenga: Mr Speaker, we allocate fertiliser to the districts and from there the fertiliser is distributed to various committees onward to co-operative societies. To make this efficient, we are improving on the modalities to see how we can remove the loopholes so that the fertiliser reaches the farmers.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!




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

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1838 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 24th July, 2009.