Debates- Tuesday, 21st July, 2009

Printer Friendly and PDF


Tuesday, 21st July, 2009

The House met at 1430 hours






Hon. Members, I wish to inform the House that Mr Richard Sikwibele Mwapela, Member of Parliament for Kalabo Central Constituency and Mr Forrie Raisi Tembo, Member of Parliament for Nyimba Constituency have been nominated Members of the Pan-African Parliament, replacing Hon. Michael Mulemi Mabenga, MP and Hon. Moses Muteteka, MP, who were appointed Deputy Ministers, Ministry of Lands and Ministry of Community Development and Social Services respectively.

I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!




The Minister of Health (Mr Simbao): Madam Speaker, hon. Members of Parliament, allow me to share with you the state of the Pandemic H1N1 2009 or Influenza A/H1N1 as it affects our country. You may all be aware by now that this influenza has now spread to all parts of the world. In our region, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia have reported confirmed cases.

I would like to start by updating you on what this Pandemic H1N1 2009 is and how it is spread. Initially, the current Influenza A/H1N1 was being referred to as Swine Flu because it was thought to be the respiratory disease with the same elements of a virus spread by and found in pigs. This view has since changed as the cause of Influenza A/H1N1 is a new virus. This new virus has been described as a quadruple, meaning four times recombinant virus because it has been found to have properties similar to two swine flu viruses found in Europe and Asia, 1 avian flu virus and 1 human.  While swine flu is spread from pigs to humans, the new Influenza A/H1N1 is spread from human to human. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that the infection be now called Pandemic H1N1 2009 or Influenza A/H1N1.

Madam Speaker, the virus Influenza A/H1N1 causes a respiratory disease and is likely to affect a lot of people, as no one is known to have immunity to it. This includes healthy people from all ages, including children and those with other medical conditions.

Madam Speaker, you might ask how this flu is spread. Influenza viruses are made up of tiny particles that can be spread through droplets that come out of someone’s nose and mouth when one coughs or sneezes without covering their nose and mouth. When one coughs into their hands, the droplets can then be spread from hand to hand through handshakes and touching surfaces. When other people touch the surfaces that have come into contact with contaminated hands, the germs get into their hands. When these contaminated hands are used to touch the face, eyes or nose, germs then enter one’s system.

Madam Speaker, I would like to talk about the signs and symptoms of this virus in people. How can one know they have the virus? The symptoms of Influenza A/H1N1 in people are similar to the symptoms of the seasonal ordinary flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, running or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. A significant number of people who have been infected with this virus also have reported diarrhoea and vomiting. Further, like seasonal flu, severe illness and death has been known to occur as a result of illness associated with this virus.

When one catches the virus, they become contagious from day one, before they develop the symptoms, to up to seven days after they get sick. Symptoms begin to show within two to three days of acquiring the infection. Children, especially those below the age of five might potentially be contagious for longer periods.

Is there treatment for Influenza A/H1N1? Yes, there is treatment but this must be taken within forty-eight hours of acquiring the infection for it to have maximum benefit. The drug recommended is called Tamiflu (Oseltamivir). The drug can be given to both children and adults in appropriate dosages.

There is no vaccine available at the moment to protect against the Pandemic 2009 virus. However, there are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illness like influenza and these include the following:

(a) when you cough or sneeze, always cover your nose and mouth;

(b) carry around tissue to cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze;

(c) always use clean tissue and throw it in the bin after one use; and

(d) wash your hands with soap and water every time you sneeze or cough.

How is the virus destroyed? Influenza virus is destroyed by heat ranging from 75 to 100 Centigrade. In addition, several chemical germicides, including chlorine, hydrogen peroxide, detergent soap, iodine-based antiseptics, and alcohol are effective against human influenza viruses if used in proper concentration for a sufficient length of time.  For example, wipes or gels with alcohol in them can be used to clean hands. The gels should be rubbed into hands until they are dry.

Madam Speaker, as a ministry, we have been busy working with partners to ensure adequate planning for the management and control of Influenza A/H1N1. We have taken the following actions:

(a) the National Epidemic Preparedness, Planning, Control and Management Committee (NEPPC & MC) have been meeting regularly every two weeks to discuss outbreaks, share plans for control in the event of any epidemic occurring. This Committee which I Chair is co-chaired by the Hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing and is also attended by the Hon. Ministers of Education and Agriculture and Co-operatives. Among the several co-operating partners that attend this meeting is the WHO country Representative, United Nations Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF), Medicins Sans Frontiers (MSF) and the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in Zambia;

(b) NEPPC & MC is replicated at the Provincial and District levels where such meetings are chaired by the Provincial Minister or Permanent Secretary and District Commissioners respectively;
( c) a specific National Task Force on Infectious Diseases, which is a smaller committee of the NEPPC & MC has been set up and meets regularly as well. It comprises many of the partners that are part of NEPC & MC and is chaired by the Director of Public Health in the Ministry of Health. This committee has been core to the reparation of the country plans for containing Influenza A/H1N1 and also constitutes the rapid response team at the national level as and when required;

(d) the Zambia National Action Plan for the Animal and Human Health response to A/H1N1 Influenza Threat has been finalised and is being shared with partners for support. There is also a need for support through direct government funding;

(e) rapid response teams have been constituted and trained at the provincial                                 levels and are operational;
(f) sentinel surveillance sites have been set up in Lusaka. Two sites in the        major hospital, UTH, in the pediatric and adult filter clinics and two sites in the primary health care clinics in the public sector of Lusaka District. Plans are under way to set up a site in one private clinic and other sites in three identified provincial sites, namely Copperbelt, Northern and Southern provinces. This is an important activity that tends to be costly because samples have to be couriered to the UTH virology lab;

(g) assessment of national ports of entry both for air travel and land have been done and these airports have been prepared in accordance with International Health Regulations;

(e) technical guidelines for management of A/H1N1 have been printed and distributed to the provinces and the technical team is in the process of revising them in view of recent changes to nomenclature;
(f) with the help of WHO and CDC, we have stockpiled 1000 doses of TAMIFLU, the drug used to treat Influenza A/H1N1 and personal protective equipment which include face masks. Six thousand masks were a donation from CDC;

(g) the UTH virology laboratory which is accredited by WHO, is being supported by our ministry, CDC and WHO to ensure a stringent lab system that helps diagnose A/H1N1. Another lab at the University of Zambia (UNZA) Veterinary Department has also been equipped to provide complementary and quality control services to the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) lab. A second more advanced quality control is provided by CDC in South Africa by a WHO accredited lab. Any of our samples found to be suspicious are couriered to South Africa for further testing.

Madam Speaker, although Zambia has not recorded a positive case in country, I wish to inform you that three weeks ago, during the normal surveillance investigations that are going on at UTH, an infant from Chipata Compound in Lusaka was found with flu-like symptoms that are compatible with our criteria for suspicion of Influenza A/H1N1. Further, investigation by the lab however revealed that the child was suffering from ordinary flu.

Two weeks after this incidence, a woman of German origin presented herself to the UTH for medical attention following information that her niece who had recently visited her from Germany had returned home and suffered from the Influenza A/H1N1. The lady in question was at the time showing symptoms of flu. Samples from her were taken for investigation, but results also revealed a negative result.

More recently, on 12th July, 2009, UTH received five sportsmen and women who had just returned from a trip to Belgrade, Serbia where they had travelled to participate in some inter-university games. They left Zambia on 27th June, 2009 in a group of twelve, four females and eight males. Twelve days after their arrival in Belgrade, three of the four Zambian women who were sharing a room in the sports complex developed signs of flu. On examination and investigation, two of these three were found to be carrying A/H1N1. The three were immediately quarantined and treated for Influenza A/H1N1. To the best of our knowledge, these three sportswomen are still away in Belgrade.

Madam Speaker, the five sportsmen returned to their homes, but the health system is actively following them to monitor their temperatures and any signs of symptom development. These people have also been informed to ensure that when symptoms of cough, fever and sneezing are noted, they should report to the nearest health facility for treatment.

Madam Speaker, due to this background and the fact that WHO has declared this a global pandemic, Zambia needs to be on high alert in order to manage and control this problem when it happens. Substantial amounts of resources are needed to ensure this is contained. Allow me to move that mobilising resources for the control and management of Influenza A/H1N1 becomes a priority.

I end here, and I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker: The hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the ministerial statement made by the hon. Minister of Health.

Mr Matongo (Pemba): Madam Speaker, I want to state before the little question that I want to ask that I have the fullest confidence in the Public Service of the Republic of Zambia except for the few miscreants that have showed their ugly heads in the ministry of Health and elsewhere. Against this background, may I find out from the hon. Minister of Health in whom I have trust, how he is going to deal with this in the invent that there is an outbreak of A/H1N1  in the Republic of Zambia with, in financial terms, no donor support to his ministry.

Mr Simbao: Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Member for Pemba for that question.

At the moment, we have enough dosages of TAMIFLU to take care of an epidemic. If need be, WHO has promised to replenish any dosages that we use. At the moment the world is so interest in this problem that they are ready to distribute the dosage wherever it is required. So that is our assurance that we can handle this problem at the moment.

 I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Madam Speaker, first of all, I just want to commend the Minister of Health for ensuring that the country is on alert. Now that this disease has been declared a pandemic, meaning that it is all over the world and that it is not going to spare Zambia, that is the bottom line, I have not heard the hon. Minister give us hope or confidence that his ministry is doing enough in terms of prevention. I heard him say that one of things we must do when we sneeze is we must leave the house and go and wash our hands. I want to believe that we should be washing several times in a day not just when we sneeze in the House. Can the hon. Minister tell us what other measures have been put in place in terms of information, because I note that in the past, there was this committee and it had started sensitisation …

Madam Deputy Speaker:  Order! Hon. Member, ask your question.

Mrs Masebo: I am on the question, Madam Speaker.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Straightforward. This is a follow up to what has been spoken and not a debate. You are not building a debate.

Can you ask your question?

Mrs Masebo: Thank Madam Speaker. Arising from what has been said, what measures has the hon. Minister put in place to ensure that prevention is high on the agenda as opposed cure when the talked about the drugs that are going to be piled up. We need to look at preventive measures.

Mr Simbao: Madam Speaker, I do not know how I was not so clear to the hon. Member of Parliament for Chongwe, because most of my message was on prevention.

Hon. Government Member: Yes!

Mr Simbao: I talked about measures that we have taken at all our entry points and how to react if one suspects having the flu. My message was full of prevention and not the cure.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Katema (Chingola): Madam Speaker, apart from telling people at the entry points about this disease, what measures have been put in place to disseminate information to health institutions in every corner of the country? Has the ministry taught all health workers about this disease in both private and public health institutions in the outskirts?

Mr Simbao: Madam Speaker, all health personnel have been put on alert. I probably missed this in the ministerial statement, but that is where our preventive measures started from. All health personnel have been told what to look out for.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Madam Speaker, I thought the hon. Minister would be announcing the ban of handshakes as a preventive measure. Would it be in order to make a pronouncement encouraging people to avoid handshakes countrywide?

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: Madam Speaker, I made reference to handshakes in my ministerial statement. I talked about minimising handshakes. However, I do not know how effective stopping handshakes can be as a preventive measure.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Sikota (Livingstone): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has mentioned in his statement that high risk areas have been identified around the country. What specific measures have been put in place in those high risk areas, especially places like schools and markets where large numbers of people are likely to congregate? What educational measures have been put in place in such areas?

Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister also mentioned that alcohol can be used to fight this virus. Could he make it clear for the benefit of some people that this does not refer to drinking the alcohol, but using it to disinfect hands?


Mrs Simbao: Madam Speaker, information concerning schools was given to the hon. Minister of Education who has a full package of all the information on the A/H1N1 Influenza. In fact, last week, she commented that she was frightened for the school-going children. She said she was going to immediately meet all provincial and district Education Board Secretaries so that they could equally be informed. Therefore, I take it that she did take that step. I think that by now, all schools have been alerted on this problem.

Madam Speaker, we have not yet gone into markets. Maybe this is the next step that we should take by putting posters or using any other method to inform marketeers about this disease. This disease has been talked about in the media. I think we might as well physically go into markets and do more sensitisation.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Deputy Speaker: What about the alcohol referred to in the question?


Mr Simbao: I thought the hon. Member was just lightening up the moment.


Mr Simbao: However, if he was serious, I wish to inform the House that alcohol is for washing hands. I did not talk about the alcohol that is normally drunk. I talked about the alcohol used in disinfection which is clinical alcohol for cleaning hands. If you do not have clinical alcohol, you can use the alcohol for drinking; it will still kill the virus.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Milupi (Luena): Madam Speaker, one of the most effective ways to prevent transmission of the A/H1N1 virus is by wearing face masks. Have any arrangements been made in this country for the distribution of face masks in high risk areas like schools, markets and other places?

Mr Simbao: Madam Speaker, I must say that this type of influenza is not as fatal as H5N1. H5N1 happens to be Avian Influenza which is very fatal. When you catch it, there are chances that you probably are not going to come out of it; you are going to die. However, A/H1N1 is not as fatal as the other one. That is why we are comparing it to the common flu.

Madam Speaker, the issue of masks was discussed. Masks can limit the transmission of this influenza, but cannot stop it. As I explained, it spreads through very small droplets which at times can escape the mask. If you consider all the school-going children and everyone in the country, we are probably talking about 10 million people to give masks to. It would be a very difficult measure to implement.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Ms Kapata (Mandevu): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister alluded to the fact that when the five men who showed symptoms of the A/H1N1 virus arrived in the country, they were told to go back home and return when they showed signs of the virus. May I find out from hon. Minister whether these people who were suspected to have had the virus were quarantined?

Mrs Simbao: Madam Speaker, initially, when the men arrived in the country, they were isolated. However, upon taking their specimens, it was discovered that they were not sick. They were sent back home and not quarantined. What happened was that, three specimens were taken. Two were tested in this country and the third was sent to South Africa. We are still waiting for the results of the specimen that was sent to South Africa. Needless to say, the samples tested within the country tested negative and that makes us confident that these people were not sick.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Madam Speaker, what exactly is done at the airport for us to know that the visitors who come into Zambia do not have the A/H1N1 virus? I recall when I arrived in Botswana on the 21st of last month, I was asked to fill in a form which asked me when I last had a cough or whether I was sneezing or not. However, when I arrived back home on Friday, there was nothing to the effect of finding out whether I brought the A/H1N1 virus with me from Botswana where I found two cases already identified by the health ministry of that country. What are we doing at the border points to ensure that the people coming into the country do not have this disease?

Mr Simbao: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that concern. We have given instructions that everyone must be alerted that if they fall sick, they must report to any of the medical personnel who are stationed at all the points of entry into the country. If you feel sick when you are here in the country, you must immediately report to the health personnel. Those are the instructions we have given and we cannot go to the extent of making everyone coming into the country undergo a test. We are not allowed to do that and nowhere is this allowed.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister said that A/H1N1 Influenza is not as fatal as the H5N1 Influenza. Can he give us further information, because we would like to know the fatality rate of this flu? What are the chances that one is really going after getting this flu?

Mr Nsanda: Going where?

Dr Machungwa: Going upstairs.


Dr Machungwa: What is the survival rate after contracting this influenza?

Mr Simbao: Madam Speaker, like I said, this particular flu is not as fatal as the other one which spreads quickly and easily. Its fatality rate is very low. If you catch this flu and quickly go to a health facility, the chances of survival are a 100 percent. It is for this reason that although it has been in almost all the countries on earth, unlike the Avian Influenza, very few people have died of it.

The Avian Influenza was not in all parts of the world, but in the parts of the world where it was, many people died. However, because this flu is spreading very fast, the levels of concern have been raised to the maximum.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): Madam Speaker, the most vulnerable people to this pandemic are at entry points such as the international airports, Nakonde and Chirundu border points. This means that the immigration officers who handle travel documents are extremely vulnerable.

Madam Speaker, this morning, I was at the Lusaka International Airport and there was no sign of preventive measures for the immigration officers. What is being done, at least, to protect those few Government officers who handle travel documents because you said that if some mucus dropped on a passport, the flu can easily be transmitted to the one handling it?

Mr Simbao: Madam Speaker, all those who come into contact with a lot of people have been informed on what to look out for and what to do. If they are any officers who are insecure, they can visit our health facilities where we have masks and other equipment which they might feel comfortable to use to protect themselves from the flu. All this information has been passed on to all these people.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Malama (Mfuwe): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister who is one of my best hon. Ministers, whether he is trying to encourage the Zambian people to keep alcohol in their homes as a way of avoiding this disease.


Mr Simbao: Madam Speaker, I am not at all encouraging people to keep alcohol in their homes. For the information of the hon. Member, alcohol is one of the oldest liquids in the world and it dates back to the time of Jesus Christ. There is very little that one can do regarding people keeping alcohol in their homes. I just want to encourage people not to drink it, but use it to wash their hands because it will assist in protecting them against the flu.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Madam Speaker, this disease is developing explosively in some countries like Britain and policies there have changed. For example, people who are suffering from the disease are encouraged to stay at home and not to go to the hospital or to be kept in the hospitals because the transmission is much faster in the hospitals than it is in the isolation of their home. Does the ministry have any plans to institute such a policy or is it still in the pre-explosive phase.

Mr Simbao: Madam Speaker, I have information on what has happened in Britain and I will just read one paragraph from a story in the Times in which the Health Secretary Andy Banham has insisted that the Government has spoken with one voice. He says that his counsel, throughout, has been that Swine Flu is a mild virus best treated by small common sense measures like washing hands and trying to avoid travelling if one has flu.

Madam Speaker, in his statement to the House of Commons yesterday, Mr Banham confirmed that he would establish a National Pandemic Flu Service which includes telephone and website diagnosis and a medication distribution service.

Madam Speaker, from what I have just read, it is all about reacting with common sense.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister the consequences of delaying to seek medical attention.

Mr Simbao: Madam Speaker, a delay can be fatal. We are encouraging anyone who suffers from any kind of flu to seek medical attention, because, like I said, it presents itself like ordinary flu. People should be careful because they might think it is an ordinary flu when it is not. If you suffer from any kind of flu, see medical personnel for assistance.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Chongo (Mwense): Madam Speaker, a number of viruses and germs do not survive in certain environments and temperatures. How long has this virus or germ been determined to survive when it does not come into contact with a possible victim?

Mr Simbao: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that question, but I do not have a proper answer for it. If the germ or virus for the flu does not come into contact with a possible victim, it will die, but whether it will take a second or ten days, I do not know.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Madam Speaker, as a follow up to the question that Hon. Nkombo asked on the specific measures the Government has put in place at the points of entry into the country, I would like to find out whether the hon. Minister does not see it prudent to provide gloves and masks for the people who are handling the travelling public at these points. How is he going to contend an outbreak when there is a shortage of medical personnel?

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Simbao: Madam Speaker, it has been shown that it is not a practice to do what the hon. Member is asking us to do. Even where the flu burden is high, they do not do what we are being asked to do. So far, those suggestions have not been part of the recommendations.
I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Madam Speaker, the Chinese have developed traditional herbal medicines that can cure flu and many other diseases. What is this Government doing to encourage Dr Vongo’s Traditional Health Practitioners’ Association to conduct research in developing traditional herbal medicines?

Mr Simbao: Madam Speaker, the Government is trying hard to see what can be done with herbal medicines. I remember, two years ago, through this Government, we allocated a total amount of US$55,000 just to try and have certain medications tested. At the moment, I am aware that the Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training is still pursuing some of these formulations to ensure that they are not poisonous but efficacious. So I hope this is enough effort that the Government is making to help our traditional herbalists.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.




275. Mr Chongo (Mwense) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:

(a) when the following facilities would be constructed at Mwense Prison:

(i) prison cells;
(ii) bulk storerooms; and 
(iii) office accommodation; and

(b) what constraints led to the delay in providing the facilities above to Mwense Prison.

The Deputy Minister for Home Affairs (Mr Phiri): Madam Speaker, prison cells, bulk storerooms and office accommodation at the Mwense Prison will be constructed as soon as funds are made available.

The House may wish to know that the Zambia Prisons Service has been budgeting for the above project but, due to limited resources, it has not taken off.

Madam Speaker, the delay in providing the mentioned facilities is due to lack of funds.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Chongo: Madam Speaker, may I find out from the hon. Minister whether he is aware that, actually, all the construction materials, except cement, were released to Mwense Prison four years ago for the construction to start and, of course, monies to pay the contractor.

Mr Phiri: Madam Speaker, we are aware that some materials were provided at Mwense Prison, but not all the materials were provided. We still need to put resources together to provide all the materials that are required. The hon. Member may wish to know that we have set aside K16.7 billion in this year’s Budget for construction activities in a number of prisons countrywide. Mwense Prison will be considered next year.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


276. Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi) asked the Minister of Health:

(a) when a radio communication system would be installed at the Mubanga Health Centre in Dundumwezi Parliamentary Constituency;

(b) when Bbilili Health Centre would be provided with a motorcycle; and

(c) when a nurse would be posted to Mabomba Health Centre in Dundumwezi Parliamentary Constituency.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Mr Akakandelwa): Madam Speaker, the radio communication system for Mubanga Health Centre in Dundumwezi Constituency has been included in the Action Plan for 2009-2011. The District Health Management Team in Kalomo contacted the Zambia Flying Doctors Services and a quotation worth K60 million was obtained for installation of five radios. Execution of the contract awaits availability of funds.

Madam Speaker, the motorcycle from Chilala Zone Health Centre has been earmarked for Bbilili Rural Health Centre (RHC). This is because Chilala Health Centre Zone recently received a new motorcycle from the Churches Health Association (CHAZ). The motorcycle which is currently being serviced will be moved immediately after repair works have been completed. At present, the motorcycle at Nkandanzovu Rural Health Centre is servicing the nearby centres such as Nameto and Bbilili.

Madam Speaker, at present, Mabombo Health Post is manned by a clinical officer and supported by two other staff. The process of recruitment and placement of officers in the new structure of the Ministry of Health is on going and a nurse will be posted to Mabombo together with an Environmental Health Technologist.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Sing’ombe: Madam Speaker, last year, the then Deputy Minister, Dr Puma, stood on the Floor of the House and promised that a radio communication system would be installed at Mubanga Health Centre before September, 2008. May I know what happened to that promise, bearing in mind that the radio communication system would also assist in the event of swine fever that the hon. Minister has just spoken about in this House?

Mr Akakandelwa: Madam Speaker, from the answer, it is very clear that the Government has not reneged on the plans to acquire radios. Therefore, it remains for the hon. Member of Parliament to await the outcome of this action plan that has been outlined.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


277. Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi) asked the Minister of Education:

(a) what measures had been taken to ensure that by 2015 children countrywide would have completed a full course of primary education in line with Millennium Development Goal (MDG) No. 2; and

(b) what some of the hindrances to achieving MDG No. 2 were.

The Deputy Minister for Education (Mr Sinyinda): Madam Speaker, in order to ensure that by 2015 children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling, the Ministry of Education is committed to ensuring that children who enter Grade 1 are able to complete a full course of primary education. To this effect, the ministry is doing the following:

(i) build 2,500 classrooms in 2009. This will add an extra 500,000 school places, thereby increasing the gross and net enrolment ratios. Sufficient classrooms in lower basic schools should also eliminate double shifting that compromises quality. In 2008, we had 1,092 schools offering Grades 1-4, a total of 4,420 offering grades 1-7 as against 2,679 offering grades 1-9;

(ii) provide sufficient classrooms and other facilities such as laboratories to upgrade lower basic schools into full basic schools;

(iii) rehabilitate and maintain basic schools;

(iv) provide and maintain water and sanitation facilities with a view to providing equitable access for girls and Children with Special Education Needs (CSEN)

(v) provision of staff housing with emphasis on rural schools to retain staff so as to ultimately help retain pupils in schools;

(vi) purchasing double seater desks, including teachers’ furniture to cover the shortfall in all schools. The lack of desks in some schools forces children not to be in school because of limited enrolment places. In addition, pupils would not want to go to school where there are no desks;

(vii) introduction of bursary schemes to assist the orphaned and vulnerable children;

(viii) introduction of weekly boarding to assist pupils coming from far places;

(ix) introduction of free basic education to retain those who cannot afford the school fees;

(x) liberalisation of education provision by allowing other stakeholders to participate in the sector such as introduction of community schools and IRI centres;

(xi) introduction of school health and nutrition programmes to supplement children’s health and make them stay in school; and

(xii) undertaking sensitisation campaigns and programmes like the Programme for the Advancement of Girls Education (PAGE) and Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED) in order to help retain girl children in school.

To monitor progress on the attainment of the stated goal, the indicators to do with Gross Enrolment Rates (GER), Net Enrolment Rates (NER), completion rates, progression rates and survival rates are tracked yearly.

Madam Speaker, as regards part (b) of the question, the hindrances to achieving MDG No. 2 are as follows:

(i) inadequate number of classrooms to take all Grade 1 applicants and those proceeding from Grade 7 to 8;

(ii) early marriages and pregnancies. Some cultural practices encourage early marriages;

(iii) children’s and parents’ lack of interest in school, thereby staying at home;

(iv) economic reasons that arise mostly from costs associated with accessing school;

(v) long walking distances to school, forcing children to stop school;

(vi) demise of parents or guardians leading to some school children being orphaned;

(vii) illnesses; and

(viii) expulsions.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mukanga: Madam Speaker, one of the recommendations of the meeting that was held in 2000 in Thailand was the promotion of free and compulsory basic education in order to achieve MDG No.2. What is the Government doing to ensure that there is promotion of free and compulsory basic education in Zambia?

Mr Sinyinda: Madam Speaker, if the hon. Member was listening, we have stated, in our reply, that we monitor the indicators of progress made in achieving the stated goal. Apart from monitoring the said indicators, the ministry is offering free basic education in public schools from Grades 1 to 7.

As regards compulsory education, I would like to urge hon. Members of this House that, as members of our communities, we have a responsibility to encourage our people to send their children to school. Therefore, I am looking forward to a time when we will also be actively involved in this issue.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mrs Phiri (Munali): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what criteria this Government is going to use to identify areas which are going to benefit from the …

Mr Mwenya: On point of order, Madam.

Madam Deputy Speaker: A point of order raised.

Mr Mwenya: Madam Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order. Is it in order for the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development to remain silent over a very important matter that appeared in The Post newspaper …

Hon. Government Members interjected.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Mwenya: … dated 20th July, 2009 concerning the sale of Luanshya Copper Mines? Before I lay this paper on the Table, I wish to quote page 4. This article was written by Chibaula Silwamba and Chiwoyu Sinyangwe. The heading says, “Govt to pay $50m of LCM liabilities” and I quote:

“Well placed Government sources have reveled that the Zambian Government will pay Enya Holdings BV, the US$50 million liabilities of Luanshya Copper Mines (LCM).

“China Nonferrous Metals Mining Corporation (CNMC) bought LCM for $50 million from Enya Holdings BV while the liabilities for the mine are estimated to be over US$100 million …

 “But according to sources, the Zambian Government would have to settle the liabilities that Enya Holdings BV had accumulated because CNMC bought LCM from Enya Holdings minus liabilities.

“‘From the Ministry [of Mines and Minerals Development] point of view, none of the ministry officials participated in the negotiations. The [ministry] official who was assigned to the negotiations was just in the corridor. He was not allowed to be part of the negotiations. The people who participated were the minister and the permanent secretary; they left out specialised officials who were supposed to be advising them during the negotiations. That is why there are so many lacunas in the deal that the Government signed with the new owners of Luanshya Copper Mines,’ the source said. ‘For instance, the new owner was supposed to take even the liabilities of Enya Holdings but since the new owner negotiated without liabilities and was allowed to do so, the Government will swallow the liabilities. Liabilities were not part of the negotiated package on the part of the Chinese. But in normal circumstances the new owner was supposed to settle the liabilities.’”

Madam Speaker, it is in context of the above mentioned news article that I seek your serious ruling because so many issues are now coming out and being written about this contract. I might conclude without fear that the mine was given for free should the Government take the obligation of paying Enya Holdings between US $50 million and US $100 million for liabilities.

Madam Deputy Speaker: The point of order is urging the hon. Minister of Mines and Mines Development to give a statement based on an article in a named newspaper on the sale of Luanshya Copper Mines. The Chair remembers that last week, an issue to do with this sale was raised and an explanation was given by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning. However, for the sake of more information, the Chair will ask the hon. Minister to come, when he is ready, and make a ministerial statement on the issues surrounding the sale of Luanshya Copper Mines.

Hon. Oppositions Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! The hon. Member for Munali may continue.

Mrs Phiri: Madam Speaker, in the past, we have seen seven schools being built in one constituency just because that constituency is occupied by an hon. Minister. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Education the criterion they are going to use in identifying areas where the 5,000 classroom blocks are going to be built.

Mr Sinyinda: Madam Speaker, the hon. Member knows exactly that the development of infrastructure is something that is going on in each and every constituency. She is also aware that this is identified from the grassroots, that is the District Education Board Secretary (DEBS) in conjunction with the communities. They are the ones that identify where …

Hon. Government Members: And hon. Members.

Mr Sinyinda: … I am being reminded that it is done in conjunction with hon. Members of Parliament.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sinyinda: They are the ones that identify where these classrooms should be built.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC. (Chasefu): Madam Speaker, assuming that the Government will construct more classrooms throughout the country and in order to achieve these millennium development goals (MDGs), it will be important that you also increase the allocation of teachers to some of the areas. Granted that in 2009, your ministry allocated one teacher to the whole Lundazi District in respect of both basic and high schools, how do you expect to achieve these MDGs if you can allocate one teacher to a whole district with three constituencies?

The Minister of Education (Ms Siliya): Madam Speaker, it is true that while we embark on infrastructure development, it is important that this is matched by support in terms of teachers and curriculum development, because that is the core business. I appreciate that in the last recruitment exercise, Lundazi District got one teacher. We have to concede that we had some administrative bottlenecks that resulted in the deployment of only one teacher to Lundazi.

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC. indicated assent.

Ms Siliya: Even though the Eastern Province shows that there are about 180 teachers, some were transferred to other areas. This means that they are not physically in the province and because of the administrative lacunas, you will find that this is not reflected in terms of pay roll. As such, when we are recruiting, this hampers the teacher-pupil ratio. When we request for teachers to be deployed to particular areas, the statistics indicate that these teachers are there when in actual fact they are not on the ground. This is a matter we are taking very seriously because we believe that with the amount of money we are expending on infrastructure, it is important that we deal with the soft ware issues (non-money issues) such as administration. Once we clean up our administrative lacunas, we should be able to deploy the required number of teachers to most areas so that we reduce the teacher-pupil ratio. This is one of the ways we are going to achieve the MDGs.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Chazangwe (Choma): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister mentioned community schools that are in the country. However, these community schools are not reflected in the budget. How does the hon. Minister expect quality education in these community schools that do not have paid up teachers?

Ms Siliya: Madam Speaker, in our plans to develop education infrastructure in the country, especially for school building, we use two modes. The first one is the contract mode where we pay contractors to build schools while the other one is the community mode where we work with communities by way of them making minimum contributions while the Government pays for the rest so that we create a sense of ownership at the community level.

I do concede that, if all was equal, what everybody would like to see is the Government building all schools, but I think everybody appreciates the economic challenges. Therefore, in areas where we are not able to build schools immediately, we try to work on the initiatives that the communities have already embarked on and work with them to try and offer education services. There are even instances where the Government has taken over some of these community schools which were built using mud and pole. The Government is now putting up concrete classrooms and providing Government teachers as well as giving these institutions grants for them to operate as normally as possible.

For the time being, we will continue to work with the communities to build community schools. However, we have a very elaborate plan in terms of contract mode schools, for instance, building schools in new sites and expanding basic schools that already exist by adding extra classrooms.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Mwansa (Chifunabuli): Madam Speaker, the need to have all our children in the country have an education is an absolute necessity and one of the questions that was asked was: Is the Government not looking at the possibility of ensuring that going to school for primary education is compulsory. I would like to find out from the ministry whether it is thinking about bringing a law here that will make it compulsory for our children to go to primary school.

Ms Siliya: Madam Speaker, our current education policy, we concede, is about thirteen years old now. As a ministry and management at the Ministry of Education, it is time to have a new conversation on education in this country. One of the things we are going to do as a follow up to the National Indaba is have an indaba on education so that we can have views from as many stakeholders as possible to map up the future of education in this country and where it fits in terms of wealth creation. We want to believe that critical at the centre of development of this nation, is human development. So if we are going to create wealth in 2030 the question should be: for which citizens are we going to be creating it and how will they be educated?

Recently, I said that children born this year, 2009, will be twenty-one years old in 2030 and by then they would have been graduates of some kind, but what kind of graduates will they be? Therefore, we need to have a new conversation on these matters and we want to review our policy, this year. However, before that, we want to bring key stakeholders together to discuss these matters, including making primary education compulsory, if we are going to attain number two of the MDGs. We welcome that suggestion.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Milupi (Luena): Madam Speaker, the question was about the Government’s commitment to the MDGs in as far as primary education is concerned. Taking that into account, will the hon. Minister tell me and this House how they intend to achieve that, especially in a school like Lialuwo Basic School in my constituency which has Grades 1 to 7, but as of yesterday, they only have one teacher. How do they aim to achieve the MDG on primary education?

Ms Siliya: Madam Speaker, it is true that we have challenges in the Ministry of Education both in terms of infrastructure, enrolment and teachers. In answering the question, the Deputy Minister mentioned, at least, twelve points on how the Government is demonstrating its commitment, including teacher recruitment. Admittedly, we do not have enough teachers, and all things being equal, all of us would want to make sure that we have as many teachers as we can. However, in the last three years, we have done quite well in making sure that we are consistent in recruiting more teachers. Every year, we have a plan to recruit 5,000 teachers until 2015. At the moment, we are recruiting teachers through an open system by advertising in the newspapers and we think that in the next two recruitments, we would have managed to recruit as many teachers who are (on the streets) before we go back to colleges and recruit directly from there.

We want to believe that we are matching the recruitment of teachers to the infrastructure we are providing. I concede that we have to do more, and I hope that you can come to our office and discuss, specifically, your situation so that we can see what we can do about this problem immediately.

Another problem, other than teacher recruitment, is administrative. Like I mentioned about Lundazi, a province, sometimes, shows that there is, actually, no vacancy in the establishment, and yet there is, but because the administration is slow in transferring and taking teachers off the payroll, you will find that schools are suffering. In other instances, some schools are getting more teachers deployed while they are already full in terms of the establishment. However, because provincial officers, sometimes, agree with the teachers, especially when they are married couples and one has to be transferred against their will, they connive and make sure that these vacancies are not provided.

There are a lot of things we need to clean up which are not money related, but basically administrative issues. However, I do concede that we need to do more to ensure that we deploy teachers if we are going to meet the MDGs and our commitment has been shown by recruiting 5,000 teachers every year.

I thank you, Madam.{mospagebreak}


278. Dr Machungwa (Luapula) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing whether there were any plans to build pedestrian bridges across busy roads in the cities of Lusaka, Kitwe and Ndola were many pedestrians had been killed while crossing such busy roads.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Can consultations be done quietly.

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 construct pedestrian bridges across some roads not only in Lusaka, Ndola and Kitwe, but also in other towns where traffic is becoming heavy.

Madam Speaker, at present, the Government is unable to construct any bridge due to budget constraints, but has resorted to interim measures to minimise traffic accidents involving pedestrians. These measures include increasing traffic signals such as traffic lights at major junctions and construction of speed humps in residential areas.

In addition, Madam Speaker, the Government has stepped up enforcement of traffic laws through traffic patrols by both the Zambia Police and the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA).

I thank you, Madam.

Dr Machungwa: Madam, while I appreciate the fact that the Government has some plans, would it not be prudent for the Government to begin building a few bridges across roads where a lot of accidents involving pedestrians occur almost everyday or every week like the Kafue Road after the Kafue Roundabout as you go towards Chawama? A lot of people get killed on that road. Accidents also happen on the Great North and East roads. Instead of waiting for all the money to be made available, can the Government not begin building one bridge at a time so that as we go on, there are some bridges being built?

Mr Musosha: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for the concern. Like we have done at the University of Zambia (UNZA), we are already on course and we are doing everything possible to address this problem.

Thank you, Madam.

Mrs Phiri (Munali): Madam, as part of the Lusaka City Council, we are trying hard, under very difficult conditions, to improve the roads and signs on our roads in Lusaka. Last year, in September, we got funding for the Lusaka City Council. When are we getting this year’s funding since the hon. Minister knows that we are putting the money to good use?

Mr Musosha: Madam, I thank the hon. Member for that concern. Money is being collected all the time, and as it is being collected and distributed across the country for all problems to be addressed.

I thank you, Madam.


279. Mr Katuka (Mwinilunga East) asked the Minister of Communications and Transport when the Zambia Postal Services Corporation would reconstruct the Zambezi District Post Office building which collapsed a few years earlier.

The Deputy Minister of Communications and Transport (Mr Mubika): Madam Speaker, the Ministry of Communications and Transport has, over the years, planned to rehabilitate and construct new post office through the Zambia Postal Services Corporation (ZAMPOST). However, due to the poor financing position of the corporation, it has been difficult to secure funds for such purposes. Therefore, the Ministry of Communications and Transport has taken over the responsibility of constructing post office infrastructure so that ZAMPOST concentrates on providing the service to the people once the buildings are handed over to them by the ministry. However, due to budget constraints, rehabilitation of post offices and construction of new ones has been a difficult task. In the case of the Zambezi Post Office, reconstruction will commence in 2010, funds permitting.

I thank you, Madam.


280. Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma) asked the Minister of Communications and Transport how many registered buses, mini-buses and taxis were operating in the country.

Mr Mubika: Madam, the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) has sixteen designated stations where Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) are registered across the country. The sixteen designated stations also register PSVs from the surrounding districts. As at 28th February, 2009, RTSA had registered a total of 2,051 buses, 3,564 mini-buses and 1,853 taxis operating in the country.

I thank you, Madam.


281. Mr D. Mwila (Chipili) asked the Minister of Energy and Water Development:

(a) how many areas had been earmarked for electrification in Luapula Province under the Rural Electrification Programme, district by district; and

(b) when the projects at (a) above were expected to be completed.

The Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Mbewe): Madam, a total of 124 areas known as Rural Growth Centres have been identified for electrification in the seven districts in Luapula Province under the Rural Electrification Master Plan (REMP) distributed as follows:


Districts       Rural Growth Centres

Chiengi                13
Kawambwa        20
Nchelenge           20
Mansa                 22
Mwense              22
Samfya               22 
Milenge                 9

Total                   128

As regards part (b) of the question, the implementation of these projects is expected to be completed between 2008 and 2030. That is over a period of twenty-two years. The starting and completion time for each project package will differ depending on the priority rating. For example, the project packages ranked number one and two in Luapula Province are among the thirteen packages selected from REMP to be funded by the Japanese Government.

The procurement procedures, in accordance with Japanese International Co-operation Agency (JICA) guidelines, to engage consultants and contractors to implement these projects have started and it is expected that they could be completed by 2014. RGCs to benefit from this financing are:

(a) Project Package No. 1: Mwansabombwe, Chipepa, Mbereshi, Mukamba, Salanga, Lufubu and Chipuka.

(b) Project Package No. 2: Chipashi Island, Shabo (Kapambwe) and Kanyembo.

Furthermore, in 2007, the Rural Electrification Authority started the Mansa/Chibinda Rural Electrification Project in Mansa District which was completed in April, 2009. A total of five schools, two rural health centres, a chief’s palace and local court were connected at a total cost of K7.9 billion.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr D. Mwila: Madam Speaker, if possible, could the hon. Minister give us an estimate of how much it would cost to undertake the same project. How much is the Government going to contribute to the same project?

The Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Konga): Madam Speaker, we are unable to give the information that has been requested by the hon. Member in terms of figures for the 124 Rural Growth Centres just now. This is information can be provided at a later stage. Needless to say that it is Government’s intention that every year, an equivalent of US$50 billion is spent to undertake the various electrification projects throughout the country for us to achieve the objective of electrifying the whole country by 2030.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mukanga: Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister when the Lufubu Project will commence.

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, again, I am not able to provide that information because I did not make reference to the Rural Electrification Master Plan, but that information can be provided next time.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Matongo (Pemba): I would like to find out from the hon. Minister how he will be able to supplement JICA’s efforts in rural electrification projects and, indeed, the Zambia Electricity Corporation (Zesco) efforts in some other projects like Kabompo when in fact, the rateable charge for electricity is fixed at 35 per cent and the World Bank recommendation is at 66 per cent. Added to this, there is donor fatigue. Can he wrap this up?

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, it is not the World Bank’s objective to apply for the 66 per cent tariff adjustment that was made to the Energy Regulation Board (ERB). That was an application made by Zesco. It was not the World Bank who made the application for tariff adjustments in this country. However, ERB awarded Zesco tariff adjustment average of 35 per cent. If we listened carefully to the presentation by the ERB Chairperson, we would have heard that they had different percentages for the various customer categories.

For instance, residences were awarded 40 per cent while the maximum demands were awarded 36 per cent. Anyway, there are different figures for different categories which, on average, came to 35 per cent. I am sure that according to ERB’s calculations, the percentage is adequate to beat the revenue requirement for Zesco for it to operate and provide a good and efficient service to the customers.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Madam Speaker, through a question that I asked last year on rural electrification, the hon. Minister promised this House that he would avail the hon. Members the master plan. It is more than a year since, when are we going to get the master plan for this famous Rural Electrification Programme.

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, last week, I responded to a question from one of the hon. Members of the House and indicated that the master plan is being awaited to be launched by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda. Soon after that, and before the end of August, all hon. Members of Parliament will be availed a copy of the Rural Electrification Master Plan.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what agreement has been made between the World Bank and Government concerning economic tariffs as agreed under the key performance indicators that the Government signed with the World Bank. What percentage was considered to be the adequate economic rates by the World Bank for Zambia?

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, attainment of the economic tariffs is not an issue that the World Bank imposes on the Government of the Republic of Zambia. It is only business sense that necessitates that any operation must recover costs and it is in that context that Zesco applied to ERB so that tariffs could be adjusted upwards for them to recover costs. The hon. Member is aware that, currently, ZESCO charges in dollar terms just about three cents per kilowatt hour of energy that it produces.

In terms of investments to produce that energy, it is much more than the rate that Zesco charges. I think the figure that has been worked out by an independent consultant who was engaged by ERB for cost recovery in dollar terms is eight cents per kilowatt hour.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.
Mr Chimbaka (Bahati): Madam Speaker, to enhance rural electrification for Luapula and Northern provinces, two weeks ago, there was a posting on the Internet to the effect that there was a signing arrangement being made in China for a Chinese company to come and implement what was signed for. Could the hon. Minister shed some light on when that is going to pass in Zambia?

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, it is difficult for us to be speculative because the issues the hon. Member is talking about were on the Internet. It would help if we could get that information for us to be very conclusive. I think the hon. Member is referring to is the development of Kalungwishi Hydro Power Project which, if you recall, the Government awarded that project to a private developer in 2007. What we know is that this private developer has partnered with a Chinese firm in order to develop that hydro-power project. I can confirm that there was a signing ceremony that took place between the two parties in order to support the development of that project.  I cannot give the actual date as to when the project will be embarked upon because the Government has not yet received the actual information. If the hon. Member has any information as he has indicated, from the Internet, he may bring it to the office and we can follow it up.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Dr Machungwa: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has stated that the increase in tariffs is about 40 per cent for households and about 30 per cent or 33 per cent for large consumers. Can he now state that it is a policy of the Government that the households or those who have less income should pay more for electricity while the large users who are the companies, who make more money, must pay less for electricity. Is that what the hon. Minister is trying to tell this House and the people of Zambia?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, the Government is not telling the people of Zambia what the hon. Member for Luapula has just alluded to. The cost of supplying energy to a domestic customer is different from the cost of supplying energy to a large customer. Based on those computations, in actual terms, when the calculations are done, it costs more money to supply energy to a domestic customer than it does to a larger customer. Based on those computations, ERB came up with the figures which were announced by the Chairman yesterday.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Members indicated.

Madam Deputy Speaker: As you can see, the question was on Luapula and electrification and we left this topic a long time ago. Unless your question is on Luapula and electrification, you may sit down.


Mr Mwansa (Chifunabuli): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister highlighted his ministry’s programme for the electrification of Luapula Province, district by district. He stated that the Japanese are going to give us some money to handle that. I know that his ministry collects taxes from both fuel and electricity for rural electrification. Is that money still being collected and used for the intended purposes and if that is so, how much of that is going to Luapula for electrification?

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, it is true that the Government does collect money through taxes which are subsequently used for various developmental programmes. Rural electrification is driven by the Government. I just indicated in my earlier response that it requires Government to spend in the range of US$50 million to undertake annual electrification programmes. This amount is borne by the Government, and because of the limitations of our tax collection, the Government requests co-operating partners to augment its efforts. That is how come Japan has been mentioned in this response. However, the programme itself is driven and financed by the Government.

Madam Speaker, as regards the actual amount of monies collected from tax that are going towards rural electrification programmes in Luapula Province, I beg to request that I be given time to get more information as to the actual figures regarding how much specifically is being spent in Luapula Province.


282. Ms Kapata (Mandevu) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing when the following would be undertaken in Mandevu Parliamentary Constituency:

(a) repair of roads;

(b) construction of communal toilets;

(c) provision of safe drinking waster to the following compounds;

(i) Ng’ombe;

(ii) Marapodi;

(iii) Mandevu;

(iv) Chipata;

(v) Kabanana; and

(vi) Chazanga.

Mr Musosha: Madam Speaker, I wish to inform this House that there is no budget provision this year in my ministry to facilitate the repair of roads in Mandevu Constituency. However, the Lusaka City Council has provided for some funds to only repair five damaged bridges in the constituency.

Madam Speaker, since service provision is demand driven, my ministry requested all Councils to submit details of the road annual work plan, indicating priority works so that the same can be submitted to the National Road Fund Agency for possible funding.

Madam Speaker, I will always urge hon. Members of Parliament to take a keen interest in the budgeting processes at the local council level so that works in areas of need are prioritised and included in the council’s budgets and annual work plans. This will ensure that areas of need are catered for in terms of funding.
Madam Speaker, there is no budget provision in this year’s Budget to construct communal toilets in the constituency as indicated in (a) above. The council must prioritise the programme of toilet construction.

Madam Speaker, in line with the Vision 2015 on the provision of safe drinking water, the Government through various water utility companies in the country, is already working towards the provision of safe drinking water, not only in the named compounds in Lusaka but also in all other areas of need. The Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company is currently working on a design for laying water pipes in the mentioned areas with a view of connecting the areas to the safe drinking water supplied by the utility company.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Ms Kapata: Madam Speaker, forty-five years after independence, townships do not have safe drinking water and sanitation. I would like to challenge the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing to relocate the people in these townships in order to put in place facilities for clean water and sanitation. 

Mr Musosha: Madam Speaker, whilst there is an on-going programme with regard to the question that the hon. Member asked, I did say that the local authorities, as they sit in their respective council meetings, should tell us what is needed through the local town clerk.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mrs Phiri: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing said that money has not been allocated for the rehabilitation of roads and supply of water. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister, and I want him to listen very carefully to my question so that he gives us a correct response, …

Ms Kapata: On a point of order, Madam.

Madam Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Ms Kapata: Madam Speaker, I thank you for according me this opportunity. I ‘raise’ on a serious point of order…

Hon. Members:  Rise.

Ms Kapata: Yes, I ‘raise’ on a serious point of order.

Hon. Government Member: Aah!

Ms Kapata: Yes!


Mr Kambwili: Bana kulu!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Ms Kapata: Madam Speaker, is His Honour the Vice-President in order to allow the Ministry of Local Government and Housing to instruct the Lusaka City Council to transfer K2.1 billion from an account under Intercity Bus Terminus to the Zambia Police Criminal Investigations Division (CID), without the council’s approval. Each time we raise questions, the Hon. Minister tells us that we belong to a council. How can a council work when huge amounts of its money are now running the Government? I need your serious ruling.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker: That statement made before the question sounds like a very serious one. I am sure that the nation would like to get the whole truth of that matter. If it is true, then His Honour the Vice-President, through the Hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing, may issue a statement so that the issue is made clear.

You may continue, please.

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Phiri: Madam Speaker, this Government has provided the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to each constituency. We heard the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing say on our national broadcaster that we have not gotten this money yet because it has been transferred to the Ministry of Health. This was done without consultation. Can the hon. Minister tell us, precisely, when we will get CDF which can be used to sink boreholes in Mandevu, as I have done in Munali Constituency?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Phiri: We can use it in the Chalala area, where this Government has failed to provide for this.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

You are debating.

Mrs Phiri: I thank you, Madam.
Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.


Mrs Phiri: Mr Speaker, when business was suspended I wanted the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing to tell us exactly when we will be getting CDF. The Hon. Minister came on television and said that CDF had been channeled to the Ministry of Health. When are we getting this money because this is an …

The Deputy Chairman: Order!

Your question has been understood.

Mr Musosha: Mr Speaker, as soon as money is collected and ready to be given to every constituency, CDF shall be disbursed.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kapeya (Mpika Central): Mr Speaker, despite the fact that the responsibility of maintaining roads in the capital city is for the Lusaka City Council, does the Hon. Minister take time off to tour the compounds and see the damage to the city roads.

Mr Musosha: Mr Speaker, recently, we were talking about two roads being constructed in the hon. Member’s constituency. I wish to inform this House that the roads in all districts and provinces have already been advertised and the procurement stage has been completed. We are just waiting for contracts to be awarded.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Mr Speaker, in response to the question, the Hon. Minister suggested that the hon. Members of Parliament should take interest in submissions made by councils to his ministry and the Government. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether he is aware of the fact that the Lusaka City Council, year after year, has been submitting numerous roads to the Road Development Agency (RDA) for repair works. Is he aware that year after year, those roads are not considered on the basis that there is insufficient money? On the advice given to us that we should mobilise our own resources, can I find out when his ministry intends to pay the Lusaka City Council the huge rental arrears for the office that they are occupying for which they should be paying in excess of K2 billion per year in rentals so that the council can spend that money on repairing roads in Lusaka.

Mr Musosha: Mr Speaker, I am convinced that by this time they must have written to headquarters to pursue the same payments that have not been made for the period talked about.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}


283. Dr Katema (Chingola) asked the Minister of Energy and Water Development when Kalilo Growth Centre in Chingola Parliamentary Constituency would be electrified under the Rural Electrification Programme.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the Kalilo Rural Growth Centre (KRGC) falls under the project package ranked number five in the Copperbelt Province in the Rural Electrification Master Plan (REMP). The area is one of the three RGCs under the project package earmarked for electrification through grid extension in 2012 at an estimated cost of K16.5 billion (US $3.3 million), others being Mimbula Block and Kasonka

Mr Speaker, Chisangwa also falls under Project Package Number Five, but the RGC will be electrified through solar home systems at an estimated cost of K2 billion (US $0.33 million).

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Dr Katema: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development if he is aware that there is the Chingola Brick Fields which produces a lot of bricks. The company has contributed to the growth in the construction of many structures in KRGC. Chingola Brick Field has been using firewood to produce its bricks and has also cut down a lot of trees in the surrounding forests. If the hon. Minister is aware, what is this Government doing to stop the deforestation in the area?

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Energy and Water Development is not aware that the Chingola Brick Fields is cutting down trees for firewood for its kilns. Now that we have heard the concern of the hon. Member, we shall inform the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources to follow up the matter and then offer the brick-making company alternative forms of energy which they can use for their kilns.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Matongo: Mr Speaker, I would like to believe that KRGC is among the centres that the hon. Minister alluded to earlier under the Rural Electrification Programme. With the newly suggested tariff increment average rate of 35 per cent, does the cost justify this investment?

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, the tariff progression rate is gradual. The Government is conscious of the fact that if the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) went ahead in implementing a one-off tariff adjustment initiative, it would have created a lot of hardships on the paying public. Therefore, the idea is to gradually increase the tariffs over the next two years. Once this has been done, the cost effective levels of excess procured power that I alluded to earlier will be achieved.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.


285. Mr Kambwili (Roan) asked the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development:

(a) what impact the new mining tax regime had on the development of the Mulyashi Mine in Luanshya District;

(b) how many mining companies protested against the new tax regime of 2008; and

(c) what the reasons for the protest were.

The Deputy Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr Nkhata): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the Government did not anticipate any significant negative impact from the 2008 Mining Tax Regime on the development of Mulyashi Mine in Luanshya District because the Mulyashi deposit and associated oxide caps comprise substantial copper oxide resources whose exploitation will be by open pit mining, heap leaching or the conventional leach flotation method followed by solvent extraction and electrowining processes. These production methods would render the operations more cost effective than most mining operations on the Copperbelt.

Mr Speaker, the new mining tax regime, which became effective on 1st April, 2008, was designed to be self adjusting so as to cater for fluctuations in the global metal prices. The windfall tax was triggered at different price levels for copper. At the price of US $2 per pound and below, the windfall tax was not triggered and therefore did not apply. The windfall tax was at 25 per cent when the copper price was ranging from US $2.50 to US $3.00 per pound, 50 per cent when the price was between US $3.00 and U S $3.50 per pound and 75 per cent for the price above US $3.50 per pound.

Mr Speaker, the mining tax regime would have had no significant impact on the development of Mulyashi Mine even after application of windfall tax, as the mining and metallurgical processes were anticipated to be highly cost effective. Under the previous developer of Luanshya Copper Mines, the project could not take off because the owners failed to undertake a proper bankable feasibility study.

Mr Speaker, the mining companies such as Lumwana, Mopani, Luanshya, Kansanshi, First Quantum Mining and Operations and Seringa protested against the new tax regime because they considered it to be a disincentive to mining and exploration investment, as it replaced the development agreements which they benefited from a lot more than the people of Zambia.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development who are more important between the Zambian people and the foreign companies who protested such that the Government came to this House and changed the 2008 windfall tax provision.

The Minister for Presidential Affairs (Mr Mukuma): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank the hon. Member for that follow-up question. It depends on how you look at issues. We are saying employment is our priority and for us to create employment, we have to attract investors to come to this country. Should our tax regime be so negative as to chase away the investors, the very people who we sympathise with, the Zambians, will be the ones to suffer. Therefore, it is not a question of giving preference to the foreign companies but that of looking at the whole scenario and choosing which one can benefit the nation more. We feel that by retaining the investors and giving them incentives, it would be more beneficial to the Zambians in the process.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out whether the mine owners who protested were able to show, by figures, how worse off they were going to be with the application of the windfall tax gain, because the windfall tax gain was triggered at prices which were out of this world. This meant that their operations, profits and contribution given to the people of Zambia were not going to affect their operations. How does it become a disincentive when it actually does not affect the balance sheet in a negative way?

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, the mines that protested came up with figures. I wish to inform the House that at the beginning of last year, as soon as the Act was passed in this House, they came and showed figures that the formula we used was very unfair because we assumed that all companies had a similar cost structure. We were saying that at $2.50, it triggered 25 per cent and at $3.00 it triggered 50 per cent, therefore, assuming that all mines were having equal profit margins, which was not correct. At $2.50, some mines could actually still be in red. Therefore, they came with figures to show that the formula was not equitable to the mines that were involved. We were supposed to have started negotiations last year. However, the fact that negotiations started later does not mean that there was no query or protest from them. In short, Mr Speaker, I am saying that the mines that protested produced evidence which is quite valid.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister indicated that they needed to provide incentives for these mining firms, a position which I agree with. However, can he confirm that the engagement of Zambian people for six months, which amounts to casualisation, was part of the incentives that they gave the mining firms?

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, it is not a six months contract that is given to the workers employed at Luanshya Copper Mines (LCM). However, it is six months probation pending confirmation for those that prove to be competent or successful …

Mr Kambwili: Question!

Mr Mukuma: … at the end of that programme. In fact, employment is in two stages. Most of the senior officers and deserving staff would be on long-term contract whilst junior staff would be on permanent and pensionable contracts. Therefore, six months is just a probation period which I think is a normal period to observe the performance of the worker.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, when the companies were sold, the Sales and Development Agreements were signed between the Government and those who bought the companies. In those agreements, there was a condition that the companies were not going to pay taxes for more than twenty years. I would like find out from the hon. Minister whether the Government intends to review the Sales and Development Agreements so that these companies can start paying some of the taxes.

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, I think the effect of the Act that we passed last year was to nullify the Development Agreements. Therefore, the issue does not arise at this moment.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, I do not intend to ask a very long question. However, last year, in 2008, when, what we might call “the Levy Mwanawasa Tax Regime” was introduced, it was with great firmness. The Expanded Estimates Committee took evidence from all its witnesses such as the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, the Commissioner of Taxes, Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), Attorney-General and ran its own computer simulations and no sign of mistakes was there. Suddenly, this year, it has observed that there were errors in the tax system. Would the hon. Minister agree as similarly used by his substantive colleague, the real Minister of Mines and Minerals Development, that running a kantemba, is actually appropriate in these circumstances?


Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, although I did not understand the hon. Member’s question fully, I think what he means is that we are saying that our assessment was not correct for us to use the formula. What we should know is that laws are there to be changed. It depends on the application. When you apply the law and you find that it cannot respond the way that you expected it to, there is no harm in changing the law. Therefore, I do not see why we should complain by reversing our decision that we made last year.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi: Mr Speaker, for any person employed, labour laws are normally engaged, and my understanding is that they will serve a probation period. At the end of that, they continue. Would the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development tell us where these new labour laws are coming from? Instead of doing what is normal, that is employing people and automatically putting them on probation, now we are seeing that they are being given contracts during that probation period. Why is Zambia changing to such strange labour laws?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, I do not know how we are interpreting the term contract because any condition of employment that you sign is a contract.

Hon. Government Members: Yes!

Mr Mukuma: It is either you have a permanent or fixed contract. The issuance of six months probation is not strange within the labour circles. Therefore, I do not see anything strange about the arrangement.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichilima: Ee ma minister aya!

Mr Matongo: Mr Speaker, I want it to be made clear that, in fact, the repeal of the windfall tax early this year, was a cover or quid pro quo for discontinuation of any suit against the Zambian Government by those mines that had these development agreements. I feel that is what the hon. Minister saying.

Secondly, is there any experience of a boom in tangible employment, not casualisation, in figures between 1st April and end of June? There must be some indications to that effect.

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, between April and June - I do not know whether it is June last year, or this year - there has been a significant movement in terms of employment.


Mr Mukuma: There has been tangible movement in terms of employment because the Luanshya Mine, which closed, is actually employing at the moment and, therefore, you cannot expect a (inaudible). Some mines which were threatening to close certain operations did not close and, in fact, some of them have engaged additional employees and so the answer is that there has been positive movement in employment.
I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, in one of the responses by the hon. Minister, he said that laws can be changed and I agree with him, but in this particular case of the windfall tax, I would like to know whether this change in the law has brought more revenue to the Government or we are actually running with much less collection from this industry.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, it is too early for us to say whether it has brought positive results or not in terms of revenue to the Government. What I know is that it has helped us to maintain investors and, therefore, the climate in the mining sector is still healthy and encouraging for our economy.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, I rise to ask this question, again, and I will continue asking it. When an investor invests, he does his cash flow in terms of profitability. Has this Government ever done a computation to show the Zambians, for example, for a project like Mulyashi, in monetary terms, value for the country, like the cash flow to the Government and the cash that ends up in the pockets of the people? Mr Speaker, we are giving away our resources free of charge under the guise of employment only.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: Has this Government done any computation in monetary terms to show the Zambians what value returns remain in this country?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, I can see that my colleague is very serious about cash values and the preparation of statements. He will also agree that for one to prepare such a document, one has to actually assess correctly how much copper there is and the only people who do that are the companies themselves and not the Government. Therefore, it becomes difficult …


Mr Mukuma: … to expect the Government to prepare a cash statement which will be realistic to the nation.

Mr Speaker, that is why the investor carries out the necessary comprehensive feasibility studies for them to come up with information that is reasonable that is not available with the Government.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


286. Mr Mwango (Kanchibiya) asked the Minister of Works and Supply:

(a) when the construction of Chiundaponde Road in Kanchibiya Parliamentary constituency would be completed;

(b) how much money was needed to complete the construction of this road;

(c) what the time frame for completing the construction of the road was;

(d) which contractor had been awarded the contract to work on the above project; and

(e) when the Government last worked on the road.

The Deputy Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Ndalamei): Mr Speaker, the planned periodic maintenance …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Please, let us listen to answers when a question is asked. Otherwise, you will ask what the hon. Minister has already addressed himself to.

Will the hon. Minister continue, please?

Mr Ndalamei: Mr Speaker, the planned periodic maintenance of the Mpika/Chiundaponde Road will be completed within a year after the project starts. The tendering process for the project has been completed but the contract has not yet been awarded due to the insufficient provision in the 2009 Annual Work Plan of the Road Development Agency. There is only K1 billion in the budget which is inadequate to start the project.

Mr Speaker, the estimated cost for carrying out the planned periodic maintenance of the project is K123 billion. The planned periodic maintenance of Mpika/Chiundaponde Road will be carried out and completed within twelve months, but the contract has not yet been awarded to a contractor because of limited funds as explained in (a) above.

Mr Speaker, works on the road were last carried out in 1999.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mwango: Mr Speaker, if that K1 billion, although not enough, is ready, when will it be given to a contractor because we intend to use RRU to do the work? When will it be given to RRU to do the road?

The Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Mulongoti): Mr Speaker, the intention is to deploy a contractor to the project. This is not a small job and so we have no plans at the moment to disburse the K1 billion because it will be insufficient for the project.

Mr Chisala (Chilubi): Mr Speaker, last year, during the Parliamentary By-election in the constituency, the Government released the roads equipment based in the Northern Province and considerable work was done. May I know the total distance covered before the works were abandoned prematurely?

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, to the best of my knowledge, the equipment was in the area and, in fact, it was only redeployed after they ran out of fuel.

We are making arrangements because part of the community, in fact, volunteered 10,000 litres of diesel which they can use on the equipment, while we are trying to mobilise some more resources to deploy to the projects. So there is no abandonment. There is a lot that is still going on and as soon as they have finished what they are doing in one part of Mpika, they will be going to the said project.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Malama (Mfuwe): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister why, and I emphasise, the graders and machines were removed immediately after the MMD Government lost the by-elections?

Mr Mwale: Tabaishiba uku vota.

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes.

Mr Malama: Mr Speaker, I would also like to find out whether the same thing will happen in Chitambo because they have taken graders there?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, I hear a lot of malice in the hon. Member.

Dr Mwansa: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulongoti: A project is allocated resources, but once those resources are exhausted, you cannot keep the equipment idling if there is another area that still has a bit of money allocated to it in the budget.  Therefore, as far as we are concerned, the question of by-elections is not an issue. One by-election will not shield the Government so what is happening in the Chitambo Constituency is part of our programme as a Government.


Mr Mulongoti: We are very comfortable. I can assure you.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Mr Speaker, I want to find out in a situation where equipment is moved to areas where resources are adequate, does this explain why the equipment has been moved from Mumbwa to Chitambo, instead of going to Katuba?


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, I do not think we have one set of equipment. The hon. Member is mistaking equipment which was in Serenje all the time to that which was moved from Mumbwa. I would like to believe that they are same colour …


Mr Mulongoti: … and it is difficult for him to differentiate between the two.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Zulu (Bwana Mkubwa): Mr Speaker, moving equipment from where it is stationed to a site is a very expensive exercise. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister why his ministry spends such big amounts of money to move the plant to a site and move it away when it does not have enough money to finish the job?

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member claims to be an engineer …


Mr Mulongoti: … and I will have difficulty answering that question from an engineer, because equipment is deployed as per need. So cost is not the only issue taken into consideration; there are many valuables in these projects.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwenya: Mr Speaker, …

Mr Malama: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr D. Mwila: Bebe mwaiche.

Mr Malama: Mr Speaker, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to raise a point of order. Is the hon. Minister of Works and Supply in order to proudly state in this august House that they last graded the Chiundaponde Road in 1999, …

Hon. Opposition Members: 1979.

Mr Malama: … when this road has become impassable and each time this Government wants to work on it, it only grades about 15 km. The people have, actually, named it the 15 km road. 

I need your serious ruling.

The Deputy Chairperson: There will be no ruling on that point of order because you have asked a similar question in the past.

Can the hon. Member on the Floor continue, please.

Mr Mwenya (Nkana): Mr Speaker, the issue of the Chiundaponde Road that has been raised in this House brings sad memories because this is the road which the late Member, Hon. Kanyanyamina, passionately spoke about.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Can you come to the question?

Mr Mwenya: I want to find out from the hon. Minister, arising from the answer that the RRU quoted for about K2 billion to work on the road and there was an allocation of about K1 billion for the same road, and with the equipment that we have, why can we not negotiate with RRU so that we assist them with equipment and give them the K1 billion. I believe that road could be worked on.

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, I have been receiving conflicting statistics from the hon. Member. However, what he said was what is in the budget is K1 billion and that the cost of redoing the road is K123 billion. So if you make your calculations, K1 billion out of K123 billion, surely, is a drop in the ocean. We have no wish at all to go there and give hope to people that we have started the project when we are not ready. I think it is better to be honest enough by telling them that we do not have resources at the moment, but when we have resources, we are going to work on the road.

Mr Speaker, I would like to appeal to hon. Members that we have several roads in Zambia that need attention and it will be unfair for us to pretend that we can work on them all at once. We are committed to ensuring that we give the people of Kanchibiya a decent road, but it can only be done when we have sufficient resources.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}


287. Mr Mweemba (Magoye) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing:

(a) how many council houses were sold from 2000 to 2006 in the following towns:

(i) Livingstone;
(ii) Lusaka;
(iii) Ndola; and 
(iv) Kitwe; and

(b) how much money was raised by each council from the sale of houses at (a) above.

Mr Musosha: Mr Speaker, I wish to guide hon. Members of Parliament that information relating to activities in councils is better understood by hon. Members themselves because they are councillors and participate in the running of these councils.

Mr Speaker, further, it should also be understood that the Government never sold any council houses, but only issued instructions to all councils to sell certain categories of council houses and this information is readily available in each council. Hon. Members are free to get this information from their respective councils.

Mr Speaker, according to the records held by councils, the numbers of council houses sold in the four cities were as follows:

Name of City      No. of houses sold

Livingstone                 0
Lusaka                    148
Ndola                    2,950
Kitwe                      793

Mr Speaker, it should be noted that Livingstone City Council never sold any house during the period in question, as the council had already completed the exercise of selling houses in the 1996 to 99 period.

As regards parts (b) of the question, the following amounts were raised from the sale of houses:

Town                          Sale

Livingstone                    0

Lusaka                     300,450,000

Ndola                        855,554,915

Kitwe                        398,800,000

Total                       1,554,804,915

Mr Speaker, most of the housing units were sold in the first phase, that is between 1996 and 1999. As such, a few houses were sold in the last phase which covers this question.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mweemba: Mr Speaker, the reason that councils are not performing well is political interference, especially by the MMD Government.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mweemba: I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether he is aware that out of the 148 housing units that he says were sold by the Lusaka City Council, some have not been fully paid for and as such, the council wants to repossess them. However, the Ministry of Local Government and Housing issued instructions …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Hon. Mweemba, what is your question?

Mr Mweemba: My question is, why does the Ministry of Local Government and Housing interfere in the collection of money due to councils?

Mr Musosha: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

You may continue, hon. Minister.

Mr Musosha: … for that question. We are not aware at what stage the ministry interferes. If anything, the ministry is only supposed to guide councils on how to operate.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mrs Musokotwane: Mr Speaker …

Mr Mwiimbu: On point of order, Mr Speaker.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I would like to apologise to my elder sister for interrupting her question. However, I rise on a very serious point of order.

Is the Government in order to abrogate its responsibility to the suffering Zambian farmer and the general population by failing to purchase the much-needed staple food, maize? The Government is aware that its gross failure shall lead to severe food shortages eventually. The Government is also aware that the private sector in this country cannot adequately purchase the maize from our poor rural farmers. We are all aware that recently, we had to import maize from other countries to supplement the shortfall that was obtaining in Zambia. Are the hon. Members, on your right, in order to be so irresponsible by failing to purchase maize which is readily available in Zambia and wanting to import maize, again, in future?


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Let me, once again, seize this opportunity to remind hon. Members that points of order should be made under the circumstances I will give. Firstly, the point of order should be relevant to the issue under discussion. Secondly, hon. Members should observe decorum and thirdly, procedure. That point of order made by the hon. Member for Monze, important as it is, I think, has come at an inappropriate time. However, I would like to advise the hon. Member for Monze to, maybe, put that question in writing.

The hon. Member for Katombola may continue.

Mrs Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, in answering the question, the hon. Minister said that the Government did not sell the council houses, but just gave instructions to councils to do so. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether after giving that instruction, the Government is now going to ensure that councils build more houses, because the councils have been robbed of a very big part of their revenue base. At the moment, councils have no money because the Government gave an instruction for them to sale houses …

The Deputy Chairperson: Ask your question, Hon. Musokotwane.

Mrs Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, what is the Government doing to ensure that the houses that were sold are replaced by councils using the money that the Government is going to give them?

Mr Musosha: Mr Speaker, I wish to thank the hon. Member of Parliament for …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

The hon. Minister is answering.

You may continue, please.

Mr Musosha: … asking that question which has just reminded us, on your right side, of what we are doing in this country.

Hon. UPND Members: You are on the left.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Order!

Mr Musosha: On his right side kujubila apa.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Order!

Although he is on my left, he is, actually, on the right.

You may continue, please.

Mr Musosha: I am on the right. You are right, Mr Speaker.


Mr Musosha: Mr Speaker, I thank you for that correction. This Government is helping all of its ministries to provide staff housing. As many of you may have seen, there never used to be good housing units in police compounds. Today, they are being erected.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musosha: As for the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, in particular, even smaller councils are being helped with funds, at the moment, to build housing units. So this is an ongoing programme.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Kapeya: Mr Chairperson, to date …

Hon. Members: He is Mr Speaker.

Mr Kapeya: Sorry, Mr Speaker.

The Deputy Chairperson: Never mind, continue.

Mr Kapeya: To date, Zambians who bought council houses have not been issued with certificates of title. I would like to learn from the hon. Minister what the problem has been.

Mr Musosha: Mr Speaker, the issuing of certificates of title is partly the responsibility of the Ministry of Lands. However, those that have not finished paying for the same housing units cannot have a right to ask for certificates of title. At the same time, it is a little difficult to separate houses that were built on a jointly owned piece of land so that the owners can have title deeds. Therefore, until local authorities, where all hon. Members of Parliament, including myself, are councilors, attain power to make decisions on such matters, it is quite difficult.

I thank you.

Mr Kambwili: What is the meaning of that?


288. Mr Mwansa asked the Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources what measures had been taken to protect and increase sitatunga antelopes and lechwes in the Bangweulu Plains.

The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources (Ms Tembo): Mr Speaker, the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) has taken measures to improve the management of Bangweulu Plains in general and to protect and increase sitatunga antelopes and lechwes in the plains.

Firstly, ZAWA is collaborating with the Community Resource Board (CRB) in protecting lechwe and sitatunga. Village scouts who are employed by CRB work together with ZAWA and the law enforcement officers in protecting wildlife

Secondly, ZAWA provides a sustainable hunting quota for lechwe and sitatunga to ensure that the hunting does not undermine the population of animals.

Thirdly, ZAWA is encouraging partnership with the private sector with financial resources to help manage wildlife resources in the Bangweulu Plains.

Fourthly, ZAWA is enhancing its efforts to protect wildlife resources in the Bangweulu Plains by allocating more field officers and equipment to the area.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Quality!

Mr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, I have heard the response of the hon. Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources, but what is obviously undeniable is that when we drive through Tuta, which was at one time full of lechwe, we rarely see a single antelope in that area. Whilst it is true that animals are being protected, what is undeniable is that the sitatunga population has decreased. Would the hon. Minister tell us in real terms what she is going to do to ensure that the numbers of these animals do not dwindle or the animals do not become extinct?

The Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources (Ms Namugala): Mr Speaker, obviously, it is also the responsibility of the hon. Member of Parliament to ensure that the community is sensitised and that they start looking at the sitatunga as a resource and stop poaching. We have a serious problem of poaching, and I want the hon. Member of Parliament who has shown concern to help us fight poaching. In addition to that, the measures that the hon. Deputy Minister has outlined are being undertaken by ZAWA.

I thank you, Sir.

Major Chizhyuka (Namwala): Mr Speaker, given that the hon. Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources, a Minister in the Republic of Zambia, …


Major Chizhyuka: … has the propensity to displace people at the expense of sitatunga, lechwes, monkeys and baboons, when is the hon. Minister going to take similar action in Bangweulu as the one she took in Sichifulo since this country is one unitary country ruled by one Government?


The Deputy Chairperson: Well, nice as the hon. Member’s question is, unfortunately, the question on the Floor of the House relates to antelopes and lechwes in the Bangweulu Plains. I think, we will move on.

Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister how the community will be involved when it is a well known fact that ZAWA keeps harassing people who are living near these animals.

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, ZAWA does not harass people who live alongside these animals. ZAWA works with the communities through the Community Resource Boards, and if the hon. Member bothered to take an interest in what goes on, he will find that the CRBs actually employ people who work as village scouts in trying to help conserve wildlife.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has admitted that there is poaching going on in the Bangweulu Plains. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether the animals have been replaced by buying more.

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, yes, there is poaching, and poaching means the illegal killing of animals. As to whether animals have been replaced, if he is talking about translocation from one place to the other, that is not possible in all cases. However, we would like to encourage the communities, through the hon. Members of Parliament, to allow animals to naturally multiply through breeding.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Machungwa: Mr Speaker, to encourage the community help conserve the natural resources in the Bangweulu Plains, African Parks has gone there to try and work with the communities. What is the ministry doing to ensure that people, through the CRBs, are getting a fair deal so that they can help preserve this important species?

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, first and foremost, these natural resources belong to the local people. It is always important that we educate our people to get the best deal in all cases. We do get partners who move into these game management areas to try and work with the local communities, but it is up to us to ensure that our people are not taken for granted. Through ZAWA, we are providing guidelines on what kinds of structures and partnerships our people should enter into.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, I would like to know if the Government has any intention of relocating the monkeys from State House to the Bangweulu Plains to restock them and avoid the embarrassment that we saw a month ago.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

The Chair will take that as a friendly question, but not worth answering because State House monkeys are supposed to be where they are.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out when an inventory of these animals was last taken.

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, the question relates to lechwe and sitatunga. In 2000, a count was taken. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to determine the population of sitatunga because of their secretive nature; they normally hide. So it is very difficult to determine the population using area surveys. However, we do have reports that the sitatunga is common in the Bangweulu Plains. Therefore, we are sure that the sitatunga is there in comfortable numbers.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, the sitatunga in the Bangweulu Plains are for tourism. What is the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources doing to advertise the sitatunga in the Bangweulu Plains and other animals elsewhere? If you go to the VIP lounge at the airport, for instance, you will find nothing that shows that there is tourism in this country, and yet we are saying we are the best tourist country in the world. There is nothing on the lodges and Lake Bangweulu. It is as dry as this table you see here. What is being done about this?

Ms Namugala: Sir, I thank the hon. Member for raising that very important question and observation that, indeed, not much is being done in terms of marketing. The Zambia National Tourist Board, which is our marketing agency, is being restructured and we do hope that they can come up with a marketing strategy that is going to take into account Zambia’s comparative advantage and advertise those very core issues that the hon. Member has talked about. However, I do take note that we must do something to ensure that we showcase what Zambia has to offer.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisala: During the course of 2006 and 2007, some local authorities were requested to identify some land where some animal species were supposed to be kept. Despite doing that, this programme never took off. May I know whether this programme still stands?

Ms Namugala: Sir, yes, the programme still stands. We intend to encourage the local authorities to also participate in the management of wildlife. We are also encouraging the private sector to come up with private ranches so that we can multiply and increase the number of the various species of wildlife.

Thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}


289. Mr Malama asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing:

(a) what measures the Government had taken to decongest roads in Lusaka City; and

(b) whether there were any plans of relocating the Lusaka Railway Station so as to create room for construction of a road from the Great East Road Fly-over Bridge near the Zambia Electricity Supply Company (ZESCO) Headquarters to the Kafue Roundabout Fly-over Bridge near Finance and Development Corporation (FINDECO) House.

Mr Musosha: Sir, in response to the question raised by the hon. Member for Mfuwe, I wish to inform this august House that the Government, with the assistance from the Japanese International Co-operation Agency (JICA), has completed development and preparation of a comprehensive urban development master plan for Lusaka and the adjacent areas into the neighbouring districts of Chibombo, Chongwe and Kafue. Accordingly, the Council, in conjunction with the Road Development Agency (RDA), has already constructed a by-pass road connecting the Kafue Road and Chilimbulu Road, passing through Kamwala area to decongest the traffic going into the Kafue Road Circle. In addition, RDA has resurfaced the Kasangula Road to also decongest the Great East Road users who are connecting to the Great North Road. Furthermore, tarring of the road connecting Avondale to Ibex Hill has reached an advanced stage and works are going on.

Mr Speaker, the objective of the Development Master Plan is to:

(i) formulate a Comprehensive Urban Development Master Plan, including sub-programmes for urban transport, water supply and sanitation and improvement of living environment with a target set for 2030;

(ii) formulate a short-term development plan for immediate implementation;     and

(iii)  transfer technology to Zambian counterpart personnel.

The comprehensive urban development plan has been split into short-term and long-term programmes, most of which are aimed at improving the overall urban transport situation and reducing congestion in the city.

Mr Speaker, the short-term programme is the construction of the outer ring road whose length is a 4.9 km stretch from the Great East Road, that is Moono Turn-Off through Forest No. 27 running south across Leopards Hill to the Lusaka South Multi-Facility Economic Zone (MFEZ). The other segment is the 7.6 km road from the Lusaka MFEZ through Lilayi Road up to Kafue Road.

The short-term phase will also include the construction of 9.3 km ring road from Kafue Road near Metropolitan School of Musi-o-Tunya Extension in Bedrock. The second phase of the inner road is the 3.6 km from Kafue Road to Mumbwa Road through the Chibolya and Kanyama settlements.

The second phase will include the construction of a 10.4 km road stretching from Musi-o-Tunya Road to the Lusaka MFEZ Site. All these measures are aimed at improving the flow of traffic, thereby addressing the problem of congestion within the City of Lusaka.

Mr Speaker, the long-term programme to address the problem of congestion in the city is the introduction of trunk bus networks and urban rail routes with two terminal points within the city. One terminal will be in the western side of the city and one in the existing housing area east of the central Business District.

Mr Speaker, there are no plans currently to introduce a road between the Great East Road Fly-over Bridge and Kafue Roundabout Fly-over Bridge near FINDECO House.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Malama: Mr Speaker, may I find out whether the Government punishes those who report late for work because of this congestion.

Mr Musosha: Mr Speaker, we have no information as to who reports late and for what reasons.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Sir, there is an article in the Times of Zambia dated Tuesday, 14th July, 2009 on Page 7 on the issue of construction of inner ring roads. The project was supposed to start last month but has since stalled. May I have an explanation for this?

Mr Musosha: Sir, as it has been mentioned, the project has started and we must accept that there are times when there are logistical problems in the procurement process.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kapeya: Sir, could the hon. Minister inform this House whether he is the one who authorised private companies in the City of Lusaka to acquire parking space for themselves at the expense of the general public?

Mr Musosha: Sir, it is the Government’s policy that whoever wants to do anything on any piece of land in any part of the country should apply to the Government through the local authority and I believe those who are doing so might have been authorised. If they have not been authorised, it is up to the individual councils to follow this up.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister how long the long-term plan is, because if that plan was shortened, it would have reduced on private vehicles going into town because people could have been using buses which were supposed to be efficient so that they do not arrive at their offices late. Can you swap the long-term plan with the short-term?

Mr Musosha: Mr Speaker, I do not know what she means.

I thank you, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Member for Mushili.

Hon. Members: He is not in the House!

The Deputy Chairperson: He is not in the House and the question lapses.


291. Mr Mwenya asked the Minister of Education when the ministry would supply desks to the following secondary schools in Nkana Parliamentary Constituency:

(a) Buseko;
(b) Kamitondo;
(c) Kawama;
(d) Miseshi; and 
(e) Mindolo.

Mr Sinyinda: Mr Speaker, the following basic schools, Buseko, Kamitondo, Miseshi and Mindolo will receive desks in the 2009 Budget.

To-date, there has been an allocation of 25,300 desks for which contracts have been signed while another 25,300 desks will be procured towards the end of the year.

Sir, Kawama Basic School will be budgeted for as and when funds are made available.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwenya: Mr Speaker, in this year’s Annual Work Plan, my schools were not adequately allocated for and it is on that basis that I ask this question. Can the hon. Minister be very specific and indicate how many desks will be given to these schools.

Mr Sinyinda: Mr Speaker, as we have already stated in our reply, the desks will go to the District Education Board Secretary who will allocate them according to the needs of each school.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chazangwe: Mr Speaker, we appreciate what the Government is doing in supplying desks. However, is there anything that the ministry is doing in order to start repairing the desks that are vandalised by pupils or break down due to tear and wear as it were?

Mr Sinyinda: Mr Speaker, I would like to take advantage of that question to remind members of the public and hon. Members of Parliament, who also belong to these communities, to sensitise their communities against vandalising school property like what happened in Chingola and another town on the Copperbelt where pupils went on rampage damaging school desks. Definitely, the Government is serious about this. We are repairing and buying desks because this is a continuous process. We realise that for us to provide quality education, we have to provide these necessities.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Banda (Chililabombwe): Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister be specific as to when these desks will be distributed to districts so that we follow up, as hon. Members of Parliament.

Mr Sinyinda: Mr Speaker, as we have already stated in our answer, currently, we are distributing 25,300 desks and towards the end of this year, we will buy some more 25,300 desks. I think we have been specific in our reply.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister clarify what criterion is going to be used to distribute these desks to other schools, because the list we have here is only for basic schools. What criterion is going to be used?

Mr Sinyinda: Mr Speaker, as you may be aware, our criterion is based on the information that we get from districts and schools. Therefore, we supply according to the needs of the schools and districts.

I thank you, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Member for Chienge.

Mr Kambwili: He has gone to court!

The Deputy Chairperson: He is not in the House and the question lapses.


293. Mr Nyirenda (Kamfinsa) asked the Minister of Home Affairs when the piece of land between Kamfinsa Mobile Unit and Kamfinsa Prison would be made available to the Kitwe City Council for the construction of a market for Kamfinsa residents.

Mr Phiri: Mr Speaker, my ministry has not yet received a formal request from the Kitwe City Council for the construction of a market for Kamfinsa residents on the land between Kamfinsa Mobile Unit and Kamfinsa Prison.

My ministry has an on-going programme for the construction of housing units for its officers and the land in question may be required for this programme.

Mr Speaker, the second phase of the programme requires that we construct 1,000 housing units of which 250 should be at Kamfinsa. If there would be enough land remaining, we may consider giving it to the Kitwe City Council for the construction of the market, as it will benefit the officers and the surrounding community.

I thank you, Sir.


294. Mr Milupi asked the Minister of Works and Supply when the following roads would be constructed in Luena Parliamentary Constituency:

(a) Limulunga/Charlton;
(b) Limulunga/Mushitwambumu/Lukulu; 
(c) Limulunga/Mamitome

Mr Ndalamei: Mr Speaker, the ministry has plans to reconstruct the almost 1 km Limulunga/Charlton Road following the washing away of the road during the 2007/2008 rainy season. The road was previously gravelled in 2006 by the Zambia National Service. The funds were provided under the Poverty Reduction Programme to the provincial administration to carryout the rehabilitation of the project road. The Regional Engineer for Western Province has carried out the survey of the road and prepared cost estimates for carrying out the required works which include improvements on the drainage.

The ministry intends to include the construction of the project road in the 2010 Annual Work Plan of RDA.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

There is too much noise and the hon.  Member for Luena who wants to make a follow-up question cannot hear.

Mr Magande: He is also not listening.

The Deputy Chairperson: Can we, please, give him the opportunity to listen and all of us should listen.

Mr Ndalamei: With regard to the Limulunga/Mushitwambungu/Lukulu Road, the ministry has no immediate plans to construct a road from Limulunga to Lukulu District. The ministry is not able to embark on new major construction works until the on-going major road projects are completed.

However, the ministry, through RDA, intends to carryout a feasibility study for the construction of a 49 to 50 km road between Limulunga and Lukulu. A study report can be used to source external funding. The study may be included in the 2012 Annual Work Plan.
Mr Speaker, the ministry has immediate intentions of constructing the Limulunga/Namitome Road to gravel standard. In this regard, the provision was originally included in the 2009 Annual Work Plan for RDA. However, due to a reduction in the 2009 Budget, the project has not been allocated any funds in the 2009 Annual Work Plan. It is the intention of the Ministry, through RDA, to allocate funds for the rehabilitation of the project road in the 2010 Annual Work Plan under the road authorities.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Ms Lundwe: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for his answers, especially on parts (i) and (iii).

Sir, coming to the Limulunga/Mushitwambumu/Lukulu Road, on which he says the ministry has no plans, may I remind the hon. Minister that three days ago, a similar question was asked on the same road regarding the Lukulu side and the hon. Minister then said that they had worked on 10km of the road. Could I also remind the hon. Minister that the road was actually on the annual work plans for 2007 and 2008? Therefore, could we find out exactly why they cancelled the construction of this road if it was already on the Annual Work Plan?

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, the fact that it was not worked on in 2007 and 2008 is an indication that we have had difficulties with funding. We would, however, like to commit ourselves to those projects that we are able to undertake. As soon as funds are made available, we will undertake that project.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Hachipuka: Mr Speaker, year in and year out, we are spending money in the Western Province on sand.


Mr Hachipuka: Why should you continue pouring money, politically, when you know that you are putting money in sand? What kind of Government are you?


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Well, I think the Chair intends to serve the hon. Minister from answering that question. It is important to have roads wherever they can be.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister’s response to the earlier question was that these roads could not be worked on because of lack of funding. In Mazabuka, we have the Chikankata Road which is also a victim of not being worked on because of lack of funds. Can the hon. Minister tell this House when he will come up with another realistic work plan which he will try to adhere to and follow religiously so that we are not victims of lack of funds.

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, annual work plans are prepared religiously. The difficulty we have is that we are dependent on the same resource envelope. When the Treasury makes an indication that the resources are inadequate, we will come back the following year and prepare another work plan. Therefore, do not get tired with us. Our role is to plan. At an appropriate time, I would encourage the hon. Member to direct that question to the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning who is more than capable of answering that question.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, the question which was raised by hon. Hachipuka is a very serious one.


Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) has pulled out from the Western Province because of sand.


Mr V. Mwale: Is that a PF Policy?

Mr D. Mwila: Can the hon. Minister admit that …

Mr Mufalali: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, I rise on a serious point of order. Always, in this House, the Cinderella province has been called the poorest province because of sand. Therefore, is the hon. Member for Chipili in order to depend on Hon. Hachipuka’s question, who has the right to play cousinship game with us? Is the hon. Member for Chipili our cousin for him to play with us?


Mr Mufalali: I need your serious ruling, Mr Speaker.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Though the hon. Member may not be you cousin, you can deal with him in the same way. On a serious note, when that question was asked by the hon. Member for Mbabala, I did not think he was serious because he wanted to know if it is necessary to have a road in a place where there is sand. I understood it in that context. However, the Chair sometimes is very flexible. If the hon. Minister understood that question, he can answer it.

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, the reasons feasibility studies are conducted is to explore the environment and make recommendations on the best possible way to build a road in an area. Therefore, where there is sand, the only way you can work around it is by importing some laterite from other parts of the country. This is the reason behind the cost variations, where you will find that some roads are more expensive than others of the same distance because of the cost involved in moving laterite from other parts of the country. However, I do not know whether I should proceed to answer the hon. Member for Chipili’s question who is speculating very maliciously.


Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, DANIDA has at no time made an indication that they are pulling out from the Western Province because of sand. All the programmes by DANIDA are intact. In fact, two weeks ago, we had a meeting with the Ambassador and his team. The Ambassador reaffirmed his position that they have not moved away from the province except that they are ensuring that in their disbursement of funds, they are complying with the regulations that they get from their country. In fact, they made an indication that they were anxious to disburse their funding because if they do not do that, the home country will think that they are inefficient. I would like to assure the House that the hon. Member for Chipili is saying things that are uncharitable for no reason.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Major Chizhyuka: Mr Speaker, the issue of the resource envelope being inadequate has always been on the mouth of the hon. Minister of Works and Supply. Regarding the Limulunga/Namitome, has the hon. Minister considered that within the overall road management structure in his ministry, he could put some money into the resource envelope to deal with the road by downsizing the National Road Fund Agency (NFRA) and keep RDA intact because it is already doing a good job.

Hon. Opposition Member: Abolish it!

Major Chizhyuka: Indeed.

Mr Speaker, it is a moribund organisation and the hon. Minister knows very well that it has no value. It is only a huge expenditure to his resource envelope. Has he considered …

The Deputy Chairman: Order!

The question has been understood.

Major Chizhyuka: Hon. Minister, have you understood the question?


The Deputy Chairman: Order!

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to remind the hon. Member that when he was in the service, I was his Minister in the Ministry of Defence. He must, therefore, not point a finger at his former Minister if he wants to protect his commission.


The Deputy Chairman: Order, hon. Minister!

We are not interested in knowing what position you held. Answer the question posed.


Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, I was only reminding an officer.


The Deputy Chairman: Order!

Do not qualify the Chair’s ruling.

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, I have difficulty answering the question posed about NRFA because it falls under the Ministry of Finance and National Planning. I do not know whether in the assessment of the hon. Minister, he would put it this way.

Mr Speaker, I do not think that it is by downsizing the agency that you would get sufficient resources. I think that it is by all of us working hard and contributing to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) that we can raise sufficient funds to carry out our development programmes.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.



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

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1807 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 22nd July, 2009.{mospagebreak}




290. Mr Mushili (Ndola Central) asked Minister of Works and Supply:

(a) when Mwabombeni Road in Twapia Township in Ndola Central Parliamentary Constituency was last worked on and when it would be considered for complete reconstruction; and

(b) when Minsundu/ZESCO Road in Chipulukusu Township in Ndola Central Parliamentary Constituency would be constructed.

The Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Mulongoti): Mr Speaker, there has been no maintenance carried out on Mwabombeni Road for several years. The Ndola City Council, who have been appointed road authority for township and urban roads in the city did not include its maintenance in the 2009 Work Plan at all. The road is in a very poor condition and requires immediate attention. The maintenance of the road is expected to be included in the 2010 Annual Work Plan subject to availability of funds.

Maintenance grading was carried out on the Minsundu/ZESCO Road towards the end of 2008. The source of funding was Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

The ministry has given priority to the Minsundu/ZESCO Road and plans to include it in the 2010 Annual Work Plan.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


292. Dr Kalumba (Chienge) asked the Minister of Works and Supply:
(a) when the Government would secure funding for the upgrading of the Kashikishi/Luchinda Road to bitumen standard;

(b) how much money was paid to China Geo-Engineering Corporation (CGC) to grade and maintain the road above and for what period of time; and

(c) how much maintenance CGC had undertaken to keep the road accessible from the time it was graded.

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Works and Supply, has had intentions of upgrading the existing Kashikishi/Luchinda Road to bitumen standard since 1990. However, due to lack of funding, the project failed to take off despite awarding the contract to Messrs NCC Phoenix Contractors in 2001 to upgrade the road. Notwithstanding past failed efforts, the Ministry of Works and Supply is still desirous to upgrade the road to bitumen standard.

The upgrading of the Kashikishi/Luchinda Road is one of the priority projects receiving active consideration by the Ministry of Works and Supply. The project will be undertaken most likely when other on-going major projects of upgrading which are fully financed by the Zambian Government are completed.

The contractor, Messrs China Geo Corporation, was awarded the contract for the periodic maintenance by output and performance based road contract of the Kashikishi/Luchinda Road works commenced in November, 2007. According to the contract, the contractor should carry out light rehabilitation of the road in the first six months and thereafter carry out continuous maintenance for the next 38 months.

To date, the contractor has been paid ZNK19,178,816,782.37 for the light rehabilitation of the road and ZMK2,233,585,111.06 for maintenance of the road respectively, bringing the total amount paid to ZMK21,412,401,893.43. This is for the period between November, 2007 and April, 2009.

The contractor has carried out light rehabilitation of the road which includes regravelling in most sections of the project to ensure that the road remains passable even during the wet season. The contractor has also improved the drainage and drainage structures on the road. In the maintenance phase, the contractor is grading the road, spot regravelling and cleaning the drains and drainage structure. During the maintenance phase, the travelling speed should not fall below 60 km per hour.

I thank you, Sir.