Debates- Tuesday, 24th November, 2009

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Tuesday, 24th November, 2009

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]





The following Member took and subscribed the Oath of Allegiance:

Watson Lumba




Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, in the absence of His Honour the Vice-President and the Learned Minister of Justice who is attending to other national duties, Hon. Dr Kalombo T. Mwansa, MP Minister of Defence will act as Leader of Government Business in the House from Tuesday, 24th November to Thursday, 3rd December 2009.

Thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear! Boma!




206. Colonel Chanda (Kanyama) asked the Minister of Livestock and Fisheries Development how much money was earmarked for the restocking of the following types of animals countrywide:

(a) cattle;

(b) goats;

(c) sheep; and

(d) donkeys.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Mulonga): Mr Speaker, the money that was earmarked for restocking of livestock in 2009 was K344,000,000 and K400,000,000 in 2010. However, the allocation of funds to specific types of livestock is yet to be done.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Colonel Chanda: Mr Speaker, in light of the proven resistance to disease by donkeys, is the Government considering having a deliberate policy in place to increase on the use of donkeys to do most of the work that is done by cattle especially in Southern Province?

Mr Mulonga: Mr Speaker, that is a very good consideration and it is a welcome suggestion. We will see how as Government, we are going to work on it.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): Mr Speaker, of the K344,000,000 earmarked for the programme in 2009 and K400,000,000 for 2010, may I find out how many animals in particular, cattle are going to be bought and restocked countrywide?

Mr Mulonga: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member of Parliament for Zambezi West who was lost in Solwezi Central for some time …

Hon. Members: What?


Mr Speaker: Order!


Mr Speaker: Order! Do not go that way.

Mr Mulonga: Thank you, Mr Speaker for your guidance.

Mr Lubinda: Gon’ga minister!


Mr Mulonga: Mr Speaker, restocking of animals involves the replacement of what has been lost. That is the animals we anticipate might have been lost by the farmers. Hence, our concentration is to create the breeding centres, disease free zones as well as livestock centres where all these measures of controlling the disease must be put in place. Once we control the disease, then we are sure that even those animals which are restocked will be looked after and will not die from the disease. Therefore, we are putting much effort in the eradication of the diseases as opposed to restocking.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister please, confirm the number of zeros in his answer because what he is telling us is in the region of K400,000,000 which implies that he is expecting to lose in the region of  300 cows that he is expecting to lose nationwide. The numbers he is giving us are chicken feed. I wonder if he can confirm that.


Mr Mulonga: Mr Speaker, the prices of the animals are different depending on where you get them from. There is no one single point where we buy these animals for restocking exercise. Therefore, it would be very difficult for my ministry to give the exact number from this amount.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mbewe: Hear, hear!

Mr Syakalima (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, given that the cattle restocking exercise in the Southern Province has been a disaster which involved about K2 billion, how else are they going to do it given these smaller amounts of money after that amount was wasted in Southern Province?

Mr Mulonga: Mr Speaker, I said that my Government’s concentration now is to bring the breeding and livestock centres as opposed to the restocking exercise because when we take one or two animals to Southern Province, we anticipate that the animals are going to multiply and will not suffer from the diseases. Our focus is on how well we manage the diseases as opposed to supplying animals all the time when the diseases is still there and that is why we have allocated a small amount for this activity.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sikota (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister just responded to a question on goats, sheep and donkey. I would like to find out whether they have in mind the restocking of other types of animals apart from the ones which were stated in this question and if so, which ones? For example, not long ago, there was a major slaughter of pigs in this country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulonga: Mr Speaker, in reply to the question asked earlier, I used the word earmarking which means anticipating and so far we have not had any problems with the goats and donkeys that is why we did not specifically say so much will go to this or that because we are just anticipating that it may just be one of those categories of livestock which may need the restocking exercise.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Beene (Itezhi-tezhi): Mr Speaker, in the 2009 budget K344 million was used for rehabilitating broken down infrastructure, I want to find out from the hon. Minister whether this time the amount will be used for restocking and not for rehabilitating old structures.

Mr Mulonga: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Itezhi-tezhi is always here when we are approving the budget and he knows very well that this year we had an allocation for rehabilitation and another for animal restocking and so his assertion is not correct.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Mr Speaker, we are told that the Government uses activity based budgeting to arrive at figures. I wish to find out from the hon. Minister how this K400 million was arrived at for the year 2010 and what criteria will be used to allocate the amount among the different animals.

Mr Mulonga: Mr Speaker, may be the hon. Member was not in attendance when the Activity Based Budget Workshop was being conducted. We are talking about an activity and not an exact amount. The activity which was budgeted for is restocking exercise.

I thank you, Sir.


207. Mr Malama (Mfuwe) asked the Minister of Education when the Government would rehabilitate the following schools in Mfuwe Parliamentary Constituency:

(a) Mpamazi;
(b) Mabonga;
(c) Nabwalya; and
(d) Katibunga.

The Deputy Minister of Education (Mr Sinyinda): Mr Speaker, there are no immediate plans to rehabilitate schools in the following areas in Mfuwe Parliamentary constituency:-

(a) Mpamazi;
(b) Mabonga;
(c) Nabwalya; and
(d) Katibunga.

However, for Katibunga, an additional 1x3 block was constructed in 2008. The rest of the schools will be rehabilitated when funds are made available.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwango: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that the 1x3 block is the one being used by the high school. If he is aware, what immediate plans will he put in place to ensure that these classroom blocks are rehabilitated before the rainy season ends.

Mr Sinyinda: Mr Speaker, we are aware as a ministry that we have a big challenge to rehabilitate all our schools and that is exactly what we are doing step by step.

I thank you, Sir.




Mr Magande (Chilanga): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do adopt the report of the committee on Communications, Transport, Works and Supply for the Fourth Session of the Tenth National Assembly laid on the Table of the House on 18th November, 2009.

Mr Speaker: Is the motion seconded?

Mr Imenda (Lukulu East): Yes, Sir.

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, your committee, during the year undertook a study of the following issues:

(i) awarding of construction contracts by the Ministry of Works and Supply;
(ii) road carnage in Zambia and 
(iii) the construction and maintenance of airstrips.

Mr Speaker, your Committee also undertook local tours of the Southern and Western Provinces.

Mr Speaker, I will highlight only some of the salient points, trusting that the hon. Members have read your Committee’s report, which covers four important sectors of national development which are air, rail, road and water transport. On the awarding of contracts, what came to light during the deliberations was that tender documents and procedures are just too detailed, complicated and cumbersome. They are also too expensive to prepare. The effect of these factors is that many local contractors are excluded and marginalised. The concept of getting the lowest bidder has also resulted in contractors without capacity winning tenders and failing to deliver.

Mr Speaker, your Committee are of the view that local contractors should be trained on how to prepare contract documents and should be encouraged to employ professionals to help them in putting up their bids. Further, tender documents and procedures should be simplified to allow as many local contractors as possible to participate in the bidding.

Mr Speaker, during the deliberations, it became apparent that foreign contractors receive preference over local contractors. There have been complaints that there is no fairness in the awarding of contracts. To make matters worse, local contractors fall in categories of five and six and they have no access to credit facilities and have limited amount of equipment. Those in Grade 1 who happen to be mostly foreigners have more equipment and access to funds and are able to undertake the works that they are given.

Mr Speaker, your Committee were saddened to learn that some contractors go ahead to do works even when they are aware that the specifications given by the consultant are wrong. When such a thing happens, all those involved should be banned from the profession. It is important to educate contractors that they should not go ahead with the works if they notice that the specifications for a given job are, indeed, wrong. Engineers are supposed to advise contractors if something is not right or if the allocated funds are not sufficient to undertake good works. Stakeholders cited the Livingstone/Sesheke Road, via Mulobezi, where the Yugoslavs won the tender but were asked to reduce the cost of the works. This resulted in the road developing potholes and, indeed, being damaged within two years of completion.

Mr Speaker, one important issue that was highlighted during the discussion on the awarding of contracts is that of lack of supervision. The clerks of works and the resident engineers are rarely on the ground to inspect the works, hence, the poor workmanship. Your Committee were informed that this is so because of inadequate funds and shortage of personnel to cover all the projects. It was also explained that there are times when contractors complete the works quickly before even inspection has been done. The ideal situation is for engineers, quantity surveyors and architects to be present in every province.

Mr Speaker, the Mwanawasa Bridge at Chembe was cited as a model. It was constructed with excellence because the clerk of works and the engineer were on site all the time. It is difficult to comprehend that officials at times certify works without going to the site. The ministry should ensure that officers who do this are dismissed and blacklisted. The resident engineer and clerk of works should be present on site throughout the construction works, if good works are to be undertaken. This should be treated with the seriousness it deserves. One of the immediate solutions would be to limit the number of projects that are undertaken at any one time so that the limited staff are able to supervise the works properly.

Mr Speaker, let me turn to the next topic, which is that of road carnage. Available statistics show that a total of 21,690 road accidents were recorded in 2007. From these traffic accidents, 1,266 persons were killed, while 4,181 persons were seriously injured. In 2008, a total of 19,727, road accidents were recorded. From these road accidents, 1,238 people were killed and 3,132 were seriously injured.

Mr Speaker, what your Committee found was that many of the causes of accidents can, indeed, be prevented. Second hand tyres are being sold on the streets of Zambia. These tyres are old and worn out, but they are made to look new. This has caused a lot of deaths on our roads because of tyre bursts. Your Committee recommend that the Government should forthwith ban the selling of these second hand tyres.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, this should not be a negotiable issue. It should be done as soon as possible. We cannot continue to lose lives in the name of curbing poverty. Let those vending in finished old tyres which are causing this carnage find some other things to do for their livelihood.

Mr Speaker, accidents are also caused by driver fatigue. Your Committee recommend that there should be two drivers on any of the long distance routes. This should be made mandatory in the regulations.

Mr Speaker, excessive speed is another factor contributing to the high rate of accidents in the country. I would like to bring to the attention of the House that Statutory Instrument No. 19 of 2006, augmented by Statutory Instrument No. 55 of 2006, stipulates maximum speed limits. Buses operating on long distance routes should move at 100 kilometres per hour. Minibuses operating on peri-urban routes should move at 80 kilometres per hour. Regrettably, these limits are never observed.

Mr Speaker, broken-down vehicles left unattended on our roads also contribute to accidents. Further, the unbridled manufacture and supply of alcoholic drinks, such as whisky in tot packs on the streets and markets, have increased the drunkenness of drivers, thereby causing all these accidents. This uncontrolled availability of cheap whisky in tot packs, commonly known as tujilijili, …


Mr Magande: … going for K1,000 makes drivers drunk as early as 0900 hours in the morning. We will recall that Hon. Masebo reported, during the last sitting of this House, the death of a promising young man in her constituency who had drunk tujilijili. This drink should be banned from the market with immediate effect.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, the other contributing factors to road carnage in Zambia are the ineffectiveness in the enforcement of traffic laws, inadequate human resource, insufficient road infrastructure, lack of sensitisation of drivers and gratification among some of the traffic officers who have been compromised in their work. General laxity in the enforcement of laws has resulted in road carnage. The Government should intensify the checks on alcohol intake, especially by public passenger bus drivers. Random checks should be conducted on these drivers. This would curb accidents in the country. It has, indeed, become almost a culture, especially over weekends, for motorists to take excessive alcohol due to lack of enforcement of laws against drunken driving.

Mr Speaker, the fees for motoring offences also need to be reviewed downwards as this is proving to be a big problem. Many drivers evade paying for offences to the Government and, instead, resort to bribing the officers involved in these checks.

Mr Speaker, the Government should ensure that during the driving examination for PSV drivers, long distance night driving should be a vital component of the syllabus that is given when being tested. The Government should also improve road markings and signage and ensure that new roads being built have these facilities.

Mr Speaker, let me move on to another subject which is that of airstrips which your Committee also looked at. Your Committee were informed that there are 186 airstrips and helipads in the country. This year, only forty-two were inspected for licence issuance. If airstrips are not inspected, the ministry will not know their condition. I want to emphasise that airstrips are critical in boosting tourism because they provide a quick access to some of our tourist areas, thereby saving the traveller’s time. Air travel also provides access to areas which are not connected to the country’s road network.

Mr Speaker, your Committee are alarmed at the absence of barometers at main airports in the country and wonder whether the Government is waiting for a serious plane crash to occur in order for it to provide these vital components. In the same vein, your Committee are dismayed at the absence of fire tenders and windsocks at airstrips. They, therefore, recommend that, with immediate effect, the Government should find money to purchase barometers, fire tenders and windsocks in order to safeguard the lives of the travelling public.

Mr Speaker, let me now inform the House about the findings of your Committee during the local tours to the Southern and Western provinces. Your Committee were extremely disappointed to find that the patching up of the Chirundu Road that was washed away early this year, has not been done, contrary to the Government’s assurances and information that the work has been completed. The rehabilitation of the Chirundu Road has been done in piecemeal. This is an international gateway bringing a lot of traffic into the country from the southern routes and, therefore, deserves adequate and proper attention.

Mr Speaker, the Kafue/Mazabuka Road contract was given to Messrs Raubex Contractors in June, 2008, to patch up the potholes and resurface the road. The whole stretch of the road had been resurfaced by the time we visited. However, the potholes were not attended to properly because the same thickness of tar was used even where potholes had existed. Your Committee are disappointed with the workmanship on this road because the surface is uneven, making the road very bumpy and dangerous to road users. There are no road signs and markings to warn the motorists about these hidden potholes. Your Committee, therefore, recommend that the works on this road should be redone urgently and, after this, the road markings should be put on this stretch.

Mr Speaker, let me turn to the much talked about Choma/Namwala Road. This project started in 1994 and the contract sum was K27 billion for the whole road at the time. To date, it is not complete and the contract sum has now risen to K164 billion for half the road to be done. Your Committee are happy that the consulting engineer is closely supervising the works on this road and the quality of the work is very good indeed. The only worry is that money has run out and the works have stalled on this road. We were informed that if no money was raised, the rains that are coming will, indeed, wash away the base of the road that has been done.

Mr Speaker, your Committee are satisfied with the workmanship on the Zimba/Livingstone Road as it is of high standard. Your Committee, therefore, recommend that funding of the project should not also stall so that the works are completed as scheduled. However, the detour on this stretch is posing a great danger to motorists because of too much dust, resulting in reduced visibility. We recommend that bowsers should be on site to water the detour as frequently as possible.

Sir, your Committee were shocked at the state of the Mazabuka Airstrip. The airstrip has been encroached by squatters and is overgrown with vegetation. Revamping the airstrip is out of the question because of its current poor condition. Therefore, we recommend that an alternative area be identified where a new Mazabuka Airstrip can be constructed.

Sir, the maintenance of airstrips is cardinal because they provide alternative landing for planes in case of an emergency. What is saddening is that the maintenance of airstrips has been given to district councils and the absence of the Department of Civil Aviation in Southern Province has aggravated the situation.

Mr Speaker, as regards the Kafue Weighbridge, your Committee could not understand how a contractor could fail to complete such a small infrastructure project. The unfinished building is of poor standard and, to the dismay of your Committee, its floor has been tiled. Kafue Weighbridge caters for traffic from the southern entry points. The current structure is too small to cater for the volume of traffic on this road. This weighbridge should, therefore, be redesigned to accommodate the high volume of traffic passing through and the contract for the weighbridge should be given to a credible contractor to avoid loss of money.

Your Committee note, with satisfaction, the transparency at the Livingstone Weighbridge. However, the works around the weighbridge are not complete. The approach area and the detention yard should be completed without any further delay.

Sir, the main concern of your Committee is that there was no co-ordination between the ministries of Works and Supply, and Communications and Transport in infrastructure construction, rendering poor linkages between roads and airstrips. There is, indeed, a dislocation in co-ordination at the planning stage in terms of transport infrastructure which renders lack of linkages between roads, airstrips and, indeed, as we have found out, water transport. There is need to improve on this and this can be done by reforming the whole transport sector. There is need to urgently put in place a technical team to oversee the co-ordination of works amongst road, rail, water and air transport sectors.

Mr Speaker, let me conclude by paying tribute to you for the guidance you gave to your Committee during the year. Appreciation goes to the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff for the advice and services rendered to your Committee throughout the year. Sir, I urge this august House to support your Committee’s report so that the Executive can start taking action as soon as possible.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

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

Mr Imenda: Now, Mr  Speaker.

Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion ably moved by the Chairperson of your Committee. In so doing, I wish to address the issue of awarding contracts to foreign contractors. The law should be amended so as to compel foreign contractors to subcontract more local contractors in their works in order to build capacity of our small contractors.

Mr Speaker, this would benefit the local contractors because there would be knowledge transfer as well as empowering of small contractors financially.

These will benefit a small contractor in such a way that as they go on, they build their capacity on levels where they will take up the jobs that are done by foreign contractors. The category of these contractors are in category six which contract value goes only up to K500 million.

 Category five goes up to K1.5 billion and as it has been ably stated by the Chairperson, the biggest problem encountered by the small contractors is availability of funds. Therefore, it is highly recommended that the citizens’ empowerment economic fund be availed to small contractors to enable them access big contracts.

Mr Speaker, we also insist on the ministry to go for competitive bidding as opposed to direct or single sourcing tendencies. In so doing, it will avert the reported rampant corruption in the awarding of contracts.

Further, the Government should ensure that immediately places directors to be in charge of the Procurement Department in the ministry as opposed to junior officers who report to the manager of Human Resource and Administration. This will greatly curb rampant corruption going on in the ministry.

The other point is that the Government should consider incorporating the Zambia Institute of Purchasing and Supply with members of the board so that they offer professional advice. Currently, they express their opinions through the media, a tendency which is very disturbing in that the Government tends to think that it is being unconstructively criticized. This also brings us to the issue of procurement experts who are actually needed in the negotiating teams.

In involving experts, the benefit is a value for money and in involving these experts we will have quality procurements as well as cost effectiveness.

Mr Speaker, over the issue of road carnage, I would like to mention that numerous accidents on the roads have been as a result of a number of factors such as roads full of potholes, excessive speed on the roads, drinking alcohol whilst driving, general body fatigue and exorbitant motoring offence charges.

Mr Speaker, just last week when I was making a contribution to one of your Motions, I made a reference to the fact that accidents in Zambia were the third highest cause of death after HIV/AIDS and malaria. However, the question is, are Zambians aware about the scourge? People are dying in good numbers, but how many times do we, as leaders, call for meetings to address this issue? We have heard of so many non-governmental-organisations (NGOs) that are mushrooming all over talking about HIV/AIDS and malaria, but none about the third highest killer in this country. This is a cross cutting problem which is not only in one ministry.

The police and Road Traffic and Safety Agency (RTSA) are part to this problem. Therefore we have to come out, as leaders, in sensitising the country so that we make a stop to this big problem that the country is facing.

Mr Speaker, it is important, therefore, to state that the Government should improve on road infrastructure in towns and cities as well as in the inter town roads because that is where the biggest problem is. The Government should put in effect an efficient mechanism to control over speeding on the Zambian roads such as installing speed limiters to all public service vehicles, speed monitors and cameras on all the Zambian highways. The Government should also effect a ban on motorists driving under the influence of liquor. Therefore, the police should be on guard and the law should allow the Ministry of Home Affairs to recruit doctors to attend to drunken drivers.

Mr Speaker, the Government should ensure the presence of inspectors from the public service vehicles, police and RTSA officers at all times on the highway to monitor the conduct of drivers and bus crew during day and night times on major roads.

You may recall that some years back during the First Republic, we used to have what was called the Cowboys. Their presence in the country reduced accidents drastically because the highways were always patrolled. At every given time, people were on guard because they could spring from anywhere if an accident or a traffic offence was made. Therefore, why is such an efficient system not being re-introduced to our roads to save the lives of the Zambian people? The Government should review the fees for traffic offences downwards to curb rampant corruption which will end the practice of allowing unfit vehicles to move on the roads as they are a danger to life and roads.

Today on the Zambian road, …

Mr Speaker: Order! The seconder will stay within the notes to save time.

Mr Imenda: Mr Speaker, the vehicles currently on the roads are unfit and this is why accidents are rampant.

Mr Speaker, tours have been an eye opener to a number of issues on the ground. The report of your Committee has even captured some pictures of the places they visited. We, therefore, urge the Government to take keen interest in the Committee’s observations and recommendations made on our roads, bridges, weigh bridges and border posts infrastructures and airports if we are to improve to the international standards.

Finally, I would wish to thank you, Sir, for the opportunity afforded me to second this Motion.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Thank you, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to support the Motion on the Floor. I will be brief.

Mr Speaker, let me start by saying that we have been bringing, for sometime now, to the attention of the Government the ills in the construction sector mentioned in the report. However, no action has been taken. I have been in this House for eight years now from 2002 and I have brought up most of these issues mentioned in the report, but nothing is happening to my disappointment. For example, it is only two weeks ago that I questioned the growth of the construction sector. We were told that it was one of the three sectors that had shown some signs of growth, but I doubt it. Is it really boom or doom? Are we doing well? Is the construction sector gowing the right way? Now, I think, I have been corrected by the report that all is not well.

Sir, I think it is high time that the Government took action to correct the ills in the sector. One typical example is the Choma/Namwala Road. I always talk about wastefulness. Construction of this road started in 2004 at a cost of K27 billion only, but it has shot up now to K164 billion fourteen or fifteen years later. When this project was started, it was only going to take three years to construct. Therefore, I appeal to the Government to take action on the report because construction will go the wrong way.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Member: Quality.

Mr Mushili (Ndola Central): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the Motion on the Floor of the House.

Sir, I would like to, first of all, start by saying that the replacement of sub-standard contractors to do our roads is a big problem in this country. The previous debaters mentioned the problem of the carnage on our roads which has cost a lot of lives. I will cite one example in my constituency where a contract was awarded to some contractor who could not perform and the contract was later terminated. It has been almost three years without any replacement. This shows that the tendering process takes too long and requires immediate attention.

Sir it is unfair that people were expecting roads that were tendered for and awarded to be worked to their benefit, but, at the end of the day, nothing was done. This is in reference to the contract awarded to a certain contractor in the Ndola Central Constituency. As a result, the people of Ndola have continued to suffer because of bad roads. Unfortunately, even the Ministry of Works and Supply knows that the tendering procedure is too long, as they admit each time I go for a replacement, but there is nothing they can do about it. I do not know whether it is deliberate or not as one of the officers carelessly said that the delay could be attributed to the hon. Member of this particular constituency belonging to the Opposition. This is very sad.

Mr Speaker, the other issue is about safety on the roads. I have some experience in the transport sector and, I think, safety is one thing which has been neglected by the drivers. For example, in my transport company, one of the conditions that I have set is not to employ a driver who drinks. Furthermore, one must not be below the age of thirty-five years.

Mr Speaker, I always challenge drivers who come to me and say that a given accident was caused by a tyre burst. This is because, according to my statistics from the survey I have carried out the past ten years, most of the accidents are caused due to over speeding. My reasoning is that when a car is moving at a reasonable speed, the driver can prevent it from over turning even when a tyre bursts. Therefore, I urge the Government, through the Ministry of Communications and Transport, to look at this seriously. This is an area where traffic officers must pay attention since they always accept the excuse of tyre bursts.

Sir, the other issue is the number of drivers that drink while on duty. This has caused a lot of accidents and as such, I implore traffic officers to look into this issue before more lives are lost on our roads. The Government must also make sure that drivers on long distant routes are tested, especially those in the Public Service. There is, therefore, the lack of enforcement of laws by the traffic officers.

Mr Speaker, the other issue is the condition of our roads. The roads are getting worse. With the scarcity of the resources which the Government is always talking about, we do not expect the condition of the roads to improve at all. One free advice that I have always given the Government that can address this problem is for it to immediately equip municipal councils with road maintenance equipment. This is as opposed to giving this responsibility to the RDA that has added to the cost of working on roads by more than 60 per cent. 

Mr Speaker, it pains me to think that there is another white elephant building that the RDA is putting up when, in fact, the Government is lacking funds to work on the roads. I emphasise that this Government should equip not the provincial administration, but the big councils such as Livingstone, Lusaka, Kabwe, Ndola and Kitwe with road equipment so that they can work on the roads by less than 50 per cent of the current cost of working on roads.

Mr Speaker, I remember during the Vice-President’s Question Time asking when the Government would do away with the RDA that had added to the cost of maintaining the roads. Unfortunately, the answer was that it had no plans to do away with the agency. However, he did not talk about how and what plans the Government had to take to cut down on the cost of maintaining the roads.

I must repeat that the cost of doing roads in this country is sometimes three times more than in neighbouring countries. This is deliberate. I have requested the hon. Minister of Works and Supply to investigate and compare our costs of doing roads to those in neighbouring countries. To date, there has been no report to this House on this matter for reasons best known to the Government.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to debate the report as presented by Hon. Magande and seconded by Hon. Imenda. I will be brief in discussing the carnages and will end by discussing the Mazabuka Airstrip that the hon. Member for Chilanga spoke about.

Mr Speaker, the report indicated that second hand or worn out tyres are some of the major attributes for car accidents. I do agree with that. I would like to remind the House that many times this Government has indicated to us that the general standard of living for an ordinary Zambian has improved. They have based that claim on the fact that many Zambians drive.

 Mr Speaker, it is true that a lot of Zambians drive and, the argument that second-hand tyres must be banned is valid. However, I think that we should look at it from a distant point, a bigger picture. In Kenya for instance, the Government made a deliberate policy to make importation of vehicles that are more than 10 years old very unaffordable by charging excessive duty.

Sir, Zambia has received many defective second-hand vehicles. Therefore, the issue of accidents does not only begin with second-hand tyres, but also at defective equipment.

Further, the department responsible for the issuance of Fitness Certificates for vehicles has not done justice to the state of the country vis-à-vis accidents.

Mr Speaker, in many countries, the MIT or Fitness Certificates are issued on a quarterly basis. Every three months, motorists are compelled to have their vehicles checked to ensure that their vehicles are fit. In Zambia, we only get our vehicles inspected once a year. Now, over a period of twelve months, the state of any vehicle is bound to deteriorate. The rate at which fitness inspections are done must be looked at.

Mr Speaker, talking about second-hand vehicles, I would like to go further and say that our colleagues in the Government have not helped this situation as evidenced by their recent purchase of very old and ragged motor vehicles for our royal highnesses, the chiefs. If you did a quick survey to see how many of those vehicles are still on the road, you would be amazed to find that these vehicles are either on bricks or have had an accident of one form or another.

I think it is a valid argument that we should not allow second-hand tyres. However, the other end of the road is that a brand new tyre is too expensive for an ordinary Zambian to afford.

Sir, it is also true that the rate of death as explained by the presenter of the report, which is 1,266 people dying in one year as a result of car accidents, is very alarming.

I would also like to state that many times when accidents happen, the rate of response by those responsible to save life is very slow. Many times when fatal accidents occur, people actually die while being trapped in vehicles because most council departments do not have any equipment to tear cars apart and manage to evacuate the accident victim for quick medical treatment. The Government should look at capacitating the departments responsible to save lives once an accident happens.

Mr Speaker, looking at the bigger picture, I think that many accidents can squarely be blamed on our colleagues on your right hand side and I want to demonstrate that. Since I came to this House, the hon. Members on your left have been desirous of the Government to make sure that the concession that they signed with the Railway Systems of Zambia (RSZ) is abided by. Clearly, the bulk cargo that ought to be shipped by rail has found itself on the roads and that has caused stress on the road. Our roads are not able to handle bulk cargo such as coal.

In the recent period of fuel shortages, as I travelled from Solwezi and met a convoy of trucks at Kabwe at a lay by that covered a distance of not less than 1km, but lay bys are only about 30 meters. You can imagine that these trucks were actually packed on the road and it was dark and raining. Such are good ingredients for accidents. If the Government can quickly ensure that the concession they signed with the RSZ works, then a lot of these bulk carriers will not be on the roads and the roads will be less congested.

In many cases, even hazardous materials are moved on our roads. Not so long ago, I was driving to my constituency and found that a truck carrying sulphuric acid had overturned. Sulphuric acid is a very dangerous acid that eats up anything other than plastic. The road got ripped off and people suffered difficulties of not seeing a road sign to say that the road was damaged ahead and that if they drove at a high speed, they were bound to cause accidents.

Mr Speaker, I would like to make a quick comment on the Mazabuka Airport and rest the anxiety of the Committee. The Mazabuka Airport was degazetted about two years ago, thanks to the late President, Mr Mwanawasa, May His Soul Rest In Peace. Right now, it is no longer an airport. I do not even know what the Committee went to do there because we have re-demarcated it for human settlement.

Mr Speaker, the reason the airport was encroached upon, I have spoken about it in the House before, was also because of the bad policies of the MMD Government which continuously gives priority to foreigners by dishing out land while the indigenous Zambians continue to be cramped up in high density and unplanned settlements.

Lieutenant General Shikapwasha shook his head.

Mr Nkombo:  This is the reason why these people decided to just live in the airport area.  It is unfortunate that my uncle, Hon. Shikapwasha, has shaken his head because I am speaking from facts.

Hon. Opposition Member: Balya baleya balya.

Mr Nkombo: In Mazabuka, 2,000 hectares of land was arbitrarily given to a miner who did not need it. Fortunately, the mine changed management. I want to say that the new Chinese owners have been much more prudent than the original Australian owners because they have surrendered 1,000 hectares of land, and this is as it should be. The Government requires to be a little bit more balanced in issuing out land, especially to foreigners at the expense of indigenous Zambians.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, let me end by giving hearty congratulations to my colleague and friend, next door to me, Hon. Lumba, for emerging victorious …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: …in the just-ended by-election in Solwezi.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Muyanda (Sinazongwe): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to add my voice to the Motion on the Floor of the House.

In the first instance, I wish to support the report of your Committee and before I give my submission, may I congratulate President Hakainde Hichilema …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: … for marshaling his troupes to victory. This is the victory which culminated into welcoming my colleague, Mr Watson Lumba, who is now hon. Member of Parliament for Solwezi Central.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: My brother, you are most welcome into this august House. You will get the warmth of our seniority and good experience which we shall share with you to do a good job in this House.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: My I also congratulate, Mr Sata and …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: … his PF colleagues for their unreserved support during the campaign which has led to a successful victory.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: Mr Speaker, victory is sweet and it cannot go without comment.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: Two weeks ago, before I left for the campaign, there were few colleagues …

Mr Speaker: Order! Debate the Motion, please.


Mr Muyanda: Mr Speaker, I am most obliged.

Sir, as I oblige, may I give my submission in the context of this report. Firstly, there is nothing more nefarious than the failure of this Government to maintain our roads which has resulted into high exponential rates of accidents.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: That cannot be denied because it is caused by corruption. This Government is a bad Government.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: It has killed our own people.

Mr Speaker: Order, the work “kill” is unparliamentary.

Mr Muyanda: Mr Speaker, I withdraw the work “kill”, but I would like to say that the Government has contributed to the increased number of loss of human lives.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: The Government is to blame. Every two weeks, we hear of one or two buses overturning because of dangerous driving and unlicensed motor vehicles. This all comes back to one cardinal point, which is corruption.

Mr Chairperson, once upon a time, I was a Member of this Committee and that is why I am supporting this report. The submissions given by most witnesses were that corruption had become the order of the day in the construction industry. For a contractor to collect a payment, he had to lubricate or oil a public officer.

Mr Speaker, a few weeks ago, before I went for the campaign in Solwezi, there was a Member of Parliament on your right who tried to browbeat us into submission that if we did not substantiate our claims on corruption, he would strip us of our immunity. What a dream! He should have read the Zambian Constitution. The late President Levy Mwanawasa, clearly, admitted in public that there was endemic corruption in this country. Why should we deny it in here? We have said there is corruption. It is now justified and evident in each public office.

Mr D. Mwila: Hanjika!

Mr Muyanda: It is far worse in the construction industry and that is why we are having these accidents.

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

Mr Muyanda: Sir, some drivers do not have genuine drivers’ licences. They have just obtained the licences through dubious means. It cannot be disputed that corruption has to go now and when it goes, it must go with the Government that brought it in 1991.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: Mr Speaker, I wish the hon. Member of Parliament for Mulobezi were in the House. He is a very good friend of mine. When I debated on corruption, he passed an Irish joke, but it was not fair because the road carnage we are talking about is a result of the shoddy works being carried out by contractors and this is all stemming from corruption. I will emphasise that there is corruption and I will never stop talking about it. Even when we were campaigning, there was massive corruption from the other side.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: Please, can we stop corruption in this country.

Well, I thought the Chair wanted to guide me.


Mr Muyanda: Mr Speaker, …

Hon. Member: Baliku bamba biyo!

Mr Muyanda: … I now revert to my constituency as a case in point. There are two suspended bridges on the Batoka/Mamba Road, as I am talking to you now. The contractor finished his works, but why is the Government failing to mount the two bridges. The rains have come and very soon we will hear of a disaster happening between Batoka and Sinzongwe. This is all because of corruption. The bridges have not been mounted, but the contractor is on the verge of demobilising. When the UPND-PF government comes into office, corruption will be stamped out.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: Mr Speaker, there are no bridges on the famous Bottom Road from Sinazeze to Chiyabi, as I am talking to you now. The contractor has left for Namibia. Who is going to build these bridges? Firstly, the contractor should have constructed the bridges and then carried on with the works, but because there is nobody who can locate where the contractor is, the works have been abandoned. Somebody must have corruptly solicited for funds for him not to care to find where RCC is located. I do not know where it is because it is not in the country. The Government should tell us where the contractor is. Sinazongwe will be cut off between Sinazeze and Sinazongwe. Who is going to help when people start drowning because the streams and rivers will be swelling due to the heavy rains this year?

Sir, corruption is a disease, but it can be stamped out. Let us work in harmony in order to stamp out corruption.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: This is the only way we can make progress. Hon. Members on your right are pretending that there is no corruption. It is dangerous to ignore a disease or a cancer that has culminated in your own house and pretend that there is no corruption.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: Mr Speaker, I wish my colleague were in the House because I do not debate hon. Members who are not present. I am experienced enough to respect their absence. I wish Hon. Mabenga was in this august House.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: However, wherever he is, …

Hon. Opposition members: He is listening!

Mr Muyanda: … he must be listening.
Sir, there is a railway line called Katima Mulilo Rail Line. He has failed to represent his people, but because there are Zambians in the Western Province, I will speak on their behalf.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: For those who do not know or want browbeating, this is Parliament. Browbeating is intimidation and threats to strip our rights …

Mr Mabenga entered the House.

Hon. Opposition Members: He has come!

Mr Muyanda: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member of Parliament for Mulobezi has come.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: Sir, Katima Mulilo has a rail line which is on the verge of collapsing.

Hon. Opposition members: Mulobezi!

Mr Muyanda: The Mulobezi Rail Line. That rail line can help the people of Zambia any time. He cannot speak on behalf of the people of Katima Mulilo, but I will do it today.

Hon. Government Members: He is from Mulobezi!

Mr Muyanda: It is on the same route and he is the Member of Parliament for that area.

Mr Speaker, two weeks ago, when I was complaining, he was cracking some Irish jokes. I know he has the right to crack those Irish jokes, but I would like to remind him that he is here to represent the people of Mulobezi. He must ensure that the Government works on that rail line because no other person will do it. Those are the Zambians who voted for this Government, but let me warn you that now that we have taken the North-Western Province and we are moving …

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

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mabenga: Mr Speaker, as you know, I never rise on points of order.


Mr Mabenga: Sir, is the hon. Member on the Floor now in order to continue speaking German instead of English?


Mr Mabenga: Is he in order to relate Katima-Mulilo to Mulobezi when the distance between the two districts is 150 kilometres. Does he know what he is talking about?

Sir, I need your serious ruling.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

The hon. Deputy Minister of Lands doubts the hon. Member for Sinazongwe’s knowledge of geography.


Mr Speaker: While that is an informative point of order, I just want to remind the House that this is not the place to campaign. My Committee’s Report refers to neither campaign in the past, in the present nor in the future. That is left to outsiders. Therefore, hon. Member for Sinazongwe, stick to the contents of my Committee’s Report.

You may continue, please.

Mr Muyanda: Mr Speaker, I am much obliged. With your good guidance, I will proceed. I will be categorical as I wind up. Most of the road signs on our roads have been removed, resulting in carnage. There are no road signs to alert any sane motorists to the dangerous spots on the road. In the past, we used to have sign posts to indicate that this is a dangerous corner or black spot. All the road signs have disappeared. We used to have the Roads Departments in this country. From 1991, when the MMD Government came into power, they misused their power and did away with the Roads Department which used to maintain the road signs and were stationed at each strategic point. Today, we are affected by the road carnage. You should restore the conventional methods of maintaining roads. The Roads Department will be brought back by the UPND/PF Government.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: Mr Speaker, we are now moving to the Western Province and we will take over.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order!

I have reminded you not to campaign through this House. Go there and not here. If you have nothing more to say, there are others who wish to debate. Do you have anything else to say?


The Minister of Communications and Transport (Professor Lungwangwa): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for this opportunity to make a few comments on the report that has been presented by your Committee, which, of course, is very comprehensive. It has covered a wide range of subjects.

Ms Cifire: Ndiye chizungu!

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, I will only confine myself to only two salient points, in particular the issue of road carnage and airstrips. Those who have lived in this country since independence, from the 70s, 80s, 90s and in the contemporary period, can recall that the numbers of vehicles on our roads, at some point, were extremely low. Clearly, we are now talking about close to 300,000 vehicles on our roads. This is an indication that more and more people can afford vehicles, which is a sign of a growing economy.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: This is extremely important. People are now able to buy all types of vehicles; be it trucks, comfortable buses and vehicles of other dimensions. This is clearly a testimony of a growing economy and an improvement in the quality of life of our people. This is commendable.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: As the numbers of vehicles grow on our roads, we, as a Government, have the challenge of addressing the issues that accompany this growth, especially the issue of educating our people. One factor that should not be lost sight of is that we are a developing country. As a developing nation, we have the challenge of imparting skills and know-how; psychologically preparing our people in the various aspects of life that they undertake.

Sir, with regard to road carnage, it is extremely important that we set the standards for driving for drivers and the trainers of various types of drivers. Clearly, as a Government, we are taking steps through the Road Traffic Safety Agency (RTSA) to ensure that all driving schools are registered. All trainers of drivers should be licensed. All training schools should follow a proper well-established driving curriculum. This is extremely important for our people, many of whom may not have had the opportunity to undergo that kind of training. This is one measure that we are taking to address the issue of the problem of road carnage.

In addition, we have taken measures to review the Highway Code and soon, the new Highway Code will be launched, which, again, will provide another educational platform for our people in matters of speed, road signs and various other aspects which are important in the area of driving.

Mr Speaker, in addition to the training programme, which we consider to be extremely important for our people, it is, of course, extremely important that we undertake sensitisation measures. The Government, through RTSA, has embarked on very extensive sensitisation programmes on road safety. All the electronic and print media have been utilised to this effect so that more and more of our people are exposed to education that is important while they are on the road, either as drivers or pedestrians. We consider this to be extremely important in order to address the problem of road carnage that, of course, has been on the increase on our roads.

Mr Speaker, as a Government, we have taken measures to address a number of concerns. For example, the challenge is that most of the vehicles on the roads do not have speed limiters. We all know that in developed countries, most of the vehicles on the roads have speed limiters. When the driver hits a particular speed, there is a beep that goes on to indicate to the driver that he is now in the danger zone. Clearly, these are measures that are important on our vehicles, especially the public service vehicles. 
Mr Speaker, enforcement of the law is a measure that we are undertaking. We are taking measures to intensify the enforcement of various traffic laws so that drivers on the roads can comply with them. Wearing helmets, especially for motorcyclists, is extremely important. These are measures that we have put in place and motorcyclists must adhere to these requirements.

Mr Speaker, we do appreciate a number of recommendations that your Committee has made. Some of them will be seriously studied in order to see how viable they are. Clearly, the issue of second-hand tyres, appealing as it might be, will require further study. Measures to review the fees on motor vehicle offences have already been taken and the RTSA Board will look into this.

Mr Speaker, the issue of airstrips is a topic that has received a lot of attention in the report. This country has 186 airstrips. Over the years, some of the airstrips have not been in use and dilapidation has set in. However, as a Government, we are taking systematic measures to rehabilitate and reconstruct our airstrips. Those who have been to Mansa can see the work of this Government.

Mr Speaker, the terminal at the Kasama Airstrip has been constructed. We have done works on the terminal and the airstrip in Chipata. In Livingstone, the airstrip has been converted into an international airport. In Mfuwe, Ndola, Solwezi and Kasaba Bay, we are taking measures to systematically address the needs of the airstrips. We are already taking measures to address the rehabilitation works on smaller airstrips such as Nyangwe, Senanga and Serenje.

Mr Speaker, as a Government, we are systematically going to address the problem of airstrips that we have taken note of. It is very important for tourism and the efficient operation of the Government. It is also important for our people to have a more efficient and quicker air transport service. This is a matter that we are taking seriously.

Mr Speaker, there are a number of issues that the report has addressed and we shall pay very close attention to some of the recommendations as we respond to this report.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Mulongoti): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the motion on the Report of the Committee on Communications, Transport, Works and Supply. I listened very attentively to the contributions made by the Chairperson, the seconder and other hon. Members who contributed.

Mr Speaker, the Procurement Act is a creature of this House. All efforts were made to engender transparency. In the process, the rules were tightened to make it difficult for people to play with the tender process. Along the way, as we scrutinise, we will begin to attract red tape to ensure that the people who participate in these tenders are following the rules.

Mr Speaker, all these tenders are competitive. There are adverts in newspapers for contractors to compete. There is a caveat that the contractors are registered under the National Construction Council (NCC) to assess their capability, technical competence and funding capacities. Sometimes, I wonder when certain people start claiming that foreigners have an advantage over the locals. If the lowest bidder is a Zambian company, they may get the contract, but they will probably lack the capacity to perform to the expectation and consequently, there are complaints. This is a no win situation.

The people who come to invest in Zambia come prepared. They have financial muscle and when they have difficulties, they revert back home for financial support. As a ministry, we are trying everything possible to help build the capacity of our local contractors. We know that overtime, they will grow and become big. We also realise that sometimes, the question of technical competence arises. We have done everything possible through NCC to hold workshops and seminars to educate our local small-scale contractors on how to bid and look after resources within their companies. Therefore, this is a catch twenty-two situation, where you award the lowest bidder, but not necessarily the most competent, which has its own implications. They quote very lowly, but when it comes to performance, they are not the best. Sometimes, the highest bidder is the one who has all the competencies to do the job. This is a learning process. We will slowly begin to carry our contractors along.

Mr Speaker, we agree that the tender documents are complicated. However, this is in an endeavour to ensure that no detail is missed as we look at the people who are bidding for these contracts. It is, therefore, a process. If the House would want the law amended so as to make it possible for anybody to participate, it can be done. However, there are consequences of lack of performance and capacity. Therefore, in the endeavour to be transparent, everything has been done to tighten the screws so that chancers do not slip through. 

Mr Speaker, we have allowed competition in this country. We have invited investors to this country. Therefore, the same people who invited them should not cry about their presence.

The lack of supervision of contractors is a problem we have acknowledged. You heard how some of the contractors have been banned because they were not supervised by the consultants. Of course, there have been times when the consultants and contractors connived, but these are human problems. It is not possible for us to eliminate these problems altogether. However, we are doing everything possible to ensure that there is conformity to specifications and that consultants supervise the contractors on behalf of the client who is normally the Government.

Mr Speaker, on the issue of certification of jobs that have not been done, it is not possible for us to ensure that every certified job is supervised. Again, there is conniving between the contractor and the consultant. They end up certifying jobs that have not been done. Those who have been caught have been taken before the courts of law. We have in the immediate past, a case from the Eastern Province which the courts are handling.

Mr Speaker, we acknowledge that there are problems on the Mazabuka/Lusaka Road. However, because of shortage of funding, it was not possible for the contractor to work on the road as we would have wanted it done. It was, however, acknowledged that it was better off to seal the potholes than leave the road in the state it was in.

Sir, we are a developing country. Funds permitting, everything will be done to make the roads very comfortable for you. It is this House which appropriates funding for road the network and we must be mindful of the fact that if the funds we have allocated are inadequate, even the number of projects that will be done will be inadequate. I am aware that we must limit the number of projects to be undertaken, however, it is this same House with the hon. Members who come to our offices and stand on the Floor of this House and complain that there is discrimination that is why their roads are not being done.

It is this same House which appropriates inadequate funding.


Mr Mulongoti: How do you expect my ministry to attend to all the roads when in fact, the funds are in inadequate? I have said on the Floor of this House before that if we can agree, it is possible to undertake one or two roads in a province and complete them. Suffice to say that no province is willing to allow funding to go to another province and be patient enough to wait. Therefore, in the absence of funding, we have to accept that as a developing country, we have got to wait for things, but along the way, they will be come. Even those who pontificate about how capable they will be if they ever take over …


Mr Mulongoti: These pipe dreams must be looked into very carefully. Do not forget that we were  once an opposition party as well.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Mulongoti: We also promised mountains. When we got into Government we were
met with realities.  Therefore, I would like to remind those of you that those fake promises you are making…


Mr Mulongoti: … will not be realised. The People of Zambia have heard the promises 
before. There is nothing new.


Mr Mulongoti: I hear somebody saying that they want an opportunity. His president was once here therefore, he knows the truth.


Mr Mulongoti: Hon. Mushili complained about the removal of a contractor who did not perform. Yes, it had to be done because it was the right thing to do. Hon. Mushili should remember that every amount of money we allocate to a project this year, if not used by the end of the year will be returned to the Treasury and the new budget will be prepared. If that project does not fall in the priority list, tough luck. We follow the rules and procedure. You should therefore, understand that in the budgeting process, it is you who has the capacity to ensure that your project is in the budget for that year. It can be done. Therefore, do not expect us to create funds from nowhere if you have not made sure that there is a provision of money for the roads in that particular year. Therefore, Hon. Mushili, please understand that.

You have also said we constructing offices for the RDA. It is always a good thing to seek for information. The offices being constructed are for National Road Fund Agency (NRFA) and not RDA. Therefore, please, be a little factual. We are more than willing to give you information. Unless, you intend to continuously mislead, we will allow you to continue on that path.

Sir, prices have continued to rise. It is a competitive market and since we use an open competitive tender process, it cannot be for us to say you cannot quote at this price. We could have a reserve price, but if the competitors are too few, the implication is that the few who quote try to maximize on the pricing as much as possible and there is little that we can do about it. If the contractors have made known their ability competitively, transparently and the evaluation is done based on the criteria which is specified in the bid documents, there is very little that we can do. Therefore, we are also victims of the same same problems that we are talking about. This is why we made a decision as Government to buy equipment which we can use under what is called the force account which the donors do not favour, but at the end of the day it has become necessary for us to use it to work on the feeder, and peri-urban roads.

Sir, our realisation is that we cannot afford to pay contractors all the time, but through the use of our own equipment, it is possible for us to attend to some of the roads. Hon. Regina Musokotwane complained about the Livingstone/Zimba Road…

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, in winding up, I would like to refer to my policy statement for my ministry in which I made a passionate appeal that hon. Members who talk about corruption should make themselves available to the institutions that we have created in this House to fight corruption. Outside the House, they are very timid. Inside the House, they are appear strong. This implies that they are dishonest. We want them to go to the institutions which they have created in this House to fight corruption. Do not stand up on the Floor of this House if you are making mere allegations. If you think that is the passport which you are going to use to cheat the people of Zambia, you are only cheating yourselves. Come and tell the institution so that …


Mr Speaker: Order! The hon.  Minister will withdraw the word ‘cheat’.

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, I withdraw the word ‘cheating’ and substitute it with ‘misleading’.

Sir, we want those who are corruption to be visited by the law. Therefore, since you know them, we want you to report them because if you are not reporting them, it means that you are part of the corruption as well.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulongoti: You are talking about corruption every day and, yet you do not make any attempt at all to go to the investigating agencies to report it. Therefore, we assume that you connive with the same corrupt people.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulongoti: I want to challenge you that the next time you stand on the Floor of the House to make allegations regarding corruption to have the same courage to go to the relevant institutions and report it. If you do not, what you are saying is that the institutions of Government must pursue you to help them …


Mr Mulongoti:…since you are not going voluntarily to them to provide information after making allegations. The implication is that you are an accessory to that corruption after providing those facts.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulongoti: Therefore, it would a good thing to come to you and say, hon. Member, can you help us in this matter. Maybe, it will help you to calm down and be a little more factual on Floor of the House.

Mr Speaker, these few remarks, I thank you.

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear! Ema lawyers aya!

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, I want to thank all those who have contributed to the report. Indeed, we did cover quite a lot of subjects. In the time that I had here, it was not possible to talk about the whole report.

However, I wish to now respond to the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central who asked why we went to a disused airstrip. When the witnesses appeared before the committee, they told us that there was an airstrip in Mazabuka which had been abandoned, but that there is also a private airstrip which is well maintained. In fact, we went to the Zambia Sugar Airstrip which was very impressive. We were actually happy with its condition.

  Then we asked if we could see the other side and why the Government airstrip had been abandoned. That is how we ended up at the old site.

Mr Speaker, I would like to inform this House that in Southern Province, there is no civil aviation office. Perhaps that is why the airstrips and airports are neglected. It is one of our recommendations that the Civil Aviation Department must reopen these offices so that they could help in supervising what is happening in the area.

Sir, I must say that I am indebted to the former Chairman, Hon. Muyanda, who chaired this committee for a long time. The issues that he raised sometimes were controversial. He spent time talking about Hon. Mabenga, but I do not know what the subject was on him.


Mr Magande: However, he took time to talk about corruption and I can hear the Minister of Works and Supply saying something towards that just now. This issue is extensively covered in the report because a lot of witnesses also mentioned it. At pages 12 and 23, we also covered the issue of corruption. At the end of the day, I do not want to be like Hon. Simuusa, who, in debating corruption at National Constitution Conference (NCC) said, “We must admit that we are all corrupt.” Instead we should say, “I am not corrupt, do not contaminate me.”

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Magande: Corruption is related to personal ethics. It starts with your personal integrity. If you get to a police roadblock or when you are going for a contract as a consultant or contractor, refuse to be used in corruption. Therefore, if each one of us should say, “I am clean, do not contaminate me.” It is like somebody who says to a mosquito that, “I know you are carrying malaria, but I will prevent you from contaminating me with malaria by using insecticide or buying a mosquito net.” Then you will not suffer from malaria. I think that is what we got out of the discussions.

Otherwise, I am grateful to the hon. Ministers of Communications and Transport and Works and Supply who said that we need a lot of public education. Road usage requires people to be educated. That is why we informed Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) that instead of putting speed traps, they should actually explain the dangers of over speeding so that people can control their speed. Like Hon. Mushili mentioned, if you are in low speed and have a tyre burst, you will be able to control the vehicle and not overturn.

Mr Speaker, I hope the Executive will look at this report seriously and that there is a lot to be done in this particular field.

I thank you, Sir.

Question put and agreed to.




THE INCOME TAX (Amendment) BILL, 2009

The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Dr Musokotwane): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.

Sir, the Bill before this House is principally seeking to revise the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) threshold of exempt income, increase the tax credit for persons with disabilities and provide for the tax rates applicable to business income received by public benefit organisations.

Specifically, the Bill proposes to increase the PAYE threshold of exempt income from K8,400,000 to K9,600,000 per annum. This translates into an increase of K100,000 per month from K700,000 to K800,000 per month.

Mr Speaker, this revision will provide more relief to the majority of the workers who are in the low income brackets. The Government is fully aware that the relief given to workers may be considered low. However, the resource constraints cannot allow us to give a leap-jump in one year. We are, therefore, committed to continue giving our workers further relief in subsequent years until our workers are given a meaningful relief.

Sir, the Bill also proposes to increase the tax credit applicable to persons with disabilities from K900,000 to K1,560,000 per annum. In terms of monthly relief, this translates into an increase from K75,000 to K130,000. The measure is intended to provide more tax relief to persons with disabilities.

Mr Speaker, with this proposal, a differently abled person will now get a total tax relief of K930,000 before he or she starts paying  PAYE. The first K800,000 tax relief is a general relief under the PAYE and the additional K130,000 per month is a relief for being differently abled.

Sir, other provisions in this Bill include the proposal to provide for 15 per cent tax rates applicable to business income received by public benefit organisations. These are organisations we normally call charitable organisations. This tax is applicable to public benefit organisations that are involved in some business ventures where they make some profits. I know that some people even hon. Members of Parliament may think that every charitable organisation is required to pay this tax. I, therefore, wish to emphasis that it is only those organisations that qualify to be charitable organisations, but which engage in commercial businesses and make a profit.

Mr Speaker, this Bill is straightforward and I commend it to the House.

Sir, I beg to move.

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

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, let me start by stating that during their deliberations, your Committee were informed that generally, Zambians appreciated the need to contribute to the National Treasury as this is the only feasible way to finance public expenditure. There is, however, a need for the Government to be careful and not tax its people to such an extent that their spending power is so restricted that it becomes virtually impossible for them to participate in the economic life of their community. Further, your Committee note that the tax burden on the individual tax payer is still high, especially in comparison to corporate tax.

Your Committee note also that some relief is being offered to individual income tax payers by adjusting the PAYE tax threshold from K700,000 to K800,000 per month. Your Committee agreed with some stakeholders that this adjustment is inadequate in view of the high cost of living in Zambia.

  In addition, inflation, projected to average 8 per cent in 2010, may almost wipe out the benefit arising from this relief.

Another issue of concern, is that while there is an effort to increase the relief offered to persons with disabilities, the increase from the current K75,000 to K130,000 per month is still inadequate. There is also need for the Government to consider lowering the tax rates in the various tax bands for persons with disabilities in order to increase their disposable income. This would enable the persons with disabilities to utilise the savings to meet other costs associated with their disabilities such as purchase of assistive devices, such as medical expenses, dietary supplements and extra transport costs.

Further, the Government should seriously consider removing all taxation on gratuity and terminal benefits for persons with disabilities in a bid to improve the lives of this group of people. Your Committee note that many disabilities tend to deteriorate with age and the savings arising from the removal of the tax burden on gratuity or terminal benefits would assist persons with disabilities to cope with their disabilities in their old age.

Mr Speaker, while appreciating the need to remove ambiguity in the definition of the calendar month, your Committee are concerned that the use of the term “Gregorian Calendar” is quite confusing as many people in Zambia may not really understand what it is. Your Committee propose that the term be substituted with the term “Zambian Calendar” which would be easier for Zambian taxpayers to understand and comply with.

Your Committee are also seriously concerned that the Government is proposing to tax the income of charitable organisations. They note that individuals often contribute to charitable causes after they have already met their income tax obligations, hence this is a form of double taxation of the same income. Your Committee are also of the view that this move will serve to discourage philanthropy and hence disadvantage the beneficiaries of the work of charitable organisations. In light of this, your Committee call for a review of the proposal to impose a 15 per cent tax rate on the income of charitable organisations.
With these few words, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Mr Speaker, I am a member of your Committee and I would like to thank the Chairperson of the Committee for presenting the views that came to your Committee in such an eloquent manner.

Mr Speaker, I just want to make a few additions to his submission. The first submission is a general one and it is to do with the management of our Income Tax Act, Customs and Excise Act and the Value Added Tax Act. These are very dynamic pieces of legislation in the sense that every year with the passage of a budget, there is an amendment or a number of amendments to these pieces of legislation. Unfortunately, because of the dynamism of this piece of legislation, it becomes extremely difficult to keep track of all the changes over a long period of time. I would, therefore, like to propose to the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, and His Honour the Vice President and Minister of Justice that after such a long period of time which is more than fifteen years now, there are a lot of amendments kept in different places such that when you want to read the input of any amendment, it makes it extremely difficult to do so.

Mr Speaker, this might be the time for us to update all these pieces of legislation so that we zero them and start afresh for another period because it is tedious to follow these laws. Having said that, let me move to the issue that my colleague touched upon which is that of taxation and particularly, personal tax. I want to say that when you look at the budget for this year and at the tax measures proposed by the hon. Minister, one laments the fact that there is a reduction in taxes from the corporate world and yet an increase in expected revenue from individuals. This is a dangerous situation where citizens are expected to contribute much more than the investors.

So that I am not misunderstood, let me illustrate what I mean. In this year’s budget, there has been an increase of 15.8 per cent on the expected increase on revenue from company tax and there has been an increase of only 13.8 per cent in mineral loyalty. The total increase from individuals is unfortunately, for Pay-As-You-Earn, at 13.4 per cent, employed individuals 51.75 per cent and for self-employed individuals, the hon. Minister would like to raise revenue, from the K39 billion he raised in 2009 to K60 billion, which is an increase of 51.75 per cent. This cannot be called a poverty-reducing budget. These are tax measures that are taxing the poor and giving relief to the rich. Would it be folly for one to say when you have a bad Government, the rich get richer whereas the poor get poorer? This is a typical case and a classic example of how the poor are being overtaxed at the expense of the rich.

Mr Speaker, you will note that in the 2009 Budget, this Government had budgeted to receive an income of K319 billion from what they were calling other mining revenue. This year or next, they intend to receive nothing and yet these are the so-called investors who were given all sorts of privileges and incentives. What this implies is that the poor Zambian is the one being taxed to provide services to the rich. It is the rich who use the roads much more than the poor. The poor cannot even afford a taxi fare. It is those miners who are damaging our roads with their copper and yet we are expecting the poor to maintain the roads for them. That is warped thinking which requires correction.

Some hon. Members shook their heads.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I do not mind the shaking of heads. I am speaking here because the people out there …

Mr Speaker: Order! The hon. Member will address the Chair.

Then, he will not see the shaking heads.


Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I will be blind of that and thank you very much for your guidance.

Mr Speaker, time has come for the Zambian people to get a relief as a result of the exploitation of their God-endowed resources. You cannot expect the poor Zambians to continue to subsidise people who are exploiting their natural resources. That is the situation in Zambia and we cannot go on like that. This also leads to credit for the disabled people and how I wish the hon. Minister, when he was making his statement, had made it clear that this tax credit is only credit to the disabled who are in formal employment. Let it not be made to sound as if this is a credit to all the disabled Zambians. It is not. It is only a credit to the disabled who are in employment.

Your Committee asked the technocrats to tell us what Government revenue would be lost as a result of increasing this tax credit and the answer we got was that they could not tell us because the disabled have to apply for that tax credit. In the budget, they do not even know the target group and this goes to show that there are lots of our disabled people who are not aware of the existence of this credit and, therefore, they are going without it.

Sir, as though that were not enough, let me illustrate, and I hope the House remembers that it is because of the Opposition in this current Parliament, the Tenth National Assembly, that the tax credit for the disabled was increased. Had it not been for the resilience of men and women sitting on your left hand side, Sir, to date, the disabled would not have been getting the K75,000.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: And this is a fact.

Mr D. Mwila: Bwekeshapo!

Mr Lubinda: The Hansard shows that we voted and we defeated them because they did not even want to give relief to the disabled people. Now, this year, they are saying it as though this is a very big achievement, but let us ask ourselves what the reason for giving disability credit is. Why do we give disability credit? I have said before that it is folly of anyone to think that because today they are able bodied, they shall remain as such forever. All of us are potential disabled people. There are some hon. Members of Parliament who entered this Parliament thinking they are very well and able bodied, but by the time they leave, they shall have disabilities.


Mr Lubinda: Obviously, what this means is that when we do whatever we do for the good of the disabled, we do it for ourselves because each one of us gathered in here is a potential disabled person.

Mr Sikazwe: Including Lubinda.

Mr Lubinda: Including me, indeed. I am a potential disabled person and because I think for the poor, I also think for myself. Everybody knows that when a person has a serious disability, they opt to make adaptations in their living environment. That does not come cheap. It is expensive. The Government, therefore, must take care of such a person’s problems.

Secondly, Mr Speaker, my colleague talked about the cost of transportation. What about the cost of therapists?

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes.

Mr Lubinda: There are no free therapists in this country anymore. Even at the hospital, you have to pay user fees and these disabled people require this attention much more than us, the so-called able bodied.

Mr Speaker, what about at the work place? At the work place, these people have to cope with the difficulties of having to survive in an environment that is not suitable for the disabled. They ought to pay for that. This is a country that has lost all morality. For a person with disability to jump on the bus, he has to pay somebody to lift him. Obviously, the State must protect such people because they are vulnerable and part of our society. The Government’s worth is known by the way it takes care of the least of the people. A Government that does not pay attention to the issues of the vulnerable is not a Government worth voting for ...

Hon. Opposition Member: Yes.

Mr Lubinda: … because nobody votes for poverty, after all.

Mr Speaker, my friend talked about accessories. Besides that, the disabled people also require love and protection. In this country with so many stigmas against the disabled, people do not go and start holding the blind, unless they have a lot of compassion for them and quite often these disabled people ought to pay for that love. They, therefore, need support and relief from their Government. What relief has the Government proposed when they say it as though this is something phenomenal?
Mr Speaker, the increase that the hon. Minister spoke about is a mere K135,000 per year. What does that mean? If you translate that, it is K1,800 per day. That is the credit we are talking about for the disabled. How many loaves of bread will the disabled buy from that credit?

Hon. Opposition Member: Nothing.

Mr Lubinda: How many heads of cabbage will they buy from that K1,000? Then, you stand in here and say we are working for the poor and vulnerable. No, let us be serious about the way we handle these matters. We are gathered here on behalf of the poor of this country and whatever we do, what must take prominence in our minds and calculations is the relief we give to the poor. If we do not give relief to the disabled, we cannot claim to give relief to anybody because those are the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in our society.

Hon. Government Member: Ni kampenifye, iwe.

Hon. Opposition Members: No, no, iwe.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I have spoken on the Floor of this House and I will continue to do so because I feel the pain that those people go through.

Mr D. Mwila: Bwekeshapo.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, while we are giving excise duty relief to our friends in the investment world, even the production of aids and accessories for the disabled is taxed in this country and people are saying I am campaigning. Yes, how many disabled will make me a President? The people who are producing wheel chairs for our disabled people have to pay duty to this Government. What campaign is this? How I wish all the disabled would one day rise and campaign for me and my colleagues on your left, Mr Speaker ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: … because these are the men and women who feel for them and not a Government that comes and says we are giving them K1,800 a day as tax credit and they want to be voted for.

Mr Speaker, the matter of taxation of the charity organisations is not a play matter and I am delighted that the Chairperson of your Committee raised it very well. It is not a play matter. This is a very serious matter and I would like the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to ask the drafting people and technocrats in the Ministry of Finance and National Planning to ensure that they make the right amendment because the amendment that they are proposing, as I shall indicate at third reading of this Bill, is not aiming at taxing the profit, but at taxing income received by any charitable organisation. The law that is being amended, Clause F of paragraph 6 of the Principal Act, unless somebody brings it to my attention and your committee, is non existent. What are we doing with the law?

Mr Speaker, I would like to propose to the hon. Minister that he might have one intention, but the law is going to be applied differently. However, let me not be misunderstood to sound as though I am supporting the intended taxation of profits arising from commercial undertakings of charitable organisations. I am not. I am totally opposed. Why would a charitable organisation go into the vigorous problems of running commercial enterprises, if it is not because of the compassion they have to uplift the standard of living of the poor? People commit themselves to earn extra income to sustain the lives of the weak. The Government should not take advantage and rip off. What the Government should do is subsidise them, but this Government is saying all those who are philanthropists must not use money from philanthropy to earn any income which income they should give back to the poor. Who, then, my dear friends is going to take care of those hundreds of thousands of children who have no love of a mother and no protection of a father?

Hon. Government Member: The uncles.

Mr Lubinda: The uncles, how cheap!

Mr Speaker, we are gathered here for one purpose, to give hope to the Zambian people and not to come and show how cheap we are.


Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, it is important for this Government to ensure that those people who are using philanthropist money are supported and you will not support them if you take away the little that they have.

Imagine, Mr Speaker, the burden that my elder brother would have at the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services, if it was not for the many charitable organisations that are offering support to Government. How many of us would even have been in this House had it not been for the schools that were run by churches? Some of us, here, would not even have known how to speak English. We are here courtesy of those charitable organisations and religious bodies.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! Tell them!

Mr Lubinda: It is also, therefore, imperative for us to support them so that they continue to support the weakest in our society. We have failed ourselves as a Government. They have failed, Sir. When I say we, I am saying simply so because I participate in listening to the Budget Speech ...


Mr Lubinda: .. but for wants and purposes, they have failed …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: … because they write the budget. They are the ones who come up with the tax laws not us. A day shall come when I shall stand and say yes, I was amongst them, but please go and read the Hansard. I spoke but my speaking fell on deaf ears. They did not hear and I shall stand and say I can count those who were with me on our side on the right side of the issues of poverty.

Hon. Opposition Members: H ear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: That day shall come very soon. I would like to request, as I end my debate, that as the Minister of Finance and National Planning - I know that he is a man who is capable of discerning issues - goes home this evening, he should call upon his technocrats and draftspeople so that they really explain to him what this amendment is going to do to philanthropy in the country.

Sir, we have to bear in mind that the people who are giving to charitable organisations are doing so from their disposable income against which they would have already paid tax from. Do we not expect that a person who has already paid tax to the Government will want their donations to a church to also taxed? When we talk about business, is the Government also going to include braiis done by churches since these are commercial undertakings? Are churches going to be taxed when they have a braii or celebratory function to raise money for buying beds for the sick? Is the Government to consider tithe as a commercial undertaking, since that is an income for churches?


Mr Lubinda: Sir, if the Government has failed to come up with innovative ways of raising revenue, we, on this side, have repeatedly advised it to, please, tax the mining companies.


Mr Lubinda: The Government should not leave black holes in Zambia which we will not be able to explain to our future generations because what is coming out of these black holes is something they will not be able to know.

Mr Mushili: Mine owners.

Mr Lubinda: I appeal to the Government to, please, tax the mine owners because that is where the money is. We should tax enterprises and not the poor worker. It is true that Zambians are willing to contribute to Government revenue, but they must not be expected to contribute more than the corporate world is. Does the Government want the Zambian people to carry the burden of supporting industry? That is not right and it should, therefore, come up with measures that ensure that the industry is supporting the poor Zambians.

Mr D. Mwila: Na Solwezi landapo.

Mr Lubinda: Sir, as I wind up, I would like to welcome my good friend Watson.

Hon. UNPD and PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: Congratulations and welcome into the House. This is a House that you must use and we know you will use it for the good of the poor in Solwezi.

Hon. UPND and PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: Those weak people in Solwezi, you will speak …

Mr Speaker: Order! Address the Chair.

Mr Lubinda: Sir, I appeal, through you, that my colleague speaks on behalf of the vulnerable people in Solwezi.

Hon. UPND and PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: Every time he stands up in here, he should project himself as man who was sent to this House for one purpose; to redeem the lost Zambian dream and hope, to ensure that the people of Zambia can have hope again that there exists some men and women who still have thought and pain when they see them suffer and that not all is lost at the hands of those on your right.

Sir, I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker …



Mr Speaker: Order!

Dr Musokotwane: … I thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to wind up debate on this Bill. I will be fairly brief and, therefore, let me start by thanking the Committee for the various recommendations that they have made. I also want to respond to some of the issues that Hon. Lubinda has just raised.

My first point is that I never cease to be amazed at the capacity of the Patriotic Front (PF) to distort facts and misrepresent …

Dr Katema: Question!

Dr Musokotwane: … what we, on this side, say.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, a few minutes ago, in my statement, I stated that the Bill proposes to increase the tax credit applicable to persons with disabilities from K900,000 to K1,560,0000 per annum. In terms of monthly relief, this translates into an increase from K75,000 to K130,000 per month. However, Hon. Lubinda spent about five minutes on this matter misleading everyone …


Dr Musokotwane: … that the K130,000 was per annum. So, I am extremely disappointed that despite hearing what I said, he stood up and deliberately stated otherwise when I had very clearly said that the K130,000 was monthly. Why should he distort facts that have been stated clearly? 

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: He is a liar.

Mr Lubinda interjected.

Dr Musokotwane: No, I am the one who stated the facts here. The K130,000 is per month. I read it here, but he said it is per annum. Why do you distort things that have clearly been stated a few minutes before?

Hon. Opposition Members: Address the Chair.

Dr Musokotwane:  Mr Speaker, I am extremely disappointed, but, anyway, it is typical of our colleagues on the other side to distort our statements and tell untruths to deliberately misinform the public.

Mr Speaker, secondly …

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Shame on liars.

Dr Musokotwane: … Hon. Lubinda said that he is very concerned about the poor people in this country. That is very good, but I think I have stated in this House that the genuine way to end poverty in this country is for us to increase investments so that we have more people paying taxes. I have stated that so many times. Now, one of the ways in which we are doing that is through the special economic zones …

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Dr Musokotwane: … such as the one we want to make here in Lusaka.


Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, a number of your hon. Members of Parliament here travelled to China and saw for themselves how special economic zones operate. They saw how computers, television sets and other hi-tech items we use are made. Even hon. Members of the Opposition were part of the delegation that went to China.

Dr Chishya: Hear, hear!

Hon. Opposition Members: Who?

Dr Musokotwane: Hon. Muyanda was one of them.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: When they came back, they were full of praises about what they saw. Now, when this Government tries to do the same in Lusaka south, the hon. Member who is just from debating states very clearly that he is harshly opposed to the establishment of special economic zones.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, so which poor people is he trying to represent? When we try to provide jobs for poor people, he is very much against that. Is he genuinely …

Hon. Government Members: Shame.

Dr Musokotwane: … in favour of helping the poor people in this country when he is against the creation of jobs?


Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, once again, this shows how our colleagues across make lofty statements about how they are genuinely for the people when in reality they are not. They just mislead the public.

Mr Speaker, the Government has been accused of taxing poor people in the country at the expense of the rich. The city of Lusaka is fully controlled by the PF.

Hon. PF Members: How?

Dr Musokotwane: There are so many properties in Lusaka from which so much revenue could be raised. However, the PF has lamentably failed to collect revenues …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: … from the rich people of Lusaka, including themselves. So, how can the hon. Members of PF now come here and tell us that we are just taxing the poor people when it is them who are failing to collect the taxes from the rich people of Lusaka.

Mr Speaker, I think this is typical of our colleagues across.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: The Government makes these statements because it wants to make us believe that it values the poor people. The final example that I would give is that just a few weeks ago …

Hon. Opposition Members: You were campaigning.

Dr Musokotwane: … there was an argument about council levies. The colleagues across the Table there said that council levies be brought back. I challenged those hon. Members as being elitist because the councils, as I stated to them, for us, the government, are not just the buildings or councilors, but the poor people in this country, the peasants.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: When this Government decided to address the plight of the poor people by saying that it would take away the crop levies and the Government would take money from somewhere else to substitute that, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Where?

Dr Musokotwane: … these hon. Members were up in arms. I challenged these hon. Members that those of them who genuinely believed that they were for the poor can go back to their constituencies and tell the peasants that they wanted to introduce the crop levies. That is the challenge that I put to them.

Hon. Government Members: Yes!

Dr Musokotwane: If you are for the poor people as you claim, why are you against the Government withdrawing that tax on crop levy which is paid by the poorest of the poor?

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Dr Musokotwane: This is the tax that is paid by the poorest of the poor.

Hon. Opposition Members interjected.

Dr Musokotwane: No, it is not an exaggeration. This is, again, your misunderstanding of the issues. Sir, I challenge these people to provide evidence …

Hon. Opposition Members: Which people?

Dr Musokotwane: I have about 100 letters from across the country saying that the Government is fully supported in withdrawing the crop levies.

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

Dr Musokotwane: More than 100 letters from the poor people. Now, when we withdraw that crop levy, these people who are so elitist in their thinking, stand for the rich people and are up in arms.


Dr Musokotwane: Therefore, in conclusion …

Mr Speaker: Order! I want to listen to the debate.

Dr Musokotwane: … what really amazes me about the colleagues across there is that they have a tendency to mislead the public by indicating that they are for the poor, but their actions actually show to the contrary. They are harsh towards the poor people.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to and the Bill read a second time.

Committed to a committee of the Whole House.

Committee on Thursday, 26th November, 2009


Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.

Mr Speaker, the Bill before this House is principally seeking to revise the application of the carbon emissions surtax on motor vehicles excluding ambulances, prison vans and vehicles propelled by non pollutant energy sources

The carbon emission surtax on motor vehicles was first introduced in 2006 with the intention of it being collectable on imported, transiting and inland motor vehicles. However, for vehicles in transit and, in particular, those that enter the country at short intervals, the certificate expires upon exit. This implies that if a vehicle crosses the border three times in a day, carbon tax will be payable three times. This does not only make the tax excessive, but also inconveniences the motorist.

Sir, the proposed amendment, therefore, seeks to extend the validity period of the carbon emission surtax certificates issued to vehicles in transit and those that enter and exit the country at regular intervals from expiry upon exit to a validity period of ninety days.

Mr Speaker, another proposal in this Bill is the removal of penal bond requirement for the manufacturers of excisable goods in order to reduce the cost of doing business. Currently, manufacturers of excisable goods are required to the penal bond to safeguard Government revenues. However, the imposition of the penal bond restricts the operations of the affected manufacturers as the manufacturing of excisable products is limited to the extent of the bond. Any increases in the volume produced should be matched by an increase in the penal bond. Such a situation reduces cash flow thereby limiting the company’s potential to exploit full capacity.

Sir, in view of the development in customs administration, more efficient mechanisms are now in place to safeguard revenue and the provision of this bond is no longer necessary.

Sir, the Bill also proposes to remove customs duty on cranes. This is in line with the Government policy to remove duty on capital equipment so as to reduce the cost of doing business. The Bill also seeks to remove custom duty on fertiliser nutrients in line with the Government policy to reduce the cost of farming.

Mr Speaker, other proposed changes to the Customs and Excise Act are meant to simplify it so as to update, clarify and strengthen the law for better and effective tax administration.

Sir, this Bill is straight forward and I commend it to this House.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, from the outset, I must state that the proposed measures under the Customs and Excise (Amendment) Bill are well received and generally supported.

However, there is a concern that the Bill does not make any attempt to address the needs of persons with disabilities. For example, that there is a need for the Government to consider removing duty on the importation of all assistive devices used by persons with disabilities, including motor vehicles. It is noted that there may be fears over the abuse of this privilege for commercial purposes by some unscrupulous persons. This can be circumvented through the issuance of special vehicle registration documents which would prohibit the sale of such vehicles for a specified period of time as is the case with vehicles for diplomats accredited to Zambia.

Further, there was also a concern raised that there had been no consideration of the possibility of allowing local small-scale enterprises engaged in the local manufacture of key assisting devices used by persons with disabilities to import their inputs duty free.

Mr Speaker, the proposed changes in the implementation of the carbon tax were appreciated. However, some concerns were raised regarding the failure of the Government to consider introducing a more stringent carbon tax regime. This was in the light of the devastating impact of carbon emissions on the environment which required concerted efforts in order for the damage to be arrested. In this regard, your Committee strongly recommend that the Government should consider introducing a graduated carbon tax on vehicle importation, with importation of older vehicles attracting a higher tax rate than newer ones.

Sir, I thank you.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, I wish to take note of the concerns raised by the Committee and the issues raised by the hon. Members.

On the concerns expressed to address the needs of persons with disabilities, the House may wish to note that relief on customs duty has already been extended to all auxiliary aids for direct use by such persons as a way of cushioning them from the difficulties that they experience. However, the challenge remains on including motor vehicles as this privilege may be abused.

Sir, regarding the concern on the impact of Carbon Emissions Tax on the environment, I wish to assure the House that the Government will, in future, consider introducing a more enhanced Carbon Emission Tax under which the tax and importation of motor vehicles would be gazetted according to the age of the motor vehicle.

I thank you, Sir.

Question put and agreed to and the Bill read a second time.

Committed to a committee of the Whole House.

Committee on Thursday, 26th November, 2009.

THE VALUE ADDED TAX (Amendment) BILL, 2009

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.

Mr Speaker, the Bill before this House is principally seeking to specify what type of a calendar month business houses should follow for tax purposes. Currently, some suppliers, in particular multi-national corporations, have, due to lack of clarity, requested the Commissioner-General’s discretion to vary a calendar benefiting the type of calendar being used for their accounting systems. This measure will define a calendar month as a Gregorian month which is from the first to the last day of a specific month in order to avoid use of other calendars for tax purposes. For example, the month of January shall mean from 1st January to 31st January and February will be running from 1st February to the 28th or 29th February depending on the year and so on.

Mr Speaker, the Bill also proposes to compel taxable suppliers eligible for registration to register as soon as they attain the registration threshold. Currently, suppliers who do not register after becoming eligible are subjected to penalties for late registration and failure to register. This has given suppliers an option not to register and only pay penalties in cases where the tax liability is more than the penalties if they did not register.

Sir, the Bill further proposes to specify tax invoices that taxable suppliers will be using to claim input tax from the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) to avoid litigation and fraudulent input tax claims. This will be a serially numbered pre-printed invoice book or from an accounting package approved by the Commissioner-General. Currently, the law requires a taxable supplier to claim input tax on a tax invoice without prescribing the particulars of such an invoice.

Mr Speaker, other proposed changes to the Value Added Tax Act are meant to simplify it so as to up date, clarify and strengthen the law for better and effective administration.

Sir, once again, this Bill is straightforward and I commend it to the House.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, thank you for this opportunity to make a few comments on the Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill in relation to the 2010 Budget.

Sir, one of your Committee’s major concerns in considering this Bill is the fact that the rate of Value Added Tax (VAT) in Zambia has not been reviewed in the 2010 Budget proposals. The rate of the VAT in Zambia remains the highest in the region. This contributes to the high cost of doing business in the country and is not conducive for competitiveness of Zambian products. We call upon the Government to seriously consider reviewing the rate of VAT downwards in the light of these concerns.

With regard to the proposed amendment for serially numbered tax invoice books to be printed by a printer authorised by the Commissioner-General of the Zambia Revenue Authority, your Committee agree that there is a need for standardisation of tax invoices in order to curb various tax malpractices. However, they are also concerned about possible administrative inefficiencies in the proposed arrangements, particularly with regard to the possible delays in approving the printers and the resultant inconvenience to taxpayers. They, therefore, call upon the Commissioner-General of the Zambia Revenue Authority to quickly devise measures to enhance efficiency in the process and avert unnecessary administrative hitches.

Sir, some stakeholders felt that the proposed amendments to Section 29 were likely to negatively affect turn over taxpayers and penalise taxpayers, particularly the small and medium size enterprises who would have to bear an additional cost of 16 per cent as well as the possibility of suffering penalties and interest.

Moreover, it was felt that the current provisions for penalties for late registration were adequate. There was fear that the proposed provisions may actually discourage voluntary registration for VAT. Your Committee urge the Government to critically consider your Committee’s recommendations in order to enhance effectiveness, efficiency and equity in our tax system.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, I wish to take note of the concerns that have been raised by the Committee. I thank them for raising them.

I thank you, Sir.

Question put and agreed to and the Bill read a second time.

Committed to a committee of the Whole House.

Committee on Thursday, 26th November, 2009.




VOTE 51 (Ministry of Communications and Transport – K94,975,403,410).

(Debate resumed)

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Madam, when the House adjourned, I had started to talk about the Njanji Commuter Railway Line which was launched by the First Republican President, Dr Kaunda, on the 8th of July, 1991, with two objectives. The first one was to provide an alternative transport network for the people between Chilenje and George Compound. Dr Kaunda realised that with the deepening poverty, the people would not afford the escalating cost of bus fares. The second reason was that Dr Kaunda and his Government had foresight. They realised that the City of Lusaka, the central business district, would be congested and that an alternative railway line would assist to decongest the city.

Unfortunately, the Njanji Commuter Railway Line was forced out of operation by the MMD Government in 1998. The reason they abandoned that, typical of them, was that they are back peddlers. They always back peddle. You are aware, Madam, of the issues on which they have back peddled. This is a Government that rejects the past. Not too long ago, on the Floor of this House, we heard people championing a cause, but because the leader of that cause is now no more, those who appeared to have been champions of that cause have abandoned it and are now saying they were not party to it as though they were not the principle advisers of their leader then.

Mr Muntanga: It is true.

Mr Lubinda: This is a Government of back peddlers. That is the reason why they decided to abandon the Mulungushi Njanji Commuter to the detriment of the people who live between Chilenje and George Compound.

Madam, I wish the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning were present. In 2003 or 2004, here in Parliament, I spoke on behalf of the poor people of Chilenje, Kamwala, Kabwata and George Compound. This Government agreed it would resuscitate the operations of the Njanji Commuter. I wish, also the hon. Minister of Works and Supply were present as I speak. They said that we are party to the preparation of the Budget and we forced them to put K500 million in the Budget to resuscitate the commuter railway line.

To date, no one has explained where that K500 million went to. The only answer we have to why they did not resuscitate the operations of the commuter railway line is that they were waiting for a no-objection from the World Bank. However, we also have contact with the people in the World Bank. Our contacts in the World Bank have informed us that they cannot be bothered about a 14km railway line. Who is telling the Zambian people the truth and who is economising? I am sure the Zambian people will, one day, have an answer to that question.

Madam, in 2006, another Motion was moved on the Floor of this House and was supported by everybody. The Government was supposed to have moved in, in 2006 to resuscitate the commuter railway line. To date, nothing has happened.

 Imagine, Madam, from 1998 to date, that railway line has been lying in a state of disrepair because this Government has not been willing to move. Now they are saying they want to concession it. Imagine the damage that has occurred and the phenomenal cost it will take to resuscitate the operations of that commuter railway line and yet more than US$10 million was spent to build it. Who is going to be responsible for that damage?

Hon. Opposition Member: Do they care?

Mr Lubinda: That is a good question. Do they even care? People who do not care for the poor cannot claim to care for such losses.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: Those who care for the poor would be concerned about such phenomenal losses.


Hon. Government Members: Order!

Mr Kambwili: Ichongo, iwe.

Mr Lubinda: Madam, the eleven years of neglect will cost this economy a phenomenal amount of money. Over the last eleven years, plots were allocated very close to the railway line by unscrupulous cardres. I wonder whether this Government will have the courage to demolish those structures to pave way for the resuscitation of the commuter railway line.  Who is going to compensate those people?

Madam, what this country requires is innovation with regard to the urban transport network. We require a network that decongests our cities. Railway lines have been used worldwide. In developed countries, the railway line is the best alternative form of transport and has Public Service lanes to ensure that people are enticed to go on big fleets to reduce congestion and pollution. In this country, we kept talking about the same things over and over again.

At the time I was encouraging this Government to come up with ring roads, Hon. Dr Musokotwane claimed they were the ones thinking for the poor and not us on the left.

Madam, this year, they decided they would build ring roads in Kabwata Constituency. They signed a contract for K34 billion in 2008. The roads should have been finished in a year’s time. However, they only released K8 billion of the K34 billion. The result is sheer waste of poor people’s K8 billion. Who is it who cares for the poor if not the hon. Members on your left?

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

Mr Lubinda: That K8 billion shall not be redeemed, Madam. It is gone forever.

Mr Kambwili: Nabutuka nokubutuka.

Mr Lubinda: As for the gravel roads, all the gravel is being washed away because of the recklessness of the people in Government.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: They ought to be told that we speak for the poor.

Madam, let me end by commenting a little on a matter that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning touched upon. I would like to say that I feel sad that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, such a noble man, could capitalise on a slip of the tongue of the fellow parliamentarian.


Mr Lubinda: I indicated and the Hansard will show that I said that the increase is K1,800 per day. Go and do your calculations and you will find the answer. It will show you that K1,800 is the increase on the daily basis. Do not capitalise on a persons slip of the tongue because it cheap to do so.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear,

Mr Kambwili: Abaleya!

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: However, let me also state that we have opposed the multi facility zones (MFEZs) because we are thinking about the poor.


Mr Kaingu: On a point of order, Sir.

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kaingu: Madam Chairperson, I am sorry to disturb my younger brother’s debate, Hon. Lubinda. Is he in order to say that K1,800 per day translates into K130,000 per month?

Hon. Government Members: He is a liar!

The Chairperson: The hon. Member on the Floor will have to explain that because this seems to be a point of contention. When the hon. Member on the Floor debated the issue of K130 which translated into K1,800. Hon. Members will hear whether it is a misrepresentation or a slip of the tongue. Can we get the facts correct?

Hon. Member, consider that as you continue your debate.

Mr Lubinda: Madam I will lend my elder brother a calculator because K1,830 per day multiply by thirty days translates into K55,000.00. This is the increase from K75,000 to K130,000 per month.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: I hope I rest the case. I speak facts and I am prepared to teach some of the people who claim to be educated.


The Chairperson: Order!

Unfortunately, hon. Member, you are a Member of Parliament just like them and there is no need for you to teach them, but you just have to clarify the point.

You may continue, please.

Mr Lubinda: Madam, we opposed MFEZs because we want them to go to the villages in rural areas where poor people are found. We do not want MFEZs created in the cities of Zambia because poverty is highest in the rural areas.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: If you want to create employment in Zambia, do not create it in Chilenje. Please, go and create it out there in Kalabo. Go and create employment in the villages. We are opposed to MFEZs that are going to abuse the transport network that has been paid for at a colossal amount of money by the taxpayers of Zambia. That is our point. We are not opposed to the MFEZs as a principle.

I would like to appeal to my fellow hon. Members of Parliament not to misrepresent the truth because the truth shall vindicate you. I would …

The Chairperson: Order!

The hon. Member’s time has lapsed!


Mr Kapeya (Mpika Central): Madam Chairperson, I thank you very much for allowing me to debate the vote for the Ministry of Communications and Transport.

Madam, I would like to look at the operations of the two railway systems in Zambia. These are the Railway Systems of Zambia (RSZ) and Tanzania Zambia Railways (Tazara). Specifically, I would like to comment on the passenger and cargo services.

Madam Chairperson, I must admit that the operations at Tazara have come to a complete halt. The blame could partly be on the Government for failing to put in place a deliberate policy to allow Zambian companies to use Tazara to transporttheir goods to the port of Dar-es-Salaam.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapeya: Madam, the workshop in Mpika is no longer operational. You will recall that when Tazara was introduced in Zambia, Mpika was and still is the regional headquarters for the system. This workshop used to produce assorted spare parts for motor vehicles and some agricultural equipment such as ploughs. Today, it is a sad story because the workshop has been completely neglected and is not operational. I think the Government should realise that the workshop in Mpika is vital and can redeem the economy of this country.

Madam Chairperson, let me also comment on the retirees and retrenchees. The workers for Tazara who were retrenched and retired in 1993 have not been paid their benefits. The National Pensions Scheme Authority (NAPSA) contributions in the amount of K173 billion have not yet been settled by the company. Pension for those who have retired in the amount of K62 billion has also not been paid to the retirees, making an outstanding debt of K235.3 billion. The biggest worry is that since 1993, workers who were retired and retrenched have not been paid their dues.

Madam, let me give a brief history of Tazara. In 2007, the board suggested to the two governments to takeover the liabilities of TAZARA, but this suggestion was shot down at by the Tazara Council of Ministers when they met in Lusaka in April, 2009 during their 54th Council Meeting. They said the two governments could not settle Tazara’s liabilities which were in the sum of US$60 million. You will recall that when President Rupiah Banda visited Tanzania in June, 2009, he met his counterpart in Dar-es-Salaam where they discussed and agreed to concession TAZARA’s liabilities. That was a very welcome idea.

Madam, again, the good news was given to former workers of TAZARA from Tanzania and Zambia when the two presidents met in Ndola during the Zambia International Trade Fair. At the end of their consultations, they produced a communiqué which indicated that the two governments would takeover TAZARA’s liabilities in the amount of US$60 million. Surprisingly, to date, we have not seen or heard anything in that regard. This has not been included even in the budget that the two presidents suggested that they would ensure that Tazara’s liabilities are taken on board.

  This worry concerns the former retrenchees and pensioners of TAZARA. I hope the hon. Minister of Communications and Transport will look into this issue since the two Presidents have agreed to take over the liabilities of TAZARA.

Madam Chairperson, allow me also to talk about air transport. It is a well-known fact that Zambian registered aeroplanes have been banned from flying in the European air space. The reasons given for this are very clear. The Zambian aeroplanes cannot fly over the European air space because they were not fully certified air worth. Indeed, this has been a very sad situation on our part.


The Chairperson: Order!

There is too much loud consultation.

Hon. Member, you may continue, please.

Mr Kapeya: Madam Chairperson, our aeroplanes were banned from flying over the European space because of the recent aircraft crashes throughout the world. I hope the hon. Minister of Communications and Transport is looking into this issue.

Madam, since independence, Zambia produced qualified aircraft maintenance engineers. Indeed, we were proud of that but, today, none of these engineers are present in the country. They could be very few and the rest have gone for greener pastures. The other worrying factor is that Zambia no longer produces qualified aircraft engineers. The reasons could be basically known by our Government.

Madam Speaker, you will recall that Zambia is centrally located for international air routes. For flights coming from Europe, part of West Africa and East Africa to the Southern zone, Zambia is central for these routes. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case. Most of the international flights have found other routes which they are using. The reason for this is that the Zambian air space is not safe due to poor communication equipment and other facilities. It is a very sad state of affairs for Zambia.

Madam Chairperson, at independence, Zambia used to control air traffic even in neighbouring countries’ air space such as Mozambique, Angola, Tanzania, Congo and parts of Botswana and Namibia. We made a lot of revenue from this. The countries I have just mentioned have acquired new techniques and they are quite advanced compared to …

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

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Madam Chairperson, is that hon. Member of Parliament debating in order to misinform the nation and the world that no aeroplane is passing the Zambian air space when British Airways, Air France and all the aeroplanes coming from Europe pass over the Zambian air space? The Zambian air traffic controllers are one of the best in the world. Therefore, is he in order to misinform the nation without the facts. If he has the facts, let him lay them on the Table.


The Chairperson: Order!

That is a serious point of order. The hon. Member of Parliament may have to state the facts. Otherwise, that would be considered misleading the nation. The hon. Member may continue and clarify his points.

Mr Kapeya: Madam Chairperson, if the hon. Minister heard me very correctly, I was saying that only a few international flights are using our air space.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha indicated dissent.

Mr Kapeya: Hon. Minister, check the facts and do not just shake your head.


Mr Kapeya: Madam Chairperson, we come here with facts and do not just come here for …

Hon. Government Members: Lay them on the Table.


The Chairperson: Order!

The hon. Member may continue to debate and if there are more issues to be raised, indeed, facts can be brought to be justified by the hon. Minister.

You may continue, please.

Mr Kapeya: Madam Chairperson, the other fact concerns the operations of the National Airports Corporation Limited. Zambia has allowed the National Airports Corporation Limited to handle two big departments. These are the Department of Air Navigation Services and that of Airport Services. These are two big departments and in other countries, they are managed separately. It is, therefore, important that the Government takes over the running of the Department of Air Navigation Services and leave the Department of Airport Services to the National Airports Corporation Limited.

Madam, in conclusion, I would like to say that everybody in Zambia knows that the Lusaka International Airport has been declared a 24 hours operation but, surprisingly, essential workers such as immigration personnel, security personnel under the Office of the President, technicians and aviation fuel attendants are either on skeleton shift or on call. Could the hon. Minister also look into this issue. If he wants, he can come with me at night and visit the airport and he will prove that correct.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Chairperson, I thank you for according me this opportunity to respond to a few issues that have been raised by those who have debated the budget for my ministry.

Madam Speaker, Hon. Chongo raised the issue of safety on our roads which we have discussed exhaustively this afternoon. The measures taken to ensure that we have safety on our roads have been clearly outlined this afternoon when the report of your Committee was presented. In a nutshell, as a ministry, we are attending to issues of public education in matters of road safety, highway patrols and breathalysers and so on and so forth which, of course, we are intensifying, including the review of the Highway Code. Safety on our roads is a matter that is receiving very serious attention. We are very concerned about the loss of lives on our roads.

Madam, Hon. Chongo also raised the issue of the Railway Systems of Zambia (RSZ), the need for rehabilitation and the offers made by companies such as Mopani Copper Mines Plc. Clearly, this is a matter that we are following very seriously as a ministry.

  We know a number of institutions or companies that have expressed interest to participate in the rehabilitation of the railway line from the Copperbelt to Livingstone and we are pursuing this.

Madam Speaker, Hon. Chongo raised the issue of the effectiveness of the network system, especially the provision by ZAIN. The Communications Authority of Zambia (CAZ) monitors the efficiency of our mobile service providers. I can assure the hon. Member that the regulator, who has the equipment to monitor the efficiency of service provision in our country, is following this matter very closely.

Hon. Imbwae raised issues of our waterways and the mobile service provision in the country. I would like to clarify a few issues. First of all, the two dredgers currently procured will go to Luapula and Western Provinces. The Zampost Boat, which will soon be re-launched, has already been rehabilitated and will go to Bangweulu. The hon. Member also raised the issue of the under-served and un-served areas as far as the mobile phone network provision is concerned in our country. I would like to assure her that as a ministry, we are seriously following up this matter. We already know the mobile phone network coverage level in six predominantly rural provinces. For the information of the House, in terms of mobile phone coverage per province in the six predominantly rural provinces, Eastern Province is at 56 per cent coverage.

Mr Mbewe: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Professor Lungwangwa: Northern Province is at 51 per cent coverage, Luapula Province is at 41 per cent coverage, Central Province is at 36 per cent coverage, North-Western Province is at 29 per cent coverage and Western Province is at 23 per cent coverage. We are taking steps to ensure that the coverage levels in the various provinces, especially those that are predominantly rural is raised. Initially, all the provinces should be brought to somewhere around 60 per cent coverage, then move onto 80 per cent, and eventually 100 per cent coverage.

Madam Chairperson, the vision of my ministry is to ensure that every village in Zambia is connected through the mobile phone system.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: This is viable. It can be done and we will pursue it. We are working very seriously with the CAZ and the various mobile service providers to ensure that we realise this vision for the good of our country.

Madam Chairperson, we already have a policy in place which is directed towards universal access in which un-served and under-served areas are being provided with mobile service and internet connectivity.

Madam Chairperson, Hon. Imbwae further raised the issue of the importance of communication in the country in terms of development. I totally agree with her and it is for this reason that the Government is paying serious attention to the optic fiber infrastructure backbone construction, which once completed, will create a very efficient communication system in the country. It will be the backbone for various activities including e-governance, e-learning, e-commerce, e-banking, e-mail, e-agriculture, and e-health. The attention which is being given to the optic fiber infrastructure development in our country will see the country being ushered in a new era of the information highway, and communication becoming the catalyst for development in all areas.

Madam Chairperson, I would like to point out that today, it is possible in different parts of our country to use the e-mail system in the post office by using the swift cash system. These are some of the developments which are going on at the moment using our communication system. It is possible to write a letter in Lusaka and send it to Kalomo within a few minutes. 

Mr Muntanga: Aah!

Professor Lungwangwa: These things are happening just in case the hon. Member is not aware.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: He does not know.

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Chairperson, Hon. Imenda raised the whole issue of the importance of canals. It is true that canals are extremely important and we are doing everything as a ministry to ensure that we clear the canals so that they can be effective channels of communication or transportation. He also raised the issue of shifting Mongu Airport. The available information is that the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) would like the airport to remain where it is.

Madam Chairperson, Hon. Lubinda spoke passionately about the Njanji Commuter.  If he paid attention to my policy statement, I indicated we have plans for the commuter train. We have already advertised and we are waiting for bids. We are seriously committed to ensure that urban transport becomes as efficient as it can possibly be. As a ministry, we are working on a master plan for our transport sector which will include or address issues relating to urban transportation as well as transportation in other parts of the country. We are, therefore, serious about this. We would like to see our people being served as efficiently as possible through this National Transport Master Plan when it is eventually put in place.

Madam Chairperson, Hon. Kapeya raised a number of issues. However, I would like to clarify some that were misrepresented. Firstly, our two heads of states stood by the decision of the Fifty-fourth Tazara Council of Ministers not to take over the liabilities of TAZARA, amounting to US$60million. Therefore, Hon. Kapeya, your facts are incorrect. No statement was ever made by the heads of states to the effect of what you said. Let us check our facts so that we inform the nation more accurately. I think that research is very important. These are issues on which you would get facts if you came to our office. 

Secondly, the communiqué was not issued in Dar-es-Salaam. It was issued here in Zambia, Livingstone, in June when our heads of states met.


Hon. MMD Members: Shame!

Professor Lungwangwa: Clearly, the issue of safety that Hon. Kapeya raised is one that can alarm people. As leaders in this country, we should first and foremost be patriotic …

Madam Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.  

[THE CHAIRPERSON in the Chair]

Professor Lungwangwa:  Madam Chairperson, before we went for the tea break, I was clearing the allegations raised by Hon. Kapeya regarding air safety. The allegations are very serious and most unfortunate. In whatever we say and do, as national leaders, we should demonstrate commitment to the nation. Our patriotism to Zambia should come first. Clearly, alarming statements such as one stating that the Zambian airspace is very unsafe is very misleading. Such statements are not in there interest of our nation. They are extremely retrogressive and anti-development. Therefore, such statements should not come from hon. Members like ourselves who are the leaders in this country. The implications of such statements are too ghastly to contemplate especially when you think of the impact such statements can have for example on our tourism industry. We need the aviation industry to promote tourism in our country and clearly, we should not be sending alarmist statements like those. 

Madam Chairperson, there has never been a major tragic accident in the aviation industry of our country. Therefore, I do not see how an hon. Member can make such a statement. The statement he made that Zambia is the only county in the world where the National Airport Corporation (NAC) is both a regulator and a service provider is clearly wrong. It is incorrect because if you go to Zimbabwe, just across, the situation is similar to what is happening in Zambia. Therefore, I would like to advise Hon. Kapeya to at least consult. If you came to our offices you would find technical staff who can provide information.

 Mr Mubika: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa:  He also raised concerns about Zambian engineers. Yes, we have got a number of Zambian technocrats who are all over the world providing various services. Clearly, we are very much aware of that. The concerns that you have raised about the European Union (EU) ban is the matter that we have been attending to as a Government and as a ministry. The concerns of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) have been along the lines of safety, training of our staff, the skills level and regulations and so on and so forth. We have been working very closely with various experts within the region and also outside the region to address the concerns of ICAO. Our members of staff have been sent to countries like the United States of America, Singapore and Kenya for various training programmes in matters of licencing, certification, inspection and so on forth. Therefore, there is no need to send alarmists statements in that regard.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: We are very confident that when our case comes before ICAO through the EU, Zambian will be favourably considered.

Madam Chairperson, I would like to make a final comment on the points raised by Hon. Daka, the hon. Minister of Lands. Indeed, Hon. Daka recognised fully the importance that the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector is playing and role that Zambia can play as a hub for the ICT industry within the region. That is very true. The ICT sector is the modern catalyst for development whether at the individual, community, regional, national levels and so on. It is being recognised that ICT has a central role to play in all development efforts. Clearly, the steps that the Government is making to try and develop the ICT sector will see Zambia being transformed rapidly in terms of development. We are working very hard to make sure that 3-G services come to Zambia. Those hon. Members who have 3 G mobile phones will very soon be able to have access to the internet on their phones and will be able to see the person they are talking to if that person is also using a 3-G mobile phone. These services are coming to Zambia. The mobile phone service providers are willing to provide such services in our country.

Madam Chairperson, I am going to get into the key issues so that I educate people like Hon. Kambwili.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Chairperson, the submarine connectivity which we are working on through the optic fiber will definitely see our internet broad band being enhanced as well as the cost of mobile phone services being reduced and becoming more efficient. Therefore, Zambia is clearly at a point of a major transformation through the ICT sector.

Madam Chairperson, I would therefore, request hon. Members of this House to pass this budget so that we get on with the work of transforming our country so that it becomes better as we reposition it to take its rightful position in the information highway.

 I thank you, Madam, Chairperson.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: Order! Before we move on, I must say that one thing that all of us must be mindful of is that every statement made here ought to be factual. I think all of you have listened to the debate of the last two hon. Members which has left us with questions. It is not right to mislead the House. Therefore, any information from either side of the House must be qualified information so that the nation out there and beyond gets the facts as they are.


The Chairperson: Order!

VOTE 51/01 – (Ministry of Communications and Transport – Headquarters – (K54, 635 116, 490).

Mr Kambwili: Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 2, Activity 12 – Disability Programme Support – K13,000,000?  Madam, you are aware that we are still fighting hard to make buildings and other places accessible to the disabled. May I know why the budget line of this important programme has been reduced from K60,040,000 to only K13,000,000.

Secondly, on Programme 5, Activity 01 – Short-Term Training - K297,000,001, last year, K60,000,000 was provided but this year it has gone to K297,000,001. May I know why it has jumped almost four times?

The Deputy Minister of Communications and Transport (Mr Mubika): Madam Chairperson, on Programme 2, Activity 12 – Disability Programme Support – K13,000,000 is the provision required to assist the disabled people in the ministry and the decrease is due to the reduction in the activities.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

The Chairperson: What about on Programme 5 – Capacity Building, Activity 01 – Short-Term Training?

The Minister of Communications and Transport (Professor Lungwangwa): Madam Chairperson, clearly, the issues we have raised concerning the need for capacity building have necessitated the increase.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Mr Shawa: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 8, Activity 01 – Completion of Construction of Chipata/Mchinji Railway Line – K5,000,000,000? We were reliably told, on the Floor of this House, that the Mchinji Railway was going to be completed within the budget for 2009 and we provided K10,030,000,000. For next year, they are proposing another K5,000,000,000. May we know what has changed such that the remaining thirty kilometres will not be completed to require another K5 billion?

Secondly, may I have clarification on Programme 9, Activity 01 – COMESA Activities – K160,000,000? Last year, there was only K30,000,000 and next year they are asking for K160,000,000. Why is there such a huge increase?

Mr Mubika: Madam Chairperson, Programme 8, Activity 01 - Completion of Construction of Chipata/Mchinji Railway Line – K5,000,000,000 - the provision is for the completion of the construction. The decrease is as result of the scaling down on activities, particularly the total number of funds for feasibility studies for a potential investor. On Programme 9, Activity 01 – K160,000,000 - the provision is to enable participation in all COMESA activities since Zambia is a member State. The increase is due to expected increase in activities and inflation.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Mr Kambwili: Madam Chairperson, my question was that we were told that within the K10,030,000,000 that was provided for in 2009, the last thirty kilometres of the railway line was going to be completed but now you want another K5 billion for next year. What is this K5,000,000,000 for?

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Chairperson, it is a pity that the hon. Member was not in the House when I was presenting the policy statement. In the policy statement, I did indicate what the activities will be to complete the construction works. In particular, we need to do works on ballasting which has to be completed. That is why we have made this allocation.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Vote 51/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 51/02 – (Ministry of Communications and Transport – Civil Aviation Department – K25,040,584,672)

Mr Kambwili: Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 4, Activity 01 – International Civil Aviation Organisation – K360,000,000? May I know why, last year, we contributed K60,000,000 to the International Civil Aviation Organisation and this year they are asking for K360,000,000.

Secondly, may I also have clarification on Unit 2 – Aerodrome Unit, Programme 7 – Airports Rehabilitation, Activity 03 – Rehabilitation of Mansa Airport – K4,208,000,000, Activity 04 – Aerodrome Administration – K490,000,000, Activity 05 – Rehabilitation of Kasama Airport – K5,002,000,000 and Activity 06 – Rehabilitation of Solwezi Airport – K4,910,000,000? Thirdly, may I know the actual estimates of airports in Activities 03, 05 and 06? Last year, we provided K2,987,600,000 for Mansa Airport and K7,9,79,999,999 for rehabilitation of Kasama Airport and Solwezi had K8,114,000,000. Again, this year, we are providing K4,208,000,000, K5,002,000,000 and K4,910,000,000, respectively. May I know how much it is going to cost other than us approving figures every year towards the same airports?

Mr Mubika: Madam Chairperson, on Programme 4, Activity 01 – International Civil Aviation Organisation – K360,000,000 - the provision is for annual contributions and clearing of arrears. The increase is to enable us clear outstanding arrears and also because of the exchange rate.

On Unit 2 – Aerodrome Unit, Programme 7, Activity 03 – Rehabilitation of Mansa Airport – K4,208,000,000 - the provision is meant for rehabilitation of Mansa Airport which is an on-going project. Activity 04 – Aerodrome Administration – K490,000,000 - the provision is required to pay for civil works, consultancy, inspections and other administration costs. Attention has been restricted to Kasaba Bay. On Activity 05 - Rehabilitation of Kasama Airport – K5,002,000,000 - the provision is for continued rehabilitation of Kasama Airport. The terminal building is almost complete. Activity 06 – Rehabilitation of Solwezi Airport – K4,910,000,000 - the provision is for continued rehabilitation of Solwezi Airport. Part of the work is expected to be done before the end of 2009 and attention is being restricted to Kasaba Bay.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Mr Kambwili: Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister has not answered the question. My question was: May we know the estimates for completing these works? We should not be providing money every year for continuous works because these are major rehabilitations that we are doing. How much are we going to spend to complete these projects? That is my question.

Mr Mushili: Twakula pela mpaka tukapwe! Mpaka tukapwe!

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Chairperson, clearly, estimates are within what we have indicated in terms of the activities to be undertaken next year. This is a continuous programme. That is why we are putting the figures to the estimated activities to be undertaken.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


The Chairperson: Order!

Vote 51/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 51/03 – (Ministry of Communications and Transport – Meteorological Department – K8,557,355,018)

Mr Kambwili: Madam Chairperson, on Programme 2, Activity 01 –General Administration – K1,676,016,121, what have we done right for us to reduce the allocation and on Programme 9, Activity 01 – Weather Observation and Reporting – K190,000,000? I would like to know why there has been an increase in the allocation.

The Chairperson: Order! Before I ask the hon. Minister to respond, let me say that figures will never remain the same, year in year out for many obvious reasons. The question must have its own merit and not why has it increased or reduced. The activities within the activity also change. However, let us hear from the hon. Minister.

Mr Mubika: Madam Chairperson, on Programme 2, Activity 01 –General Administration – K1,676,016,121 - the decrease is due to a shift and re-alignment of activities. On Programme 9, Activity 01 – Weather Observation and Reporting – K190,000,000 - the increase is due to increased activities and inflation effects.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Vote 51/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 51/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 51/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

VOTE 78 – (Zambia Security Intelligence Services – Office of the President – Headquarters - K232,219,324,867)

The Minister of Defence (Dr Mwansa): Madam Chairperson, I rise to present the estimates of expenditure for the year 2010 in respect of the Zambia Security Intelligence Service which was established by Article 108 of the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia.

By this Article, the Zambia Security Intelligence Service is responsible for the security of the Republic of Zambia and its people and it is, therefore, charged with the task of being the principal advisor to the Government on matters of security.

Madam Chairperson, the mission statement for the Zambia Security Intelligence Service is “to provide accurate and timely intelligence on threats to national security in order to protect the Constitution and economic well being of Zambia”.

The legal mandate bestowed on this institution is strategic to the preservation of Zambia’s security and, therefore, it is important that we give this institution the necessary support it deserves so as to uphold peace and stability. May I remind this august House that the peace our nation continues to enjoy is not by accident, but is underpinned by tireless efforts made by the Zambia Security Intelligence Service and other security wings with the support of the Zambian people.

I, now, turn to programmes for 2010. As we consider the budget for the Zambia Security Intelligence Service for the year 2010, it is important that we take stock of threats facing our country and appreciate the fact that security is a costly but priceless commodity and, as such, the House is implored to support this vote. We should also bear in mind that security is at the core of the well-being of every nation. Without security, no personal or national aspiration can be realised. Our country is built on a solid foundation of democratic principles which are an admiration of the region and the world at large. Notwithstanding this, we need to continue being conflict free in order to consolidate the commendable gains we have attained in the political, socio-economic and other areas of human development amid the challenges of the global financial crisis whose effects are still prevalent.
Now, I turn to the budget estimates for 2010. I wish to draw the attention of this august House to the proposed budget for the Zambia Security Intelligence Service for the year 2010. The 2010 Budget estimates are K230,213,324,867 while the authorised expenditure for 2009 was K213,135,981,504 representing an increase of 8.2 per cent over the 2009 Budget.

Madam Chairperson, the budget estimates include infrastructure development such as construction of new staff houses, new office blocks and renovation of old office blocks in various parts of the country. The hon. Members may wish to know that the department has embarked on the construction of new office blocks in Choma, Kawambwa, Nyimba, Kaoma, Mwinilunga and three staff houses in Lufwanyama starting with funds in the 2009 Budget. The estimates before this august House, now, will partly be applied to complete these projects next year. The hon. Members are, therefore, not only urged to support these estimates, but are also encouraged to continue monitoring the projects they are supporting.

Madam Chairperson, I wish to appeal to this august House to consider favourably the proposed budget before it.

It is now my honour to present the 2010 Budget for the Zambia Security Intelligence Service. With your leave, Madam Chairperson, I would like to congratulate and welcome to the House the new hon. Member for Solwezi Central, …

Mr Muyanda: Hear, hear!

Dr Mwansa: … Hon. Lumba. I have no doubt that Hon. Lumba and his party have seen the need to accept victory with humility just as we and our candidate have seen the need to accept defeat with honour.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Muyanda: You will be the next Vice-President.

Mr Kasongo (Bangweulu): Thank you, Madam Chairperson, for giving me this opportunity to ably support this Vote and in doing so, allow me, first of all, to commend our officers, who are working under difficult circumstances for the able manner in which they have maintained peace and stability in our country. As you are aware, peace and stability in our country did not come by accident, but it is because of the sacrifices that are always made by our men and women, who have vowed to maintain peace and stability in our country and they have to be commended.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: We have to treasure the peace and stability that we have enjoyed in our country for a number of years. I have always said that the moment we create an environment in which peace and stability are going to flourish then, automatically, we are going to develop socially and economically. We have been able to compare with other countries closer to Zambia that have surrendered peace to the wing and we have come to see the consequences. Instead of continuing to build up on their gain, they are now starting afresh and you will be talking about more resources. These resources are not easy to come by. That is why it is important for all of us, as Zambians, to be more united than ever before, to continue to treasure this peace and stability that we have enjoyed in our country.

Madam Chairperson, it is also important that while we commend and acknowledge the high performance of our men and women, who are manning this institution, we should also consider increasing their budget because in an environment of multi-partism there are a lot of people who may create hostilities within a short time and our men and women must continue to monitor this activity on a daily basis. They need modern equipment because they need to be exposed to sophisticated training so that they should be able to contain some of these hostilities that may arise out of, maybe, carelessness on the part of some people who want to go to State House by using short cuts.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Which is a short cut in calculation?

Mr Kasongo: This is a must. We have to make sure that we give this institution a lot of resources. Sometimes, I become so worried when I listen to some of these political statements being made by some people, who tend to forget the fact that, as Zambians, we have agreed that the best avenue to use to go to State House is by being voted for popularly by the people of Zambia.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: However, sometimes, they make statements …

Hon. Government Members: Willy Nsanda.

Mr Kasongo: … which are inimical to the security of this nation. We have to guard against that because we are a democratic country and we have agreed, in our important term, that after five years, those who aspire to go to State House have to use the same avenue by going back to the people to be voted for.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo:  When people reject them, they have to accept that after all …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: … they have no qualities of leadership for them to get to State House.


Mr Kasongo: They have to accept because there is no way they can begin making hostile statements simply because they have been rejected and they want to incite people so that they can rally behind them and, maybe, take them to State House. That will never happen in Zambia because, as Zambians, we are best placed to choose a leader who can represent us.

Hon. Opposition Member: No rigging.

Mr Kasongo: Not those who are always hostile and inciting people. The moment you begin using that language, you should know that you will create an environment in which people can rise against you. So, you have to make sure that we commend these men and women who do a good job on a daily basis. They must be commended because, sometimes, they do not even sleep or eat and we have to make sure that we support them.

Madam Chairperson, I would like to appeal to all those who would like to aspire to go to State House that 2011 is coming.

Mr Muyanda: Yes!

Hon. Government Members:  Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: Why are you panicking? If you know that you are popular, go back to the people of Bangweulu Constituency and throughout the country and think that legitimate mandate.

Hon. Government Members: Yes.

Mr Kasongo: When you are rejected accept that. Some of you have been rejected, through the Chair, three times in a roll.


Dr Machungwa: Lay them on the table.

Mr Kasongo: When you are rejected three times in a roll, you should know that, after all, you do not even exist.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: You are now history.


Mr Kasongo: That is what it is. That is why some people may not even listen to this palatable language that you may be using and so on.


Mr Kasongo: Madam Chairperson, let me also use the same environment that you have given me to appeal to our colleagues, who are privileged to be on the pay roll of the State, not to be giving out State secrets to strangers. This culture has permeated our institution. You ask yourself a very simple question at your level, whether you are Permanent Secretary or Cabinet Minister and you are not comfortable may be with what you are. If, for example, you smuggle out take secret and give it to a particular newspaper, what are you going to gain out of that?

Hon. Government Members: Imagine.

Mr Sichilima: Bwekeshenipo.

Mr Kasongo: You are actually undermining the security of your own country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: That is what it is. How come newspapers, today, are full of articles based on State secrets?

Mr Muntanga: Now, if it is true.

Mr Kasongo: It means some of our colleagues who are on the pay roll of the State are giving out that information to strangers. Those people who are not privileged to serve in those offices are strangers and not supposed to know what normally goes on in a respective ministry.

Dr Machungwa: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: I would like to appeal to you my colleagues in the cabinet that the moment you are appointed by a Head of State you have so many competitors behind you. The moment you are given that opportunity to be appointed by the Head of State to serve in a particular portfolio, you should know that even what you find in your office must remain top secret.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: That is what it is. Even when you leave that office, you should not be tempted and do not be emotional to display that top secret to strangers. You do not gain anything out of that. You will just end up embarrassing yourself. You are still a leader in your own right. When you are appointed, you should know that you are hired by the Head of State and you can be fired. You must accept that. Do not use emotions to disclose top secrets to strangers, but, instead guard against that.

  That is why they are known as State secrets and not party secrets.

Hon. Government Members: Hammer!

Mr Kasongo: The moment we start to carelessly display sensitive information to strangers, we should know that we are endangering the security of the nation and the lives of all Zambians. So, we should be mindful that when all of us are appointed, we take oath and pledge loyalty to the appointing authority.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: This means that we should bear in mind that the moment I pledge loyalty to the appointing authority, I will make sure that I do not undermine my own country by disclosing first hand or top secret information to strangers. On the other hand, the recipients of the same information, that they want to use to undermine the Government, must know that the same people who are giving them information will also be giving information to those who will be in the Opposition when they are in power. Therefore, they should not accept sensitive information. If they want to go to State House or win elections, they should do it cleanly.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Let us go for elections.


The Chairperson: Order! Order! Can hon. Members listen to the debate.

You may continue.

Mr Muntanga: Innuendoes.

Mr Kasongo: I was saying that they should do it cleanly and not by buying top secret information because the moment they buy that information, they should know that even another person can buy information from the same people when they will be in power.

Madam Chairperson, an example is what happened during the trial of the current hon. Minister of Education. This is something that we have to reflect upon. All of those who were giving evidence did not even disclose how they obtained the information they were using to testify. They were saying that they obtained the information from a particular newspaper. However, how did that information find itself with that particular newspaper? It means that someone in the system was giving out that information and that is a serious offence. I would, therefore, like to see a situation whereby the people who smuggle State secrets out of Government offices are punished by law.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: They have to be punished so that they learn a lesson. State secrets must remain that way. Even those who receive that information must also be punished, whether they are politicians or not because some of these politicians display the same information even at political rallies. Why does the State not pursue them?


Mr Kasongo: This is an offence under our laws.

Madam Chairperson, I want to appeal to all Zambians, whether in the Government or in the Opposition, to treasure the peace that we have enjoyed for a long time. I am happy that this time around nobody is even accusing the intelligence service of rigging the recent by-elections. In the past, the moment some people won a seat, they did not even talk about the elections having been rigged.


Mr Kasongo: However, when they lost, they would cry out foul and say there was rigging.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: I have always given myself as an example and that is why I have always defended the intelligence service. After all, they are not even …

Mr Muyanda: On a point of order, Madam.


The Chairperson: Order! Order! A point of order is raised.

Mr Muyanda: Madam Chairperson, the hon. Member of Parliament debating is my brother-in-law and a very good neighbour. We both go to pray at the same Catholic Church in Makeni. Is he in order to say that when the Opposition wins a seat, they do not accuse the intelligence service of rigging? Is he also in order not to disclose that it is this same Movement Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government that disclosed the tunnels which were a State secret?

Hon. Government Members: Where was Sata?


Mr Muyanda: Is he in order not to mention that this Government actually shot itself in the foot by revealing the tunnels to the nation and whole world? I need your serious ruling, Madam.



The Chairperson: Order! You have heard the point of order and the hon. Members has surely debated it.

The hon. Member on the Floor may continue.

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

Mr Kasongo: Madam Chairperson, I was saying that I can use myself as an exhibition. I won the Bangweulu seat in an area which was a stronghold of the MMD …

Mr Nsanda: Because of PF.

Mr Kasongo: … as an independent candidate.


Mr Kasongo: So, how can innocent people be accused of rigging elections? When you lose, just accept that people have rejected you …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: … and in 2011, people are going to reject you …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: … because we know you and the characters that are leading you. They cannot be supported because they are against the security of our country. How can we put a person in State House who is a danger to the security of the nation?

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Madam Chairperson, I wish to support the budget for the ZSIS. I am happy that the allocation for 2010 has been increased by K20 billion. I was going through this particular budget and I have noticed that the increase is due to an increment in the salaries of officers. I know that the salaries of our intelligence officers are not very good, but, at least, we have provided an increment.

Madam Chairperson, I have been debating the Vote for ZSIS for quite some time now and I have always said that we need to give another name to the intelligence service and not simply call it Office of the President (OP). This makes understanding of this office a bit different. We need to ensure that the intelligence service is respected by all Zambians, including the Ruling Party and Opposition.

However, the sad thing is that the ZSIS is at certain times misused. Why is it that intelligence officers are involved in the conducting of elections?

Mr D. Mwila: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Why should it be that at any turn of events …

Hon. Government Members interrupted.

Mr Muntanga: I can lay you on the Table, if you want.


Mr Muntanga: Why should it be that intelligence officers, who are supposed to be unbiased, are used to do certain things that are not right?

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Like What?

Mr Muntanga: Madam Chairperson, I am aware that you have advised us not to talk about elections. However, I would like to point out that when the Opposition wins elections, it does not mean that there are no complaints. Complaints of election malpractice are always there. Let me give an example of the recent Solwezi Central by-election. Safukuma polling station is very near to Solwezi town, but it took more than eight hours to get the results from this polling station into town and the ballot boxes were not sealed. Surprisingly, these ballot boxes were being carried by an officer from the intelligence service. Why should that be the case?

Madam Chairperson, the Government is causing unnecessary anxiety and making people lose faith in its ability to conduct free and fair elections. There are some respectable officers in the ZSIS because of their good work. However, I think, somewhere along the line, we started bringing in bad eggs into the system because of wanting to employ party cadres. For example, the ZSIS officer in Kalomo is a drunkard.  He is drunk everyday, a total disappointment. How can we have an intelligence officer who drinks to a point whereby the public asks the police to have him locked up? The officer-in-charge at Kalomo police station, who is new and quite a young man, now has a problem. He does not know what to do with this intelligence officer.

I told the officer-in-charge to arrest him because he has a very bad behaviour. We need to study these things if we want to discuss …

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: On a point of order, Madam!

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Madam Chairperson, I usually do not rise on points of order.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Is Mr Muntanga who is debating as I told him to debate in order to start discussing officials in this organisation with their appointments and location when they cannot defend themselves in this House?

The Chairperson: From that point of order, let me guide. The Government is right here and on my right is the representative of all the people out there. Therefore, you may not single out one person and debate that person in here because they will not have an opportunity to rebut. They will not even a public platform to buttress or rebut what you may say about them. The hon. Member may speak generally to the Government rather  than to a particular individual.

You may continue Mr Muntanga.

Mr Muntanga: Madam Chairperson, when recruiting officers in the Zambia Intelligence Service, the Government must consider recruiting officers who are not drunkards because they distort the operations of the intelligence system. We have been advised to be respectful. Everything that you do starts from your home. A child will start stealing small things from his own home.

Therefore, if you belong to a particular party and you do not want to obey your own simple party leader’s rules who brought you into this House, how else will you obey the rules of the Head of State when in Government?

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: How can you be in this House under a political party which you do not want. How sure are you that you will obey that Head of State when you will be in Government? Charity begins at home and if you are going to show that you have been so disobedient in this party, but you survived and have continued being disobedient, are you only …

The Chairperson: Order!


The Chairperson: Order! That kind of generalisation is not allowed. The manner in which the hon. Member is putting things is too obvious. We do not debate ourselves in here.

Mr Muntanga interjected.

The Chairperson: Order! Otherwise, we will have a situation where this one stands to say things about other hon. Members in here. You can talk about everything else in the manner that you want, but not in the manner you are putting it. It is not allowed, Mr Muntanga.

You may continue.

Mr Muntanga: Madam Chairperson, we have been told that if you lose three times, it means that people do not want you. It is obvious that he knew who he was talking about and it is obvious that those who lose …

The Chairperson: Order! You simply debate. Do not challenge others in that manner. Simply debate if that is what you think. Do not do that, just debate.

Mr Muntanga: I want to be free, Madam.

The Chairperson: Order! I do not want to curtail any debate. Mr Muntanga, you simply debate. Do not respond to what the Chair has said. Continue with your debate.

Mr Muntanga: Madam Chairperson, as I earlier said, the Zambia Security Intelligence Services budget has been increased, but I wanted an increase to the allocation on training which has been reduced. It has been reduced, but it is a continuous process.

The other issue is about recruitment. Last year, no money was allocated. Again this year, nothing has been provided, but how do you expect intelligence officers to work without recruiting more employees? I appeal to the Government to make sure that enough money is provided.

Madam Chairperson, another issue is about inadequate transport. In most cases, transport is abused when there are by-elections. Sometimes vehicles from parastatal bodies are used and we are not even sure of what is going on. We do not expect that. Although the Intelligence officers can camouflage in other vehicles, it is clear that what is lacking is transport. However, in this budget the allocation on purchase of equipment has been reduced. Why should this be so? As we approve this budget, we want those officers to be supported.

Mr Kakoma: In Solwezi, they were exposed and beaten.

Mr Muntanga: The people on your right should not think that they are personal-to-holder.

Hon. UPND Members: No.

Mr Muntanga: We are all Zambians. They should work for every Zambian. As of now, the MMD Government is ruling, but the Government includes the Opposition. In fact, the Zambia Intelligence Security Services must check these people’s activities. We have heard of so many bad things that happen. For example, there is the case involving the Ministry of Health that we cannot talk about because it is in the courts of law. I think it would be important to attach certain officers to ministries like the way it was being done during the Former President Kaunda era. Once this is done, they will be able to detect malpractices early and expose officers involved in mischievous activities. In fact, money has been provided for attachments. Former President Kaunda used to do that and he was better than others ...


Mr Muntanga: ... because he made sure that even in your own home, there was someone checking. He used the communist system. It was terrible, but we were able to forestall mischievous behaviour from Mulobezi to other places. They were able to know them ...


Mr Muntanga: ... early so that funds such as the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) is protected.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga:  This Government is lucky because it has the Chief Whip who was the first Director-General in the service. This is why he is unfortunately suspected of things even when he does not do them.


Mr Muntanga: They are lucky to get guidance on what sort of intelligence officers we need. I am appealing that these officers are attached to Government institutions without which by the time we realise there are malpractices, there will be K27 billion missing. I appeal to the Leader of Government Business in the House to ensure that these officers are alert and not follow Muntanga for nothing. Let them follow the people on your right. Permanent Secretaries are building mansions. Where are they getting the money from? The hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning talked about having no money for hospitals, but where are they getting the money from? We want internal security to be enhanced by working hand-in-hand with the Ministry of Home Affairs.

I know you may not be attached to these people.


Mr Muntanga: Now, you are interjecting instead of following my debate.

Mr Muntanga: We want to know …

Mr Syakalima: It has moved to Solwezi!

Mr Muntanga: … because we want to ensure that the money is used for its intended purpose. The money we have increased for operations should not be given to people who think they are giving you information. This money should not be used for buying information every time. Please, hold on to that money. Use it properly. It is a pity we have even taken a company that is believed to have been owned by ZSIS to court. I am not sure whether the case is still in court. However, I have known that intelligence services should own companies in order to raise money. Today, in Zambia, we have made sure that our intelligence service does not own companies because when it does, it is taken to court. How can it operate?

Hon. Opposition Member: Yah, that is a valid point.

Mr Muntanga: How can it operate like that? It should have companies and learn how to run them properly. It should have certain businesses. In Zambia, you want to make it an offence for the intelligence to own a company. Once it does that, you think it has stolen money and you must investigate. Let us go to the Zamtrop. It was there even in the time of Dr Kaunda.  It is the MMD which first revealed the tunnels and now it is the Zamtrop. You have destroyed the work of the intelligence services.

Hon. Opposition Member: I agree with you.

Mr Muntanga: Why should this happen? You needed to undergo an induction course before going into the Government because a number of you are too green. You were not in the Government that is why do not know how to handle files.

The Chairperson: Order!

You may speak through the Chair.

Mr Muntanga: Madam Chairperson, they were not in Government that is why they hardly understand how to move files.


Mr Muntanga: Now that they are in the Government, they think they can change anything.

Hon. Opposition Member: Professor!

Mr Muntanga: It is this security services that should sort out the mess. We do not have the Special Investigation Team for Economy and Trade (SITET) and all those things you are talking about. This Government created the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the Task Force. We debated against the formation of the Task force, but the MMD Government went ahead. Now you are summersaulting because you think we are the ones who are against the idea of abolishing it. You established the Task Force and it is yours.


Mr Muntanga: You ignored ACC.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: You totally ignored it.

Now, you want to ignore ZSIS, but use your own private intelligence, the party cadres. Why should you do that?

Madam Chairperson, why should you do this? The money for intelligence should be increased for it to do a good job. We want to have a serious ZSIS put in place. When we come into Government, we will ensure that even this old man is taken back to intelligence maybe he can do something.


Mr Muntanga: As I end my debate, I would like to congratulate my brother, the hon. Member for Solwezi Central, …

Mr D. Mwila: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: … on winning the election. Welcome to the House! The senior hon. Members will be with you. Do not be intimidated in this House. Do not worry about their  intimidation. When you win an election, victory is sweet. Solwezi Central was our constituency, but when we lost the seat, we were really sorry. We were sad. We have got it back now. I know that the Government Members are crying in their hearts even if they are just covering up by smiling. They are crying.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: Order!

Speak through the Chair.

Mr Muntanga: Actually, they are crying, Madam Chairperson.


Mr Muntanga: Even as they are crying, I would like to say, please, we are very sorry that you lost your seat, but congratulate Mr Lumba and welcome him to the House. Please, just congratulate us. I have heard that some people are saying wina aza lila by Friday …

Hon. Opposition Member: Where is he?

Mr Muntanga: I do not know.

Madam Chairperson, I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Sikota (Livingstone): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for according me this opportunity to debate the vote on the Floor of the House. I promise to be brief as I debate this vote.

Madam, picking up from the tail end of Mr Muntanga’s debate, …


The Chairperson: Order!

What kind  of talk is this?

Hon. Government Members: Muntanga!

The Chairperson: Order!

Continue, hon. Member, please.

Mr Sikota: … I would like to pick up from where Mr Muntanga ended his debate when he was talking about the crying and so on and so forth. Being somebody who is an impartial bystander, I am not anywhere near crying or smiling,

I would like to say, with all sincerity, congratulations to the newly-elected hon. Member of Parliament for Solwezi Central, Mr Lumba. We welcome you to the House. I would also like to congratulate the president of the pact and his deputy Mr Hakainde …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


The Chairperson: Order!


The Chairperson: Order!


The Chairperson: Order in the House.

Mr Sikota: Madam, Mr Sata, the president of the pact, has done very well.


The Chairperson: Order!

Mr Nsanda: On a point of order, Madam.

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Nsanda: Madam Chairperson, normally State intelligence is not discussed because we cannot parade those people here. They are given money because of the security intelligence they offer to the nation. Now, my point of worry is that the House is using this vote to do politics.


Mr Nsanda: Is it in order for the man debating, who was cheated by being promised to be made Vice-President of the MMD, …


The Chairperson: Order!

Mr Nsanda: … to start politics when …

The Chairperson: Order!

Mr Nsanda: … debating this vote.

The Chairperson: Order!

Withdraw the word “cheat” as you raise your point of order.

Hon. Government Members: Tabaishibe word imbi ikaleni.

Mr Nsanda: I withdraw the word “cheat” and replace it with misleading. He was misled that he would become Vice-President to replace Hon. George Kunda, SC.


The Chairperson: The Chair finds it difficult to make a ruling because that is another statement …


The Chairperson: … that he also wanted to be Vice-President.

Hon. Sikota may consider that but, indeed, let us reduce on the political debate that we have gone into. I think we have heard enough of the political debate. For once, let us talk about the vote on intelligence. Congratulations to the new hon. Member are allowed.

You may continue, hon. Member, please.

Mr Sikota: I thank you, Madam Chairperson. In your ruling, you asked me to consider what has been stated by Mr Nsanda. I would like to state that if the president of the pact, Mr Sata, offered me the vice-presidency, I would decline.


Mr Sikota: Madam Chairperson, moving right along …

Dr Chituwo: On a point of order, Madam.

The Chairperson: Another point of order is raised.


Dr Chituwo: Madam Chairperson, I am most grateful. It is true that I rarely rise on points of order, but is the hon. Member of Parliament for Livingstone in order not have observed and …


Dr Chituwo: … invoke the emotions on the hon. Member of Parliament for Kalomo who stood up to say neither crying nor happy. Is he in order not to have noticed the invocation of that emotion in that hon. Member?


The Chairperson: Order in this House!


The Chairperson: Everybody is free to debate in the manner they feel like and not to depend on other people’s emotions. Therefore, Hon. Sikota is in order.


Mr Sikota: Madam Chairperson, I thank you but, being a brave person, I will not cry.


Mr Sikota: Madam Chairperson, moving to the vote itself, I would like to state that this vote needs our support. It carters for a very important institution which needs the support of all well meaning citizens. In fact, I would agree with the two previous debaters, Hon. Kasongo and Hon. Muntanga who both said that there is need to actually consider increasing the budget for this particular institution. I say so because if you look the politics and the mood in the country, there seems to be heightened tension emanating from statements made by certain people. It is important that the Zambia Security Intelligence Service gets to the root cause as to why these people are making such alarming statements. Who are the people instigating them to make these alarmist statements? There is a danger that if you have something repeatedly stated, you will have a situation where something which is false will become a self-fulfilling prophecy because of the number of times that it is repeated.

Madam Chairperson, if these kind of alarming statements continue, there is danger that indeed, this cry of a wolf which is coming from certain quarters will bring upon us a real wolf. That is the danger which is there. That is what our Zambia Security Intelligence Service should try to guard against. I do agree with Hon. Muntanga when he says that the intelligence service is not personal to holder. It is for all the Zambians because it is there in order to protect the security of the nation. Just as it is for all of us Zambians, patriotism should be for all of us Zambians as well. Before we start claiming that the intelligence service is for us, we must first of all claim patriotism. We should be patriotic in our words and our deeds, otherwise, the intelligence service will be for you in terms of checking on you. That is how you will have ownership of the intelligence service.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota: Madam Chairperson, I would like to develop a bit further what Hon. Kasongo was stating regarding the people who start giving out state secrets. This is something which unfortunately, has grown in terms of the number of occurrences. It is something which is connected to the very core of state security. Once you start having state secrets given out like sweets at a nursery party, it is a cause of concern and I implore the intelligence service to redouble its efforts at finding out who the sources of these leaks are. The intelligence service has the capacity to track down, to monitor and to find out who these people who are doing such things are. I believe this is a legitimate task for the intelligence service. It should prove to us that it is worth given more money in order to give us results in terms of finding out where those leakages are.

  They should make this top priority because it is the greatest danger we have in our country at the moment. We are appealing for results, arrests and prosecutions. Traitors should be locked up and the keys thrown away.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota: Madam Chairperson, we must be serious on this particular vote. If we have levity, it will show that we really do not know what is most important for this country. People are judged by the seriousness which they attach to serious issues.

Madam Chairperson, double agents are the worst kind of people you can have. These are people who pretend to be on your side but, in the meantime, are working for the other side. Usually, such people in most jurisdictions and under most laws, when found out, are subjected to the death penalty. I am not an advocate for the death penalty, but I think that double agents are such a serious scourge on society and we must have life imprisonment for them. A double agent is somebody, for instance, who is sent out to negotiate on your behalf. However, when he goes out, he sits on the negotiating table with the other party and, the following day, he is leading the people that he was supposed to be negotiating with as “Chairperson of the Board”, so to speak, of that other organisation.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota: This is treachery of the worst kind. It is treachery which no one should engage in.

Hon. MMD Member: I hope you know what he is talking about.

Mr Sikota: I hope there will be nobody who will stand up and say they support a situation where you send someone to go and negotiate on your behalf but they end up becoming double agents so that the next day he or she is chairperson of the people you sent him or her to negotiate with. 

Mr Sikota: We must make sure that there is no leadership of that type in our country.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota: None at all.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota: The people of Zambia must look at each and every person putting themselves forward, pretending to be a leader or deputy leader of any organisation.


Mr Sikota: They must say no to treacherous double agents. Those who are leading any type of pact should also ensure that they do not have deputies of that nature.


Mr Sikota: The Intelligence Service must investigate such people.


Mr Sikota: Madam Chairperson, with these few words, and without a tear in my eye, I thank you.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Mwansa: Madam Chairperson, I am grateful, once again, for the opportunity, this time, to wind up on this very important vote. I am indebted to all hon. Members who debated in support on this vote.

I agree with Hon. Kasongo on the fact that there are new and more challenges in the multi-party system, and the need for more resources for the Intelligence Service is very clear. Hon. Muntanga and Hon. Sikota also supported this point of view.

I agree with Hon. Kasongo and Hon. Sikota that there is a need to keep official secrets and that it is an offence under the Official Secrets Act to disclose secret information without authority of the President. That is law and that is the oath that all of us take.

I want to appeal to law enforcement agencies to now re-sharpen their tools and re-double their effort to ensure that people disclosing information unlawfully be investigated and, if necessary, take further action in accordance with the law.

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Mwansa: Madam Chairperson, I would like to assure Hon. Muntanga that the State Intelligence Service does not participate in elections. It does not conduct elections. The body which is mandated to do that is the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ). The ZSIS has nothing to do with elections.

With these few remarks, I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Vote 78/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

VOTE 85 – (Ministry of Lands – K34,712,481,423).

The Minister of Lands (Mr Daka): Madam Chairperson, I wish to take this opportunity to address this august House on the ministry’s programme and estimates for 2010.

Madam Chairperson, since land forms the basis of human survival, it is extremely important that this resource is efficiently and effectively managed. Many countries worldwide that have not managed this important natural resource wisely, efficiently and effectively, have experienced extreme poverty, hunger, drought civil strife, war or have simply been exploited by external forces.

It is for this reason that my ministry has set itself a very clear mission statement which is: 
“To effectively, efficiently and equitably deliver land, maintain up to date land records and provide land information in order to contribute to the social and economic development for the benefit of all Zambian people at large.”

Madam Chairperson,   in line with the above mission statement, the goal of the ministry to decentralise the ministry’s operations to regional and provincial levels in order to facilitate easy access to land and land information.

Madam Chairperson, the Ministry of Land is mandated to perform the following portfolio functions:

(i) Land policy formulation;

(ii) Land administration;

(iii) Land surveys and mapping;

(iv) Registration of properties;

(v) Collection of revenues through various charges;

(vi) Provision of land for all purposes; and

(vii) Arbitration of land disputes through land tribunal.

The Chairperson: Order!

(Debate adjourned)



[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress reported)


The House adjourned at1956 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 25th November, 2009.