Debates- Wednesday, 22nd July, 2009

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Wednesday, 22nd July, 2009

The House met at 1430 hours







295. Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives:

(a) how many metric tonnes of maize was the country expected to produce in the 2008/2009 marketing season;

(b) how much  of the tonnage of maize expected at (a) above did the Government intend to purchase;

(c) what measures had been put in place to ensure that the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) purchased all the maize produced by our farmers; and

(d) what measures had been put in place to ensure that  FRA recommences the abandoned programme of purchasing maize throughout Zambia.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! There should have been a correction on the Order Paper.

The Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Dr Chituwo): Madam Speaker, I would like to inform the House that according to the Crop Forecasting Survey carried out by my ministry in-conjunction with the Central Statistical Office (CSO), maize production in the 2008/09 Agriculture Season is estimated at 1.88 million tonnes. Maize production increased by 31 per cent in the 2008/09 Agriculture Season compared to the 2007/08 season. This increase is attributed, largely, to the good rains experienced in most parts of our country in the last season. Further, the number of farmers who benefited from the Fertilizer Support Programme (FSP) increased, significantly, to 200,000 compared to 121,000, the previous season.

Madam Speaker, FRA plans to purchase 110,000 metric tonnes of maize this marketing season from the estimated figure given above.

Apart from FRA, the Government is encouraging key stakeholders to participate in the purchasing of maize. These include farmers, grain traders and millers. This is in line with the market liberalisation policy that the Government put in place some time back. As we speak, these players are busy purchasing maize throughout the country where there are surplus stocks for sell by farmers. Given budgetary constraints, FRA cannot purchase the entire maize surplus which is estimated at 203,271 metric tonnes.

Madam Speaker, the Government has initially released K10 billion out of the total budgetary allocation of K100 billion for FRA to initiate maize purchases. The Ministry of Finance and National Planning has been requested to release the remaining budgeted amount of K90 billion. FRA has also been tasked to explore possibilities of securing additional funds for crop purchases from the commercial financial sector.

Mr Speaker, I will give a more comprehensive ministerial statement on crop production and marketing issues, within, this week.

 I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives whether he is aware that as a result of the failure by the Government through FRA to purchase our staple food, maize, specifically, from the poor peasant farmers in the remote parts of Zambia, most of them will not be able to buy inputs this coming season and as a result of the exploitation …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! You ask a follow up question.

Mr Mwiimbu: Yes, Madam Speaker. It is a continuation.

Madam Deputy Speaker: No! Ask your question, please.


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, as a result of that failure, most of the poor peasant farmers will not afford to buy the requisite inputs. What urgent measures is the Government putting in place to protect the interest of the poor Zambian farmers and the Zambian people in particular?

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, my brother, the hon. Member of Parliament for Monze asked me this question yesterday and I gave him a comprehensive answer. Maybe, for the benefit of the House…

Mr Mwiimbu: Where?


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! The hon. Minister is on the Floor.

Hon. Minister, look to the Chair and not the silent.

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, as we were on the staircase coming to this House, yesterday, Hon. Mwiimbu asked me the same questions he has just asked. I gave him the exact answers which I have given him though I give him the benefit of a doubt because these are important issues. I would like to give him credit because the answers which I will give will benefit the rest of the House

Madam Speaker, the Government started the marketing season through FRA, recently, about two to three weeks ago. Therefore, the question of failure does not arise.  I have stated that by an Act of this House, FRA always enters into the market, but because of the fact that we need to have the right moisture content in our maize, it needs to be stored for a long period of time. It is because of this reason that FRA does not enter into the market as early as the private traders.

Madam Speaker, the exercise of buying inputs for small-scale farmers has not yet started and we have stated this in many forums. In fact, we will surprise the hon. Member of Parliament for Monze by ensuring that the problem of inputs arriving late at the farm gate will be a thing of the past. This is an assurance which I have given to him and the entire House through you, Madam Speaker. We will ensure that farm inputs are available at the farm gate on time so that our farmers can be able to plan, in time, how much hectares they wish to cultivate in a particular season.

Madam Speaker, as directed by his Excellency the President in this House, FRA must purchase maize and any other designated crops from the remotest parts of the country. The private sector is unwilling to go to these areas because of economic reasons.

 I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr P. P. Chanda (Kankoyo): Madam Speaker, out of the total 1.88 million metric tonnes of maize, may I know how many tonnes will be allowed to be sold outside this country?

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, we have a surplus of 203,000 metric tonnes of maize. However, taking into account human consumption, the breweries and livestock, we made a provision that until we normalise our grain trade in the country, there will always be the selling of grain estimated at 60,000 metric tonnes through our porous borders. Nevertheless, as of yesterday, we put measures in place to allow 100,000 metric tonnes of maize to be exported. However, since this is a very difficult sector, we have also put measures in place through the Stock Monitoring Committee to permit only 60 metric tonnes at a time and this constitutes a truck load. This will help us and the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) to monitor the exporting of any excess maize.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Deputy Speaker: We will continue with supplementary questions, but be mindful that the hon. Minister has promised to come up with a ministerial statement.

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives concerning the buying points. I note that this year, the number of buying points for maize in Chongwe have reduced. Is the hon. Minister saying that the Government will not increase the buying points of maize for FRA because they are concentrating only on far-flanged places? If that be the case, what plans does the Government have in case the private sector does not go to Chongwe to buy the maize?

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, I request the hon. Member of Parliament for Chongwe to hold her fire. In my ministerial statement, I will cover the issue of satellite depots comprehensively.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Munaile (Malole): Madam Speaker, what is the ministry doing about the satellite depots which have already suspended the buying of maize because their money has run out? What is the ministry doing to ensure that farmers who are yet to sell their maize are not disadvantaged after the Head of State directed FRA to buy maize from the rural parts of our country?

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, in my answer, I mentioned that K10 billion has been released for the purchase of maize and we are expecting another K90 billion. When this amount of money is released, this temporal suspension will stop. We are hopeful that this money will be released as quickly as possible so that our farmers do not spend too much time, out there, guarding their crop.

Madam Speaker, the second issue is one that I alluded to earlier on. We need to have extra resources. FRA has been given the task to explore the possibility of extra financing so that our objective of buying the crop in those remote areas from our farmers is achieved.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Madam Speaker, if you look at the questions asked by Hon. Mwiimbu and the answers given by the hon. Minister, it is very clear that the answers are coming from projections. At the same time, the hon. Minister has already decided and announced that he is going to export maize. Why does this Government not wait for facts instead of relying on projections? Why has this Minister gone ahead to authorise the exporting of maize based on projections rather than facts and figures?

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, each year, before the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives announces the national food balance sheet, our team, from the ministry and CSO undertakes comprehensive surveys in every district …

Mr Hachipuka: Which district?

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Dr Chituwo: … and spends time to scrutinise these estimates. It is from these estimates which are reliably obtained that we plan. I do not see how it would be workable for us to wait until August or September when the entire crop has been harvested for us to start planning and miss that prime period when our farmers can get a good price. Therefore, I would like to assure the hon. Member of Parliament for Mbabala that scientifically, this is a sound method that has been used, many times, to enable the Government to plan and make decisions.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Madam Speaker, year in and year out, the Government releases huge sums of money to FRA to undertake the exercise of purchasing crops from all parts of the country. I take it that this is supposed to be a business venture. Why is it that every year we release fresh amounts of money to FRA instead of it making profits on the money released to it rather than it coming back to the Treasury to ask for additional money? What happens to the money released to FRA every year? At least they trade with …

Madam Deputy Speaker: You are now debating. Ask your question and finish.


Mr Shakafuswa: What happens to the money? Is it not that FRA is supposed to use this money wisely?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, it is this House that allocates excess amounts of money upon our request, every year to FRA. This is because FRA has to manage the strategic food reserves of the nation.

With regard to the question on profitability, I recall that a similar question was asked in the last session and I shared with the House that the profits that FRA makes are ploughed back into its operations. Therefore, there is an element of profitability in the operations of FRA. However, the task given to FRA is huge.

Madam Speaker, a few days ago, I spoke about the rehabilitation of silos. Some of the money used in this project came from FRA. However, I also mentioned to the House that in the next phases, we want to enter into public-private-partnerships (PPPs). Therefore, FRA is doing something by ploughing back some of its money into the business.

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Madam Speaker, according to the Yellow Book, last year the Government released K400 billion for the purchase of maize, but this year only a quarter of that amount has been allocated, which is a K100 billion when the crop has increased by 30 per cent. The result is that there appears to be nothing in this book to buy, maybe, 4 or 5 per cent of the crop. If you are leaving it to the private sector, we shall mistrust you because you keep changing the goal posts and the numbers as we go.

Madam Speaker, does the hon. Minister not agree with me that if he was in the private sector he would be very cautious of playing with maize with such an unpredictable Government?

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, up to now there is nothing that I would agree with the hon. Member for Lusaka Central and so I categorically disagree.

Madam Speaker, this Government runs a liberalised grain marketing system and this has been the cry of the private sector. Admittedly, that K100 billion will only be able to allow us to purchase 110,000 metric tonnes. This is the reason that I alluded to the fact that we have allowed FRA to scout around for resources which will be subject to the approval of the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning so that, together, we can increase on this amount of money. I would like to restate and emphasise that our objective is to encourage the small-scale farmer to invest more in agriculture each subsequent season.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Madam Speaker, is the reduction in the allocation of money to FRA another way to allow the private sector, in the name of the Grain Traders Association of Zambia (GTAZ) and the Millers Association of Zambia (MAZ), to form another cartel, the way they did it last year and the Government turned a blind eye to it? They sat on a position of …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Hon. Member the question has already asked and when you stand up to build up on it, it has to be in a sentence or two and not to start debating. Just ask the question because the situation has already been stated.

Mr Nkombo: Madam Speaker, is this a deliberate plan to allow GTAZ to form another cartel so that you can import maize again this year to cause a crisis in this country?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, certainly the reduction that has been stated here is not a deliberate move in order for the stated institutions to form a cartel. We came to this House requesting for funding to FRA and all of us authorised a K100 billion for this purpose and, clearly, we have seen that this is not enough and for the reasons I have given, it still remains a commitment of the Government to ensure that we buy as much of the maize produced by our small-scale farmers as possible.

Madam Speaker, the importation of maize last season is well known to this House. We were talking about numbers and for reasons best known to some of our stakeholders, they did not disclose the amount of stock that was available. It is only after a while when you discovered that this caring Government was serious and would not allow…

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Dr Chituwo: … its people to starve, hence the decision to import. This House should recall that the initial decision was to import 100,000 metric tonnes, but as soon as this had been announced, we had number of people saying the country had enough stocks and, again, this listening Government stopped the importation of maize beyond the 35,000 metric tonnes and we only bought 40,000 metric tonnes from early maturing maize and another 6,000 tonnes from the grain traders.

Madam Speaker, we are really mindful of the fact that whereas the policy is for the private sector to participate in grain marketing, the issue of cartels will certainly not be encouraged.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Madam Speaker, when is the hon. Minister of agriculture going to give a directive that all the private maize buyers buy at the Government floor price because the private buyers are exploiting the small-scale farmers?


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Consultation must be lowered. We are consulting too loudly.

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, the Government does not announce the floor price. The K65,000 per 50Kg bag announced by the Chairman of FRA is an indicative price. Since we are in a liberalised economy, we are not dictating. That price is for FRA to purchase this maize from the farmers in the remote areas of our country. The K65,000 does not even include further subsidy by the Government which goes to the transportation of the crop from the outlying areas. So, it is a business transaction and with this indicative price, we expect the seller and the buyer to negotiate a price.

Madam Speaker, you will recall that there were arguments about this price not being good, but I have received reports from some parts of the country that farmers are waiting for FRA to buy their maize and that they will not sell it to the briefcase businessmen.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


296. Dr Machungwa (Luapula) asked the Vice-President and Minister of Justice:

(a) why the Government had declined to repeal Regulation 24 of Statutory Instrument No. 28 of 1997 regarding the Environmental Protection and Pollution Control, which was declared to be ultra vires the principal Act CAP. 204 by the Committee on Delegated Legislation and the House in 2006;

(b) what interest the Government had in maintaining an illegal provision on the statute books; and

(c) when the Government would finally repeal the illegal provision referred to at  (a) above.

The Deputy Minister of Justice (Mr Chilembo): Madam Speaker, I wish to inform the House that it is not correct to say that the Government has declined to repeal Regulation 24 of Statutory Instrument No. 28 of 1997. The true position is that a statutory instrument to revoke the regulation in question will be signed by the hon. Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources.

In addition, the Government is effecting comprehensive amendments to the principal Act, the Environmental Protection and Pollution Control Act, Cap 204 of the Laws of Zambia, as well as the relevant regulations taking into account concerns raised by the private sector. These include procedures for presentation of environmental impact assessments (EIAs) and fees chargeable for submitting environmental project briefs and full EIAs.

Consultations on some of the issues in this statutory instrument took longer than expected hence, the seeming delay in revoking the statutory instrument.

Madam Speaker, with respect to part (b) of the question, as I indicated in my answer to part (a) of the question above, the Government will revoke the provision, therefore, it has no interest in maintaining the provision.

Madam Speaker, for part (c) of the question, I wish to inform the House that the statutory instrument will be signed by the hon. Minister.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Dr Machungwa: Madam Speaker, in the last part of the question, I was asking when this illegal statutory instrument that has been on our books for more than three years would be repealed. The answer by the hon. Deputy Minister of Justice does not say when. It just says it will be signed. His Honour the Vice-President, this has been going on for a long time and as a result of this particular regulation, illegal structures under the law have been erected. So, when is this illegal instrument going to be repealed?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice (Mr Kunda, SC.): Madam Speaker, as soon as possible.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: The statutory instrument is being drafted.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Madam Speaker, may His Honour the Vice-President confirm to this House that he is actually misleading the House and the nation? I happen to sit on the Committee on Delegated Legislation and the Permanent Secretary in the ministry stated that the statutory instrument has already been drafted and what is only remaining is the signature of the hon. Minister. Can he confirm to this House that he has misled this House?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Madam Speaker, that is why I have said it will be signed.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kambwili: You said it is being drafted.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!{mospagebreak}


297. Mr D. Mwila (Chipili) asked the Vice-President and Minister of Justine:

(a) how much money had been spent on the National Constitutional Conference as of December, 2008;

(b) what had been the mode of disbursement of the funds above; and

(c) how much money would be spent by the NCC by the time it winds up business.

Mr Chilembo: Madam Speaker, a total of K52,580,787,912 had been spent on the National Constitutional Conference (NCC) as of December 2008. This was against the budget provision of K309,373,109,863.64.

In 2007, total expenditure on the NCC was K21,750,000,000,000.

Madam Speaker, the mode of disbursement of the funds above has been as follows:

(i) The Ministry of Finance and National Planning, upon receipt of a request from the Ministry of Justice on behalf of NCC, releases the money through the Ministry of Justice control account at the Bank of Zambia (BOZ);

(ii) in turn, the Ministry of Justice transfers the released funds at the BOZ into the NCC holding account; and

(iii) For expenditure purposes and as need arises, NCC requests BOZ to transfer the money into the Zambia National Commercial Bank Account at Manda Hill Branch in Lusaka.

Madam Speaker, it is difficult to give an exact figure of the money which will be spent by the NCC by the time it winds up business. However, if only K50 billion which is in the budget this year will be spent, the cumulative total expenditure will be K124,330,787,912 over the period the NCC has been sitting. That gives us the following breakdown to come to this total:

 Year  Amount (K)

2007  21,750,000,000
2008  52,580,787,912
2009  50,000,000,000

Madam Speaker, that is the budget provision.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr D. Mwila: Madam Speaker, NCC was supposed to wind up on 3rd July …

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr V. Mwale: Siuziba ati kwenze malilo?

Mr Sichilima: On a point of order, Madam Speaker.

Madam Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Hon. Opposition Members: Bikiloni!

Mr Sichilima: Madam Speaker, I rarely rise on a point of order.


Mr Sichilima: Madam Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order which is a landmark one in this sitting. We passed the law here which compelled Members of Parliament to be members of NCC in order to change the Constitution. Sometime in February, the High Court ruled that those who were taken to court by some party …

Hon. Government Member: Which I will not mention!

Mr Sichilima: I will not mention it.

The ruling was in the favour of Members of Parliament attending the NCC. It stated that they had followed the law. Having said that, is it in order for Members of Parliament who passed the law here, but are not attending the sittings of the NCC, to sit in this House without rendering any apology, …

Hon. PF Members: Aah!

Mr Sichilima: … through you Madam Speaker, to this House and the nation? There has been no apology; not even from their Whip.


Mr Sichilima: Furthermore, Madam Speaker, the Patriotic Front (PF) leader has even gone further and described the Members of Parliament who chose to follow the law as rebels. The Oxford Dictionary, Madam Speaker, ...


Mr Sichilima: … defines the word “rebel” as ‘a person who resists authority, control or convention or armed resistance against an established Government.”


Mr Sichilima: The main heading in today’s Times of Zambia newspaper dated Wednesday, 22nd July, 2009, is “Sata tells off UPND MPs.”


Mr Sichilima: … the leader has gone on to say:

“One of the grounds is the very keeping of the 18 rebel MPs in Parliament when we the sponsors have withdrawn….”

Madam Speaker, in another paragraph, he says:

“Several people are panicking. Our 18 rebel MPs led by Dr Peter Machungwa …”


Mr Sichilima: Madam Speaker, we all know that some countries have gone to war because of such careless speaking. Having stated that, I need your serious ruling on whether we are going to continue in this manner because people might not take us as serious hon. Members of Parliament. On one hand, we are being called rebels and on the other, hon. Members of Parliament that have abrogated the law, but are still in this House.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! A number of issues have been raised in that point of order and, for the moment, the Chair has found it difficult to follow every issue. Therefore, the Chair will defer this matter to a later time.

Mr D. Mwila: Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from His Honour the Vice-President when the National Constitutional Conference (NCC) will …

Mr Kambwili: On a point of order, Madam.

Madam Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kambwili: Madam Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order. The issue of the 18 Patriotic Front (PF) hon. Members of Parliament that has been referred to in the previous point of order is in court. Is it in order for that hon. Minister to start talking about matters that are before the courts in this House? I need your serious ruling.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! The Chair thinks that we have to take everything in context. The hon. Member that has raised that point of order has referred to another statement made about the same issue and has not referred to the ruling by the Chair. At an opportune time the Chair will make a ruling.

Mr Lubinda interjected.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Therefore, when the ruling comes, it will capture all issues relating to this matter. The previous point of order referred to a statement by a member of the public. So, it is very difficult to tell who had, actually, talked about an issue before the courts between the hon. Member that raised the point of order or the person quoted in the print media. Therefore, we have to balance these issues.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! The hon. Member for Chipili may continue, please.

Mr D. Mwila: Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from His Honour the Vice-President when the NCC will wind up its business and whether …

Hon. Government Member interjected.

Mr D. Mwila: Iwe, ule …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!


Madam Deputy Speaker: You should face the Chair and do not listen to anybody heckling you.

Mr D. Mwila: Madam Speaker, I thank you …


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order in the House!

Mr D. Mwila: I would like to know whether the roadmap for NCC which was announced by our late President, Dr Levy Mwanawasa, SC, will be maintained or there are some adjustments.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Madam Speaker, the enabling Act which created the NCC has provisions for extension of the life of the conference. Those of us who are participating in this conference have found it very useful and are learning a lot from the process.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: We are putting our heads together as Zambians and have come up with some very useful provisions which will benefit this country.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Question!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Therefore, with provisions enabling the extension of the NCC, it is important that we do a very good job. We shall continue with this process and not rush. However, in the interim, we will extend it up to 2010 so that we can do a good job.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Matongo (Pemba): Madam Speaker, does that statement from His Honour the Vice President mean that in September 2011, when we expect a general election, we will have, in fact, not enacted a new constitution. I want a very categorical statement on that.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: The hon. Member has read the Act and knows that it will be up to the conference to decide on how we proceed in this particular process. We may either go by way of amendments or reference of proposals to a referendum. So, we will leave it up to those of us who are participating in the NCC to make a decision on this particular issue …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: … so that we can determine the best way of proceeding. However, when the decision will be made, we shall also take into account the fact that there will be elections coming in 2011. All of us will have to participate in making this decision.

I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi (Luena): Madam Speaker, the immediate last session of the NCC was abruptly adjourned one week before it was due. Would His Honour the Vice-President categorically state or confirm whether this was as a result of diminished funds or there were some other reasons behind the adjournment. If that is the case, what were the reasons?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Madam Speaker, there are various factors which necessitated that adjournment. Nonetheless, I think, that all members of the conference were informed about the adjournment and the reasons.

Of course, issues to do with finances are also critical because as the House is aware, Zambia, like any other country, is facing financial problems. So, these are some of the issues which are taken into account in making some of these decisions.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Shakafuswa: Madam Speaker, would His Honour the Vice-President confirm that the route taken by the NCC is cheaper than the route advocated for by its critics and that this constitutional-making process should be given priority when it comes to spending money from the National Treasury.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Madam Speaker, the person who has asked the question was reading my mind.


The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Some of the people who are pushing for what was then called Constituent Assembly included the president of the PF and certain other stakeholders. When we decided to introduce the NCC, this particular president was very excited about the development. He, in fact, congratulated our late President, may his soul rest in peace, and the pictures which they took congratulating each other are on record.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: This was a cheaper way of proceeding …

Mr D. Mwila: On a point of order!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Basically, we have rules in the House and unless what you want to say is a matter of fact, you cannot raise an issue or point of  order on His Honour the Vice-President. Bearing that in mind, you may raise your point of order.

Mr D. Mwila: Madam Speaker, I want to correct you, I am Hon. Mwila and not Hon. Chipili.

Madam Speaker, according to the rules of this august House, you cannot debate a person who is not here to defend himself or herself. Is His Honour the Vice-President in order to talk about the PF president who is not here to defend himself? I need your serious ruling on this matter.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker: It is good that you are referring to the rules of the House, but they must be brought out within the context. This House does not debate individuals out there. However, you are talking of a president who occupies a public kind of office and that is a fact. This is the state of affairs.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! If somebody is going to talk about the current Republican President and then somebody rises to say the President cannot be talked about because he is not here to defend himself, that would be wrong. Whether you are here or out there, as an hon. Member of Parliament, you are a public figure. Therefore, if anybody brings out a name in their personal capacity, the Chair will be number one to stop that person. Therefore, let us understand the context within which we work. That is the position of this House.

His Honour the Vice-President, may continue, please.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Madam Speaker, I want to give a historical background to the enactment of the National Constitutional Conference Act. The Act came out of a summit of Presidents of political parties. I am sure you know who attended that summit. I was there and we were congratulated for having come up with this ingenious idea of the NCC. We were told that we should have introduced it even much earlier. Some people wondered why we did not introduce it much earlier because, according to them, it was a cheaper way of enacting the constitution. However, later on, …

Hon. Government Member: A chameleon!


The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: … some people forgot what they had endorsed and started challenging and even organised some mob psychology against the same thing which they had supported. Therefore, I agree with you, hon. Member for Katuba that this is a cheaper way of proceeding. If we had proceeded with the other route, it was going to be even more costly. In any case, we had warned the people of Zambia that this route was going to be expensive, but the answer we got was that democracy was expensive. We are doing everything possible for us to come up with a very good document and the recommendations that are coming from there are excellent.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwenya (Nkana): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from His Honour the Vice-President whether it is prudent or good governance for this Government to continue with NCC in the midst of the world economic recession bearing in mind that this country is a third world country and is affected so much. Is the Government considering the suspension of the NCC?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Madam Speaker, we shall continue with  NCC.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: The reason being that it will improve on the governance of this country. Some of the issues which we discuss there include the prudent management of resources. It is high time we discussed these issues. We are also talking about improving our electoral process. Therefore, these matters plus several other issues should be discussed so that we can come up with a good constitution which will serve this country better. We have no intention of suspending this process.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Chisala (Chilubi): Madam Speaker, at the just ended NCC sitting, it was reported that some sitting members were not paid their dues. Would His Honour the Vice-President confirm as to whether those members who were not paid …

Mrs Phiri: On a point of order!

Madam Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mrs Phiri: Madam Speaker, I would first like to apologise to the hon. Member who was debating on the Floor of this House. I rise on a very serious point of order.

Madam Speaker, through you, I would like to find out from His Honour the Vice-President, the learned hon. Minister of Justice and Member of Parliament for Muchinga Constituency in Central Province if he is in order to let the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing distribute the hearses which are surrounded by controversy. The hearses’ case is under probe by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) owing to the fact that the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing is not sure of the amount the hearses were purchased at. My worry is that if those hearses were to be involved in accidents, the ACC would have no exhibit. Is he in order to be quiet over his hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing? I need your serious ruling.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

The Chair thinks that the House is drifting into asking anything as a point of order. The House is basically aware of how to bring questions to the House. Each hon. Member has a right to bring a question to the House. It could be a question of an urgent matter as we have just seen this afternoon, but to bring questions as points of order and because you want to indirectly bring the Chair into your debate, is not the right way. You can only bring a point of order on the issues on the Floor as the very last point of order before this one or a point of order on the actual procedure in the House. I think we have to go back to the rules of debate. If the hon. Member wants to find out more about the issue, that can come in the correct manner depending on how she treats that as a matter of urgency.

The hon. Member for Chilubi may continue.

Mr Chisala: Madam Speaker, before the point of order was raised, I was saying that during the just ended NCC sitting, it was reported that some members were not paid their dues due to the fact that the Government was facing some financial constraints. Could His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice confirm whether those members have been paid their dues or not?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Madam, everyone who is participating in the NCC was paid their allowances. No one is owed any money by the Government.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.{mospagebreak}


297. Mr D. Mwila asked the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives:

(a) whether the ministry had any plans for the development of Mwenda Fishing Camp in Chipili Parliamentary Constituency and, if so, what the plans were;

(b) when the fishing camp at (a) above would be electrified; and

(c) how much money it would cost to complete the electrification.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Mulonga): Madam Speaker, the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, Department of Fisheries, has a plan to develop Mwenda Fishing Camp in Chipili Parliamentary Constituency. The plan is to rehabilitate the fish farm to a level of a fish seed production centre which will not only cater for Chipili Parliamentary Constituency, but also Mwense and Kawambwa districts …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

 The Chair must hear.

You may continue, please.

Mr Mulonga: Madam, I was saying that the plan is to rehabilitate the fish farm to a level of a fish seed production centre which will not only cater for Chipili Parliamentary Constituency but also Mwense and Kawambwa districts which have growing fish farming communities, including a refugee camp. The plan also includes the establishment of community-based fish breeding centres in selected places.

As for part (b) of the question, the electrification of the Mwenda Fish Farm is a carry over activity from last year, 2008 to be completed this year.

As for part (c) of the question, funding to the Fisheries Department has been restricted and so only K80 million has been budgeted for this exercise in 2009. This may not be adequate to complete electrification.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr D. Mwila: Madam Speaker, my concern is that the officers have started keeping pigs and goats. I do not know whether the hon. Minister is aware of this and, if so, what is he doing about it?

Mr Mulonga: Madam, we are doing integrated farming. That is why we want the droplets from the piggeries to be used to feed the fish. We are aware because that is the programme of the ministry.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Dr Scott: Madam, the hon. Minister has referred to a very small amount of money available for this nice plan. I wonder whether he would not agree that it would be a good idea for the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives to erect a placard for all its projects saying, “sorry democracy is expensive, George Kunda, money maybe available when NCC is over.”

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

That kind of questioning, hon. Members is not allowed. In this House, only straightforward questions to the hon. Minister who is supposed to give a response are allowed. Therefore, the Chair does not see how the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives will start talking about His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice in the response and, therefore, such questioning will not be allowed.


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

(a) what the total number of GRZ vehicles at the following hospitals in Mpika District was:

(i) Mpika District Hospital; and
(ii) Chilonga Mission Hospital; and

(b) whether there was any specially designed vehicle for emergency cases in the following places in Mfuwe Parliamentary Constituency:

(i) Kalimba in Chief Nabwalya’s area;
(ii) Mabonga and Mpamazi in Chief Mpumba’s area; and
(iii) Katibunga and Chobela in Chief Mukungule’s area.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Mr Akakandelwa): Madam Speaker, the total number of Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) vehicles at the following hospitals in Mpika District is:

1. Mpika District has two GRZ vehicles, namely GRZ 615CA, GRZ 613 and ABJ 2512; and

2. Chilonga Mission Hospital and Nursing School has two GRZ vehicles, namely, GRZ 878CB and GRZ 842CD.

As for part (b) of the question, an ambulance and Toyota land cruiser are used for evacuating emergency cases in Mfuwe Constituency which includes Kalimba in Chief Nabwalya, Mabonga and Mpamazi in Chief Mpumba and Katibunga and Chobela in Chief Mukungule’s area.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

299. Mr Tembo (Nyimba) asked the Minister of Home Affairs when construction of twenty houses for police officers in Nyimba Parliamentary Constituency would commence.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Bonshe): Madam Speaker, of the 14,433 police officers constituting the Zambia Police Service, more than 5,000 have not been accommodated in police houses, thus it is apparent that the provision of accommodation to police officers is an enormous challenge that the ministry is facing.

To alleviate the accommodation blues, the Government, through the Poverty Reduction Programme (PRP) is currently constructing 500 housing units in selected places of the country. These are Livingstone, Chipata, Ndola and Kasama. Due to budgetary constraints, the project is being undertaken in phases since not all places can benefit at the same time. In ensuing phases, Nyimba Police Station will definitely benefit.

In addition, the Ministry of Home Affairs has embarked on developing a document that we are calling Infrastructure Development Action Plan whose objective is to capture all areas requiring new office and residential infrastructure and dilapidated infrastructure that needs to be refurbished. The plan will spell out costing, resources and timeframe.

This way, the ministry will not only be in a better position to marshal the resources required, but also move away from being reactive to infrastructure challenges to being proactive with a well articulated intervention tool (Infrastructure Development Action Plan).

Currently, we are looking at the type of housing units to put up at the Nyimba Police Station, resources required and the timeframe for the mobilisation of resources and completion of construction works.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Madam Speaker, 5,000 police officers have no accommodation countrywide. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister why they decided to withdraw housing allowance from the police officers when they are not able to provide accommodation.

Mr Bonshe: Madam Speaker, housing allowance has not been withdrawn from police officers. Those officers who are not accommodated are still receiving housing allowance. That is the current position.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Msichili (Kabushi): Madam Speaker, Kabushi is a beneficiary of those 500 houses which are being built by the Government, but I would like to find out why the contractor has abandoned this project.

The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Mangani): Madam Speaker, we are not aware that the contractor has abandoned the project. In fact, if there are any difficulties that the contractor is facing, he is free to contact us. As far as we are concerned, all the contractors are busy working on their various units.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Ms Kapata (Mandevu): Madam Speaker, in a situation where the community has constructed a police post and there is room for the construction of police officers’ houses, but the community is willing to supplement the Government efforts, is it possible that the Government would support such an idea?

Mr Mangani: Madam Speaker, yes, if resources are available, definitely, we could support the community. There is no problem in doing that.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Beene (Itezhi-tezhi): Madam Speaker, the Zambia Electricity Corporation (ZESCO) has disconnected the supply of electricity to police officers in Itezhi-tezhi because of non payment of bills. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what he is doing about this situation.

Mr Mangani: Madam Speaker, it is true that we have a very big problem in terms of paying dues to utility companies such as ZESCO and water supply companies. I must admit that we owe them a lot of money and we have to bargain with them because we cannot liquidate this amount within a short time. We feel that we will continue engaging them until we pay them this amount.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kambwili: Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that housing allowance for all police officers in Luanshya has been removed. If so, what is he doing to ensure that housing allowance is paid to the police officers?

Mr Mangani: Madam Speaker, police officers who are accommodated are not supposed to get housing allowance, but those who are not have to be paid. If there are special cases of that nature, we would be more than ready to get the details and follow the matter up.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, …


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mrs Musokotwane: … the hon. Minister has just been told that a contractor on the Copperbelt has abandoned the project. Now that the hon. Minister is aware, is he going to start investigations or he will have to wait for the hon. Member to go to his office when he has been officially told in this House?

Mr Mangani: Madam Speaker, a few days ago, an officer from our ministry was on the Copperbelt and he inspected these housing units. There was no report that the project had been abandoned. In an event that things have changed over night, there is no harm in the hon. Member of Parliament coming to tell us what has happened, but as far as we concerned, all the contractors are busy working on these units.


301.  Mr Mukanga asked the Minister of Communications and Transport;

(a) how many vehicles used the Zambian roads from 2006 to 2008, year by year; and

(b) how many road traffic accidents occurred on the Zambian roads in the same period.

The Deputy Minister of Communications and Transport (Mr Mubika): Madam Speaker, the details are as follow:

Table 1 a
Year Population of Motor Vehicles And Trailers Registered in Zambia that Used the Zambian Roads
2006 183,701
2007 230,332
2008 277,870

Table 1b
Year Number of Road Traffic Accidents Recorded on the Zambian Roads Number of Fatalities (Death) Recorded on the Zambian roads
2006 19,727 1,238
2007 21,690 1,266
2008 19,095 1,170

Mr Mukanga: Madam Speaker, looking at the number of accidents that are taking place, when is the Government going to introduce toll gates to enable the roads be self funding and reduce accidents that are caused by the poor state of roads.

The Minister of Education (Professor Lungwangwa): Madam Speaker, introduction of that particular facility is under consideration by the Government.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Ms Kapata: Madam Speaker, the numbers of accidents are alarming. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister the emergency response that has been put in place, especially in rural areas when an accident occurs.
Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, I am not quite sure what the hon. Member would like to know, but if she wants to know what interventions were put in place to address the accidents on our roads, we can inform her that quite a number of measures are currently in place. For example, we have the Public Education Programme on television and other media to educate the members of the public on matters of road safety. We also have programmes for school children. As a matter of fact, we do have clubs in schools that address matters of public safety on the road. We have designated crossing points for school children. We have highway patrols on our roads under the Road Traffic and Safety Agency (RTSA) and also the Traffic Unit of Zambia Police. We have, of course, intensified the fitness programmes for our vehicles. As you saw in the last session, the highway code was revised, which of course, is a very important document for training road users. All these are measures or interventions that have been put in place to ensure that road carnage is minimised on our roads.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Madam Speaker, the figures given by the hon. Minister indicate a significant and consistent rise in the number of vehicles on our roads. This has got a multiplier effect on the revenue collected from road tax and fuel levy. There has been no corresponding increase in infrastructure, especially the roads. I wish to find out from the hon. Minister why this is so because I think that is one of the reasons we even have these road accidents. Why has there been no corresponding increase in the infrastructure, especially, the roads in Zambia?

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, I would have expected the hon. Member who is an engineer to be a bit more informed about statistical computations.


Professor Lungwangwa: Clearly, the figures we have given do not show any significant consistent rise because over the three year period, we have an average of about 19,000 accidents reported on our roads. I do not think he has demonstrated a meticulous understanding of statistical computations. The state of the roads, of course, is one of the factors which might contribute to the number of accidents. That is why, for example, under the Ministry of Works and Supply, roads are being improved. We also have new roads being constructed. This is what is happening in Lusaka. It was reported in the House yesterday that the Government is working on the roads.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Deputy Speaker: The Chair thought the question was on the rise in the number of vehicles rather than accidents.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chazangwe (Choma Central): Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that traveling at night between Livingstone and Copperbelt is quite dangerous because of the trucks that travel the whole night and drivers sometimes sleep and cause a lot of accidents. In other countries, normally, heavy trucks are not allowed to travel any how at night. When is this Government going to put in place such measures so as to control these heavy trucks that are causing a lot of deaths in this country?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, I do not know how widely traveled the hon. Member is.


Professor Lungwangwa: Most of us who have been to almost all the continents or many countries in the world and have driven on the roads even in Western countries know the situation. I think the hon. Member is not well traveled and clearly, not well informed.


Professor Lungwangwa: I will forgive him because Choma is not a…


Professor Lungwangwa: …reference point.


Mr Chazangwe: On a point of order, Madam Speaker.

Madam Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Chazangwe: Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister, who is my professor in order to underrate me…


Mr Chazangwe:…when I have also traveled even to Mongu where he comes from,…


Mr Chazangwe:.. which is outside Choma?


Mr Chazangwe: Madam Speaker, I have travelled to many places.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! There is no coaching here.

Mr Chazangwe: Madam Speaker, I need your serious ruling.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! The hon. Minister will put that into serious consideration. He may continue.

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, the intensity of trucks on our roads is a clear testimony of how well the economy of Zambia is doing. We are all aware that Zambia is an interlinked country. Being an interlinked country, we are increasingly going to have a lot of traffic going into neighbouring countries as well as coming into Zambia. This clearly, is something that we should all appreciate and take serious note of as a sign of progress in the economy of our country. Putting strenuous limitations on the movement of trucks is not in the interest of the economy. As Government, we have to take, of course, safety measures to ensure that the increasing number of trucks does not contribute to the rise in road accidents.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mrs M. J. Phiri (Munali): Madam Speaker, are there any plans by the ministry to introduce first aid training for all motorists because their some lives which have been lost which could have been  saved if the motorists involved had this knowledge? 

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, I would request the hon. Member to refer to the highway code which was distributed to all hon. Members of Parliament during the last session. Clearly, that requirement is inbuilt.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Madam Speaker, the number of motor vehicles is increasing, very significantly, from 183,000 in 2006 to 230,000 in 2007, 277,000 in 2008 and possibly over 300,000, this year. Considering that the world is going green and some of these vehicles that come in here release a lot of smoke, is the ministry considering introducing some emission standards that will regulate some of these vehicles so that we can help conserve the environment?

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, clearly, the roadworthiness of vehicles is, of course, a matter of concern. I am sure the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources has taken serious note of that so that the environment is protected and equally, our health as the people in the country is also protected.  That is a matter that we are going to give serious attention to.

  However, the hon. Member may be aware that investment in modern technology is required to ensure that the inspection of the vehicles in terms of roadworthiness is done thoroughly.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.


302. Mrs Musokotwane asked the Minister of Works and Supply:

(a) when the Kafue Weighbridge would become operational;

(b) how much revenue had been lost due to the non-functioning of the weigh bridge above; and

(c) whether the Zambia National Service (ZNS) officers were still manning weigh bridges country-wide.

The Deputy Minister of works and Supply (Mr Ndalamei): Madam Speaker, the Road Development Agency (RDA) is in the process of engaging a new contractor to carry out and complete the rehabilitation and upgrading of the Kafue Weighbridge to electronic standards, following the termination of the contract with Messrs Gabman Limited on 20th March, 2009.

The new contract may be awarded by the end of July, 2009. The intended completion period is four months. The Kafue Weighbridge may become operational by the end of December, 2009.

Madam Speaker, the RDA intensified the use of portable weighbridges on the Lusaka/Kafue/Chirundu Road to capture traffic from Zimbabwe and locally generated traffic from Chilanga Cement and Nakambala Sugar. The compensation collected for overloading offences at Kafue Weighbridge prior to its closure was K100,000,000 per month on average. The operations at Kafue Weighbridge have been suspended since October, 2007.

Madam Speaker, from April, 2007, when the services of the ZNS were withdrawn from the weighbridges, all of them, including the portable ones are being run by the employees of  RDA.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, when we were building the Livingstone electronic bridge, the old one was still functional and as a result, vehicles used to pass through it. Why is it that we cannot use the old bridge at Kafue since we do not have an electronic one yet?

The Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Mulongoti): Madam Speaker, we cannot use both bridges. If it is the mobile one which is operational, we must use it. If it is the still one which is operational, then we must use the still one.

Hon. Opposition Members: Use what?

Mr Mulongoti: A weighbridge. At the end of the day, we get the same result. The information I would like to give the House is that at present, we are using the portable one.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Madam Speaker, the road at this point has a lot of potholes, which is embarrassing to Zambia. Are there any plans to patch up those potholes?
Madam Deputy Speaker: Good, but misplaced question. We are looking at weighbridges.

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Madam Speaker, wherever weighbridges are located in this country, the roads are, pathetically, destroyed. The road at the Kafue Weighbridge is, totally, destroyed as a result of the weighbridge and because of the fact that vehicles stop there every so often. Can the hon. Minister indicate to this House what programme his Ministry has in place to ensure that the roads at the Kafue Weighbridge and at other weighbridges in the country are repaired?

Madam Deputy Speaker: Repeated and connected.


Mr Mulongoti: Madam Speaker, we are aware of this difficulty. We have applied for a piece of land near the weighbridge to provide for a parking space for trucks so as to avoid them parking on the main road. Negotiations have started with the owner of the piece of land which is adjacent to the same place so that we can put a new weighbridge and at the same time provide ample space for people to park.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Msichili (Kabushi): Madam Speaker, the whole world has gone electronic.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Msichili: An electronic weighbridge was installed at Kapiri Mposhi. However, half the time, this weighbridge does not work because of mechanical faults. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether they will change the supplier of the electronic weighbridge to be installed at Kafue.

Mr Mulongoti: Madam Speaker, to the best of our knowledge, it is not all the time that the weighbridge does not work. It is a machine and it is expected that from time to time, it will have faults. Our understanding is that it is working perfectly well except that there is so much congestion on account of too many trucks passing through. We are now, however, utilising the same weighbridges in a more progressive manner. In the past, the drivers had to argue with the people at the weighbridges. We have now introduced a fast track system whereby if a truck is overweight, the driver is simply given a ticket and at end of the day, given sometime in which to pay. If they do not pay, the truck is impounded.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.


303. Mr Chisala (Chilubi) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing whether the Ministry had any plans to establish local authority ward offices along the lines of parliamentary constituency offices to enable ward councillors discharge their duties more effectively.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Dr Puma): Madam Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that I do not think that councillors do not discharge their duties effectively due to lack of offices in their wards. Failure in my view by councillors to discharge their duties effectively depends on their caliber, initiative and education.

Madam Speaker, if councillors feel that they can operate well if they are given ward offices, the Government in consultation with all stakeholders in the local government system will consider this request even though it has not been presented as a priority. It should be noted that the Government is already establishing area development committees in all the councils where it is envisaged that ward councillors would be able to participate in the development of their areas effectively.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Chisala: Madam Speaker, the ward councillors countrywide play a very instrumental role in the political, economic and social development arenas. Would it not be prudent for the Government of the Republic of Zambia to come up with a deliberate policy whereby ward councillors meet the people at least once or twice in a week so as to attend to them, unlike the way things are at the moment.

Dr Puma: Madam Speaker, I do not know whether the hon. Member got me clearly, but I did mention that if the stakeholders feel that this is a priority, it will be considered. However, as at now, we have not received representation that there is need for offices for councillors in the wards.

I thank you, Madam.


304. Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma) asked the Minister of Local Government whether there were any plans to tar streets in towns countrywide as was the case during the First Republic.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Musosha): Madam Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that the Government has plans to resurface all the roads in townships with bituminous finish. This programme is being undertaken through the Road Rehabilitation and Maintenance Programme (PRMP).

Madam Speaker, it should, however, be noted that it may not be possible to have all township roads in the country provided with a bituminous finish because the backlog of road maintenance is huge taking into account the length of roads that have deteriorated over the years. The demand for the periodic maintenance, rehabilitation and improvements coupled with the need for the construction of new roads far outweigh the resources that the Government is able to raise annually for the road sector. Remember that money for roads is collected both from the fuel you buy and the co-operating partners. That is to say, the more we buy, the more the money for roads shall be collected. This means that the rate of correction of the many problems on our roads is in tandem with the rate of collection of money. In fact, this Government is working very hard and very fast.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from my dear brother, the hon. Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing ....

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Since when did we have a “dear brother?”


Mr Hamududu: Madam Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing.


Mr Hamududu: Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from him whether they have a work plan in place for such a programme. Since this is a countrywide issue. In Southern Province, this Government did something in Mazabuka and Choma, but they left out Monze. Do they have a specific work plan so that those towns that have really bad roads like Monze can have hope that, maybe, this year or next year they will do it?

Mr Musosha: Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Member for that reminder. As I go back to the office, I will ask our officers to prepare the same so that it can be distributed in the pigeon-holes.

 I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Madam Speaker, in his response, the hon. Minister related the issue of resurfacing township roads to the collection of fuel levy which can also be connected to the collection of taxes. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister, through you, when his Government is going to the Kamwala Trading Area which is paying more than K500 million every month to this Government through fuel levy as a result of the traffic that circulates in that area to which he has related the decisions to tar roads. When will he start surfacing those roads in that area to pay back to the people who are paying such heavy taxes?

Mr Musosha: Madam Speaker, like I have said, tarring of roads and, indeed, the rehabilitation and construction of new roads is an on-going programme. Already, everybody is a witness because we can see what is happening countrywide.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Lubinda: In Kamwala!

Hon. Government Members: Hear hear!

Ms Kapata (Mandevu): Madam Speaker, the First Republic left good roads. Forty-five years down the line, the roads which were tarred are a sorry sight. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether the Government has any intentions, especially for the roads that were once tarred…

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.


Ms Kapata: Madam Speaker, I was agreeing with the hon. Member of Parliament for Nangoma Parliamentary Constituency when he mentioned that most roads were made in the First Republic. I also said that forty-five years down the line, the once-tarred roads are a sorry sight. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether the Government has any plans to work on the once-tarred roads.

Mr Musosha: Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Member of Parliament for Mandevu who has reminded all of us of what happened in 1991 when the MMD Government took over the leadership of this country from United National Independence Party (UNIP). I am very sure that the state of the roads, at that time, was more terrible than it is now.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musosha: I, therefore, want to assure the nation, through this House, that this Government is a serious and caring Government.

 Mr Kambwili: Question!

Mr Musosha: It is working extra hard to ensure that the cost of repair to our vehicles is reduced by providing good roads.

Madam Speaker, every hon. Member of Parliament will testify because they travel day and night from this place to other parts of the country and their constituencies. They will testify that our roads in almost all districts and constituencies are being worked on by the Rural Roads Unit. This unit is addressing the problem of the bad state of our roads. Very recently, my ministry was engaged in the construction of two roads in every district. The procurement phase is gone and contractors are being called to go and start the works.

 I thank you, Madam Speaker. {mospagebreak}


305. Mr D. Mwila (Chipili) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives:

(a) which areas in Chipili Parliamentary Constituency had been identified for the construction of houses for agricultural officers in 2009;

(b) which place in the constituency had been identified for the rehabilitation of the existing houses for agricultural officers; and

(c) how much money the projects at (a) and (b) above would cost.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Mulonga): I wish to inform this august House that no area in Chipili Parliamentary Constituency has been identified for the construction of new houses.

Madam Speaker, the following areas in Chipili Parliamentary Constituency have been identified for rehabilitation of the existing houses:
 Area  Number of Houses

 Mwenda  1

 Chipili   1

 Luminu  1

 Mukonshi  1

  Kamami  1

 Mupeta  1

 Salango  1

 Mutipula  1

 Lupososhi  1

Madam Speaker, a total of K100 million will be spent on the rehabilitation of two houses this year.

I thank you, Madam Speaker

Mr D. Mwila: Madam Speaker, are you aware that the K450 million that was sent to Mwense District has been sent back to headquarters? When is this money going to be sent back to the district so that rehabilitation works of the houses can start?

Mr Mulonga: Madam Speaker, I may not be in a position to state exactly under what circumstances that money has been sent back to the headquarters. All I know is that only the moneys not used at the end of the expenditure year are sent back to the Ministry of Finance and National Planning. As a ministry, we do not get the money back to the ministry once it is disbursed. If that is the case, the area Member of Parliament can come to the office so that we follow it up.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Lubinda: Madam Speaker, Chipili is a farming community. The houses that the hon. Minister is talking about were built in the 1950s and 1960s when the population of small-scale farmers in Chipili was less than half of what it is now. The hon. Minister stated that they will be rehabilitating two houses this year. At that rate, by the time they are through with rehabilitating those nine houses they have identified, it will be four years along to the line. At the same time, more and more extension officers would …

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Lubinda: … be required in Chipili.

Mr Mulyata: Ask you question!

Mr Lubinda: Could the hon. Minister, therefore, state to us, instead of just saying “question” when they hope to provide sufficient housing and sufficient extension officers in the Chipili area?

Mr Mulonga: Madam Speaker, currently, the allocation of extension officers is per camp. We have stated that we have nine houses that are going to be rehabilitated, meaning that we have nine camps. The rehabilitation process has not just started this year, but is an on-going exercise. It has been there before, it is there today and it is going to continue. However, this is what the resource envelope could allow us to do this year.

Mr Lubinda: Muzasiliza liti?

Mr Mulonga: Otherwise, we will continue even next year.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Lubinda: Muzasiliza liti?


306. Ms Kapata (Mandevu) asked the Minister of Health why the Government had introduced midwifery training without basic training in nursing as a prerequisite, as was the standard practice in medicine.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Mr Akakandelwa): Madam Speaker, the Government introduced direct entry into midwifery training as one of the strategies to address the human resource crisis that the health sector is experiencing. The two-year course comprises the following components:

(i) six months general nursing;
(ii) one year midwifery training (theory and practice); and
(iii) six months internship in midwifery practice both at a health facility and community setting.

Madam Speaker, from the above, it is clear that the course includes basic training in nursing contrary to what the question claims. At the end of this course, the graduate is expected to have comprehensive knowledge and skills to provide quality services only after two years of training as opposed to four or five years in the previous regime.

The curriculum for this programme, which was developed in consultation with the General Nursing Council (GNC), is detailed enough to produce a highly-skilled and knowledgeable midwife as it puts emphasis on quality as opposed to quantity.

Madam, through this programme, the ministry intends to increase the number of midwives who will be able to provide quality midwifery and reproductive health services throughout the country and contribute to the improvement of maternal and child health and thus the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals No. 4 and 5.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Ms Kapata: Madam Speaker, as I stand here, I am a very sad nurse …


Hon. Government Members: Hon. Member!

Ms Kapata: … because I feel that nursing has many subjects and six months is not enough to give basic training hence risking most of the patients. The nurses …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member, you are debating. Can you ask your follow-up question?

Ms Kapata: Is that the standard that the Government is going to put in place in order to address the issue of the shortage of nurses?

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Akakandelwa: Madam Speaker, the curriculum that this programme is following was audited and agreed to by GNC. Therefore, it is sufficient to meet the demands of this level of nursing.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Katema (Chingola): Madam Speaker, may I find out from the hon. Minister of Health whether this curriculum has been recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO)?

The Minister of Health (Mr Simbao): Madam Speaker, the General Nursing Council is the authority on the curricula for the nurses in this country. So, I do not see how that question applies.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mrs Phiri: Madam Speaker, since we have some women who already have an idea of being traditional midwives, is it possible that they can be considered to be trained under this programme so that they are also given something to take home since most of these traditional birth attendants (TBAs) do it free of charge?

Mr Simbao: Madam Speaker, my Deputy Minister just attended a seminar in Ethiopia where they are seriously looking at TBAs. As of now, we cannot have a midwife in every community but we have a lot of ladies living in communities. So, it is one area that we are seriously studying so as to see what these people can do and to what extent. Once we have decided, we will share these responsibilities.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


307. Mr Kambwili  asked the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development:

(a) what the status of the Konkola Copper Mines Plc smelter in the Chingola District was; and

(b) how many Indian nationals had been employed at the smelter above as of 31st December, 2008.

The Deputy Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr Nkhata): Madam Speaker, you may wish to know that the Konkola copper Mines (KCM) Plc smelter in Chingola was commissioned in November, 2008. The smelter uses direct to blister copper flash smelting technology and is the first of its kind in Zambia and, indeed, in Africa. Since commissioning in November 2008, it has had start-up teething problems resulting into three shut-downs. The first shut-down being from 24th December, 2008 to 15th January, 2009, followed by another one from 5th April 2009 to 3rd May, 2009 and lastly, from 26th June, 2009 to 9th June, 2009. All the three shut-downs were as a result of refractory brick wall failure in the smelting furnace. Management at the smelter have, however, enhanced operational and monitoring systems for the smelter and it is currently fully operational.

Madam Speaker, as regards (b), the House may wish to know that a total of forty-seven Indian nationals were employed by the smelter as of 31st December, 2008 against a Zambian workforce of 388. All the forty-seven Indian nationals were employed in engineering fields and their presence was necessary to train Zambians on the operation of this ultra modern smelter. It is expected that with the passage of time, the number of Indian nationals employed at the smelter will significantly reduce.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kambwili: Madam Speaker, I would like to find out whether you need a workman to train another workman because at the smelter in Chingola, there are Indian workmen working there as opposed to the answer that the hon. Deputy Minister has given. I would like to know whether you need a workman to teach another workman how to roll a wheelbarrow.

The Minister for Presidential Affairs (Mr Mukuma) (on behalf of the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr Mwale): Madam Speaker, it has not come to the attention of the ministry that the Indians there are, actually, pushing wheelbarrows. As far as we know and according to the permits that were given to them, they are engineers and they are, actually, busy training the Zambians. The question of Indians being employed and being given work permits to come and push wheelbarrows has not come to our attention.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Milupi: Madam Speaker, with regard to the forty-seven expatriates working at the smelter, would the hon. Minister not recognise that this number is far too high taking into account that Zambia has the highest expertise in copper smelting technology, which is far higher than that of India with Hindustan Copper being a very small producer of copper. I would like the hon. Minister to indicate to us where these forty-seven Indians got the expertise in copper smelting which is higher than what is found in Zambia.

Mr Mukuma: Madam Speaker, I do appreciate that forty-seven is a high number, but as we have pointed out in our response, these Indians are here to train Zambians. While I appreciate that Zambia has been a mining country for quite a long time, what we should also understand and appreciate is that technology in the mining industry is changing and, therefore, a Zambian who was trained sometime back may not be acquainted with modern technology.

Madam Speaker, we have already mentioned in our answer, here, that this particular smelter is the only of its kind here in Africa and, therefore, you do not expect the Zambians to be acquainted with the operation of this type of smelter, hence, the justification of the number of Indians coming here. As to whether the Indians have the ability to train Zambians in that regard, my understanding is that these Indians must have been seconded to the plant here by the manufacturers themselves. That being the case, then, they have the knowledge of technology which they are imparting to the Zambians.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr P. P. Chanda: Madam Speaker, a flash smelter is similar to the icer smelter that is operating in Mufulira. These types of smelters are capable of producing highly concentrated sulphur dioxide and from what I hear, there is a lot of pollution in Nchanga. I would like to know what is being done to reduce on pollution which is very dangerous.

Mr Mukuma: Madam Speaker, a lot is being done to control pollution. Right now, there is a pollution control dam and a contractor has been engaged to monitor the pollution of the rivers. In the first of week of July, officers from the ministry visited Nchanga and they went to this control dam and found it operating in a very satisfactory manner.

Madam Speaker, even the silting which was the concern of the World Bank is under control and, in fact, dredging is going on. Appropriate measures have been taken and the situation is under control.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr E Mwansa (Chifunabuli): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister in answer to one of the questions told this House that it is important to train the Zambians in the new technologies available at the smelter and that is correct. However, I would like to know from the hon. Minister when the training is ending and when Zambians will take over the running of the smelter.

Mr Mukuma: Madam Speaker, KCM has a training programme and progression radar for all its staff. Once the Zambians are trained, it elevates them according to its elevation scheme.

Madam Speaker, KCM is also being monitored, like any other companies, by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security because the ministry demands a progression scheme from every mining company and from time to time they go to check to make sure that the progression scheme that has been provided to them is being adhered to. So, everything is being taken care of. The Ministry of Labour and Social Security will make its inspection and assessment together with the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development which will ensure that this progression of manpower is being carried out.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


308. Mr Kakusa (Kabwe Central) asked the Minister of Home Affairs when the sewer system in the following police camps would be rehabilitated:

(i) Kasanda;
(ii) Chowa; and
(iii) Kabwe Central.

Mr Bonshe: Madam Speaker, in a considerable number of police camps countrywide, sewer systems are in a state of disrepair. Thus, huge sums of money are needed to completely overhaul these sewer systems. Additionally, there is need to work on the water reticulation system which complements the sewer system. To this effect, the ministry has been working on an infrastructure development action plan aimed at identifying police camps whose infrastructure needs refurbishing. Thereafter, the kind of works to be done, costs and time frames to complete works are being determined.

The ministry has included rehabilitation of sewer systems at Kasanda, Chowa and Kabwe Central police stations in its action plan. Once resources are mobilised as per action plan, works at these police stations will commence.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


309. Mr Kasongo asked the Minister of Communications and Transport:

(a) whether any of the mobile phone service providers incurred losses during the period 9th September, 2000 to 9th September, 2008 due to computer hacking;

(b) what the extent of the losses at (a) was; and

(c) what measures had been taken to prevent such losses in future.

Mr Mubika: Madam Speaker, none of the three mobile service providers incurred losses due to computer hacking during the stated period 9th September, 2000 to 9th September, 2008. The three mobile service providers in Zambia have taken preventive measures against this kind of violation. MTN has a dedicated security administrator and has its system behind a firewall, ZAIN has an independent protective system from Zamnet, while Zambia Telecommunications Company(Zamtel) has also put up protective measures.

Madam Speaker, the three mobile service providers did not experience any loss due to computer hacking as stated in part (a).

Madam Speaker, as stated, each of the mobile service providers already has a protective system that prevents computer hacking.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Deputy Speaker: The hon. Member for Kabushi is not in the House and, therefore, the Question lapses.





The Vice-President and Minister of Justice (Mr Kunda, SC.): Madam Speaker, I beg to present a Bill entitled the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill, 2009. The object of this Bill is to:

(a) revise the budget cycle of the Republic; and

(b) provide for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker: The Bill stands referred to the Committee on Legal Affairs, Governance, Human Rights and Gender Matters. The committee is referred to submit its report on the Bill to the House by Wednesday 5th August, 2009. Hon. Members, who wish to make submissions or amendments to the Bill are free to do so within the programme of work of the Committee.

Thank you.




Dr Chishimba (Kasama): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that this House urges the Government to develop on an indigenous knowledge systems policy to interface with other modern knowledge systems and sectors so as to increase the rate of innovation.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mr Milupi (Luena): Yes, Madam Speaker, it is adequately seconded.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Dr Chishimba: May the peace of God the Father, the son and the Holy Spirit be with this august House.


Dr Chishimba: Madam Speaker, this Motion which is tabled before the House, today, was inspired by the exhibition which was done, here, on Parliament grounds by the Lusaka Museum. From there, I was provoked to begin my research.

In my debate, I contend that indigenous knowledge has attracted the attention of the international community. Then, I also acknowledge that the Government of the Republic of Zambia has made tremendous progress in attempting to come up with a policy on indigenous knowledge. I will identify the missing links in the current efforts. In the same breath, I will bring out the major concerns for both executive and legislative action. In further treatment of the subject, I will humbly invite the House to learn from other countries that have made strides in entrenching indigenous knowledge in their national economies.

By way of conclusion, I will give my humble advice on what our Government, in solidarity with the people, needs to do.

The patriotic and progressive son of the soil, Hon. Charles Milupi, hon. Member of Parliament for Luena will address the House on the following in seconding the Motion:

(i) Definition of indigenous knowledge;
(ii) areas covered in the current Government efforts to create an inventory of indigenous knowledge;
(iii) commercialisation of indigenous knowledge; and 
(iv) way forward from the funding standpoint.

Madam Speaker, I begin with an international perspective. According to the World Commission on Environment and Development, the communities are the repositories of vast accumulations of traditional knowledge and experiences that link humanity with ancient origins. Their disappearance is a loss for the larger society, which could learn a great deal from their traditional skills in sustainably managing very complex ecological systems. This means that indigenous knowledge is a collective property of every society. It also confirms the vast array of scientific knowledge which is embedded in the, everyday, life of our ancestors.

Madam Speaker, the United Nations Charter on indigenous people’s rights, indigenous knowledge entails that the following rights embedded in the way of life of the people are granted:

(i) right to self-determination;
(ii) right to land;
(iii) right to property;
(iv) right to culture; and 
(v) right to traditions and customs.

Madam Speaker, Zambia must seize this opportunity to expedite the development of mechanisms that will not only document indigenous knowledge, but also protect it from private sector exploitation without giving to the people what belongs to them. Indigenous knowledge is part of the estate left for us by our ancestors. This is why in pursuit of self-determination our founding fathers and mothers from North to South and East to West united to conceive liberty for us and our beloved country, Zambia. These men and women, who lie silently in their graves, unclaimed, today, will have died in vain if we entertain the tyranny of nonchalant and perfunctory ways of conducting national affairs.

 This means that both sides of the divide, that is the Ruling and Opposition parties and independent hon. Members, must choose to be bound by common ground, which, in this case, constitutes the unavoidable reality that we all seek to serve the same people who need land and property for the advancement of culture, traditions and customs in which indigenous knowledge is embedded. This is the only way our generation will give concrete meaning to the pursuit of self determination.

The battle we face to secure indigenous knowledge is not as fierce as the struggle for independence, but we should not be subjugated by the beguiling appeal to taker things easy.

Zambians are suffering and are in need of concrete solutions and not abstracts. They want their indigenous knowledge to be protected, and that is not much to ask for.

Madam Speaker, I would like to look at some of the Government’s efforts to secure indigenous knowledge. I heartily commend the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government for the current efforts to come up with a policy. Indeed, it is encouraging that the 2005 Draft National Policy on indigenous knowledge, genetic resources and folklore in Zambia addresses itself to the following:

(i) facilitate collaborations and corporation between indigenous knowledge and scientific knowledge for purposes of biodiversity conservation at the local level;

(ii) develop and introduce holistic approaches to understanding, recognising and preserving indigenous knowledge with the view to integrating it in national development plans; and

(iii) facilitate the development of the intellectual property regimes that recognise the enormous contribution that local and indigenous communities and farmers have made and continue to make for the conservation and development of genetic resources which constitute the basis of food production.

The Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training is entrusted with this huge responsibility. The ground work is being laid through the National Science and Technological Council, a statutory body that facilitates the development and application of science and technology in Zambia. Between 2000 and 2002, the council conducted a survey to review the literature on indigenous knowledge and technology systems in Zambia. A report was produced in 2003. Notably, the project intends to create a database out of the field survey material.

These developments clearly show that the Government is moving on to secure indigenous knowledge, but I urge it to expedite the process since it has taken over five years now without any finality to the matter, which includes legislative action.

Taking cognisance of the ongoing process, let me seize this opportunity to address the minds of our colleagues in the Executive to strategic missing links in current efforts. Indigenous knowledge is embedded in the daily lives of the people. Therefore, a comprehensive and deep-rooted inventory is one which is people driven because it is the people who are the owners of this indigenous knowledge. It requires documentalists with de-colonised methodologies that require them to be part of the everyday life of the people.

For example, the chitemene (slash and burn) system is not only scientific, but also a social process, hence my appeal is that there is a need to come up with methods which are de-colonised. If we apply other methods which are removed from the everyday lifestyles of the people, we are then not going to get practical aspects of the social processes that our people find themselves in on a daily basis. For example, chitemene supports social institutions such as iciima (group work), a source of togetherness and collective responsibility.

This is the reason Africa must arise from her slumber and step into her destiny. Why should Africa accept workshops and lectures from the west on group dynamics when in actual fact working together is part of our everyday life in Africa. In fact, the west begins by dividing us in the name of economic hardships and then come from behind to lecture us on collective responsibility. This is our own knowledge. Africa and Zambia in particular must arise.

Before indigenous knowledge is commercialised, the process of identification must include de-colonising our minds and de-mystifying indigenous knowledge. This requires an interconnected approach to the whole process. This means that specialists in indigenous knowledge, community members, inclusive and conventional scientists must work together.

For instance, where modern scientists see witchcraft, the counterpart would deduce utilisable knowledge. This would mediate into a possible or deliberate by-pass of potential innovative indigenous knowledge by conventional scientists.

Let me put a caveat here. For instance, where witchcraft is involved, as we have seen in exhibitions in our national museums, there is talk of the use of blood. Our scientists should instead seek alternatives such as the use of bio-fuels and also learn from what is behind the same witchcraft that people might be practicing.


Dr Chishimba: Madam Speaker, let me also submit that scientists have to investigate further the power behind traditional laptops and commercialise them for surveillance purposes for defence and national security. They can consult some …


Dr Chishimba: … of the hon. Members of Parliament here to learn more about such laptops. This confirms that we have this wealth of indigenous knowledge into which we need to tap to develop our country.

Indigenous knowledge is based on the fundamental principle of interconnectedness (symbiosis) of life cycles which includes spirituality. In indigenous knowledge, issues of socio-cultural, economic and environment are moralised by spirituality. For example, forests and other God-created works are sacred. Local names for God include leza, mulungu, zambi, mulena, lesa and so and so forth. Therefore, spirituality must be comprehensive and documented as a process of supporting and strengthening indigenous knowledge.

When indigenous knowledge is collected, appropriated and distributed by conventional scientists, studies in most parts of the world have shown that the owners of the knowledge do not benefit. In Zambia, a typical example is the case of the maheu drink. Hon. Dr Bernard Chishya is the scientist behind the maheu drink. Firstly, he got the idea of maheu from Magoye where the local people use a root called mahaabe. He then identified the type of enzymes in them. After that, he went further and discovered that a similar root called chifumfula was being used in Chieftainess Nkomesha’s area in Chongwe District. Dr Chishya went a step further and engaged an elderly woman from Chieftainess Nkomesha’s area who brewed the maheu drink. Upon doing laboratory analysis of the brew, an alternative technological know-how was developed and the patent was sold to Trade Kings.

In this process, Dr Chishya identified the type of fermentation that went on in the drink, which, in fact, was actually a reverse process of what happens in the fermentation of Mosi lager. Simulations were then done.

Even though the elderly woman was compensated for the role she played, many questions arise. Who are …

Mr Mbewe: On a point of order, Madam.

Madam Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Mbewe: Madam Speaker, I stand on a very serious point of order. Is the hon. Member on the Floor, who is just giving us his final speech, …


Mr Mbewe: … in order to be confusing us with his scientific terms instead of bidding farewell?


Mr Mbewe: I need your serious ruling.


Madam Deputy Speaker: The hon. Member on the Floor cannot bid farewell because that is only done when somebody is leaving. However, the hon. Member who has raised the point of order is also concerned that the hon. Member on the Floor is confusing him.


  Madam Deputy Speaker: The advice from the Chair is that the hon. Member on the Floor will try to communicate by reducing the number of words so that the hon. Member will be able to follow. Therefore, be precise and to the point so that the Member can follow rather than lose the people in your speech.

You may continue, please.

Dr Chishimba: Madam Speaker, it will surprise the hon. Member that we will be together next week.

Madam Speaker, even though the elderly woman was compensated for the role she played, many questions arise: Who are the owners of the knowledge, is it one person or the community that should receive the benefits, what has been the contribution from the producers to the owners of the indigenous knowledge on maheu, how empowered are the owners of the indigenous knowledge as to demand for social responsibility from our appropriators of the knowledge shared with the rest of the society?

Other examples include mabisi by Parmalat, mosi larger by Zambian Breweries. All these are owned by the local people and it is common knowledge that both mabisi and mosi, for instance, are associated with the knowledge of our hard-working indigenous brothers and sisters, the Tonga people of Southern Province, but what has been their benefit? Now is the time to act and change the Zambian story.

Our minerals have been exploited and our people’s knowledge is being appropriated without benefit. To safeguard the principle of the interconnectedness, the policy must relate to the UN Charter on indigenous people. It is window dressing to address issues of indigenous knowledge without due consideration of the rights of the people who own it. For instance, to address the issue of the indigenous knowledge such as crafts, one cannot rule out the land where the primary resources are harvested. What is the legal framework on land issues regarding indigenous knowledge?

I now present the major concerns in the form of questions for the Government to consider as this House urges them to do so with humility:

(i) why has it taken relatively long to have a policy on indigenous knowledge;

(ii) who are the major players in the process of realising this policy and how are they coordinating;

(iii) how is the rural community engaged in the process of promoting indigenous knowledge and how are they going to benefit;

(iv) how much resources have been allocated to this sector of indigenous knowledge;

(v) what are the challenges at hand in this process; and

(vi) is it commercialisation or sustainable utilisation of indigenous knowledge?

These are some of the pertinent questions that the Government must consider as prayed by this august House.

The movie industry in Nigeria is greatly inspired by the Nigerian indigenous knowledge, a style such as the language (Nigerian English, for instance, Chineko o!) dressing beliefs, art and witchcraft inclusive.

The traditional art of thatching in South Africa contribute greatly to ethno-tourism.

Traditional games and sports such as Kungfu, Tekwendo and Karate have contributed to the body of sports at the international level. 
The Bio-Char technology which has important implications for sustainable agriculture practices is a product of indigenous knowledge of the Red Indians of Brazil.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

The hon. Members on my right may get confused if they do not listen carefully. Can you give more attention to this indigenous knowledge.


Dr Chishimba: Madam Speaker, long life expectancy in Japan is partly linked to their traditional Japanese food which has only Japanese names. In our case, we even want to change the names of chibwabwa and say pumpkin leaves. The contemporary Chinese traditional medicine has its roots in Chinese ancient knowledge on herbal medicines and therapies.

Madam Speaker, as I conclude, let me say that:

(a) Zambia urgently needs a policy on indigenous knowledge, systems and practices. As already submitted, an interconnected approach is required to fulfill this obligation. The already designated institution, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training, through the National Science and Technological Council must collaborate with institutions that are vested in cultural heritage issues such as museums to bring forth the diversified results. The latter would mediate and advocate for community participation in the process of identification, documentation, sharing and popularisation of the indigenous knowledge systems and practices.

(b) Popularise knowledge systems through more exhibitions, publications, research, extra- curricular school activities, social and business gatherings (local and international), as well as national events and ceremonies.

(c) The Government must consider increasing funding to science and technology and all sectors with responsibility over indigenous knowledge.

(d) Like the case for South Africa, the Government must consider creating a national trust fund, which may be called the Indigenous People’s Knowledge Development Trust Fund into which royalties ought to be paid by commercial entities appropriating indigenous knowledge.

(e) The Government must consider patenting indigenous knowledge and ensure that all those commercial entities appropriating indigenous knowledge become socially responsible by ploughing back into the rural areas for the indigenous knowledge they use.

(f) Include indigenous knowledge in the copyright laws or shall I say, intellectual property laws in which case indigenous knowledge will be a collective property of the indigenous people.

Let me now end by emphasising that this Motion only urges the Government to consider these ideas and not necessarily all of them. The economies all over the world have become knowledge based.

Any country which does not invest in knowledge in this digital era is a country headed for doom. Now is the time to realise and accept that indigenous knowledge is fundamentally a knowledge base for present and future innovations. Now is the time for Zambia to be in alignment with the rest of the world for accelerated development, invest in the people in order to secure the future of our country through an educated and informed citizenry and rise above the smallness of our politics and embrace a broader development agenda of making every Zambian happy.

Madam Speaker, this is the time which we must cease to translate into reality the making of our country into a land of work and joy in unity. Under the banner of our creed, ‘One Zambia One Nation’, shall we unite and protect this indigenous knowledge for national development.

Now is the time for political debates that focus on issues such as this one, indigenous knowledge and development as opposed to the hurling of vitriol at each other coming from both sides of the divide.

Madam Speaker now is the time for united progressive people to change the course of history from hopelessness to hope through indigenous knowledge which is about togetherness, believing that under God Almighty, we can do it.

I am internally thankful to the Clerk of the National Assembly and all members of staff in the Research, Journals, Secretarial and Cleaning departments for facilitating the process in the most efficient and effective manner I will never forget. I am humbled for the professional guidance that I received. God bless you!

To all hon. Members of Parliament who were available for consultations, I say thank you and God bless you too.

To the Lusaka National Museum, I am heartily thankful for the inspiration I got from that exhibition.

To the able and intellectually sound seconder and presidential material, Hon. Milupi, MP, God bless you.

May the Lord God Almighty, merciful and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in goodness and truth take the honour and glory.

I beg to move with great humility and thanks.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

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

Mr Milupi: Now, Madam.

Mr Milupi: Madam Speaker, I stand on the Floor of this House to render my support to this Motion adequately and ably delivered by the hon. Member for Kasama. We hope that he will continue in that line.

Madam Speaker, I agreed to second this Motion because it is a very serious motion, it is the very essence of our existence as a people.

Madam Speaker, even God said that without Science, we cannot exist. Therefore, let us ask ourselves, what is Science? We are where we are because our ancestors through the ages were able to harness Science as they understood it. It is because of that that today, our very existence as a people is evident.

Madam Speaker, indigenous Science knowledge refers us to a range of ideas, experiences, practices and information locally applied by given ethnic groups in the process of identification, naming, production, utilisation and preservation of products from the local environment. Indigenous knowledge is highly embedded in the everyday life of the people.
   Madam Speaker, we must focus on ourselves as indigenous Zambians and we must recognise the scientific knowledge that preserved our ancestors and was passed onto ourselves. In doing this, we must also understand that Zambia, as we have said on a number of occasions, is a land of different groups of people. As a result of the resource shortfalls that we have, the majority of our people in rural areas still depend on indigenous science for their survival.

Madam Speaker, in Zambia from time immemorial, rural communities have depended on indigenous scientific knowledge for their survival. Communities have applied indigenous scientific knowledge in almost all sectors that pertain to their spiritual, social and economic development. It is clear that any society existing at any given time in history will have done so on the basis of its ability to harness its local resources to ensure its survival. The harnessing of local resources is all about using indigenous scientific knowledge.

Often, Madam Speaker, there is a misconception that scientific knowledge applies only works well in the so-called developed countries, especially those in the west. Indeed the evolution of our indigenous societies was based on scientific knowledge developed by our ancestors.

Madam Speaker, maybe we should look at what our country has done in terms of recognising this indigenous knowledge. An inventory of indigenous scientific knowledge in Zambia has been initiated and that we must recognise. This is serving as a means for recording indigenous scientific knowledge. So far, indigenous scientific knowledge in the Northern and Eastern provinces of Zambia has been documented. I would like to urge the Government to ensure that this exercise is quickly extended from the two provinces where it has already been initiated to cover the whole country because it is urgently needed. For detailed information on this, I refer you to the Indigenous Knowledge and Technologies Survey Report for Northern and Eastern provinces of Zambia which was produced in April, 2005.

Mrs Masebo: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi: You remember, thank you very much. The inventory covered the following areas of indigenous scientific knowledge; agriculture, manufacturing, construction, health, mining, musical instruments, natural resource management, transport and communications as well as crafts. The inventory brought out information on how rural communities have utilised and preserved the knowledge for purposes of their livelihoods and survival. This information is critical in the process of developing appropriate policy and legislation which will proactively secure the holders and users legal rights. I again here refer you to the United Nations Charter on Indigenous Peoples Rights.

Madam Speaker, our societies have involved indigenous solutions in sorting out a number of problems that existed in the past and continue to exist. People also use indigenous knowledge to make decisions regarding their way of life. Let me refer this House to companies such as Sylva Catering Services, which have taken it upon themselves to develop indigenous dishes that our forefathers and foremothers passed on to them. This initiative is already proving to be a useful source of revenue for the companies involved in it. Already the modern world is moving towards the use of organic foods. Organic food is found in European countries, the United States of America and other places. Organic foods are given a very high place on the social tables. Here in Zambia, most of our people survive on organic foods. It is necessary that the Government helps our people to extract maximum financial benefits from these organic foods by helping them to export these foods.

Madam Speaker, our indigenous societies have developed methods of food preservation which should put us in a position to export these indigenous foods to other countries. The mover of this motion was able to point this House to the far east countries which have developed their own foods and ways of life which are totally different from those of the western society.

On health issues, Madam Speaker, various remedies are available for diseases such as asthma that western medicines have so far failed to cure. We also have traditional birth attendants who were talked about earlier this afternoon. This again is traditional and indigenous knowledge that needs to be preserved. We are happy to hear that even hon. Ministers are encouraging the preservation of such knowledge.

On HIV/AIDS, it is generally accepted, Madam Speaker, that whereas the indigenous remedies currently available on the market do not yet provide a cure, they also provide relief, much in the same lines as the western anti-retrovirals (ARVs).

Two weeks ago I was in the village, Madam Speaker, and because there are no mortuaries, it was interesting when as a family we were organising to go to another place where there is a mortuary to hear how they were going to preserve the body for two days whilst awaiting family members to travel from Lusaka to that place. True to their word, they were able to preserve the body and other members of the family found it in good state. That is indigenous knowledge.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi: Madam Speaker, traditional and indigenous knowledge also extend to other areas of human activity. On the transportation system, canoes, sleighs and the like are also an indication of the fact that even without western civilisation, we are able to develop our own systems of transport.

Madam Speaker, building materials that are developed in Africa are much more environmentally friendly than the ones that we see in other places. Diseases which threaten to decimate our animal population were non-existent during the days of our forefathers because they were able to harness indigenous knowledge which they used to cure these diseases whenever they broke out.

Finally, there is need for further commercialisation and patenting of this knowledge. We urge the Government to be proactive in ensuring that this knowledge is preserved and utilised for the benefit of those that have developed it or the communities that have preserved it and the country.

Finally the ministry which is responsible for this, Madam Speaker, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training, must be encouraged in terms of ensuring that they have adequate resources. They must also be encouraged in making sure that they have got the required human resources and, above all, it is one ministry that has suffered frequent changes of hon. Ministers. Yet, from what the mover of this Motion and I have said, it is a very strategic ministry. I urge the Government, also, to ensure that there is stability especially at ministerial level in this ministry.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Dr Kalumba (Chienge):  Madam Speaker, I am excited by the Motion that has been put on the Floor of the House. Indeed, some attempts at enlightening us on the challenges on indigenous knowledge have been made. I know that one of my colleagues from the ministry, although I do not know which ministry he is in now, has tried to suggest confusion, but because it was confusing, it demands clarification. It is equally important that he felt confused and, therefore, there is need for clarification. I think there are issues that might need to be clarified in terms of policy relevancy. I think this Motion is not a joke. It is actually a very serious Motion, but it requires us to think through some of the challenges that need to be addressed.

Madam Speaker, the first one I have seen is that of taxonomy. How do you classify this body of knowledge apart from other bodies of knowledge? To qualify it as indigenous, you are suggesting a particular epistemological system. There are ways of generating those ideas that may differ from other ways of generating those ideas. Therefore, we have a challenge of competent authors of indigenous knowledge and how they think in a way different from others. Do we have competent authors of indigenous knowledge who can describe how that body of knowledge was generated apart from what we may call scientific or modern knowledge?  Now, if you call it indigenous knowledge, then the other knowledge must be called something else. If you said indigenous knowledge is scientific knowledge, then we have a problem. Does it follow the same way of generation? Does it have the epistemological system? Therefore, we have a challenge which I think policy makers must face. Do we have competent authors of indigenous knowledge? What my colleagues have suggested are examples of knowledge use in our traditional community such as how vegetables are preserved.

Madam Speaker, the challenge I see is how our people, in the old days, came up with the idea of preserving vegetables in a particular way. Did it suggest a method of generating knowledge of preserving vegetables that could be systematically codified? Those are the intellectual challenges we are facing. If one suggests, for example, the traditional names of trees, what system of thought in different Zambian communities is used? There will be lexicon issues and a lot of other questions that would need to be answered. Therefore, I think there is a challenge in this particular subject that we need to address.

However, I think the foreground for thinking about this are two simple concepts. The first one is to think about it in terms of body knowledge that is designed to control bodies on one hand and then a level of knowledge that is designed to control resources on the other hand. Then look at these two concepts and ask yourselves, “How, in our indigenous settings, do our people control bodies?” What are the systems of thought related to the control of bodies? Now, in modern society, we have a wide range of subjects related to the control of bodies. These are psychology, ecology, sociology, theology and many others, all designed to the question of control of bodies. Economics and physics are all designed to the control of resources.

Madam Speaker, let us think through, as policy makers, how we can tap in the knowledge base of our people at these two levels, epistemologically. How do our communities in rural areas, assuming we ring-fence them towards influence from outside, develop systems of thought that help them to control their human body, meaning communities or families? What are the ideas related to individuals, families, communities and societies? How are they arranged? That is one set of knowledge that we have to preserve.

Madam Speaker, another set is how do our communities develop knowledge related to the control of material resources that help them to survive? I think that is a very interesting subject and we need, sometime, to think through that, but it is a serious challenge.

 Madam Speaker, there is also the question of how to prove knowledge to be false in indigenous terms. We have examples and I think the two speakers have made reference to HIV. There may be knowledge which may be false knowledge. It can be proved to be wrong. This is an idea that may be wrong. How do communities that we are calling indigenous people falsify an idea? How do they prove that this knowledge is not correct? You need a whole sort of system of thought to understand that system of knowledge and how to falsify an idea.

Dr Machungwa: On a point of order, Madam.

Dr Kalumba: Yes, my dear! Oh! Sorry, Madam Speaker.


Madam Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Dr Machungwa: Madam Speaker, I hate to interrupt the beautiful debate that is being given by my brother, but when he is talking about knowledge and being false he, himself, is an academician and a researcher in these matters and has experienced some of these things.


Dr Machungwa: Is he in order not to state from his own experience …


Dr Machungwa: ….whether these issues are true or false …


Dr Machungwa: … so that we can understand and benefit?


Madam Deputy Speaker: The serious ruling is that the hon. Member debating may take that point order into consideration.

Dr Kalumba: I thank you, Madam Speaker.

It is a very interesting point of order, Madam Speaker, and I am taking note of it.


Madam Deputy Speaker: No, the ruling is made, consider it.


Dr Kalumba: Yes, Madam Speaker. I do believe that it is a claim of invisibility. Let us take that.


Dr Kalumba: There is a way of proving whether that is possible or not within indigenous systems.


Dr Kalumba: You have to think in the system of thought relevant to the subject.


Dr Kalumba: You cannot use modern science to falsify invisibility in indigenous terms.


Dr Kalumba: That is the point I would like to make. It is important that we take this idea very seriously, but what I am saying is that is there is a policy issue here which the Government needs to think through. It is non-controversial, in my view, and requires support.

Madam Speaker, the agents of change are academicians. As my hon. Colleague puts it, the Ministry of Science and Technology should be nurturing or creating nurseries of thought. We need these nurseries of thought in academic centres to be able to tap into this kind of ideas. Is it possible? How come these traditional people thought of flying …

Hon. Member: In the night!

Dr Kalumba: … in the night, in their own way? They must have some way of generating ideas about flying that we need to understand in modern terms. If you asked me, for those students who are curious, we can talk about that later.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Madam Speaker, firstly, I want to state that I support this high level of debate. I am sure, our people out there are very proud of us for discussing very serious issues. These are very topical issues and I hope we will stay a little longer so that we exhaust this subject.

Madam Speaker, I am one of those that supported the development of this Motion. I should have seconded it, but I was out of the country. I am, therefore, very grateful to Hon. Milupi for having taken my place.

Madam Speaker, what we are discussing here is not new. The problem with our country is that we talk, but we do not deliver. For example, South Africa is a new nation, but it has this policy already. The Indigenous Knowledge Systems Policy was adopted in November, 2004 and it was highly celebrated. It is very relevant for the economy. In this policy, we want to take the best out of the indigenous knowledge. Really, other things that you are not comfortable with will not be there are, but there are some obvious relevant issues in indigenous knowledge. I would not take the issues of witchcraft because people will not accept that.

Madam, we want to talk about useful knowledge that is important to our livelihoods and this is very obvious. People in the rural areas, for example, have a longer lifespan than those of us in town because they are more linked to the indigenous knowledge. For example, in Northern Namibia, under the apartheid regime, the indigenous people were pushed to the northern part and a red line was drawn. The southern part was a developed place for whites. These people in the northern part survived on indigenous knowledge. One of their staple foods, millet, is so nutritious that they live longer.

The former President of Namibia, Mr Sam Nyuoma’s mother died at 110 years. I think we were at the funeral with Dr Kaunda. These people, because of their linkage to indigenous knowledge, are benefiting. This indigenous knowledge is supreme. This policy is helping to put a framework to recognise, affirm, develop, promote and protect indigenous knowledge and resources. If we do not put such a policy in place, this knowledge will vanish and it is vanishing at a very fast rate. We need an indigenous knowledge policy to guide in establishing research infrastructure so that we have data bases, libraries, museums, laboratories and centres where we can, actually, house this knowledge and some of these objects so that the inferior generation can learn.

Madam Speaker, indigenous knowledge can help us to fight poverty. For example, in the areas of food, we have lost preservation methods of food in the rural areas. That is why people are crying for relief food every time. They have enough food now, but they have lost some knowledge that is affordable to preserve food through out the year. We are all villagers here and we all know. You know how our grandparents used to preserve food.

Mr Mubika: Fridges!

Mr Hamududu: What fridge? There is no power. The food will rot because there are power outages at anytime.

Madam Speaker, food preserved through indigenous knowledge is not linked to unreliable support infrastructure such as electricity. You cannot keep food in the fridge. It will rot because this power is not sustainable as we have discovered. The knowledge that our people have will preserve food for so many years. For example, we can preserve sweet potatoes and vegetables. Our old folk had methods which have been lost because of lack of a policy framework to preserve that knowledge so that people can learn how to use these for survival. In countries such as Darfur and the Democratic Republic of Congo, people live on indigenous knowledge. The San people in the south live on indigenous knowledge and they are very healthy. They are not as sickly as we, living on western knowledge, are. Those people eat pure food and they use medicines that are not toxic.

Madam Speaker, although we call the San people bush men, they are real Bantu Speaking people. They are the original people of this area. If you call them bush men, they will kill you. The San people have a very important root called the devil’s craw and they have been using it all the years. The Germans have stolen it and are packaging it in their country. This is a valuable root because it can treat all kinds of diseases. They even make tea and other things out of this root. Right now, there is a case that the royalties of this root must go to the San people. If they win that case, the San people will benefit monetarily from their indigenous knowledge. Therefore, if we do not have a policy for this, other people will steal knowledge from us. The indigenous methods are more sustainable. Through this policy framework, we will be able to pick what is good and bad.

Madam, indeed, in indigenous knowledge, there are issues that are unacceptable and those that are obvious that can help us. In the area of medicines, I have benefited a lot from my mother. My mother never went to school, but she is a very wonderful mother from a very wealthy royal family. They had over a thousand traditional Tonga cattle. Those animals are very resistant to diseases, but there is no policy to preserve this type of cattle breed. Now, we have these hybrids that are only fit for commercial farming and they are finished by diseases. They are easily wiped by any small disease that comes. You have seen that diseases are affecting these provinces because we have lost the indigenous animal that was resistant to diseases.

Madam Speaker, I do not even know whether this is documented. We have our own maize types such as kamfwamba and gankata which are very tasty and they mature early. I am very happy that I met someone from Mount Makulu and I want to buy some of these seeds which were preserved from there. The policy framework must be put so that we regularise, support and fund these initiatives so that some of us who want to go back to what we know best can easily do so..

Madam Speaker, finally, I want to say that indigenous knowledge really helps us, as a country, to bring something on the global economic table. What has Zambia brought to the global economic table? What is our discovery? Our people were not doing anything about the copper mining we talk about before our brothers from the west came. Now, who is preserving that knowledge? Zambia can only be counted in the family of nations if it took something to that body of knowledge. Without this policy, you will be a country that is infiltrated, that never gave anything to the world’s economy and it is very dangerous if you do not have such a policy.

Madam Speaker, I want to urge the hon. Minister responsible for these issues to take a look at the South African Indigenous Knowledge Systems Policy. I have a copy and, I think, my brother, the hon. Member for Kasama has that policy as well. You should have a look at it so that you get some ideas. We need to make some movements. The museum is not funded because there is no policy framework to support it and to see the need for adequate funding. I hope when the hon. Minister or someone from the Executive comes to conclude this debate, they will take these issues very seriously. This is not a contest. It is an issue of brain storming so that we make progress as a country. You will find that Zambia is a country that talks, but does not deliver. I think we are taking things too simply. Let us get to the ground and begin to deliver. I think my brother was right when he wrote a letter of resignation to Parliament because of the failed politics. I am seeing failed politics in this country, across the board, because we are not getting down to real issues which are affecting our people.

Hon. Government Members: You resign!

Mr Hamududu: What resign, did you bring me here?


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

When you tread on certain issues, you should be prepared. Face the Chair and debate without being influenced.

Mr Hamududu: Madam Speaker, I thank you for your guidance, but I was told to resign.

Madam Speaker, the people of Bweengwa and Namwala did a lot for the liberation of this country. Our parents gave animals and material support for the campaign. We housed Dr Kaunda in my uncle’s house. You cannot tell me that I should resign. I must be the last one to resign in this House.


Mr Hamududu: Madam Speaker, this is indigenous knowledge. Some people do not have the knowledge about how this country was built. You cannot talk about Zambia and not mention Bweengwa.

Hon. Mwaanga nodded.

Mr Hamududu: I am sure that Hon. Mwaanga is nodding his head because he knows that I am right. We would like him to go and talk to the librarians and ensure that this information is documented. The Isamu lyamoomba where animals where gathered so that people could go to the United Kingdom (UK) and bring back the constitution, must be documented. That meeting happened in Bweengwa Constituency and my grandfather was one of the people who funded the mission. I am, therefore, very indigenous.


Mr Hamududu: Finally Madam Speaker, I love the diversity of our country. Bweengwa, Luapula, Eastern and North-Western provinces have each done something for this country. These are rich places and they have brought something to the national table. It is from the national table that we can take something to the international table. All our communities have done something for this country. Every region and tribe is as important as the other.

Madam Speaker, if we do not document these things, our children will not know what the people of Chienge have done for this country. Through this policy, we will know the traces of our people’s contribution to the country and the economy. Documentation is also necessary for the sustainability of our people. I, therefore, think that this policy also celebrates the knowledge of our people in diversity. The people of Western Province, like the hon. Minister seated comfortably there, also have serious knowledge on fish, which we can learn about.  We can also learn how to walk on sand.


Mr Hamududu: I just wanted a light moment. We need that knowledge.

Finally, Madam Speaker, who are we as Zambians if we do not have knowledge to bring to the table. What are we bringing to the table? I would like to urge this Government to consider this Motion seriously and not take it too lightly. I hope that there will be more people to speak on this Motion until the close of time.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Except that it is beyond you, hon. Member, to decide.

Dr Chishya (Pambashe): Madam Speaker, I thank you for this opportunity to express an opinion in connection with the Motion on the Floor. From the onset, I am in full support of the Motion on the Floor. I would like to state that a scientific or technological idea does not come like manna from heaven, but is a result of everyday life experiences.

Madam Speaker, I do not agree with the previous speaker who said that we need to study to know what is meant by indigenous knowledge. Indigenous knowledge simply tells the originality of that knowledge and is characterised by the cultural experiences of the community.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chishya: Madam Speaker, even the development of the so-called developed world has been based on indigenous experience. For example, a long time ago in Florida, a medical doctor had patients with symptoms of high body temperature. He asked a certain physicist for a machine which could compress water. Once the water was compressed, it lost temperature and cooled down. The medical doctor used that water to reduce the temperature of his patients. This idea was exported to the Germans, who used it to bring down the temperature of the storage sheds where they kept their meat products. This was the idea they used in bars to cool beer. This is the idea which has led to the invention of the domestic refrigerator. From this idea, we are now experiencing the cooling system here in Zambia. It is through experience and we have that experience here in Zambia.

Madam Speaker, in Zambia, we are endowed with wild fruits. We have the mpundu and masuku, for example, whose botanic names are the Parinari Curatellifolia and the Uapaka Kirkiana, respectively. Our ancestors lived on these fruits. They knew how to process them. This idea has been with Zambians ever since. This is the idea which was taken up by the National Council for Scientific Research then to come up with the masuku wine.

This is the idea which the people in agriculture took up and came up with a programme to domesticate fruit trees. It is a pity that this programme has stalled.  There was a Mr Fanshall who started the flowering of trees in Zambia. He only did this with some of the trees not all. From that kind of study, a lot of things have come up. It is sad that this kind of knowledge has been going across the border. We only later come to enjoy the product.  One of the products we are enjoying now is amarula.
Madam Speaker, the kind of indigenous knowledge we are talking about is no different from any other kind of adjectives you would use. You can call it scientific or technological, but it has never changed. Someone alluded to the fact that our ancestors knew how to process vegetables. Why do we process vegetables? One of the reasons is to elongate the storage life. Secondly, it is to give the three main important attributes of food, which are flavour, colour and texture. The other attribute is the nutrition. If you can keep these vegetables away from spoilage which is chemical, physical or biological, you have done your preservation. This is what our ancestors did.

When we say that we want the indigenous knowledge to go side by side with modern knowledge, all we are doing is advancing our knowledge. The advancement for everybody is based on this. Therefore, if we do not want to remain behind as Zambians, we should take this as our policy in all our developmental challenges.

Madam Speaker, I would like to commend what the Minister of Science, Technology and Vocational Training is doing by bringing all scientists together to work with Government and participate in developing this nation. When we say scientists, we do not mean only those who have been to school, but also those who naturally have scientific ideas. They know how the transformation of food from one state to another takes place. Whoever has got such ideas must come on board.

Madam Speaker, with these with words, I really support this Motion.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, I note that most of the speakers were very academic, scientific and somebody said those practicing witchcraft. Therefore, I want to speak as a politician and not as a academician.

First of all, I just want to commend the mover and the seconder of this very important Motion.

Madam Speaker, indeed, it is necessary for our people to appreciate indigenous knowledge based on the number of customs and traditions that we as leaders and Africans are following.

In particular, I wanted to talk about the issue of housing. It is important that the people of Zambia begin to look at the traditional method of constructing houses, if indeed, the deficit in housing stock is going to be cleared.

Currently, we have a problem in the sense that many of our people think that it is not a house unless it is roofed with heavy tiles or iron sheet tiles. If it is built with hard bricks and cement, then they will consider that house of high quality. If the house is thatched with grass, you would find that people think that it is not a good one. As the mover of the Motion was talking, I was saying to myself that if we did preserve our traditional method of constructing houses, we would not be in the situation that we find ourselves in today.

Madam Speaker, even as we try to imitate the western ways of constructing houses, we should not forget about our own methods. In fact, some of the houses we have in the so-called urban areas are much more inferior to the ones that we have in Shishengula Village in Chongwe.  There is need for the Government to begin preserving and developing some of our indigenous ways of constructing houses.

Madam Speaker, I am aware that in 2004 and 2005, the Government was looking at these issues not only from the construction point of view, but also from the agricultural and musical view. What seems to have been fully worked on is in the music sector. I note that currently, we do have patent laws in place for music which protect an idea. What is just required is to review the laws and improve on them. I can still recall that that the making of these laws was more engineered by our cooperating partners. Obviously, when you do not initiate your own law, you miss out on things that apply to your people. However, the Government has already started the process. I am aware that this research has been going on for some time now. We would only like to urge this Government to quicken its pace so that the research covers the whole country. We must also make our people understand what this issue is all about because the understanding of most of our ordinary people in rural areas and even in towns is that when you talk about patent rights, you are mainly talking about music and not  foodstuffs, agriculture and even the dress code.


Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, you would find that in other countries, the dress code is protected by law. We should start appreciating the essence of the Msisi dress before we lose it to others. In fact, somebody was telling me that we copied it from the Scottish and that it was not Zambian.

Mr Mabenga: No!

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, already, you can see Hon. Mabenga is saying no! We do not just say no! We need to see the documentation. How do you prove it? Unless by law, we protect ourselves as a country and show that we are the owners, very soon, they are going to take most of our culture from us and we will be told that we just coping them from other countries.

Madam Speaker, over time, you will see that a number of our own traditions will be fading away and we will just start coping from others. It is like most of the things that we are doing in Zambia are being copied from other African and Europeans countries. Yet, the truth may well be that in fact, some of these customs might even have started from here. It reminds me of  a story about a woman from the Soli land who developed the recepie of the Maheu drink. I hope that Government can see to it that something is done about the Maheu drink so that the people of Chongwe and indeed, Lusaka Province can benefit from what they invented.

 Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mukanga: Madam Speaker, I would like to thank you for giving this opportunity to also add my voice on this important motion on indigenous knowledge or science. I will try to be very brief.

Madam Speaker, it is very important to note that when we talk about indigenous knowledge or science, we are talking about initiatives that are aimed at developing systems which will be able to empower the local communities and help the country at large.

Therefore, when we talk about these systems, we are not talking about issues of witchcraft because such issues cannot be discussed in this arena because Zambia is a Christian nation. It has been declared so. Therefore, we should be able to look at Christianity when we discuss issues like this.

Madam Speaker, to make this knowledge relevant to our local and current scenario, there is need for the Government to do a number of things. I want to emphasise that first of all, Government should identify this traditional science which has helped people to survive through the ages. The Government should look at a number of issues which have helped our people to survive. Our ancestors also survived. What is it that helped them to survive? The Government should look at agriculture and see what helped them to survive in this sector. It should look at things like organic farming and see how best it can be sustained. Not only that, it should also look at initiatives like the Chitemene system. How good is it and how best can it be reviewed with the view of improving it?

Madam Speaker, we should also look at foods that have been preserved in the country. Our ancestors preserved foods like – I know a club in Mufulira which is my constituency…

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


Mr Mukanga: Madam Speaker, when business was suspended, I was saying that throughout the ages, our mothers have tried to preserve foodstuffs like kalembula (sweet potato leaves) and chibwabwa (pumpkin leaves). This type of knowledge from our mothers should be preserved and documented so that our children will be able to read about it and know it better.

With regard to the manufacturing industry, our forefathers used to make muzzle loaders which they used to call mututila. If such an idea of making such guns was developed, by now, we could have had a gun-manufacturing industry in Zambia. Where are we, today? We are backward and the muzzle loaders are nowhere to be seen. Madam Speaker, once such knowledge is identified, the Government should know how to protect it and deter the exploitation and manipulation of man by fellow man. There is power in exploiting the weak. Foreigners just come into this country and get the knowledge, develop it or introduce it at a cost which is beyond the reach of the originator.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! I think there are loud consultations. Can we listen to the contribution this Motion?

May the hon. Member continue, please?

Mr Mukanga: The Government should look at how these practices can benefit the locals who are the developers of such indigenous science or knowledge and ensure that informed consent is obtained from the locals. People from outside our country have come and used the knowledge of our locals. At the end of the day, they have transmitted this knowledge and the originators of that knowledge remain the same. Zambia would have been a rich society if we had such a policy in place to benefit the indigenous people with the knowledge that they have. This knowledge requires to be patented. I am talking about some form of intellectual property rights and also to know who the owner of that knowledge is and who is responsible only for transmitting it.

Madam Speaker, the Government must also look at finding a way to overcome these barriers. The Government should be able to preserve the original languages from where this knowledge is obtained so that people may be able to understand in which context this preservation was done and in which context the sources of this knowledge were used.

What am I trying to talk about? I am talking about preserving cultural ceremonies like Kuomboka, Lunda Lubanza, N’cwala, Umutomboko of the Lunda people of Mwata Kazembe, Nsakwa yaba Kaonde, Ukwanga, …

Mr Kambwili: Malaila!

Mr Mukanga: … and Malaila to mention just a few. Madam Speaker, if this is done, we are going to see a change and the indigenous Zambian will benefit.

Madam, there are some cultures which are dying out. Where is insaka today? Insaka is just on our lips now but nothing is happening. It is not even documented properly so that our people and children will be able to understand even without us being around. If this is not done, then we will continue to debate and discuss such important motions and, at the end of the day, it will be lip service and, of course, a nation without a culture is a dead one. This nation can be a dead nation without an identity.

Therefore, this Motion is very important because we need to create linkages between conventional and indigenous sciences, with an aim of inter-generation transmission of local knowledge through education. So, the educational system is very cardinal in this policy. It is important that this policy is supported.
It is important that this policy is supported and once this is done, the main view is to ensure that the knowledge is incorporated into conventional education. It is important that the Government should move at supersonic speed to come up with this policy so that issues that are being discussed are documented.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Communications and Transport (Professor Lungwangwa): Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this very important Motion which, unfortunately, has been misinterpreted.

Madam Speaker, the debate on the significance of indigenous knowledge has been with us for a long time. The First Conference of African Ministers of Education in 1961, who met in Addis Ababa, raised this topic but from a different perspective and this topic has been on the agenda of the African Ministers, African academics and African scholars for a long time since then. It has found its entry into the debate of the United Nations Education and Scientific Organisation (UNESCO), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and is contemporary in the debates of the African Union.

Madam Speaker, the critical question in the debate is not that of knowing the contents of the African knowledge, but what Africa can contribute to the whole challenge of ways of knowing – knowing how and knowing why. That is what is called the epistemology of knowledge.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, it is about how to know, and how to generate knowledge. That is the critical question now in most of the debate. If you look at, for example, the debate on the with, that is the debate. Madam Speaker, if you look at other websites like www.indigenous, that is the debate. What can Africa contribute to the global epistemology – ways of knowing so that the knowledge that emanates from Africa can contribute to the creativity, imagination, innovation and the critical thinking of the African mind? Once that is done, then we can see the African continent as a research continent which can be ushered in research and development and thereby facilitating economic, cultural, scientific and social development of the African continent. That is what people are debating. They are debating the how and the why of knowing in Africa - the methodology issues and, therefore, as you raise these questions, bear in mind that we ought to be searching deeper and this is a challenge to our universities in Africa.

Madam Speaker, how can our universities be prompted to come up with methodologies that can bring about knowledge on the African continent which is relevant to Africa’s development and suited to the conditions of the continent?

What is remaining is to look at the end part of the process, the products of the search for knowledge within Africa. Indeed, that is important, but is not the only crucial issue. The critical issue is how we can assist to enable the African minds to transcend, for example, the servitude of thinking which is routed in the eurocentric view of the world? That is the critical issue and, therefore, as we debate these issues, we should bear in mind that we should dig deep in our understanding of what the debate is than what we have heard so far.

In addition to that, Madam Speaker, if we are to route or consider the importance of African knowledge, we must begin to value the normative aspects of the African existence. We must begin, for example, to respect leadership ...

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: … because that is African ...

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: … and that is routed in the African culture. What is happening right now, where people can stand up and begin to insult leadership is unafrican.


Professor Lungwangwa: That is not in conformity with African traditions. Therefore, if you are advocates of African indigenous knowledge, you must begin to respect the norms and culture of African ways of living.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: The respect for leadership is cardinal and we would like to see, for example, the hon. Members beginning to think politically from the lenses of African traditions …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: … and these lenses of African traditions are the African value systems, the normative systems of respect, dignity, obedience or acceptance of that which is decent.

Mr Kambwili: Not fyakukana abana.

Professor Lungwangwa:  This is important.


Professor Lungwangwa: In short, Madam Speaker, our existence as Africans should be routed in that realm of understanding. Therefore, this topic should not be trivialised in the way that the debate has, so far, gone.

Hon. Government Member: That is right.

Professor Lungwangwa: It is a much deeper topic that should be understood in its fundamental context …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: … so that once we understand it, then we should be able to communicate, share the African epistemology and be able to defend ourselves on the global scene in the battle field of knowledge systems, the Euro-centrism, Afro-centrism and Asia-centrism so that we are able to find our bearing and shape our development as Africans.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Science, Technology and Vocational Training (Mr Namulambe): Madam Speaker, in the first place, I would like to thank the hon. Member of Parliament who has moved the Motion regarding the development of an indigenous scientific knowledge system policy in Zambia.

In principle, the Government supports the development of a policy on indigenous scientific knowledge systems. However, this will not be a stand alone policy, but rather the policy that will be incorporated in the National Science and Technology Policy which the Government is currently revising and reviewing. The Government appreciates the important role that the indigenous knowledge plays in the livelihood of our local communities and the role it plays in modern scientific and technological interventions. 

The Government recognises that the existing policies are insufficient to provide a basis for appropriate exploitation of indigenous knowledge for the benefit of both the nation and the custodians of this knowledge, who in most cases are the rural communities. The consequences of this situation would be the escalating misappropriation of knowledge from indigenous communities without economic benefits and payment of royalties, bio-piracy and the loss of indigenous genetic materials, poor documentation of this knowledge resource and ignoring principles of access and benefit sharing.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Namulambe: Madam Speaker, the Government takes cognisance that the majority of Zambian communities have used indigenous scientific knowledge as a cornerstone for their survival from time immemorial such as in identification of medical and edible indigenous plants, management of local animals and farming systems for their nutrition. Indigenous scientific knowledge has been used in prospecting and processing of various minerals, including soda and traditional salt. It is in this context that indigenous scientific knowledge has been recognised as an important socio and economic asset since it plays an important role in critical areas of sustainable livelihood, food security, agriculture development, tourism and in the creation of pharmaceutical products.

In line with this recognition of the role of indigenous knowledge systems, the Government has already commenced the process of incorporating indigenous knowledge systems into the National Science and Technology policy. The policy is expected to provide a basis for sustainable utilisation, protection, development and eventual integration of indigenous knowledge systems into national development programmes.

Madam Speaker, the policy is expected to be in harmony with the Intellectual Property Rights Policy and will facilitate the development of appropriate intellectual property rights and regimes so as to enhance the utilisation, protection and further development of indigenous knowledge, genetic resources and expression of folklore.

Madam Speaker, in revising the Science and Technology Policy, as it relates to indigenous knowledge, the Government will uphold the following key principles:

(i) recognition of the fact that protection of indigenous knowledge, genetic resources and expression of folklore must be a clear reflection of the indigenous people’s and local community’s expectations and aspirations;

(ii) the need for any indigenous knowledge systems policy to operate within and with other international and regional instruments and processes;

(iii) that the measures for the protection of indigenous knowledge, genetic resources and folklore must be effective in achieving the objectives of protection and the measures should be understandable, affordable and accessible taking into account the cultural, socio and economic context of the holders of the indigenous knowledge;

(iv) the need for the policy to ensure that gender issues and concerns are mainstreamed in handling issues of indigenous knowledge, genetic resources and folklore. We will, therefore, advocate for equal participation of both gender in the utilisation, application and development of indigenous knowledge, genetic resources and folklore; and

(v) the need to ensure that all activities including processes that deal with local communities and their resources can only be undertaken upon obtaining prior and informed community consent. In this regard, prior and informed consent will require agreement to decisions through direct negotiations between local communities, Government authorities and other interested parties using legally enforceable agreements. 
(vi) recognition of the rights of indigenous knowledge and folklore holders with the view to rewarding holders and offering them effective protection. In this regard, we are going to expect that effective protection must allow for the use of traditional and customary laws as much as possible while promoting co-operation among the local communities; and

(vii) that is in an effort to protect our genetic resource indigenous knowledge and folklore, the measure to be applied must reflect fair and equitable access and benefit sharing among the local community population. The rights and interest of those who use and hold critical knowledge to these assets must be respected while ensuring an equitable balance between the rights and interests of those that develop, preserve and sustain these intellectual property assets and those that use and benefit from their use.

Madam Speaker, the mover of the Motion will therefore be delighted to note that the Government has already taken an initiative in addressing the indigenous knowledge systems within the National Science and Technology Policy. We are proceeding carefully in the review of this policy which we believe should adequately protect the interest of our people.

The hon. Members may wish to note that Zambia is one of the 150 nations of the world that ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity in 1992. The convention aims to bring about locally-based global systems of conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. The convention recognises that states have sovereign rights over their natural resources and this convention is subject to the states’ national legislation. The state thus regulates access and can deny it if it is contrary to its national interest. In implementing the convention, Zambia has to have specific policy measures targeting indigenous scientific knowledge systems.

Madam Speaker, this Government is determined to protect and effectively utilise the indigenous knowledge of our people and it is in this regard that we find that the Motion on the Floor of the House is non controversial and has our support, especially that we have already made significant strides in revising the National Science and Technological Policy within which we are incorporating indigenous knowledge systems.

It is my expectation that we will soon subject the draft revised policy to wider stakeholder discussions where my colleagues who have moved the Motion are going to be invited.

I am glad that already, a document has been forwarded to me by the hon. Member for Bweengwa. Therefore, it is our considered view that at the time we are going to invite the hon. Members to contribute to the revision of this Policy, we are going to receive the maximum support and that if Hon. Dr Chishimba will still be in Parliament, we will invite him for further contributions in order to enhance this Policy.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chishimba: Madam Speaker, let me just thank the Government for the progress that they are making in coming up with this Policy and indeed, all the hon. Members of Parliament who have contributed to this important Motion.

With these few words, I thank this august House.

Thank you, Madam.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!




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

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1855 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 23rd July, 2009.