Debates- Wednesday, 11th March, 2009

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Wednesday, 11th March, 2009

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






Mr Speaker: I wish to inform the House that I have authorised the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission to conduct a sensitisation workshop for all hon. Members of Parliament. The workshop will be held on Saturday, 14th March, 2009 starting at 0830 hours in the Auditorium of Parliament Buildings. All hon. Members are urged to attend this important workshop in the light of the issues of concern that have constantly been raised by hon. Members on the administration of the Citizens Economic Empowerment Fund.

I thank you.





189. Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives whether there were any plans to subsidise cash crop seed such as sunflower for small-scale farmers in rural areas.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Mulonga): Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives has no immediate plans to subsidise cash crop seed such as sunflower for small-scale farmers in the rural areas.

I thank you, Sir.


190. Dr Machungwa (Luapula) asked the Minister of Home Affairs whether there were any plans to reduce the current passport fees of K300,000 and K500,000 for a 32 page and 64 page documents respectively.


Mr Speaker: Order!

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Bonshe): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that there are no plans to reduce the current passport fees of K300,000 and K500,000 for a 32 page and 64 page documents respectively. The Government has to date spent in excess of K13 billion of its own resources on the passport system and an additional amount of K9,586,764,800 is required to be appropriated to passport books, outstanding bills and other payments.

The expiry period of the passport is ten years and the cost on a yearly basis is negligible in comparison with the amount of money a passport holder spends on air tickets, accommodation, food and other incidentals…

Mr Kambwili: Question!

Mr Bonshe: … when he or she travels outside the country. Alternatively, there is a Travel Document of Identity (TDI) for those who may not afford a passport and need to travel in the region except South Africa. There is also a pass for those in border areas who intend to visit relatives across the border.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Machungwa: Mr Speaker, freedom of movement or to travel within and outside the country by citizens is a fundamental right. Does the Government not realise that by putting the cost of a passport at a figure which a lot of Zambians may not be able to afford, they are actually making it difficult for people to realise that right and enjoy it because they cannot easily travel because of the exorbitant cost?

The Minister of Defence (Mr Mpombo): Mr Speaker, firstly, I want to state that, as a Government, we have issued over 40,000 new passports and we have about 2,000 uncollected passports.

With regard to the people travelling outside the country, we are quite aware and that is why the Government is keen to ensure that we have passports that cannot be easily manipulated by criminals.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Sir, considering that the poverty levels are very high in this country and that the passport being issued has a period of ten years, is this Government considering offering these passports on a loan basis so that payments to the Government are made over ten years?


Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, the cost of the new passports is mainly due to the high quality of raw materials used in producing this particular passport. Previously, a lot of conmen had almost succeeded in damaging Zambia’s international reputation because they used to manipulate these passports. We have had nationals from West Africa carrying Zambian passports. Now, because of this, the Government has created a water tight aspect.

Hon. Opposition Members: Loans!

Mr Mpombo: As regards loans, that does not arise because the Government is not considering that option.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Mr Speaker, I do not think that the it would cost K300,000 to produce one of the new passports. It must cost in the range of K100,000 or less. Could the hon. Minister tell the House that the fees are a way of raising revenue for the Government?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, in the first place, the figures that are being quoted are wrong. This is not a fundraising venture, but a normal Government operation. The Government has the right to ensure that it issues passports that will not be manipulated. The new passports have strong security features that are impossible to manipulate.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Milupi (Luena): Mr Speaker, in developed countries, they do not have national registration cards. Is the Government considering rationalising the passport and the national registration card by abolishing the former so that everyone can have a passport that is priced accordingly, like other countries?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mpombo forgot to switch on the microphone.

Hon. Members: Microphone!

Mr Mpombo switched on the microphone.

Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, I am aware that things of that nature happen in the European Union. The Government of the Republic of Zambia has no such intentions at this stage.

I thank you, Sir.

Colonel Chanda (Kanyama): Mr Speaker, I would like to request the hon. Minister of Home Affairs to assist our people and save them from the agony of queuing up for passports day in and day out. Can the hon. Minister streamline the system so that these passports are accessible without subjecting our people to queues?

Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, the current system has eliminated bottlenecks that used to be associated with procuring passports. Under the new system, it takes a passport five to eight days to come out. I stressed, earlier, that we have over 2,000 passports that are gathering dust at our offices, which have not been collected. That shows the efficiency of the new system.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC. (Chasefu): Mr Speaker, the Zambian Constitution guarantees freedom of movement in and out of the country. In order to facilitate this movement, issuance of a passport to a citizen is a right. Does this Government not feel it is making it difficult for the citizens to enjoy this right by imposing steep fees for obtaining passports?

Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, there is nowhere in the world where passports are issued free of a charge.

Mr Shakafuswa: They are free in Saudi Arabia.

Mr Mpombo: It costs money to produce them. There are a lot of issues that are involved. We do realise that people must enjoy their unfettered freedom of movement and association and the Government will do everything to facilitate them. However, they need to have proper passports.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze): Mr Speaker, at the advent of the passport the Government is phasing out, a similar assurance was made on the Floor of this House that it would be watertight and difficult to forge. What assurance is the hon. Minister giving to the nation that there will never be any foreigner or con person with access to the new passports?

Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, the new passport is a product of advanced technology. The previous passports were easily manipulated because all you needed to do was to melt the passport size photo and insert a different one. However, with the new passports, the passport size photo is laminated at the source. If anyone wants to fiddle with the system, they would have to do it from the source. There are very critical security features that have been incorporated in the new product.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): Mr Speaker, there is no guarantee that the new passport will not be changed. May I know when the new passport will be changed so that people can start to budget for that?

Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, I am completely befuddled by …


Mr Mpombo: … the question because we are discussing the aspects of the new passports which are in circulation. I have also indicated that so far 40,000 passports have been physically issued and there is a further 2,000 which are gathering dust in the offices. I want to reinforce my argument that this new passport has challenging security features. For example, about two months ago, three people where arrested for various offences in China and upon checking, they were found with Zambian passports. Our diplomatic office had consular access to these detainees and it was found that they actually had Zambian passports. However, the Zambian Government traced the owners of the passports to South Africa. The owners of the passports were ambushed and had their travel documents taken away. All that was done with the passports was just to melt out those pictures and put in new ones. The new passports have got features that cannot be tampered with easily. You need to laminate them and lamination is done at the source which is the passport office. There is tight security in the way these things are being done. They are not done in one office. In fact, few people know the office where production takes place. There are watertight control measures that the Government has put in place.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Matongo (Pemba): Mr Speaker, in order to dismantle the queues that had been seen at passport offices, particularly in Lusaka, all passports regardless of whether they were  32 or 64 pages were charged at K500,000 from the first week of January to date. Just yesterday, the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs told us that there were 300,000 passports issued and a 100 are still there. Is it not necessary for the hon. Minister of Home Affairs to start refunding those who may have been taken by the whirlwind of getting a new passport because of the limited time? This may be at the expense of befuddling his mind and confusing him further.

Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, we do not intend to inconvenience our citizens. However, at this juncture, the Government will follow the guidelines that have been issued to the general public that they must get the new passports because we have no intention of effecting an extension. The manufacture of the passports cost a colossal sum of money and, therefore, the Government is comfortable that we are not exploiting the people with regard to the prices. We have no intention of refunding anyone as that may open up a Pandora’s Box.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Kapata (Mandevu): Mr Speaker, the Government has been preaching about the economic crisis. If the Government can feel the economic crisis, it means that even the people are feeling it. Therefore, is it in order for the Government to charge such figures? Why can the Government not just let the people acquire new passports at that price after their old ones expire?

Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, the global economic turbulence does not mean that Zambia should grind to a halt, as a nation. We recognise these financial limitations, but we are saying that let us improve on the quality of the passport product because the previous arrangement had compromised the image of this country. The Government is trying to redeem a shattered image in terms of travelling documents. Therefore, I call upon all hon. Members of Parliament to support these new measures that the Government has put in place in order to forge ahead and retain our respect in the region.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister stated that they do not want to defraud the Zambians, but do things straight. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether charging K500,000.00 for passports that are supposed to cost K300,000.00  is not defrauding and stealing from the Zambians. If this is not, what is it?

Mr Speaker: Order! The words ‘defrauding’ and ‘stealing’ should be withdrawn.

Mr Muntanga: Sir, unlawfully obtaining money from the Zambians.

Mr Nsanda: By force pretences.


Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, I would like to say that issues of governance are very important and should not be approached in a simplistic manner. The Government has indicated to the general public that the people must obtain new passports at the new prices that have been advised. If people have any complaints to make, certainly, our offices are open because it is like you are pushing an open door at the Ministry of Home Affairs. Therefore, I would like to state that the Government will stand by what has already been given to the general public.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Munaile (Malole): Mr Speaker, currently, people are paying K300,000.00 for getting a passport in twenty-one days and K500,000.00 for getting a passport in seven days, and that is express. However, what is happening is that someone would pay for express, but does not get the passport within seven days. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what the Government is doing to ensure that people are given their passports in time and according to the money they pay?

Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, I would like to assure the hon. Member of Parliament for Malole that the procedures have been streamlined in order to do away with the bureaucracy that created a lot of problems. That is why I would like to state that the normal period to issue an express and ordinary passport should be five and ten working days respectively. This is the new position of the Government. If there are any hassles being experienced in achieving these objectives, our ministry is ready to dialogue or receive complaints from the general public in order to address these issues.

I thank you, Sir.


191 Mr Chisanga (Mkushi South) asked the Minister of Energy and Water Development whether the ministry had any plans of importing crude oil from nearby Angola in view of the escalating price of oil in Zambia.

The Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Konga): Mr Speaker, I would like to inform the House that the ministry, at present, has no plans to import crude oil from Angola. This is because the Indeni Refinery uses co-mingled feedstock instead of pure crude from Angola. The co-mingled feedstock comprises the following elements:

(a) crude oil;
(b) diesel;
(c) naphtha; and 
(d) condensate.

The amount of each of these components in the feedstock depends on the market conditions in Zambia. For example, currently, the market demands a lot of diesel such that when the co-mingled crude is imported there will be more diesel component that will be in this composition. The type of condensate that is produced in Angola is not suitable for use at Indeni.

Furthermore, Angola does not produce naphtha which is part of the co-mingled composition. This means that buying crude from Angola will entail getting naphtha and condensate from other sources, implying the need to hire more than one ship to transport these different components of the feedstock and mixing them at an appropriate place.

Sir, in addition, hon. Members may also note that transportation of crude from Angola by sea, at present, can only be done via the southern tip of Africa through the port of Dar-es-Salaam where Zambia’s pipeline begins. This is a much longer and, therefore, more expensive route than transporting petroleum feedstock from the Middle East. To overcome this, there is need to build a pipeline of approximately 2,500 kilometres from Angola to the refinery in Ndola. The cost of such a venture will be in excess of US $2 billion. Such a project is not feasible at present. Further, due to its bulkiness and the quantities involved, it is not practical to transport this product by rail from Angola to Zambia. Therefore, even if Zambia is connected to Angola by rail, only finished products can be transported, and not crude.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister tell us why Zambia is exporting diesel and other lubricants which we bought cheaply sometime back. I am asking this question because due to the deteriorating exchange rate, when we go back to buy oil, it will be much more expensive. Why are we exporting this diesel and petrol which we will come and buy at higher prices instead of us just improving our storage capacity?

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, to be specific, the reason the Government is exporting diesel is very simple. The storage facilities at Indeni Petroleum Refinery are all full with refined products such as diesel, petrol and kerosene. The pipeline is also full. The bulk storage facilities which receive crude oil in Dar-es-salaam are also full. Therefore, we have to make a decision whether we should send the workers at Indeni Petroleum Refinery and Tanzania Zambia Mafuta (TAZAMA) on leave and wait for the market to deplete the stocks in the storage tanks or whether we can make a commercial decision and earn some profit by exporting diesel at a profit. The Government has actually made a commercial decision.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Milupi (Luena): Mr Speaker, instead of constant reference to Indeni Petroleum Refinery, would the hon. Minister consider, in respect to crude oil from Angola, setting up an oil refinery either in Kalabo or Mongu. In this case, that would cut out 1,000 km and if a plant like that was set up, it would at the moment process crude oil from Angola which is very similar to the oil that will be found in Western Province and North Western Province and that same plant could then be used to process oil from these two provinces.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, I totally agree with the hon. Member that such a plan would be very useful to the country. In future, the Government could consider such a position and with funds being available, of course, that could be undertaken. As I said in my earlier response, at present, we do not have the resources to do this. In future and especially after the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development has advertised for the concessions of the oil wells or oil concession blocks, maybe, the Government could consider that.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Matongo (Pemba): Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister briefly explain what is really cogent in economic thinking for maintaining Indeni Petroleum Refinery at a horrendous cost of which, in fact, the Government subsidises as opposed to closing it and import fuel like successful economies such as Botswana and Zimbabwe? Is he aware that the cost of fuel consumption for Harare alone, even now, is equivalent to the entire Zambia? What drives him to keep machinery that is old and difficult to maintain?

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that question. I do not agree with him that Indeni Petroleum Refinery is being maintained at a horrendous cost. As a matter of fact, at Indeni Petroleum Refinery, the cost of petroleum could be higher than what is currently obtaining. Beyond that, we need to keep our citizens in employment. Therefore, closing Indeni Petroleum Refinery will mean laying off close to 400 workers. I do not think that the Copperbelt is ready for that situation at the moment.  The Government invested huge amounts of money in setting up that refinery and that was a very good decision that was made at that time. It is still a very good decision to maintain a refinery. Some of the countries which had done away with refineries are currently thinking of setting up refineries in their countries at much higher costs than the ones that they had sold.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, in terms of percentage, how much profit are we making on the export of diesel?

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, right now, I am not able to give that information. I can produce the information at a later stage.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, when the hon. Minister decided to export finished products on account of space at Indeni Petroleum Refinery, did he take into account the space available at Oil Marketing Companies?

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, the oil marketing companies are the ones who are not picking up products from Indeni Petroleum Refinery because some of them actually had imported products in their depots. Most of these oil marketing companies have not even met their bench marks with the Energy Regulation Board. Therefore, their storage facility is not something that we can really count on very much.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nsanda (Chimwemwe): Mr Speaker, I want to get a very serious answer from the hon. Minister. The prices of petrol and diesel are very cheap in our neighbouring countries. In Zambia, petrol and diesel are very expensive. Now, why are they exporting diesel and petrol to our neighbouring countries at a very cheap price? At what price are they exporting it?

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, the determinant for the obtaining price of fuel on the local market, among others, is the cost of the product at source and the exchange rate because oil, as I said, is imported and paid for in foreign exchange. Depending on how our local currency and how other currencies in other countries perform in relation to the dollar, it will determine what price the petroleum products will be sold on the local market. Other than that, our economy, as we heard from Hon. Matongo, is not very good such that the volume of what we purchase also plays a very big role as opposed to the bigger economies which can buy supplies in bulk and, therefore, benefit in terms of discounts. We may not have access to similar positions. By and large, it is the exchange rate and the cost price which determine the selling price.

Therefore, this is not similar to what might obtain in South Africa, for example, which buys …

Hon. Member interjected

Mr Konga: No, there are others.


Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, this is the position in response to the question.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr L. J. Mulenga (Kwacha): Mr Speaker, in his response, the hon. Minister alluded to the fact that diesel and fuel are being exported because the pipeline and the tanks at Indeni are full.  I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether it was by a miracle that we found ourselves in this situation or it was because of the incompetence and poor planning by authorities involved in this business. Can you explain to this House what happened?


Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, as a matter of fact, it is due to good planning that we have found ourselves in this situation. You will recall, if your memory can serve you right, that in recent history, there has never been a situation where all our storage facilities were full. They have been empty every time. However, because of the good planning, we will have fuel throughout the year without any disruptions.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Konga: This has come about, as I said earlier, because of good planning. We had planned for a good performance of the economy as it is driven by both electricity and petroleum products. As we have repeatedly said here in the House, the global economic downturn which has affected the mines has also had an impact on the fuel consumption because the mines, which are also bulk consumers of petroleum products, are not taking as much because their performance has been affected.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Mr Speaker, I seek clarification on the hon. Minister’s response. You are exporting fuel, produced in Zambia, to neighbouring countries, which are selling their fuel at a much cheaper price. Is this Government now making losses because they cannot get the same amount of money if they sold the fuel within Zambia?

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, it is not correct that the countries where we are exporting finished products are selling them cheaper than in Zambia. The products are sold at a higher price than what is obtaining on the Zambian market.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Zulu (Bwana Mkubwa): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister where we are exporting these fuels. Secondly, can he assure this House that there will be no shortage of fuel in this country this year?

Mr Konga:  Mr Speaker, the primary market for the export of diesel is the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). We are making all efforts to ensure that the fuel supply in the country is not disrupted at all. I would like to assure the House that we will endeavour to maintain the momentum and the supply so that all the economic activities are not disrupted.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central) Mr Speaker, earlier the hon. Minister spoke as if it was a very complicated story of the exchange rate that some of our neighbours sell fuel cheaper than us. However, when comparing prices, we compare on one currency, be it the dollar or rand. The fact is that to the south of us, the cost of fuel is about one-third less than it is in Zambia. Will the hon. Minister agree that this is due, firstly, to incompetent procurement and, secondly, to tax?

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, it is not complicated, but very basic. What is obtaining on the exchange market today is not what obtained the day before or what might obtain the next week. If we have to recover our costs, we have to sell our products so that we get the dollars and be able to meet the purchase cost of those products. I do not think that is complicated at all.

Mr Speaker, regarding taxes, we have mentioned, in this House, several times, and I think that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has repeated this at several for a, that taxes have been reduced on petroleum products. By and large, we buy in small volumes. We buy a 90,000 metric-tonne ship. Other countries buy 500,000 metric tonnes. Therefore, this comes from the economies of scale. This is the benefit that those countries have.

Mr Kambwili: Question!

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, right now, the kwacha is at K5600 per dollar. Definitely, if you compare, our fuel is just about a dollar because our petrol is at K5200. Our fuel, therefore, costs less than a dollar. Which other country is selling fuel at less than a dollar? This is why I am saying that these are determined by the exchange rate and the purchase of the product.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. MMD Members: Quality!
_______ {mospagebreak}



VOTE 17 ─ (Ministry of Foreign Affairs ─ K245,496,685,366)

(Consideration resumed)

The Minister of Foreign Affairs (Mr Pande): Mr Chairperson, when the House adjourned yesterday, I was commenting on Hon. Machungwa’s debate. One of the comments that Hon. Machungwa made was that we have allowed diplomats to append signatures to things that are not in favour of the Government and the people of Zambia. I would like to assure you that there is no agreement that is signed outside this country without the Ministry of Justice going through it. Even myself, as Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs, I cannot sign an agreement without bringing it and clearing it with the Ministry of Justice. 

Mr Chairperson, Hon. Dr Machungwa also referred to the Derogation Agreement which was signed in 2003. What it means is that if an American commits an offence in Zambia, he will face the charges as per the Zambian laws. What Zambia cannot do is to take that American to the ICC. The reason is that America is not a signatory to the ICC.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank Hon. Dr Katele Kalumba for his compliments. Indeed, we will continue doing well as long as…


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Could you, please, consult quietly?

Mr Pande:…you continue giving us the support that you are giving us. Hon. Kalumba was concerned about the border between DRC and Zambia. The border between these two countries was agreed on some time back.

Sir, discussions were held between 1997 and 2006. It was a question of give and take. Therefore, what is just remaining is putting up the beacons and sensitising the people of the two countries. What will happen is that some of the people who consider themselves as being in Zambia are actually in the DRC and some of those who consider themselves as being in the DRC are actually in Zambia. Therefore, what was agreed is that we leave it as it is, but people will be sensitised.

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Pande: Sir, most of the issues raised by Hon. Muntanga were actually addressed by Hon. V. J. Mwaanga. You alluded to party cadres. Hon. Mwaanga explained very well as regards to your comments. Therefore, I do not need to go through them. You referred to the checking of finger prints. As a Government, we have taken note and due consideration will be taken. You also referred to the increased budget allocation. I wish to bring to your attention that this year we will bring to the operationalisation of two embassies that were opened in Ghana and Malaysia. You were of the view that we should be closing down embassies. You cannot do that in globalisation.   We have to move forward. If anything, you should be encouraging us to open more embassies where there is need. We are not closing down embassies because that is a backward move. We want to move forward.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Pande: Hon. Imasiku came out very strongly in supporting the ministry. What you said is exactly is what is obtaining. Our ministry is the first contact with the international body and what we do reflects what the country may be. Therefore, like I had indicated, most of the investment that you see is as a result of these interactions by missions’ staff.

Sir, Hon. Major Chizhyuka, of the indigenous people, is not in the House.  It is true that we are a Pan –African State. Let me make this issue very clear. Zambia as a Member of the African Union (AU) is party to the agreement where the Heads of State decided that they would not allow the ICC to indict a current or any Head of State. That should be uniform for all, but at the moment, it is a question of selective indictments and they are targeting African Leaders. I do not think Hon. Chizhyuka would want a selective kind of law.

Additionally, by saying we suspend the indictment of Mr Al-Bashir for one year does mean that Africa or Zambia is tolerating impunity at all. All we are saying is that our first concern is to see peace and justice. If there will be no peace and justice in Darfur, then, we will not be achieving what we want to do. Therefore, we gave one year to the Government of Sudan to correct the situation so that those who are responsible for the genocide and dehumanising situations in that country can be brought to book within this year. We are not saying that Mr Al-Bashir is free. That one year is in the statutes of the ICC. It is not coming from without.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Please, do not engage him. That is the problem. When we expect you to be in self control, that is when you make noise

May the hon. Minister, please, continue?

Mr Pande: I would like to thank my elder brother, Hon. Mwaanga for the wonderful presentation. I have already referred to what he had said. Above all, may I thank all hon. Members who made their comments. You should take the issue of foreign affairs as yours because all of you here are ambassadors of Zambia, particularly you, hon. Members. As for you, hon. Members what you do in and outside the country is very important because that is a perception that the outside world will have of Zambia. As it is now, I can assure you that we are doing very well because Zambia is held in very high esteem in many countries. Most of you hon. Members who travel, each time people recognise or know that you are a Zambian, the attitude towards you will change.

Mr Chairperson, with these words, I would like to thank everybody and look forward to the over support of the budget.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

VOTE 17/01 − (Ministry of Foreign Affairs − Headquarters − K9,658,952,835).

Mr D. Mwila (Chipili): Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Unit 1, Programme 10, Activity 01 − Personnel Related Arrears − K763,460,372. I want to know where this amount is coming from.

Mr Pande: Mr Chairperson, the question is where are they coming from? That is why they are called arrears because they were not there last year. These are payments to the staff in terms of arrears such as leave allowances and other allowances. These are the arrears which were not paid last year. Therefore, they will be paid this year.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Unit 1, Programme 2, Activity 06 − Transportation of Diplomats − K680,057,554. Throughout the foreign embassies, there is an extension of staffing and funding. Can the hon. Minister explain that we no longer need to transport Diplomats more often or, perhaps they will be traveling economy class?

Mr Pande: Mr Chairperson, we will try to manage within this.  As you might be aware, you cannot budget the exact amount for the travel of Diplomats because sometimes there are recalls which may be necessitated by indiscipline or promotion which cannot be predicted. Therefore, as for now, this is the amount we have put in for the budget.

 I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Vote 17/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 17/04 – (Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Mission Abroad – New York – K9,349,340,557)

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 8, Activity 01 – Rehabilitation of Properties – K600,828,000. Last year, this programme budgeted K800,000,000 for the rehabilitation of the properties. Which are these properties? Are they offices or houses? Are they our properties?

Mr Pande: Mr Chairperson, these are our properties. One of them is the repair of the lift at the embassy.

I thank you, Sir.

Vote 17/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/06 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/07 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/08 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/09 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/10 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/11 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/12 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/13 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 17/15 – (Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Mission Abroad – Beijing – K9,744,571,433)

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Chairperson, may I seek clarification on Programme 1 – Personal Emoluments – K9,448,209,410. The programme total is more than double what it was last year. Is this appropriate in these difficult times? Maybe, the hon. Minister can explain why we are doubling the allocation for Beijing and Tokyo.

The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs (Professor Phiri): Mr Chairperson, the increase is due to the increased rates of housing for staff.

I thank you, Sir.

Vote 17/15 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/18 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/20 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/23 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/24 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/25 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/26 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/27 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/28 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/30 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/31 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/32 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/33 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 17/35 – (Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Mission Abroad – Ottawa – K9,848,578,512)

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Chairperson, under Unit 2, Programme 2, Activity 2 – Head of Missions Conference – no provision and Activity 3 – Utility Bills – no provision. Are we saying that there will be no utilities to be paid for in Ottawa this year?

Mr Pande: Mr Chairperson, on Unit 2, Programme 2, Activity 2 – Head of Missions Conference – no provision and Activity 3 – Utility Bills – no provision, these have been moved to Programme 6. If the hon. Member can look at Programme 6, he will find that they have been provided for.

I thank you, Sir.

Vote 17/35 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/36 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/37 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/38 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/39 ordered to stand part of the estimates.

VOTE 17/40 – (Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Development and International Organisations – K2,343,614,961)

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Chairperson, under Unit 1, Programme 7, Activity 1 – Eastern and Southern African countries – K209,100,000. Last year, the allocation was K120,200,000 and this year the allocation is K209,100,000. This is almost an 80 per cent increase. Will the hon. Minister explain why this is so?

Mr Pande: Mr Chairperson, under Unit 1, Programme 7, Activity 1 – Eastern and Southern African countries – K209,100,000, the hon. Member should know that there are a lot of countries in Eastern and Southern Africa. This year, we intend to increase the number of countries the joint permanent commissions will be meeting with.

I thank you, Sir.

Vote 17/40 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/41 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 17/42 – (Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Political Affairs Department – K1,622,457,515)

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Chairperson, under Unit 2, Programme 7, Activity 2 – Attend Seminars and Meetings and Conferences – K19,716,000. You will recall that in most of the ministries, there is a reduction on workshops and seminars, but if you look at this activity, the allocation has been increased by almost 100 per cent from K10,456,071 to K19,716,000. May I know why this is so?

Mr Pande: Mr Chairperson, under Unit 2, programme 7, Activity 2 – Attend Seminars and Meetings and Conferences – K19,716,000 when you look at our budget, we have also reduced the allocation on local seminars but this allocation is for international seminars which Zambia cannot afford to miss.

I thank you, Sir.

Vote 17/42 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/43 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.
Vote 17/45 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/47 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/49 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/50 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

VOTE 51 – (Ministry of Communications and Transport – K105,120,779,122)

The Minister of Communications and Transport (Ms Siliya): Mr Chairperson, I wish to express my sincere gratitude for the opportunity that I have been accorded to make a policy statement in support of the 2009 Budget of my ministry.

Mr Chairperson, I also wish to congratulate the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning Hon. Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane on presenting a people-focused budget which will guide the country’s expenditure during a very difficult fiscal year.

It is in difficult times, Sir, such as the one we are going through, that tough decisions must be made to stimulate and ensure growth in the future. During this challenging period, the role of the Ministry of Communications and Transport remains to be the platform on which infrastructure development is anchored. We all know that in today’s world, nothing can be effectively and or efficiently done without reliable communication and transport infrastructure. The ministry’s Mission Statement captures the above as follows:

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


The Deputy Chairperson: Order, hon. Minister! I think that we should listen. We have always advised that if you have to consult, do so quietly without disturbing the person debating. If it is important that you speak loudly, you should move to the lobby.

Can you, please, continue hon. Minister?

Ms Siliya: The Ministry of Communications and Transport translates its mission statement through three key national policy areas; that is Transport Policy covering air, road, rail and water transport, the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Policy covering internet, data transmission, telecommunications and lastly, the Meteorological Policy which covers climate variability, climate change and meteorological data acquisition and management.

At an operational level, the ministry discharges the above functions through a number of departments, parastatals and Government agencies.

The 2009 budget for the ministry is meant to address, among others, the following critical issues:

(i) Formulation and review of policy, legal and regulatory frameworks affecting the transport and communication sectors;

(ii) development, rehabilitation and maintenance of transport, communications and metrological infrastructure and services; and

(iii) provision of resources for the management and administration at the headquarters.

Mr Chairperson, before I proceed to present the 2009 Budget, I wish to give a summary of the performance of the ministry in 2008. The total budget allocation for the ministry in 2008 was K110,516,850,609.00. Of this amount, K63.06 billion was released for both personal emoluments and non-personal emoluments. The released funds represented slightly over 50 per cent of the budget allocation to the ministry.

Against this background, the ministry continued to be challenged in terms of adequate and appropriate staffing, as the ministry still remains un-restructured.

Major Policy Initiatives and Developments in 2008

The ministry in 2008 completed the drafting of the ICT, Postal Services and Electronic Communications and Transaction Bills. These pieces of legislation are aimed at facilitating the implementation of the ICT Policy that was approved and launched in 2007. My ministry will be presenting these Bills to this House for enactment into law after completing consultations with stakeholders. The ICT implementation master plan was also developed and is pending wider stakeholder consultation before being finalised.

In addition to the above, my ministry also developed the Zambia Meteorological Department Strategic Plan …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order please! Be calm.


The Deputy Chairperson: Can you, please, continue hon. Minister?

Ms Siliya: … for the period 2009 to 2013 to facilitate the operationalisation of the Meteorological Policy. The aim of this policy is to guide and direct the provision of meteorological services, utilisation of weather climate information, development of a model legal framework and establishment of a semi autonomous meteorological agency.

Major Programmes and Activities

The ministry made strides in implementing programmes and activities related to the construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of transport and communication infrastructure in the country. Notable among these were the following:

In Kasama, the construction of the terminal building at Kasama Airport was completed at a cost of K1.8 billion.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: The building has since been handed over to the provincial administration. The design of the runway has also commenced and as soon as the tender process is complete, works will begin.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: In Mansa, construction of two of the three storey control tower was completed. The ministry spent K2.5 billion on the project in 2008.

In Chipata, construction of the departure lounge has been completed and the balance of K180 million was paid to the contractor. However, plans are underway to construct a new and modern international airport in Chipata.

In Lusaka, preliminary works to identify the location of the air cargo village, a new runway and ultra modern passenger terminal was undertaken by the ministry.

The House is aware that the last quarter of 2008 experienced turbulence in the aviation industry the world over. As such, in December 2008, my ministry in conjunction with the Ministry of Energy and Water Development and the Energy Regulation Board, succeeded in reducing the price of Jet A1 fuel from US$1.58 per litre to 85 cents per litre. This reduction contributed significantly to lowering operational costs for operators.

Railway Transport

This House will recall that the Chipata/Mchinji Railway line was expected to be completed by September 2008. Unfortunately, this target was not achieved due to management and administrative challenges, changes in prices of construction materials and insufficient funds. However, K10 billion was spent on the project in 2008.

Regarding the Tanzania/Zambia Railways Authority (TAZARA), operations of the company almost came to a stand still in August 2008. The company failed to move goods such as copper, fertiliser and other bulk cargo. However, the two Governments of the Republic of Tanzania and Republic of Zambia intervened by reorganising management and facilitating the operation of seamless traffic between Rail Systems of Zambia (RSZ) and TAZARA through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

The Government, through the Ministry of Communications and Transport, remains committed to the development of new rail lines in the country. To this effect, the Government in 2008 signed a MOU with a private consortium for the construction of the Chingola/Solwezi/Jimbe Rail line. However, the project could not take off because of the court injunction that was placed on the same. The ministry is awaiting official notification of the judgement from the courts.

This House may also wish to know that it cost between US $500,000 to US $750,000 to construct one kilometre of a rail line. This, Mr Chairperson, is the reason my ministry is seeking private sector participation and development of new rail lines in Zambia.

The House will also recall that the Government, through the Zambia Development Agency, invited expression of interest from the private sector to develop and operate the Njanji Commuter Railway line in Lusaka. However, the selected bidder was non responsive thus stalling the entire project. It is the intention of my ministry to actively make the Njanji Commuter Service a reliable alternative mode of urban transport for Lusaka and the private sector is still welcome.

Mr Chairperson, during 2008, the Government continued to negotiate with RSZ to improve the operations of the company. The negotiations centred on increasing concessionaires investment in upgrading the rail truck, improving the rolling stock and installing the new signalling and communication systems. To this effect, US $30,000 was pledged by the shareholders as additional investment funds above what is already in the concession agreement.

The Mulobezi Railway line continued to operate below expectations and the Government is interested  in partnering with the private sector to recapitalise and run the train service.

Road Transport

Road transport plays an important role in the movement of people and goods in the country and is the most widely used mode of transport in Zambia. This state of affairs continued to challenge the Government in terms of construction and maintenance of roads. Current statistics show that construction of a kilometre of tarred road in Zambia costs between K3 billion to K5 billion. My ministry as Chair of the Road Maintenance Initiative (RMI) continued to engage relevant ministries on ways and means of increasing revenue through measures such as tolling of certain roads and others.

The Government has been implementing the Road Sector Investment Programme (ROADSIP) since 1998. Currently, phase II of ROADSIP is under implementation and will run up to 2013.

In terms of road transport and regulations, the Government continued to focus on the protection of lives and property through implementation of appropriate road safety engineering measures, education, publicity and enforcement of road traffic regulations. These interventions were carried out through the print and electronic media.

During the year under review, the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) registered a total number of 59,204 vehicles. The total number of vehicles registered to date is 268,142. There were also 20,884 road traffic accidents that were recorded with 1,130 fatalities.

In order to improve road safety, the Government, in 2008, revised the Highway Code which now awaits approval by this House and enactment into law.

Speed limiters were introduced on all long distance public service vehicles. However, accidents resulting from over speeding buses are still occurring. There is, therefore, need to review the enforcement of speed limiters and discipline among drivers.

Further, in order to reduce the incidences of drinking and driving which has been cited as the major cause of road traffic accidents, “The Road Smart” campaign and breathalysers were introduced.


The meteorology sector continued to play its role of informing the public of the general climatic and weather conditions to enable all sectors such as the business community, farmers and individuals to make informed decisions. The Government, through the radio and internet programmes, distributed more than 3,000 solar wind-up radios to community radio stations throughout the districts in the country to enable rural community access weather and climate information. Satellite receivers were also installed at all community radio stations and district co-ordinating offices in Eastern, Central, Northern and Luapula provinces.

Information and Communication Technology

In line with the National Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Policy, I wish to report that considerable progress was made in the laying of the optic fibre network in 2008. A total of 2,250 kilometres of the optic fibre network out of the expected 5,000 kilometres targeting provincial centres was laid by the Zambia Telecommunications Company (Zamtel), Copperbelt Energy Corporation and the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO). The House may also wish to know that Livingstone, Lusaka, Kabwe, Ndola and Solwezi already have access to fibre optic network. Works are underway to connect Chipata, Kasama, Mansa and Mongu and ultimately link Zambia to both the eastern and western coasts of the continent through the undersea cable.

In 2008, I informed the House that the business model of the traditional post office is phasing out worldwide due to the shift and increase in services such as mobile phones, email, internet and other electronic communication facilities. It was, therefore, prudent that the Zambia Postal Services (Zampost) embarks on re-engineering its business in order to provide services required by customers.

I am happy to inform the House that in 2008, ten postal centres, mainly at provincial level, were connected to the wide area network to support the new products and services in the post offices. Once again, the post office is regaining its status as a centre of business transactions such as payment of bills and money transfers. In addition, all provincial post offices have installed e-post facilities where e-mails can be turned into ordinary mail at the point of delivery thereby increasing the speed at which mail is distributed.

The public sector has continued to lead in the expansion of mobile communication in the country. To date, all the seventy-two districts in the country have access to GSM signaling. In the area of internet, I am pleased to inform the House that all provincial centres have access to broadband or wireless internet.

Mr Chairperson, in the ICT sector, tremendous progress has been registered especially in the mobile sub-sector where the subscriber base has continued to grow each year. In 2007, Zambia had a subscriber base of 2 million and this increased to over 3 million by December, 2008, presenting 20 per cent of penetration.

Mr Chairperson, my ministry has, through the Communications Authority of Zambia, encouraged the need to promote newer and cost effective technologies that can increase the market size and avail new products and services in the country. In this regard, the licensing of third generation or 3G technologies is in progress. Already the worldwide interoperability microwave access technology or WIMAX is in use in some parts of the country.

Maritime Transport and Inland Waterways

Mr Chairperson, Zambia has continued to use the ports of Durban and Dar-es-Salaam for most of the trade with minimal usage of the Beira Port in Mozambique. Inland water transport plays an important role, especially in those areas where the movement of people and goods depends entirely on water transport. Currently, most of our inland water facilities are not easily navigable and require dredging and clearing. However in 2008, the ministry was unable to provide dredgers or vessels for these areas due to lack of funds.

2009 Budget and Expenditure Structure

Mr Chairperson, according to the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for 2009, my ministry has been allocated K105.121 billion. My ministry intends to use K35.331 billion on airport/aerodrome development, rehabilitation and maintenance, K7.2 billion on procurement of meteorological instruments, installation and operationalisation, K8.8 billion on procurement of a dredger and other water vessels, the establishment of the shippers council, procurement of marine radio communication equipment and rehabilitation of harbours, waterways and canals. Part of these funds will also be used for operational costs of boats.

Railway development has been allocated over K10 billion and another K5 billion for the development of the transport master plan, construction of office blocks at headquarters and general administration.

More emphasis will be placed on the e-governance project and to this effect K4.3 billion has been allocated towards this. The construction of the Shang’ombo and rehabilitation of Solwezi and Sinda post offices has been allocated K1.5 billion.

Major Programmes in 2009

Mr Chairperson, the ministry in 2009 will focus its strategies on strengthening the gains achieved in 2008. To this effect, the following programmes have been prioritised for 2009:

Railway Sector

The completion of the construction of the Chipata/Mchinji Railway line which will open the route to the port of Nacala in Mozambique is still a priority. The opening of the Nacala route will add to Zambia’s existing trading routes besides the traditional Dar-es-Salaam, Beira in Mozambique and Durban in South Africa. The Chipata/Mchinji Railway Project has been allocated K10 billion for the completion of the laying of remaining rails, ballasting and renovation of the terminal building.

Further, the Government intends to resume the operations of Njanji Commuter Services through private sector participation which will provide an urban rail transit transport to compliment bus services which, at present, are becoming increasingly congested. To this effect, my ministry, in conjunction with the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, will engage the private sector to pursue this project.

The Government will further explore possibilities of attracting private sector investment opportunities for the development of new railway lines such as Nseluka-Mpulungu, Chipata-TAZARA, Mulobezi-Caprivi line and Lions Den Kafue railway lines. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) already signed with a consortium to construct the Chingola-Lumwana-Jimbe rail line will hopefully be executed in 2009.

The Government shall continue to also dialogue with RSZ to improve the operations of the company. In this regard, a high level meeting with shareholders of RSZ is planned for April, 2009 to discuss, among other things, the investment in the rail line, staff welfare, disposal of scrap metal and handover of rails for the Chipata/Mchinji Railway line. Further, the Government has excluded RSZ from paying the fuel levy and will channel the funds towards the Rail Development and Rehabilitation Fund. Modalities on the operation of the fund will be worked out with the Ministry of Finance and National Planning.

Mr Chairperson, the Governments of the Republic of Zambia and Tanzania have agreed to offer the Chinese the first option for private sector participation in TAZARA. In this regard, a high level delegation consisting of officials from the two countries will travel to China to discuss the matter further.

My ministry will further work towards putting in place an effective legal and regulatory framework by revising the existing Railway Act so that it responds to the expanding role of the railway transport sector. K22 million has been allocated for this exercise.

Air Transport

The priority of the Government in 2009 will be the development and modernisation of air transport infrastructure. To this effect, the Government has allocated a total of K35 billion.

Amongst the projects planned are the construction of a new airport at Solwezi which will include the construction of a terminal building and runway. To this effect, K8 billion has been allocated for this exercise.

The Government will also construct a new terminal building at Mbala Airport to facilitate commercial and civil operations and will also continue with the remaining works at Kasama and Mansa Airports at a total cost of K21 billion.

The rehabilitation of Mfuwe International Airport has been allocated K1.2 billion. There are also plans to turn Lusaka International Airport into an air cargo hub to cater for the anticipated traffic from the economic zones. To this effect, US$750,000 has been secured from our co-operating partners. My ministry intends to pursue and find more bilateral air services agreements with countries in the Far East, North and South Americas as well as Africa. This should result in increased flights in and out of Zambia, thereby contributing to increased competition and lowering costs for travellers to and from Zambia.

This House will recall that in my 2008 ministerial statement on the National Budget, I indicated that the Government intended to repair the radar system at the Lusaka International Airport. I am happy to report that this process has since begun and so far  60 per cent of the work has been done.

As we embark on these programmes, we wish to invite the private sector to compliment the Government efforts in the development of the aviation industry by investing in the sector. To this effect, the Government has removed the 5 per cent customs duty on the importation of light and smaller commercial aircraft.

Water Transport

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

The Government also intends to establish the Zambia Postal Authority as a regulatory body in view of the liberalised shipping industry. In addition, the establishment of dry ports through public private sector partnerships will continue to be pursued.
The priority of the Government in the inland water transport will be to continue with the rehabilitation and improvement of infrastructure at harbours across the country and the clearing and maintenance of canals and inland waterways countrywide. Over K900 million has been allocated for these activities in this year’s budget.

Further, the Government has allocated K4.9 billion for the procurement of the marine technical equipment such as dredgers and watercrafts to improve the management of the waterways and enhance the safety of navigation on our inland waterways.


Under meteorology, the Government intends to establish the marine meteorology services at Mpulungu and Samfya and also secure Cabinet approval of the Meteorology Policy. In addition, the Government intends to strengthen the aeronautical observing systems at Lusaka International Airport, Ndola Airport, Livingstone and Mfuwe International airports; and over K1.7 billion has been allocated to these activities.

Further, in order to provide timely climatic and weather information to the farming community, the Government intends to establish, in 2009, new meteorological stations in farming blocks at Nansanga and Kafulafuta and continue with the radio internet project. The total cost for these activities is K500 million.

Information and Communications Technologies (ICT)

Mr Chairperson, ICTs have the potential to enhance service delivery by promoting efficiency, effectiveness, transparency and accountability. In this regard, my ministry will commence the implementation of the E-Governance project. Under this framework, my ministry in collaboration with the Ministries of Education and Health intends to install ultra-modern facilities for tele-education at the Mulungushi University and tele-medicine at the University Teaching Hospital. This is part of the Pan-African E-network project supported by the Indian Government through the African Union. The total allocation for these and other E-Governance activities is K4.3 billion.

Secondly, my ministry through the Multi-Facility Economic Zones (MFEZs) will strive to attract local and foreign ICT companies involved in service provision, software development assembly and/or manufacture of ICT equipment. To this effect, the Government has zero-rated duty on the importation of raw materials not found in Zambia for manufacturing of ICT products such as computer components. In addition, the Government has introduced the 15 per cent duty on imported mobile handsets in order to encourage investment in locally manufactured handsets.

The Government intends to construct a new post office in Shang’ombo and complete the rehabilitation of the Solwezi and Sinda Post offices. This has been allocated K1.5 billion. Further considerations are being made to ensure that other areas in the country benefit from these programmes.

The valuation process of ZAMTEL which began in January, 2009, is progressing smoothly and the initial report was presented to the ministry and other stakeholders in February, 2009. I will soon take a combined memo with the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Finance and National Planning to report to Cabinet on the same. The valuation report will assist the Government make a decision on the future of ZAMTEL. I did inform this House that as of December, 2008, the ZAMTEL debt stood at K749 billion and it continues to grow.

Mr Speaker, one of the critical challenges affecting performance of my ministry continues to be the un-restructured status of the ministry. As a result of this lack of restructuring, performance is hindered due to inadequate staff levels, misplaced and even inappropriate human resources.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.{mospagebreak}


Ms Siliya: Mr Chairperson, before we went for break, I was concluding my policy statement with the following point. As I indicated earlier on, no economic activity can successfully take place without provision of an efficient and effective transport and communications infrastructure, but at the same time the provision of the same cannot take place in a vacuum, thus the need for “people centred development.’ In this regard, my ministry will continue to engage the Ministry of Finance and National Planning and the Public Service Management Division to fast-track the restructuring of the ministry.

I wish to end by appealing to the hon. Members of this august House to support the budget of the Ministry of Communications and Transport for 2009.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate this important Vote. I promise you that I shall not take long to make my thoughts known, through you, to the hon. Minister responsible for this portfolio.

Mr Chairperson, I shall go straight to ZAMTEL. It is common knowledge that ZAMTEL has been faced with a lot of problems. However, I decided to single out one problem, that being the debt portfolio especially with regard to the Government ministries.

ZAMTEL is owed a lot of money by this Government, the Government where Hon. Siliya is serving. I want us to do a bit of soul searching here that while it is prudent to find an equity partner and sell shares to would-be interested people to have a stake in ZAMTEL, there is absolute need for ZAMTEL to be a bit attractive and be facilitated to                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            recover all debts that are accruing and owing to the company.

The hon. Minister must show some prudence by making sure that ZAMTEL is paid what is due to it. Once this is done, I can assure you all the problems will be solved. It is only prudent to sell it in an attractive form rather than what the case was sometime ago with the mines. The mines were sold for a song because no basics were done. Now, in the case of ZAMTEL, it is important to identify who owes ZAMTEL. Once this is done, the Government will be able to know after looking at the balance sheet whether the company is solvent or not. It will be scandalous to offload shares of a company that is bankrupt. What will you achieve if this is done? You cannot sell a Government institution for a song and if you do that, what next? However, you can make ZAMTEL a little bit more attractive. Do not rush to do anything. I urge the Government not to sell ZAMTEL. If it means asking the Ministry of Finance and National Planning to pay what is due to them, let it be so.

Mr Chairperson, I also want to make just one or two comments on the Railways Systems of Zambia. When Hon. Siliya was appointed by the late President, one of the challenges that he wanted was to sort out the problems that are in the company. Zambia Railways concessioned to the Railways Systems of Zambia. We have talked about this over and over again and it is public knowledge that the Railway Systems of Zambia stands in default on their concession. We also know that in order to keep the relationship, the Government of the Republic of Zambia has also decided to default on their obligations so that they look like they are tied together. I urge the hon. Minister to also exercise some prudence. There is nothing wrong. Only an idiot cannot change his mind. I think it is better to go back to the earlier decision taken because it was wrong. Let us go back to the drawing board and make Zambia Railways become the Zambia Railways that it was when we had the rail car, Luangwa and Kafue Express. During that time, my uncle here was working for the same institution. What is wrong with that? There is absolutely nothing wrong to change one’s mind.

Mr Chairperson, President Obama in his appointments in the first hundred days of his administration conceded to the American people that he had made an error. What is wrong with making an error? You are only human. The Railway Systems of Zambia concession, through you, Mr Chairperson, to the lady there, is a scandal.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Not the lady there.

Mr Nkombo: To the hon. lady Minister, is a scandal …


Mr Nkombo: … because this is an asset that belongs to the people of Zambia. Let us go back to the drawing board and stop skating around. Let us find a solution for Railway Systems of Zambia concession with Zambia Railways and the Government of the Republic of Zambia. We have said over and over again that our road network is being damaged by the heavy trucks that use our roads everyday and yet we can rehabilitate the Railway Systems of Zambia. It may be at a cost but it is a cost worthy investing in.

Mr Chairperson, I promised that I will only deal with those two issues and I will not endeavour to take any more time. I want categorical responses from the hon. Minister when she winds up.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): Thank you, Mr Chairperson. I will also be brief because I will just deal with one issue and this is public transport concerning mini-bus and taxi drivers.

I think everybody will agree with me that it is a danger to drive on our roads when you are in front of or behind a mini-bus because the driver will stop at any point to pick up passengers. The law is there. Why are things going wrong? This is being done here in Lusaka, Kabwe and other towns. Sometimes, I wonder because I have seen this situation where, maybe, a traffic officer in a police vehicle is there seeing these people stopping and picking people at any point. This has contributed to a number of accidents and I think the passengers that they often pick, whenever a taxi driver or a mini-bus driver is pursued, complain and yet they are the victims when there is an accident. We are tired of this behaviour. Something should be done about this.

The mini-bus and taxi drivers are supposed to wear a blue shirt as uniform, but look at what is supposed to be blue. I think sometimes it is khaki. We have visitors from outside the country and the first people they get in touch with are the taxi drivers. I think let us improve on the appearance of these people. Let us enforce the law.

Mr Chairperson, in the past when you were driving at night, we had the problem of trucks. Those were the people posing danger on the road but when you are driving at night nowadays and there is a vehicle in front of you in the opposite direction with lights at full beam, just know that it is either a taxi or mini-bus. If you indicate to the driver to reduce the beam on lights, there is no response. This again has caused a number of accidents. We are worried about the lives that are being lost carelessly. The accident that happened a few weeks ago here in Lusaka, I think, was because of the overzealousness of the driver. Until certain things are done in the ministry, we will continue losing lives in this manner. I think it is high time this ministry took a step in ensuring that everybody is safe on the road.

Mr Chairperson, I promised to be brief.

Thank you, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: That is very good. At least, many people can speak.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for giving us a good brief about the entire ministry. However, I have one point that concerns the restructuring of the ministry.

Mr Chairperson, we should expect below par performance if the ministry of Communications and Transport is not restructured. There will also be a lot of resistance to changes that might be introduced in the ministry. Therefore, there is an urgent need to restructure the ministry and put people where they belong. Sir, restructuring does not have to mean that people lose jobs. They will only be placed where they belong.

Mr Chairperson, I know the Government has put a lot of programmes in place. One example is the construction of new post offices. This is a very welcome move. I think the people of Zambia are very grateful for the direction the ministry is taking.

Mr Chairperson, I would also like to thank the Government on behalf of the people of the Eastern Province for the Mchinji Railway line.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: We have had no railway line in the Eastern Province.

Mr Kasongo: It is a national project.

Mr Mbewe: The railway line will boost trade in the province. Additionally, the Great East Road will not be overburdened with heavy trucks and other vehicles carrying goods.

 Mr Chairperson, we are also grateful that we can communicate with people in our villages through the mobile phones which the ministry has introduced. This is a good vision which we wanted.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to further thank the ministry for clearing canals in the Western Province and in Bangweulu.

Mr Milupi: Which ones?

Mr Mbewe: Other canals that are supposed to be cleared are on your programme.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: That is a good move and the direction is clear.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: Mr Chairman, I would like to thank the staff at the ministry for upgrading Kasama, Mfuwe, Chipata, Mbala, Livingstone and so many other airports. However, I have a request to make. We have the Nyangwe Airstrip in Lundazi. You had given us some money last year, but it was not enough. It is not appearing in the Yellow Book this year. However, I have a feeling that you will consider us this year or next year.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: I feel this is going to assist us very much in the province.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Can you repeat that issue again?


The Deputy Chairperson: The Chair did not hear it properly.


Mr Mbewe: Mr Chairperson, I want to put it on record …


Mr Mbewe: … that we have Nyangwe Airstrip in Lundazi …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: … and we are thankful that you gave us some money, but it was not enough. We are, therefore, asking that you look for money this year or next year to complete the project.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Mr Chairperson, I will be brief because I only want to talk about one component which I feel is an embarrassment to this ministry. This is to do with the traffic lights on railway crossings.

Mr Chairperson, I have seen that the Railway Systems of Zambia have done away with the traffic lights that are supposed to regulate the movement of the trains and vehicles. This company has not repaired or replaced traffic lights. I do not know whether this improves the movement of trains. They have instead put human beings to control traffic. I feel this is bad. We do not create jobs like that.

Mr Chairperson, I thought the idea of bringing the RSZ was to improve what was left by the Zambia Railways. What is there is an embarrassment. I am sure there is a law that regulates what is supposed to be built along the railway line. However, in some cases, there are tuntembas that are built two metres away from the railway line. In most cases, accidents have happened. For example, we have seen accidents at Chisekesi Railway Crossing. We do not know how those people have survived. It may be okay when the train is on coming because it will hoot at some point and wake up the man regulating traffic if it is at night. If it is a truck that is coming and is driven by a foreigner who does not know where the road crosses the railway line, it can be very dangerous.

Secondly, while the Government has brought about the Mchinji Railway Line in the Eastern Province, they should also look at the rehabilitation of the Livingstone/Mulobezi Railway Line.

Mr Milupi: Hear, hear!

Mr Sing’ombe: Mr Chairperson, this railway line is in a deplorable condition. If this Government sits without attending to it, we should expect lives to be lost.

Hon. Opposition Members: Tell them!

Mr Sing’ombe: I feel like getting up to invest in it. It helps our friends to get timber and transport our friends who stay in sandy areas like where Hon. Mabenga comes from.


Mr Sing’ombe: I do not think these people will develop without this railway line.

Mr Chairman, I thank you.

The Deputy Chairperson: That is good.

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC. (Chasefu): Mr Chairperson, I will be brief too.

 Hon. Minister, the problem you face in your ministry is as a result of demotivated manpower. Once you have a demotivated manpower, the end result is having leakage of information by disgruntled officers.

Hon. Member: Including the hon. Deputy Minister.

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC.: My advice to you is that through the Secretary to the Cabinet, you must ensure that most of these officers who have been there too long and have outlived their usefulness are transferred to other ministries so that you can start on a clean slate.


Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC.: It is very important that the pruning exercise spares no one.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC.: Unfortunately, this malaise also extends to parastatal companies under your ministry. The first issue that comes to my mind is the frequent change of chief executives of most of these parastatals. I have in mind the Tanzania Zambia Railways (TAZARA) which is renowned for instability and failure to deliver. You have the Road Traffic and Safety Agency (RTSA) which is not delivering and the Road Development Agency (RDA) which may be delivering, but not to the satisfaction of most Zambians. You also have the Zambia Telecommunications (ZAMTEL) Company.

Hon. Minister, it means that you must take a close look at the managers manning these companies. We know that some companies under your ministry are managed by people who where very junior civil servants. They were promoted from a junior civil servant to manage a big corporation under your ministry. Please, look at that and ask yourself how this junior officer from the Ministry of Communications and Transport suddenly found himself a chief executive of a parastatal. Why? Did this person resign from the Civil Service or was it a promotion, at the expense of all permanent secretaries who know administration? Please, take your time to do the needful.

There are also parastatals under your ministry that are run by people with qualifications that have no relevance to the positions they hold. They may be graduates in surveying, but the find themselves managing road transport. That must not be allowed.

Hon Opposition Member: Animal husbandry!

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC.: They may have qualifications in animal husbandry, but not in managing road transport. That should not be allowed and that is why you have problems in your ministry.


Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC.: Therefore, take time to examine these problems.

Let us proceed a little further. You have this parastatal called the RTSA under your ministry. The core function of this parastatal is road transport management. Ask yourself whether they are really managing road transport. The answer is no, hon. Minister. Why? It is because you have wrong people running this agency. This agency cannot be run by cowboys. It must be run by managers.

Hon. Opposition Member: They drink beer as they patrol.

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC.: Hon. Minister, please, also give active consideration to the revenue collection function which this agency is performing. Consider subcontracting …

Mrs Masebo: Decentralise!

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC.: … this function. This is why Zambians have to travel from Chama to Lusaka to obtain licences. Is it really necessary? Decentralise because this is the policy of your Government. Therefore, implement it. Do not be shy. We shall definitely applaud efforts taken in that direction.

Sir, I promised to be brief and I intend to do so. This is my last point

Hon. UPND Members stood up.


Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC.: You have a department which was created recently. This is the Department of Communications. This department is run by somebody who has never been a civil servant. What happened? Do you mean that you do not have civil servants in the Government to fill this position? That is why you have problems.

Sir, with these few remarks, I support the Vote.
Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Members stood up.

The Deputy Chairperson: Please, sit down. Before I call on another person to debate, let me guide the House. I have seen that more than twenty people would like to debate and I want to allow as many hon. Members as I can to debate, but I can only do that if those who are debating are brief. That is why about five hon. Members have debated within a short span of time. If you can be brief, the better, but so far, only men are indicating. I would like a lady to debate.


Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Sir, I thank you for according me the opportunity to debate. From the onset, I would like to state that I will be more than brief because I only want to talk about the Mulobezi Train.

Mr Chairperson, the Mulobezi Train was the only means of transport in Katombola and Mulobezi constituencies. We have cried for this railway line since the MMD Government came into power because they are the ones who stopped it from operating. During the UNIP era, people were boarding that train to go as far as Mulobezi, but when the MMD came to power, they said these people did not deserve transport. We are Zambians who also deserve transport facilities.

Sir, that railway line connects Mulobezi to Namibia and if it is well maintained, it is going to be very viable. However, because you have poor planners, as previous speakers have said, these people you are promoting who are not qualified for the positions they hold, misdirected you about the Mulobezi Train.

 Last year, K500 million was allocated, but we do not even know what the money did because we have not seen anything. It had no impact at all. Again, this year, you have given it K500 million. Maybe, you are just giving it to people to share in the Ministry of Communications and Transport because that money is not reaching Mulobezi. We have not seen any impact at all.

Sir, the Sun Hotel is using our railway line up to Simoonga. How much money are they paying us? Are we benefiting because they are charging in dollars in that ka coach of theirs? I think it is about a US $100 per person.

The Deputy Chairperson: What English is that, hon. Member?


The Deputy Chairperson: What is that ka coach?

Mrs Musokotwane: They are charging US $150 to board their coach. Therefore, you can partner with Sun Hotel to redo the railway line up to Mulobezi because they are also benefiting. I am sure if that railway line was rehabilitated up to Mulobezi, Sun Hotel would have go further than where they are going now. It is up to the Government to ensure that the railway line is in good condition so that Sun Hotel gives us more money by using it.

My second point is about the Simango Post Office. This post office served the farmers in my constituency because it was located in a farming area. However, at the moment, the farmers have to go to Livingstone to bank their money because, when the MMD came into power, they closed Simango Post Office and sold the houses. What is the problem with this Government? Instead of helping the people, they are now handicapping them.

Mr Muntanga: Destroying!

Mrs Musokotwane: My people have to go to Livingstone to bank their money and pick letters that are written to them by their children in Lusaka.

Mrs Masebo: Use the Internet!

Mr Musokotwane: Are you really being reasonable? Are you saying that we are not part of Zambia? Is it because we are not members of the MMD? There are so many MMD chaps there and you know that ...

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mrs Musokotwane: … they need your services.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order, there are no chaps.

Mrs Musokotwane: I withdraw the word ‘chap’ and replace it with ‘people’.

Sir, there are members of the MMD who also need services from the Government. Therefore, the fact that the MMD is in Government, it has to serve people whether they are UPND or not. Think about the Simango Post Office because we want it open, if possible, before the end of this year.

I thank you, Sir.


The Deputy Chairperson: Very good!

Dr Kalumba (Chienge): Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute on this Vote.

Sir, I will try to be slightly brief. I am national secretary of a very big, strong and powerful party.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 Dr Kalumba: However, I travel by public transport when I go to my village and constituency most of the time. In these travels, I shared an experience with the hon. Minister of Communications and Transport who is among one of the few hon. Ministers who have experienced what it is to go on public transport and listen to the voices of the ordinary people. When we you travel by public transport, you will hear one important comment. In our politics, whatever we say or do, as politicians, is meaningless or useless unless it alleviates or overcomes human suffering.

Hon UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalumba: To overcome human suffering, you must have a passion for change and conviction to do things as quickly as possible in order to alleviate human suffering.


Dr Kalumba: Sometimes, you are never popular that way. No reformers were ever popular during their time.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalumba: Therefore, I understand you, hon. Minister.

Mr Chairperson, let me say that we live in a world where we need to have passion for the future. To have that passion for the future, we have to make decisions today for tomorrow. We live in a world where you can be in one capital of a country, I will not mention which one, and be able to listen to the conversation in State House. That is modern technology as it is today.

Dr Kazonga: Dot. Com!

Dr Kalumba: You can be in Nakiwa dot Com. in Chienge and listen to this House.


Dr Kalumba: You are right, Hon. Kazonga. To live in this world, you have to have a passion for change. A laptop…


Dr Kalumba:…is a technology that is essential for living these days.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalumba: Mr Chairperson, I am driven to speak about the international gateway. In my view, there is no security problem given that there is current technology to liberalise the international gateway…

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalumba:…because you do not need it to listen to White House or State House. Technology exists for people to by pass these facilities now in other countries. Some of our neighbours have them already. We are misleading ourselves when we say that there is no security on this. We are just limiting our passion for the future.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalumba: We have to get there. We cannot get there using Hon. Kawimbe’s metaphor. When somebody is running in front of you and you are walking, you cannot hope to catch up with him. We have to run faster. This means making decisions at gigabyte rate. A passion for the future begins with the vision of the future. I am glad that my hon. Member of Parliament for Chadiza was congratulating this very powerful Government for finishing the Mchinji/Chipata Railway line. This is a very powerful achievement. Let us have a greater vision than just for a railway line from Mchinji to Chipata. Why not cross over to Mpika?

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sinyinda: To Mongu!

Dr Kalumba: Why not have a link between Kasama, Nakonde and Chienge?

Dr Kalumba: We should have a vision for the future. A passion for the future is appreciated even by an ordinary folk. I just went to put to rest my beloved grandmother a week or two ago. She was ninety-eight years old. One day, I was castigating that the cell phones are expensive. She looked at me and said, “Do you know that you will need that to bring my coffin?” That is exactly what happened. When I was informed that she was about to die, I rushed a coffin there because she needed it. I did just that. She appreciated technology at her age. A passion for the future starts today. A passion for the future means that we have people with names such as Nokia Zulu, Samsung Banda and whatever.


Dr Kalumba: Sir, let us begin to own this technology to internalise it even if it means calling our sons and daughters by names such as Blackberry Lungu.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Dr Kalumba: That is withdrawn, Sir.


The Deputy Chairperson: Can you continue, but there should be no Lungu there.


Dr Kalumba: I am much obliged, Sir.

Sir, I come from an area where there is plenty of water. Transport is not only by the road but also by water. My colleague talked about canals and so on. This is another public transport that we do not have today. Somewhere between 1915 and 1918, there was a Mr Eubert Harrington in Chienge. He was a master at making boats and he is the one who went to Western Province and helped my in-laws to make the Nalikwanda. In Chienge, he left a boat called the Mandala. As early as that time, we had people thinking about public transport by water. Therefore, let us invest in this area in places like Chienge, Nchelenge, Siavonga and Luangwa because we have people who travel by water. It is very enjoyable ladies and gentlemen.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Mr Chimbaka (Bahati): Mr Chairperson, I want to commend the hon. Minister of Communications and Transport for considering, this time around, allocating money to rehabilitate Mansa Airport. I thank you very much and I am humbled.

Sir, I also want to tell my hon. Minister to consider examining the operations of the Communications Authority along the same lines that the University Teaching Hospital Board was examined and certified beneficial or unbeneficial.

Mr Chairperson, I also want to say that I think the Road Traffic and Safety Agency (RTSA), just like Hon. C. K. B. Banda, SC said, needs personnel who are honest and have integrity.  The ministry really desires personnel of responsibility such that we move forward, especially that in the new world order, communication must be upgraded in order for development to take place in our country. Therefore, hon. Minister, do not listen to the voices of doom or those who wish your ministry ill. You are on course and we will support you.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Mr Chairperson, I will as well be very brief in supporting this particular Vote. The biggest worry I have about this particular ministry is that it stands in a weak Government. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: If a Government of men and women like yourselves cannot be strong as leaders, no hon. Minister can execute his or her programmes. I once debated on the Floor of this House that if the MMD Government, including the President and the Vice-President, were not strong, they would not reach 2011. I can assure you this. I can even bet you a cow, if you want.

Mr Muntanga: Hear, hear!


Mr Hachipuka: You will not be able to get there.

Mr Chairperson, those of us who were managers had to be strong. We had a leadership in Kenneth Kaunda which was strong.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: Hon. Ministers, you have to be strong. I do not know what you discuss in the Cabinet.

Hon. Opposition Member: If they do at all.

Mr Hachipuka: If you are not strong, you will not survive. You will not last.

Mr Chairperson, in this particular case, for the hon. Minister of Communications and Transport to be strong and execute her programmes, she needs a strong Government backing.

Major Chizhyuka: The weaker, the better.


Mr Hachipuka: You have to reorganise yourselves. You have to stand back to back. If you do not, we will come in.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Musokotwane: We are already there.

Mr Hachipuka: You have to stand back to back.

Mr Chairperson, I have raised this issue because someone referred to the reorganisation of this ministry. I have been a member of many Committees in this House. For example, I have seen the ministry working in TAZARA. You will not be able to correct what is happening in TAZARA unless you put in place a managing director and managers of substance who have experience. If you do not do this, the losses will continue. Someone said we cannot sell a parastatal company which is losing money. What kind of business school did this person go to?  


Mr Hachipuka: Assets are sold when they are not able to make money in order to sustain them. You are asking the Zambians to continue paying income tax for Dora Siliya to put in …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Hachipuka: …for Hon. Dora Siliya to put into TAZARA. That is not right. Life is not about the private sector or the Government, but about knowing when to jump off.

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

Mr Hachipuka: You cannot continue running ZAMTEL. It cannot continue losing money because you want to own it. What are going to own? You want the Zambians to continue paying income tax to support a company that is ailing? No, you should be business- minded. Singapore and other Asian countries have succeeded because they knew when to get off.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: Everybody has been complaining about the Railway Systems of Zambia, but you are just sitting and nobody wants to do anything about it.

Mr Chairperson, my appeal, and this is why I said I would be brief, to this Government, is to support this ministry. I am telling you that if we were in power as UPND, we would get up and support each other. No single hon. Minister can be strong enough to execute a programme alone. Success in managing and turning this country around depends entirely on what you do as a team.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: This is what collective responsibility means.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Musokotwane: Just as we are united.

Mr Hachipuka: You need to reorganise the ministry and all the parastatals under it. You need very strong Permanent Secretaries, Directors and people who cannot waiver. All human beings make mistakes. However, when you do make the mistake, as a manager, you live with it and carry on. You cannot continue having everybody running every enterprise.


Mr Hachipuka: Everybody has a say. This is the problem we have in this country. At the rate these people are going, we will not go far.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Magande (Chilanga): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving this opportunity to comment on this very important ministry. I fully support the Vote for this ministry. I am happy to note that the budget has only come down by K5 billion. This is because Kasama Airport, which is nearing completion, had K20 billion last year and only K8 billion this year. Further, Solwezi Airport, which was allocated K20 billion last year is also getting only K8 billion.

Clearly, it is very pleasing to note that this kind of infrastructure is almost complete. I am happy to note that the hon. Minister has allocated money to complete the Mchinji/Chipata Railway Line. We have been talking about this line for a long time. Some of us who have lived in all the three Governments are aware when this started and, halfway through, was abandoned. Therefore, it is very pleasing to note that the people of Eastern Province, although being propelled by the Chairperson, are extremely happy because of this railway line. I am, therefore, encouraging the hon. Minister that once the Mchinji/Chipata line is finished, she should look at the Mulobezi Line.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Magande: We have been talking about Mulobezi Railway Line, which was meant for economic activities of timber logging, for long time. We need to ensure that it is useful. Along the line, we can actually start establishments of tourism infrastructure because it is very close to the Zambezi and the Nakatindi Road. I, therefore, hope to see a better allocation, hon. Minister, in next year’s budget for this particular railway line.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to say that regarding airports, we are doing extremely well. However, let me invite you to prevail on the National Airports Corporation to work on the Lusaka International Airport.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Magande: We cannot afford potholes at an international airport. Neither can we afford the breaking up of the Ndola Airport, which by now should have been an international airport. I think that if those two are done, then, indeed, like my good National Secretary said, we have a vision for the future.

Mr Chairperson, I think that infrastructure in the ministry is a very urgent matter. However, it requires that we put priorities and work on one thing and when it is completed, we move on to another. In view of the Private Public Sector Policy which is coming and the interest that is being shown, we can, I am sure, partner with the private sector to put up some of this infrastructure.

Mr Chairperson, the area of telecommunication is very important. I am happy that the ministry is talking about Information Communication Technology. Clearly, it would have been very interesting in your conclusion, hon. Minister, to inform the lady opposite that, now, she does not need to send people to collect letters from Livingstone to Musokotwane. She can actually do it by Internet.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Magande: As we heard from Hon. Kalumba, you do not even need to have wires in order to connect the Internet. At my place, I do not have wires. I am on wireless internet. I can even communicate with my good National Secretary when he is in Chienge. 

Mr Magande: Of course, I need to share some of the secrets of what he is doing there.


Mr Magande: Therefore, Hon. Musokotwane will want to get a reassurance from you, hon. Minister, that, indeed, the vision for the future is not to have wires, buses or some bags that people will be moving around with. You can actually send messages and even send money by the grace of Zambia National Commercial (ZANACO) Bank modernisation and computerisation. You can even withdraw money using your telephone from a ZANACO account. Therefore, hon. Minister you are, indeed, in the right direction.

I would like to say, Madam Minister, that I think in your speech …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Address the Chair. 

Mr Magande: Through the Chair, I would like to tell the hon. Minister that she forgot, in her introduction, to congratulate us because today, this morning, His Excellency the President, inaugurated the first mobile cell phone manufacturing company in Zambia.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Sir, having been one of the planners of vision, I want to say congratulations to His Excellency, the President, for being able to do this because you can get a cell phone set manufactured along Lumumba Road in Lusaka and Zambia. Therefore, we are moving into the modern times and the future.

Mr Chairperson, let me end by saying that I would like just a little bit more of organisation on our roads. This means that you have to work on RTSA. I know that it is a new institution and there are officers who are very enthusiastic, but like Hon. Chifumu Banda observed, sometimes, people are moved into these institutions who do not seem to understand what the philosophy of those institutions are. I am told that right now, there is one officer at RTSA who is frustrating members of the public. It takes so long to get a licence because someone’s signature has to be waited for for more than three days. I would like to plead because this is a very urgent matter. I was sent to come and represent the people’s views that as we debate, you should look at that issue because the rest of the officers who have grown with the institution are trying very hard and that is how we are trying to get all these things computerised so that people are less inconvenienced and, therefore, reduce the cost of doing business.

 I thank you, Sir.

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! I have had twelve people debate on this Vote. I can still see five hon. Members standing. Can four of you sit down so that I can have one?


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! If you do not, then, I will…

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Chairperson, I am going to try to be very brief.

First of all, I wish to commend the young, vibrant and vigorous hon. Minister, a lady who speaks very fluently and eloquently.

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa:  More important than that, when you present a problem to her, you will soon get a response because she is working on it. If we all, hon. Ministers, work like that, then we are going to some place.

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: Mr Chairperson, because I want to be very brief, let me speak about water transport because where I came from, we call it ‘overseas’.

From the Bangweulu lakelands, the main way of travelling is by water. I have bemoaned in this House before that the Government, not just this particular Government, but the previous ones as well, had not given adequate resources in the past to support this area. The maintenance of canals in the country is not given adequate money.  We are going down because I have noticed that only K500 million has been allocated. A few years ago, it was K1 billion. Therefore, we are going down. As we speak right now, it is almost impossible to get to certain parts of my constituency because dredging and clearing have been done.

Sir, I am going to be approaching the hon. Minister’s office very soon to request that something be done. Otherwise, you will get some people with chiefs to talk about clearing these canals. I know that you can do it.

I also think that it is important that your ministry considers setting up offices in those districts where you have a lot of lakes with regard to maritime administration. Samfya is one them.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Hon. Dr Machungwa, can you, please, address the Chair? It is like you are addressing the hon. Minister. It will be dialogue between the two of you

Can you continue.

Dr Machungwa: I am most obliged, Sir.

What we need is to have offices in places like Samfya, Nchelenge, Mongu, and even Siavonga as well as other areas where there are a lot of activities of a maritime nature because the ministry has no representation there and when things go wrong they send money for dredging or whatever it may be. It is very difficult.  You have to send an officer from Lusaka to travel there and it is extremely difficult. I think this is important that something is done about it.

Sir, I wish to commend the hon. Minister’s efforts in trying to assist with getting mobile phone services in this area. In my area, there is no communication. 
Sometimes, radio waves from ZNBC do not reach that area, but the hon. Minister has been assisting and we are trying to work and ensure that there is a mobile phone service in that area. This is extremely important because every part of Zambia must be reachable.

Sir, I am happy about the starting of the new factory to assemble phones in Zambia. I hope they are going to cost slightly less. Another commendable area is the expansion of Internet. For many years, I have not been able to get on the Internet, but with the introduction of wireless broad band services, I am able to seek and browse at any time and it is very fast. Therefore, this is important and we hope it is going to be extended to other parts of the country. Therefore, we would like to commend you, ZAMTEL and other private people who are working in this area.

In conclusion, let me mention the issue mentioned by Hon. Magande. I wish to support it by saying that airports must be maintained. We cannot have airports with runways which are bad. This is why I strongly support the hon. Minister when she insists that national airports must collect money from anybody who is owing them. Otherwise, it will be impossible to maintain these airports.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: This is the way forward.

Sir, I said I will be brief and I have done it in less than five minutes.

 I thank you, Sir.

Ms Siliya: Mr Chairperson, I just want to begin by thanking all hon. Members of Parliament that have contributed in terms of their debate to the policy statement. Let me just go quickly though some issues.

Sir, Hon. Nkombo, who is not even in the House, raised the issue of Government’s debt in ZAMTEL. The important point here is that this is the reason the evaluation is being done for us to be able to make an informed decision. We cannot be making decisions without being ably informed.

Sir, in terms of the Railway Systems of Zambia, I do concede that sometime last year we are supposed to have had a high level meeting in august last year, but due to unforeseen circumstances, we were not able to. We hoped that we would have it in February, 2009, but again, due to unforeseen circumstances, we have not been able to organise this meeting. We are hoping that we will have this meeting in April. What is important is that whatever the final outcome, it must benefit the citizens because all the decisions the Government makes are not for the President, His Honour, the Vice-President or, indeed, hon. Ministers, but ultimately that they must benefit the citizens of this country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Hon. Chanda of Kankoyo lamented over the minibus and taxi drivers. Again, he is not in the House. For the benefit of the public, I wish to say that the ministry, last year, worked very hard in terms of dialoging with minibus and taxi drivers. I personally met with minibus and taxi drivers at Mulungushi International Conference Centre to try and deal with some of the problems that the public had noticed. I received a lot of letters and phone calls in my office from people complaining about minibus and taxi drivers.  These people also raised some issues such as conditions of service, pressure to meet targets because they do not have set salaries in terms of the owners of the buses. They work seven days a week and they said that sometimes they do not even find time to wash their uniforms. These are matters that we were trying to discuss.

Some of the issues that they raised were beyond just my ministry and we had to organise a common meeting with the Ministry of Local Government and Housing when it came to bus stops.  Obviously, over time, the population of urban areas, especially in Lusaka, has grown tremendously and there is need for us to provide more bus stops so that we can respond to the people’s needs.

Sir, as far RTSA is concerned, I think this is one of the institutions that engages with Permanent Secretary’s Office and my office almost every week because we realise that they have to provide a service and people are anxious. For instance, we know that we need to use the new technology and that they cannot continue to hold on to doing everything, but to subcontract some services to the private sector, especially banks which  have already approached us to see how they can work with RTSA to facilitate easy delivery of service to the public. We will continue to strive to see how we can use new technology like public cameras and electronic number plates to ensure that no two cars have the same number plates and discourage the stealing of cars.

All these are the issues we are discussing with RTSA to ensure that they deliver a decent service to the public.

Hon. Mbewe, Member of Parliament for Chadiza, I can only say thank you very much for the kind words.

Mr Mbewe: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Indeed, the vision is that the railway line should not just run from Mchinji to Chipata, but must also connect to Northern Province and move down further …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: … so that it makes economic sense. It is very important.

Mr Chairperson, I heard an indirect request from the Chair through the hon. Member of Parliament for Chadiza, …


Ms Siliya: … for the ministry to look at Nyangwe Airstrip and a request for Chama.

However, all I can say is that the policy of the ministry is to provide as much transport facilities to members of the public as possible, which can either be road, air, water or rail. We will do everything possible to connect even the smallest aerodromes and airports in all these areas because it is only when we provide such infrastructure, that the private sector can then provide the much-needed services. It saves a lot of time to fly into Lundazi instead of going six or seven hours by road. Definitely, this is part of the ministry’s vision to try and connect by air, as many areas as possible in this country.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Hon. Sing’ombe, Member of Parliament for Dundumwenzi − Once again, I want to emphasise from the beginning that the responsibility of the Government is to its citizens. You raised issues concerning the Railway Systems of Zambia and in my interaction with them, the problem they highlighted was actually vandalism by our own people in terms of communication.

Mr Mubika: Tongas!

Ms Siliya: Besides the point, like I said, we will meet with them and iron out some of these issues.

Major Chizhyuka: Sing’ombe!

Ms Siliya: Mr Chairperson, as I have mentioned many times before, in this House, the K500 million for Mulobezi is a subsidy to try and keep the operations running since it is operating below profit margins. However, the long-term vision for the ministry is to connect it to the Capriv Line all the way to Namibia.


Ms Siliya: I know that two years ago, we had allocated some money in the budget for feasibility studies for Mulobezi, Capriv, Nseluka, Kasama and others, but this did not come to fruition. It is important that we have some feasibility studies in place so that when the Government or a possible investor decides to put up this infrastructure, the rest of the feasibility study is already in place. Once again, we can only make this commitment that we are determined, whether through budgetary allocation or, indeed, the private sector or co-operating partners’ support, that we do get these feasibility studies in place so that we are able to proactively pursue the private sector to construct these railway lines.

Hon. Chifumu Banda, I would like to thank you for your comments. All I can say is that I do agree with you that our ministry, if not the only one, is, at least, one of the few that are still not restructured. We cannot provide development in a vacuum. It needs people to drive it. I think they say that if you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman and I think that the Permanent Secretary is here listening and she is definitely going to make sure that something is done so that we have people in the right places to respond to the needs of the public.

Many people might not realise that the Ministry of Communications and Transport is a very public centred ministry. Everybody who comes to see us has a problem and they want it solved and it always benefits the citizens. We do everything possible to be user friendly, private sector friendly and public friendly because everything we do is to ensure that we improve the lives of the citizens.

Again, in terms of RSTA revenue collections, I have already mentioned that we are already discussing that they subcontract some of these services.

Hon. Musokotwane, Member of Parliament for Katombola, I have already given an answer to your matter on Mulobezi. We have taken note of your request for a post office and we will do everything possible that in next year’s budget, funds allowing, we provide postal services.

Hon. Dr Katele Kalumba is not in the House, but I would like to thank him for sharing with us the passion that is needed for us to get certain things done.

With regards to the International Gateway, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, in his Budget presentation, made it clear that the Government was considering dealing with the administrative barriers so that we can harmonise the International Gateway fees to regional ones and reduce the cost of a call in this country which is one of the highest. That is on the agenda for this year. It is something we want to take head-on and we are not going to beat about the bush. This is why we are trying to deal with ZAMTEL at the same time as we are dealing with the matter of the gateway.

Hon. Chimbaka, I would like to thank you for your sentiments. Through the Communications Authority of Zambia, the House may wish to know that we have had some funds for quite a while that should be used for rural ICT development, including setting of base stations so that we extend the mobile coverage in the country. This year, the ministry intends to push the Communications Authority of Zambia to actually expend some of these funds and not allow them to sit there idling while people suffer because they do not have access to mobile phones. Therefore, we will work very hard this year on that matter.

Hon. Hachipuka, I can only encourage everybody else to take note of your example of Singapore and read a book entitled From Third World to First. I think that it is all captured in there. Thank you very much for the wonderful sentiments.

Hon. Magande shared a lot in terms of the realisation of these projects. Once again, thank you very much for your wonderful comments.

With regards to air transport, it is important that the Lusaka International Airport which is the first point of contact of visitors to this country, we must be able to present an infrastructure that is quite attractive and modern. This is why we are doing a feasibility master plan this year at $750,000. This money was donated by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to ensure that we have this plan in place and build from there a modern international airport at Lusaka to meet the needs of the Vision 2030 in terms of air transport.

Yes, today was, indeed, a milestone because the mobile phone manufacturing plant in Lusaka that was officially opened by His Excellency the President, has created immediately the capacity for 200 jobs for Zambians at the time when the world is going through turbulent times.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: This is a very affordable mobile phone, but what is important is that this is the first of its kind, I think, in Sub-Sahara Africa. Therefore, if we think big, it is possible for us to do big things. Through the triangle of hope that the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry and the Minister of Finance and National Planning have been talking about for a long time, we can see that something is truly happening. We were very pleased this morning.

Lastly, Dr Machungwa who is not in the House but is always very passionate about water transport, …

Mr Kasongo: I am representing him!


Ms Siliya: … we have committed some funds this year in the budget to ensure that we can buy some vessels in those areas where people really require water transport.

We will concede that as a ministry we have had a lot of challenges in terms of expenditure of resources over the years. For example, in Kasama, we spent K3 billion on a new building. When we wanted to build an airport in Solwezi, we were told to pay K7 billion just for the plans. You can see such disparities and we are trying to harmonise all these issues. I have since made a decision that we replicate Kasama Airport for all the other airports that we intend to build in the future. If it costs K3 billion to build an airport, it means that in the K7 billion plans, we can actually do two airports. Therefore, these are some of the challenges we faced in the ministry. However, we are determined as team to look at all the shortcomings, and whatever little resources we have, we will try and put them to good use efficiently and effectively.

Most of all, we are going to continue to be user friendly to make sure that any of you Members of Parliament and, indeed, the public, can walk into our offices at any time and ensure that we try and meet some of your needs.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

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

Vote 51/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates

Vote 51/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates

Vote 51/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates

Vote 51/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates

VOTE 64 – (Ministry of Works and Supply – K332,623,882,240)

The Deputy Chairperson: Where is the hon. Minister of Works and Supply?


The Deputy Chairperson: He is not in the House. I call upon the hon. Vice-President and Minister of Justice.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice (Mr George Kunda): Mr Chairperson, I am greatly honoured to have this opportunity to issue a policy statement for the Ministry of Works and Supply on the 2009 Budget.

The Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Mulongoti) entered the Chamber.


The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: The ministry is executing its mandate based on Government Gazette No. 547 of 2004 and the 2006 to 2010 Strategic Plan augmented by the 2006 to 2010 Fifth National Development Plan. Mr Chairperson, this is all in line with the Government’s general policy framework for the operations of ministries in order to realise Zambia’s vision in the socio-economic development process. The mandate of the ministry is, therefore, to address policy issues in the following areas, that is to say, …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Hon. Members, on my right, can we listen? Will His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice continue, please?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: … buildings and construction industry, Government housing, construction and maintenance of roads, Government transport control, Government printing and gazettes, hostels and rest houses, office accommodation and maintenance services, and physical arrangement of state functions.

Mr Chairperson, arising from the above mandate, the following departments exists in the ministry: Human Resource and Administration Department; Buildings Department, Government Printing Department, Office Equipment Maintenance Services Department and Planning and Monitoring Department.

Mr Chairperson, complimenting to this mandate are statutory institutions namely; Road Development Agency, National Council for Construction, Hostels Board Management and ESCO Limited. Let me take this opportunity to inform this august House that in 2008, the Rural Roads Rehabilitation Unit was created under the Buildings Department in order to use equipment procured from China to improve the conditions of part of the 27,000 kilometres in the rural road network which is not covered in the Road Network Programme.

Mr Chairperson, the ministry’s strategic plan covers the period 2006 to 2010 and it addresses a number of strategic objectives that aim at effectively pursuing improved quality service delivery through annual work plans. The strategy responds to the needs of the Fifth National Development Plan in the vision and strategic focus.

Mr Chairperson, the Ministry of Works and Supply did undertake a mid-term review of the strategic plan for the period 2006 to 2008 last year. The performance audit was to appraise the overall performance of the ministry during the period under review through its functional structures during the period. Transport, storage and communication, tourism and construction topped the contribution to Gross Domestic Product but all in a declining trend at constant 1994 prices. The Government’s focus is to invest in public infrastructure programmes through construction and rehabilitation of airports, dams, canals, trunk, main and district roads, feeder roads and access roads to agricultural, manufacturing, mining and tourism areas.

Mr Chairperson, let me take this opportunity to mention that human resource and administration is very cardinal in the delivery and achievement of the set objectives and targets in all industries, hence, motivation and capacity building in this area are cardinal. Mr Chairperson, my Government has signed an agreement with the Peoples Republic of China to complete the Banquette Hall Conference Centre, including landscaping of the new Government complex through a concession loan. Works will commence in April 2009 and are expected to be completed in 2010.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: A Memorandum of Understanding to construct the Kasumbalesa Border infrastructure was signed. It is hoped that this project will be completed within a period of two years.

Mr Chairperson, the Buildings Department carried out the redesigning and preparations of the tender documents, supervision of construction and rehabilitation of public works. These works are for different institutions such as health, education, home affairs, science and technology as well as State House and Government House. In addition, various hospitals, namely, Lumwana, Chongwe, Samfya, Chienge and Kaputa are under construction.

Mr Chairperson, under the provision of public works, in the housing programme for the period under review, some few houses were constructed and others are being constructed for the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives in various districts in Eastern Province.

Mr Chairperson, construction of 500 houses for the Ministry of Home Affairs in Ndola, Kasama, Chipata and Livingstone is on course.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Chairperson, also, the construction of twenty-eight houses at Nakonde Border Post is on-going. The policy and legal challenges the ministry faces are commissioning of consultancies and works by ministries without the involvement of the Ministry of Works and Supply. This often happens when they sign MoUs with donors of civil works. This makes it difficult for the ministry to advise effectively on technical matters when problems arise. In order to plan effectively, the Ministry of Works and Supply should be given direct funding to effectively implement building programmes for all Government properties.

Mr Chairperson, in 2008, His Excellency the President commissioned the earth moving equipment which was distributed to all nine provinces. About half of the staff required to operate the equipment have been recruited and have already started working on feeder roads in the provinces. The equipment will require mechanical and operational funds for it to be managed properly. As a ministry, we propose that the unity operates under a grant to take care of its emoluments and operational costs. The management of this equipment requires a lot of money to the tune of not less than K100 billion per annum. In this budget, as a starting point, K18 billion is allocated which will assist in starting this particular project. 

The functions of maintenance and registration of Government office equipment is undertaken in all the nine operational provinces. The ministry has maintained 2,265 office machines since 2006. In 2008, the Ministry of Works and Supply received 63.1 per cent of the annual budget for its departments and sections. This was K78.6 billion of the K124.5 billion approved budget. This led to some programmes not being implemented. The Roads Development Agency (RDA) received 91 per cent of its annual budget, while receipts from co-operating partners were 51 per cent. The released amounts were K754 billion against an approved budget of K1 trillion. As a result, during the review period, 806 kilometres of paved roads were rehabilitated and about 600 kilometres of unpaved roads were worked on. Maintenance works also registered increased progress.

The 2009 Budget

The ministry is in a hurry to develop various infrastructure developments in the 2006 to 2010 Fifth National Development Plan. It is in this line that the budget developed for the 2009 Budget reached K700 billion. However, in this year’s budget, and due to the factors which have been debated in this House, there has been a reduction in the amount required. There have also been institutional challenges with regard to the reformation of the Rural Roads Rehabilitation Unit in terms of personal emoluments and operational budget. We look forward to co-operating with the Minister of Finance and National Planning and Public Service Management Division to realise our manpower needs.

As a ministry, we have given instructions to these institutions to be self sustaining, especially the Hostel Board of Management and National Council for Construction and Engineering Services Corporation (ESCO).

The 2009 Budget has mainly focused on seven main programmes and two others as follows: 
(i) Periodic maintenance – K428.57 billion to cover 18,285 kilometres;

(ii) Rehabilitation works – K350 billion to cover 1,435 kilometres;

(iii) Upgrading – K306 billion to cover part of 1,565 kilometres; and

(iv) Bridges K130.5 billion.

Mr Chairperson, 56 per cent of the funds are locally financed while co-operating partners are putting in the rest. Of these amounts, on-going projects take about 65 per cent of the budget while new projects account for 35 per cent of the budget.

In conclusion, Mr Chairperson, I wish to urge this august House to support this budget with what I have said.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear! {mospagebreak}

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Thank you, Mr Chairperson, for according me this chance to debate on this Vote. First of all, I want to say that I fully support the Vote and I do not want to discuss the figures because year in year out, this ministry is always under funded. However, let me discuss the challenges. I think, before I go further to discuss the challenges, let me declare interest in one or two projects which have been on the drawing board for thirty-five years.

Mr Chairperson, I note that the Chipata/Mfuwe Road is now finally going to be tarred. I remember when I was about twenty-four years old, I worked on this road with a view to tarring it, carrying a dump level, staff and chain. However, what I am asking you is to look at the slow pace of implementing our plans. Surely, thirty-five years is a long time. This should have been implemented a long time ago.

Similarly, the same goes with Itezhi tezhi Road and I think I saw the hon. Minister on television talking about this very important road. This was also one of my early projects when I just joined the Civil Service.

Mr Chairperson, let me come to the challenges. I think, recently, we had a workshop with the RDA where they talked about the problems that they are experiencing regarding advance payment and that the hon. Minister is taking up that issue with a view to lifting the ban. I support that. Let this ban be lifted, but at the same time, let me urge the Government, RDA and all the players there that they should be very strict because there are provisions there to punish those that misuse advance payments. So, when this is lifted, please, let those sanctions apply to everybody whether the contractors are supported by politicians or not and let the law take its course. As we are aware that the cost, as a result of banning this advance payment business, construction has gone up by 40 per cent. So, I think it is important that we revert to the advance payment system, as long as the provisions in the contracts are applied.

Let me come to the blacklisted contractors. To me, this is like a circus now. We are going in circles. These forty-two contractors were blacklisted because there was some allegation of corruption, but we know what has happened. Some have been cleared and there are some cartels that have been formed and as a result, the cost of construction of roads, we were told during the workshop, has shot up to K6 billion per kilometre instead of K1 billion.

Now, I really do not understand this because it seems we will never solve this problem of alleged corruption and poor workmanship. When we try to solve one problem, another one comes up and we, therefore, need to find a solution to this. We should not allow contractors to quote as much as K6 billion per kilometre instead of K1 billion, which they were charging only a few months ago.

Mr Chairperson, while I am still on the issue of contractors, I would like to also talk about the workshop by the National Council for Construction (NCC) which I think was held somewhere in Chisamba. On page 11 of The Post newspaper, dated 2nd March, 2009, the media there was condemned for highlighting scandals in the nation with regard to road contracts.

Now, personally, I was not happy at all with putting condemnation on the media for doing this. I think the media should be allowed to continue exposing the ills in our country. Therefore, I am encouraging the media to continue doing this because if this is not done, corruption will then get out of hand.

Now, coming back to the workshop which was conducted by the NCC, there was an element of accusation that some contractors were not given a chance to explain why they were blacklisted. I think this has nothing to do with the media but the road development system. Some of us wanted, from the start, to have the report that was promised to come out after investigations so that we would know the truth. Up to now, that report has not been released. We were told that about twenty-two out of forty-two companies that were blacklisted have been cleared. I think it is not the media but the system that is not allowing the contractors to tell their side of the story.

Mr Chairperson, let me now come to the stories that appeared in the Zambia Daily Mail newspaper last week on Friday and on Tuesday this week regarding the delays and poor workmanship of road projects. We were told that this is caused by rigidity in releasing money by individuals in the National Road Fund Agency (NRFA). However, I note that two days ago, NFRA explained that it is trying to improve on this by getting rid of the cheque system. It wants to use bank transfers in order to speed up the payment process.

Talking about poor workmanship, I would like to repeat and make it clear, like I did a year or two ago, that this has nothing to do with payment. Poor workmanship has to do with supervision, monitoring and above all, quality control.  Even contractors that are paid on time still deliver poor workmanship. So, I just wanted to correct the impression that poor workmanship has to do with delayed payment.

Mr Chairperson, may I now come to the other issue of the formal and informal sectors regarding the construction industry. We have been told that the informal sector is much bigger than the formal sector. I think we should find a way of collecting revenue from the informal sector so that we widen our revenue base. There is a lot of construction going on in this country, especially here in Lusaka.

Mr Chairperson, finally, let me congratulate the new Chief Executive Officer of the Road Development Agency (RDA). I have no doubt that he will guide the ship very well. However, what I would like to point out about this appointment is that we should not let people act for so many months or a year. It is very bad and the maximum should be six months because when officers act for more than six months, they are afraid of making certain decisions. Nonetheless, I am convinced beyond doubt that we will see change in the RDA with the newly appointed chief executive officer.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Musosha): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving a chance to support this very important Vote. In the first place, I would like to congratulate Mr Rupiah Banda for being elected Republic President as I did not have a chance to do so earlier.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musosha: I also want to thank the Vice-President and minister of Justice who, on behalf of the hon. Minister of Works and Supply, has presented the ministerial policy statement.

Hon. PF Members: Where was the hon. Minister?

Mr Musosha: At the same time, allow me to thank the team from the Ministry of Works and Supply for preparing this very important document on behalf of the ministry.

I would like to seriously urge the Ministry of Works and Supply to foster co-ordination between RDA and other road authorities such as the Zambia Wildlife Authority, under the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources and the local authorities under the Ministry of Local Government and Housing. This is going to help on possible curbing of fraudulent activities. For example, the Ministry of Works and Supply would advertise works on a section of a road but the same section would be advertised by another ministry or a local authority through the Ministry of Local Government and Housing.

The Government is losing a lot of money because of these unco-ordinated activities. I want to thank the ministry for coming up with a proposal of considering the advance payment …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.


Mr Musosha: Mr Chairperson, before break, I was thanking the hon. Minister of Works and Supply for seriously considering lifting the ban on the issue of advance payments. This is going to help our construction industry, the Government and the entire Zambian community as more money is going to be saved. Those who are in the construction industry will appreciate the fact that the abolishment of advance payment has forced contractors to raise their rates as well as advance payment. When they do not access them, they go to the banks to borrow. These banks charge interest which is naturally passed on the end user or the paymaster who happens to be the Ministry of Works and Supply.

It was a well-timed move and I remember when the hon. Minister was addressing contractors and consultants at NCC, where I was invited, he talked passionately about this subject and I wish he would quickly take it to Cabinet for approval so that the country can benefit from the savings that are going to be made.

I also want to talk about the issue of the NCC, formerly called the Roads Department Training School. This school deserves a lot of support because it is teaching a lot entrepreneurship in business management courses and a lot of Zambians who have had an opportunity to be trained at this school, like myself, and others have benefited a lot. There are many Zambian students who were trained at this school. Today, some of them are big contractors in the road sector. They are good and big contractors in buildings and running hotels while some are running service stations. Therefore, this institution must be strongly supported.

Mr Chairperson, in brief, I would like to congratulate the new Executive Director for the RDA, Mr Chilundika. Please, you know the problems surrounding the road sector and, indeed, the infrastructure in Zambia.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Chitika-Mulobeka (Kawambwa): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this important Vote.

Mr Chairperson, the Ministry of Works and Supply is a very important ministry and I know that the hardworking hon. Minister, whom I worked with when we were both Deputy Ministers, is hardworking and will find his feet in the ministry.

Mr Chairperson in supporting this important Vote, I would like to say that this is one of the ministries that requires a lot of budgetary support. However, we do understand that the little resources that are available in the country require to be shared in all sectors in this country.

Mr Chairman, the infrastructure development is very important, especially on the improvement of the road network. It is important that in each and every economy, development, especially in the road network, is key. Like I said last time, once the country is opened up in terms of paved roads, everything will simply fall in place.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Chitika-Mulobeka: Year in, year out, we see the Government spending a lot of money to grade most of the rural roads but, the rainy season, we get back to square one because the roads are washed away by the heavy rains especially in areas where we experience a lot of rains like Luapula Province.

Mr Chairperson, I have always talked about the Kawambwa/Mansa Road being a very important road. If you remember in the 1960s, this was the only road that connected Northern Province to Mansa and, through Mansa, into the Copperbelt. Unfortunately, this road has been neglected for a long time. We do appreciate that the Government last year allocated huge sums of money to grade this road and work has started. However, if you go to the site now, due to the heavy rains that we are experiencing in that part of the country, where they have already graded, we are having problems again. Therefore, what the hon. Minister is supposed to do is not to put in huge sums of money into grading of these roads, but to spend a little bit more on tarring. From the money that was allocated to this important road for the people of Kawambwa, if you are to tar, for instance, a distance of about 4 to 5 kilometres, from the time I started talking about this road in 1996, this year we could have connected Mansa through to Kawambwa in this plateau road.

Mr Chairperson, I just wanted to emphasise the need to have the rural roads tarred and not graded because the mud you put on these roads at great cost will not help the Zambian people.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Imasiku (Liuwa): Mr Chairperson, I regard this as a privilege for me to be allowed, again, to say something on this very important ministry. As I support the budget for this ministry, I want to indicate that this is a very important ministry where the road network is concerned. The road network is a nerve of the country owing to the fact that it connects various parts of the country and all the parts that require development.

Mr Chairperson, transportation of produce to markets internally and externally can only be done if you have good network of roads. Development and utilisation of social services can only be accomplished when you have a good network of roads. The ministry is trying to make sure that we have good roads so that people can easily travel from one place to another within and outside the country. The absence of roads will impact negatively on the economy of this country. This ministry endeavours to make sure that all parts of the country are accessible to centres of development.

Mr Chairman, the hon. Minister has achieved a lot of things. I think when you look at the entire country, there is no part of this country which has not benefited in terms of the road network.

Mr Muntanga: There is no road in Liuwa.

Mr Imasiku: We have roads in Chadiza and all provinces are being developed. Very few roads, as Mr Muntanga is shouting from there, will really not…


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Muntanga: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, is that man in order…

Hon. Members: Which man? Honourable!

Mr Muntanga: Is that Member of Parliament who has no roads in Liuwa in order to begin praising that every constituency has benefited when his own constituency has never had a road, but small tracks, built?

The Deputy Chairperson:  Maybe, that is one way in which he wants to get support from the hon. Minister and so he is in order.

You may continue.

Mr Imasiku: Thank you very much, Mr Chairperson, for your wise counselling to my friend Muntanga.


Mr Imasiku: Mr Chairperson, as I have already mentioned…

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Let us listen to the debate.

You may continue.

Mr Imasiku: …. there is no province which has not benefited from the good work this ministry is doing. I am very hopeful that the new hon. Minister will work hard just like what others have been doing. I hope that he will open up most parts of this country which are not well connected to areas of development so that they can have a good network of roads.

Mr Chairperson, the other issue is the Mongu/Kalabo Road which is always discussed. This road has always been receiving some attention from the ministry. The Mongu/Kalabo Road is the only link between the people of Kalabo, Mongu and the rest of the world. This road is actually our survival and so I want to thank the Government for having started grading this road. This has always been our dream. The people of Western province, especially Kalabo, are happy to see that the Government has started working on this road.

Mr Muntanga: Liuwa.

Mr Imasiku: You cannot go to Liuwa before you pass through Zambezi. That is why this road is very important. This road is currently being developed. Actually, over thirty kilometres has been tarred. The remaining part of the plain is what is still giving the Government a problem.

Mr Chairperson, it is a nightmare to go across the Zambezi Plains, especially in the dry season when people are supposed to travel well. It is a problem to go through that plain. This place has no road and the people are completely cut off from the rest of the country.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. UPND Member: What are you saying now?

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Give him time to debate.

Mr Imasiku: Mr Chairperson, I understand that this road is very expensive.

Mr Muntanga: Which one?

Mr Imasiku: The Kalabo/Mongu Road. We, the people of Kalabo appreciate that this road is expensive. Therefore, we are not asking that the Government spends all the money in the country on this road. However, we are encouraging the Ministry of Works and Supply to continue to give a reasonable annual allocation towards the gradual rehabilitation of this road.

Mr Chairman, the people in Kalabo are anxiously waiting to see the completion of the Kalabo/Mongu Road which this Government has embarked on.

Mr Mulyata: Bulela, bulela!

Mr Imasiku: I have seen an allocation in the Yellow Book and hope that this has been put there to start implementing works so that this road can be completed.

Mr Chairperson, I request the hon. Minister not to miss the chance of seeing the Kalabo/ Mongu Road finished because at the commissioning of this road, he will see how anxiously the people of Kalabo have been waiting. You can visualise the pleasure that will be there and how happy the people of Kalabo will be …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! I would like to advise my friends on the left. You want to drown the person who is speaking. How can that be?

Hon. MMD Member: They are jealous of Liuwa.

Mr Imasiku: Thank you, Sir. At the time the hon. Minister will hand over this road, it will be like what you saw when he handed over the Livingstone/Katimamulilo Bridge. That is the pleasure you expect to see. I always refer to the current Minister of Health, Hon. Mr Simbao, when he handed over a clinic to the people in Lukulu who had waited for a clinic for a long time. He saw how thankful those people were and he remarked that they needed the clinic. This is what we expect the hon. Minister to see.  I do not want him to lose this chance to another hon. Minister who might do it in future. It is better that he does it himself so that he can accrue the pleasure of assisting people who are in problems.

Mr Minister, I want to end with another …

Hon. Members: Aah!

Mr Imasiku: Mr Chairperson, I want to end with another request. I think that the Liuwa National Park issue has been discussed here many times. Liuwa is the only place in the Western Province …

Mr Muntanga: Without a road?

Mr Imasiku: No.


Mr Imasiku: Liuwa is the only place in the Western Province which is a tourist attraction area. We are trying to diversify the economy and I think that Liuwa is the only place where you can accrue a lot of resources for the country. As I have already said, this place does not have a road.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Imasiku: Mr Chairperson, the problem that the people of Kalabo, and Liuwa in particular, face is the shifting of goal posts where this road is concerned. The Ministry of Works and Supply refers the matter to the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) which also refers it the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources. This ministry then refers it to the Ministry of Local Government and Housing. I am sure the hon. Minister knows that that area, if opened up, will benefit the country.

Sir, you know that the resources that we get from the Ministry of Local Government and Housing are not sufficient to make a road.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank the Government for these road equipment because they may help us to make a road in Liuwa because the constituency really needs a road.

Mr Chairperson, that is why the Ministry of Works and Supply should also have interest in this road. Even Hon. Muntanga supports this road.


Mr Imasiku: This is the only place which has got no road.

Sir, through you, I am requesting the Ministry of Works and Supply to look at the people of Liuwa and Kalabo and give them a road.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Quality!

Mr Mushili (Ndola Central): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to support this Vote.

Sir, in supporting the Vote for the Ministry of Works and Supply, I will try to be as brief as possible and to the point. I am also offering my free advice to the Ministry of Works and Supply. Mr Chairperson, I only want to debate on one thing and that is the performance of the RDA.

To begin with, I would like to welcome, with both hands, the new hon. Minister of Works and Supply who I know to be a practical person. He is a man of vision …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mushili: … and we all expect him to produce results at the end of the year.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mushili: He comes from the Copperbelt and is very knowledgeable about the condition of the roads on the Copperbelt.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Mr Mushili: Sir, I would like to say that the performance of RDA is below par. Since its inception, costs of maintaining roads have been increasing astronomically each year because of too many players or stakeholders such as RDA, consultants, subcontractors and the city councils who are all a cost.

This is what has made road maintenance so expensive. It is so expensive but we do not actually need these players. The roads that we used to maintain at K1 billion per kilometre are now costing K6.5 billion. This is unjustifiable. It is ridiculous, to say the least. Where is the justification? I request, in earnest, the hon. Minister of Works and Supply with his directors to do some research in the neighbouring countries in the region and find out the cost of maintaining roads. How much is it costing them to maintain their roads? You have got RDA which is supposed to be your consultant, but have turned themselves into contractors now. These are the people that you are supposed to use to go to other countries and compare the cost of maintaining roads there. They will find that we are being swindled of taxpayers’ money by more than 60 per cent. I suppose the hon. Minister is going to take note of this. We cannot expect the roads that used to cost K1 billion to cost K6.5 billion or K7 billion per kilometre. This is all because of too many players.

Sir, during the last workshop that was arranged by RDA, I pointed out that, as a matter of fact, we did not need them. We do not need RDA because it is not adding value to the nation. They are actually subtracting …

Mr Muyanda: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Muyanda: Mr Chairperson, is the hon. Member of Parliament for Ndola Central whose debate started reasonably, but now has veered off from a vital institution, that is RDA, which is very well managed and has transformed the road network ever since it was established, in order to mislead this nation? At what stage will he thank this Government, RDA and its management for doing well? I need your serious ruling, Mr Chairperson.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order:

Hon. Mushili is expressing his views and, therefore, we should let him continue.

Continue, Hon. Mushili.

Mr Mushili: Mr Chairperson, I thank you. I know certain areas might have been managed properly by the RDA but, unfortunately, the areas where money and copper come from, are neglected.

Hon.  PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mushili: Mr Chairperson,…


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! There are three people who are indicating for points of order. I want to protect the hon. Member on the Floor from being interfered with by the points of order. Please, let us allow the hon. Member to debate.

Please, continue.

Mr Mushili: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for your justified protection. When we just opened this Parliament Session, we had an RDA workshop and I pointed out that we do not need these RDAs. What we need is the Government to empower the Councils like it used to be before 1994. All that the Government needs is to equip the municipal councils with road maintenance equipment.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mushili: What the Government needs is to train the respective directors, if there are any, in those respective municipal councils. The Government should equip or capacity build the people that are in their respective municipal councils. That is what we need. By so doing, you will find that our roads will remain in good state, forever. As it is now, the RDA, who are marooned in Lusaka, do not even go to our respective areas to see the conditions in which our roads are. Hence, they do not know that they are doing.

Mr Sichamba: Question!

Mr Mushili: To make it worse, this Government has gone further to authorise them to procure the contractors. I urge the Government to reverse the power and give it back to the municipal council to procure the contractors. We understand our problems better than somebody living in Lusaka. The RDA can remain here for Lusaka Province, if you so wish.


Mr Mushili: As far as I am concerned, we are going to do it ourselves. That is what the hon. Minister for Copperbelt Province and all the people there want.


Mr Mushili: These are the people who have contributed to the high cost of maintenance of the roads. They are supposed to work as supervisors or consultants. In fact, when the power is given to municipal councils, these are the people who should come in to be consulted.

Mr Mbewe: On a point of order, Mr Chairperson.

The Deputy Chairperson: The hon. Member insists on a point of order. A point of order is raised.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Chairperson, I stand on a very serious point of order. Is the hon. Member debating, in order to mislead the nation that the RDA is just marooned in Lusaka and yet they have decentralised their operations into district councils? Is he in order to cheat the people?

The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Mushili, can you take into account that point of order? Everybody thinks that you are saying something that is misleading the nation.

You may continue.

Mr Mushili: Mr Chairperson, if he knows a district that the RDA has visited, then that must be the only district.

Hon. Members: Aah!

Mr Mushili: We know that the RDA has been asked to go there. Unfortunately, you do not send a worker to do a certain job without empowering him or her. The municipal councils are, on paper, the agents of the RDA. How are they involved in the recruitment of contractors? They have only been given the power on paper. Practically, they are not on the ground. That is not what it means to empower the people. Empowering someone is giving them a tool to use. 

Mr Chairperson, I hope that now my brother has got the point clearly.


Mr Mushili: The concept of making the municipal councils agents for the RDA is deceiving. We are looking forward to seeing the municipal councils practically doing the work.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mushili: We want the municipal councils to be contracting the contractors. We want to see them, at the end of the day, giving the cheques to the contractors. We want to see the RDA only certifying the roads as consultants. After all, that is the power that they are given according to the Act. I do not know why you went ahead and allowed them to contract the contractors. I would like to remind you, hon. Minister of Works and Supply, that their power must end there.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Can you address the Chair, please?

Mr Mushili: Mr Chairperson, through you, I am advising the hon. Minister of Works and Supply …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Not through Chair, just address the Chair.

Mr Mushili: We need your ministry to employ well qualified engineers in municipal councils. That is what we mean by capacity building. We want you, in our next budget, to allocate some money to municipal councils to hire contractors and procure equipment. We will even maintain the equipment ourselves. We do not need the RDA to do this for us. In the previous workshop that the RDA organised here, I raised the point that they should give us the equipment. One of them stood up and said we were not going to go backwards. Have we gone forward?


Mr Mushili: The roads, before 1994, were better than they are today. How far forward have we gone? We have gone backwards. We do not want the RDA because it is a cost. We do not need it. Let them remain, if you so wish, but only as consultants. Let them stop employing another set of consultants because it is a cost. These are people who have contributed to the escalating cost of road maintenance in this country.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): Mr Chairperson …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! I think that there is a terrible misconception in the House. When you have already had your opportunity to speak, please, do know that there are others who also want to speak. It cannot be true that only a few individuals can speak. There are others who have not spoken and they want to speak. Therefore, it is only fair that they should be given the opportunity to speak.

Hon. Kakoma, you may continue.

Mr Kakoma: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate the Vote for this ministry.

Mr Chairperson, I stand here a very disappointed hon. Member of Parliament. I am very disappointed …


The Deputy Chairperson: Let him debate. Give him chance to debate.

Mr Kakoma: Mr Chairperson, I will repeat what I wanted to say. I am a very disappointed Member of Parliament…

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kakoma:…because the Government has never done anything tangible in terms of road construction and maintenance in North-Western Province.

 Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kakoma: When I was at primary school, I used to hear hon. Members of Parliament who were there that time like Mr Samuel Mbilishi, Mr Rodger Sakuhuka, Mr Kanza, Mr Mwondela and Mr Matoka. These people used to talk about the Mutanda/Chavuma Road.

 Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kakoma: That was decades ago.

Mr Chairperson, from primary school, I went up to university, got employed and I am now in Parliament, but I still have to talk about the Mutanda/Chavuma Road. This is the road that has taken more than forty years to construct.

 Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kakoma: Yet, this Government is happy and thinks that all is well. This is a very important road because it connects all the seven districts of North Western Province: Solwezi, Mwinilunga, Kasempa, Mufumbwe, Kabompo, Zambezi and Chavuma are all connected to this road.

Mr Chairperson, the Government continues to pay a lip service to this road. It is now more than forty-four years, but they have failed to complete a road of only 500 kilometres.

Hon. UPND Members: Sure!


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! We are becoming very unruly. No Chair can allow that to continue. It is his chance to debate. Let him debate and be heard.

Can the hon. Member, please, continue?

Mr Kakoma: With the current rate, I am hearing that to tar one kilometres is about K6 billion. It means that road will only move by five kilometres and the remaining stretch to be tarred is more than 300 kilometres. Can you imagine how long it will take to complete tarring 300 kilometres at five kilometres per year?

Mr Muntanga: Sixty years!

Mr Kakoma: Mr Chairperson, maybe, my grandchildren will also come and debate the Mutanda/Chavuma Road if this Government continues to pay lip service to that road and continues to be in power.

 Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kakoma: Mr Chairperson, to make things worse, they have even started changing that name from Mutanda/Chavuma Road to Kasempa Turn-Off /Kabompo.


Mr Kakoma: The people of North-Western Province are very annoyed with that change because they want to mislead the people to hide under a new name as if it is a new road.

Hon. UPND Members: It is very bad.

Mr Kakoma: The Mutanda/Chavuma Road is an old road. Now that they have decided to neglect the people of Zambezi and Chavuma by changing the name, they have not even delivered their promises on the feasibility study for the remaining stretch of the same road.

Mr Chairperson, last year, when we queried why the road has not had any feasibility studies, we were told money would be found somewhere to do the feasibility study, but it was not in the budget.

Mr Muyanda: Only Kabompo!


Mr Kakoma: We doubted them and true to our word, that feasibility study was not done. In this year’s Budget there is some small amount provided to do the feasibility study which does not conform to the whole distance for the road.

Mr Chairperson, we, the people of North-Western Province are highly disgusted with this Government …

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kakoma: … with the new administration of President of Rupiah Bwezani Banda …

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kakoma: … because he is taking North-Western Province backwards.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kakoma: Forty years backwards.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Kakoma: When President Mwanawasa was in power, …

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Order!

Mr Malwa: On a point of order.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Malwa: Mr Chairperson, Hon. Kakoma and each one of us in here knows very well that this Government has been a continuation from the Third to the Fourth Republic.

Hon. UPND Members: No!

Mr Malwa: We have developed North-Western Province.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Malwa: Mr Chairperson, if the hon. Member on the floor …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Order!

Mr Malwa: … can recall that he was a sanitation engineer …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! No!


The Deputy Chairperson: No! You cannot say that. What is your point of order?


Mr Malwa: My point of order is that he should not mislead the nation by saying that North-Western Province is undeveloped. Is he in order to mislead the nation when he knows that he was just a sanitation engineer?



Hon. Government Member: Nyamazai!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

That is very disgusting. That was not a point of order you raised, you were advising.

Can you continue?

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear! Long live the Chair!


Mr Kakoma: Mr Chairperson, what I am trying to state is that when late the President, Dr Mwanawasa, SC, May His Soul Rest In Peace,…

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kakoma: … was alive, he promised the people of North-Western Province that he was going to complete tarring the Mutanda/Chavuma Road.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kakoma: He even promised that he was going to find another contractor to start tarring the road from Chavuma towards Solwezi so that there were two contractors on that road to speed up the construction of that road. That dream is dead. That dream has died with the late President Mwanawasa.

Mr Muyanda: Where is the legacy?

Mr Kakoma: When they were campaigning during the Presidential by-election, they promised the people of North-Western Province that they were going to follow and honour the legacy of President Mwanawasa by completing tarring that road. This time, Mr Chairperson, they have forgotten about that promise and President Mwanawasa’s legacy.

Major Chizhyuka: The legacy is gone!

Mr Kakoma: The people of North-Western Province have told me that …

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kakoma: … I am their voice in Parliament …

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kakoma: … come 2011, …

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kakoma: …if that road is not completed, …

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kakoma: … the MMD must forget.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kakoma: The people of North-Western Province have said that the North-Western Province is going to be a no go area for the MMD …

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kakoma: … if that road is not completed.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kakoma: Mr Chairperson, …

Mr Mulyata: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! There will be no point of order.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear! Hammer!

Mr Muyanda: Tell them!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

(Debate adjourned)




(Progress reported)




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

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1918 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 13th March, 2009.