Debates- Thursday, 12th November, 2009

Printer Friendly and PDF


Thursday, 12th November, 2009

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






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

(a) how much money was kept in foreign reserves from January, 2006 to June, 2009, year by year;

(b) whether the reserve levels had been decreasing and, if so, what the reasons for the decrease were; and

(c) where the reserves were kept.

The Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning (Ms C. M. Kapwepwe): Mr Speaker, the amount of foreign exchange reserves held by the country over the period January, 2006 to June, 2009 was as follows:

(i) US$706.35 million as at end of December, 2006;
(ii) US$1,080.18 million as at end of December, 2007;

(iii) US$1,084.99 million as at end of December, 2008; and

(iv) US$1,146.17 million as at end of June, 2009.

As regards part (b) of the question, foreign reserves increased between 2006 and 2009. The reasons for this increase can be attributed to the following:

(i) foreign exchange purchases from the market;

(ii) purchase of tax revenue earnings from the mines;

(iii) portfolio investment in Government securities;

(iv)  disbursement of budget support by co-operating partners; and

(v)  project inflows.

With regard to part (c) of the question, the foreign reserves are kept in various investment portfolios at the Bank for International Settlement (BIS) in Switzerland.

I thank you, Sir.



184. Mr D. Mwila (on behalf of Mr Mwango) (Kanchibiya) asked the Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development when a department to run sports for persons with disabilities would be established.

The Deputy Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development (Ms Cifire): Mr Speaker, my ministry, through the Department of Sports Development, promotes the development of all sports disciplines and for all people regardless of gender, religion, social status, physical or intellectual ability. The creation of another department to run the affairs of people with disabilities will create conflict, as people with other special needs will also demand to have departments of their own. Therefore, the ministry will not establish another department to run sports for persons with disabilities.

As already outlined, the Department of Sports Development is already managing the affairs of the disabled through the National Paralympics Committee of Zambia.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, what is expected in 2010 with the involvement of the people with disabilities in sports?

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, 2010 will not be a special year or change anything because we have had differently-abled people taking part in the All Africa Games or Olympics because we have the National Paralympics Committee taking care of them.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, what plans have been effected to ensure that people with disabilities participate in the 2012 Paralympics which will take place in  the Olympic Park in London,?

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, I have already informed the House that we have taken part in the All Africa Games as well as the Olympics. Taking part in these games is subject to joining by way of competition. As the National Paralympics Committee is already in place, they ensure that all the differently-abled people take part in these sports. If they qualify, then they are able to take part in the games. Since we have already been able to do this, should they qualify, they should be able to take part in the 2012 Olympics.

I thank you, Sir.


185. Major Chibamba (Shiwang’andu) asked the Minister of Works and Supply when the construction of the bridge at Safwa on the Chambeshi River on D56 Road in Shiwang’andu Parliamentary Constituency would commence.

The Deputy Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Ndalamei): Mr Speaker, the ministry, through the Road Development Agency (RDA), has plans to replace all existing pontoons with bridges. The construction of the Safwa Bridge across the Chambeshi River will only be considered upon completion of the on-going construction of the other bridges due to lack of funds.

The preliminary design of the construction of Samfya Bridge was carried out in the late 1990s.

I thank you, Sir.

Major Chibamba: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that yearly, from January to June, that place remains closed to traffic, thereby inconveniencing the travelling public and forcing them to go through Mpika which is a distance of 500 km?

The Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Mulongoti): Mr Speaker, by providing a pontoon, we were making an intervention which we thought would help the community. The difficulties that the hon. Member has highlighted could be due to the water level being lower than the level where the pontoon can operate. However, we will look into that.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr L. J. Mulenga (Kwacha): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out the level of interface between RDA and the Ministry of Works and Supply with regard to project implementation.

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, RDA is an institution under the Ministry of Works and Supply. It is the responsibility of RDA to contract road works. The only time we get involved is when there is an issue that needs our attention. Other than that, RDA has the mandate that is clearly spelt out in the law.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Speaker, I would like to know if there is a programme drawn up by the Ministry of Works and Supply to replace pontoons with bridges so that eventually, we can do away with them or remain with a few and have bridges which will be more convenient for people.

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, in our ministry, there is an institution called Engineering Services Corporation of Zambia Limited (ESCO). The responsibility of ESCO is to service pontoons and make recommendations on where we can replace pontoons with bridges. However, the hon. Members do realise that to construct a bridge is not a cheap undertaking. As and when money is made available and, on recommendation, the pontoons will be replaced.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


186 Mr Chisala (Chilubi) (on behalf of Mr Malama) (Mfuwe) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives when the storage sheds in Mfuwe Parliamentary Constituency would be rehabilitated.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Kalenga): Mr Speaker, the Government is committed to the rehabilitation of storage sheds in Mfuwe. As soon as funds are made available, the rehabilitation works will commence.  However, commercial demand for this shed is limited.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chisala: I would like to find out whether the Government intends to sell the storage sheds because they are not utilised.

The Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Dr Chituwo): Mr Speaker, the Government has no intentions of selling the storage sheds. If anything, our plans are to rehabilitate them. Those that are at the slab level will be converted to a better status where grain can be stored for longer periods. With time and public/private participation, we are sure that they can be used either for commercial purposes or in times of need such as when there are disasters.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.




Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the First Report of the Committee on Estimates for the Fourth Session of the Tenth National Assembly laid on the Table of the House on 4th November, 2009.

Mr Speaker: Is the motion seconded?

Mr L. J. Mulenga (Kwacha): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the motion.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, from the outset, let me explain that the scope of work undertaken by your Committee during the year under review encompassed two main issues. Firstly, they reviewed the budgetary performance of the Ministry of Local Government and Housing.

Secondly, your Committee considered the measures that have been taken to broaden the tax base and enhance the contribution of non-tax revenue to national income.

Sir, your Committee also considered the Action-Taken Report on the previous Committee’s Report and undertook local tours of selected revenue collection centres and two local authorities.

Sir, allow me now to highlight some of the pertinent issues encountered by your Committee during their deliberations.

With regard to their study on tax and non-tax revenue, your Committee noted that in the Zambian budgetary process as well as in various Government operations, there is an over concentration on the expenditure side of the budget. As a result, the revenue side tends to be neglected. While appreciating the need to focus on the prioritisation of expenditure programmes, your Committee are of the view that there is an urgent need to change this mindset among all concerned so that revenue generation and related programmes receive adequate attention. This is particularly important in the light of the fact that Zambia’s over reliance on the unpredictable donor financing of the budget is increasingly proving to be unsustainable and the continued high levels of Government borrowing are economically untenable.

Sir, it is also envisaged that broadening the tax base would contribute to the country’s revenue and create space for lowering taxes while still collecting the same level of resources.

Sir, in the quest to create an enabling environment to attract foreign direct investment, the Government has lost access to significant tax revenue sources through the granting of generous tax incentives, concessions, rebates, breaks and holidays. This has contributed to eroding the tax base even further.

Mr Speaker, one effective way of broadening the tax base is through the Value Added Tax (VAT). Therefore, your Committee recommend that a number of items which are currently exempt or zero rated under the VAT regime be considered for inclusion in the base. These could include certain food and agricultural products (excluding maize meal and other basic unprocessed foods), packaged tours, banking services, import cargo handling services, stock broking services, insurance services and electronic media advertisements, among others.

Considering that internet shopping is slowly becoming a trading point, the Government can also find ways of taxing this service and the activities around it.

Your Committee also noted the argument by some stakeholders that the tax system failed adequately tax landowners, foreign corporations and other wealthy individuals. In this regard, your Committee noted that a number of stakeholders pointed to possible tax avoidance through transfer pricing. This is true, especially among large foreign corporations.

In the same vein, your Committee observe that there is a need to increase the Government’s off-take from the gemstone mining sub-sector in terms of taxation. They insist that this is an achievable objective. While it is true that, currently, most gemstone miners operate in an informal manner, your Committee stress that this need not continue to be the case as it is a fairly well organised industry and one through which the Government’s revenue yield can be significantly increased.

In this regard, your Committee called for close collaboration between the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development, which is the licensing authority for this sub-sector, and other stakeholders to generate and maintain an up-to-date and accurate database on the operators in the sector as well as their production levels and values for tax purposes. They note that gemstone mining operations are licensed by the Government to exploit minerals in specific geological areas which are known to the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development and can easily be located through the use of geological maps. Therefore, there should be no excuse of failure to locate the gemstone miners for purposes of taxation.

Sir, further, the Government must work towards ensuring that appropriate taxes are collected from rental income through withholding tax. This tax has acquired added significance following the Government’s policy on home ownership and sale of houses through which many urban residents have become real estate owners and have since rented out their properties.

Mr Speaker, your Committee also emphasise that it is incumbent upon the Government to design policies aimed at imposing taxes on the informal sector in order to equitably distribute the tax burden and implement them with the requisite political will and resolve. This is the only way the Government’s revenue targets can be attained. While appreciating the efforts made in respect of advance income tax, turnover tax and presumptive tax, your Committee maintain that these efforts are inadequate and they look forward to more initiatives in this regard.

Sir, in line with the foregoing, your Committee note that for ZRA to operate efficiently, and continue to exceed its collection targets, as it has consistently done in the past, it needs to have adequate operational funding. In this regard, they call upon the Government to seriously consider the proposal made by the authority to be allowed to retain 2.5 per cent of its collections to meet its operational costs adequately and expeditiously.

Mr Speaker, arising from the local tours of your Committee, I wish to draw the attention of the House to two pertinent issues. These are: the urgent issue of the need for a bridge at the Kazungula Border …

Mr Muntanga: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: … and the desperate situation at the Kipushi Border Post. There is a serious problem at Kazungula because the pontoons across the river are old and often breakdown, resulting in inordinate delays in clearing trucks. This has led to congestion at this border.

Sir, at Kipushi, your Committee noted that, not only is the infrastructure derelict, but the station also has no water supply, forcing officers to buy the commodity in 20-litre containers. Can you imagine!

Mr Muntanga: Hear, hear!

Mr Masebo: Further, the border is open and very porous. Your Committee implore the Government to quickly construct habitable buildings and fence off the border in order to curb illegal entry and tap into the revenue potential of this area.

Your Committee also wish to urge the Government to collaborate closely with their counterparts on the Congolese side through joint-border operations.

Mr Speaker, with regard to the revision of the budgetary performance of the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, your Committee recognise the fact that the local government system is a crucial sphere of the national governance structure, one which impacts directly on the life of every citizen through the provision of critical services from the cradle to the grave.

While the Central Government covers a wide range of national policy issues in the civil sphere through guidance, regulation and control, in the social sphere, service provision is left mainly, among other agencies, to the local government system. In other words, the local government system is an integral part of the Zambian governance structure.

Sir, in the light of the foregoing, your Committee are concerned about the apparent collapse of the fiscal environment in which the Zambian local government system operates.

Your Committee further realise that a vibrant local government system is critical to the success of the poverty reduction efforts that the country is engaged in. They observe that without good financial profiles, local authorities cannot perform all the functions required and expected of them and, therefore, the country’s efforts at poverty reduction will not achieve the intended objectives.

Your Committee note that one positive measure taken by the Government in this direction is the proposed inter-governmental fiscal architecture which is being developed by the Ministry of Finance and National Planning.

Sir, your Committee found some of the major constraints facing the local government sector which I shall now look at.

There is a need for improved planning and adherence to laid-down plans if such plans are to achieve their objectives. It is only if plans are adhered to that diversion of funds to other non-emergency programmes can be averted. There is also a need to accelerate the development and implementation of the inter-governmental fiscal architecture envisaged by the Ministry of Finance and National Planning.

In this regard, it is necessary that the principles, functions and funding for the local government system are fully entrenched in the Zambian governance system. Without this, the local government system will remain unsustainable and even vulnerable to political machinations. Your Committee also strongly condemn the incessant delays in the approval of local authorities’ budgets by the Ministry of Local Government and Housing and insist that consideration and approval of budgets for local authorities should be done within the first quarter of each financial year at the latest.

In a nutshell, your Committee call upon the Ministry of Local Government and Housing to exercise its supervisory jurisdiction over the local authorities carefully and in full consultation with the local authorities. This will avert the imminent financial collapse of the local government system caused by the imposition of the ministerial directives without due consideration of the actual situation prevailing in the local authorities.

In the same vein, your Committee implore the Government to thoroughly evaluate the impact that intended policy changes are likely to have on the operations of local authorities and to take measures to mitigate such impact.

Your Committee insist that the local government system is an integral part of the Zambian Government and should be seen and treated as such by all.

Mr Speaker, your Committee’s report contains detailed recommendations relating to how these very serious constraints can be handled. I strongly urge the Government to carefully study your Committee’s report and address the concerns raised therein, for the benefit of this great country.

Mr Speaker, let me take this opportunity to thank you for your guidance throughout the session. I also wish to thank the Clerk of the National Assembly for the administrative support and advice rendered to your Committee during their deliberations.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

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

Mr L. J. Mulenga: Mr Speaker, now.

Mr Speaker, allow me to briefly highlight a few issues that your Committee encountered during the period under review.

Mr Speaker, it is common sense that unless there is revenue at hand, you cannot be able to expected to do anything. Many of the challenges and issues that have been raised in this House, I think, have been expenditure oriented. We have not had sufficient time to talk about the revenue collection base. Your Committee took considerable time to find out why we are lacking in terms of the revenue collection base.

Mr Speaker, there is a very huge complaint of non-tax revenue that does not significantly contribute to the national income. Budgetary allocations and actual authorisation of collections is inconsistent for various reasons, which I will discuss. There is a huge scope from which we can raise sufficient revenue if, for instance, we took into account the visa collections at the border post and the land registration fees.

This country is endowed with a lot of land whose database remains questionable. If the Executive can quantify how much land we have in this nation, that can help us significantly increase that non-tax revenue. I implore the Government to take what I have said very seriously because as hon. Members of Parliament, we are tired of the Government saying, “when funds are made available.” We are telling you where the funds are.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr L. J. Mulenga: Mr Speaker, where these funds are collected, especially the non-tax revenues, the infrastructure, as earlier alluded to by the mover of this motion, leaves much to be desired. Much as we would like to collect funds, we need to put in place infrastructure that is consistent with the levels of the funds we want to collect. At the moment, it is very shameful that in certain areas where non-tax revenue is being collected, we do not even have safes to keep money.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr L. J. Mulenga: Mr Speaker, how serious are we to collect the much needed revenue for this nation when we cannot provide safes to keep the money? What logical sense does it make that we collect this money and it is just left at the mercy of the officers? This is a serious issue that the Executive must seriously address. We need that money and it must be accurately and correctly accounted for.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr L. J. Mulenga: As though that were not enough, when these monies are collected, they are not banked on time as per Financial Regulations Act. At times, you will find these monies kept at an office for three months or four years. I will give you an example of a Danish International Development Agency (DINIDA) funded border where somebody kept about £30 for three years without it being banked. The reason was that there was no pound account in which to deposit it. Surely, the Ministry of Finance and National Planning has means and ways to facilitate the banking of such funds. The ministry can facilitate the process without any problems.

Sir, it is common knowledge that our officers who are manning these stations are very susceptible to corruption. These are linkages that we noted during your Committee’s work and tours. For instance, in Shang’ombo, there is one person manning a border area. If this person starts touring the border area to try and see what is happening around it, there is absolutely no one at the station apart from police officers. Now, if somebody comes in, who do they give the money to? This is very serious and has to be addressed because what that means then is that the money is left to anyone found at the border to account for. Chances of corruption are very high. You cannot have the same person as master and servant at the same time. We need to separate duties.

Mr Speaker, let me also talk about the major constraints to efforts of broadening the tax base. I think we have spoken very clearly in this House on these issues. How do we want to broaden the tax base?

Mr Speaker: Order!

The seconder will stick to the notes to avoid repetition. Would you please refer to your notes so that you do not repeat yourself?

Mr L. J. Mulenga: Mr Speaker, the high levels of unemployment in this nation have contributed to the growth of the informal sector. These are the unregistered businesses that are not able to pay any tax.

I would like to implore the Executive to look into this issue and see how they can make all these people contribute to national revenue. After all, they are the ones who actually benefit even from the services arising from what the Government provides.

Mr Speaker, our economy is vulnerable to a lot of external factors in the sense that we are not able to contain our revenue base. For instance, we were not spared by the global financial crunch that hit the world. If, as a country, we are not able to raise sufficient funds, then we are not able to contain all these issues. We, therefore, implore the Government to bring in as many Zambians as possible to contribute to the operations of this nation.

Mr Speaker, owing to the limited budget resources, most revenue collection programmes are not funded adequately. In some cases, it is worrying to note that although the Treasury provides funding to revenue collecting institutions, revenue-generating programmes are not given priority. I can give an example of Chipata were the appropriation in aid sent to the province is about K5 million, and yet the collection agent ends up with K200,000. They do not even have petty cash to go and bank the finances.  These are some of our biggest concerns which the Executive must look into. We do not want money to end up at the provincial headquarters. We would like money to go where revenue is being collected.

Mr Speaker, to increase our revenue base, we ought to look at infrastructure such as roads. Road infrastructure is very critical to how we can increase our revenue base. If the roads are in good condition, movement of vehicles and persons will be enhanced. Therefore, we would have a high rate of revenue collection. 

Sir, the local authorities, which are part of the Government system, leave much to be desired vis-à-vis revenue versus expenditure. People in our communities want services provided and the local authorities have a problem in providing such services because their revenue collection is inadequate. We have situations where even the crop levy, which the councils depended on, was scrapped without consultation. How are they going to survive? How are they going to get the support of the people to ensure that they also contribute to the operations of the council?

Mr Speaker, the Government - let me not say the Government because I am also part of the Government.


Mr L. J. Mulenga: The Executive must ensure that before such decisions are made, there is consultation so that at the end of the day, we do not have a gap.

Mr Speaker, when local authorities make their budgets, arising from the guidelines from the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, they are never incorporated into the National Budget. They do not even know what sort of grants they will receive. They have no clue. This makes local government porous in the sense that they have to depend on guessing. I would like to urge the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to revise this. Do we want the local authorities to provide the budget indication and for what purpose? What do we want them for?

Mr Speaker, it is important that the local government system is incorporated into the central governance so that, at the end of the day, our people get the services that this nation has to provide.

Mr Speaker, I would like to say that your Committee appreciate your work and that of everybody in the Office of the Clerk and their contribution to the Committee. I just hope that the Executive has listened attentively.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr L. J. Mulenga: This is non-political. This is the way forward for this nation.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr L. J. Mulenga: If you decide not to listen, it is entirely up to you. You are the Executive and the people of Zambia are looking up to you. You will be accountable to the Zambian people.

Mr Speaker, with those few remarks, I thank you.

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, I thank you for affording me the opportunity to raise one specific issue in view of the fact that I am a member of the Estimates Committee. I think that in supporting this particular report, this issue is very important.

Mr Speaker, during our tour of Kitwe, we noticed that three beautiful markets, the size of Manda Hill, have been constructed. We are worried that these foreign-funded markets have not been put to any use. As the Executive come to the Floor to discuss this particular report, I think that the people of Kitwe and, indeed, the people of Zambia would like to know why such extensive investments were made in a town such as Kitwe. The official launch and use of these markets has not been done because the Executive is not able to provide leadership to the council so that they can be opened. The excuse we were given is that they are waiting for the President to open those markets, and only then will they begin allocating the stalls.

Mr Speaker, I am very uncomfortable that such an investment should be left to waste for a period of one year. Through you, Sir, I would like to make an appeal to the Executive to explain why those markets should not be put to good use just because we are waiting for the President to open them when, in fact, the Zambian people are desperate for stalls and places to run their business. I think that we should not waste resources, whether from donors or not. Those markets should not be left standing and unattended to and simply have the police guarding them. Zambia needs to advance. The Executive should explain to us why this is happening.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Imenda (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to debate. From the outset, I wish to support the report presented by Hon. Masebo.

Mr Speaker, my major concern is how, as Parliament, we dwell on the expenditure side of the budget. We spend months in this House discussing how we are going to share the little resources when, in fact, the beginning of the journey is with revenue generation. We are talking about revenue coming from 400,000 workers. This has been going on for many years with no improvement in sight.

Additionally, we get minimal support from corporate tax because of the very limited companies which are dwindling.

Sir, coming back to the issue which was ably elaborated by Hon. Masebo regarding non-tax revenue in relation to borders, I would like to start with Kazungula because this is one of the biggest revenue earners for his country, and yet you will be surprised to learn that there are no banking facilities at this very important border post. People have to travel from Kazungula to do their banking in Livingstone. The amounts we are talking about are colossal and cannot be mentioned here. Otherwise, we will be endangering the lives of the people working there.

Mr Speaker, you will also notice that there is too much congestion at Kazungula. When you go to Kazungula, you find hundreds of vehicles queuing to cross the border across the Zambezi River. This means that a lot of uncollected money is hanging around. Meanwhile, we spend all our time here arguing over very limited resources. Therefore, if the construction of the Kazungula Bridge could be done quickly, it will be possible for us to quickly earn a lot of revenue which is currently lying around uncollected.

Mr Speaker, if you saw the Kazungula office which is bringing so much money to the country, you would be very surprised in the sense that we are expecting to receive money, but at the same time, we are not respecting the nest which is bringing in this money for us.

 Sir, the other issue relates to security at the Kazungula Border Post. The security at this border post is inadequate. We definitely have to streamline the security at Kazungula. The other border post which needs attention is Chirundu where we have a one–stop border post. The infrastructure has been up but, to date, we have not opened this facility to speed up our operations. The issue is that there are a lot of other things to attend to between the ministries of Works and Supply and Finance and National Planning, to ensure that the revenue collected from there correlates with the infrastructure and the money coming from the border post.

Sir, in the Eastern Province, we also have the Mwami Border Post, which is free for all.  When you go to Mwami, you will notice that there is what they call Zalewa One, Zalewa Two, Zalewa Three and Zalewa Four. Zalewa One is the official entry point where people can go and pay. Zalewa Two is for people buying things from Malawi on bicycles, entering Zambia and can walk in free. Zalewa Three is for small cars which can drive in and out as they wish while Zalewa Four is for big trucks that can drive in and out without anyone stopping them. That is the money this country is losing everyday.

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Imenda: We are here quarrelling over small funds when the money is lying there without any of us getting concerned about how much money we are supposed to collect from all those movements.

Mr Speaker, the Nakonde Border Post is very porous. It is just as porous as the Mwami Border Post. We would like to see and hear what arrangements have been made to ensure that we, as a country, or the ministries of Finance and National Planning, Works and Supply and Home Affairs make these border posts impermeable.

Sir, Kipushi, as has been elaborated by Hon. Masebo, is a border post which is like an open market. The Congolese will come in and go out at will. The police station there is like a village house. You can see frustration in the faces of the police, ZRA and immigration officers there. Therefore, like someone has already hinted, it is so easy for anyone to corrupt any of these officers because they are not happy to be where they are. Why should we continue to lose huge amounts of money that are supposed to be part and parcel of this revenue collection by just leaving the situation the way it is?

While at Kipushi, we learnt that between Kipushi and the Kasumbalesa Border Post, there is another border post called Limata.


Mr Imenda: That border post is manned from the Congolese side and there is not even a single person on the Zambian side. Therefore, vehicles and people are moving in freely. We would like to find out from the Executive why things are like this.

Mr Speaker, the other issue is in relation to matters of non-tax revenue. There was a task which we gave ourselves where we felt that councils must not, in perpetuity, depend on the Ministry of Finance and National Planning for funding. Livingstone and Kitwe were taken as two examples of why councils are continuously depending on the Ministry of Finance and National Planning.

Mr Speaker, the Livingstone Town Clerk was very clear when he said they have enough money and that they can make a lot of revenue as a council without necessarily depending on the Ministry of Finance and National Planning. The Town Clerk for Livingstone said that all they wanted was a little assistance from the Ministry of Finance and National Planning to merely pay off some of the arrears to some of the workers who had been laid off some time back. Otherwise, in terms of revenue, they are able to meet all their obligations. Therefore, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning why they are not coming to their rescue by just clearing all those arrears so that they can be independent financially and remove the load from the ministry so that the money which is going to Livingstone, on an annual basis, can be taken to other ministries or areas of need.

Sir, the same claim comes from the Kitwe City Council. This council claims that it generates enough income, but the bulk of their money goes towards paying off the arrears or some of the obligations that have been pending for many years. Maybe, these could be just a few councils that could be in a position to meet their obligations. Therefore, if a critical analysis could be made by the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, we may find a situation where many other councils would be in a position to pay for all their needs.

Mr Speaker, to end my contribution, I wish to urge this Government that income generation must be a very important activity that this Parliament must dwell on every time we are discussing the budget. We spend more time talking about expenditures than income generation which comes from very small activities by only 400,000 workers who pay tax and the corporate tax that comes from a few companies which is also very small.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Dr Musokotwane): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to make a few comments on the report that has been provided.

To start with, I wish to thank the Members of your Committee for their analysis and the recommendations that they made. I also want to thank the hon. Members who have made contributions on this report.

Sir, I want to make a few comments on some of the issues that have been raised, starting with the issue of broadening the tax base. I wish to thank the hon. Members for the various suggestions they have made with regard to how we can apply more efforts in tax collection in this country. It is clear that over the years, the efforts have been somewhat declining and we need to do something about it. Therefore, the recommendations that were made should be helpful.

However, Mr Speaker, I wish to repeat the point that I made yesterday. This efficiency that we are talking about can yield maybe an extra 3 or 4 per cent in terms of extra revenue. Nevertheless, Zambia is a very big country and we need roads running all the way from Livingstone to the Copperbelt all the way to the northern, eastern and western parts of Zambia. This infrastructure is extremely expensive. Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is that the economic contributors to the tax revenue are very few. We can talk about increasing the tax base or tax revenue only to the extent that there are viable economic entities in the country that are paying taxes. At the moment, this is not so. If you went to small towns such as Katete, and counted the number of viable tax payers, there would be very few. If you went to Pemba and looked for tax payers, there would be very few, if any. If you went to Serenje and asked for taxpayers, they would be very few.

Mr Speaker, what we see in other countries is that even in small towns such as the ones I have mentioned, you would find that there are about five, ten, fifteen or even twenty viable taxpayers.

Sir, I recall when I was a student in Germany, I discovered that the Mercedes Benz vehicles that we see on the roads are manufactured in a small town called Sindelfingen. It is a very small town. If you went there, you would not even know that all these cars come from that place. This is what we need to encourage in this country so that every town becomes a viable taxpayer.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: At the moment, most of the towns, hearing what the hon. Members are saying, are saying, “We want the money for this and that.” Let us get back to the question that was raised earlier when we said we are not spending a lot of time talking about revenue generation. Do we ever ask ourselves how many taxpayers we have in our constituencies or in our town? We do not. The ultimate answer to this is to encourage investments. Unfortunately, most of the hon. Members here, especially those from the Opposition, the moment you talk about investment, are up in arms.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Kambwili: Question!


Dr Musokotwane: They say, “Oh! It is the Chinese. Oh! It is the Indians.”


Dr Musokotwane: How do you honestly believe that we are going to solve this problem that we are talking about? This can only happen if we encourage investment in the country.

Let me conclude this topic, Mr Speaker, by urging my hon. Colleagues that each time there is an investment that is coming to this country, we work together and promote it. If we do not do that, we are delaying jobs, tax revenues and development.

On the issue of border infrastructure, Sir, here, again, I agree that we need to do a lot more. However, the good news is that we are moving very swiftly through the public-private partnership (PPP) arrangements. The Kasumbalesa Border Post has already been given out to a PPP and it is going to be modern with all the facilities that hon. Members have been referring to such as banking, shopping malls, modern offices, restaurants and hotels. In the next few weeks, you will see adverts for other border areas such as Mwami, Nakonde, Kazungula and many others.

Mr Speaker, with more border posts, we will be able to make more progress because the private sector will invest in many of these viable border areas and the Government money now will be available for us to focus on those border areas which, today, may not be of much interest to people in the private sector.

On fiscal decentralisation and local government financing in general, I wish to say that the financial institution in the council is a reflection of the financial situation in the country at large. Yes, we are doing fiscal decentralisation and are very committed to it. However, as long as the revenue base of the country remains as unsatisfactory as it is at the moment, it means that we can have fiscal decentralisation. Nevertheless, the amount of money that can actually be transferred to the local councils will not be adequate to deal with the kind of problems that we have at the moment. Therefore, it is good for capacity building, but I repeat that the ultimate solution that will see us having more money, that is, the kind of money that we are looking for, is one of building the capacity to pay taxes in the country which is enterprise establishment.

Sir, I also want to note that there are certain areas that local councils, today, are free to undertake in order to generate a little more revenue for themselves. One example of this is the collection of rates on property.

A few years ago, when I was Secretary to the Treasury, we gave the Ministry of Local Government and Housing money to empower councils to evaluate properties. Unfortunately, although the money was expended, the councils have not done much. We are now actively making progress so that, maybe, the valuation should not be on the basis of individual properties because that is very cumbersome and time consuming. Maybe, we should just agree on fixed acceptable rates for houses for particular areas. On that basis, there should be no need for too much effort moving from one house to the other to evaluate. We hope that with this modification, councils such as Lusaka and the other bigger ones will be able to collect sufficient revenues.

In ending, I wish, once again, to thank the hon. Members who have presented this report as well as those who have contributed to the debate.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, in winding up debate, I just want to thank all the hon. Members who have contributed to the debate and the hon. Minister for the response.

I thank you, Sir.

Question put and agreed to.



[THE CHAIRPERSON in the Chair]

(Consideration resumed)

VOTE 26/01 – (Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services – Headquarters – K31,717,087749).

Mr Muyanda (Sinazongwe): Madam Chairperson, when the House adjourned yesterday, I was winding up my contribution to the debate.

Madam Chairperson, I fully support the funding of this ministry and finally, I would like to demand two things, which the Government ought to take into account, as they expend public funds.

Madam Chairperson, for this bad Government to become a good one, it has to start implementing fair public broadcasting coverage of all political parties.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: The presidents of other political parties would also like to be seen and heard. They would also like their manifestos heard and so, please, do not suppress them. The Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation does not belong to one person and so I would like to say that we are tired of seeing the same faces time and again.


Mr Muyanda: Madam Chairperson, on suppression of news, you will remember the time the Republican President Banda apologised to the nation on the shortage of diesel, but here, in the House, the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development continued saying that the trucks and tankers were rolling in. What justification did the hon. Minister have in his mind for keeping on misleading the House? I would like this culture to come to an end. Do not suppress news, but tell the truth so that the people of Zambia face the reality that this Government is, indeed, a failing one.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Education (Ms Siliya): Madam Chairperson, I beg your indulgence in my preamble to say that we come to Parliament to do a very serious job and one of the roles that we are supposed to play as parliamentarians is to disseminate to the public information that we determine to be in the public interest.

Madam Chairperson, it is for this reason that various individuals from the corporate world, civil society and ordinary citizens lobby us, as parliamentarians, to bring issues to this House because they think that this information must be disseminated in the public interest. It is for this reason that we must all condemn individuals who want to use the sanctity of the Parliament grounds and building to disseminate information which might be of interest to the public but not of public interest.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: We must all condemn individuals who want to tarnish the image of other individuals in this House, even if it is information that is of interest to the public but which is not in the public interest. This must not derail us in the important work that we have come to do here at Parliament.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: In that regard, I wish to refer to the sentiments that were expressed yesterday by the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services and wish to congratulate his ministry on the effort they are making to enhance the performance of the shortwave radio, particularly in the rural areas and especially at night. We appreciate the important role that the radios play vis-à-vis dissemination of information in our communities. However, much more so, today, with technological development, the media industry has a lot of opportunities for new skills training, new job creation and wealth creation and so it is satisfying to note the improved budgetary allocation to improve the shortwave radio.

Madam Chairperson, we all know that one of the legacies of the MMD Government is the hope it has provided for making it possible for community radios to open. Today, community radios have truly revolutionalised the way business is conducted at the community level. Today, community radios have ensured that local issues are not ignored at the national level, and that they are heard and discussed and possible solutions found at the local level.

Madam Chairperson, the university used to carryout a Master’s programme called the “Media and Development”. That is because the university, as the cornerstone for the illumination of society, understands that all forms of media have a critical role to play in development. We do not have to go far to look for examples. In Singapore, President Li Kwan Myun marshalled the media to push the national agenda of development forward and at the centre of that transformation was education. He worked with the media and the media working with opinion leaders in Government, to push the national agenda in national interest.

Madam Chairperson, as Zambians, we have also agreed on a national vision that we must transform our country by 2030. As I have said many times, this is not going to happen by magic, but we opinion leaders in Government, Parliament and everywhere else have to work with the media to push this national agenda. It is not just about skills, investment, but it is about everything that we as a people and as Zambians. It is about us having values of hard work, tolerance, Christianity and being democratic. The values that we must all commit to personal and national agendas and it is only then that we will continue to inspire hope, especially in the young people; those of us who are below 40 years in this country because we are the ones that are looking to be there in the 2030 vision.

Madam Chairperson, the media and journalists do not operate in a vacuum; they are not out there and we are all here. The journalists and media practitioners are part of our society and it is for this reason that in some countries, people even argue that the journalists should be some if not the most educated people in society because they have to analyse and interpret issues for many of us.  In society, there are many educated people and so the media cannot talk down to society.

This is why, Madam Chairperson, the call for standards, professionalism and code of ethics in the media is very important. As a lead ministry, the Ministry of Education will work together with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services to address these issues. Just today, I heard on Sky news that by 2016, the United Kingdom will not employ any nurse with a diploma but degree qualification. This is because they appreciate that the world is changing and there are new challenges. Therefore, we all professionals need to improve their skills and the media is no exception.

Madam Chairperson, I want to emphasise that journalists do not operate in a vacuum. In fact, if we keep talking about all the bad things we see in the media, we should probably take a moment and think that it is actually maybe a reflection of our own society. As Zambians with an African culture, we all know how people should behave whether adults or children. If, in a home, an adult is always inciting children to fight, that adult will be considered as one who lacks wisdom.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Madam Chairperson, if, every time a neighbour’s child plays with your child, insulting words are used, as a mother, you will tell that child not to play with your child any more. This is because you do not want your child to learn bad language.

Hon. Opposition Members: How many children do you have?

Ms Siliya: Madam Chairperson, it is in the same light that we appreciate that journalists do not operate in a vacuum because they come from homes. So we have to completely re-look at the issue of family values. If somebody comes from a decent family, it does not matter what profession they are in, he/she will be a decent person out there.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: If somebody comes from a bad family where bad behaviour is tolerated and a child is allowed to use bad language, that is what he/she will know regardless of the profession he/she is in.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: I believe that the media, today, is a reflection of the kind of society we have, where family values have broken down. I think all of us, the church, Government, media and civil society must all take a moment to reflect and find an agenda that we should be happy to collaborate with the media to disseminate information because it is a positive agenda that will help us to continue to inspire hope, especially in the young people of Zambia.

Madam Chairperson, with those words, I support the budget for the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe (Matero): Thank you very much, Madam Chairperson, for giving me this opportunity to debate this vote. I would like to commend the hon. Minister of Education for a very good debate. Some of us could have been in this House for three years only, but have had a long experience in the media world.


Ms Sinyangwe: Leadership is about being principled and consistent in what we say. We do not say one thing today and, tomorrow, we turn round and say something else.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services is an important ministry because it informs, educates and entertains. If it has to carry out its role, it should do so with integrity. The media should inform the nation in every corner of Zambia. What they write about or what they say on radio or television must be some information that is true and builds the nation.

Madam Chairperson, when I joined the media, the first document which was handed to me was the Media and Law of Defamation because when you are writing, you must be mindful of what you say about other people and what impression the people are going to have about you as a writer and the media house that you are representing. However, what we are seeing nowadays is that most of the media people have thrown the ethics outside the window. What we are forgetting is that, like my sister said, people judge us for what we are through the media.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: What sort of people are we going to be if we only write negative things about our country? Even in a home, a husband may be reckless, but we try by all means to build a better image of him. Likewise, as Zambians, we should try to build a better image of our country because we have only one country anyway.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: All our children and great grand children are going to live in this country. Sometimes, we do not care whether what we write is injuring anybody or not. Maybe, animals live like that because they do not think, but we are humans. Even before you open your mouth, you must be sure of what you are going to say.

Ms Lundwe: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: Madam Chairperson, training in the media is very important. It is just like any profession because even a teacher goes for refresher courses. I think, maybe, we need a lot of training for media personnel. What we thought we are going to do in the past maybe does not work now. Some articles that appear in some papers injure some people. If other people do not get hurt by being called an idiot, I do. I think, many well-meaning Zambians would be very upset because I do not think anybody has a right to insult anyone.

I know the media must bring out the things that are wrong in the nation, but they do not need to insult to bring these things out. They just need to talk about them and bring them out with integrity so that even the wrongdoer will appreciate that somebody is bringing out that which we are going to correct and move on as a nation.

Henry Tailor a 19th Century Statesman wrote, and I quote.

“Falsehood ceases to be falsehood when the truth is not expected to be spoken.”

A lot of misinformation has come out in the media …

Mr Kambwili: Yes, in the Times of Zambia and Zambia Daily Mail.

Mrs Sinyangwe: … but, now, I am urging the Government to protect the country. When something that is not true comes out in the papers, please, correct the situation, because, as a Government, when you sit without saying anything when somebody tells lies over and over and over again, these lies will start making sense and people will start to believe them. In whatever you do, you have the responsibility to protect the country.

Hon. Opposition Member: We know the person.

Mrs Sinyangwe: So we must have things corrected when they are not right. While we agree that there should be free flow of information, this should be accompanied with a high level of responsibility on the part of those handling the information. While I believe that the media must regulate itself, it should, however, be responsible. If they fail to be responsible and regulate themselves, other people will do it for them and we cannot blame the powers that be for doing so.

Mr Chanda: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: There is also the role of educating the public that the media should play, as was stated by the hon. Minister of Education. How are we educating our people through the media if we are going to be insulting each other everyday? Our children are reading the newspaper articles about what we are saying and will grow into bad adults. This country will lose its integrity if this culture continues.

Mr Sing’ombe: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: As Zambians, we should now reflect together so that we see what is wrong. It does not mean that if I tell somebody that what he/she is saying is wrong, that person will not support me. If anything, they will respect me more.

We all appreciate the fact that the media should be independent. However, if the media is responsible, certain things would not be published. Where I come from, if someone insults an elderly person and a child goes to relay the same words that were used to the person who was insulted, it is the child who will be considered to have insulted the elderly person.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: So responsible media organisations should not continue writing about insults because the public will take it that it is the media that wants to insult people. I would like to urge the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services to, maybe, organise a lot of workshops so that the media can also help protect the nation from bad language.

As regards radio reception, I am happy to learn about the media press mission in Kasama. It is true that we need information throughout the country. People who have information are able to make meaningful decisions about their wellbeing as they look at things differently from those that are uninformed. So radio reception is an important aspect that should be improved. Having served in educational broadcasting services, I know that it is important to have programmes such as the Taonga Radio Programme so that children all over can learn through the media. So we should make sure that there is good radio reception around the country.

Madam Chairperson, I would be very grateful if the second channel of ZNBC, which is being talked about so much, would be given to the Kitwe Studios on the Copperbelt to broadcast news from the North-Western, Luapula and Northern provinces and Kapiri-Mposhi District. That channel could take care of these areas so that we can know what is happening there. At the moment, Kitwe studios depend on the mercy of the Lusaka studios. Programmes from the Copperbelt are only given three or four slots. Even news has to be piped to Lusaka, which then chooses which items to include in the news. We need to know what is happening in every corner of Zambia. So I urge the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services to consider giving this channel to the Kitwe Studios.

Secondly, this channel would be more useful if it was dedicated to education. I think many people are thirsty for education in this country. Developed countries have used the media very well. We can also use the media to educate our people. It is, therefore, important for us to stop thinking about politics and fighting for a while and devote more of our time to education. This way, we will see less insults and fighting and educate our people.

Madam Chairperson, lastly, I would like to point out that every evening, there is a programme on the Zambia National broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) called Today in Parliament. We are the ones that seat in this House today, but the faces we see on this programme are of Hon. Members of Parliament who left a long time ago. What is so difficult about coming here to get new pictures?


Mrs Sinyangwe: It is us who talk in Parliament today.

Mr Kambwili: Question!


Mr Chanda: Tulamoneka, mayo.

Mrs Sinyangwe: Mulamoneka?

Mr Chanda showed assent.

Mrs Sinyangwe: I have never seen myself.


The Chairperson: Order! Order!

Leave the hon. Member to debate.

Mrs Sinyangwe: So I would like to urge our fellow leaders not to support wrong things. The idea of wanting …


The Chairperson: Order! Order in the House!

Let us listen to the person on the Floor.

Mrs Sinyangwe: I think it is not right to support wrong things just because we want leadership at all costs at any level. We are losing our integrity as Zambians. We are loved all over the world because of the way we do things. It does not cost anything to tell somebody that what he/she is doing is wrong. An example I can give is that of the students at the Copperbelt University who rioted. People supported the students instead of telling them that what they did was wrong. Those who supported the students should have first told them that what they did was wrong and then gone to plead with the authorities to forgive them.

I do not think it is right to stand up and condemn the university management or the Government for having reprimanded the students as if what they did was right. We should not do wrong things just to gain political support at all costs. Let us be down to earth as human beings and do things the right way. People will still support and vote for us if we do and say the right things.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: They will not support and vote for us by doing the wrong things.

I support this vote and thank you, Madam.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC. (Chasefu): Madam Chairperson, in supporting the budget for this ministry, I would like to start by saying that once upon a time, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services undertook the production of numerous provincial newspapers. I recall, we used to have Tsopano, Imbila, Inshila, Intanda and so on and so forth. Now, the question is what has happened to these provincial papers? It is the responsibility of this ministry to ensure that it educates and informs the people about Government programmes and projects throughout the country. My understanding is that the ministry has lost out a lot on this call. It is important for the ministry to ensure that it starts production of these provincial newspapers.

Having said so, I am happy to state that I hope the sum of K5.1 billion, which has been allocated towards the procurement of a printing press, will be used in the direction of reintroducing provincial newspapers. We need these provincial papers, today, just like we needed them yesterday. People in the rural areas do not know what their Government is doing for them even though the Government is doing something. So I plead with the hon. Minister to ensure that this is done, as this is the ministry’s responsibility.

In addition, I would like to say that I feel happy that some money has been allocated for the purchase of television transmitters. In the rural constituency, which I represent, we do not know about ZNBC because there is no television reception in Chasefu. I, therefore, hope that with the acquisition of television transmitters, this ministry will take kindly to the needs of the people in rural areas such as Chasefu. It may not only be Chasefu, but also most rural constituencies will benefit if this is done.

The procurement of frequency modulation (FM) transmitters for districts is, indeed, a welcome move because in Chasefu Constituency, we can hardly tune to ZNBC Radio. I was there a few days ago and I came back on Monday morning and what I am talking about is what is happening today. I hope this time around, you will think of Zambians who live in rural areas who want to know what their Government is doing.

Admittedly, there is also money allocated for the second television Zambia channel. While this is a very good and welcome move, please, ensure that you utilise this channel for raising the much-needed revenue for ZNBC Television. You need revenue in order to improve on your performance as well as conditions of service for the people working for ZNBC. Therefore, I hope this channel will devote a lot of its time to churning out commercial programmes instead of music that talks about love from 0600 hours until the following morning at 0600 hours. Instead of churning out music which appeals only to those below 21 years, please utilise this channel meaningfully. We are tired of ifyo fine, efyondefwaya po, meaning that is what I like.


Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC.: Please let this be a channel that will be properly managed so that it churns out commercial programmes.

As regards the allocation that will go towards the revision of media laws, I support it wholeheartedly. It appears most of our friends in the media have forgotten that where their rights end, the rights of another person begin.

Therefore, I would like to urge the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services to, please, bear in mind that many Zambians have suffered irreparable injuries as a result of the publication of malicious falsehoods against a number of Zambians who are weak. Even those who are in a stronger position find themselves weak because the laws, as they stand, need strengthening. Therefore, do not feel shy to strengthen these laws. It is important that we learn to respect the rights of other people.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC.: Of course, we know that there is the power of the pen, but that is not important, it is the power of the person’s reputation and integrity that should matter each time you consider writing about other people. Therefore, I support the allocation of some money that will go towards media reforms. It is important that we reform our media. I know that most of our friends in the media are worried about regulations. Regulation is for your benefit, if you call yourselves professionals, you must be proud enough to have a mechanism that will regulate your conduct as you perform your professional duties. This is what is happening to all the other professionals, the lawyers, accountants and doctors. Why should it not be you? Please, take a second thought, whatever is being proposed, is for your benefit and nobody will impose these laws and regulations on you. It is you people who will go to the Government with ways and means of regulating yourselves. So please do not deliberately miss the point.

Madam Chairperson: Order!

Hon. Member, we do not see those that you are talking about. Who are they because they are not here?

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC.: I am talking about people in the media. On this note, may I end my contribution by saying that I wholeheartedly support the vote for this ministry.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Syakalima (Siavonga): Madam Chairperson, I would like to advise our colleagues on your right on a very important issue which we have got to at the moment …

Madam Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.


Mr Syakalima (Siavonga): Madam Chairperson, when business was suspended, I was referring to the important issue we had got to. In debating this vote, I hope to be very brief. I would like to state that it is very undesirable to regulate the media and I will prove it to you very intelligibly.

Madam Chairperson, when you when you start regulating the media, as some people have been saying, it is the beginning of a government’s dictatorial tendencies.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Syakalima: That is where dictatorial tendencies come from and it is the beginning of dictatorship. They start with oppressing and suppressing the press.

Madam Chairperson, even Zimbabwe, for instance, which regulated the media, is now trying to reform it but, Zambia, a democratic State, like we have been calling ourselves, is now trying to copy what Zimbabwe was doing sometime in the recent past. This is what Zambia wants to do. What type of behaviour is that?

Hon. colleagues, those of you who are in Government, let me tell you. When you become as unpopular as you are a the moment, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Syakalima: … it is not permissible to bring back laws when you are on your way out. You must make sure that you leave laws that will protect you. You leave good laws.

Mr Muntanga: Very good advice!

Mr Syakalima: This is a good piece of advice, when you are on your way out and have become dangerously weak and unpopular at the same time, you must make sure that you put in place laws which will protect you in future.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Syakalima: It is extremely important to think that way. Let me explain something to the Zambian people who are calling for the statutory regulation of the media. From the media, they will come to you and want to regulate every aspect of your thinking and life. Now that it has started with the media, do not say, “I am not in the media, I am only an academician, so I should not be concerned. I do not belong to a media institution or non-governmental organization (NGO). I am a politician. I am not in the media, I am something else.”

Mind you, this is the same way Hitler did things. Hitler clumped down all the media institutions. There was a group of people who said that they were Protestants and not in the media. When Hitler finished with the media, he went for the Catholics and the Protestants said they were not Catholic, but Protestants. He finished with the Catholics and went to the trade unionists, the Protestants said they were not trade unionists, but Protestants. When he had finished with everybody, he turned to them.

Now we see the Government wanting to target the media because of the so-called insults. Do you even know the meaning of the word insult? Who is insulting who? When you say you want to regulate the media, do you want to regulate the way they write their facts? If, for example, a journalist quotes somebody for having said, “This is a son of Satan” and then the other one will say, “This one is ugly”, in both instances, the journalist has just stated the facts. You cannot say that you want to control the media just because of what goes into the editorial, comments or opinions column. You cannot do that. What really will be in your action of controlling the media? In any case, I feel insulted by the ZNBC, Zambia Daily Mail and Times of Zambia.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Syakalima: They insult the intellect of the Zambians. They can only gather news if it is the Vice-President who is saying something and it will be headline everyday. For example, currently, what the Vice-President says and nobody else in the North/Western Province, is what is making news in the Government media. When these media institutions do this, I feel they insult my intelligence. If the first item on ZNBC television everyday involves the President, the second item, the President, the third item, the President’s wife and the next item, the Vice-President, it means that other people cannot make news. Does ZNBC not know that I exist? In a democratic State such as this one, ZNBC must know that I exist.


Mr Syakalima: Madam, ZNBC must report about the Vice-President, hon. Ministers and even those in the Opposition who equally contribute to the development of this country. The Government must not forget that people pay K3,000 as ZNBC Television license fees.

Now, he is now saying that stop …


Madam Chairperson: Order!

Mr Syakalima: You have to be serious. In fact, at the height of the third term, the Zambia Daily Mail, Times of Zambia and ZNBC were reporting that the third term had been accepted by the Zambians. Someone was using those Government institutions because he was in the seat. It is the same media institutions those who are in Government today are using for their own agenda.

The only instruments that we, the majority of us Zambians have because you are different …

Madam Chairperson: Order!

The hon. Member should speak through the Chair and not address them.

You may continue, please.

Mr Syakalima: The Zambians know that we get facts from the private media.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Syakalima: For example, the private media have reported that the Zambians do not want the Zambia Telecommunications Company (ZAMTEL) to be sold, but the public media is denying us this information and many Zambians have complained about this. The only stories that they carry are, for example, the ones that come from the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services when he is trying to protect a relative of the President. That is not the job of the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services. His job is to protect the Zambians and not a particular family. We cannot use our money for such activities. All these other media institutions are just doing us a favour because our money goes towards funding ZNBC, Daily Mail and Times of Zambia. The private media are just doing us a favour by keeping us informed and they are the ones you want to trample on. Let that Bill to regulate the media come to the House, we shall pierce it until it bleeds to death.


Mr Syakalima: If you bring it any way, you are bringing …

Madam Chairperson: Order!

The hon. Member for Siavonga may address the Chair.

You may continue, please.

Mr Syakalima: If the Government brings the Bill, we shall pierce it until it bleeds to death. If they are going to use the arrogance of numbers and pass it, they will have passed it against themselves.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Syakalima: Madam, let me advise the people on your right that when you are unpopular the way they are now, never bring any draconian laws. This country has a history over laws that are made and targeted at individuals. These laws can backfire very dangerously. I can predict what will happen in the next eighteen months. Just mark my words and I speak only when I am allowed to. Whoever allows me, I do not know, but when I speak, I say things with a lot of honesty and conviction beyond any reasonable doubt. I am convinced without any iota of doubt that at the moment, the Government is standing on quicksand which is sinking sand and, therefore, very vulnerable. Hon. Colleagues, stop entertaining any thoughts of coming up with a Bill which seeks to regulate the media. If you dream that you are going to regulate the media, you must hate that dream.


Mr Syakalima: Those of us who are Christians and have read the Bible very well …

Hon. Government Minister: Whether you like it or not, we will bring it.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: The Bible is law.

Mr Muntanga: Have you said that?

Mr Syakalima: It shall be said to you - you had ears, but you did not hear and you had eyes, but you did not see.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Syakalima: In Tonga, they say mwaba kuunduluzya meaning that you have ears, but you deliberately ignore what is being said. That is why deliberate stubbornness is also not advisable. Do not be stubborn. I know that the Republican President said he is stubborn. Stubbornness does not pay. I would like to implore anyone who understands the word “stubborn” to go and tell the President that it does not pay to be stubborn, especially those of us who are now standing on sinking sand. You must get everybody on board so that you can exit peacefully and quietly. That is what many people do. They exit quietly and peacefully. If you do not exit peacefully, when you sleep, you would be worrying about the regulatory instrument you put in place being used against you. That should not be something which should preoccupy your minds. You need to be walking freely after 2011. Do you understand? I want you to walk freely after 2011.

Hon. UPND Members: Say yes.

Mr Syakalima: Now, I am asking, through you, Madam Chairperson, do they understand? If they do not understand, they should never come back to me and say that they wished they had understood. I will not be there.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the debate on this important vote on the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services.

This vote evokes a lot of emotions as evidenced by the debate in the House since yesterday. I note that the previous debater, Hon. Syakalima, who is my former student at the University of Zambia, has debated well and with a lot of passion. He does not mince his words although, in this case, he is trying to predict the future.

Dr Machungwa: However, in debating this issue, let us remember that we are legislators.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: When we consider legislation, we should be a little more controlled …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: … and sober.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: Madam Chairperson, information is extremely important and, therein, lies the importance of this ministry. The House, the Government and others who have a message to pass, must inform the people.  Those who want to entertain, must also be able to do so.

We also need to disseminate information on development. This is why this ministry is extremely important and must be supported. Whether we use electronic media, print media or drums and art, we still have to pass on the message. What is important is that the message must be passed on correctly and accurately. In the case of the Government and leaders, we want to pass on a message that will bring hope and development to the people of Zambia. If we keep passing messages that always bring people against each other, we are being divisive and not helping to build the nation.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Dr Machungwa: The kind of journalism we see in this country, today, reminds me of what used to be in a newspaper called the Pravda in the Soviet Union. The Pravda newspaper was the mouthpiece of the Communist Party. You could predict what they were going to say and who they would quote. During that time, when there were some difficulties between the Soviet Union and China, if the Chinese replied, you could always tell how they would write and how they would begin. The Chinese would refer to the Soviet Union that we got this story from the hegemonists. No matter what they said, that was the way they began. What we see in some papers, …

Hon. Government Member: The Post!

Dr Machungwa: … is the kind of message that always tries to get people to quarrel or make some people seem like they cannot make decisions or they are going the wrong way.

Hon. Government Members: Inciting.

Dr Machungwa: Yes, inciting is also possible. You cannot be writing one story on one individual day in and day out. It is simply not possible. Sometimes, people can make mistakes and you should be able to write about them

Hon. Member: Yes!

Dr Machungwa: However, sometimes, even a fool or a mad man does something that makes people laugh.

Hon. Government Members: Yes!

Dr Machungwa: At certain points, even the brightest person makes mistakes. It appears that some papers have taken a position like the Pravda, carrying a message of the communist party at the time. There is nothing certain people can do right. Unfortunately, we do not choose our neighbours and fellow countrymen. Although we are put together with different neighbours and friends, we must learn to live together.

Hon. Members: Sense!

Dr Machungwa: We must think like we are on a spaceship and have no choice to drop out.

Hon. Member: Hear!

Dr Machungwa: That spaceship must get us somewhere and we must all work in a way that we get somewhere because there is no opting out unless you want to go and live in exile. You are a citizen of Zambia and your children will be in Zambia. Even if you left, your relatives and other friends would remain in Zambia. Therefore, it is incumbent upon all of us to try and work together and do the best we can. It is not possible that everybody can be in Government at the same time.

Hon. Members: No!

Dr Machungwa: I have had my share in the Government. I now sit on the left side of the House and I can see some mistakes the people in Government are making. Similarly, I can see some mistakes being made on the left side of the house. What is important is that we work in a way that we improve the lot of the Zambians.

Madam, let me come to some of the mistakes that we make.

Mr Muntanga: You are not in Government.

Dr Machungwa: Sometimes, Hon. Muntanga, we state things and change the next day. I have seen colleagues who, only two months ago, referred to a certain newspaper editor as being the biggest criminal in the country. However, suddenly, that newspaper editor is the greatest person.


Dr Machungwa: Why was he called that? It was because of the nature of his people’s reporting.

Madam, why has there been this debate about regulation and non-regulation?

Mr Syakalima: Why have you not supported Mr Sata?


Dr Machungwa: There is no freedom that is limitless.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: There has to be some form of regulation in the media. There is regulation in law and in medical practice. Unless there is some power in regulation, whether it is …


The Chairperson: Order!

Can we give an opportunity to the person on the Floor? Let us not make running commentaries. Let us listen.

The hon. Member may continue, please.

Mr Kambwili: On a point of order, Madam.

Dr Machungwa: Whether regulation is done through statutory … ikala panshi iwe, finshi ulechita?


Dr Machungwa: Madam Chairperson, regulations are meaningless unless there is a power to impose penalties on those who refuse to obey them. We are talking of self regulation in the media and the Government has, for the last ten years, allowed that. However, self regulation can only work if there is some power to sanction those who do not want to follow those regulations. The Media Council of Zambia (MECOZ) has admitted that they are powerless to compel some of their members to follow the regulations. Are we saying, hon. Colleagues, that certain people in this country can be above the law and do as they please? No!

Mr Kasongo: They are untouchable.

Dr Machungwa: None of us is above the law. I do not believe that we are going to allow certain institutions in this country to be above the law.

Hon. Government Members: No!

Dr Machungwa: If they are true journalists, they will write according to the law. There is no problem. In any case, what I understand we are talking about in this House is to come up with a statute that will enable the media practitioners regulate themselves. In fact, we shall give them statutory power so that they could sanction those who are not following. Those who are following the law will do as they please. There is no problem. As far as I am concerned, I fully support statutory regulation in view of the fact that self regulation has failed us in this country.

Mr Kambwili: Question!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: Those who do not want to follow the law, end up being prosecuted. Many people get prosecuted. We do not want people to be prosecuted and those who follow the law will not be prosecuted.

Let me come to the issues of some of the departments under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services. I would like to talk about the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS). This is an important department because it tries to cover the entire country. Therefore, I would like to encourage the hon. Minister to come up with a very vigorous programme for staff development in that area to motivate everybody. It is important that all working journalists are exposed. It is not good to see the same journalists travelling outside the country, accompanying the President or the hon. Minister. Allow all the people there to get exposure because that is going to motivate and bring loyalty to the institution. Of course, this must not apply to those who are failures in which case, you must get rid of them because they are not supposed to be there.

Madam, I would like to comment on the radio stations. I am happy with the advent of community radio stations. Unfortunately, in my constituency, we do not have a community radio station. We have strived to get one because it is very difficult to get Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation radio reception.

I appreciate the fact that the shortwave radio can be accessed there but, hon. Minister, we should be moving towards FM. These days, it is even very difficult to find a radio that has a shortwave band. When you go to the shops, you will find that most of the radios in shops are FM because that is where we are going. It is important that even though we are providing this shortwave now, it must just be a stop gap measure. We should be looking forward to more advanced technologies to help our people.

In concluding my support for this vote, I would like to urge the hon. Minister to ensure that we defend the Constitution of the country.

Mr D. Mwila: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: The Press Freedom Cap 1, Article 20, of the Laws of Zambia, states and I quote:

“ (2) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, a law shall not make any provision that derogates from the freedom of the press.

(3) Nothing contained in or done under the authority or any law shall be held inconsistent with or in contravention of this Article to the extent that it is shown that the law in question makes provision

(b) that is reasonably required for the purpose of protecting the reputations, rights and freedoms of other persons or the private lives of persons concerned …”.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: We cannot have certain individuals who can write day in and day out or even write editorials everyday on certain individuals.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: That is simply not journalism.

Therefore, it is extremely important that we bring sanity to this country. If we allow this kind of thing to continue, already, you are predicting doom. You know when propaganda is repeated and repeated continuously; people begin to believe that it must be the truth. Sooner, you may find that investment might begin to be tentative and leave the country because of these kinds of reporting.

I am appealing to all hon. Members of this House that, when we debate this matter, let us be a little more patriotic. Others are in Government today and they may continue in future while others may not, but the country will be here. Therefore, we must legislate to protect the interest of all Zambians.

 I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Mulongoti): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the debate on this vote.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulongoti: A week ago, I went to the airport and found myself in a discussion with the hon. Members of Parliament who came from Uganda and sat in the Speakers Gallery during one of the sessions. They expressed shock at what they saw in the newspaper that particular day. There was a story about the corruption of the President. They said that can never happen in their country.


Mr Mulongoti: Now, let me say this to those of you who have never been where we are.


Mr Mulongoti: The freedom that you are taking for granted can be very dangerous. Adolf Hitler came the same way. They tolerated his propaganda because they thought it was innocent propaganda. It turned out that they were nurturing a criminal ...

Ms Siliya: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulongoti: … who caused the death of millions not just in Germany, but all over the world.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulongoti: We are seeing the development of the same situation in Zambia.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulongoti: People are watching and pretending that this is nothing.

Hon. Government Members: They are supporting!

Mr Mulongoti: Let us look at the constitution of a political party called PF. Have you read that constitution to learn what it says?

Hon. Government Members: No!

Mr Mulongoti: It is a constitution that does not allow for the democratic governance …

Mr D. Mwila: On a point of order, Madam.

Mr Mulongoti: … of this country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulongoti: Allow me to speak because you had your time to debate.

Mr Kambwili: On a point of order, Madam


Mr Mulongoti: We are creating a situation in this country where we are tolerating the emergence of dictatorship.


The Chairperson: Order!


Mr Mbewe: Iwe Kambwili!

Mr Kambwili: Unless the point of order is coming from the Government!

The Chairperson: Order!

Can hon. Members listen to the hon. Member on the Floor?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulongoti: We are tolerating a situation where a constitution of a political party does not promote democracy. We are a democratic country which must have political parties that aspire to Parliament or power promoting democratic practices.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulongoti: I am amazed that there is a political party which had forty-three hon. Members in this House before. Today, they only have twenty-two hon. Members in the House, but they are talking about taking over the Government.


Mr Mulongoti: I do not know what statistics they are using …


Mr Mulongoti: … in hoping that they can take over the Government.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulongoti: I sit here and listen to them speak. I see Hon. Muntanga there, …

Mr Muntanga: Yes!

Mr Mulongoti: … imagining that one day he will be hon. Minister of Agriculture …


Mr Mulongoti: … so that he can grow tombwe ...

Mr Muntanga: On a point of order, Madam.


The Chairperson: Order!

A point of order is raised because the hon. Member has been mentioned in the debate.

Mr Muntanga: Madam Chairperson, is this hon. Minister in order …

Hon. UPND Members: Out going Minister!

 Mr Muntanga: … outgoing Minister …


Mr Muntanga: … a Minister who has been nominated and has no constituency …

Mr D. Mwila: Hear, hear!

Hon. Government Members: It is okay!

Mr Muntanga: … in order to drag me into his debate when I am just sitting here quietly listening to him so that I can respond. Is it in order for him to pick on me when I am just listening to him?

The Chairperson: The point of order will be seen from two angles. The first is that the hon. Minister on the Floor is trying to draw the hon. Member, who is listening to him quietly, into his debate. That way, he is out of order.

However, the hon. Member who raised the point of order also referred to the hon. Member of Parliament as nominated and with no constituency. As far as this House is concerned, he is a Member of Parliament with full rights. He may debate without drawing Hon. Muntanga into his debate.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulongoti: Madam Chairperson, I thank you, for your guidance.

All I am referring to is the fact that I see people standing up and shouting about our departure.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Imagine!

Mr Mulongoti: The evidence on the ground is that they were forty-three and now they are twenty-two.


Mr Mulongoti: I do not know whether they can form Government with those numbers because it is not possible.

Mr D. Mwila: You will regret.

Mr Mulongoti: It is evident that they are being supported by those who only have numbers on paper. Empirically, they do not have those numbers. What makes me sad is that everyday, they stand up and say, “outgoing”, and yet there are eighty-two of them while there are twenty-two of us. Their number reduced because they have chosen to call some of their own rebels.

Let me say that it is not what one says in this House that matters, but what is on the ground. I can assure you that you are not condemning our inability to develop this country. What you are talking about are issues that are peripheral to governance. We can go to all your constituencies and point at projects that we have carried out in those areas.

The Chairperson: Order!

You may speak through the Chair. Do not address them.

Mr Mulongoti: It is evident that we have performed as a Government. I can assure you that is why they are panicking. They are talking about issues that have nothing to do with development.

Mr Mubika: Mwila!

Mr Mulongoti: We have time to speak to them.

Ms Siliya: This is not a bus stop.

Mr Mulongoti: When we speak to them in confidence, they do not condemn our performance as a Government. It is only when they stand on the Floor of this House that they pretend nothing is happening.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulongoti: The hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services has the duty to keep the nationals of this country informed because we are using their taxes. It would be naïve to expect the Government not to have a mouthpiece to inform the public on how we are spending their money. We have sufficient private media to do make the jokes and abuse the individuals. The Government paper is not expected to do that. It is supposed to report on serious business.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, when an hon. Minister of Government is officiating at a project, surely, that is news. For you to expect that to be concealed is asking for too much. The hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services has the duty to also help the public understand the position that the Government is taking on issues. You do not expect the jesting and abuse of individuals in the public media. You would be expecting too much.

Hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, you have a duty to inform this nation about the programmes of the Government. You should not shy away from doing that.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulongoti: Those who will want to use the media for the purpose of making jokes and abuse should not expect sympathy from the public media. We expect serious business. When the Vice-President is addressing a meeting, that is serious business. If you do not know that it is serous business, you will know when you get to this side of the House.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulongoti: Unfortunately, from the way you are going, the general public is accessing the calibre of people who will want to take over. I can assure you …

Mr Kambwili: Iwe, balikusula!


Mr Mulongoti: With that kind of behaviour, I do not know what kind of cabinet minister you would produce.


Mr Mulongoti: Madam Chairperson, those of us who are on this side do not believe in the idea of a Government made simple. We have been here before. We have been tough tested and our capacity to deliver is there.


The Chairperson: Order!

Mr Mulongoti: Madam Chairperson, if it were not for our capacity, we would not be here. Some of these hon. Members who have come today, have no time for history. We came here much earlier than them. In 1995, we were elected. We were re-elected and today, we have the honour of being nominated.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulongoti: The difficulty is this, when your capacity to read is limited, you will have difficulty appreciating the facts that exist before your face.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulongoti: What we would want you to know is that this country will never do away with people …

The Chairperson: Address the Chair.

Mr Mulongoti: … with experience or requisite qualifications. I stand here as a nominated Member, with all the experience as a parliamentarian. Besides, I stand here with the requisite qualifications to be able to deliver on behalf of the people of Zambia.  Some of those who shall be against us, if we were to look for employment with them, they would not even qualify to be our deputies ...


Mr Mulongoti: … on account of lack of experience and qualifications. We believe that this country deserves the best. We cannot start going backwards. We want to have the best people for Zambia to govern this country.

Madam Chairperson, I would like to appeal to our colleagues that in their desperation to be here, they should not think that it will be that easy. We do not get it easily. We sweat for it. I can assure you that we will continue to defend our turf. Those of you who are angry, calm down.


Mr Mulongoti: Leadership is not taken by anger. Leadership is taken by patience and giving confidence to the people you want to lead that you will not take them into a ditch. The hon. Minister for the future, (looking at Hon. Muntanga), I wish you well …

Mr Mulongoti: … so that one day, God will be kind enough to allow you to come to this side.


Mr Mulongoti: Hon. Syakalima, my brother, …

The Chairperson: Order!

The hon. Minister will not start debating  individuals.

Mr Mulongoti: Madam Chairperson, my brother in academia, who has all the opportunities at that high institution of learning, please, do not influence the students there. Show them leadership so that when you speak to them, they should be able to appreciate what their lecturer is saying and not see anger or emotion.


Mr Syakalima: On a point of order, Madam Chairperson.

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Syakalima: Madam Chairperson, I think you will agree with me that I have never ever risen on a point of order in the eight years I have been in this House.

Is the hon. Minister of Works and Supply in order to continuously praise himself about the degree he recently earned when I earned the same degree some seventeen or twenty years ago and obtained another degree in Master of Science and Applied Psychology with distinction and I am a very ardent speaker for the downtrodden and at same time, I go and teach pro bono even under very difficult circumstances? I think the debate that I had today, with a lot of intellectual decorum, was better than his.


The Chairperson: Order!

Mr Syakalima: Does he forget that when I exude my knowledge, I exude it beyond his comprehension? Therefore, is he in order to drag me into all these lower ingredients of intellectual capacity and intellectual manoeuvering?


The Chairperson: The Chair has listened very carefully to the point of order and the Member has fully debated his point of order.

You may continue, please.


Mr Mulongoti: Madam Chairperson, I was only talking about using the benefit of intellect as opposed to emotionalism. His teacher, Dr Machungwa, spoke very well and delivered his point. That is all I was saying. I acknowledge your intellectual capacity …

The Chairperson: Order!

That is gone. Can you move on, please.

Mr Mulongoti: Madam Chairperson, on this side of the House, we are happy to work with our colleagues on the other side of the House. What annoys us is their repeated claim that they are coming to this side of the House.


Mr Mulongoti: On what basis do they say this? That is what is annoying. It is not that one day, they might not come, but these baseless claims and predictions that are coming from people who are anxious are annoying us. 

Madam Chairperson, the hon. Members on this side of the House are very good men and women and the country has a lot of faith in them.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulongoti: When we go round, people tell us not to listen to those who make noise. They tell us to continue to govern ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!


Mr Mulongoti: … and continue to deliver. When we come to this House, however, we have a few people standing up and saying we are on our way out. What wishful thinking!


Mr Mulongoti: Madam Chairperson, those who are encouraging and promoting the dictatorship that we are seeing in the leadership will have themselves to blame. Do not say that we did not warn you. We have warned you.

Hon. Muyanda entered the Assembly Chamber.

Mr Mulongoti: Hon. Muyanda, you were once very junior to me at school.


Mr Mulongoti: Therefore, remember …


The Chairperson: Order!


The Chairperson: Order!

Stick to the debate and not who you were with at school.

Mr Mulongoti: Hon. Muyanda and Hon. Dr Machungwa were once very junior to me at school. It is only now that he can behave like that.


The Chairperson: Order!

Mr Mulongoti: You should remember where you are coming from.


Mr Mulongoti: Madam Chairperson, …

The Chairperson: Order!

The hon. Minister will not pull the people on my left into his debate. If you want to make your point clear by mentioning their names, definitely, they have the right to rise on a point of order. However, since the hon. Minister is talking about the time you were at school together, can we allow the hon. Minister to finish his debate.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulongoti: Madam Chairperson, I am glad that Hon. Muyanda has come back into the House because he spoke with a lot of emphasis on an empty issue. Now that he is back, I would like him to know that in his absence, I was saying that we will continue to govern …

Mr Muyanda: On a point of order, Madam.

Mr Mulongoti: … irrespective of the …

The Chairperson: Order! 

Hon. Members, we expect that if an issue is raised on either side, there may be a point of order raised. However, when the point of order is on personal issues, it is not allowed. If it is based on the debate in the House, surely, you do expect, from either side of the House, a point of order.

The hon. Minister may continue, please.

Mr Mulongoti: Madam Chairperson, it is important for him to acknowledge that at the time he is predicting our going, I was telling my colleagues that their numbers were dwindling.

The Chairperson: Order!

Do not speak “to them”, speak through the Chair.  

Mr Mulongoti: I was telling them that their numbers are reducing from the forties to twenties. You cannot take over Government with such numbers. I would like to appeal to my colleagues to do something dramatic to show that they are on their way into Government. I want to let you know that we are committed to giving this country good leadership. I urge the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services to continue informing the people of Zambia on issues of importance. Do not be deterred by those who want you to use the public media to abuse others.

Madam Chairperson, concerning the issue of self-regulation, surely, what kind of country do you want to have where people cannot control themselves. You have refused statutory regulation and you have refused self-regulation. What kind of thinking is that? You do not even respect self-regulation.

Hon. Government Member: Look at them.

Mr Mulongoti: Madam Chairperson, all the other professions have self-regulation, but you still want to insist that even self-regulation is bad. What do you want to achieve, the abuse of others? Hon. Minister, self-regulation is something we are all pushing for because we want the media, as professionals, to have something they can refer to when there are issues of self-discipline and ethical considerations. Those of you who are championing the rejection of self-regulation must stop. I am surprised that leaders in this House can advocate even for the refusal of self-regulation. I think that is shameful. This country has a future and we must protect it through the promotion of good morals and values.

I thank you, Madam.

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

Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services (Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha): Madam Chairperson, I thank each and every debater who has supported my ministry’s estimates so that we move the agenda of information in the country to higher heights. I would, therefore, like to thank the honourable House for everybody who has supported and spoken so well on this budget.

Madam Chairperson, there are a number of issues that we need to answer in order not to create an impression to the people out there that the debaters have the information which is not available to them. 

Madam Chairperson, I want to address a few issues. Hon. Muyanda spoke at length, in many words, against statutory regulation. He said we must leave the private media alone so that they can be able to disclose the evils the Government is doing.

Hon. Muyanda: Yes! 


Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Madam Chairperson, only a few months ago, Hon. Muyanda spoke in this House that there must be statutory regulation against the media in this country. In addition, his own people, on your left, also debated the need to have some form of regulation.

Madam Chairperson, I now wonder why we should not have the integrity and stand on the words that we speak as hon. Members of Parliament. We cannot be changing our position every time. How can the people who are listening to us trust us with power if we are changing our position on media regulation?


The Chairperson: Order!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: It is important, therefore, that as hon. Members of Parliament, we show true leadership and not change positions now and again.

Madam Chairperson, I have with me here a debate by Hon. Muyanda.


Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: When I go through this debate, I note that he does not accept that the media should have self-regulation. It is important, therefore, that, as hon. Members of Parliament, we speak and have a principled position.

Madam Chairperson, I have here another debate by someone who has not debated today and, therefore, I will not pull him into the debate. However, he also demanded for regulatory measures against the media. Today, the hon. Members on your left are changing their positions like chameleons.

Mr Muntanga: You also change positions.


The Chairperson: Order!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Madam Chairperson, many of those on your left were in MMD. Hon. Muntanga was MMD Chairman in Kalomo.


Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: How can you talk about changing positions?


Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Madam Chairperson, the other issue raised was that the media must disclose the evils that this Government has committed. This Government is very transparent.


Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: In everything we do, …

The Chairperson: Order in the House!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: …we inform the nation.

The Chairperson: Order!

Can we stop making these running commentaries. The Chairperson hears all the things you say. It is not fair that one hears these things, but has to keep quiet. The debate is failing to flow. Can we stop these running commentaries. We are expected to listen to each other.

The hon. Minister may continue, please.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Madam Chairperson, media regulation, whether self or statutory, is necessary. This is important to move the development of the media in the country to higher and greater professionalism.

Madam Chairperson, let not people mislead the nation. There are media regulations in every country in the world. The United States of America, the United Kingdom and even Botswana, that is our neighbour, have media regulations.

I have with me the Media Practitioners’ Act for Botswana for 2008. In Botswana, things are going well and they do not insult their President or people because there is a yardstick that they use in ethics. In addition, in Kenya, there is greater democracy. They have a Media Practitioners’ Act in place and it is working very well. In South Africa and the Seychelles, they have laws to ensure that the media operate with ethics and respect the rights of others. This is very important. Therefore, I want to sate that for the past ten years, the self-regulatory mechanism has not been put in place. Due to demand from the public, the Government is allowed to introduce a Bill in this House. Therefore, you, as hon. Members of Parliament, will discuss and pass it.

Madam Chairpersons, the video vans at the Zambia National Information Services (ZANIS) are not for rigging elections. Hon. Muyunda, …

Mr Muyanda: Muyanda!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Hon. Muyanda, please, just come to the office and we will explain to you what these are for. If you are ignorant, we will teach you what these video vans are for. For example, the video vans are for us to disseminate very important information to the public, in agriculture and HIV and AIDS. Indeed, for transparency’s sake, these are important topics that our people need to understand and these vans are meant for that. They are also meant for people to know what their Government is doing and the success stories of other areas in the country. They are not for rigging elections. Do not go out and start condemning what is very good.

 Madam Chairperson, there are also a number of points that Hon. Muyanda raised. He raised the issue of harassment of a journalist. I think the answer is not for us to privatise the public media in order to solve that problem. The answer, through you, Madam, to Hon. Muyanda, is that political parties should meet with their cadres and educate them for us to move the agenda of democracy of the country forward.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: Especially the MMD!

 Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Madam Chairperson, this does not relate to the MMD only but also UPND. I was in Livingstone when UPND cadres stoned and beat up the reporters who were making an announcement that the President would be arriving in Livingstone and took away their microphone. It is, therefore, wrong for us to say that.

Madam Chairperson, it is up to every party to be responsible and see that we do not drive this country into chaos.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Madam Chairperson, when Hon. Sinyangwe was attacked at the Civic Centre, it was not the MMD cadres who did that but PF cadres. We should, therefore, condemn that too. Even you, hon. UPND Members, should condemn that.

 Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: We must do that as leaders.

Madam Chairperson, Hon. Mwaanga is permanently disabled. His hearing has gone. He has been to hospitals in South Africa several times to seek medical attention. Who did that to him? It is the UPND cadres at the late Mr Mazoka’s funeral. The man is now disabled. Let us be responsible and stop this violence. Do not talk about politics. It is important that we stop the violence.

 Madam Chairperson, no hon. Member of Parliament from UPND has stood here to apologise to Hon. Mwaanga about what their cadres did to him.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Madam Chairperson: Order!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Madam Chairperson, it is important that we have civic education on how to look after this peace that we have. You can make any remarks, but peace is very difficult to restore when you lose it. I want to tell you that.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha:  Madam Chairperson, the cameras that come to this august House, come here to make news and they capture everybody. The only reason Hon. Muyanda does not see his face is that he has not spoken when the cameras are here.

Madam Chairperson, I want to address the issue of the many times the hon. Members on your left have stood up and said this is a bad Government.

 Mr Muyanda: Very bad!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Muyanda is saying that it is very bad.


Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Madam Chairperson, how ungrateful can anybody be? This Government has built schools, clinics, and gone ahead and given information about Hon. Muyanda’s constituency, and yet he is still talking about the Government that has given him so many schools in the Southern Province as a bad one.

Madam Chairperson, can you imagine that some hon. Members can say that? People who are listening out there see the good things that this Government is doing. Indeed, they hear the wrong message.

 Madam Chairperson,   there is a saying in Tonga …


The Chairperson: Order!

Can we stop these running commentaries.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha:  Madam Chairperson, there is a saying in Tonga that says, “Utalumbi,  …

Hon. UPND Members: … mubwa”.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: You can conclude it for me.


Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Madam Chairperson, this means that a person who does not show appreciation when somebody has done something good for him/her is like a type of domestic wildlife.


Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Madam Chairperson, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia has stood up and said to the people of Zambia, “Sorry for the inconvenience due to the fuel situation in the country”. How humble, indeed, can the President be than to apologise to the people for the suffering brought about by the fuel situation in the country? It takes a man and a great leader to apologise. I have not heard any one of the political leaders who are represented here on your left apologise for anything, and yet our President is beyond that. He apologises when things are wrong and tells the people of Zambia that he is going to correct the situation. This is a great President.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Madam Chairperson, let me also speak about the few things that others have contributed on. Indeed, it is important that we understand that all the public media are available for any political party.

 Hon. Opposition Members: No!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: All you need to do is pick up the phone and tell them wherever you want to be so that you can be covered. This has been done several times by the Daily Mail, Times of Zambia and ZNBC.

I just want to give you one latest example. The PF campaign in the Northern Province used the ZANIS public address system. How can you say that it is not available to you when it is available to you, and yet you went ahead and used it? This is a fact. I speak facts.

 Madam Chairperson, let me also speak on a few issues. Indeed, I accepted the debate by Hon. Sinyangwe. She debated so well and very mutually. We take note of all her recommendations. Indeed, it is important that we have a high level of tranquility in the press. The second television channel is coming and it will offer more time and opportunities for the Kitwe Studios to also air some programmes. It is a channel that is going to bring about revenue, more information and educational materials.

Madam Chairperson, I want to commend Hon. C. K. B. Banda, SC., for the wonderful debate, especially on the provincial newspapers.

As a Government, we agree that the provincial newspapers are coming back in the course of next year. We have started with Chipata and are now going to be producing the local newspapers in Chipata. Next year, we are going to produce the local newspapers in Kasama. In other words, the local newspapers will be produced in all the provincial centres so that they can reach our people much faster. We are starting this next year.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Ba Lundwe, speak up!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Madam Chairperson, there are a few other contributions that were made, but I still would like to thank Hon. C. K. B. Banda, SC., when he talked about the need for strengthening the law. It is important that we strengthen the law to protect the people of Zambia. For example, if somebody is attacked and wants to explain or reply to questions in a newspaper, it is important that this is printed out. These laws will bring about sanity.

Another example I can give is that, if a family is attacked, and the members of the family want to respond to a few questions, their response can be printed in the newspaper. At the moment, when a person is attacked and he/she requests the media for a response, they will refuse to print it because they have a position that they have taken. Therefore, it is important that we bring to the media a regulatory system.

Hon. Syakalima, there is no dictatorship in the media regulatory system. Botswana has a regulatory system and is running as a democracy. Kenya has it and it is running as a democracy. The United States of America (USA) have media regulations and are running as a democracy. There are no dictators whatsoever.

Mr Syakalima: Why not Zambia!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Yes, indeed! Why not Zambia?

Hon. Syakalima, you should examine and take a leaf from the debate by Hon. Mulongoti on how they look at that constitution that he was talking about. Yes, indeed, Hitler produced a book. Hon. Syakalima is a researcher and he has given us his wonderful and colourful résumé, but it is important that you read what Hitler did and then you compare it to the PF Constitution. It will help you understand where you are going.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Madam Chairperson, it is important for the media to show the President or the Vice-President on television because they were elected by the people of Zambia to be President and Vice-President of the country respectively. Therefore, it is necessary that the President is heard by the people who elected him, on how he is leading the country in a wonderful economic growth like Zambia’s.

Mr Kambwili: Question!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: It is important that people listen to the President.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: How can you not want the people to know that our economy is growing by as close as 5 per cent when the economy of South Africa is not growing not even by 1 per cent?

Ms Lundwe: Hear, hear!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: It is important that the people know that the Government built schools in your constituencies.

Hon. Government Members: Yes!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: The people in your constituencies must know that relief food is distributed by their Government …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: … so that you do not misinform them that you are the one who took the food there.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: It is important that the people know. It is also important that the people know that the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) is given by the Government and is doing everything possible to help the people so that you do not misinform them that you are the ones who are providing CDF.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: For this reason, the President and Vice-President must be shown by the public media for people to see that the Government is working. If you want your agenda to be shown on the media, go ahead, they will cover you. There is no problem with that because that is important for you to do, but have an agenda first. However, you must be aware that the Government has a continuous agenda of 2010/2030. All these are issues that we are going for. When we go to look for resources outside the country for the multi-facility economic zones (MFEZs) that we are creating, our people must know. Therefore, the public media must show Hon. Mutati, the President and even our partners, the Chinese. By the way, we like the Chinese investment a lot.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: Order!

The hon. Minister should put his points across briefly because we have a lot of work.


The Chairperson: Order!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Hon. Dr Machungwa, how wonderful it is that you gave an intelligent debate. Indeed, ZANIS will come through because we have bought a lot of vehicles for ZANIS to answer the needs of the districts and everybody there is going to benefit.

Madam Chairperson, it is important that we also understand that it is not ZANIS that carries all the political agendas. ZANIS is necessary for us to promulgate Government’s achievements and the work at hand. Therefore, all those vehicles that are coming to your districts are meant to help you promulgate what is important for our people.

I want to thank everybody who has debated and I urge you to pass the estimates for my ministry.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: Order!

VOTE 26/01 – (Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services – Headquarters – K7,098,236,338)

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 9, Activity 04 – Revolving Fund – K450,000,000. What is the use of this revolving fund? Last year, we provided K397,600,000 and this year, the ministry is asking for K450,000,000. What is this revolving fund all about? If it is a revolving fund, why should we continue putting in more money?

Secondly, may I have clarification on Programme 12, Activity 01 – Goods and Services – K703,000,000. Last year, the ministry asked for K50,000,000 only …

The Chairperson: Which Programme is that?

Mr Kambwili: Programme 12, Activity 01 – Goods and Services – K703,000,000. The ministry asked for K50,000,000 only to pay off arrears. Suddenly, this year, they are asking for K703,000,000. How possible is that?

Thirdly, on Programme 2, Activity 03 – Office Administration – K243,432,000 and Activity 02 – Transport Management – K1,084,440,000 which, in my view, includes the office of the ministers. Again, they have provided other figures which I need clarification on.

On Programme 13, Activity 01 – Services to the Minister – K79,560,000, Activity 02 – Services to the Deputy Minister – K70,320,000, Activity 03 – Services to the Permanent Secretary – K71,280,000 and Activity 04 – Services to the Directors – K13,200,000, what is this money for?

Mr Mubika: Boma!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Madam Chairperson, on Programme 9, Activity 04 – Revolving Fund – K450,000,000, this provision is for loans for members of staff. The variance is as a result of the increase in the number of officers requesting for loans.

Ms Lundwe: Hear, hear!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: What was the other one?

Dr Mwansa: Goods and Services!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Goods and Services …

The Chairperson: No, Programme 12 on page 322.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Programme 12, Activity 01 – Goods and Services – K703,000,000, this provision is for payment of outstanding bills. The variance reflects the amount owed to different institutions such as ZNBC, Zambia Telecommunications Limited (Zamtel), Zambia Daily Mail and Times of Zambia.

What is the third one? I did not get the third programme …

The Chairperson: Programme 13 – Management, he referred to Activities 01, 02 …

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Programme 13, Activity 01 – Services to the Minister – K79,560,000, Activity 02 – Services to the Deputy Minister – K70,320,000, Activity 03 – Services to the Permanent Secretary – K71,280,000 and Activity 04 – Services to the Directors – K13,200,000. Specifically, amounts of money that are in general administration do not cover the ministers and all listed below; the directors, deputy ministers and permanent secretaries. We have put that money in general administration for everybody else.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D Mwila (Chipili): Madam Chairperson, on Programme 2, Activity 06 – Public Functions and Ceremonies – K195,000,000, I would like to know why the allocation to this activity has been increased by 300 percent from K54,000,000 last year.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Madam Chairperson, this provision is for the ministry to participate in public functions such as the Public Service Day. The variance is due to an increased number of public functions to be attended.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Madam Chairperson, I would like to know how the ministry is going to control the revolving fund for loans to staff when the lending is going to be done by the Ministry of Finance and National Planning. Why should this ministry create a revolving fund to give loans within the ministry when this function is done by the Ministry of Finance and National Planning?

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Madam Chairperson, it is normal to take care of the welfare of our people in the ministries so that they can access loans to improve their livelihood. This programme is working very well in the Civil Service.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Dr Machungwa: Madam Chairperson, on Programme 9, Activity 07 – Care and Support – K44,000,000, I would like the hon. Minister to clarify what this is all about.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Madam Chairperson, as you are aware, there are a number of people who are affected by HIV/AIDS and it is with this money that we are able to care for them.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Vote 26/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 26/02 – (Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services – Zambia News and Information Services – K11,018,292,801)

Mr Kambwili: Madam Chairperson, I seek clarification on Unit 2, Programme 8, Activity 04 – Distribution of Newspapers – K180, 000, 000. I would like to find out what kind of newspapers are distributed by the Zambia News Agency.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Madam Chairperson, in winding up debate, I mentioned that we were going to start producing local papers in the provinces and the money was to go towards the distribution of the newspapers.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Mr Kambwili: Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister is not telling the truth.

Hon. Member: Aah!

Mr Kambwili: Why are you saying aah, when we are here to approve the budget? If you do not want to talk, just sit quietly.

The Chairperson: Order!

Hon. Kambwili, simply moderate yourself in this House. First of all, it is wrong for you to say that the hon. Minister is not telling the truth when he has the information. Secondly, do not continuously refer to others in a derogatory manner. It is important that you remain honourable in this House. You may continue asking your questions in a civil manner.

Mr Kambwili: Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister said that they were going to start printing newspapers, but under Programme 8, Activity 3 – Printing of Newspapers – Nil. Which newspapers is he going to print and where will he get the money from because the only money allocated to the newspapers is for distribution and that is why I said that he was misleading us.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Madam Chairperson, we have said here that we are going to start to produce local papers in the provinces, starting with Chipata going on to Kasama. Within that amount, we must be able to distribute the newspapers and that money is meant for that.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Vote 26/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 26/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

VOTE 33/01 – (Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry – Headquarters – K41,590,710,579).

The Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Mr Mutati): Madam Chairperson, may I express my gratitude for giving me the opportunity to deliver a policy statement on my ministry’s 2010 budget.

Mr Chairperson, the theme “Enhancing Growth through Competitiveness and Diversification” comes at no better time than now when my ministry is relentlessly working on reducing the cost of doing business, expanding tangible investments and exports and improving the competitiveness of locally-produced goods and services.

Madam Chairperson, our goal for 2010 is to create jobs for our people by securing local and foreign investments to the extent of over US$2 billion with realised projects on the ground. The 2010 Budget theme resonates with the mission statement of the ministry which is, “To effectively and efficiently facilitate and promote sustainable growth, development and competitiveness of the commercial, trade and industrial sectors in order to enhance socio-economic development”. The mission statement defines the functions of the ministry. Competitiveness and diversification remain central to the delivery of our mandate. We have, therefore, been allocated K41.2 billion in the 2010 budget to deliver on this mandate.

Madam Chairperson, the effects of the global economic and financial crisis have not spared Zambia but, despite this, we have continued to attract significant investment. I wish to thank the local business community for standing firm with us during the downturn by sustaining local employment. Even with the crisis not fully behind us, we have seen the reopening of the closed mines and the expansion of existing businesses which have included the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).

Madam Chairperson, our challenge remains in achieving competitiveness and diversification to undertake accelerated reforms attracting investment and improving infrastructure. Permit me to provide highlights of key achievements in 2009. Zambia’s achievements in the areas of competitiveness as well as business and investment climate are indicated by the improvements in ranking by the World Bank 2010 Doing Business Report and the World Economic Forum, where Zambia has been ranked amongst the most improved countries.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati: Our ranking has moved to 90 from 183, three years ago, putting Zambia ahead of a number of major economies. Zambia is only one point behind China which is one of the biggest economies in the world.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati: Madam Chairperson, our efforts of diversifying the economy are gaining momentum with non-traditional exports (NTEs) contributing close to 40 per cent of the total exports in 2009. Apart from our conventional sugar, cement and copper cable exports to the big markets, our local entrepreneurs are responding favourably to the Government’s policies and, at the moment, we have SMEs exporting seed to Mexico; herbs and beads to China and artefacts to the United State of America(USA). We even have a Zambian who has opened a textile factory in China, employing about 4,000 Chinese.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati: Such spirit of enterprise is to be commended.

The Reforms

The Government has undertaken structural reforms that are aimed at removing the constraints that negatively affect business start up and growth and these are:

(a) commercialising the operations of the Patents and Companies Registration Office (PACRO), resulting in an increased number of businesses moving from the informal sector to the formal sector, leading to job creation and an expansion of the tax base;

(b) accelerating the regulatory reform process through the review of business licensing procedures. A number of Bills will shortly be presented to this august House for approval;

(c) introducing a legal framework for public-private-partnerships (PPPs). The Government has moved swiftly to review and initiate proposals for PPPs in key areas of infrastructure development, such as roads, bridges and energy projects;

(d) reforming the electricity sector to enhance efficiency and investment in new and existing capacity; and

(e) reducing the cost of telecommunications by updating the regulatory and legal framework.

Madam Chairperson, in the area of investment, between January and September 2009, investments worth K1.1 billion was made with the capacity to create 11,400 jobs. These investments cover a number of sectors, including agriculture, construction, manufacturing, mining, tourism, transport and agro-processing.

Madam Chairperson, the MMD Government does not merely talk about job creation and competitiveness. It has acted decisively to attract job creating investments across a number of sectors of the economy. For example, this morning, we concluded an agreement with Chobe Agro Vision for a US$50 million project investment which will create 1,600 jobs. Tomorrow, we will be signing an agreement for a US$60 million expansion project with ZAMBEEF. The revival of the Kabwe Tannery is already making an impact in Kabwe and the surrounding areas. In the next three weeks, we are expected to sign an agreement for US$40 million for the Roma Industrial Park which is going to accommodate a number of SMEs.

Small and Medium-sized  Enterprises

Madam Chairperson, SMEs have remained key drivers of job creation and economic growth. A number of programmes for SMEs are already on the ground with visible results, as can be evidenced by the rollout of the Business Development Services (BDS) Voucher Programme from four to twenty districts this year alone, in conjunction with the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) and Zambia Chamber of Small and Medium Business Association (ZCSMBA). Already, we have seen a number of SMEs graduate such as Vehement Investments Limited who are now manufacturing export-grade shoes, Broadway Chemicals in Ndola and Roche Investments in Monze are making an impact in the tourism sector and a Kafue-based trailer manufacturer who will soon be exporting to the region.

Madam Chairperson, over 200 SMEs have been trained in basic business management skills, preparation of bankable business plans and leadership and management skills.


Empowerment of local entrepreneurs remains key with the empowerment commission disbursing over K36 billion to facilitate the financing of over 189 projects, including the Kabwe-based roofing sheet manufacturer. A significant number of jobs have been created out of this initiative.

Expanding Regional and International Trade

At the multilateral level, Zambia undertook to review its trade policy regime and the implementation process for the period 2002 to 2008 which was presented to the 153 members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in July in Geneva. The presentation was successful and well received but, more importantly, it will go towards addressing trade imbalances that have characterised our region.

Zambia effectively participated in the continued negotiations under the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) and led the Eastern and Southern African countries in the process of improving the final package of the agreement to be signed.

Madam Chairperson, through the European Commission (EC) accompanying measures, Zambia has managed to secure support for among others, the expansion of the production of sugar through out-grower schemes. Sugar is a key export to the EU and the region. At the regional level, Zambia successfully hosted the COMESA-EAC-SADC tripartite high-level resource mobilisation conference on the north/south corridor. The outcome of the meeting was a series of pledges totalling US$1.2 billion for projects and trade facilitation measures on the north/south corridor and a commitment by all parties to implement projects and programmes necessary to reduce the cost of doing business. An additional US$1.5 billion to deal with energy infrastructure was pledged.

Madam Chairperson, a follow-up ministerial meeting will be held in Zambia on 8th December, 2009 to try and implement these projects. Zambia undertook to improve the hard and soft infrastructure at Chirundu aimed at improving efficiency of border operations by establishing a one-stop border post to be commissioned on 5th December, 2009.

Madam Chairperson, let me now look at how we shall go forward in 2010. The focus in 2010 will be to implement programmes that will enhance competitiveness and diversification. The output of such programmes will be the creation of more jobs and wealth.

The programmes are as follows:

The Reforms

The Government will undertake reforms to reduce business licensing procedures and requirements, resulting in the reduction in the cost of doing business. This will involve amendments to the various legislation.

Regulatory Reform

We shall be presenting Bills to Parliament to improve the business environment and these reforms include:

(i) the PACRO Bill;
(ii) repealing the Competition Act and replacing it with the Competition and Consumer Welfare Act; and 
(iii) amending the Companies Act and also the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) Act.

Trade Expansion

  Madam Chairperson, the Government will undertake reforms to address the barriers to trade expansion and enhance the capability of Zambia to efficiently and effectively take advantage of trade opportunities around the region and other international markets.


In 2010, the ministry will undertake the following activities:

(i) Develop an investment promotion strategy that will guide identification, development and marketing of investment packages;
(ii) undertake targeted local and foreign investment missions;
(iii) commence the development of the Lusaka South MFEZ, Lusaka Sub-Zone MFEZ, Lumwana MFEZ and, at least, two industrial parks.

Small and Medium Entrepreneurs

In 2010, the ministry will undertake the following programmes and activities:

(i) continue with the SME linkages programmes with various large firms;
(ii) provide SME training in various areas of business development and operations;
(iii) facilitate the development of incubators; and 
(iv) rollout the business development system programme.

As regards empowerment, the Government will continue to empower economically-marginalised citizens through the Citizens’ Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC). Further, efforts will be made to make the fund more accessible.

To expand regional and international trade, the ministry will work on the following programmes:

(a) establishing the framework aimed at strengthening the bilateral trade and investment framework with the Untied States of America in early 2010;

(b) ensuring that the final outcomes of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) as well as the Doha Round of Negotiations are aligned to support the economic and growth objectives of Zambia;

(c) harmonising the regulations, trade policies, programmes and infrastructure plans in the context of the tripartite framework involving the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa – East African Community (COMESA-EAC) and Southern African Development Community (SADC);

(d) putting in place programmes to strengthen the bilateral trade frameworks with, among others, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo and Malawi in the first half of 2010; and

(e) the ministry will be working towards establishing one stop border posts at Kazungula, Katima Mulilo, Kasumbalesa and Nakonde.

Mr Chairperson, notwithstanding a reduced budgetary allocation of K41.59 billion compared to K52.9 billion in 2009, my ministry and its statutory boards will put this resource constraint aside and be innovative and creative in order to enhance service delivery and private sector development. This is our act of faith. We shall make a difference to move Zambia more resolutely towards achieving the Vision 2030.

Mr Chairperson, may I, therefore, appeal to hon. Members of this august House to support the budgetary allocation for the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry as it will be the first and correct step in moving towards the Vision 2030 and deliver for the people of Zambia.

Madam Chairperson, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr L. J. Mulenga (Kwacha):  Madam Chairperson, I have listened very attentively to what the hon. Minister has presented to this House. Nevertheless, I would like to indicate, from the outset, that I support the budget for this ministry although I am very disappointed that it has been reduced because I find the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry t very cardinal in what we are attempting to do in this nation economically.

First of all, I think that one of the things that have inhibited trade in this nation is the concentration on the local market rather than the regional one. As a landlocked country, we are blessed to be surrounded by so many countries, and yet we are failing to penetrate their markets. The simple reason is that our primary production, which basically is maize, soya beans, cassava and so on and so forth, does not have an impact on the surrounding markets. This is because regional trade has become a political issue instead of being based on economic integration.

We, therefore, need to open up to more trade with surrounding countries. We have been lamenting about the need to increase our national revenue and we can only do so by becoming more competitive and opening up to trade within the region. In other words, if I am a farmer, I must be allowed to choose wherever I want to sell my product. I must not be inhibited by the Government’s policies.

Furthermore, when we talk about the EPAs, we must understand what this entails for our economy. The EPAs have already been signed, but this has not been communicated to this House. We would like to find out what income inflow we going to have for development as a result of this arrangement. This is very important because we need to clearly understand how much we are going to benefit from such agreements. If these agreements are not properly spelled out, it becomes very difficult for us to support them.

I think one of the things that have been clearly stipulated in this House and in other fora is that EPAs should be renegotiated before we sign. There are so many things that we have to take into account such as the transitional period before these agreements come into effect. At the end of the day, we might get ourselves into a situation whereby our exports are not competitive, which would be against the Budget’s theme of “Enhancing Growth through Competitiveness and Diversification”. So it is important to consider our competitiveness before we get into these agreements.

We must understand our substantial abilities as a nation. Our substantial abilities are primary production orientated in the sense that we are more of growers than manufacturers. This is a fact that we must accept. I believe that the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry will steer this nation from being primary production oriented to secondary productivity. I think that is important. When we look at the country’s investment portfolio, we should look at it in terms of job creation for our people such as those in Kwacha Constituency. We should also ask ourselves if the people feel they are benefiting from this investment. How much has this Executive done to explain to the people so that they understand the benefit of foreign direct investment (FDI)?

The hon. Minister’s policy statement is very good, but does it have the support of the people on the ground? We have to find out if the public has the same view as what the hon. Minister expressed in his statement.  The majority of the people I have spoken to, especially those that run SMEs, feel they have been left out by this Government. What we now need to do is translate exactly what the hon. Minister has said to the local people so that they understand. Only a few people are benefiting from the current Government policies. The hon. Minister needs to go out there and explain to my grandfathers and uncles so that they understand and begin to benefit from these policies. In the absence of that, he will just speak good English and it will end there.

Madam Chairperson, as it has been stated before, Zambia is a nation endowed with so many natural resources. This ministry is key to moving this country forward. Zambians are tired of waiting for empty promises and now want tangible results. They want to feel, touch and see the benefits of economic growth. They are not interested in the monster Government that we have created. We do not even know what the definition of government is anymore. We have moved away from the definition, in civic education, of what a government is. Now we are even saying, “Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) Government.” I want to disagree with the hon. Minister for using such a phrase. There is no MMD Government. There is only the Zambian Government.

Mrs Phiri: Hear, hear!

Mr L. J. Mulenga: This Government is led by the MMD Executive and not the MMD Government. We must make this very clear. There is no MMD Government and there shall never be a Patriotic Front (PF) government or United Party for National Development (UPND) government, but there shall be the Zambian Government.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr L. J. Mulenga: This is the reason we even make our cadres feel like now they are in Government. They are not in Government. We, hon. Members, are together in Government except we have different roles. I have heard, on the Floor of this House, people say, “this Government” and so on  and so forth, but we are all in Government.


The Chairperson: Order!


The Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.


Mr L. J. Mulenga: Mr Chairperson, before business was suspended, I was trying to bring out a point that defines what a Government is and who are the government. Basically, it is all the Zambian people who are a government. We only have an Executive wing of Government that is now riding and ensuring that the Zambian people begin to derive something from the fortunes that God has given to this nation.

Mr Chairperson, talking about trade and industry, this is a daily routine for every Zambian in this nation and that is why it is very important that we do not put a blind eye to how our people are existing in terms of trade and commerce.

First of all, in this nation, there is so much concentration on trade. In other words, imports; and we are not doing that much. This is my appeal through you, Sir, to the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry that we begin to look at what comparative advantage we have in terms of what we can export to other countries because that is fundamental and it is the only thing that is going to move this nation forward. We can sign international trade protocols but, as long as we do not evoke the initiatives of the common Zambian, we are not getting anywhere. There will be other transitional governments and executives that will come in, minus evoking and making a Zambian national realise that he/she is party to this nation, we will not get anywhere because even with regard to our taxes and so on and so forth, people do not even understand why they pay taxes.

This is why I am imploring the Executive to explain to the people so that even when they are building a school, they will appreciate and support that as their own unlike the case is at the moment when people think that there is a monster of a government and they do not know which government it is. Even when hon. Members of Parliament in this House stand up to say, “This Government”, I wonder which government they refer to. We need to understand that we are a government and liable for whatever we discuss in here. One day, posterity will judge us.

Mr Chairperson, we need to understand that we are only in leadership for a specific period of time and we must utilise that leadership. Leadership is not by one person. It is common ground for everybody. Like the hon. Ministers of Finance and National Planning and Commerce, Trade and Industry have indicated, we need to begin interpreting it to the people so that they understand what we are talking about. However, we need to do more so that our export levels increase more than the import levels.

With those few remarks and with the agreement of my dear sister there whose name I will not mention, I wish to rest my case.

I beg to sit and thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Mr Chairperson, I will not take long on this debate. However, I just wish to raise a few issues. The hon. Member of Parliament, who just finished speaking, made a very important point that we are all part of the Government. The only difference is that on this side of the House (right), we are leading as the MMD Executive in this Government. The difference among all the parties represented in this House is our manifestos. These are the products that we have to sell to the people of Zambia. If I can just make reference to one political party’s manifesto, as highlighted by Hon. Mulongoti earlier today, one political party said that when they come to power, all parastatal companies will be run by cadres. The difference with the MMD manifesto is that we want to provide to the people of Zambia and this is the MMD legacy since 1991. We want to continue providing hope to the Zambians as well as an enabling environment where both local and foreign investment must prevail. Our economic expansion to create those important jobs and wealth will be anchored on the private sector participating and growing the economy.

This is why even with the teething problems earlier on in this process, we are still committed to an efficient running of the economy by encouraging private sector participation, including privatisation of some of the inefficient parastatal companies in this country. It is not our intention, like other political parties who sell their manifestos, to relinquish parastatal companies to cadres. We want to ensure that these parastatal companies, which are very few, are able to contribute to the improved living standards of all the 12 million Zambians by making profit and paying dividends to the Government so that we build schools, health institutions and support agriculture in terms of dams and irrigation in the country. After doing away with the teething problems of the Zambia National Commercial Bank (ZANACO) through privatisation, we have not heard any complaint from the workers in ZANACO because the workers, Government and everyone is happy.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: We will continue with this process of privatisation and now we are moving on to the Zambia Telecommunications Company (Zamtel) because we know that it is the right thing to do. We know that the money for Zamtel is not just for the 2,600 workers. It is for all of us. If we are going to continue to build schools, the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry has to find investment in parastatal companies that are not making money such as the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia and even Hon. Muyanda’s very big concern, Maamba Collieries. We have to ensure that we do not allow Government assets to go to waste, but find those that can partner with us so that they can contribute to the gross domestic product. Only when the economy grows, can we truly have money in people’s pockets.

I thank you, Sir.

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

Mr Mutati: Mr Chairperson, I thank the House for the support that I have received for my vote and, in particular, for being enlightened about the definition of government which has now been clearly elaborated upon by Hon. Siliya that we, in the MMD Government, are advancing and responsible for making policies to make the difference to the well-being of the people of Zambia. That is our core responsibility.

Mr Chairperson, let me just, very briefly, comment on the issues raised by Hon. L. J. Mulenga on the impact of regional trade and international trade with the European Union (EU). You may not know that 60 per cent of our exports go into the EU and the bulk of our copper is traded in the EU. Therefore, in terms of the impact, all those people in your constituency who are working in the mining industry are impacted upon by this trade.

In the EPAs, we have a number of issues and that is why we have not signed them. These include the extent to which we shall open up our economy, be allowed to remain closed before we open and the extent to which we will be able to impose export taxes. These are the issues that we are engaged in with the EU in order to resolve the problem.

Sir, let me just assure him that our thrust is value addition exports and that is why we have introduced MFEZs. This morning, we signed a deal for Vetecom integration in agriculture and that is value addition.

Mr Chairperson, let me assure him also that Zambia has a positive trading balance with Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) and a narrow deficit with SADC and a positive trade balance with China. Therefore, we are reasonably doing well.

He should also know that within the Southern African region, in terms of attracting investments, we are only second to South Africa. In essence, we are doing reasonably well. In terms of creating jobs, we are only second to South Africa.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati: This will touch everybody. This Government is committed to creating jobs and opportunities and also expanding the tax base.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Well, thank you for correcting the mistake because I was earlier referred to as Madam Chairperson. I hope I do not look like a lady.


Vote 33/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 33/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 33/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 33/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 33/06 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

VOTE 45/01 – (Ministry of Community Development and Social Services – K76,556,649,274).

The Minister of Community Development and Social Services (Mr Kaingu): Mr Chairperson, I wish to thank you for according me this opportunity to discuss the estimates of expenditure for the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services for 2010 which stands at K76.5 billion compared to this year’s approved budget expenditure of K62.5 billion.

My ministry, which was created through a presidential decree in 1992, plays an important role in the alleviation of poverty and hunger among the Zambian citizens. Its mission statement is, “To effectively and efficiently facilitate the provision of socio-economic empowerment and welfare support to the poor and vulnerable and also promote the development and preservation of culture for human development”.

To fulfill this mission, my ministry has the following departments:

(i) Human Resources and Administration;

(ii) Social Welfare;

(iii) Community Development;

(iv) Cultural Affairs; and

(v) Planning and Information.

Mr Chairperson, kindly allow me to also state here that there shall be a Department for the Registrar of Non-governmental organisations as we implement the NGO Act No. 16 of 2009. On this one, we shall ask for supplementary funding as this Act was passed after the budget had been finalised. To complement the above departments, there are several grant-aided institutions providing specialised functions on behalf of the ministry.

The Public Welfare Assistance Scheme

The Public Welfare Assistance Scheme is a national programme which covers all districts that help our disadvantaged brothers and sisters meet their basic necessities. This scheme provides support to incapacitated households through social, education and health support. In this year’s budget, my ministry has allocated K5.6 billion compared to K6.7 billion in the current annual budget. Allow me to explain this reduction when I talk about the Social Cash Transfer Scheme.

The scheme, which was implemented in Kalomo, Monze, Kazungula, Chipata and Katete districts, will now be rolled out to all districts in a phased approach. In the initial phase of up scaling from next year onwards, we shall start with ten additional districts, namely Kalabo, Shang’ombo, Kaputa, Luwingu, Serenje, Senanga, Zambezi, Chilubi, Milenge and Chienge. These districts were selected based on poverty criteria and the need to achieve geographical balancing as we roll out the scheme. Some of the current Public Welfare Assistance Scheme (PWAS) clients will be absorbed by the Social Cash Transfer Scheme, hence the reduction in the PWAS allocation. Currently, most of the funding for the Social Cash Transfer is from co-operating partners and there is a need for the Government to continue increasing its funding proportion to the scheme. To this effect, the budgetary allocation to this scheme has gone up from K3 billion this year to K4 billion in 2010.

The Food Security Pack

This programme targets vulnerable but viable farmers by giving them fertiliser and other farming inputs such as seed and agriculture lime. This programme also encourages farmers to engage in wetland cropping, conservation and livestock farming. My ministry, through this programme, aims to improve food security at the household level. In the 2010 Budget, K10 billion has been allocated towards this programme which will be implemented throughout the country.

The Women’s Development Programme

The Government recognises that women are among the most vulnerable in the country. It is for this reason that my ministry places a lot of emphasis on this programme, which empowers women and other vulnerable groups with entrepreneurship training in order to uplift their living standards.

Under this programme, women are encouraged to work together through the formation of women’s groups and are empowered with small grants for income-generating activities.

My ministry has increased the allocation to this programme from K700 million in this year’s Budget to K5 billion in the 2010 Budget so that the number of beneficiaries is increased.

Arts and Culture

Mr Chairperson, the importance of culture in the development of any nation cannot be over emphasised. While safeguarding and promoting cultural heritage will enable this nation preserve its folk culture, arts and heritage, products of the cultural sector such as handicrafts, performing arts, music, film and other products can contribute to employment and wealth creation. In the 2010 work plan, my ministry will implement the following projects and programmes to support the cultural sector.

Infrastructure Development

My ministry is expected to complete the construction of the Maramba Cultural Village which has been selected as part of the 2010 World Cup cultural tourism circuit. The Maramba Cultural Village will be established as a one-stop cultural shopping centre for handicrafts, curios, souvenirs, entertainment centre and living museum of Zambia’s culture and heritage. In the 2010 Budget, K2.9 billion has been set aside for the completion of the works at the village.

Multi-Agency Culture and Creative Industries Project

The culture and creative industry project will be implemented for a period of three years, beginning from 2010 to build capacities of artisans and other cultural agents in production and entrepreneurship in the cultural sector.

The project is part of the European Union (EU), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), International Labour Organisation (ILO), UNESCO project on strengthening creative industry through capacity building for cultural officers and leaders of arts and cultural organisations and providing consultancy for the preparations of proposals for the financing of multi-agency project for the period 2009/2013. This project will benefit all the nine provinces of Zambia.

Mr Chairperson, finally, in 2010, my ministry intends to commence the construction of permanent structures such as shelter and sanitary facilities at selected traditional ceremony venues. This is to enable the important cultural events to attract more local and foreign tourists and ensure that sanitation and hygiene is promoted at these ceremonies.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Mr Sejani (Mapatizya): Mr Chairperson, I just would like to make a fundamental observation on the status of the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services. I raise this matter because for some time now, I have been concerned about the perception being created with regard to the status of the ministry as is reflected by our annual budgetary allocations to this ministry.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to know how high the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services is on the order in the Government arrangement. I think that in many people’s eyes, this ministry does not feature very highly.

Mr Chairperson, in more serious societies, this is one of the most important ministries. However, that is not reflected in the way we allocate resources to this ministry.

It is beginning to look like what used to be called the Department of National Guidance in the Second Republic which was something of a backwater arrangement. In that department, the authorities were depositing two types of politicians. These were the tired and expiring and the dangerous ones who could not be let loose because they could have politically injured the authorities. I am not insinuating that my lustrous friend, Hon. Kaingu, is dangerous.


Mr Sejani: That is how that department was arranged. If people reformed in the National Guidance Department, they were redeployed to other ministries.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Hon. Sejani, I hope you know you should trade carefully on unsafe ground.

You may continue, please.


Mr Sejani: I thank you, Mr Chairperson. I am emphasising the need to start revaluating the status of the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services. I know that all ministries are important and equal. However, I would like to argue that this particular ministry must be more equal than others because it deals with the problems of the Zambian society. The problems of Zambia are the problems of the Zambian communities. The development of Zambia is the development of Zambian communities. The poverty of Zambia is the poverty of Zambian communities. Invariably, therefore, developing Zambia means developing Zambian communities.

Mr Chairperson, I am worried about the way we allocate resources, first of all, to this ministry and secondly, within the ministry to the various departments. There are two critical departments which are in charge of social welfare and community development. I would have thought that we would have spent more time looking at issues and matters that would bring about real change to the material situation of our communities. This means that we should have been emphasising budget allocations to the department of community development more than the budget of the other departments.

Mr Chairperson, in my understanding, the Department of Social Welfare is the department that gives out alms to people. I have seen posters by the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services, as I go round, telling us not to give alms to beggars. There must be a reason. However, I get disturbed when I discover that it is the Government, itself, which tells us not to give alms, which is in the forefront of promoting and encouraging the giving of alms.

 In this year’s budgetary allocation, over 15 per cent of the ministry’s budget will go towards social welfare and only about 8 per cent towards community development. We have been taught by the Chinese, a very popular and useful saying which goes “Do not give me fish. Teach me how to fish so that I do not come back to you to ask for more fish.” I want to learn the skills of fishing.

Now, to put that saying in context, we should say the Department of Social Welfare is the fish giving department while the Department of Community Development is supposed to be the department that teaches us how to fish. We are still featuring so low in terms of allocating resources to that useful department to develop our communities. We are still emphasising the giving of alms. I expected that we would scale down the giving of alms and scale up devising strategies and programmes that will bring about new developments to our communities.

This has not been reflected in the budget allocations. This is how our lofty pronouncements in presidential speeches are not translated into real useful details of programme implementation. I am appalled by the constant neglect of the budgetary allocations to the Planning Department in the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services where the research section is located.

Hon. Minister, only a paltry K100 million has been provided, and yet that is the section that is supposed to inquire into the strategies of pulling us out of poverty. There are no two strategies that will work in all these areas. Perhaps, these areas will answer to different strategies. We should have been focusing on finding strategies such as survival skills that are going to pull our societies out of the poverty in which they are. However, look at the allocations. My investigation tells me that, even in terms of money, the research section is not well funded. This means that we have not prioritised this section.

Sir, I expect more money to go into research so that we find ways and means of pulling our people out of poverty. Once that research has been conducted, allocate sufficient resources to the Community Development Department so that we can bring about real change in the lives of our people. I am not satisfied with what has been given to this ministry.


Mr Sejani:  I did not go to the English school.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: I knew that there was a Department of English, but I bypassed it and went elsewhere. However, you understand what I am talking about.


Mr Sejani: The Government should start elevating the status of this ministry in its arrangement. In my opinion, being a person who had a misfortune of being born amongst Zambia’s poorest people, I find it sad that we continue to give lip service to such a serious ministry in terms of resource allocation. This is the ministry that is supposed to deal with the most downtrodden people, but it has continued to suffer deficiency in terms of budget allocations.

It is my sincere hope that in next year’s budget, there would be change. If not, I would like to serve timely notice that I will mobile sufficient resistance to these allocations because they are not answering to the people’s demands.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: I hope that somebody in the Government is listening. If not, there are wages for not listening. The wages of deafness is loss of Government.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the debate on this vote.

Sir, I stand to support this budget, but I would like to agree with my brother, the hon. Member of Parliament for Mapatizya, that the allocations for this particular ministry make it look like a department in other ministries. In 2009, it was allocated K67.2 billion and K76 billion has been provided for 2010. This looks like a departmental expense. This is equivalent to the K70 billion which has been allocated for disease control in the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development which is a new ministry, but K76 billion has been provided for a full ministry. I think something is seriously wrong.

Sir, Hon. Sejani has given an example of the Ministry of National Guidance. When the Ministry of National Guidance was in place in the United National Independence Party (UNIP) days, you will remember that the Ministry of Community Services was very strong. If you care to remember, the mother of Princes Nakatindi Wina was the hon. Minister then.

This ministry was well equipped. It had enough money such that officers from the ministry were able to go into villages and help build houses for the people in the communities. Officers from the ministry went into villages and gave soft loans and roofing sheets to people to build houses.

Government Members: Zambians where few!

Mr Muntanga: Yes, Zambians were few and money was also few. Look at the budgets now. Look at the money you have. We are saying that we should not reduce the importance of this ministry.

Sir, at that time, several houses were built for the community services, including in the villages. These houses are not even manned and they are now collapsing. Everywhere you go, you are told that there was a Community Development Officer, but that is a thing of the past.

There was a college in Monze for community workers next to the Zambia College of Agriculture (ZCA). Perhaps, others have forgotten it. The hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning reminded us that he was old enough by then to remember that we had functional literacy when we wanted to bring Zambians out of illiteracy. This was under the Ministry of Community Services.


Mr Muntanga: People were taught what normally could be called Muzenge. That was a programme under community development.

Hon. Opposition Member: They were taught how to read and write.

Mr Muntanga: Somebody is saying that people were taught how to read and write.

Sir, why do we now want to ignore this important ministry? You have even allocated K10 billion for the Fertiliser Support Programme. I think the programme that you have put under the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, where you are giving four bags of fertiliser, is actually a social welfare programme although you are calling it a Farmer Input Support Programme. I think this is a social welfare programme.

Hon. Minister, can you transfer that money to the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services. Let it be run under this ministry because the people you are going to give two or four bags of fertiliser are the most vulnerable. The peasant farmers who can plough about one hectare or more can be given something much better. Work out a programme where peasant farmers who can plough four or five hectares can borrow money from. Give them the support they need. There should be a separate programme under the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Take this Farmer Input Support Programme to the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services. Those are the actual vulnerable people. Why do you want to make every Zambian vulnerable?

Do you want to make all the 1,300 farmers under the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives vulnerable? Do you want to reduce them from a capacity to grow one hectare to half hectare farmers? The vulnerable people should go to the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services. This is the ministry where the blind and disabled go. At one time, when I went to the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services, I witnessed a queue of blind and disabled people looking for help from the hon. Minister.

I am wondering whether you are trying to treat this as a punishment. Any hon. Minister you think deserves to be punished is taken to the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services.


Mr Muntanga: Once you realise that they have done well, you promote them. They are taken to the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources or another ministry.


Mr Muntanga: Why should this be the case? Even the Permanent Secretary who was at the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services has also gone to the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources.

  Let us look for funds and make this allocation reasonable before we approve this budget. The Social Cash Transfer Programme, which started in Kalomo with the help of the German Technical Assistance to Zambia (GTZ), by last year, had already received over K10 billion when the Government was only providing K1.5 billion. In the 2010 Budget, the Government has given K3 billion and the co-operating partners are talking of providing between K15 billion to K20 billion. This is when the Government is moving towards K4 billion. We do not seem to be serious about helping our people.

Mr Chairperson, a while ago, people were praising us when we were doing very well, but now, people do not see what we are talking about when we say that we are growing the economy. Why do you say that when people do not even eat maize? Do you think they understand? People cannot understand the percentages that you are talking about which show economic growth. Where is the economy growing? On what basis is the economy growing when people still suffer in the villages? Grow the economy and take the money to the people for them to see that they are benefiting from your governance. You are trying to appease the people when you cannot even provide them with their requirements. You cannot support agriculture to the level required. Therefore, all people now are vulnerable. You have taken a programme for the Ministry of Community Development and Social Service to the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives. You will agree with what I am saying when we go into the villages and I start showing you how incapable you have become. We are telling you these issues free of charge.

The Deputy Chairperson: Address the Chair.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, we are telling these people. Just look at them.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, look at them.


Hon. Government Member: How old are you?

Mr Muntanga: The best they can say is how old is who. Even the most junior hon. Member is asking an elderly person like me, surely, how old I am. What I have been talking about is that our people have not been provided with enough services.

Mr Chairperson, through you, I want to say that the social clubs need people to teach them a lot of things and the best placed people who can do this are within the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services. We need to find people to man the offices that we have put up. The beautiful buildings were put up all over the country. People need to be accommodated in those offices. I recently went to one beautiful community office in Chikuni. The building is almost collapsing. When I asked people around the area, they said there was no officer.

Sir, in my own constituency, one officer was put in Chief Sipatonyana’s area. The officer said that he could not travel to other areas because there was no bicycle or motorbike. How can people work like this? These are the people who should move around the villages. I think we do not understand these issues. We do not have small villages in my area. The villages in rural areas are big. It is not like in Lusaka where one can easily move from one place to another. The villages in the rural areas are big and they are far apart. If you cannot provide the officers from the ministry with motor vehicles, provide them with bicycles for them to work effectively. The Budget of K76 billion per department in the ministry is equivalent to the Disease Control Department allocation under the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, the newest ministry.  

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

You have already made that point.

Mr Muntanga: I want to emphasise how bad this is.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, I want to show these people that this is bad. Who can say that this is a ministry? It is a department.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, I am therefore, appealing to the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to approve a Supplementary Budget for the ministry. Hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, do not be deaf. Listen to me very carefully. From your finances, get a bit of money and allocate it to this ministry. Look at them.


Mr Muntanga: Why can they not understand what I am saying? Your own parents in the Western Province want assistance. I think you have forgotten about them because you have lived in town for too long.


Mr Muntanga: I can see he has nodded. He has understood what I am saying. Through the Chair, I am assured that the money to be provided to this ministry will be increased so that we support our people. You will see how these hon. Ministers will run to the ministry when they hear that there are grinding mills and that cheques are issued to the clubs. These hon. ministers do not support this ministry when they have a lot of money. If you cannot change, I will go in the field and tell people how incapable you are.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Mr Sikota (Livingstone): Mr Chairperson, I would like to support this particular vote and state that this ministry is the one which is very dear to my heart. If I had the opportunity of being asked which ministry I would like to serve, this is the first ministry that I would choose. I would do so because this is the ministry that can help a large number of our indigent population and the poorest in society. The ones who are in most need are serviced by this particular ministry. It is said that the wealth of a society is judged by the manner in which it looks after the most disadvantaged and vulnerable in its ranks. If it means that you have to give out support by way of a Cash Transfer System to those who are in most need, that is what you must do. A Government giving out to those in need most amongst its citizens is doing the right thing and should not be condemned and said to be giving out alms. We are talking about people who are not able to go out and work for themselves, perhaps, due to infirmity or old age.

Sir, I would agree with the hon. Member for Kalomo, Mr Muntanga, who stated how important the Cash Transfer System is. I agree with him entirely. I have gone round in Kalomo with him and have seen how it is helping those in need in our society. I do not believe that Hon. Muntanga would say that the Government is irresponsible and is giving alms to those who really need that assistance. The Government should not abandon people in such need. Nobody wishing to come into government should tell those people who are receiving this assistance from the Government that it is wrong. It would be a shame if they did so. I hope the people out there will listen carefully. Those who are in most need should take heed that there are some who feel that those in need most in our society should be abandoned.

Mr Chairperson, it is true that it is important to teach a person how to fish. It is, however, also important to keep that person alive so that you can teach him or her how to fish.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota: If you abandon them and leave them for dead, you will not have that chance to teach them how to fish. We must, therefore, be balanced and practical when we look at these issues.

Mr Chairperson, I commend the Government for giving the Social Welfare Department K17.6 billion.

Hon. Opposition Member: Though not enough.

Mr Sikota: Though not enough, I agree. However, it is not true to state that community development has been given less unless one does not know his or her arithmetic very well. Community development has actually been given K20.1billion. Therefore, even as we debate, we must stick to the facts and not mislead the nation.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Government Member: Hon. Muntanga, are you listening?

Mr Sikota: I agree with the position that Hon. Muntanga has taken. He was actually stating that he is for the Cash Transfer Scheme.

Mr Muntanga: Yes!
Mr Sikota: He took a very responsible position. He cares for those who are the most indigent in our society and I join hands with him. I agree with him and I think he also joins hands with me when I state that we should, in fact, increase these amounts.

Mr Muntanga: Yes!

Mr Sikota: Whatever you call them, whether alms or something else, they must be increased. Our society will be judged according to the way we look after the most disadvantaged.

The Government has also got some programmes such as Women in Development aimed at teaching women how to “fish”, if I may borrow somebody’s words. Last year, they allocated K700 million to Women in Development. To show that this Government is cognisant of the fact that there is a need to teach people how to fish, they have increased the allocation from K700 million to K5 billion, this year.

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

Mr Sikota: Mr Chairperson, on non-formal and skills training, …

Hon. Opposition Member interjected.

Mr Sikota: I will gladly go as Minister of Community Development and Social Services.

Mr Chairperson, last year, non-formal and skills training was allocated K500 million. However, because the Government realises that there is, indeed, a need to teach people how to fish, this has been more than doubled to K1.3 billion this year. There are many other examples. If one is critical in the way they look at the figures, if one is sensitive to the needs of our people, one will be able to clearly see these trends.

Mr Chairperson, turning back to social welfare, I believe that this Government should, in fact, do more.

Mr Muntanga: Yes!

Mr Sikota: Mr Chairperson, we should have universal social welfare for the aged. We should put together some kind of social welfare programme so that those above a certain age get state assistance. We should put together a social welfare programme for the disabled in our community. Call it what you want, maybe alms, but if it is going to keep them alive, let us give it to them. We cannot sit back and see the most disadvantaged in our community go without any assistance. I hope that anybody wishing to come into Government is not going to abandon the aged, orphans and disabled.


Mr Sikota: Those who may say that the Government is giving alms to those people …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Actually, they are distracting your debate, especially those on my left. Please, let the hon. Member on the Floor debate because when you were debating, he was attentive.

Mr Sikota: I am most obliged.

Major Chizhyuka: Hammer!


Mr Sikota: Mr Chairperson, people out there must be taking notes and remember when the time comes for making decisions who will stand by the side of the down trodden. They should listen carefully because records will be there and will be provided. Therefore, people will judge as to who truly cares for them.

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota: Mr Chairperson, just like a society is judged by the way it looks after the most disadvantaged amongst its ranks, any society, club or party should also be judged by the promises it makes to the most disadvantaged in the country.

Mr Muntanga: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota: Mr Chairperson, like I said, I am glad that there are some progressives such as the hon. Member for Kalomo Central, Mr Muntanga, who is firmly standing with me on this issue.


Mr Sikota: Mr Chairperson, I can, therefore, assure him that we are one on this particular issue. I hope that other hon. Members in this House will also recognise that we need to help those in need most in our community. This is not the time to abandon them or turn our backs on them. It is the time for us to reach out and help them out and keep them alive.

 Mr Muntanga: Yes!

Mr Sikota: Mr Chairman, with those few words, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kaingu: Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank you for this opportunity.

Sir, before I register my overwhelming support in the House, from hon. Members, let me briefly say something without spoiling the good things the three hon. Members of Parliament have said. I want to put it on record that I am very happy with my job and I have not been shunted to any ministry. I am very happy in this ministry.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kaingu: Mr Chairperson, I would like to say that I am so used to the insults that I receive from that corner. Today, I am flattered with the statements that are coming out. That is how it should be. When we debate matters concerning the people of Zambia, I would want people to debate like Hon. Sejani, Muntanga and of course…

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Hon. Minister, I want us to pass your budget.

Mr Kaingu: The cherry on the cake, …


Mr Kaingu: … Hon. Sikota, …


Ms Lundwe: Hear, hear!

Mr Kaingu: How I wished that all the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) would help my ministry because the Government has no resources to assist my ministry as you were saying. Opportunity cost tell us that we must put the money where it must multiply as hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry mentioned. How I wished also that the co-operating partners would ignore these NGOs and bring the money straight to the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services where we can properly plan for it.

Mr Chairperson, thank you for warning me that you want to pass the budget and I also want to thank all of you for this overwhelming support.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

VOTE 45/01 – (Ministry of Development and Social Services – Headquarters – K23,587,129,903).

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Unit 5 –Audit Unit, Programme 7, Activity 02 – Audit Committees – K150,000,000, the figure provided last year was K35,000,000, but now it is K150,000,000. I would like to find out what these committees are. Instead of reducing the amount to give to the vulnerable people, we are now giving money to the Audit Committees. What are they?

The Deputy Minister of Community Development and Social Services (Mr Malwa): Mr Chairperson, on Page 450, can she tell us the exact Programme and Activity?

The Deputy Chairperson: Programme 7, Activity 02 – Audit Committees on page 450.

Mr Malwa: Audit, audit …


Mr Malwa: It is alright I have seen it.


Mr Malwa: Unit 5 – Audit Unit, Programme 7, Activity 02 – Audit Committees, the funds are required to cater for expenses for auditing purposes. The increase is due to engaging external auditors whose allowances have been revised upwards.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Vote 45/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 45/02 – (Ministry of Community Development and Social Services – Social Welfare Department – K17,668,501,084).


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Hon. Members, I cannot concentrate. You are making it difficult for me to operate because of chatting loudly.

Mrs Musokotwane: Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 7, Activity 05 – Children’s Homes – K352,000,000, this figure has been reduced from K470,000,000 million to K352,000,000. Sir, I want to believe that the number of children who need homes is increasing. Why are we reducing? This is what the debaters were saying.

Mr Malwa: Mr Chairperson, again, she said Page 451, but what is the programme?

Hon. Members: Programme 7.

Mr Malwa: Programme 5.

Hon. Members: Programme 7.

Mr Malwa: Programme 7.

The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Minister, if you have got it, can you, please, respond. Let us pay attention.

Mr Kaingu: The reduction is as a result of the completion of some of the activities such as the development of the minimum standards of care.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, on Programme 7, Activity 04 – Street Children – K3,000,000,000, I would like to know why there is a reduction of K1,000,000,000 in the allocation when there is an increase in the number of street children all over.

Mr Malwa: The funds are required to pay monthly grants to street children committees and Non-Governmental Organisations providing services to street children and empower families into which children have been integrated. The reduction is due to the fact that the capacity building programme with various stakeholders such as training of Judges, magistrates and lawyers who have been dealing with children with conflicts with the law has been done.

I thank you, Sir.

Vote 45/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 45/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 45/04 – (Ministry of Community Development and Social Services – Cultural Services Department – K12,282,409,350).

Mrs Musokotwane: Mr Chairperson, on Programme 3, Activity 01 – Maramba Cultural Village – K100,000,000, I would like to find out what other plans the ministry has to complete this project. On Programme 4, Activity 02 – UNESCO – K50,000,000, I would like to find out why we are including UNESCO in our programme instead of the Ministry of Education. On Programme 7, Activity 02 – Public Performance – K300,000,000, I would like to find out why we have increased the amount and I would also like to find out what public performance is.

Mr Muteteka: Mr Chairperson, on Programme 4, Activity 02 – UNESCO – K50,000,000, this amount is intended to cater for affiliation to UNESCO and it is a new activity.

On Programme 3, Activity 01 – Maramba Cultural Village – K100,000,000 and Programme 7, Activity 02 – Public Performance – K300,000,000. We have increased the amount because the funds are required to cater for the expenses towards public performances by the national dance troop. Therefore, the increase is due to the demand for public performances.

The Deputy Chairperson: There was a question on Maramba.

Mr Kaingu: Mr Chairperson, if the hon. Member may recall, in my statement, I said that we have allocated K2.9 billion for infrastructure for Maramba and K100 billion is just for administration.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 4, Activity 01 – Centre for Bantu Civilisation (CICIBA) – K150,000,000. Why has the allocation been reduced from K200,000,000 to K150,000,000 this year?

Mr Malwa: Mr Chairperson, on Programme 4, Activity 01 – Centre for Bantu Civilisation (CICIBA) – K150,000,000, the funding required to pay the annual membership fee for CICIBA and the reduction was due to clearing of outstanding arrears in 2009.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwansa (Chifunabuli): Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 7, Activity 04 – Folklore and Intangible Heritage – K600,000,000, there has been an increase of K200,000,000. I would like to know what this intangible heritage is to which an additional K200,000,000 has been given.

Mr Malwa: Mr Chairperson, on Programme 7, Activity 04 – Folklore and Intangible Heritage – K600,000,000, the funds are required to provide grants, participate and support the organisation of traditional ceremonies, but on Cultural Associations, the increase is due to the Government’s intention to make the grants meaningful.

Vote 45/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 45/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

VOTE 46 – (Ministry of Health – K1,352,443,046,457).

The Minister of Health (Mr Simbao): Mr Chairperson, I wish to take this opportunity to thank you and hon. Members of this House for this opportunity to present my statement in support of the ministry’s 2010 budget. From the onset, I want to admit that 2009 has been a challenging year and 2010 is not perceived to be any different.

Mr Chairperson, 2009 has been a testing year, as everyone knows we have run the ministry without donor funding except for the European Union (EU), USA and Global Fund. The other donors and partners, upon the Zambian Government exposing the fraud in the Ministry of Health, withheld their funding knowingly. This has caused untold suffering to the people of Zambia and if this is not rectified quickly, we can be in big problems.

Mr Chairperson, we have suffered for the sins of crooks. People who have no space in our Government and people who are not …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order, hon. Minister! The use of the word “crooks” in that context is not allowed in this House.

Mr Simbao: We have suffered because of “bad people”. These are people who are not supported by this Government and are a shame to us and one even regrets the day they were engaged.

Mr Chairperson, I want to make it very clear that this Government does not support corruption, fraud or theft. Therefore, anyone caught perpetuating these vices will face the full weight of the law. The withdrawing of funding by some co-operating partners has been detrimental to service delivery. We have faced challenges in providing even the simplest of services because the Government’s resources have to be spread thinly to cover programmes which were meant to be funded by donors. We have only survived by the hard work of this Government. Hard as the situation has been, we have maintained the stocks of drugs throughout the nation. We have not even run short of panadol in any health institution.

Mr Chairperson, not long ago, the unavailability of panadol was a national song, but this is no longer the case.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: Mr Chairperson, I also do not know of any essential drug that has run out in recent times. Using our money, we have been able to maintain the stocks of drugs in all our health institutions throughout the country. I must commend the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and Global Fund for constantly supplying us with survival drugs such as anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs, anti-malarial and tuberculosis (TB) drugs. I thank them for realising the importance of their support and also for appreciating that the sick do not disappear just because a fraud has been unearthed. Therefore, we will always cherish and value the Global Fund and American Government’s support.

Mr Chairperson, I also want to encourage other donors who have withheld their funding, to resume funding the Ministry of Health. Together, we have made a lot of progress in the health sector. For example, maternal mortality rate has come down from 729 per 100,000 births to 591 per 100,000 births. This is a significant step. However, the figure of 591 per 100,000 births is still high because it is known that in other countries such as Sweden, this figure is only five per 100,000 births.

Mr Chairperson, child mortality has reduced from 168 per 100,000 live births to 119 per 100,000 live births. We have reduced malaria incidents and have also reduced deaths caused by malaria by 66 per cent. This is a world record achievement.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: We have reached 90 per cent immunisation in polio and measles. In fact, at the moment, Zambia will be given an award by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) this month for best performance.

Mr Simbao: Mr Chairperson, we have managed to put 240,000 people on anti-retroviral therapy (ART) out of which 20,000 are children. As you can see, we have achieved a lot together with our co-operating partners and continuation is what we can only ask for so that we even achieve more.
Mr Chairperson, irrespective of the setback suffered, the partnership between the Ministry of Health and donors is cognisant of this fact.

Sir, 2010, in terms of funding, will be very demanding. If you look at our budget, sadly, the donor funding is missing. The usual number prefix to the lines is missing. Most of the programmes will be funded using our money and, as a result, the Ministry of Finance and National Planning increased the allocation to the Ministry of Health by 19 per cent to try and make up for the loss through donor withdrawal. However, the money will still be short of what we require. One area that has suffered most is infrastructure and, as such, we are reviewing the approach to infrastructure construction.

Mr Chairperson, from now onwards, all construction of health posts and clinics will be by community mode. When we allocate a health facility, the responsible area Member of Parliament will be required to organise the community to put up the upfront payment and when the community has met their contribution, money will be disbursed. Therefore, the onus will be on the community.

Mr Chairperson, this way, we feel we can build many health posts and clinics.

Mr Mubika: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: Mr Chairperson, in future, health posts and clinics will also be constructed near schools. We want a location where a school is to be the determinant criterion for allocation of health facilities.

Mr Chairperson, I also want to urge my fellow hon. Members of Parliament to use part of their Constituency Development Fund (CDF) for construction of health posts.

Mr Muntanga: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao:  I believe construction of health posts using CDF money would be a great service to the community.

Mr Chairperson, we want to build health facilities near schools so that we can engage clinicians in these health facilities to offer public health education to the pupils, students and the community at large. The Minister of Health has purchased the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Equipment.

Hon. Member: What is that?

Mr Simbao: This is the popular MRI equipment and we have also purchased computerised actual tomography equipment which is the CD scan. This equipment has been paid for and we are very hopeful that before the end of this year, it will be installed. This is a big step forward for those people who know what this equipment, especially the MRI, is. This is the more reason we send people out of this country for treatment because the first thing that a person who goes out of this country for medical treatment does is to go through the MRI. Then the doctors will know exactly what to do. Therefore, with this equipment in this country, we will be able to diagnose the problem on a patient. If we send a patient out of this country, it is because we do not have the skills to use on the problem of that patient and not that we do not know the real problem of that patient.

Mr Chairperson, this will reduce the number of referrals and people will only be sent outside where it will really be required. Once we have gained the skills, these referrals will grind to a halt.

Mr Chairperson, we have non communicable diseases in Zambia. These diseases are cancer, diabetes and hypertension …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

(Debate adjourned)




(Progress reported)


The House adjourned at 1955 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 13th November, 2009.



W20. Mr Mwango (Kanchibiya) asked the Minister of Finance and National Planning:

(a) what the financial status of the Zambia State Insurance Corporation (ZSIC) by December, 2008;
(b) how much profit the corporation had made from 2001 to 2008, year by year; and

(c) how much, in dividends, was declared to the Government in the period at (b) above.

The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Dr Musokotwane): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the financial status of ZSIC for the fiscal year ending 31 December, 2008, was sound. The corporation recorded consolidated gross premium of K199.8 billion during 2008, broken down as follows:

(i) General Insurance Division recorded premium growth of 24 per cent from K105.5 billion in 2007 to K131.3 billion in 2008 largely due to general improvements in the economy, particularly in the motor and construction industry; and

(ii) the Life Assurance premium grew by 74 per cent from K39.4 billion in 2007 to K68.5 million in 2008 and this was mainly due to new business and annuity income.

Mr Speaker, the corporation recorded a profit before tax of K27.9 billion while its investment portfolio was at K117.2 billion as per the audited financial statements of 2008.  The corporation has total assets of K439.6 billion.

 Mr Speaker, the profit (loss) made by the Corporation from 2001 to 2008 is as shown below:

Year  2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008

Profit/loss K’m K’m K’m K’m K’m K’m K’m K’m
Before tax 
  14,962 6,550 626 (5,404) (10,265)(6,418) 24,659 27,929

Mr Speaker, the losses recorded in 2004, 2005 and 2006 were mainly attributed to major claims by BGRIM, Zambia National Service (ZNS) and Nchanga Open Pit.  Further, the losses were attributed to the loss of business when major companies such as the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (Zesco), Tanzania Zambia Mafuta (TAZAMA), INDENI, Railway Systems of Zambia (RSZ), Konkola Copper Mines Plc (KCM) and other Government ministries left the corporation to join other insurance providers.

Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that from 2001 to 2008, the corporation declared dividends amounting to K2,750 million to the national Treasury.  A total amount of K500 million was declared in 2003, K750 million was declared in 2007 and K1, 500 million was declared in 2008.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

W21. Mr Mwango asked the Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development:

(a) what the financial status of the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) by June, 2009;

(b) how much money FAZ owed other institutions;

(c) when FAZ would settle the above debt; and

(d) how much money the Government had released to FAZ from 2006 to 2008, year by year.

The Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development (Mr Chipungu): Mr Speaker, the financial status of FAZ by June, 2009, was as follows:


Type of Income     Amount

Sponsorship income     1,937,500,000
Television rights income    1,346,930,000
Game Revenue Senior     1,019,543,900
Financial Assistance Grants   1,112,581,577

Total       5,416,555,477


Type of Expenditure     Amount

Salaries      982,653,588
Senior Team Expenses     472,496,900
Executive & Standing Committee  477,416,000

Total  1,932,566,488
The FAZ balance sheet statement as at 30th June, 2009, is as follows:

Assets Employed  (K)    (K)

Fixed Assets    
Building   3,265,570,897.00
Motor Vehicles   15,750,850.00
Furniture   36,268,413.00
Equipment   37,198,079.00   3,354,788,239.00

General Reserve  -4,007,094,264.00
Goal Projects Funding  1,061,172,777.00
GRZ Project Funding 3,949,249,487.00   1,003,328,000.00

Current Assets
Debtors Control  656,500,862.00
Bank Balances  498,224,584.00   1,154,725,446.00

Total Assets      5,512,841,685.00

Equity & Liabilities 
Capital & Reserves

Retained Income
Retained income –
Profit/loss   -1,652,088,613.00
Net Profit/loss this
Year    481,408,641.00   -1,170,679,972.00

Current Liabilities
Creditors Control   6,516,990,011.00
Bank Overdrafts   166,531,646.00   6,683,521,657.00

Total Equity and Liabilities     5,512,841,685.00

Mr Speaker, at the close of the month under review, FAZ’s creditor position was that K6, 516,990,011 was owed and payable to the association’s creditors. This included amounts owed to statutory bodies and suppliers of goods and services.

Mr Speaker, FAZ intends to settle the above debt in two years’ time through fundraising, sponsorship and ticketing; commencing next year.

Mr Speaker, the Government released the following funds to FAZ:

Year     Amount

2006    2,443,198,700
2007       479,206,240
2008         91,405,554

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

W23.  Mr Kambwili (Roan) asked the Minister of Health:

(a) how many trainee nurses were enrolled at the Roan Antelope Nursing School from its inception to-date;

(b) of these trainee nurses, how many had graduated and had been posted to health facilities within Luanshya; and

(c) if none, how many would be posted to Luanshya District after graduating.

The Minister of Health (Mr Simbao): Mr Speaker, from its re-opening in 2008, Roan Antelope Nursing School, has had two intakes of trainee nurses with a total of sixty-eighty students as follows:

Intake   Number of Trainees  Period of Enrolment

First   28     March 2008
Second    40     January 2009

From the two intakes mentioned above, there are no graduates yet, as the first intake will complete in December, 2009.

Mr Speaker, it is envisaged that about ten graduates will be posted to Luanshya District.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.