Debates- Friday, 20th November, 2009

Printer Friendly and PDF


Friday, 20th November, 2009

The House met at 0900 hours






The Vice-President and Minister of Justice (Mr Kunda, SC.): Madam Speaker, I rise to give the House some idea of the business it will consider next week.

On Tuesday, 24th November, 2009, the Business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. The House will then consider the second reading stage of the following Bills which were referred to the Committee on Estimates:

 (i) Income Tax   (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, N. A. B 29/2009;
(ii) Customs and Excise (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, (N. A. B 30/2009);  and

(iii) Value Added Tax (Amendment (No. 2) Bill, (N. A. B 31/2009).

The House will consider the First Report of the Committee on Communications, Transport, Works and Supply for the Fourth Session of the Tenth National Assembly. Thereafter, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply on the 2010 Budget and the following Head will be considered:

 Head 89 – Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives.

Madam Speaker, on Wednesday, 25th November, 2009, the Business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills if there will be any. After that, the House will consider Private Member’s Motions, if there will be any. Then, the House will consider the Report of the Parliamentary Select Committee appointed to scrutinise the Presidential appointments of Judge Esau Elliot Chulu to serve as Commissioner of the Electoral Commission of Zambia and Professor Patrick Mphanza Mvunga, SC., to serve as a Member of the Judicial Complaints Authority. Thereafter, the House will consider the First Report of the Committee on Legal Affairs, Governance, Human Rights and Gender Matters for the Fourth Session of the Tenth National Assembly. The House will then resolve into Committee of Supply on the 2010 Budget and the following Head will be considered:

 Head 46 – Ministry of Health.

On Thursday, 26th November, 2009, the Business of the House will start with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. The House will then consider the First Report of the Committee on National Security and Foreign Affairs for the Fourth Session of the Tenth National Assembly. Thereafter, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply on the 2010 Budget and the following Heads will be considered:

 Head 78 – Zambia Security Intelligence Services – Office of the President; and
Head 90 - 98 – Office of the President – Provinces.

Sir, on Friday, 27th November, 2009, the Business of the House will commence with His Honour, the Vice-President’s Question Time. This will be followed by Questions for Oral Answer, if there will be any. After that, the House will consider Presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will consider the First Report of the Committee on Local Governance, Housing and Chiefs’ Affairs for the Fourth Session of the Tenth National Assembly. Then the House will resolve into Committee of Supply on the 2010 Budget and will continue with the consideration of the following Heads:

 Heads 90 - 98 – Office of the President – Provinces.

The House will also deal with any business that may be outstanding.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!



Mr Nsanda (Chimwemwe): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the transparent MMD Government how much fuel they used on the two by-elections, Kasama and Solwezi for the two helicopters which they used.

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: First of all, I wish to begin by congratulating the United Party for National Development (UPND) on winning the Parliamentary By-election in Solwezi. I have deliberately congratulated UPND and not any other party…


The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: … because that is what is recognised in this House.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Madam Speaker, that is the party which put up a candidate. Of course, we must also congratulate ourselves on winning the By-election in Chienge in Luapula Province.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Madam Speaker, as for the question which has been asked, I do not have the details but, under the Electoral Act and Electoral Code of Conduct, the President and Vice-president are allowed to use the mode of transport such as aeroplanes and helicopters and we shall continue to use them. That is the position. I do not have those figures, but it is within the budgetary provisions.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Milupi (Luena): Madam Speaker, in congratulating the pact on fielding an excellent candidate, Mr Watson Lumba, whom I know very well, and winning, …

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! 

Mr Milupi: … I would like to find out from His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice whether this result has taught all concerned that violence in elections is retrogressive and must be stopped? Does he agree with that?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Madam Speaker, of course, we condemn violence. That is why the law enforcement agencies are there to deal with such vices. Political parties that will encourage violence must be ready to face the consequences. Consequences of violence can include damage to property or loss of life. Therefore, as political parties, we should encourage our members to be peaceful, preserve our peace and tranquility, which we have enjoyed since 1964, so that we do not become like other countries that are in turmoil.

 I thank you, Madam Speaker 

Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba):   Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice the mixed feelings in the country about the disbanding of the Task Force and the amount the Task Force spent to investigate cases of corruption.

I would like to find out whether, in the first place, it was a wrong decision to appoint …

Madam Deputy Speaker: I think you have asked your question, it is not debate time. Let His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice respond to your question.

Mr Shakafuswa: I have not asked.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Order!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Madam Speaker, the Task Force on Corruption was constituted by the late President, His Excellency Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC., in exercise of his presidential powers under Article 61 of the Constitution. It is not me who constituted the Task Force but the President.


The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: That was a government institution. Ad hoc as it was, …

Hon. Member: But you were VP!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Of course, I served in that Government. We served in that Government in different capacities. I served as Attorney-General. My role as Attorney-General and the advice I gave was between the Government and I.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: It is confidential. Whatever legal advice we give remains confidential.

Ms Siliya: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: However, let me also take this opportunity to advise you that you should not personalise some of these issues.

Ms Siliya: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: For example, there are some people who say that I went to London for three months to investigate the Chiluba case. All those are imaginations. I never ever went to London to investigate that particular case. The only time I went to London, Madam Speaker, was when I went to give evidence in the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court on the Donegal Case. That is the only time I went there. So we should not personalise issues.

The Task Force did its work. So we have decided that we should now have a different arrangement to fight corruption. It is within our right as a Government to decide in that manner and proceed on a changed policy but, at the same time, fusing the Task Force on Corruption into the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). Therefore, what the Task Force did was within the Government’s programme.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out what the situation on fuel in the country is in view of the fact that we continue to see queues for fuel?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Madam Speaker, that is a very important question because we are also concerned about the fuel situation. The situation on the fuel stocks by yesterday was that we had 4.6 million litres of diesel. So the availability of diesel is not a problem. We have diesel in the filling stations. By 19th November, 2009 there were 725,000 litres of petrol. It will be on the market today. Lusaka will receive 400,000 litres of petrol and the Copperbelt 300,000.

Dr Scott: Aah same story!


The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: On 20th November, 2009, 1 million litres will be transferred to the Tanzania/ Zambia Mafuta (TAZAMA) Fuel Terminal.

The Indeni Oil Refinery has started production of petrol and the situation is likely to completely stabilise by the weekend.


The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: The diesel situation, as I indicated, has normalised fully. That is the position.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the Vice-President and Minister of Justice for sending a congratulatory message to those of us who won, not only the Solwezi By-election but also Zambezi.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: However, I would like to find out from the Vice-President and Minister of justice, who was on Sky Radio in Monze last week, the headquarters of UPND, where he made statements that bordered on injuring the reputation of hon. Members of Parliament from the Southern Province and alleged that as soon as the Members got their gratuity, they would be making an exodus to join the ruling Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD).


Hon. Opposition Members: No way!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Nkombo: I want to know whether it is common practice for a man of his status to be so deceptive …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Can the hon. Member ask his question, please.

Mr Nkombo: I want to know whether it is common practice for a man of his status to deceive the electorate in the manner that he did in Monze at a radio station.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Madam Speaker, the rules of this House are that we do not discuss ourselves here.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: I made that statement outside the House and I can justify it outside the House.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mrs Phiri (Munali): Madam Speaker, Zambia is a Christian Nation and, I believe, as we call ourselves a Christian Nation, we should practice forgiveness and reconciliation as Christ did. I would like to find out from the Learned Vice-President and Minister of Justice of the Republic of Zambia what his position is on the expelled students at the Copperbelt University. Are they going to stay away despite being in their fourth year? What does reconciliation and forgiveness mean to him being Catholic himself?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Madam Speaker, the hon. Member has reminded us about the importance of the declaration of Zambia as a Christian Nation. Zambia shall remain a Christian Nation and we shall support this declaration in the National Constitution Conference (NCC), …

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: … so that we continue practicing the virtues she has talked about of reconciliation and forgiveness.

However, as regards the issue of the university students in question, that is a matter within the competence of the University Council. The University Council has dealt with or is still dealing with that issue. I cannot say anything further than that. That is the legal position even under the University Act.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Silavwe (Nakonde): Madam Speaker, the price of fertiliser in Zambia is becoming too high for our farmers to afford. Does the Government have any immediate plans to sort out the problems surrounding the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ)?

Mr Shakafuswa: Hear, hear! Good non-censored question!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Madam Speaker, indeed, the issue of NCZ is very important and I wish to take this opportunity to apprise the House on what we are doing as a Government in respect of NCZ, an industry in Kafue. Madam Speaker, we have commissioned a study so that we can determine the viability of that particular industry, taking into account the various problems that it has encountered. We are assessing and analysing the situation and looking into the problems of the workers so that when we finally receive the results of the study, we can chart the way forward and what we are going to do about the employees. This particular study is undertaken through the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives. Some independent experts will be engaged to come up with a report which will then be submitted to Cabinet to determine the future of this particular industry which is important in the provision of fertiliser.

As I said, a decision on NCZ will be made soon after the study has been conducted.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Ms Kapata (Mandevu): Madam Speaker, I would like His Honour the Vice-President, in very simple language, to tell us the providers of the US$13 million to the Task Force. Was it the Government or donors?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Madam Speaker, the donor community contributed to the running of the Task Force on Corruption, but the Zambian Government also contributed significantly to the funds which went into the operations of the Task Force, including the payment of legal fees.

As you know, I have indicated in this House before that the donor community, at one stage, stopped funding the Task Force on Corruption and the Government took over full responsibility for the payment of fees. To date, we are still paying the fees incurred by the Task Force on Corruption in its operations. For example, you will recall that my hon. Deputy Minister, Hon. Chilembo, stated, in a briefing, that at one time, we paid £4 million as security for costs arising from the work which was done by British lawyers or a United Kingdom firm.

Madam Chairperson, as you know, when you pay security for costs, if it is used to service the court refunds, once the case is over, the money is released to a law firm and lawyers will exercise a lien on such funds towards their bills. So that money was also billed. We faced a similar situation in the civil case which was instituted in London. This money was contributed by both the Zambian Government and the donor community who have stopped providing the funds. In fact, if you go through the budget, there has been an allocation for legal fees under the Ministry of Justice. In the 2009 Budget, we had K7 billion allocated for consultancy fees or legal fees arising from the work of the Task Force on Corruption.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Madam Speaker, there is a mine at the Kipushi Border Control on the Congolese side and this is Caledonian Mine. I would like to know from His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice whether this Government has investigated the operations of that mine because that is an underground mine. Has the Government established whether they are not mining in our territory?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Madam Chairperson, the hon. Member is talking about vertical mining through which they can come into our territory. That is a technical issue which we need to investigate and see whether our minerals are being mined in that manner. I do not have the details offhand.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Tembo (Nyimba): Madam Speaker, Zambia, being a Christian nation, I would like to find out from His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice what the Government’s position is on the death penalty.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Madam Speaker, Zambia is a member of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations and, as a country, we are leading in the observance of human rights. Issues of the death penalty are also matters of debate at the NCC. The NCC …


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

It is important that we listen to each other. Otherwise, there is no need for a kind of dialogue between the hon. Member who asks a question and His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice. It is important that we all listen to the responses that are given.

Will His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice continue, please?

 The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: This particular issue is one which will be discussed at the NCC when we deal with the chapter on human rights, but let me also state that we all know that the late President Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC., may his soul rest in peace, did not sign any death warrants. The same applies to the current President who has said that he will not sign death warrants. Death sentences are instead taken before the Committee on the Prerogative of Mercy were they are commuted to lesser terms such as a terminable sentence or life imprisonment. So that remains the position of the Government and the President, but the death penalty still remains on our statute books. It applies to treason, murder and aggravated robbery. That is the position at the moment.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out when the delimitation exercise is going to start.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Madam Speaker, all those activities have been budgeted for in the 2010 Budget which we are considering now. The delimitation exercise will start in 2010 or when funds for that purpose are made available. I know that the hon. Member is worried about the sizes of the constituencies, just as I am equally worried. Some of the constituencies are too big and there is a provision in our constitution for delimitation of constituencies which takes into account the population quotas and the size of constituencies so that hon. Members can better serve their electorate. That exercise will be provided for in the budget for next year.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Madam Speaker, since 2004, if a person buys fuel from any pump station, one contributes K152 towards the building of the national strategic fuel reserves in the country. How much fuel reserves have we built so far. If nothing, does the Government intend to remove the K152 per litre from the pump price so that the cost of fuel is reduced? I also would like to know how much money has been raised from this initiative.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Madam Speaker, that, again, is a very important question. As the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning announced 
yesterday, we were reviewing the whole issue of fuel supplies and strategic fuel reserves. So we are looking into that issue. Some of these things may not yet be in place. That is why we are having some of these problems. However, we are comprehensively reviewing the situation so that we can look into the issue of strategic fuel reserves so that in future, we can have these strategic fuel reserves for use by the nation when there is a crisis or foreseen circumstances. All I can say, at the moment, is that we are looking into this matter very seriously.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Magande (Chilanga): Madam Speaker, can the Vice-President confirm that recently, when he had the privilege to tour both the Southern and Northern provinces, right up to the villages such as Chief Moyo’s place, the major complaint he received was the state of the roads. The next major complaint has been the fertiliser pack which has been reduced. He has a solution for the roads because of the equipment which is there. I would like to know what answers he has in response to the complaints of the people on the reduced fertiliser pack.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Madam Speaker, indeed, when I toured the Southern Province and we intend to visit Southern Province more frequently, I saw the state of the roads, including the road going into Chief Moyo’s Chiefdom. It is not in good shape. Indeed, we have the equipment from China, which we are budgeting for at the moment and, perhaps, can be deployed to most parts of Zambia which need feeder roads to be graded.

As regards the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP), we have explained to our people the rationale behind the changes. The rationale is to increase on the number of people who can access the support. The hon. Member who was a Minister of Finance and National Planning knows the problems which were experienced in respect of the other programme which we reviewed and changed so that we now have a programme which caters for more people. We hope that we can have a bumper harvest for maize and other food crops in the next farming season. FISP is well intended and we hope that it will achieve its intended purpose.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Msichili (Kabushi): Madam Speaker, the Government had authorised the export of about 100,000 tonnes of maize to our neighbours and elsewhere. I would like to find out from His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice, what assurance his Government is going to give to the citizens that they are not going to import the same maize back into the country at a higher price, especially that fertiliser has not reached most of the rural areas such as the Copperbelt where we expect to have a bumper harvest.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Madam Speaker, it is not true that fertiliser has not reached the districts. The position is that fertiliser has reached almost all the districts in Zambia. This year, we have been very efficient. We are not an irresponsible Government. Before we authorise any exports, we shall take care of the interests of our people so that we do not run into shortages of maize and maize meal.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr D. Mwila (Chipili): Madam Chairperson, can His Honour the Vice-President and |Minister of Justice confirm that the delimitation of the constituencies into the proposed 280 constituencies will be implemented in 2011.


The Vice-President: You are wasting time. That is why I am …


The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr D. Mwila: Takwaba.


The Deputy Speaker: Order!

Questions for Oral Answer.





204. Mr D. Mwila (Chipili) asked the Minister of Works and Supply:

(a) when the Government would work on the Mukabi/Musalango/Kawambwa Road;

(b) what the causes for the delay in starting the works are; and

(c) how much money the works would cost.

The Deputy Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Ndalamei): Madam Speaker, the ministry has immediate plans to rehabilitate the Mukabi/Musalango/Kawambwa Road. A tender for the rehabilitation of the project was advertised in March, 2009 and closed on 12th April, 2009. Upon evaluation of the received bids, it was found out …


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

We ought to be listening from both sides. We cannot have the hon. Minister responding to a question and the ones seated next to him are busy talking. The purpose is to hear the responses. So can we, please, keep order in the House. It is not acceptable that we should be talking continuously. The break will soon come when you can talk about everything. When we are here and, if you have to consult, please, do it quietly so that the work of the House can go on.

May you continue, please.

Mr Ndalamei: … that the funds provided by the Danish Government were not sufficient to meet the cost for the rehabilitation of the road project. The rehabilitation of the road can not be carried out in 2009 unless more funds are provided.

Madam Speaker, as explained above, the project implementation has been delayed due to insufficient funding available for the project.

The estimated cost for the rehabilitation of the road is K9 billion.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mwila: Hear, hear, ifinshi? Now, that the funds are not …

Madam Deputy Speaker: What? Order!

Hon. Members must be honourable. Do not be emotional in the House, there are lots of things going on. Simply do your work as you are expected by your electorate.

You may ask your follow up question.

Mr D. Mwila: Thank you, Madam Speaker, I am not being emotional. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister now that the funds are not sufficient, what do they intend to do regarding the same project?

The Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Mulongoti): Madam Speaker, whenever we have difficulties with funding from our co-operating partners, we have always resorted to using our own equipment using what is called force accounting. So I can assure you, hon. Member, that something will be done.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


205. Mr Malama (Mfuwe) asked the Minister of Works and Supply when rehabilitation works on the Mpamazi and Mabonga roads in Chief Mpumba’s area in Mfuwe Parliamentary Constituency would commence.

Mr Ndalamei: Madam Speaker, the ministry, through the Road Development Agency (RDA), is considering including the rehabilitation of the Mpamazi and Mabonga roads in the 2011 Annual Work Plan subject to availability of funds.

In the meantime, holding maintenance will be carried out in 2009 by force accounting using the Government-owned plant and equipment managed by the Rural Road Rehabilitation Unit (RRRU). A portion of funds under the budget line of cycle maintenance will be utilised.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Malama: Madam Speaker, would the hon. Minister admit that RDA has failed to manage rural roads and, therefore, the Government should consider giving that responsibility to councils?

Mr Mulongoti: Madam Speaker, as a councillor, the hon. Member is aware that councils have been appointed road authorities by RDA. Now, I do not know whether he is asking the Government to, again, give councils the same authority. If councils have difficulties in the management of roads, it is incumbent upon them to go back to RDA and ask for reinforcement in capacity.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Madam Speaker, since the Government’s major problem is that of resources, why has it not been using the Zambia National Service (ZNS) or the Zambia Army Engineering Squadron to help in the rehabilitation of feeder roads in rural areas?

Mr Mulongoti: Madam Speaker, I have said, on the Floor of this House, before, that a decision is being made to include the equipment from ZNS into the RRRU so that we can build capacity to intervene in areas of concern like the hon. Member is talking about.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.




Mrs Sinyangwe (Matero): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the First Report of the Committee on Agriculture and Lands, for the Fourth Session of the Tenth National Assembly, laid on the Table of the House on 16th November, 2009.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Is the motion seconded?

Mr Bwalya (Chifubu): Madam Speaker, I beg to second the motion.

Mrs Sinyangwe: Madam Speaker, your Committee are guided by the terms of reference as set out in the National Assembly Standing Orders. Going by their terms of reference, your Committee considered two topical issues and the Action Taken Report on the Committee’s report for 2008. They also undertook local tours of selected fisheries and farming communities in the Southern and Western provinces of the country.

Your Committee’s report is, therefore, in four parts. Parts one and two deal with the topical issues on the fish population in Zambia’s water bodies and the performance of the Fertiliser Support Programme (FSP), respectively. Part three is the tour report while part four is on the Action Taken Report on your previous Committee’s report for 2008.

It is my hope that hon. Members have taken time to read the report. I will, therefore, only highlight issues that caught the attention of your Committee during their deliberations.

Madam Speaker, the Department of Fisheries was established in 1974 from the Fisheries Branch of the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and National Parks, under the then Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources. Since then, the Government has not formulated a fisheries policy to guide the structure and the operations of the department. As a result, the department has been facing a lot of operational problems, as will be demonstrated later.

Madam, in 1982, the Department of Fisheries was moved from the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to the Ministry of Agriculture. In 1997, this department was abolished but was re-established later, in 2006. These uncertainties and instabilities associated with the structure of the Fisheries Department have impacted negatively on the performance of the fisheries sub-sector. The lack of policy guidelines that would have set the obligations and direction of the department mean that there has been no vision or targets set by the department. That is why there has been no real investment in the sector to the extent that there has been no meaningful scientific research conducted in the country’s water bodies to be able to monitor and understand the fish population trends.

In addition, there has not been effective enforcement of the Fisheries Act, such that the regulation of fishing vessels and gear have been so weak that most fishing areas have been under severe pressure from having more fishermen than the water bodies can sustain.

Madam, issues of trans-boundary fisheries in the Zambezi, Kariba, Luapula and Tanganyika water bodies have not been resolved to date. This means that enforcing fishing bans on the Zambian side will not yield the desired result since the neighbouring countries will continue fishing.

Madam Speaker, the placement of a department that is meant to conserve a natural resource in a ministry whose language is to produce more food for the nation may mean that fish should always be made available to people even if it meant getting it at a wrong time and using any method at our disposal. That is why it was difficult for extension officers, whose job is to teach people how to increase food production, to tell people not to fish during periods of the fishing ban as this appears to be in conflict in the eyes of communities.

Madam Speaker, your Committee are, therefore, happy that the Government has now implemented one of its previous recommendations that relates to establishing an independent ministry dealing with livestock and fisheries. It is the view of your Committee that through the creation of this ministry, both fish conservation in Zambia’s natural bodies and increased fish production through aquaculture will result in increased fish stocks.

Madam Speaker, allow me now to turn to the issue of FSP, which has been recently renamed as the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). This programme was initiated by the Government in the 2002/2003 agricultural season so as to enhance production of the country’s staple food, maize, and also improve both household and national food security.

Madam Speaker, FSP was designed to support selected small-scale farmers who would be weaned off after three years. This meant that the Government committed itself to supporting 50 per cent of the cost in the first year while in the second year, the subsidy amount was to reduce by 25 per cent so that the farmers meet 75 per cent of the cost and in the third and final year, the programme was to phase out the targeted farmers so that another group of farmers would be put on the programme.

Madam Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that the Fertiliser Support Programme was marred by a lot of problems such that the programme failed to graduate beneficiaries to a level where they could support themselves as originally planned. In addition, the intended beneficiary farmers were left out by design by the District Agricultural Officers. This programme was grossly abused by the district officials who were tasked to identify the recipient farmers. Instead of distributing the inputs to the intended beneficiary farmers, the inputs were given to wrong people who, sometimes, did not even belong to any co-operative.

Madam Speaker, allow me, also, to point out to this House that in spite of all these failures in the programme, the Government continued to spend huge amounts of money on the programme. In the 2008/2009 agricultural season, for example, K428 billion was set aside for the purchase of inputs alone while K3 billion was for management and co-ordination and K268 million for the inspection of cash deposits in banks. This is a heavy burden on our National Budget and we cannot allow it to continue.

According to the structure and form of the programme, there was no exit strategy, giving the impression that the programme was there forever. It is now gratifying that the Government, under the renamed programme, has decided to identify beneficiaries using the local community structures. However, it is not clear who is going to monitor this programme and whether the programme will extend to farm inputs other than fertiliser and maize seed only.

In conclusion, I wish to register my appreciation to all the members of your Committee for their co-operation and dedication to the work of your Committee. I also thank all the stakeholders, including the farmers and fishermen, who spared their valuable time to submit to your Committee.

Your Committee appreciate the guidance you offered to them during the year and express gratitude to the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for the valuable and tireless assistance rendered throughout their deliberations.

Madam Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

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

Mr Bwalya: Now, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker, I wish to thank you sincerely for giving me this opportunity to second the motion on the Floor of the House.

Madam let me, first of all, thank the mover of the motion for highlighting the salient issues of the report in a diligent manner.

Madam Speaker, I want to commend the Government for taking action on your previous Committee’s recommendation to create the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development so that the ministry can tackle the problem of livestock diseases effectively. I note, also, that the ministry is subdividing the country into veterinary zones so as to effectively monitor the disease status in each zone. This is what it should be. However, the fisheries sub-sector is still facing a lot of challenges, especially as regards the implementation of the annual fishing ban.

Madam Speaker, your Committee observe that the Department of Wildlife has been collaborating closely with the Department of Fisheries in the area of enforcing the fishing ban. This, to me, is an indicator that the Department of Fisheries has had no capacity to enforce the fishing ban on its own. This is the reason it has been utilising the services of the Zambia Wildlife Authority.

Madam Speaker, let me turn to the FSP which is now being called the FISP. This programme was an initiative that was intended to help the peasant farmers of our society but, as has been alluded to before, the regulatory framework was missing, and hence the massive abuse of the programme.

Rather than the programme being people driven, it was driven by the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives. Surprisingly, the Co-operatives Branch of the ministry deliberately chose not to involve the Zambia Co-operative Federation (ZCF) which is a people-driven movement and also the regulatory body of co-operatives.

Madam Speaker, it was the view of your Committee that while the introduction of FISP is appreciated, the Government should encourage and support farmers to grow crops and/or rear animals based on comparative advantage, depending on the region or province rather than concentrating on maize as the only crop.

In addition, it is the view of your Committee that the Government should segregate the type of fertilisers suitable for the various regions and also sensitise the farmers on the need to lime the soil where need be in order to increase productivity.

Madam Speaker, I, therefore, wish to urge the hon. Members of this august House to support the recommendations in this report so that, as a nation, we can move forward.

Madam Speaker, I beg to second.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): I thank you, Madam, for allowing me to, also, contribute to the debate on this report. I would like to congratulate the mover and seconder of this motion on ably delivering this report of your Committee.

Mr Chisala: On a point of order, Madam.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

A point of order is raised.

Mr Chisala: Madam Speaker, time and again, you have been advising that when we are here, the only thing we should do is listen to the parliamentary debates and some other related issues which are in line with parliamentary business. Is the hon. Member of Parliament for Pambashe in order to be marking examination scripts from his seat? I need your serious ruling.


Madam Deputy Speaker: The point of order raised is, indeed, in line with the practice of the House that, when we are here, we should only do the business of the House. We are not supposed to come with phones and play with them. We are not supposed to bring newspapers to read. However, on this particular case, from where the Chair is, it is not easy - in fact I see the hon. Member sitting like this (leaning forward).

Dr Chishya: Aah!

Madam Deputy Speaker: You are not sitting the way I am sitting and if, indeed, the hon. Member is marking whatever he is marking, that is not in order, but from here, it is not easy for me to see. Therefore, this point of order is used generally to remind hon. Members of this august House that we are here to do the business of the House and not to conduct research in the House.

The hon. Member for Mazabuka Central may continue, please.

Mr Nkombo: Madam Speaker, FSP which is now called FISP has proved to be very problematic in the manner that it is structured by our colleagues on your right. I will give you the historical perspective of the agricultural industry in this country because I have been personally involved in agricultural lending since 1996. I had the privilege to work with Dr Guy Scott before he became Minister of Agriculture, in a company called Societe Generate Surveilance (SGS) which was appointed by the Government with a view to promoting private sector participation in the industry. I want to put it to you that the Agricultural Private Management Programme, as it was called at the time, did yield a lot of positive results in agro lending in that project co-ordinators were identified and they would come and get loans in the form of fertiliser and put some collateral against those loans after which they would extend this credit to small-scale farmers who they, themselves, would identify.


There was a lot of yield in terms of pay back to levels of 40 to 50 per cent annually, and the money was remitted to the Ministry of Agriculture. In fact, this helped to procure fertiliser in the year that followed. However, 40 per cent yield did not seem to be good enough for the Government and so it moved away from the Agriculture Credit Management Programme to FSP which has proved to be disastrous, to say the least.

Madam, as debated by the mover of the motion, the weakness of FSP, which is now FISP, was that of abuse by the district officials, transporters, farmers and the authorities that be. I want to make a quick demonstration here by saying that we are at the entry point of another farming season and, unfortunately, it happens at the time when we have just gone past the Solwezi By-election. There was a lot of fertiliser that came to Solwezi and I want to demonstrate why I think that the powers that be also have a hand in this abuse which, ultimately, contributes to the failure of the programme. If you went to the markets of Chawama and Zambia compounds in Solwezi, the FISP commodity was on sell on the streets.

We have nearly one million subsistence farmers in this country and one of the weaknesses, I think, is that the Government, in its wisdom, decided to put a subsidy on the commodity to the tune of K50,000 per bag. Only 500 plus or minus farmers are beneficiaries of this programme and after having halved the allocation per farmer from eight to only four, it translates that the actual yield per farmer would drop by 50 per cent. Now, this parallel price structure of K50,000 for vulnerable and viable farmers and the ordinary farmer who can manage to buy the fertiliser at, maybe, K260,000 or K275,000 per bag, immediately creates big problems in terms of marketing the maize. How do you arrive at a price? What is the cost of production of maize? Therefore, we have a very serious problem at marketing because the price structure is completely distorted. You cannot produce, on one hand, something for K50,000 and on the other hand, produce something  else for K275,000. It becomes extremely difficult to understand how the Government actually arrives at the recommended price of the commodity. The one who loses ultimately in this kind of structure, I think, is the farmer.

Another problem we have identified is that the Government has failed to graduate these farmers. Since 2003, not a single farmer has graduated to stand on their on, implying that, actually, there is a need to change this programme from FISP to, maybe, another description which suggests that it is a social security programme to help the vulnerable people with no idea of a pay back whatsoever.

Madam, I think that free things can be very expensive because they become subject to abuse. I think that there is no real fundamental difference between FSP in terms of the way it is structured and FSIP as it is called now. Therefore, I think that it is best that the Government decides to change it altogether to become a social security programme where people will get fertiliser without any intention to even pay back and it can do whatever it wants to with it because I think it is a sunken cost for the Government. Huge sums of money are spent, and yet the yield is not anything to talk about.

Madam, I want to emphasise that the beneficiaries to FISP are the millers and commercial traders of maize who the Government has continued to protect and this has been proven. Farmers will continue to get low prices on their yield and the middleman, the briefcase businesspersons, or the miller will bamba zonke, meaning that they will take it all because at the end of it all, they make huge profits at the expense of hard work on the part of the small-scale farmers.

With these few remarks, I thank you, Madam.

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Madam Speaker, I would like to contribute to the debate on this very important Report of the Committee on Agriculture and Lands.

Sir, on the onset, I would like to support the recommendations and observations made in this report. I just want to say two things on the programme of supporting farmers in terms of inputs. Indeed, I agree that the input support programme has not worked for the intended purpose because, obviously, in the process, people who should not have been the beneficiaries have ended up being so. This normally happens when you have so many vulnerable people and if you use a system of targeting, you will always fall short of targeting the right people. What happens is that if, for example, you are trying to eradicate poverty and you say that you are going to target the poorest of the poor in a country like Zambia where 70 per cent are said to be poor, what will happen is that that 10 per cent of the poorest will not be properly targeted. The best way would be to categorise. If, for example, we are going to eradicate poverty, let us target those who are over seventy years or orphaned. That will become easier, but when we just say vulnerable farmers, it becomes very difficult to identify those who are vulnerable. In the process, you will see that in the last so many decades of this programme, the people who have mainly benefitted are, in fact, better among the communities. To that extent, I, therefore, agree with your Committee that it is money down the drain.

Madam, the worst part is that in the last marketing season, when there was a policy shift to include workers in the Civil Service, we saw people who were well-to-do accessing the fertiliser more than those who were vulnerable. Once you make a policy and begin to change it midstream, it creates problems. Even when we should have been weaning out those who were successful in this programme, it became difficult and a perpetual programme as people stuck to it. So you will find that, really, where we should have achieved more, we did not achieve.

Of course, it is a programme that the Zambian people have appreciated because if you look at Zambia, many of our farmers are poor. Therefore, any programme that the Government brings, which is meant for the poor, will be welcomed. However, I think the Government must now start looking at the opportunity cost and whether, indeed, the benefits of this programme are higher than the loss, especially considering that many poor people are not accessing this fertiliser.

We now have a new programme and I want to advise the Government that the reduction that has been made is making us very unpopular as hon. Members in rural areas because it has not been welcomed by the farmers. The peasant farmers are very angry with us for reducing the package from eight to four bags of fertiliser. In fact, what they are saying is that the Government has killed them. The number of bags of fertiliser should have just been left at eight because their expectation was that the bags of fertiliser would be increased. At the moment, what has happened is that in other areas where it has been said that people should get two bags each of ‘D’ Compound and urea, they are giving one bag each of ‘D’ Compound and urea because they have to share among so many peasant farmers.

I want the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives to listen attentively to what I am saying. The adjustment in the bags of fertiliser from eight to four is making us unpopular and must be reviewed. I say this because people in Chongwe Constituency are angry about that reduction and are wondering what the Government is doing. They are asking whether we, as a Government, really understand agriculture. They have told me that we are making them perpetual beggars.

Like the hon. Member of Parliament for Mazabuka said, it is even better for this programme to be transferred to the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services because it is now a social programme. You know the implications of that. It means, at the end of the day, whilst the Government has good intentions to support the vulnerable, it is not being seen to be doing so. The Government is, instead being seen as making the vulnerable suffer even more and continue to come back to us to beg. They have said that the four bags will not even be enough to produce enough to feed themselves and there will be no surplus to sell for them to buy school requisites and school fees for their children.

I know that, sometimes, some people do not like to listen to advice, but only time will tell.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Good leaders are those that listen to complaints and also make adjustments and not those who, every time people complain, the answer they give is, “We know what we are doing” or, “What are you talking about?” We have also been hon. Ministers before and people criticised us. However, when they did, we tried to make adjustments within our powers. However, for some of you, hon. Ministers, even when people talk, you just say “What she is talking about? She is just making noise.” Time is going to tell.

We have actually worsened this programme by reducing the amount of fertiliser. You had better consider getting back to the original amount or do something that is more innovative than what you have done.

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

Mrs Masebo: The other point that I thought I should also touch is that of livestock. I think I agree with your Committee that when we talk about agriculture, we seem to think that agriculture is only maize growing and even the concentration …

Sorry, that is not the point I wanted to raise. I think the point I wanted to bring up concerns the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ) in Kafue.

Madam Chairperson, I agree that the K150 billion, which is the amount required, is a lot of money indeed. However, we must find ways to protect or save that institution. I also know that it would have been a better idea to bring an investor to partner with us to keep it going. In the absence of an interested investor, the Government has an obligation to ensure the survival of that institution.

When one reads through this report, it tells them that if we, as a Government, injected enough resources, and not piecemeal, where if the request is K150 billion we give K50 billion, it will not help much.

When you come up with  a plan and the amount needed is K150 billion, it is best to give people that whole amount so that when they fail, it is easier for you to turn round and say that, “We gave you the whole amount you wanted, but have failed. Now, we are going to privatise.” This way, even the public can appreciate. However, if we are told that they need K150 billion and we only give them K10 billion and then K20 billion, obviously, they will have an excuse to fail.

We need to inject enough resources to resuscitate NCZ because it is important for the reason that the major activity among our people is agriculture. If we can manage to restructure and ensure that NCZ is doing well, I am sure that the problem of expensive fertilisers will be a thing of the past.

 I know that one might argue that there are a lot of inefficiencies. However, those inefficiencies mean that there is a problem of management. It is our duty, as a Government, to ensure that there is proper management, a board and enough investments because it is a priority. Why should we import from others when they also had to do something for them to produce. We must do something about this. That is what governance is all about. It is about doing things for the good of your own people. Therefore, if it means injecting more resources, the Government has to do just that.

Madam, I think that it would even be better rather than spending money which has been going down the drain, to take part of it and put it in NCZ with a proper business plan and proper management so that we, as a Government, are seen to be doing things that are expected of us.

However, when people say they need resources, the response is that there are no resources. Even when they say that management is poor at NCZ, we do not do anything about it to make sure that the management is improved.

Madam Speaker, the problem of NCZ is not a new one. It has been there and we have been lamenting about it, but I think that what we need to do is implement whatever the recommendations, in full for us to see a difference. When they need a new management, we do not put in the right management. When they say they need a board, we do not do that. What do you expect, at the end of the day? It will be a failure. We seem to be ending up with so many failures because we do not seem to be following up these issues in a manner that inspires confidence.

With those few remarks, I thank you.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Mulonga): Madam Speaker, I will be brief in my contribution.

I would like to agree with the assertions that FSP was for the intended beneficiaries for, at least, three years. After which, they would graduate.

Madam Speaker, however, as the report says, the programme was started in 2001/2002. In 2005, we had a drought. This meant that the production from those who were supposed to have graduated went down. As a caring Government, which should provide for its people, we could not graduate the farmers just because we gave them that timeframe when they were having problems with food security at the household level.

Madam, in the 2006/2007 farming season, the House will agree with me that we have had very serious floods, especially in the Southern Province and some parts of the Western Province. Therefore, this does not enable our farmers to produce as we expected them to before they graduate. This has also hampered the programme of graduating farmers. It is true that this programme was there, but the problem has been the natural calamities which have nothing to do with the Government or the failure of the Government to provide. We want to ensure that there is food security at the household level. That is why most of them have not graduated.

Madam Speaker, very few members from the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives are in the District Agriculture Co-ordinating Committee (DACC). The composition is such that most of them, including the chairperson, are farmers. The essence of the composition of the headmen and the chiefs has already been taken care of and in this year’s recommendation, we have made sure that there has to be representation from the chief. However, we would not like the chiefs to personally sit in the DACC meetings because that would compromise and reduce the status of our chiefs. We have, therefore, recommended that there be a representative from the chiefdom.

Madam, another recommendation is that farmers have to be sensitised about the need to lime. In areas where liming is supposed to be done, we have encouraged the private sector, in the production of fertilisers, to come in. Currently, there is the Zambian Fertilisers. This company is producing lime mixed with fertiliser and I would encourage our farmers to use this. I also appeal to the hon. Members of Parliament to also help the Government sensitise farmers to make use of this fertiliser in order to increase their productivity.

Madam Speaker, as for the provision of fertiliser throughout the year, the essence of FISP was just to subsidise, but there is also the commercial aspect where the private sector must play a major role. This is what we are encouraging because it is not a function for the Government alone. We are saying the private sector must partner with the Government in the provision of some of these services. This is why we are encouraging the private sector to help in the provision of fertiliser throughout the country.

I am happy that the hon. Member for Mazabuka, Hon. Nkombo, has acknowledged that the private sector has already come in although he mistook it for the Government.

Madam, at this point, may I digress a little and inform the House that when I was in Solwezi during the By-election campaigns, we stopped distributing the Government fertiliser for fear of being misunderstood. We only allowed fertiliser from commercial companies to be sold on the market. That is the fertiliser that was on the market during the campaigns. However, because people could not ask commercial companies where they got the fertiliser, they concluded that it came from the Government. To the contrary, we refused to distribute our fertiliser because we did not want to be misunderstood. We decided to keep our fertiliser in the sheds so that distribution could only commence after the elections. Therefore, the fertiliser that was on the market was actually from the commercial companies.

Madam Speaker, with regard to the measures that have been put in place to stop defrauding, I am happy to report to the House that it is on record that whoever has been caught in the act, has already been taken to the courts of law. Those are the deterrent measures that the Government has put in place. Therefore, on whoever is found doing that, the law will take its course.

Madam, with regard to the rehabilitation of feeder roads, I would like to state that, as a Government, we would like to work on the roads, but we are unable to do everything because of inadequate resources. However, I would like to encourage hon. Members that as they discuss the RRU equipment usage in our districts and constituencies, they should ensure that they direct the usage of the equipment towards areas of higher production. It will not assist us to let the equipment work on roads which are in areas where there is low production. If we do that, we will not help the people who produce a lot of food. It is true that agricultural produce become very cheap in the hard-to-reach areas. Therefore, those who manage to get to such areas ensure that they buy the produce very cheaply.

Madam Speaker, with regard to the demand to increase the size of the packs for our people, this is exactly what we have done this year. We may not have met the demands of every individual because each individual has different suggestions, but we responded to what the majority wanted. We have done this by increasing the packs from 234,000 to 500,000 farmer beneficiaries for this farming season. If there are any other things which are inadequate, our offices are still open because this is not the only and last solution to this problem. We are still conducting some more research and we will welcome whoever has a different view to work with us.

Madam, as a Government, we recognise that the co-operative movement somehow went under the bridge, but in June this year, we had a meeting with the co-operative movement that has just elected its executive. We will now interact with them to see how they can help so that they become active and increase production as well as marketing in the country.

Madam Speaker, with regard to the K30 billion which has been talked about, I would like to say that we already have engagements with the co-operative movement and discussions are underway to see how best we can handle this situation.

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

The Minister of Livestock and Fisheries Development (Mr Machila): Madam Speaker, I would like to thank you for according me the opportunity to contribute to the debate on this vote.

Firstly, I would like to commend the mover of this motion, the hon. Member of Parliament for Matero, Hon. Faustina Sinyangwe, and the seconder, Hon. Bwalya for a job well done.

Madam, briefly, I would like to state that we had no issue with the report that has just been presented by your Committee in view of the K258,236,015,213 billion budget allocation for 2010. We believe that it is a clear statement of intent on the part of the Government to address the issues that have been raised in the report. We acknowledge that the issues relating to fisheries management and the importance of growing the aquaculture sector need to be reviewed if we are to make an impact on reducing the excessive fishing in the natural water bodies.

Madam Speaker, however, the recommendations of your Committee’s report are, in fact, work-in-progress under the new ministry. Furthermore, I would like to add that in our budget this year, K955 million has been provided for the procurement of a specialised research vessel which, we believe, will help address a number of issues mentioned in the report regarding the need for enhancement on programmes of research.

Madam, at the end of this month, we shall embark on the annual fishing ban which runs from 1st December through to 28th February next year. We expect that this year, in view of the provision of adequate resources, we shall be able to have a much greater impact in terms of policing of the fishing ban, of course, with the assistance of our colleagues at the ZAWA who are of great help to us in terms of enforcing this annual fishing ban. We also expect to be more co-ordinated with neighbouring States in dealing with shared water bodies and the administration of the ban.

Madam Speaker, in summation, again, I just would like to say that I support the report.

I thank you, Madam.

Mrs Sinyangwe: Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Members for supporting this motion and I just hope that all of us will work together to find a workable solution to FISP because even as we speak, some fertiliser is being sold on the market.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Question put and agreed to.




VOTE 80 – (Ministry of Education – K3,250,450,878,876).

(Consideration resumed)

The Deputy Minister of Lands (Mr Mabenga): Mr Chairperson, just before the House adjourned yesterday, I was giving credit to the Ministry of Education for a job well done in their quest to ensure that education is made available to all sectors of our society. I was emphasising the project and the approach that the hon. Minister mentioned when she talked about distance and open learning education. I was saying that this is a very important approach to education. Today, in the world, this is one of the ways in which people are given opportunities to further their education standards.

Sir, I am very positive that even in this House, quite a good number of hon. Members of Parliament are involved in distance education. This is why we see quite a good number of our Members getting degrees, which is a very welcome idea. This is a very good initiative. This Government is doing a good job and everybody should be able to support this good initiative.

Sir, the idea of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and e-learning is very important. I do hope that when e-learning comes into the country and is used, parents will take a keen interest in it because it is very important. It will be able to help the children and even people who are outside employment because they will be abreast with the learning techniques of the modern world.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to talk about the liberalisation of education which the Ministry of Education has put in place. I am talking about the introduction of private education provision. It is a very good idea in that a good number of people are involved in providing education, thereby supplementing the efforts of the Government. I do know that the type of education that is offered there is actually approved and those of us who are involved in it know very well that we are providing quality education. We are able to produce pupils who go to university every year. We are able to compete with Government institutions. Statistics will indicate how well these institutions are doing. Therefore, it is not low quality education, but good quality education. The standards officers are always on the ground to ensure that these institutions give the best that they can to the children. Again, this is a plus for the Ministry of Education because we are giving opportunities to private education providers to also supplement the efforts of the Government.

Sir, I also would like to mention that the idea of allowing local initiatives to open up colleges and universities is very welcome. We see quite a good number of people going into …

Mr Mulongoti smiled.

Mr Mabenga: Hon. Mulongoti, you are smiling. That is a very good thing. My nephew is smiling.


Mr Mabenga: Sir, we think that more and more local initiatives should be given opportunities to provide tertiary and university education.

Sir, I would like to conclude by giving credit to the hon. Minister of Education and her ministry for rehabilitating a good number of education infrastructure in our country. This Government is doing a commendable job and any well-meaning Zambian and hon. Member of Parliament should be able to say, “Job well done!” and give a big pat on the back of the Ministry of Education. I think Hon. Mukanga should be the first to do this …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabenga: … because he knows what is happening in his constituency. We have seen the building of new schools. Just last week, I was going through one province and I saw a lot of schools that are being built. There are a lot of structures coming up. People should appreciate the efforts of this Government. They must appreciate the efforts of the Ministry of Education. When the Government is doing well, they must be able to reciprocate positively so that this Government can continue to serve the people of this country meaningfully.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Mr Kasoko (Mwembeshi): Mr Speaker, this Government, through the Ministry of Education, has failed the people of Mwembeshi.


Mr Kasoko: Mr Chairperson, last year, I stood on the Floor of this House and told the House that in Mwembeshi Constituency, there are no high schools. We have heard about high schools which have been constructed in other constituencies, especially where there are MMD hon. Members of Parliament. In their constituencies, many structures have been constructed. In my constituency, there are no high schools. I am, therefore, inviting the new hon. Minister of Education to come with me and see what I am talking about. Even Nangoma Constituency has no high school as well. We only have Mumbwa High School which was constructed in 1970 when I was still in primary school in Ng’oye.


Mr Kasoko: When this school was constructed, it was called Mumbwa Drum Secondary School. That is was then turned to Mumbwa High School. Nambala High School was under the Catholic.  When I was in Grade 3 at Ng’oye in 1969, …


Mr Kasoko: … that is when that school was constructed and it is not a school which one can be proud of.

Mr Chairperson, this Government has failed the people of Mumbwa. I am sure they are aware of what happened this morning. They should start pulling up their socks. For their evil activities, people have said …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Let us be civil in our debate. You want to persuade the people on my right to give you funds for developing your constituency.  I do not think that they will help you this way.

You may continue, please.

Mr Kasoko: I thank you for your guidance, Sir.

Mr Chairperson, the people of Zambia have said no to this kind of leadership.

Mrs Musokotwane: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasoko: When the MMD came to power, they were on the right track in the first three years. They started implementing the vision, which all of us under MMD at the time, supported. Three years later, they went off track. They are not succeeding in whatever they try to initiate. Even the Fertiliser Support Programme (FSP) has failed.

Mr Chairperson, education in this country has failed.

Ms Siliya: Where?

Mr Kasoko: Yesterday, some hon. Members debated that a person who has completed Grade 12 cannot even write a letter in English. We heard this a few hours ago. We know of professors in the realm of the MMD who, when they stand up to debate, cannot speak proper English.

Hon. MMD Members: Aah!

Mr Kasoko: We have seen this. Examine yourselves.

Mr Chairperson, I said I would be brief.

Mr Mabenga: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Let this serve as a reminder. You are fond of raising points of order while in your seats. If you do that I will not recognise it.

Mr Mabenga: Mr Chairperson, I do not rise on points of order. I raise this point of order in order to find out whether the English that the hon. Member is speaking is better than the English spoken by the hon. Members on your right.


Mr Mabenga: Mr Chairperson, I need your serious ruling, especially that he was only in Grade 3 in 1969. Further, where is he getting that grey hair from?


Mr Mabenga: I need your serious ruling, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: You have actually debated your point of order.

The hon. Member may continue, taking that point of order into account.

Mr Kasoko: Mr Chairperson, the MMD have definitely failed the people of Zambia. This country would have done better. This group, the people on your right, ever since they were elected in 1991, has taken this country 100 years backwards. 
Mr Chairperson, even the two universities that have been opened cannot be compared to other universities outside this country. They are both in a mess. There is no equipment at these universities even though we approve money all the time for the procurement of equipment. Nothing has been done. We have approved a lot of money for school desks, but there is nothing. Yesterday, we heard from the hon. Member of Parliament for Dundumwezi …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1045 hours until 1100 hours.


Mr Kasoko: Mr Chairperson, before business was suspended, I was about to move to my next point.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to urge the Government, through the hon. Minister of Education, to build infrastructure at the so-called Nampundwe High School, which was constructed by the community. I would like the Government to come in and put up buildings for the school to qualify as a high school.

Secondly, my constituency has a lot of community schools. Since my election in 2001, we have initiated twenty community schools. Out of these, twelve have been completed. I am appealing to this Government to come in and help us with the remaining eight. We do not need a lot of money to complete this project. 

Mr Chairperson, lastly, I would like to talk about the shortage of accommodation for teachers in Mwembeshi Constituency and I think that the situation is the same for all constituencies in Zambia. I would, however, like to confine myself to Mwembeshi because I am familiar with it. We have a shortage of accommodation for teachers and are short of teachers in some areas. Teachers are walking long distances from other villages to go and teach at a particular school. I am appealing to this Government to come in and build some houses, classrooms and high schools so that pupils can learn in a good environment.

Mr Chairperson, with these words, I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for the opportunity to debate. It will take me under five minutes to finish my debate.

Mr Chairperson, to start with, I would like to say that I support the vote for the Ministry of Education. When we were debating the vote for the Ministry of Works and Supply, I suggested that construction be controlled by and co-ordinated centrally through the Ministry of works and supply. I do not know whether the Government will implement this very good suggestion because infrastructure development is a portfolio of the Minister of Woks and Supply. As things are now, there are so many ministries handling this.

In the interim, I would like to appeal to the hon. Minister of Education that when it comes to community mode of construction, she should ask her officers to be in control of the contractors.

Sir, like I said last time, I have experience of what is going in my constituency. Preferably, let it be like it was in the past whereby, wherever there was construction, there was a clerk of works there, representing the Government because a contractor cannot be left to work alone; we know the result. There must be supervision at every stage of the work. I am talking about the infrastructure development that is being carried out by the Ministry of Education in terms of schools and houses for teachers. You must be in control so that the infrastructure can last longer instead of only five years. If that is the case then we have problems.

Mr Chairpersons, every stage of construction, starting with excavation right through to materials, must be approved. There must be somebody certifying every stage of construction. At the moment, you will find that a contractor is left alone. He starts construction, finishes building or goes half way with nobody from the Ministry of Education to check and approve.

Sir, in short, my appeal is that in the interim, let officers in the Ministry of Education supervise contractors so that we can have buildings that can last longer. That is my appeal.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

The Minister of Community Development and Social Services (Mr Kaingu): Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate. I will be very brief because it is not the amount of talking that is important, but what one delivers.


Mr Kaingu: Mr Chairperson, may I associate myself with Hon. Mabenga’s debate.

Mr Mabenga: Hear, hear!

Mr Kaingu: Again, borrowing from the academic excellence of Professor Lungwangwa that is a saikwanonu of development.


Mr Kaingu: In the absence of education, we cannot develop as a people. However, I also want to say that culture is part of education. My appeal to those who are providing education, particularly teachers, is to instill culture in their programmes.

 Mr Chairperson, I would like to appeal to teachers out there that we have to promote culture because in the absence of culture, no country can develop. I have said here and may I say it once again, that culture is a fundamental dimension for social and economic development for any country. Therefore, it is my appeal and, indeed, to all hon. Members of Parliament to understand culture and come to my office to discuss more on culture. After all, for us who have gone to schools, we say there is organisation behaviour. If you do not have organisation behaviour or structure, then no industry or company can thrive. Therefore, it is very important that as we develop as a country, we must seriously consider culture. Our colleagues in Nigeria who have embraced culture have gone very far in development. Therefore, hon. Minister, these are the few words I had in support of your budget.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Mr Mushili (Ndola Central): Mr Chairperson, I would like to add my voice to that of other hon. Members who have spoken before me. I just want to bring to the attention of the hon. Minster of Education that general maintenance of schools is lacking lamentably. Remember that a natural stimulating environment is very important to our pupils and students. It is very saddening to notice that Universities in Zambia look worse than some of our high schools. Similarly, some high schools are worse than some of the primary schools. It is paramount that in our education administratively, the minister must encourage the administrators in their respective schools to maintain the environment in the most acceptable manner.

Mr Chairperson, my constituency and Ndola District at large have sent me to request the Ministry of Education that there is a demand for the Ndola residents to have a university.


Mr Mushili: Only a person who does not know the need for education will make such type of …

Hon. PF Members: Laughter.

Mr Mushili: No! Not laughter, but remark.

Sir, as per our programme some time back, there is a need for us to have a university. The location was sited and was provided. To date, Ndola residents do to know why the idea has been abandoned because there is nothing that is going on.

Mr Chairperson Ndola Central Constituency has two townships whose population has grown more than three folds. They are located in areas where children walk distances to seek high school education. These townships are Chipulukusu and Twapia. Therefore, the people of Ndola Central Constituency have demanded that the Ministry of Education should consider building high schools in those two townships.

Mr Chairperson, Ndola District, has a large population which keeps diminishing due to reduced economic activities. However, some people who are patriotic would like to remain there if Government could improve the educational facilities. The Government should build more universities and high schools and create employment for the people to prevent Ndola Town from being reduced to a refugee camp.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Mushili: These are some of my demands for Ndola District.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Education (Ms Siliya): Mr Chairperson, from the outset, I wish to thank the various Members of Parliament who have contributed to the debate on the budget for the Ministry of Education.

I beg your indulgence, Sir, just to belabour a few points to clarity some of the issues that were raised by the Members of Parliament in their debate. The points will not be brought out in any chronological order.

Sir, what is important to appreciate, from the outset, is that we have a huge backlog in terms of providing educational facilities in this country. We have seen that Zambians are extremely hungry for education.

Mr Simbao: Yes!

Ms Siliya: Zambians want to be educated.

However, everybody will recall that in the 1980s, there was very little investment in the education sector. As a result, this Government is not running, but trying to sprint to meet the backlog.

Just to illustrate this point, for us to be able to ensure that every child of school-going age is actually enrolled in Grade 1, we have to build an extra 16,000 classrooms; about 600 new schools by 2016. That is a mammoth task. This is why you will see that in the budget, in the last few years, we have consistently committed a lot of resources to infrastructure development so that we can meet our global commitment in terms of universal primary education.

Now, the other input is that we must have are the teachers. That is why, again, in the last few years, we have consistently employed 5,000 teachers every year, to make sure that they provide the education in the schools that we are building.

Mr Chairperson, on distance learning I wish to say that, again, there is an opportunity for the Government to provide an alternative mode in terms of distance learning, open learning and e-learning to those who are working and outside the formal education system in order to satiate this hunger and fill the gap that exists, hence distance learning offers an alternative mode.

The hon. Members of Parliament for Dundumwezi and Katombola respectively, belaboured the point regarding the qualifications of teachers. In 2010, we will begin a fast-track programme to upgrade teachers with diploma qualifications to degree level at the University of Zambia and we will begin with 6,000 teachers. We are taking the first step to ensure that in our high schools, all the teachers should be degree holders. We have plans to have all teachers in the future begin at the diploma level and not the certificate level, but this is a process that will require the migration of the current teachers who have certificates.

Mr Mabenga: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Ms Siliya: Sir, I appreciate the concerns expressed with regard to the problems we have experienced relating to transfer of teachers, especially if a married couple is involved and they are both teachers and you have one of them in one town or province and other in another. If you recall, I explained on the Floor of this House that we have frozen the transfers so that we can bring order to the system. At the moment, there are a lot of complaints by people who were waiting to be transferred. It was taking time and they were complaining that they were being separated from their spouses and families. A lot of people appealed to the office of the hon. Minister to intervene. We froze the transfers so that we could find a system that could respond to both the needs of the teachers and society. Once we are through with improving the system, we will come back to explain to the public.

Mr Chairperson, the hon. Member of Parliament for Katombola also belaboured the point that we support the public universities a lot more than we do basic schools. I think that is the point.

We all appreciate that universities will continue, like everywhere else in the world, every time in history, and I keep saying this, to be the cornerstone for the illumination of our societies. Universities will always be the place for new and positive ideas that should help in the development of this nation. However, we find ourselves challenged in terms of finding a sustainable financing method for our higher education institutions. I think that rather than providing piecemeal solutions, as hon. Minister of Education, I have liaised with my counterpart, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning that together, we call for a symposium in early January, so that we can find a lasting solution. The universities have agreed, particularly the University of Zambia, which has even submitted to the ministry, survival strategies. It is on that basis that we will call for this discussion. As a nation, we need to begin to have debate on finding a sustainable solution to the financing of higher education which we all know is not cheap, but piecemeal solutions every year will not provide any lasting solution.

Sir, on the issue of the cut-off point, I wish to state that, again, in responding to the global commitments that Zambia made to ensure that we educate as many people as possible, to meet the “Education for All” goal and also to the primary universal education goal, the cut-off points were removed. As long as somebody attains a full certificate at Grades 7 and 9, he/she can proceed to the next level. I am not sure that any quality here has been compromised because really, the whole point of the cut-off of point was because we were not able to provide enough places. We only provided pupils for those places that we had. That was the rationale for the cut-off point. As we kept building more schools, we found that we were able to take on more and more pupils and this is why we found it necessary to remove the cut-off point, but ensure that only those that attained a full certificate were able to proceed to the next grade. Like I said, we are not running, but are actually sprinting in terms of providing infrastructure and recruiting teachers so that we meet the “Education for All” goal.

Mr Chairperson, with regard to the pre-school policy, I wish to inform this House that currently, the policy of the Government is that it is anchored within the ministry and that we train the teachers. However, the actual provision of nursery and kinder garden education is left to the private sector. The Government will continue to provide teachers through training, and give direction in terms of policy, but the actual provision will continue to be provided by the private sector.

Sir, an important point was raised by Hon. Mabenga relating to the importance of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the education sector. We appreciate that point in the ministry because ICT is not an initiative for the future, it is already here. A computer is no longer a piece of the furniture in our offices or homes. It provides us an opportunity to provide automated solutions to everyday problems efficiently and quickly. We, in the Ministry of Education, know that, apart from the actual education delivery in terms of e-learning, ICT is an important tool for efficient management in education.

Mr Chairperson, I also want to belabour the points raised by the hon. Member of Parliament for Mwembeshi, Hon. Kasoko, who said that we are only building schools in constituencies where there are Members of Parliament from MMD. I find that surprising because his neighbour, Hon. Musokotwane, as well as the hon. Member of Parliament for Dundumwezi, just yesterday, were congratulating us on the number of schools we have built in their constituencies and they are Opposition Members of Parliament. Hon. Mwila of Chipili will also attest to the same, including the hon. Member of Parliament for Namwala. There are many Members on your left who have attested to the work that this Government is doing in terms of providing education facilities. It is important that the hon. Member of Parliament makes an effort to liaise with District Education Board Secretary (DEBS) and ourselves at the headquarters, so that we can look at the needs in his constituency.

I wish to applaud the people of Nampundwe, like everywhere else, where citizens have responded to the hunger for education and have put up community schools.

Lastly, Sir, I just want to say that when hon. Members of Parliament like Hon. Kasoko say, “This Government is evil and it has not done anything,” I find it very strange. We have been able to achieve gender parity from grades 1 to 4. That has not happened through magic. It has happened because of deliberate efforts by this Government.

Mr Mabenga: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: We have employed 20,000 teachers in the last four years. It has not happened by magic, but because of a consistent plan in terms of providing education as reflected in the MMD Manifesto. The fact that out of our target of 16,000 classrooms, every year, we have been building an average of 2,000 classrooms, again, has not happened by magic or witchcraft, but because of a deliberate effort by this Government to ensure that we continue to meet our 2030 aspirations.

May I take this opportunity to applaud our teachers nationwide, once again, for the good work they are doing and also the staff in the Ministry of Education who have a huge task to respond to the education needs of this country.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Vote 80/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 80/03 – (Ministry of Education – Planning and Information Directorate – K543,924,577,751).

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Chairperson, on Programme 2, Activity 13 – Pooled T.A (23) – K1,800,000,000, I would like to find out what this activity is.

Ms Siliya: Mr Chairperson, this is the technical assistance which will be providing various consultancies as agreed upon with our co-operating partners.

I thank you, Sir.

Vote 80/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/06 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 80/08 – (Ministry of Education – Regional Headquarters – Lusaka Province – K4,680,889,815).

Mr Mukanga: Mr Chairperson, regarding Unit 1, Programme 8, activities 01 – Construction (15) – K9,188,532; 02 – Rehabilitation (17) – K69,353,364; 03 – Maintenance (19) – K18,208,185 and 04 – Monitoring (21) – K73,792,151, I would like to know what these activities are.

The Deputy Minister of Education (Mr Sinyinda): Mr Chairperson, the provision is for monitoring activities. As you are aware, we are undertaking construction works and many other activities.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Chairperson, these are different activities and so I would like to have answers for each one of them.

Mr Sinyinda: Mr Chairperson, this allocation is the one which we will use to see whether our activities are being implemented the way we want. It will be used for the supervision of the officers on the ground.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Vote 80/08 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/09 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/10 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/11 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/12 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/13 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/14 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/15 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/16 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/17 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/18 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/19 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/20 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/21 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/22 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/23 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/24 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/25 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/26 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/27 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/28 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/29 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/30 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/31 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 80/32 – (Ministry of Education - Regional Headquarters – Luapula Province – K7,939,680,866).

Mr Chongo (Mwense): Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Unit 7, Programme 8, Activity 04 – Monitoring (349) – K43,057,763? Last year, there was K75,245,743 allocated to this activity, and yet we did not have these other programmes like construction, rehabilitation and maintenance. Why is it that the amount of money on monitoring has traduced when we have been given added responsibilities?

Ms Siliya: Mr Chairperson, on Programme 8, Activity 04 – Monitoring (349) – K43,057,763, we have the National Infrastructure Development Programme, but we have also allocated resources to the provincial office so that we are able to do the rehabilitation and maintenance of the provincial offices. Also, in times of disasters, sometimes, the provincial office has to respond very quickly in terms of construction and monitoring even some of the national infrastructure that we might be doing from the headquarters in that province. This is why we allocate some of these resources and you may see that last year, this same province did not budget adequately for the other budget lines but, for 2010, they have decided that they want to be more prepared to respond quickly.

I thank you, Sir.

Vote 80/32 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/33 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/34 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/35 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/36 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/37 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.
Vote 80/38 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/39 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/40 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/41 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/42 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/43 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!
VOTE 51 – (Ministry of Communication and Transport – K94,975,403,410).

The Minister of Communications and Transport (Professor Lungwangwa): Mr Chairperson, I wish to express my sincere gratitude for the opportunity that I have been given to make a policy statement in support of the 2010 budget for the Ministry of Communications and Transport.

I also wish to congratulate the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane, on presenting a people-focused budget which will guide the country’s expenditure as Zambia and the rest of the world slowly emerge from the worst economic and financial meltdown since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Mr Chairperson, it is in difficult times such as the one we are going through that tough decisions have to be made to stimulate the economy and ensure growth in the future. During this challenging period, the role of the Ministry of Communications and Transport remains to be the platform on which infrastructure development is anchored so as to create a sound business and commercial environment for private sector-led growth, wealth creation and employment generation.

We all know that in today’s world, nothing can be effectively and efficiently done without reliable communication and transport infrastructure. Therefore, the ministry’s mission statement captures this as follows:

“To facilitate sustainable growth and development of the transport and communications sectors in order to ensure the provision of efficient, adequate and quality services for the benefit of the people of Zambia.”

Mr Chairperson, the ministry translates its mission statement through the three key national policy areas, namely: Transport Policy covering air, road, railway and water transport; Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Policy covering internet, data transmission and telecommunications; and lastly Meteorological Policy which covers climate variability, climate change and meteorological data acquisition and management.

Mr Chairperson, in terms of the performance of the ministry, in 2009, a number of achievements were made in this financial year. First of all, we had major developments in the legal sector whereby three Bills were passed and are now law, covering ICT and postal services. In addition, we had the laying of the optic fibre infrastructure backbone which will see efficient and effective internet and voice transmission in our country. The ministry further went on with the Chipata/Mchinji Railway Line which was constructed and, of course, we still have to do some more construction works on the railway line in the coming year.

Mr Chairperson, in terms of inland waterways, we procured a 60-seater watercraft for Lake Bangweulu and the Zambia Postal Services (ZAMPOST) pontoon was rehabilitated with two engines and is now waiting to be re-launched. In the same year, we have been processing the procurement of two dredgers, one for the Western Province and the other for Luapula Province.

In addition, we have been constructing airport facilities during the same year. The terminal at Kasama Airport is now almost complete. We have also been constructing the Kasaba Bay, Mansa and Solwezi airports’ facilities as well as the repair of the radar system at the Lusaka International Airport. Furthermore, we have, this year, been engaging the Railway Systems of Zambia (RSZ) to improve its operations on the railway line. We have also intensely engaged in the training of staff in the Department of Civil Aviation in order to ensure that there is safety in compliance with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) requirements.

Mr Chairperson, our two Heads of State, namely: the President of the Republic of Tanzania and our President, this year, agreed to concession the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) to a private concessionaire who will, of course, run TAZARA, with priority given to Chinese companies.

Mr Chairperson, in terms of the 2010 Budget, the ministry has been allocated K94.9 billion which includes grants to the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA). The 2010 Budget has given special focus to the following areas:
(a) capacity building of personnel in the Department of Civil Aviation to address the concerns of ICAO;

(b) procurement of equipment for monitoring weather in farming blocks and lakes;

(c) feasibility studies of new railway line projects;

(d) clearance of canals in flood-prone areas; and
(e) development of provincial and district aerodromes.

The decrease in budgetary allocations to certain activities is as a result of this focus which we have given in the 2010 Budget.

Mr Chairperson, the ministry, in 2010, will focus its strategies on strengthening the gains achieved in 2009. To this effect, the programmes I will discuss have been prioritised.

With regard to air transport, my ministry will work hard to redeem the image of the Zambian Air Aviation sector, resulting from the unsatisfactory audit by ICAO by, amongst others, providing training of staff in the department of Civil Aviation and accelerating the updating of legislation to be in line with the international and regional best practice. We, as a Government, are confident that the measures that have been put in place shall result in the favourable review of Zambia’s position when the matter comes for consideration.

Mr Chairperson, road transport will remain the country’s dominant mode of transport and it shall continue to play a major role in the socio-economic development of Zambia, as it facilitates the movement of cargo and passengers from one place to another.

In this regard, my ministry intends to reorganise the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) in order to improve transparency, accountability and efficiency in the delivery of public road transport services, collection of Government revenue and the improvement of safety standards on our road network. This measure will precede the possible reorganisation of the entire road sector agencies after we receive the report of the Road Institutional Review Study to be undertaken with the support of the World Bank.

Mr Chairperson, in the meteorology sector, my ministry will procure the meteorology equipment so as to enhance the provision of climatic and weather data to the farming community, the water and air transport sectors and the general public.

The Government intends to construct a railway line across the Luangwa River from Chipata to connect to TAZARA at either Serenje or Mpika. This railway link, which is phase II of the Chipata/Mchinji Railway line, will facilitate a strategic and seamless line between TAZARA and the railway systems in Malawi and Mozambique on the Nacala Development Corridor. The Nacala Development Corridor is considered a strategic and viable alternative transport option for Zambia.

As an initial step, my ministry will carry out a feasibility study to determine both the financial and economic implications of constructing the railway line.

Mr Chairperson, the completion of the construction of the Chipata/Mchinji Railway Line, which will open the route to the port of Nacala in Mozambique is still a priority. The opening of the Nacala route will add to Zambia’s existing trade routes besides the traditional Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, Beira in Mozambique and Durban in South Africa. The Chipata/Mchinji Railway project has been allocated K5 billion for the completion of the laying of remaining rails, ballasting, renovation of the terminal building, management and administrative costs.

Further, my ministry intends to resume the operations of the Njanji Commuter Service through private sector participation which will provide an urban rail transit transport to compliment bus services which, at present, is becoming increasingly congested. To this effect, my ministry, in conjunction with the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, has advertised, through an international competitive building process, for interested firms to undertake the development, management and operation of the Njanji Service. Bids have been received and the tender process leading to their award of the concession will be completed in 2010.

Mr Chairperson, my ministry will further explore the possibility of attracting private sector investment opportunities for the development of new railway lines such as Nseluka-Mpulungu, Chipata-TAZARA, Mulobezi-Caprivi Line and Lions Den Kafue Railway line. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed with the consortium to construct the Chingola-Lumwana-Jimbe Railway Line which, hopefully, will be executed in 2010. The start of the project, however, depends on the outcome of the legal suit.

My ministry will continue to dialogue with RSZ to improve the operations of the company.

Sir, the Governments of the Republic of Zambia and Tanzania have agreed to offer the Chinese the first option for private sector participation in TAZARA. Senior officials in the two countries have been directed to implement this decision.

My ministry will further work towards putting in place an effective legal and regulatory framework by reviewing the existing Railway Act so that it responds to the expanding role of the railway transport sector. K95 billion has been allocated to this exercise. Further, the ministry will work towards rehabilitating the Mulobezi Railway Line and has been allocated K800 million for this purpose.

Mr Mabenga: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Chairperson, the priority of my ministry in 2010 will be the modernisation of air transport infrastructure. To this effect, a total of K20.7 billion has been allocated. Amongst the projects planned are the construction of the railway line and terminal building at Kasaba Bay, Kasama, Mansa and Solwezi airports. For Solwezi, our goal is to turn it into an international airport.

District Aerodromes at Senanga, Nyangwe and Serenje will further be rehabilitated at a cost of K1.1 billion.

Mr Chairperson, the priority of my ministry in the maritime sector is the establishment of the Zambia’s Shippers’ Council. Since Zambia’s import and export trade is mostly by sea, the ministry intends to help set up the shippers council to strengthen and create a bargaining power of private sector and business people against the organised shipping lines. The shippers’ council will be private sector driven and its major role shall be to bargain for favourable freight rates as well as sensitise shippers on the best practices of freighting goods and thereby lowering the cost of doing business in Zambia.

Mr Chairperson, my ministry also intends to establish the Zambia Ports Authority as a regulatory body in view of the liberalised shipping industry. In addition, the establishment of dry ports through the public-private-partnership will continue to be pursued.

The priority of my ministry in the inland water transport will be to continue with the rehabilitation of improvements of infrastructure at harbours across the country and clearing the maintenance of canals and inland water ways countrywide. K1 billion has been allocated for canal clearing activities that will cover about 1000 kilometres in the 2010 Budget.

Under meteorology, my ministry intends to establish marine meteorology services at Mpulungu, Kafulafuta, Nansanga farming blocks and Samfya at a combined cost of K3.4 billion. With the final approval of the Meteorology Policy, the ministry will undertake its implementation.

As regards the Information and Communications Technologies (ITC), this sector has the potential to enhance service delivery by promoting efficiency, effectiveness, transparency and accountability. In this regard, my ministry will commence the implementation of the E-Governance Project. Under this framework, my ministry, in collaboration with the ministries of Education and Health, intends to install ultra-modern facilities for the tele-education at Mulungushi University and the telemedicine at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH). This is part of the Pan-African E-Network Project supported by the Indian Government through the African Union (AU).

My ministry intends to construct a new post office in Shang’ombo and rehabilitate the one at Sinda and K250 million has been allocated to this activity. Further, considerations are being made to ensure that other areas in the country benefit from this programme. The focus of my ministry in 2010 will be to effectively contribute to infrastructure development and ensure that there is quality service delivery that is equitably accessible. I wish to appeal to the hon. Members of this august House to support my ministry’s budget because transport and communication infrastructure is a key to economic growth and development, wealth creation and ultimately poverty reduction.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chongo: Mr Chairperson, thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate this vote. I will be brief.

Mr Chairperson, we have lost a number of lives in this country emanating from safety issues on the roads. This year, as at late last week, there was a report of a car that rammed into a stationary vehicle here, in Lusaka, and two people were reported to have died. This issue of road safety needs to be looked into seriously. In fact, there are a lot of such vehicles that break down and cause accidents. This happens because there are no rules and regulations that compel the transporters, the owners of these broken down vehicles, to do the needful. In view of this, I urge the ministry, through RTSA and, of course, in conjunction with the Ministry of Works and Supply, to provide lay-by facilities at specific areas where drivers can park when there is a problem. At least, these facilities can enable one push the vehicle and park rather than leaving it on the road.

When accidents are sudden, the ministry should regulate a law for break down services. These will be towing broken down vehicles to safe areas where they cannot inconvenience other road users. In case those people do not comply, the ministry should impose a charge on the offenders who leave broken down vehicles on the road. Once this is done, it will help to reduce the number of accidents that we experience.

Mr Chairperson, the other issue I want to talk about is the usage of triangles on broken down vehicles. When vehicles break down, there is a requirement that triangles are placed at some distance from where the vehicle is parked to warn other road users that there is a broken down vehicle ahead. However, some road users inconvenience others by not complying because they are being frustrated by RTSA and police patrol services, especially where they demand that the triangles that should be used are only those made from Neon Signs Company in Lusaka. Now, what about foreign trucks that come from different countries and use different types of triangles? I think what the ministry must push for is the use of effective triangles that can reflect in the night to warn other road users. These foreign transporters fear if they are found with different triangles no matter how effective they maybe, they may opt to put branches of trees on the road as a sign of warning other road users. Therefore, I urge the hon. Minister to allow different triangles to be used on our roads.

The other issue I want to talk about, Mr Chairperson, is the railway system in our country, in particular, the railway trucks on the Copperbelt. You may wish to know that in 2007, there was a request by Mopani Copper Mines to the Ministry of Communications and Transport that they be allowed to rehabilitate the railway infrastructure starting from Mufulira up to Kitwe because they realised it was becoming very difficult for them to transport their material to and from Kitwe and Mufulira. However, to date, the ministry has not responded to that good gesture even when the company was prepared to do it free of charge because they realised that they would be using this infrastructure. The reason behind this is that the RSZ, which this Government has concessioned the trucks to has failed lamentably.

I think this is not a new issue in this House. A lot of people have expressed disappointment in the manner RSZ is operating. I, therefore, urge the hon. Minister to get back to Mopani and relook at that request and allow them to work on this infrastructure so that they can resort to using railway lines instead of roads that they are using because it is not only expensive on their part, but also our roads will be saved from over use.

Finally, I want to talk about the service providers, that is, cellular phone service providers, especially Zain Zambia Limited in Luapula Province and Mwense in particular. The services there have been provided, but they are not effective enough. One will be surprised to note that just a radius of five kilometres from where they are installed, people cannot access the service and instead the people who are getting this service are those in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This is where the system is very effective. We have complained on a number of times. Therefore, I request the hon. Minister to liaise with the Zain Zambia Limited management to do the needful in Mwense so that this facility can be used.

I thank you, Sir.

The Minister of Lands (Mr Daka): Thank you, Mr Chairperson, for giving me this opportunity to debate this very important vote.

First and foremost, I would like to congratulate the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning on adequately giving funds to this ministry. Zambia, being a landlocked country, is surrounded by eight neighbouring countries. That is an endowment because it is at the hub of the southern part of Africa. There can be a lot of development as a result of good transport infrastructure.

First and foremost, let me mention that the ministry has done well by embracing fibre optic. I heard the last speaker say that he is unable to get a signal from Zain. This is because currently, we are lifting a signal to Channel France or Sat 3 into Europe and then back to Africa. However, with fibre optic, that will be an issue of the past.

Mr Chairperson, the telephone providers should embrace what ZAMTEL has done by bringing in the metropolitan fibre optic. We should be able to be connected to the sea. Seacom has bypassed us going into Congo DR. With this, we are talking of well over a million channels coming through at one time.

Currently, when you switch on your Digital Satellite Television (DSTV), you see showers because of the fact that the signal is being lifted to Sat 3 up in the air. However, if you used fibre optic, the picture and the communication would be very clear.

Mr Chairperson, as Chairman in the MMD for Communications and Transport, …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Daka: … I must effectively debate in support of this motion.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Daka: This is a very important motion. Going on telecommunication, we have a noodle at the Lion’s Den protruding into Zambia which goes into Zimbabwe. We also have a noodle at Tunduma which goes into the Indian Ocean. If the people who have been crying to be given licences for the Mwembeshi Satellite just did their homework and helped Zamtel connect to fibre optic, Zambians would pay 2 cents instead of the 28 cents per second on a telephone call out of this country. We will reduce the cost of doing business in Zambia by being connected to fibre optic. We will be able to watch more than a hundred channels on our televisions from Europe, America and all over the world. Communication is the answer to so many issues or to a better way of doing business in the world today. When technology has come, no matter how much we may resist, we cannot stop it from entering our bedrooms or our houses.

Zamtel has taken a niche by installing a metropolitan fibre optic. What it requires is augmentation from the other users. Currently, when we say that everybody should go through the Mwembeshi Satellite, some people put satellites around their houses and communicate at night. They are evading the payment of tax to the Government. They are evading using the Mwembeshi Satellite. With the fibre optic, Zamtel and other telephone providers will have universal access to cheaper communication.

Mr Chairperson, Zamtel has gone through a lot of difficulties and I am glad that the ministry and the Government have taken steps to ensure that it is salvaged from the bleeding that it has suffered.

Mr Chairperson, other than talking about communication through telephones, I will talk about the inland waterways. It is also encouraging that dredgers have been put in place to ensure that rivers and canals are dredged. It is also encouraging that there is a dredger on the Kafubu River in Ndola where Hon. Mushili comes from.  Therefore, when he asks me the question of where there is development, he must see and acknowledge where the Government is doing well.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Daka: Today, there are well over a thousand trucks passing through this country going into Congo DR. It is proper and important that the ministry is taking strides to ensure that the railway network is improved to reduce the wear and tear on the roads. The tax that is being charged on the truckers is a welcome phenomenon that will reduce the load on the tarmacs. The hon. Minister of Transport and Communications is the Chairman of the Road Maintenance Initiative (RMI) which chairs eight ministries, including the Ministry of Works and Supply.

I am glad to hear that there is public-private partnership in ensuring that there is a dual carriageway from Kitwe up to Chingola. This working Government is supposed to be appreciated.

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

Mr Daka: Mr Chairperson, when we talk about universal access, the Communications Authority has some funds earmarked for the setting up of universal access. What has been happening is that telephone providers have set up masts at one point and passed that cost to the consumer. With universal access, we will reduce the economies of scale and the cost of making a phone call. What I am trying to say is that the ministry, through the Communications Authority, will ensure that in rural areas where Zain, ZAMTEL or MTN have not reached, they will avail access for all the providers to provide easy communication to our good voters in the rural areas.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Daka: You cannot run away from the Ministry of Communications and Transport because it is the bouche de camel. It is the center of the camel.


Mr Daka: When you look at the camel, the fat is lubricated from the horn and makes that camel move in the desert for many days without drinking water. Communications and Transport is the answer to our economic activities. We must appreciate the ministry for asking for private-public partnership in TAZARA. As a Government, we will ensure that the Chipata/Mchinji Railway Line does not end up in Chipata, but passes through Esasali Mine where there is phosphate and gold, into Serenje and connects to TAZARA.

The cheapest form of transport is the railway line. However, without the toll bridges, which this Government is establishing through PPPs, we will not get enough revenue to ensure that we trap the traffic that goes into the Congo DR.

 I am glad to hear that the ministry is doing everything possible to ensure that Nyangwe Airstrip in Lundazi and Nyampande Airstrip in Petauke are rehabilitated and even white wolves and ATRs can land in these areas.

You do realise that when we had the funeral of the late President, we were able take his body to each province because this Government has rehabilitated the airstrips.

Mr Nsanda: Buloshi mwalechita.

Mr Daka: This is the way a Government must work. I want to emphasise the point that Hon. Nsanda and Hon. Mushili must appreciate these efforts …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Daka: … because they are the major beneficiaries of the development that this Government has established.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mushili: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Daka:  In turn, I would also like to commend the ministry for ensuring that …

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.


Mr Mushili: Mr Chairperson, I remained quietly listening to this boring and provocative speech …

Hon. Members: Aah!

Mr Mushili: … by the hon. Minister of Lands who is trying to offer some defence mechanism.

The Deputy Chairperson: What is your point of order?

Mr Mushili: Is it in order for this debater to insinuate that the roads are in good condition and that we are benefiting from using the roads which are in a deplorable state and have reduced the lifespan of our assets?

The Deputy Chairperson: Well, since you have adequately debated your point of order, we will allow the hon. Minister to continue, taking that point of order into account.

Hon. Government Members: Long live the Chair!

Mr Daka: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for your guidance. I also thank my good friend who has raised that very important point of order because he has admitted that he uses those roads.

Sir, I am grateful to note that RTSA is doing everything possible to ensure that we reduce the carnage on our roads. The bus drivers and any other road user who break the law must be dealt with by the police and RTSA. I am glad that some money has been allocated to ensure that RTSA, in collaboration with the police, ensures that our roads are safe to travel on.

Mr Chairperson, where somebody has committed an offence, it is important for the road management and administration to bring that person to book. In the past, certain operators were suspended because of careless driving and fatalities that had happened on the roads.

Sir, this ministry needs a lot of support because it means well for this country. I implore all the hon. Members to ensure that even PPP is supported because I do not think that the tracks that pass through this country to other countries can be adequately captured without RTSA, the police and the other wings of the Government.

Mr Chairperson, we are experiencing wear and tear on these roads, but we must ensure that measures to protect our roads are put in place and it is through these agencies that we can achieve this. Therefore, we must support their efforts in totality.

Sir, with these few words, I would like to congratulate the hon. Minister on a very well articulated statement in conjunction with the Ministry of Finance and National Planning.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: I am looking for those who have not spoken in the last two or three days.

Ms Imbwae (Lukulu West): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the debate on this vote. From the outset, I would like to state that I rise to support the vote of this ministry. In doing so, I would like to acknowledge that whenever we have made a request to the hon. Minister, be it in his previous portfolio or the current one, he has always been able to explain the Government’s position with regard to our request …

Mr Imenda: Hear, hear!

Ms Imbwae: … and I would like, therefore, to place this on record.

Mr Chairperson, I am interested in the issues of transport in relation to waterways. Last year, on the Floor of this House, I indicated that like our colleagues in the Luapula Province, the livelihood of the people of the Western Province revolves around water bodies. That is why we do not talk about railway lines, which others benefit from.

Mr Magande: Mabenga, what is she talking about? Is there no railway line in Mulobezi?

 Mr Imbwae: Maybe in future a railway line will be built in the Western Province. However, we have inland waterways and I can see that …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Hon. Members should consult quietly.

The hon. Member may continue, please.

Mr Imbwae: I can see the hon. Minister’s intention to procure a dredger for the Western Province. Procurement of dredgers will not only enable the ministry to clean canals, but also assist us address the effects of climate change.  This is something I would like to repeat.

When I raised this issue last year, I wanted to urge the three line ministries to begin working together in dredging silted waterways so that they can retain more water and help us in adapting to climate change. Therefore, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for buying a dredger for the Western Province.

Sir, this dredger should not just be dumped at the provincial headquarters without people knowing what is going on. I would like to suggest to the ministry to begin canal cleaning from Lukulu and continue right down to the river. The cleaning of silt should be done in the whole of the Western Province. If the cleaning begins midway, silt would have gathered in the place of commencement by the time the dredger reaches the end point. It is, therefore, only logical to start from Lukulu.

Mr Chairperson, the hon. Minister has not mentioned where the new ZAMPOST boat is going although we know that our colleagues in Lake Bangweulu are getting a sixty-seater vessel. Let us hope that this boat is going to patrol the mighty Zambezi River. I am sure the hon. Minister remembers, and there are very few of us who do, the days of the Wenela, which used to ferry people and goods across the Zambezi River. This provided water transport for the people who were not able to walk the distances on the river banks or fly by plane.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Ms Imbwae: Those days, there used to be small planes that carried us as students to wherever we were going to school. I am, therefore, suggesting that the hon. Minister should consider looking at the issue of water transport very seriously in the Western Province.

Dr Machungwa: As well as Luapula!

Ms Imbwae: As well as Luapula Province and other places.

Mr Nsanda: Even Copperbelt because we have the Kafue River.

Ms Imbwae: For now, I am only emphasising on the Western Province because the Copperbelt is catered for. It has roads, but we do not even have roads in our province.


Ms Imbwae: Mr Chairperson, I would like to point out that the hon. Minister’s statement was clearly silent on the issue of ZAMTEL, which was brought out by the Chairperson of the Committee on Communications, Transport, Works and Supply. I think ZAMTEL has great challenges. Although we do not have the details, we would advise the Government to consider the plight of Zambians in the manner in which it is handling ZAMTEL.

Mr Nsanda: Hear, hear!

Ms Imbwae: This should be so because of the simple reason that we are all beneficiaries of this company. I also think that we have a sentimental attachment to ZAMTEL. We are all owners of this company since it is a public organisation.

Sir, people are still waiting for the availability of Zain Zambia Limited’s network coverage in certain parts of the country.  Maybe it will be made available one of these days since the hon. Minister is working on it. However, ZAMTEL is one of the mobile phone network providers that have infrastructure right across the country. I do not want to get into territories that I do not understand, but I am just saying that with the infrastructure that is spread across this country, can you help us so that we do not lose what we already have? Ensure that we benefit, as much as possible, from this infrastructure, including the advantage of having the optic fibre.

Mr Chairperson, I want to come back to the issue of water transport. I hope there are enough men and women who are trained to handle the dredging process. I also hope that the fuel is budgeted for systematically so that we know that should we stop at some point we will be able to continue objectively, predictably and in a way that can be monitored. Sometimes, funds get lost when we are not clear of what we are doing.


Ms Imbwae: Mr Chairperson, I can hear a man from Luapula trying to tell me that we can use the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). I think there is no objection to that, except that we want to know what the ministry’s funding and CDF will be, if we have to use it. The danger is to fall between the lines.

Dr Machungwa: On a point of order, Mr Chairperson.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Dr Machungwa: Mr Chairperson, I am enjoying the debate by Hon. Imbwae, who is debating so well, but is she really in order to suggest that CDF can be used for dredging when, in fact, in the budget, there is only K1 billion which is allocated for dredging. Since canals serve the similar purpose as roads, this allocation is minuscule compared to the money that goes into roads. Is she in order to suggest that CDF can do? In fact what she should suggest is that there should be more money allocated for dredging. Is she in order to debate in that manner?  I seek your serious ruling.

The Deputy Chairperson: I listened to her debate very carefully and heard her say, “Somebody from Luapula is saying we use CDF”. I think the person she was referring to was interjecting, hence what she mentioned.

Can you continue, please, hon. Member.

Ms Imbwae: I think if the hon. Member has something to say, he will be given an opportunity to do that.


Ms Imbwae: Mr Chairperson, I would like to move slightly to the issue of communication.  I appreciate the challenge that our resource envelope is facing at the moment. I also appreciate the importance of this ministry in making sure that the rest of the country is inter-connected. If we have one part of our country that is connected either to the next point within the country or outside, I think, hon. Minister, you still have challenges. Since you are the support line for the other ministries, we cannot do anything without you doing the ground work, including the E-learning the hon. Minister of Education was talking about. Even when the other hon. Ministers are talking about their portfolios, they sincerely and completely depend on a lot of preparations that you have to put in place for them to be viable in their operations.

Hon. Minister, please, do consider this. You should consider those areas that are not yet connected either to Zain, MTN or other mobile phone providers. It is important that the rest of the country is connected so that they too can benefit from the knowledge around the world, electronically and otherwise.

Mr Chairperson, with those few words, I thank you.

Mr Imenda (Lukulu East): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the debate on this vote. I would like to start by debating the issue of canals. The reason I want to dwell on the issue of canals is that in areas such as the Western, Luapula and Northern provinces, the canals are very important for development. In the Western Province, for instance, canals are not only for easy movement but also agriculture. We have what we call the winter maize which is cultivated between May and November. What normally happens is that, when the floods come and the canals are not dredged, all the fields get flooded easily. The allocation of K1 billion from K500 is actually an upswing, but we would have loved this amount to go a little higher so that this important area is attended to. In this vein, the areas that depend on canals could contribute handsomely towards agriculture and transport.

Sir, I would like to move on to the issue of railway transport. You will understand that our roads are getting damaged. There is a big increase in the number of motor vehicles in this country and because of the heavy traffic on the roads, we are failing to maintain them. Therefore, the only way we can avoid the damage to our roads is by concentrating on the railways. At the moment, the Railway Systems of Zambia (RSZ) is under performing. The Road Transport and Safety Agency’s allocation looks so insufficient that their supervision will be ineffective. So we would like a situation where our economy or transport system dwells much on railway lines.

Sir, we have heard about the Chipata/Mchinji Railway Line which will soon be completed. The Chipata/Mchinji Railway Line has been given K5 billion. There has been a reduction of about K5 billion. In 2009, the allocation was K10 billion and this year, it is K5 billion. I assume that this will be enough to complete the railway line this year. If it will, that will be fine.

The Chipata/Mchinji Railway line has been on the drawing board for many years. The earlier we do this, the better because we have to make sure that we actually relieve our roads by concentrating the railway lines. Actually, the connection of Chipata to TAZARA will actually reduce traffic on the Lusaka/Chipata Road which always needs rehabilitation.

Sir, I would like to comment on the Mulobezi Railway Line which has been allocated K800 million. We would like to see the Mulobezi Railway Line fully operational. At the moment, there is a lot of timber which is transported by road to Livingstone from Mulobezi via Sesheke and is causing a lot of damage to our roads. If the Mulobezi Railway Line was worked on to completion, the heavy loads would not have been carried on the Nakatindi Road. This road is supposed to be for vehicles. Unfortunately, currently, there is heavy traffic on the road.

Mr Chairperson, Mongu Airport, which has not been mentioned, is badly located. It is almost surrounded by houses to a point where if there was a mishap, many people would die. I would like to suggest that the airport shifts from where it is at the moment, to the proposed location at Simunowi so that there is room for expansion and safety. I would love to hear the hon. Minister comment on this issue because almost all provincial airports have been allocated some money in this year’s Budget.

Mr Chairperson, I would like conclude by commenting on roads in general. You will note that road traffic accidents in Zambia have been categorised as the third highest killer after malaria and HIV/AIDS. We must, therefore, ask ourselves what we are not doing for people to be dying in such large numbers on our roads. This factor must be addressed seriously.

Mr Chairperson, why is so much money allocated to HIV/AIDS and malaria programmes and nothing for road traffic accidents? We are so silent on this issue that the silence is deafening. Everyday there is an article in the newspaper or a story on radio or television about people dying in road traffic accidents and we are not responding to the situation on the ground.

Mr Chairperson, I would love a situation where, as a Government, we address these issues. There must be education for us on radio, television and newspapers so that our lives are saved. We would love a situation where lives are saved.

Mr Chairperson, with these few remarks, I thank you.

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Mr Chairperson, let me start by congratulating the people of Solwezi on their wise decision to vote with their heads and not their stomachs.
Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: Mr Chairperson, let me commiserate with my colleagues on your right. They used to be eighty-five, but the number is dwindling. Pretty soon, they will be less than is required to form Government.


Mr Lubinda: Mr Chairperson, the issue of transport and communication is critical. I would like to adopt the debate of my colleagues, Hon. Imenda and Hon. Imbwae, as my own. I would also like to agree, to a large extent, with the hon. Minister of Lands. I think that his passion for the improvement of communication facilities in Zambia is very clear and it needs support.

Mr Chairperson, I would also like to commend the hon. Minister for his policy statement. However, I hope that we will move quickly with decentralisation so that hon. Ministers in their policy statements, do not go into the details of telling us that he or she will build a small post office somewhere in the periphery of the country. This should not be expected in a policy statement of a ministerial speech here in Parliament. Building of a post office in Chilenje should be left to the district council not the whole Cabinet Minister coming to bore us here by telling us about how many post offices he will build. We would like the hon. Minister to concentrate on the policies of improving transport and communication in the country.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to focus my contribution on urban transport. Like Hon. Imenda said, transport is critical to the development of this country. Roads are there for the sake of improving efficiency. You will note, however, that for all intent and purposes, the roads in Lusaka reduce on efficiency. Our roads in Lusaka are heavily congested because of poor planning.

Mr Chairperson, a number of years ago, the people gathered in this same House decided to make bold decisions to try and improve urban transport. They came up with the Njanji Commuter. Unfortunately, in 1991, typical of the MMD, they abandoned it because they did not want to associate themselves with anything done by Dr Kaunda and his United National Independence Party (UNIP). Typical of the MMD regime, they always want to divorce themselves from things of the past. We have heard in this House people divorcing themselves from things that they associated with only last year. We have heard them divorcing themselves from agreements that they were signing only last year. Today, they are saying “I gave advice and my advice is confidential”.


Mr Lubinda: Typical of the MMD to always run away from responsibility. In 2006, before then, in 2002, it will be remembered that standing at this exact same spot, I raised the issue of the Njanji Commuter. Those who recall will remember that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning then said that K500million had been allocated in the budget to resuscitate the operations of the Mulungushi Commuter. The following year, when we asked what had happened to the K500million, the hon. Minister said that he was waiting for a no objection from the World Bank. No objection from the World Bank, my foot. The World Bank cannot give you a no objection for resuscitating a 14 kilometre rail track. We asked the World Bank and they told us that they had no interest in such things.

In 2006, Hon. Sinyangwe raised a very important motion on Green Horn …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

(Debate adjourned)




(Progress reported)


The House adjourned at 1257 hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday, 24th November, 2009.