Debates- Tuesday, 10th November, 2009

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Tuesday, 10th November, 2009

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, in the absence of His Honour the Vice-President, who is preoccupied with other national duties, I have been advised that the hon. Minister of Defence, Dr Kalombo Mwansa, will be the Acting Leader of Government Business in the House.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




The Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources (Ms Namugala): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House and the nation on the International Climate Change Conference which is scheduled to take place in Copenhagen, Denmark, in December, 2009. I also wish to take this opportunity to inform the House on Zambia’s position regarding climate change adaptation and mitigation.

The Copenhagen conference is so important that it has been preceded by several preparatory meetings and high level discussions. On 22nd September, 2009, His Excellency the President of Zambia, Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda, attended a one day United Nations (UN) Climate Change Summit hosted by the UN Secretary General, Mr Ban Ki Moon, at the UN Headquarters in New York. This summit was intended to mobilise political will and vision needed to reach an agreed outcome at the Copenhagen conference. The summit brought together over 150 countries, including 100 heads of state and governments, and sent a strong signal on the need for an effective, fair and equitable climate change deal to be sealed in Copenhagen.

Mr Speaker, the background to the Copenhagen Conference is that the world is faced with a major threat of climate change brought about by an increase in green house gases, mainly carbon dioxide, which trap heat in the atmosphere. These gases have increased mainly due to industrial activities, the burning of fossil fuels such as diesel and petrol in vehicles and other processes, inappropriate land use practices, including deforestation and unsustainable agriculture, to mention but a few.

As a result of this concentration of gases, the global atmosphere is being altered, resulting in changes in climate patterns particularly increases in temperature, which has induced other extreme weather patterns such as frequent and persistent droughts, intense floods, hurricanes and cyclones. These extreme weather patterns have negatively affected livelihoods and lives have been lost as a result of these calamities, especially in developing countries like Zambia. If left unattended, climate change has the potential to reverse the gains that countries have made in poverty reduction as well as jeopardise our attainment of the millennium development goals (MDGs) and generally threaten the survival of the human race.

Mr Speaker, in light of the foregoing facts, the international community put in place an agreement – the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – to provide a framework for addressing the challenge of climate change. This agreement was adopted in 1992 and aims at stabilising the concentration of green house gases so that they do not interfere with the climate system. In 1997, the Kyoto Protocol was adopted to strengthen the convention. This ascribed legally binding targets to industrialised countries to take the lead in reducing green house gases as historically these countries have contributed more to this problem due to their energy intensive economic patterns. Zambia is a signatory to these two international climate change instruments.

Mr Speaker, despite these international efforts and more than twenty years of concerted global action in addressing the climate change challenge, scientific evidence indicates that the impact has been minimal and the world risks losing an opportunity to reverse this negative trend if effective action is not taken now. I wish to reiterate that such a situation would result in undesirable consequences for the poorest economies, especially developing countries as water shortages and floods would intensify, food production would be drastically reduced and the integrity of our ecosystems would be undermined resulting in the loss of most of our valuable natural resource species.

Mr Speaker, it is against this background that the international community will be meeting from 7th to 18th December, 2009, in the Danish city of Copenhagen to reach a new and more effective climate change agreement.

Mr Speaker, allow me to outline the preparatory activities undertaken, so far, to ensure that the country’s participation at this important conference is meaningful and takes care of national interests. As a party to both the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol, Zambia has an obligation to participate in the Copenhagen conference. The House may wish to know that Zambia does not negotiate its position as a country at major international conferences. Instead, it negotiates as part of the African group and as part of the Group of seventy-seven. In this regard, our position is presented as a collective voice of like minded countries.

Mr Speaker, the Government, through my ministry, commenced preparations in July, 2009. The preparations have focused on enhancing and sharpening the skills capacity of negotiators so that they participate more effectively during the conference.
The Zambian delegation which comprises a broad spectrum of stakeholders both from public and private sectors and academic institutions, the media and the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have, so far, identified critical negotiation issues and positions have been developed around them which form part of the African position as well as the position of the group of seventy-seven.

Mr Speaker, Zambia will negotiate an appropriate global incentive mechanism that focuses on adaptation than mitigation and recognises and rewards the efforts of local and forest dependent communities in conserving and sustainably utilising their forests. Zambia’s negotiating position to this crucial climate change conference includes the following:

(i) Zambia will negotiate to commit developed countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the best available scientific evidence. This would mean that these countries cut their emissions by not less that 40 per cent below what they were producing in 1990 and they need to achieve this and we have demanded this in our negotiations that this be achieved by 2020; and

(ii) in addition, Zambia advocates the establishment of an adequate and predictable global adaptation fund to help least developed countries such as Zambia to address impacts of climate change. This fund will be in addition to the current support provided as Official Development Assistance (ODA). The current proliferation of adaptation funds provided through bilateral and multilateral arrangements have not successfully addressed the issue of inadequate financial resources.

Mr Speaker, with regard to mitigation, Zambia’s position is that for least developed countries to make meaningful contribution to climate change, mitigation through pursuing low carbon development pathways and access to environmentally friendly technologies must be secured. The major problem in this regard has been the high cost of these technologies as well as the current technology protection regime through the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) which make it almost impossible for developing countries to access them.

Mr Speaker, one area where significant contributions can be made to the global efforts in addressing climate change is in the area of forestry and general land use management. Conserving our forests by managing them sustainably, using sustainable agricultural practices such as conservation agriculture, integrated land management and agro forestry can contribute to reducing emissions and enhance a good global climate.

In this regard, Zambia’s position is that the current clean development mechanism procedures need to be reformed to make them more flexible and suited to the special circumstances of African countries. By so doing, Zambia will trade its carbon stock like any other commodity on international carbon markets to countries with legally binding emissions targets.

Mr Speaker, within the constraints of resources and with possible support from our co-operating partners, we intend to send a sizable delegation to the Copenhagen Conference to ensure that the country is represented in as many important parallel sessions as possible.

In conclusion, allow me to quote the President of the Republic of Zambia in his statement to the UN summit on climate change where he stated and I quote:

“The Copenhagen Conference on climate change provides an important opportunity for the global community to put in place effective measures to address climate change and avert severe impacts that threaten sustainable development and the attainment of the millennium development goals.”

This is our expectation from the Copenhagen Conference.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the statement that has been made by the hon. Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out whether the United States of America (USA) has now ratified the Kyoto Protocol. I am aware that it took a long time for it to do this even though it was the major culprit of greenhouse gas emissions.

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, one of the reasons for the world leaders to hold a meeting in Denmark was to deal with issues such as that. As I have stated in my statement, the original convention was seen to be weak. The Kyoto Protocol specified targets, but, unfortunately, it set 5.2 per cent as emission reduction. Therefore, the answer to that specific question is no, the USA has not signed the Kyoto Protocol.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr P. P. Chanda (Kankoyo): Deforestation through charcoal burning is a very serious issue in this country. I would like to find out what the Government is doing to reduce this trend.

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, in my statement, I indicated the need for technology transfer. One of the reasons for this is to try and build the capacity of forest dependent communities to survive away from the forests. You will agree that we cannot really expect the people to turn away from the forests unless we provide alternatives means of livelihood for them. As a Government, we are creating awareness programmes to sensitise the people on the need to conserve the forest or, at least, to replant wherever they harvest forest products.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr L. J. Mulenga (Kwacha): Mr Speaker, obviously, from the statement of the hon. minister, climate change is a big concern. However, despite the efforts that are being undertaken by the international scene, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what strategies we, as a nation, are developing to ensure that we are working in co-operation with the international strategies so that we are not caught up in a situation where we have no answers.

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, as a country, we have done a number of things. We have put in place what we call the National Adaptation Plan of Action (NAPA). In addition to that, in my ministry, we have put in place what we are calling the Climate Change Facilitation Unit, which is expected to come up with a climate change strategy.

Yes, the issue of climate change is a global concern requiring global effort. Zambians must gather enough information in order to raise awareness and demand for a post Kyoto regime that is equitable and fair, especially to least developed countries like Zambia which contribute the least to the problem of global warming.

I thank you, Sir.

Major Chizhyuka (Namwala): Mr Speaker, how does the hon. Minister view the situation on the European continent in which Britain has just commissioned two 900 megawatts core-fired generating stations? In Asia, China is producing ten generating stations annually. The United States of America has not yet signed the Kyoto Protocol and, therefore, continues to depict the …

Mr Speaker: Order! You are debating. What is your question?

You may continue.

Major Chizhyuka: How does a Government like ours, given those paradigms, expect to influence the developed world to reduce the depletion of the ozone layer as a result of the increase in the carbon levels in the atmosphere generated by the industrial fabric of Asia, Europe and the United States of America (USA)?

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, I admit that it is a challenge to convince developed countries to come to the table and help come up with an equitable solution to a problem that we face today. However, we have been informed by the experts that the globe is getting warmer and no one can dispute that. We expect the industrialised countries to provide leadership and the least developed countries to speak as loudly as possible about the fact that they cannot continue to pay the price for a problem they have not created. However, it is a moral issue. For us, as Africans, like Zambia, it is also an economic problem because climate change could reverse all the economic achievements that a country like ours has made.
I thank you, Sir.

Mr Imenda (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister is showing concern about the environmental degradation. Is she aware of the indiscriminate cutting down of trees in the Western Province which has become an extension of the Kalahari Desert will attract deforestation and perpetual hunger in the province?

Ms Namugala: Yes, Mr Speaker, we are extremely concerned about the indiscriminate cutting down of trees and deforestation in general. We, as a Government, are currently working on amending the Forestry Act. We have reached an advanced stage, especially with the formulation of the Forestry Policy. However, I would like to ask hon. Members to help sensitise the communities on the need to conserve our forests and ensure the sustainable harvesting of the forest products.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr V. Mwale (Chipangali): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for coming up with this ministerial statement because I am one of those interested in climate change issues. I am very pleased. Is the Government thinking of coming up with a policy that will discourage people from importing vehicles such as Hummers that the West is doing away with, which emit a lot of carbon? The Government should instead encourage the import of small cars that emit less carbon by waiving duty on small vehicles and hiking duty on big vehicles.

Ms Namugala: Yes, Mr Speaker, we do recognise the need to put in place stringent measures to discourage pollution. If you look at the current carbon tax, it basically deals with the size of an engine. However, we know that it is not just the size of the engine that matters, but also the age of the vehicle. In this case, I would like to assure the hon. Members that we are looking into that matter and we will ensure that we put in place measures to avoid the importation of vehicles that pollute our environment.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Matongo (Pemba): Mr Speaker, the G20, a few days ago, met precisely on this subject and set up benchmarks. Do those benchmarks meet the expectations of the Republic of Zambia? There is an indiscriminate cutting down of trees for malasha, in Zambia, and indiscriminate fishing to the point of breaking the law. How does that complement the Kyoto Protocol and the Copenhagen Mission?

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, we, as a Group of 77, are calling for the industrialised countries that have caused the problem of global warming to come to the table in a mature manner and listen to our demands. What the hon. Member has talked about are negotiations amongst themselves. When we go to Copenhagen, we expect nothing less than legally binding commitments from the industrialised countries. How does deforestation relate to the Kyoto Protocol? I think that is what the hon. Member wants to know.

As you know, Mr Speaker, trees act as carbon sinks and so we are interested as a Government in ensuring that instead of reducing the forest cover, we increase it. However, we are also aware that most of our people have no alternative source of energy. This is why we are asking the international community to come to the table and agree to compensate forest-dependent communities by providing the required resources for them to have alternative livelihoods.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Mwape (Mufulira): Mr Speaker, does the hon. Minister realise that the communities that burn trees for charcoal do not consume it. The charcoal is consumed by urban communities because of the high cost of electricity where it is available and or the lack of it? What is the Government doing about this since technology transfer is not helping much because even if you give the people an alternative, the demand for charcoal will still be there? Therefore, there will still be the need for these people to burn trees for charcoal. How is the Government synchronising all this?

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, we are not satisfied with the regime on technology transfer because it does not meet the needs of a country like Zambia. The provisions under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol are inadequate because they are not legally binding in as far as the issues of intellectual property are concerned.

Mr Speaker, on the issue of who consumes charcoal, I want to say that while we recognise the need for us to do more to ensure that charcoal burning is reduced, we also understand that many of our people do not have any other form of livelihood. Therefore, they find charcoal burning the only way to survive. What we need and hope to do in Copenhagen is to find a mechanism that will compensate the people who live around the forests. In a way, we need to pay them for looking after the forests because the forests act as carbon sinks. Since climate change knows no boundaries, if pollution takes place here, it will affect everyone in the world.

I want to emphasise that all the least developed countries need to fight hard to ensure that the polluters who have brought us to this level compensate us.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwenya (Nkana): Mr Speaker, much as I appreciate the importance of this summit, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister the essence of Zambia’s attending such a summit when locally we have failed to compel companies like Lafarge and other mining companies to meet their obligations towards the Environmental Protection Fund.

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, I do not see how the two are related. Zambia, as a party to the UNFCCC, has an obligation to attend this conference. In addition, Zambia is one of the countries that is suffering the negative effects of climate change and, like other countries, realises that it has done very little to contribute to this problem. The issues of the local industries not meeting or exceeding their quota is a domestic matter that can be dealt with at home. We have a moral obligation to attend that conference and make our voice heard at the talks in Copenhagen.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simama (Kalulushi): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that our seed orchards have stopped bearing seeds and that this will make it difficult for the Zambia Forestry and Forest Industries Corporation (ZAFFICO) and the Forest Department to plant trees?

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, we are concerned about anything that works against our programme of increasing our forest cover and would like to request the hon. Member of Parliament to come to my office and raise that specific issue.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Kapata (Mandevu): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that global climate change has had a negative impact on Zambia. I would like to find out what the ministry is doing to sensitise our people on climate change.

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, it is true that there is a need for more awareness. I take this opportunity to inform the hon. Members of Parliament that the ministry intends to hold a sensitisation workshop for them on climate change, its effects, and environmental management.

I thank you, Sir.

Colonel Chanda (Kanyama): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out what Zambia’s position will be at the Copenhagen Summit should the American Government take the stance it has usually taken in the past over this issue.

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, judging from the attendance at the United Nations Summit on Climate Change in September, we think that there will be more than a hundred Heads of State and Government in Denmark. It is our hope that the leaders will bring reason to bear on the USA.

Mr Speaker, as I have said, this issue is a moral one that requires leadership at the highest level. We cannot continue to allow the greatest polluters to dodge their responsibilities.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chella (Wusakile): Mr Speaker, I would like to know the position of the Government on farmers who cut down trees in large numbers and sell them to the mines. I am aware of such on the Copperbelt.

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for the information and request that he provides me with more details. I would like him to come to the office so that we can follow-up that matter.

I thank you, Sir.



178. Mr D. Mwila (Chipili) asked the Minister of Lands:

(a) whether a land audit had ever been undertaken in the Luapula Province and, if so, when the exercise was undertaken; and
(b) what criteria were used to allocate land to foreign investors.

The Deputy Minister of Lands (Mr Mabenga): Mr Speaker, the ministry has not yet undertaken a land audit exercise in the Luapula Province. However, routine land inspections have been regularly conducted.

Sir, with regard to the criteria used in allocating land to foreign investors, the ministry uses the following criteria:

(i) Section 3(3) of the Lands Act Cap. 184 applies to a foreign investor applying for land in Zambia. One qualification is that the foreign investor must have an investment certificate or licence issued by the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA). Furthermore, a non-Zambian can own land through a company whose maximum shareholding by non-Zambians is 25 per cent and 75 per cent by Zambians;

(ii) the investor should have financial capacity to develop the land; and

(iii) the investor should submit a sound project proposal for developing and utilising the land under application.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, since the land audit has never been conducted, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Lands when it will be undertaken because almost 70 per cent of the land in Luapula Province has been taken by foreign investors who are involved in mineral exploration.

Mr Mabenga: Mr Speaker, a land audit only involves inventorying data of various forms relating to land. This involves finding out how much of the total land in the country is being used for agriculture, mining, forestry reserves, industrial and, probably, how much of these categories is unused and/or underutilised. Inspections have been carried, but, maybe, the hon. Member would like to have the details of every piece of land in Luapula Province. That can be done specifically on his request.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kasongo (Bangweulu): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out whether individual councillors have been given powers to allocate pieces of land to themselves and other developers. If the answer is no, what measures has the ministry put in place to ensure that this malpractice comes to an end?

The Minister of Lands (Mr Daka): Mr Speaker, there is a committee that has been formed under the security agencies to ensure that that law is enforced across the board. This is regardless of ones party affiliation or who has broken the law as it will take its course. We have written, as Ministry of Lands, to the Ministry of Home Affairs to ensure that this is done very quickly.

I thank you, Sir.

Colonel Chanda (Kanyama): Mr Speaker, not very long ago, the late President, Dr Levy Mwanawasa, SC., made a public pronouncement before this House that the Ministry of Lands was the most corrupt ministry. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what the status of the ministry is at the moment.

Mr Daka: Mr Speaker, I think, across the board, we have said that when one breaks the law, the law will take its course. We remember that at one point, the ministry came to a standstill and all allocations and files were taken to the security agencies for scrutiny. The process of weeding out the people involved in this malpractice is on course.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Kabwata.

Hon. Members: He is not in the House.

Mr Speaker: He is not in the House.

Mr Mwamba (Kasama Central): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister why it is almost impossible for a local investor, like me, to obtain land. I have some equipment worth more than US$3 million which is just lying idle because I am unable to secure land to use it.

Mr Daka: Mr Speaker, the problem that we have in Zambia, today, is that we only want land around Lusaka, and yet Zambia has an area of 750,000 square kilometres. We can make a conurbation between Kafue and Lusaka. We can also do the same between Lusaka, Chongwe or Rufunsa. The only problem is that land around Lusaka is not adequate. However, if we are looking for land out of Lusaka, it is available.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr L. J. Mulenga (Kwacha): Mr Speaker, the question of land audit has been asked several times in this House. The response from the hon. Minister regarding land in Luapula Province is quite alarming. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister on what premise the Ministry of Lands contributes to the Ministry of Finance and National Planning in terms of revenue arising from ground rent.

Mr Daka: Mr Speaker, all the rates that councils levy have come through the Land Act. I cannot categorically state how much has been collected because this is a continuous process. When you have land in Kabulonga, you pay K2 million per square metre of whatever size while for land in Chilenje, you pay K1.5 million. This varies because every year and everyday, we are allocating land. Therefore, the figures are at variance.

Sir, let me explain the difference between land audit and land inspection. As the hon. Deputy Minister put it, land audit is about finding out how much land is available for agriculture, mining and industrial activities whereas land inspection is about ensuring that when you have been allocated a piece of land, you use it for the purpose it was acquired.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, in Englishm there is a saying that goes, “There is many a slip between the cup and the lip.” The hon. Minister said that one of the conditions of being given land, for example in Luapula Province, is for the investor to have a plan, project or programme. However, many things can go wrong on these projects. What happens when the project fails for any reason, be it lack of viability, finance or seriousness? What happens to that land? Does it just lie idle or it starts changing hands for money? What happens and how is Zambia protected in this system?

Mr Daka: Mr Speaker …

Mr Kambwili: Wakamba!

Mr Daka: Mr Speaker, I need your protection from Hon. Kambwili.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, you are protected. Please, go ahead.


Mr Daka: When land is allocated to an individual, eighteen months in which to develop that piece of land is given. If land use has been changed and a person who was supposed to build a factory is doing something else instead, that must be registered with the Ministry of Lands. Therefore, we need more information to be given to us in that regard. Land is not sold, but leased. You can only sell your property when you have built something on it.

I thank you, Sir.


179. Colonel Chanda asked the Minister of Defence:

(a) what the original role of the Land Development Branch (LDB) of the Zambia National Service was;

(b) whether the original LDB was operating within its original role and, if not, what the reasons for the departure were;

(c) how much equipment the Government  acquired for LDB from 2005 to 2007 and what its serviceability status was; and

(d) how much revenue LDB contributed to the Treasury from 2005 to 2008, year by year.

The Minister of Defence (Dr Mwansa): Mr Speaker, the original role of LDB is to open up rural Zambia through the construction of feeder roads and land clearing to ensure sustainable food production. Specifically, LDB has always been involved in the following activities:

(i) land clearing;

(ii) road or airstrip rehabilitation and construction;

(iii) opening up feeder roads mostly in rural areas;

(iv) dam construction;

(v) tractor hire;

(vi) disaster management and mitigation operation; and

(vii) any other works as will be directed by the Government.

Sir, LDB is operating within its original mandate. The branch is still involved in tractor hire services, borehole drilling, land clearing, opening up of feeder roads and other activities.

Mr Speaker, the Government did not acquire any equipment from LDB during the period 2005 and 2007.

LDB did not contribute any revenue to the Treasury from 2005 to 2008 for the following reasons:

(i) LDB is still charging Government approved hire rates which are low despite the high cost of fuels, oils and spare parts unlike other construction companies which are charging more realistic rates;

(ii) the meagre revenue so realised is used for the purchase of spare parts. The spare parts procured by the Government in June, 2006 worth K10 billion are already used up in trying to maintain equipment procured by the Government in 2002; and

(iii) LDB is not allowed to bid for major projects in the sense that it is deemed a strategic Government institution, hence, the meagre revenue realised.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Member’s phone rang.


Mr Speaker: Before we continue, the hon. Member, over there, will surrender that mobile phone that rung in the Chamber now.


Colonel Chanda: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that LDB was principally meant to spearhead the agricultural revolution in this country. The other roles were supplementary. Why is the department failing to help open up the countryside by way of opening up farms as was the original intension of the Government?

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, the original mandate of LDB has not been lost. It is still involved in running very huge farms. There is the Airport Farm and Mumbwa Farm just close to Lusaka. There are also farms dotted all over the country. Some of the farms are doing extremely well. For instance, the Lusaka Airport Farm recently bought a combine harvester for use at the farm and any other farms in the neighbouring areas. It is also involved in the hire of equipment to various individuals and organisations that wish to use the pieces of equipment.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Katema (Chingola): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that the Airport Farm is directly under the Zambia National Service (ZNS) and not LDB?

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, we are fully aware of that. The follow-up question that was asked by Colonel Chanda was about farming activities of the ZNS. That is why I mentioned that the ZNS is currently involved in terms of farming activities.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwansa (Chifunabuli): Mr Speaker, are the costs by LDB across the country uniform and how easily accessible are they to the private people of this country?

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, the charges are uniform. They are stipulated in Cabinet Office Circular No. 9 of 2003 and are applied uniformly across the country.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Imenda (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Deputy Minister, in his judgment, convinced that the heavy equipment currently availed to LDB is doing enough in terms of output with specific reference to the construction of feeder roads and dams to warrant the reason for its existence?

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, certainly, we are aware that there are inadequacies in terms of equipment for the department that I have spoken about relating to its operational efficiency. That is why there are some discussions going on at the moment among the Ministries of Defence, Finance and National Planning and Works and Supply to consider the appropriateness of integrating the equipment under the land development service into the equipment holding of the Ministry of Works and Supply so that we can have one common pool of equipment for the Government and other institutions. This will lead to rationalisation in the use of equipment as well as the procurement of spares and parts for the equipment to run more effectively.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, from 2005 to 2006, no equipment was purchased. When do they intend to purchase the equipment or do they intend to maintain the same old equipment?

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, it is our intention to procure new equipment as well as rehabilitate the existing one. We require about K4.1 billion to rehabilitate graders, bulldozers and accessories and more than K3 billion to procure two new bulldozers and ten graders. The total cost is about K7 billion and we do not have that kind of money at the moment. The way to proceed is what I said earlier. This is to consider the rationalisation of the equipment by integrating what we have, under ZNS, with what the Ministry of Works and Supply holds. That way, we can create one common pool of machinery and equipment for more effective use and the procurement of  machinery and spare parts.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.



 the Chair]

VOTE 17 ─ (Ministry of Foreign Affairs ─ K283,952,206,795).

(Consideration resumed)

Mr Matongo (Pemba): Madam Chairperson, I wish to thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate the allocation for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The budget which has been presented is below K300 billion. I will support this underdevelopment with a clarion call that to conduct diplomacy at an international level is not cheap business. Therefore, should there be need for supplementation, I would go for it.

Madam Chairperson, in my younger years, I had the misfortune of being the managing director of Contact Haulage and the United Bus Company of Zambia (UBZ). I, therefore, know what it is to under budget for an institution. When we loaded buses in Lusaka for the Eastern Province, for instance, we had people going to Nyimba, Petauke or Katete. The people that were going to Chipata, Lundazi or Chama would say, “Apa nipanjila,” meaning this is just by the way. If we loaded people in Chadiza at a place called Tafela Nsoni, people would say, “Apa nipambali, bali pa corner.”

Madam Chairperson, when we talk of investment …

The Chairperson: Order! Meaning what?

Mr Matongo: It means they are just on the side. Therefore, bene baulendo, those with the long journey, were the ones going to Chipata, Lundazi or Chama. This is a statement of fact and this is exactly the position in any other province in terms of investment. I am now talking foreign affairs. 
Madam Chairperson, when you are budgeting for Harare or Kinshasa, the costs cannot be very different from elsewhere except for first class nations. Running a foreign policy based on an economic agenda is not cheap. It is not cheap in terms of finances, staffing and infrastructure.  We are, therefore, appealing to the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs to, perhaps, re-look these figures to make these missions more effective.

Madam Chairperson, moving onto a more substantive matter, I would like to talk about the issue of staffing. It has been made clear in this Chamber that we have shifted from good neighbourliness or liberation diplomacy to economic diplomacy. In fact, almost all major appointments made by the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs have been more political than economical. A statement was read in this House by the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs on the questions regarding the region. Is the staffing, from deputy ambassador downwards professional? This is before we even tamper with the Ambassador or High Commissioner. Recently, as you may be aware, it is clear that the dictation of the appointments is more on political arrangements.

Madam Chairperson, it is important to place the best men and women, who understand both the political and economic paradigms wherever they come from, in our foreign missions. It is not a question of merely looking for jobs and filling up vacancies. It is a question of having the best representation so that those people can exercise the best practices of diplomacy as determined by the international diplomatic world. There is no such thing as Zambian diplomacy. It has to be international diplomacy.

Madam Chairperson, I really do not mind who the President sends as Ambassador. However, when three quarters or half of them are political, I get concerned because parties in Government come and go, but the Civil Service is permanent, hence, the reason to have a substantial number of public servants who will permanently head these missions or at least work in these missions.

Madam Chairperson, right now, we have two former vice-presidents in foreign missions although I understand one of them is on his way home. 

Mr Matongo: This is just what I heard. I do not ponder too much on flimsy issues.

Mr Muntanga: Welcome home.

Mr Matongo: I am informed that there are several former hon. Cabinet Ministers, who I will not mention, who are on these assignments. In fact, we have several hon. Deputy Ministers, not less than eight, some of whom were with us in the last election, in these missions. Beyond this, we have several appointments at lower levels that could have been for people in the Public Service and foreign affairs in particular.

I criticise constructively, hence it is enough for me to just give you the numbers which will show you that there are more State House appointments in the foreign service. Do not ask me who makes these appointments. These State House appointments are different from the ones I knew back then which used to be made by the foreign affairs service committee of Cabinet. It is wrong to make a very good president appoint a second secretary because he may have a brother or sister who needs a job. If the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs is influenced, he will accept because he is human.

Madam Chairperson, I would like to appeal to our good friends to reduce the number of appointments to foreign missions of people who lose elections. You will make the job of the professionals in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs extremely difficult. Recently, we had a former hon.  Cabinet Minister in Maputo as High Commissioner, …

Mr Muntanga: Yes.

Mr Matongo: …a real man whom I developed love for in this House. However, because he was not ready for that responsibility, though he may have been ready to be hon. Cabinet Minister, with help from others, he did certain things that may seem wrong. You are so unkind that when someone makes a genuine mistake, you make them look extremely bad even if the reason is that you did not give him or her enough training.

A property which was given to us by Samora Machel was vandalised and taken, but we are doing nothing. A very expensive vehicle is also there.  If he did not ask for permission, we did not train him and he has not worked for foreign affairs for a long time. Why blame him if he buys the best that he thinks he should enjoy? I would like to appeal to this Government not to make good human beings look bad. The MMD is very good at making very good men look bad by appointing them to very inappropriate positions.

 Mr Muntanga: Yes!

Mr Matongo: Please, be like me who always wants to work with you. Leave people who will only work with you if you do the correct thing.

Therefore, to appoint a miller to act as High Commissioner in Dar-Es-Salaam simply because you did not adopt him in some constituency is an embarrassment after forty-five years of independence. Why pay him back? You should leave him alone to go and do some milling where he comes from. This is the message I am delivering. I have nothing against creating jobs for qualified cadres. If you start appointing permanent secretaries in Lusaka and Luapula forty-five years after independence from amongst the cadres and extend that to Washington, you are embarrassing. Talking about Washington, we had a building there which was terribly dilapidated. I hope that in this budget, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has provided enough money to repair that building. 

 In Harare, I know also that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs bought properties which were managed by Contact Haulage at the time because of the Vienna Convention. I hope those properties are still there and can be renovated and put to good use.

 Madam Chairperson, a good job is one that is shared by people that understand what they are doing. It does not necessarily mean that if you are in Government today, we will criticise you for the sake of criticising you. We know that you want to do the right thing. What value do you attach to the expense of running these embassies from an economic point of view other than the primary responsibility of creating jobs? You are in Government today and if you do not correct things, then some irresponsible people that may come in the Government next time will make things worse. Dr Kaunda used to appoint people into the foreign service, but they were properly considered and it was done properly. I hope you all agree with me.  The appointments were not politicised all the time. You should, therefore, agree with me that right now it is about who needs a job and who has lost an election. Hon. Mwaanga, let us serve this country appropriately.

 Madam Chairperson, with those few words, I reluctantly support this budget and wish to say that foreign affairs is not  panjira or pakona. Real foreign affairs are for the good of this country.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

 Mr Kasongo (Bangweulu): Madam Chairperson, I would like to thank you for giving me this opportunity to join Hon. Matongo and, maybe, strengthen his voice in one way or another.

Madam Chairperson, my major concern is in connection with the concept of the creation of the United States of Africa. I think it is important for the ministry and the Government as a whole to come out in the open on whether Zambians have accepted to be part of this concept or not. There is no diplomacy about it. Zambians need this information. What is the policy of the Government on the creation of the United State of Africa as seen by our founding fathers like the late Nkrumah and Dr Julius Nyerere to name just a few? It is important for us to market this concept if at all we have accepted it. There could be a lot of people who will be looking at issues such as who will be the first president. I think that is immaterial. Therefore, we should know that when we agree in principle that we are going to create the United States of Africa, we should be prepared that obviously, the headship will rotate from one country to the other. In my view, this is a brilliant concept which will help us to consolidate our economies and political arenas. Therefore, it is important that the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs comes out in the open regarding Zambia’s position on this concept. For me, I have no quarrel with it.

If some people are reluctant to accept this concept simply because they are talking about who is going to be the first Head of State, that is immaterial because it is something that can be discussed internally. What I know is that the leadership will rotate. Therefore, please pursue this concept vigorously.

Secondly, most of the time we have discussed the plight of our envoys in terms of accommodation and how late the money is remitted to our ambassadors. For example, it is so embarrassing to learn that your neighbour who is representing Mozambique or Zimbabwe has received his salary while you are phoning your home village to find out whether the money has been  remitted or not. Do not allow our ambassadors to be destitute in foreign countries.

Madam Chairperson, we have been appreciated by a lot of countries as Zambians because we have managed to maintain peace in this country for a long time. The image that we have been able to present beyond Zambia should be maintained. We can only do that by making sure that we attend to the plight of our envoys as quickly as possible. Do not make them destitute in foreign countries. That is why in most cases, they are even tempted to engage in things that may turn out to be embarrassing on the part of our Government. Please, hon. Minister, make sure that what is due to them is sent to them as quickly as possible.

Make sure that the embassies have nice furniture and other provisions. You may go to your neighbour only to find out that the chancery is fully furnished with everything, but when you look at your own embassies you would find that the roofs are leaking and nobody has been able to attend to the problem. The envoys send messages every day about the embassies that are leaking, but their simple problems are not been addressed in time. Please, make sure that you give them money to buy furniture and maintain the embassies.

Madam Chairperson, finally, I would like to consolidate the position that has been taken by my immediate neighbour, here, Hon. Matongo, that when you are making appointments in foreign embassies, please, make sure that you bear in mind the importance of attracting investment to our country. In other words, you have to make sure that you put in place the selection criteria that will emphasise competence and skills which will be able to attract investment to our country. Look at how a number of countries like China have been able to attract a lot of foreign direct investment (FDI). If you went to China today, you would find investors from the United Kingdom (UK), United States of America (USA), Germany and other countries in the world. In most cases, they depend on the envoys. Therefore, make sure when you are making appointments, you put emphasis on who is going to attract investment to our country so that by so doing, we will be able to create a lot of job opportunities. Never mind who you send whether it is my brother or son, as long as that person is highly qualified.

For example, I do not believe that if I have a son and he is highly qualified I cannot appoint him to go to a foreign country. No! As long as my son has papers, is a human being and a Zambian, I can endorse him to serve in a foreign country. Who cannot do that? Even those that are condemning these appointments are aware that once they are given an opportunity to serve as President or even Cabinet Minister, their sons and daughters will be given the same job opportunities. However, what is important is to ensure that you send quality leadership into our embassies so that we are able to attract a lot of investment.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Madam Chairperson, I stand to support the Vote on the Floor and I will be brief.

Madam Chairperson, in supporting the Vote, I would like to talk about the Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies, which is run, here, in Lusaka. You will observe that we have provided K600 million to this institution. However, the question is: How relevant is this school to the posting of people in the missions abroad? A lot of people have been trained by this institution since its establishment but, to date, very few, if not none, of the graduates from that institution have been posted into Foreign Service.

Mr Shawa: Question!

Mr Kambwili: Why should you continue spending colossal sums of money to train people, but only look at cadres when it comes to appointments?

I wish to take Hon. Kasongo and Hon. Matongo’s debates as my own in relation to the fact that we are preoccupied with only creating jobs for our political cadres to appreciate them for what they do during the campaigns. This should not be done at the expense of the missions abroad and, of course, at the expense of the people that are trained at a large cost at the Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies.

Madam Chairperson, I would like to urge this Government to seriously reflect on the relevance of this institution to the human resource in the Foreign Service. My appeal to the Government is that it keeps track of who has been trained at this institution and makes them useful for the development of Zambia.

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

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Madam Chairperson, thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute on this Vote and I stand to support it.

Madam Chairperson, I know that the problems we have are the finances, but I am getting worried that we are doing the same thing over and over again. Considering the amount of work given to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, sometimes, it entails that we need to budget for a little bit more than what we have provided. There are so many trips abroad that are undertaken which involve the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in most cases when this happens, we have to come here and approve supplementary estimates.

Last year, when I debated, I questioned this Government as to why we were opening more embassies when we had already certain embassies that needed repair. At that time, we were talking about repairing the embassies in Namibia and Washington and we were saying that the money given was not enough. Despite our complaints, it was then that we opened an embassy in Ghana. I know that it is important that we sell Zambia abroad, but we should first think of giving this ministry a bit of money.

Madam Chairperson, I have a different view to the fact that whoever is trained at the Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies must be employed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I think that is not correct. This is a college that trains anyone who wants to learn about diplomacy.

Mr Matongo: That is right!

Mr Muntanga: If you are going to say that anyone who is trained at that institution must be employed at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, then we might as well say close the college. This college must train anyone who desires to know something about diplomacy. These people trained there can be employed by international organisations.

For this reason, I have a problem with this Government. Why does the Government find it difficult to support its own people in various organisations? Why is it that in most international organisations, it is found that certain countries are managing to fit in quite a lot of their nationals? For example, Tanzania has supported and put a lot of its nationals in these organisations. Every time Zambia wants to support someone, there is only half support. We could not even make it to the African Union (AU) with Madam Inonge. Why do we find it difficult? Why is it …

Dr Machungwa: Chi pact!

Mr Muntanga: I think somebody is mistaken. This madam is in Washington. You are talking about the pact. I do not know why you are sick of the pact.


Mr Muntanga: Some people are so sick of the pact that they want to talk about it all the time.

Hon. Government Members: Order! Order!

Mr Matongo: Even in foreign affairs!

Mr Muntanga: Even in foreign affairs.

Hon. Government Members: Order!

Mr Muntanga: The point I am talking about, Madam Chairperson, …

Dr Machungwa: On a point of order.

Mr Muntanga: … is that we need to ensure that …

Dr Machungwa: On a point of order.

Mr Kambwili: Aah! Bashi Makumba, ikaleni fye!

Mr Muntanga: … the ministry is given enough funds. Also, we should support the various Zambians that need to go in these international organisations.

Yes, I agree that there is a need to appoint brothers and sisters there, but it should not only be your brothers or your children that qualify. We are running a country and so we must be sensitive. We should know that there are others that need to go out there, but not that when I am there, I must benefit. Once there is a problem, the whole family suffers. It is not correct.

Madam Chairperson, if I had a way, I would urge that we increase this budget because by next year, we are going to be asked to approve supplementary estimates.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

The Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services (Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha) (on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Mr Pande): Madam Chairperson, I wish to thank this august House for supporting the budget of my ministry. However, let me just comment on one or two issues that have been raised.

Firstly, I wish to state that we do not have problems in sending emoluments or allowances to the people abroad. We are always on time.

Secondly, all the people we send to go and work abroad in the Zambian missions are qualified people who are assessed and trained before they go out. They are trained by the Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies. They go as people that are qualified to work. If they make mistakes where they go to work, it is not because the Movement for Multi-party for Democracy (MMD) Government put them there to make them bad people, but it trained them to work for Zambia.

Madam Chairperson, it is important to know that, similarly, all the missions abroad have qualified personnel, including ambassadors that are doing a wonderful job, to bring about the policy of economic diplomacy to fruition for Zambia.

Madam Chairperson, I wish to thank the House for accepting our figures.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

VOTE 17/01 – (Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Headquarters – K10,851,318,429).

Mr Kambwili: Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Unit 1, Programme 2, Activity 08 – Executive Functions – K110,077,517. I would like to find out what these executive functions are such that, last year, we provided K85,314,013 and, this year, we have provided K110,077,517.

Secondly, may I have clarification on Unit 6, Programme 7, Activity 02 – Board of Survey – K50,000,000. I would like to find out why this activity just refered to as ‘Board of Survey’ has been allocated K50,000,000.

Lastly, may I have clarification on Unit 13, Programme 2 – General Administration. How was administration managed, last year, because there were no figures provided whatsoever and, this year, we have come up with K408,093,795?

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Madam Chairperson, the Planning Unit has been introduced to operate within this year and hence the figures that are available. Secondly, the executive functions are meant for the purposes of executive action. The issue of survey is important in order to allow for people to go to the missions to survey the issues of furniture and the condition of the buildings.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Mr Kambwili: Madam Chairperson, I wanted to find out what type of executive functions are being referred to here.

The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs (Professor Phiri): Madam Chairperson, this provision is required to meet payments of allowances and air tickets for official foreign and local travel.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

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

VOTE 17/02 – (Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Mission Abroad – Lubumbashi – K5,083,843,369)

Mr Kambwili: Madam Chairperson, on Programme 1, Activity 01 – Salaries Division 1 – K44,886,228, I would like to know why this figure has been reduced. Have we fired some people or have some people have died? Secondly, on Programme 9, Activity 01 – Goods and Services – K12,125,000, I would like to know what type of services these are because we have similar services on Programme 6.

Professor Phiri: Madam Chairperson, the decrease is due to non-inclusion of seconded diplomats, for example, those from the military.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

The Chairperson: Can we have an answer on goods and services?

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Madam Chairperson, there are arrears that were accrued in the missions and we have budgeted for them in order for us to dismantle them. There are arrears that have been accrued out of the operations of the previous year that we were unable to meet because of insufficient money.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Madam Chairperson, on Programme 1, Activity 01 – Salaries Division 1 – K44,886,228, I would like to know if you have stopped seconding personnel to a mission like Lubumbashi in order for you to have this reduction. Again, the same programme, is this the last provision we are making for dismantling arrears or we are going to see another provision next year?

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Madam Chairperson, this is a continuous dismantling process. The arrears could be more and we will continue to dismantle them according to the budgetary allocations.

Secondly, the staff posted to the mission are a combination of many ministries. The Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Defence, for example, will be paying their own diplomats and this is why this amount has been reduced.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

The Chairperson: Mr Kambwili, I hope you are not asking on the same matter.

Mr Kambwili: It is on the same matter because I am not satisfied. The explanation for the reduction is not convincing. Unless my thinking and my knowledge is wrong, when you second someone, it means that where that person is coming from, they will continue paying his salary. When you second people, the receiving institution will not pay the salaries, but the institution where they are coming from. If that is anything to go by, why have we reduced the allocation? Their salaries are supposed to be paid by the sending ministries, in this case, the Zambia Army. I would like to have a proper explanation.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Madam Chairperson, Hon. Kambwili is answering himself. There are no salaries paid abroad to all diplomats. The situation is that the salaries are paid, here, in Zambia. The salaries paid to diplomats are paid by the sending ministries and so they are the ones who budget for these.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Mr Kambwili: Madam Chairperson …

The Chairperson: Order! Hon. Kambwili, we should be listening to each other. The hon. Minister has explained that the salaries of the diplomats are taken care of by the sending ministries. From the explanation, I do not see the reason for a quarrel over the issue.

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

VOTE 17/03 – (Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Mission Abroad – Washington – K10,638,157,900).

Mr Mukanga: Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 1, Activity 01 – Salaries Division 1 – K582,853,224. I would like to find out whether there is any personnel that has been seconded from various ministries to Washington in view of what we told because there is no reduction, but instead an increment from K428,765,808. Then, on Programme 9, Activity 02 – Tourism Promotion, I would like to find out why there is no provisioin for this activity. What is happening? Have we abandoned this activity?

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Madam Chairperson, on Programme 1, Activity 01 – Salaries Division 1 – K521,999,388, the increase is due to the filling up of restructured positions and increased salaries. Secondly, on Programme 9, Activity 02 − Tourism and Promotion, we have not abandoned tourism as the tourism ministry is handling the part on tourism like we have said before.

I thank you, Sir.

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

VOTE 17/04 – (Ministry of Foreign – Mission Abroad – New York – K11,149,545,717).

Mr Kambwili: Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 7, Activity 01 – Political and Economic Co-operation – K50,485,538. May I know what has changed to necessitate the increase from the K26,380,756 that was allocated last year ?

Professor Phiri: Madam Chairperson, the increase is due to an increase in the schedule activities taken from Programme 2, Activity 01− Office Administration − K228,991,500. Otherwise, this is an activity whose provisions required meeting payment of allowances, air fares and fuel to enable officers carry out political and community activities at the mission.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Mr Mukanga: Madam Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 8, Activity 01 – Rehabilitation of Properties − K296,887,500. What property are we rehabilitating and is this the last amount we are going to see on property rehabilitation?

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Madam Chairperson, the buildings that require rehabilitation are the Chancery as well as certain staff houses that need maintenance. The amount for rehabilitation is not the last one. We will continue, in every budget, to allow for more money until we are finished with all the rehabilitation.

I thank you, Madam.

The Chairperson: Hon. Members, as we ask certain questions, let us bear in mind that certain things are clear for everyone’s interpretation. It has to be borne in mind that, even next year, there may be an increase or decrease on the same depending on the work that is to be done. So, certain things must really be coming out only when there is proper and real need.

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

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

 the Chair]

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

VOTE 17/06 – (Ministry of Foreign Affairs –` Mission Abroad – London – K17,243,472,855).

Mr Kambwili: Madam Chairperson, with reference to Programme 7, Activity 02 – Tourism Promotion − K97,211,000, I have observed that there is a provision for tourism promotion, and yet in the previous Vote, we were told that the Ministry of Tourism and Natural Resources would be handling this aspect. Therefore, may I know the Government’s position in as far as tourism promotion is concerned? Is it to be done by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or other missions can provide a budget line while others do not?

No one stood to answer the question.

Mr Muntanga: Professor.

The Chairperson: Order!

Professor Phiri: Madam Chairperson, on Programme 7 – Activity 02 − Tourism Promotion− K97211,000 …


The Chairperson: Order! Order! Nobody is in competition …

Professor Phiri: With regard to …

The Chairperson: Order, hon. Minister.

Professor Phiri: Sorry, Madam.

The Chairperson: what we want to hear are the answers and, therefore, we should give an opportunity to the Executive to give these answers properly. It does not matter how fast the answer is given as long as the hon. Minister gives one.

The hon. Deputy Minister may continue.


Professor Phiri: Some missions carry out tourism promotions while others are being undertaken by the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources, which established offices to carry out this activity.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Chairperson: Order!

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 ─ (Ministry of Foreign Affairs ─ Mission Abroad ─ Dar-es-Salaam ─ K7,486,217,972).

Mr Mukanga: Madam Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 8, Activity 01 ─ Rehabilitation of Properties ─ K1,996,307,625. I would like to find out what property is being rehabilitated in Dar-es-Salaam at a cost of approximately K2 billion.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Madam Chairperson, the chancery in Dar-es-Salaam is to be rehabilitated as well as the houses of staff, which were bought well before independence and, therefore, need rehabilitation.

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 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 1733 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

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 − (Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Zambia Anti-Personnel Mine Action Centre − K965,254,642).

Mr Kambwili: Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 7, Activity 02 − Victim Assistance − K33,347,063. Last year, we provided K13,457,902 and, this year, we are asking for K33,347,063. I would like to find out what type of assistance is given to the victims if, indeed, we had recorded any victims, last year, and how many we are targeting to assist with this K33,347,063.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Madam Chairperson, this amount of money is required for us to reach the affected areas where we are looking at the problems of mining.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Kambwili: Madam Chairperson, the programme says Victim Assistance and the hon. Minister is saying logistics to reach mining risk areas. This is a contradiction. My question is how many victims are we targeting with this K33,347,063 and how many did we assist, last year, with the K13,457,902?

Madam Chairperson: May the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs tell us how we are going to spend this money.


Professor Phiri: The provision is required to meet the cost of reaching the affected areas and providing victim assistance. The increase is due to challenges posted by distances in reaching out to some of the areas. In other words, we travel to most of the areas where we think that there are victims and they are recorded accordingly. However, this money may not necessarily be sufficient to cater for what we really need in terms of assisting the victims.

 I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

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

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

VOTE 17/41− (Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Protocol Department − K1,354,452,173).

Mr Mukanga: Madam Chairperson, I would like to seek clarification on Programme 7, Activity 03 − State Visits. Why do we not have a provision for this activity this year because I know that there will be State visits?

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Madam Chairperson, all State visits are not programmed here because they have been moved to State House.

I thank you, Madam.

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

VOTE 17/42 (Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Political Affairs Department – K1,774,557,372).

Mr Kambwili: Madam Chairperson, we have just been told that all State visits have been transferred to State House, and yet under Unit 3, Programme 7, Activity 01 – Presidential/State Visits to the American and the Caribbean Region − K34,840,000. Last year, we provided K12,000,000 and, this year, we have provided K34,840,000. Is it a Government policy that the President has to go to the Caribbean Region, every year, because, last year, we had a budget line and, again, this year, we have a budget line?

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Madam Chairperson, the President does not have to go to the Caribbean Region every year. However, there are programmes that are required by the hon. Minister and the officials for us to be able to prosper Zambia’s foreign policy in the world.

I thank you, Madam.

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. Government Members: Hear, hear!

VOTE 18 – (Judiciary – K162,752,648,014).

The Minister of Defence (Dr Mwansa): I wish to thank you, Madam Chairperson, for the opportunity accorded to me to report on the Judiciary’s activities for 2009 and planned activities for 2010. The Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the Judiciary are based on the lessons learned from the challenges and achievements of 2009 and planned activities for 2010.

As hon. Members of this august House may know, the core function of the Judiciary include the following:

(i) administering justice through resolving disputes between individuals, individuals and private companies and or between the State and individuals;

(ii) interpreting the Constitution and the Laws of Zambia;

(iii) promoting the rule of law and contributing to the maintenance of law and order in society;

(iv) safeguarding the Constitution and upholding democratic principles; and

(v) protecting human rights of individuals and groups.

The above functions are executed through the existing court infrastructure, which includes the Supreme Court at the apex and followed by the High Court, Industrial Relations Court, subordinate or magistrate’s courts, small claims courts and local courts.

Madam Chairperson, with the available resources for 2009, the Supreme Court planned to hold ten sessions in Lusaka, Kabwe and Ndola. The High Court also planned to hold eighty-one sessions, covering all provincial capitals and Kitwe. So far, the sessions are on schedule.

The House may wish to know that in August, 2009, I officially launched the operations of the small claims courts which, at present, are fully operational in Lusaka and Ndola. The small claims courts take care of small claims of up to K20 million. The introduction of small claims courts is assisting in decongesting the mainstream courts and has proved to be quite popular. It is the Government’s intention to roll out these courts to all provincial centres and help the indigent population who might not afford the services of counsel.

Regarding the construction, the Judiciary embarked on the construction of Shang’ombo and Mansa Subordinate courts. Additionally, the following courts were constructed or rehabilitated in 2009, namely; Mungule Local Court in Central Province, Kafubu, Chililabombwe, Kalulushi and Shibuchinga Local courts on the Copperbelt and Chipalo Chikwanda and Nkula Local courts in the Northern Province.

In order to equip local court magistrates with knowledge on civil and criminal court procedures, human rights and the Judicial Code of Conduct among other topics, the Judiciary conducted training workshops for the local court magistrates in the Central and Northern provinces. These workshops are on going and will cover the whole country.

Madam Chairperson, timely disposal of cases remains a big challenge in the face of inadequate court infrastructure, equipment, qualified administrative staff and adjudicators. In my policy speech for the 2009 Budget, I informed this House that the Judiciary had a programme to build more court houses and to recruit and train more adjudicators. The shortage of court houses is more pronounced at the local court level.

In an effort to correct the situation, the Government has given priority to the construction of local courts in 2010 to 2012. In the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) document for 2010, about K33 billion has been ring fenced for the rehabilitation and construction of local courts countrywide. A similar figure is expected to be spent in 2011. With this increased spending on the rehabilitation and construction of local courts, it is expected that dispensation of justice will be enhanced.

Madam Chairperson, allow me to report on the computerisation of court operations. Early this year, I informed the House that the Judiciary had embarked on the computerisation of its court operations with financial and technical assistance from the Investment Climate Facility (ICF) for Africa. The first phase which runs from January to December, 2009, is on schedule. Requisite pieces of equipment for use in courts have been procured. Court reporters and information technology personnel have been recruited and are undergoing in-house training. In 2010, it is expected that 50 per cent of the court houses will be computerised. Computerisation of court operations will go a long way in improving the case disposal rate and general case management.

Madam Chairperson, as I conclude my statement, allow me to mention the obvious that the Judiciary, as one of the three arms of Government, needs the support of each one of us. If we want the Judiciary to deliver on its mission statement of providing effective and efficient delivery of justice in the country, we must give the Judiciary the tools to use in the delivery of justice. It is against this background that I urge this august House to support the 2010 Judiciary Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure to the tune of K162,752,648,014.

Madam Chairperson, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota (Livingstone): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for allowing me to join in the debate for this Vote. From the outset, I would like to state that I support the Vote for this ministry. I think it is important that we ensure that this important arm of the Government is given as much support as is necessary.

Madam Chairperson, I am glad that the construction of court buildings has been provided for in the budget. However, along with the construction of court buildings, there is a need to take into consideration the issue of accommodation for judicial officers.

Madam Chairperson, judicial officers find themselves staying in compounds and environments they should not stay in. We should insulate judicial officers and ensure that they live in the right kind of environment so that they mix with the right type of people and do not get their morals tempted with because of being in the wrong kind of environment.

Madam Chairperson, with the envisaged increase in the number of Judges, there will be deployment of some of them into provincial centres. It is important, therefore, that if they are going to be effective in their areas of deployment, other staff necessary for the smooth running of the courts must also be taken into account. There is, therefore, a need to ensure that legal aid offices, which are fully manned by qualified personnel, are set up in all provincial centres. The Attorney-General’s Chambers should also have offices in all provincial centres with the full complement. If we have Judges available at the provincial centres without legal aid counsels and state advocates, the courts will still not be able to function.

Madam Chairperson, it is time we looked into enhancing the quality of judgments from our courts. This can best be done by supplying our Judges and magistrates with qualified research officers. Every Judge and magistrate should have a qualified research assistant who will help to research the law so that the judgments that they deliver are of a high quality.

Madam Chairperson, it is unheard of in other jurisdictions for a Judge not to have assistants who research the law for them. It is high time we did that in Zambia and will see an enhancement in the quality of the judgments.

Madam Chairperson, the issue of computerisation, as spoken about, is a good thing. However, this is something that we hear is being done, every year, or that it is an on-going programme.

Madam, those of us who work in the court system have found that in spite of all the money that has been spent in the various computerisation programmes, we have not seen the benefit. It appears as if it is not well targeted or after the programme has been put in place, it has then been left to fall into disuse. The people who are supposed to utilise it to make the Judiciary more efficient do not seem to be able to utilise it. There is a need to set up an Information Technology (IT) Department in the Judiciary which will ensure that the computerisation achieves the set goals.

Madam Chairperson, in this day and age of modernisation, computerisation should not be the only introduction into our judicial system. We also need to allow for video tapping of proceedings. This would make it easier for the judges to review the evidence given in court. Having video tapped records of the events that go on in court would also help lawyers involved in the various cases. It would make it easier for them to prepare their final submissions and assess the cases. Again, this would help in enhancing the quality of the submissions from the lawyers and the quality of the judgments and rulings from the judges hearing cases.  This would be a worthwhile investment.

Madam, a long time ago, cameras were not allowed into the courtroom scenario because they were rather obtrusive.  They were loud and cranking and would make all kinds of noises. However, in the digital age, cameras do not make any noise at all and would not disturb the proceedings in the courts if video tapping were allowed. Also, in terms of lighting, years back, there would have been need for big bright lights. However, at the moment, even in this type of ambient light, you could have video tapping taking place which would not disturb anybody. It is high time we looked into this and perhaps introduced video tapping of proceedings.

Madam Chairperson, apart from helping Judges and lawyers, it also presents a historical store. There are certain cases which are of a historical nature and should be kept for that purpose.

Mr Mwenya: Like the Chiluba acquittal!

Mr Sikota: Video tapping would also help in that sense. I agree with the hon. Minister that we all should support the Judiciary. At the moment, we have seen a situation where the Judiciary is being attacked left, right and centre by everybody. Unfortunately, for the Judiciary, Judges and magistrates are not allowed by their etiquette, to go out in public and defend themselves when attacked. It is, therefore, necessary for the Executive arm of the Government to come to the defense of the Judiciary when it is under attack. The Executive is free to defend the Judiciary.

Madam Chairperson, it is also important for professional bodies such as the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) to come out in support of the Judiciary when it is under attack because once the confidence of the population in the Judiciary is eroded, that important section that holds together the fabric of society will break down. If people start to think that the Judiciary is corrupt or inept, they will start to use extra judicial means in order to resolve their disputes. Once you get into that kind of situation, your society degenerates at a quick pace. We all, therefore, have a duty to ensure that the respect of the Judiciary is kept and that we try to enhance it in every way.

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

Mr Kambwili: Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the debate on this Vote. I stand to support the vote on the Judiciary, but I would like to make the following comments.

Madam Speaker, it is saddening to look at the salary disparities between the Judges and magistrates. Judges and magistrates do almost the same job and, in my own view, magistrates do a lot because they are the people who deal with criminal cases. However, their salaries are extremely saddening. Today, Judges are comfortable while magistrates are still wallowing in poverty. It is disturbing to find a magistrate who has been handling a criminal case begging for beer at a club from the same people whose cases are before his court.


Mr Kambwili: Therefore, we have to provide money to pay better salaries to the magistrates just like we have provided for the Judges so that we make them comfortable.

With regard to the issue of housing allowance for magistrates, it is extremely risky for magistrates to live anyhow. I know of a certain magistrate who lives in a compound where you cannot expect a magistrate to live in because of the low housing allowance they are given. You must realise that these people deal with sophisticated criminals and need to live in residential areas where there is proper security.

Therefore, I would like to suggest that the Government rescinds its policy by paying rentals for the magistrates so that they remain in areas where they are expected to be. Otherwise, we put their lives at risk because they can be beaten by the criminals they send to jail.

Madam, I would also like to talk about the operations of the local courts. I have always said  in this House that we need to improve on the operations of the local courts. We need to train the local court magistrates so that they understand a bit of law because the cases they handle are of contract nature. Therefore, there is a need to capacity build by training them, at least, with a certificate in law.
Madam, with these few words, I thank you.

Dr Mwansa: Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to wind up debate on this very important Vote. I wish to thank the House for the overwhelming support and I pay tribute to each one of us in this House for this support.

Hon. Sikota, I am grateful for your contribution. Certainly, the construction of court houses must be accompanied by accommodation for judicial officers. Currently, all Judges are paid housing allowance and house rentals for subordinate court magistrates are paid for by the Judiciary as per their conditions of service. Further, all support staff receive housing allowance.

I agree with Hon. Sikota that the decentralisation of the Judiciary that we have envisaged requires accommodation as a long-term measure. Certainly, legal aid must follow decentralisation so that we can have all support services present at all provincial centres.

The introduction of research office cadre would be an important addition and it is an idea that is worth considering because it would enhance justice and quality service delivery in the Judiciary.

The proposal of video recording of court proceedings is a recent devise which may require further investigations, but it has been done successfully elsewhere and we can look into that to see how it can be applied here.

I thank Hon. Kambwili for his contribution and I would like to tell him that judges and magistrates have different training regimes that they undergo. Judges are more highly trained than magistrates and their training is more rigorous and extensive in terms of period and depth. However, I have heard your concern in terms of disparities of salaries and that can be looked at and the proposal is well received.

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

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

VOTE 18/01 – (Judiciary – Headquarters – K41,161,494,729).

Mr Kambwili: Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Unit 1, Programme 2, Activity 03 – Ceremonial Opening of Parliament – K67,213,930. I would like to find out what the cost component of this amount that we provide the Official Opening of Parliament is. This is because Judges just come to Parliament and go. What cost is incurred to amount to K67,213,930?

Secondly, under Unit 1, Programme 2, Activity 09 – House Rentals for Senior Management – K262,500,000, I thought that everybody in the Government was paid housing allowance. Why are we providing K262,500,000 for house rentals?

The Deputy Minister of Justice (Mr Chilembo): Madam Chairperson, the provision is required for the payment of allowances, fuel and accommodation to enable Judges outside Lusaka attend the Ceremonial Opening of the High Court and Parliament.

With regard to Activity 09, the provision will be required to meet the expenses of paying house rentals for adjudicators at the Judiciary Headquarters in Lusaka. The increase is a result of the rise in house rentals. Therefore, this provision is there for payment of house rentals.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Mukanga: Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Unit 1, Programme 2, Activity 06 – Monitoring of Construction and Rehabilitation – K3,000,000,000. What other activity is going to take place for us to spend K3,000,000,000, because this is a lot of money?

Secondly, Unit 1, Programme 2, Activity 07 – Integrity Committee – K21,000,000. What does the Integrity Committee do because I am not aware of it?

Madam Chairperson: The Integrity Committee does not seem to have a figure. Sorry, it has a figure.

Mr Chilembo: Madam Chairperson, the Monitoring of Construction, as we know, is a very professional activity. It is not a matter of anybody just inspecting. We have to hire professionals who have to do the inspections and that costs money.

I thank you, Madam.

Madam Chairperson: What about Unit 1, Programme 2, Activity 07 – Integrity Committee?

 Mr Chilembo: Madam Chairperson, the provision will be required to meet administrative expenses for the Integrity Committee established by the Anti-Corruption Commission.

Obviously, when we talk about integrity, we are talking about good practices and the issues of fighting corruption.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Madam Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 2, Activity 09 ─ House Rentals for Senior Management − K262,500,000. The hon. Minister has stated that these housing allowances are paid for adjudicators. In my own understanding of English, adjudicators are Judges and Magistrates and I know for sure that they are paid housing allowance as provided for under Unit 1, Programme 1, Activity 07  ─ Housing Allowances  ─  K4,560,000,000. Hon. Minister, may we know who you are paying this other housing allowance for because K262,500,000 is a colossal sum of money.

Mr Chilembo: Madam Chairperson, as I said, the provision will be required to meet the expenses of paying housing rentals for adjudicators at the Judiciary Headquarters in Lusaka. The increase is due to rising housing rentals. This is the position and not what the hon. Member is saying.

I thank you, Madam.

Vote 18/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 18/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 18/03 – (Judiciary ─ High Court ─ K3,270,225,938).

Ms Kapata: Madam Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 2, Activity 01 ─ Women’s Day Celebration and Activity 05 ─ Labour Day Celebration, where we do not seem to have an allocation this year. What is going to happen to these activities?

Mr Chilembo: Madam Chairperson, these activities will be taken care of by the headquarters.

I thank you, Madam.

Vote 18/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


The Chairperson: Order! When people sit in the House like they are in some village house with such freedom and speak freely, it does not show that we are taking the work we are doing very seriously. There is one fundamental purpose for which we are gathered here and, therefore, can we all please pay attention. The people out there are listening to us.

Vote 18/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 18/05  ─ (Judiciary ─ Local Courts  ─ K7,746,748,728).

Mr Mukanga: Madam Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 10, Activity 01 ─ HIV/AIDS awareness. This year, there is no provision, but last year, we had a provision of K45 814, 503. What is happening with the fight against HIV/AIDS?

Mr Chilembo: Madam Chairperson, this activity will be taken care of by the headquarters.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Vote 18/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 18/06 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 18/07  ─ (Judiciary ─ Sheriff of Zambia ─ K1,378,231,607).

Dr Machungwa: Madam Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 2, Activity 03 ─ Inspection and Tours ─ K48,000,000. Can we have clarification on what these inspection and tours are?

Mr Chilembo: Madam Chairperson, the provision will be required to meet the cost of allowances, accommodation, petrol, oil, lubricants and other services to facilitate the inspection and tours during the year.

I thank you, Madam.

Vote 18/07 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 18/08 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 18/10 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 18/11 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 18/12 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 18/13 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 18/14 ─ (Judiciary ─ Subordinate Courts ─ Central Province ─ K1,482,258,659).

Mr Kambwili:  Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 2, Activity 02 ─ Magistrates House Rentals ─ 105,000,000. I would like to find out why magistrates have their house rentals paid for magistrates when they get housing allowance.

Mr Chilembo: Madam Chairperson, the answer remains the same. The provision will be required to cater for rentals for the magistrates. Unless the hon. Member has contrary evidence, this is the position.

 I thank you, Madam.

Mr Kambwili: Madam Chairperson, we all know that the conditions of service for magistrates entail that they are paid housing allowance. Why is the hon. Minister insisting that I have a different position? It is he who is supposed to explain to us why magistrates get housing allowance when their rentals are paid for. Where are you taking this money? Can you tell us which magistrates you are targeting?

Mr Chilembo: Madam Chairperson, this is a policy issue. Rentals for magistrates are paid for. This is our response. We cannot change the policy. There are some magistrates, of course, who are not accommodated, but are paying rentals. These are the ones that get housing allowance. This applies to those that own houses as well. This is how it works. If you have your own house, you also get housing allowance.
Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

The Chairperson: Order! I think that it is important that we read the book a bit more thoroughly so that when we ask a question we can pin point the specifics and make comparisons. Sometimes, it is not easy to follow. However, any further debate?

 Mr Kambwili: Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister has indicated that whether the magistrates have their own houses or not, their rentals are paid for. The hon. Minister is not convincing. May I know how many of these magistrates are being targeted? This is a budget we are approving and we must know where the State resources are going. Do not be arrogant when answering questions.


The Chairperson: Order! Simply ask your question. The decision of arrogance is not for you to determine. Maybe if you read through this entire …

Mr Kambwili: That is why I ask questions because I read it.

The Chairperson: Order! Do you want guidance or answers? If you know it all, then we can move on. I am guiding you because, maybe, it can help. If you look at the expenditure for Subordinate Courts ─ Central Province, there are no rentals reflected anywhere. Whether the rentals are paid through salaries or not is what we need clarification on.


The Chairperson: Order! We may need to know whether the rentals are paid through salaries or are as has already been stated. This is why I am saying we should read and analyse this particular page.

Dr Mwansa: Madam Chairperson, as a matter of emphasis, rentals are paid by the Judiciary for magistrates who occupy rented accommodation as well as those who own houses, but not those accommodated in Government quarters.

I thank you, Madam.

Vote 18/14 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 18/15 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 18/16 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

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

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

Vote 18/19 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 18/20 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 18/21 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 18/22 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 18/23 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 18/24 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 18/25 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 18/26 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 18/27 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 18/28 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 18/29 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 18/30 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 18/31 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


The Chairperson: Order!

Sometimes, when you speak so loudly and the noise filters into my ear, it is not easy for me to concentrate. If you want to talk to each other, lower your voices.

Vote 18/32 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 18/33 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: Order!

Before we proceed, I have to remind this Committee of Supply that Head 20 and Head 29 will be debated together in the general policy debate.

VOTE 20 and 29 − ( Loans and Investment – Local Government and Housing – K551,423,078,791 and Ministry of Local Government and Housing – K298,509,774,488).

The Minister of Livestock and Fisheries Development (Mr Machila) (on behalf of the Minister of Local Government and Housing: Madam Chairperson, let me thank you for according me this rare opportunity to present the Ministry of Local Government and Housing policy statement on the 2010 Budget.

The ministry plays a critical role in the promotion of the socio-economic development of this country as given in the mission statement which is ‘Promoting a decentralised and democratic local government system and facilitating the provision of efficient and effective delivery of quality housing, infrastructure and social services by local authorities and other stakeholders for sustainable development.’ The ministry shall endeavour to live up to this statement as these services are the foundation for an improved quality of life in our communities.

In the 2010 Budget, the ministry shall continue to accelerate the implementation of on-going programmes and projects that add value to the principles of good local governance and infrastructure development.

Madam Chairperson, the ministry is composed of the following seven departments:

(i) human Resource and Administration;

(ii) local government Administration;

(iii) Infrastructure and Support Services;

(iv) Government Valuation;

(v) house of Chiefs;

(vi) decentralisation Secretariat; and

(vii) physical Planning and Housing.

These departments implement various programmes and activities as outlined in the 2010 Budget in order for the ministry to achieve its intended objectives.

Madam Chairperson, in addition to the departments above, the ministry is also in charge of the following statutory bodies and institutions:

(i) Local Government Training Institute at Chalimbana;

(ii) Gwembe District Special Fund (in dissolution);

(iii) National Housing Authority;

(iv) National Fire Services Training School;

(v) Local Authorities Superannuation Fund;

(vi) Provincial Liquor Licensing Boards; and

(vii) Provincial Local Government Appeals Boards.

Madam Chairperson, allow me to briefly outline the performance of the 2009 budget for Heads 29 and 20. Out of K256,856,684,836 budgeted in 2009, under Head 29, the ministry has, so far, received K172,415,320,831 representing 67 per cent. Under Head 20, we budgeted for K82,107,206,673 out of which K39,691,695,729 has been released representing 48 per cent.

Madam Chairperson, this enabled the ministry to achieve, among others, the following:

(i) the launch of the HIV/AIDS Workplace Policy;

(ii) successfully hold sensitisation and stakeholders workshops in the Southern, Eastern, Northern, and Central provinces;

(iii) revised the legislation related to Spatial Planning by reviewing the Town and Country Planning Act and the Housing (Statutory and Improvement Areas) Act;

(iv) prepared Integrated Development Plans (IDPs) for Livingstone, Lusaka, Ndola, Luanshya and Lumwana;

(v) completed the installation of equipment for Wide Area Networks for thirty-one sites (council and provincial Local Government offices);

(vii) implemented capacity building for decentralisation, that is training of various stakeholders within the council areas and at sub-district levels;

(viii) a total of sixty-two councils were audited up to December, 2007. The target for next year, 2010, is to audit books of accounts of all the seventy-two councils in the country up to December, 2008;

(ix) the recurrent grant was disbursed to all the fifty-four district councils for their operations. There is a balance of K40 billion to be released. Next year, an amount of K55 billion has been budgeted for;

(x) restructuring grants for councils were disbursed to Lusaka, Ndola and Kitwe City councils to pay off outstanding retirement benefits to former council employees;

(xi) disbursed grants in lieu of rates to the councils;

(xii) disbursed the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to all the constituencies;

(xiii) completed the Rural Water Supply Project in North-Western Province with the support of the German Government;

(xiv) completed the rehabilitation of three community roads in Lufwanyama District;

(xv) facilitated the preparation of seventeen valuation rolls in the councils and continued to service the Rating Tribunal;

(xvi) carried out consultancy services in real estates in 200 current market valuation and 400 general cases;

(xvii) during the year under review, the House of Chiefs successfully held one session in May, 2009. The elections for the new House of Chiefs members were also successfully held;

(xviii) the House of Chiefs and Chiefs Affairs Department continued to resolve succession disputes in eight chiefdoms;

(xix) the ministry processed six recognitions of chiefs and one withdrawal of recognition;

(xx) further resolved two boundary disputes; and

(xxi) purchased and distributed, for chiefs, 192 vehicles with ninety-four vehicles to be purchased from funds to be released.

Madam Chairperson, the 2010 budget for Head 29 – Ministry of Local Government and Housing stands at K284,181,363,368, representing an increase of eleven per cent over the 2009 budget which was K256,850,684,836, out of which K7,524,476,520 is for Personal Emoluments while non-Personal Emoluments stand at K276,637,686,848.

The budget for Head 20 – Loans and Investments stands at K551,423,078,791, out of which K465,793,297,678 is from our co-operating partners and K78,033,781,113 is Government counterpart contribution.

Madam Chairperson, this Government’s vision on decentralisation is to achieve a fully decentralised and democratically elected system of governance characterised by open, predictable and transparent policy-making and implementation processes, the effective participation in decision making, development and administration of the local affairs while maintaining linkages between the centre and the periphery. In this vision, the Government has committed itself to improving service provision at points of delivery and enhancing the participation of citizens in matters of development.

Therefore, in the 2010 Budget, the ministry will continue with its on-going programmes with focus being on:

(i) drilling of boreholes in the western parts of the Southern and Lusaka provinces with help from the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA);

(ii) Urban Water Supply Improvement Project in eight centres in Central Province is on going with support from the African Development Bank’s African Development Fund;

(iii) drilling of boreholes in the Luapula Province with support from the Japanese International Co-operation Agency (JICA) is on going;

(iv) improvement of water supply in Lusaka under Lusaka Water and Sewerage has begun;

(v) sensitise the public on issues of cleanliness and hygiene under the Make Zambia Clean and Healthy Programme;

(vi) operations and maintenance of boreholes throughout the districts;

(vii) construction and rehabilitation of Urban Markets in Lusaka, Kitwe and Ndola with support from the European Union (EU);

(viii) construction of low cost houses in selected ten districts in all provinces;

(ix) disbursement of recurrent and other grants to councils;

(x) disbursement of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF); and

(xi) developing fiscal decentralisation as a way of improving budgetary allocation to the sub-national levels.

As seen from the ministry’s 2010 budget, the Government’s commitment to decentralisation has continued to grow. Under Head 29, Government funding to decentralisation has risen from K2.03 billion in 2009 to K2.64 billion in 2010. This is an increase of 30 per cent. Government allocation to decentralisation is expected to significantly improve in future budgets.

Madam Chairperson, in recognition of the much available goodwill from a number of co-operating partners who intend to support the Government in this process, the ministry will undertake resource mobilisation to facilitate timely implementation of activities which will be falling due under the 2010 Annual Work Plan. In doing this, it is hoped that the ministry will reduce the financing gap for the Decentralisation Implementation Plan (DIP).

In conclusion, Madam Chairperson, allow me to conclude by indicating that the 2010 Budget submission is in line with the Ministry of Finance and National Planning’s Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) 2010/2012 requirements, the ministry’s strategic plan 2007/2011 and, indeed, the Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP) 2005/2010.

Madam Chairperson, I know only too well that there are equally other national demands on allocated funds, but it is my sincere appeal and desire that more funding is provided as there is no other better and closer link to the people than a vehicle that can take development to the people and, in turn, improve their standard of living, than the Ministry Local Government and Housing. The ministry is in charge of seventy-two local authorities, 286 chiefs and thousands of villages. There is a challenging task to deliver goods and services to all its clientele and this can be realised if adequate resources are provided from both the Government and, indeed, the co-operating partners.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Madam Chairperson, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for his policy statement delivery in which he emphasised what he views as the Government’s desire to heighten decentralisation. However, in figure terms, it may show that the Government is committed to decentralising the operations of councils but, in practical terms, the matter is otherwise, according to my own translation in my mind, because I would like to give you quick examples of how I think that the Decentralisation Policy is actually diminishing rather than escalating.

It has only been two months since the MMD Government decided to remove the crop levy which was a source of revenue to a few district and municipal councils for sustenance.

Madam Chairperson, in Mazabuka District, we have three constituencies which are predominantly farming constituencies.

I must reiterate what I mentioned, here, before that Mazabuka District collected in excess of K1.9 billion in crop levy per annum. The act of removing the crop levy has left most district and municipality councils dislocated in their operations to the extent that Mazabuka District Council, for the first time in five years, has failed to pay salaries and wages to its workers. What that means is that more than 200 people have not received their remunerations for the work they have done for the council and thanks to this Government for removing the crop levy. Well done ladies and gentlemen for allowing those people in Mazabuka to start suffering. We have made earnest appeals to His Honour the Vice-President and his team that they re-look at the issue of crop levy because it is going to bring untold suffering to many citizens. What this will culminate into is that our council officers will be left with no option, but to engage into undesirable vices such as corruption in order to make their ends meet.

We know that a council like Solwezi District Council is on record as being poorly managed in this country and it is because of this that vices of corruption vis-à-vis selling of land illegally were most prominent there. As such, this led to the withdrawal of the agentship by the then Minister of Local Government and Housing, who was the area Member of Parliament at that time, Hon. Ben Tetamashimba, may his soul rest in peace.

Madam Chairperson, the Government has not been very clear whether it is only crop levy that it removed from councils to autonomously deal with their revenue generation. We have in my district sand levy, cattle levy, fish levy, but the Government has not been clear whether it has also decided to abandon these. What we have seen now is that not only will the councils fail to pay emoluments or remuneration to their workers, but they will fail to deliver in terms of improvement of infrastructure, water and sanitation and solid waste management and they will also fail to do just the basic requirements of any civic responsibility.

Madam Chairperson, I would like to end by asking the hon. Acting Minister that there is absolutely nothing wrong in changing one’s mind when they realise that an error has occurred in terms of the decisions that are made.
I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Mr Chongo (Mwense): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on this Vote.

Madam Chairperson, from the outset, I want to say that the Ministry of Local Government and Housing has been very disappointing and I have reasons for saying so. Local governance is very important and we need to start from the local level because that is when we can create a good platform upon which the Central Government can operate, without which, we will be labouring in vain.

Madam Chairperson, there are a number of issues happening in many district councils, many of which are taken to the attention of the technocrats in the ministry. However, it is surprising to note that no action is taken to correct those complaints that are coming from various stakeholders. I am a councillor in Mwense District and you may wish to know that the council meetings need to be called, at least, every after three months. The period I have been hon. Member of Parliament and councillor, I have only attended a meeting once. This is not because I do not want to attend these council meetings, but because the council management, probably, decides to ignore to call hon. Members for meetings because they realise that they are a lot of issues they are trying to cover up.

Madam Chairperson, they only inform hon. Members on what is going on when they are pushed so much. Last time the then hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mrs Masebo) gave an instruction that all council meetings be done on Mondays to enable hon. Members of Parliament to attend them, but they do not do that and when they are pushed so much, they would rather send text messages to hon. Members on a Sunday to indicate that there will be a meeting the following day, and yet they know fully well that it would be impossible for hon. Members to attend. I have a number of times talked about this issue and I have also gone to the ministry to complain about it, but nothing appears to be done.

 Madam Chairperson, I now want to talk about the usage of constituency development fund (CDF) and the guidelines pertaining to the same. We have been disappointed on the implementation of the same programme and to that effect, the ministry has been contemplating putting new guidelines in place. I had the opportunity to look at what they are suggesting, for instance just a few months ago, there was a ministerial statement in this House where the then hon. Minister of …

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

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Muntanga: Madam Chairperson, are the two Members, Hon. Mpombo and Hon. Mike Mulongoti in order to show friendship in this House when to the outside world they show that they are at loggerheads? Are they in order to continuously chat from the seat of Hon. Masebo and dupe us by indicating that they are friends? Are they in order?


The Chairperson: Order! One would think that this is the expected behaviour of this House and in the nation.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: It is better for people to differ on principle, but they should remain Zambians and brothers. That is a good example for the House.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: They can quarrel out there, but, here, they are hon. Members of the Parliament of Zambia.

Will the hon. Member continue, please.

Mr Chongo: Madam Chairperson, I was saying that the late hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing …

The Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

 the Chair]

Mr Chongo: Mr Chairperson, before business was suspended, I was saying that the late Minister of Local Government and Housing, early this year, gave a directive, through a ministerial statement, in here, that the 10 per cent allocation out of the CDF that was going to the councils for monitoring should be reversed and instead he suggested a figure of only K20 million. It is surprising that in the new guidelines that the ministry is putting in place, it has reverted to the old system that requires that 10 per cent is given back to the councils which is very disappointing.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chongo: Mr Chairperson, the other thing is on the CDF. You may wish to know that the essence of introducing the CDF was aimed at uplifting the standards of the poor people in our communities. Even as we use part of this money to put up infrastructure such as schools and markets, we need, in a way, to ensure that these projects have a direct benefit to the people. That is, by way of encouraging the community mode of constructing this infrastructure and not where we just have to give everything to well established contractors. We have small projects like putting up shelters, toilets and roads and surely, we need to engage the people so that they also participate and take something out of it at the same time. However, they are being denied this in preference of the established contractors. At the end of the day, these contractors do not even go to those projects. They end up engaging the same poor people and pay them poorly. Therefore, we need to deliberately empower the community by identifying certain projects that we feel can be done by them so that we empower them. So, I would like the hon. Minister to look into that.

Madam Chairperson, on the Monitoring Fund, unless the 10 per cent I talked about is used for its intended purpose elsewhere, but where I come from, I do not see how this money is working effectively. This money, in a way, only ends up helping the councils, probably, to settle the wage arrears that they have. They do not even undertake any kind of monitoring exercise. The hon. Members of Parliament and their staff end up taking their own resources and time to monitor and push the contractors whom councils have engaged, and yet they are just so busy with other things. In the meantime, they withdraw the monies and use it on other projects without undertaking any monitoring exercise. Therefore, I would suggest to the ministry that if they stick to the 10 per cent, let it be just that. At least, half of that amount of money, maybe, should remain in the constituency office where our officers, whom we send with our resources, can use it to buy fuel so that they can start monitoring these projects because the councils have failed.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chongo: Mr Chairperson, the other thing I would like to talk about is basically the appeal finally to the ministry. When we bring the complaints to your ministries, it should not be seen like we hate those officers who are running the councils. Many times we go there as hon. Members of Parliament, because these officers in Lusaka do not even care to make follow-ups to what is complained about. In the end, the people complaining start feeling like they are just being unfair to the officers. At the end of the day, one will stop complaining and the people are the ones who suffer. Therefore, it is my earnest appeal to the Government to take these issues that we bring seriously.

Mr Chairperson, I would also like to say to the hon. Minister that it is the responsibility of the hon. Minister also to protect our traditional leadership, our chiefs. We should not leave our chiefs susceptible to intimidation and insults by those misplaced people who have ultra motives. Please, I want to appeal to the hon. Minister to provide the protection our chiefs need. We also need to understand that our chiefs have a responsibility to know that the people whom they are superintending over conduct themselves in a good manner. If we bring a culture of insults and fighting, it is the responsibility of that particular chief to protect his subjects.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Chongo: Even where he wants to say, “I do not want this particular person in my chiefdom,” as these chiefs have those powers, they need not to be intimidated and this must be made clear to those people who want to intimidate our chiefs.

I thank you, Sir.

The Minister of Science, Technology and Vocational Training (Mr Namulambe): Thank you, Mr Chairperson, for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the Vote and I support it in totality.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Namulambe: Mr Chairperson, there has been an issue of the officers hiding dates for council meetings. By law, it is true that we are supposed to have council meetings, at least, once after three months, that is, four times a year. For the municipal councils, because of the business, they hold their meetings, at least, monthly, but by law it is supposed to be, at least, once per quarter. It is also the duty of us, as Members of Parliament, to attend these council meetings.

Mr Chairperson, however, it is not true to suggest that officers hide the dates of meetings for both the committee and councils meetings. This is because every year, the councils approve the calendar of meetings for both the committees and council meetings and each Member of Parliament who is a councillor is in possession of a copy of the approved schedule for the calendar of meetings. If there is any change of the date of the meeting, the councillors are notified accordingly. It should also be the responsibility of us as Members …

Mr Chongo: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Chongo: Mr Chairperson, I was debating here indicating the problems that we are encountering in our respective councils. It is my duty, as a Member of Parliament, to bring those concerns to the fore. Is it in order for the hon. Minister to dispute this when he should also know that the calendar could be there, but those meetings can be postponed to some other dates?

The Deputy Chairperson: No, that point of order Hon. Chongo is not in order. When you were debating, you expressed your views and opinion and the hon. Minister also has the right to express his views. Therefore, let us not reject each others from contributing.

Hon. Minister, can you continue, please.

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

Mr Namulambe: Mr Chairperson, if there is a change in the date of a council or committee meeting, councillors are notified accordingly. It is also the duty of those of us in Lusaka to consult our officials in councils where we are members to find if there are changes in meeting dates or not.  We have to be concerned enough to confirm meeting dates or any changes with regard to council meetings. Doing so would help communication between hon. Members and their council officials.  As we visit our constituencies, it is also important that we interact with these officials to be appraised on the many issues that are taking place in the various districts.

Mr Chairperson, as regards the issue of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), I was happy, yesterday, to read on page 2 of the Times of Zambia that about forty-eight councils may not get the CDF allocation, next year, because they have failed to account for the funds they were given this year.

Hon. Opposition Members interjected.

Mr Namulambe: This shows that we do not seem to be concerned with the funds when they are sent to our councils. It is our duty as hon. Members of Parliament to ensure that when the CDF is disbursed to respective constituencies, it is utilised properly by monitoring the various projects being undertaken. I do not think it is right for the Ministry of Finance and National Planning to, again, give us more money when we have failed to account for what we were previously given. Therefore, this should be a warning or even an encouragement to those people who are failing to utilise the CDF properly.

I also want to state that the CDF helps our communities very much. It is important that when we are disbursing the funds, we ensure that they are not fragmented into doing many projects at once. For instance, if there are twenty wards in a particular constituency, it does not mean that every ward should get a share every year. We should make sure that projects are undertaken systematically. That way, we are going to see that these funds are used for the benefit of our people.

As regards the issue of contracts, I would like to agree with the sentiments of the hon. Member of Parliament for Mwense. However, it is also our duty to ensure that when we approve projects, we insist on contractors not providing the labour component because this results in contractors making huge mark-ups.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Namulambe: We should instead employ our constituents to provide the labour so that we do not lose out by paying more to contractors.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Namulambe: If we engage the local people directly, we may be able to do wonders from the little resources we have and avoid the additional cost that go to contractors as profits.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Namulambe: Mr Chairperson, I think there is a district planning committee in every district to monitor with the CDF and other projects. This committee comes up with reports. It is the duty of hon. Members of Parliament to ensure that we secure copies of the monitoring reports from these offices. I have a very effective office assistant in my constituency who makes sure that all the monitoring reports are availed to me. I go through the reports so as to help me when I am going round the constituency to ensure that what has been reported is actually true. Some people are very good at just writing desk reports and if an hon. Member does not read these reports, he or she will not know that the officials in the committees, sometimes, are not telling the truth in those reports.

Hon. Opposition Members: So, they lie.

Mr Namulambe: However, if you read the reports and verify what is written, the district planning committees will be aware of you and you will see that we will be putting the public resources to good use.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank this Government for purchasing vehicles for our traditional leaders because chiefs are now able to move in their areas and help us get information on the needs of the people in their respective areas. The chiefs’ mobility has also helped us monitor projects that are taking place in our respective areas.

Mr Chairperson, let me conclude by advising some elders whose culture has now changed. It was a taboo and still is to quarrel with a chief. However, it has become a norm to insult chiefs in the press. I think that is becoming very unreasonable on the part of these people who are doing it.

Mr V. Mwale: Hear, hear!

Mr Namulambe: I think it is important for the elders who have developed this culture of insulting our chiefs to stop it …

Ms Siliya: Which ones?

Mr Namulambe: … because our chiefs are the custodians of all our traditions and as such, …

Ms Siliya: Name the elders.

Mr Namulambe: … they need to be respected. Our chiefs have always been very supportive. It is not right that if a chief is not supporting a particular political party’s manoeuvres, the chief is labeled bad and called good if they are in support. Chiefs need to be accorded the respect they deserve because if the elders we are reading about in newspapers continue with the culture of insulting chiefs, I do not know where they are going to lead us the younger ones.

I respect my chiefs and will not support those elders who continue to insult them. For now, let us learn to respect elders in whatever form. Let us learn to be respectful to all people who are in leadership, be it the President or the others. It is not right to start calling these people names.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kapata (Mandevu): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the debate on the Vote on the Floor of the House.

First of all, I would like to make a few comments on the issue of chiefs. Chiefs have become political and are now siding with certain parties. So, if chiefs want to be respected, they should not get into the firing range where bullets are flying.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kapata: Once chief gets into the firing range, bullets will hit them.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kapata: I am Lunda and where I come from, our association just gave a statement advising the chiefs not to be part and parcel of the campaigns that are going on, at the moment, in Solwezi and they have kept away. So, for those chiefs who want to take part in the campaigns, bullets will get them when we fire.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Kapata: Yes, I am talking about political bullets. Chiefs of nowadays have become partisan. From 1991, Zambia’s history is that we became a multi-party country and, therefore, we do not want to see chiefs siding with certain political parties when it is election or by-election time. Chiefs should not participate in politics.

Mr Muntanga interjected.

Ms Kapata: I want to take this opportunity to thank the Lunda Cultural Association for having cautioned the Lunda chiefs against coming into the political arena because where we come from, chiefs are respected. We go to the palace to give homage by kneeling before the chief, unlike bringing a chief at a rally and parading him or her in front of other people.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kapata: I want to tell those who are parading chiefs to stop doing this. We are all aware that a chief has no say over the subjects in terms of voting. The subjects have a right to vote for whoever they want because Zambia has since become a multi-party country.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kapata: Mr Chairperson, the people of Mazyopa have been out of their homes for the past two years, and yet we have the Ministry of  Local Government and Housings in place and a Government in power. I have written letters and moved from one office to the other asking for assistance. As I am speaking now, the people of Mazyopa are still living in tents.

Sir, I have since found land for them, but as you may wish to note, even to ask this Government to grade the roads for the people of Mazyopa is a problem. The Government has not been able to work on those roads. This has really disappointed me because the Ministry of Local Government and Housing that is mandated to give us these amenities that I am talking about has failed to do so.

Mr Muntanga: He is seated next to you.

Ms Kapata: Mr Chairperson, the Ministry of Local Government and Housing also has a lot of control especially on the Lusaka City Council (LCC). It has gone to an extent of controlling Lusaka City Council such that it cannot function on its own as the hon. Minister interferes in many of its activities. At one time, the ministry got K2.1 billion from the LCC to use in the removal of vendors without passing through a council meeting at the council.

Mr Muntanga: That is theft!

Ms Kapata: Sir, we need that money to be given back to the LCC because I feel that it can do a lot of works for our people, for instance, working on our roads and everything else that we need to do within the city.

Sir, the money that the Government has given us in form of the CDF is not enough. We need it to be increased and if possible to K1 billion. I am saying so because this is the only money an ordinary Zambian gets to benefit from. It is also the only money that trickles down to the grassroots and the only money that, as an Opposition leader, I have to give to the people of Mandevu. Hence, the Government should see to it that this money is increased.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kapata: With these few words, I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for according me the opportunity to debate the Vote pertaining to the Ministry of Local Government and Housing.

Sir, as I support this Vote, I would like to tag on the sentiments that have been expressed by my colleague, Hon. Nkombo, Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central. We are all aware that the Government, through the President, made the pronouncement that it was going to ban crop levies in the country and that it shall proceed to fund councils by way of grants. It is right to state that the Government of the Republic of Zambia has been failing to fund the local government system in this country. We are all aware that since 1991, the local government system has been on its knees and that even those who are independent of wisdom and are commenting from that side are aware that the local government system is not functioning properly.

It is important to note that there is no single council in this country that is functioning effectively or that is able to stand on its own without funding.

Mr Chairperson, I have noted that some people are just old in age, but in terms of wisdom they are very young, hence the comments that are being put accross.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! We know them!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, what I am talking about is a fact.

Mr Muntanga: Bene Mufalali.

Mr Mwiimbu: I would like to state without fear of any contradiction that the local government system in this country has collapsed.


Mr Mwiimbu: It is a fact. Unless you are not a councilor, but a nominated hon. Member of Parliament who does not sit in this council …

Mr Muntanga: Like Mike Mulongoti!

Mr Mwiimbu: … and cannot realise that there is no service provision being provided for by councils. It is not the fault of the councils, but the policies of the Government that have denied funding to local authorities. Why is it that before 1974 most of the councils in this country were performing and were able to provide services? All councils in the country, at that time, were able to pay salaries. Currently, 90 per cent of the councils in this country are in arrears in terms of salaries.

Mr Syakalima: And heavily indebted!

Mr Mwiimbu: Are you suggesting that all these councils are poorly managed? The answer is “no”. It is the same people who were managing councils in the 1970s who are still there. It is same guidelines that were given to manage councils that they are still being used. We should be asking ourselves why these councils have collapsed. They have collapsed because of the policies which are whacked. We should all realise that the local government system is the Government that is nearest to the people which is supposed to be providing services to them. Unfortunately, there is no council that can be proud to state that it is providing the requisite services to the people. The reason is obvious, it is lack of funding. We are being told year in and year out that the Government is going to provide funding to the local government system, but nothing is being provided.

I can assure you colleagues that the government that will be able to rectify the maladies that are in the local government system will not be voted out of power.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Fortunately, we are aware of that government which is coming very soon and we shall ensure that the local government system is improved. We shall ensure that the local government system is provided with the requisite funding so that it can provide the services to the people which this Government has failed to provide. Last week, arising from the statement that was made by His Excellency the President, the hon. Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing, Hon. Musosha, made a pronouncement on radio that the councils were collecting levies illegally. Is he not aware that these levies were created as a result of by-laws that were approved by his ministry and that some of these levies were approved through regulations and statutory instruments? He should also note that for as long as these by-laws are not revoked, they are still operational and that it is legal for these local authorities to collect levies.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: If they want the local authorities to stop collecting the levies, let us pass the necessary legislation.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! Not just an announcment.

Mr Mwiimbu: Anyway, we have noted that we no longer have in place a Government of laws, but that of men. That is why they want to be making those pronouncements.

Mr Chairperson, we should realise that for any investment to take place in any given country, we need an enabling environment to be obtaining.

Mr Muntanga: A government good for nothing.

Mr Mwiimbu: Do you honestly think that any sane tourist can come to a country where squalor and cholera is an annual ceremony which is a danger to their lives? He will say no. Unless we provide good services such as roads, a drainage system and all the requisites of a good local government system, Zambia will never develop, hon. colleagues.

It is my humble submission that the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, which is one of the anchor ministries, be financed if any development has to take place in this country, but alas the MMD Government does not realise the importance of the Local Government system. We are all aware that the rainy season has started. If one drove around Lusaka, they would notice the squalor and filth and this is as a result of the breakdown in the local government system.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: We should not be pointing fingers at officials.

Hon. UPND Members: No!

Mr Mwiimbu: We should not. If the Government provides the requisite funding, services will be provided, but this is not being done.

Mr Chairperson, on the issue of the CDF, we are all aware that this is the only non-discriminatory funding that goes to all the constituencies in Zambia. In fact, most of the hon. Members have used this money prudently for the benefit of their people.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: It is our humble appeal, Mr Chairperson, that this CDF be increased. The CDF goes to the rehabilitation of schools, clinics and roads in our constituencies. If this money is increased to a meager K1 billion, it will go a long way to improve the standard of living of our people. I note that Hon. Cifire is very happy with this sentiment I have made. I think she supports me.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, I would like to urge the hon. Minister of Finance of National Planning to seriously consider increasing the CDF.

Finally, I would like to talk about the issue of taking development to areas where there are by-elections. We are all aware that the people of Zambia deserve development, but why is it that money for development is only taken to areas where there are by-elections? Does the Government want us to resign and stand after four months so that development can be taken to our places? We can do that. With development that will be given, we will win. Mr Chairperson, you are also aware of this. Sorry, Mr Chairperson.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, I withdraw that remark. I would like to appeal to the Government to take development to all areas even if there are no by-elections taking place. I am aware that billions of kwacha have been released to Solwezi…

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

 So far, your debate, I think, has been in line and, so, I urge you to stick to the issue on the Floor of the House.

You may continue.

Mr Mwiimbu: Sir, I will talk about one big council in a certain province where they recently took money without following the procedures. That money has not been budgeted for. My plea is that as we develop these other areas, we need development in Shang’ombo and Chama where there are no by-elections without any discrimination. I must also mention that they are crying for development in Keembe.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

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

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Chairperson, I rarely rise on a…


Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: …point of order. Is the hon. Member for Monze Central, who is my nephew, in order to talk about Keembe when I am listening to him attentively? In fact, he has made many mistakes in his debate. Is he in order to talk about Keembe where there is a lot of development just like in Monze Constituency?

The Deputy Chairperson: Since he is your nephew and you need money in your constituency, I think you can live with that.

The hon. Member for Monze Central may continue.

Mr Mwiimbu: Thank you, Sir. I did not talk about Keembe Constituency, but Keembe which is also in Monze.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, finally, I would like to talk about the issue of chiefs. We are all agreeable here that chiefs deserve the respect and dignity of their offices. However, if we continue abusing the chiefs politically as my learned friend, Hon. Jean Kapata, mentioned, then…

Hon. Members: Is she your friend?

Mr Mwiimbu: She is.


Mr Mwiimbu: … then we will be exposing our chiefs, Mr Chairperson. I beg all of us to respect and give the dignity the chieftainships deserve. However, if we parade and abuse the chiefs by asking them to make pronouncements against certain individuals and subjects, the subjects have a constitutional right to reply. When they do this, do not accuse them of abusing the chiefs because they will just exercise their rights. Our colleagues on your right, Mr Chairperson, have a tendency…

Mr Syakalima: Perpetually.

Mr Mwiimbu: … to perpetually, I hear, parade chiefs even inducing them to make certain statements in their favour which is not in the interest of the chieftainships. This should be stopped because it is not in the interest of this country.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Thank you very much, Mr Chairperson. I rise to add my voice to this very important Vote on the Ministry of Local Government and Housing.

Mr Chairperson, from the onset, I would like to support the budget for the Ministry of Local Government and Housing. Having gone through most of the departmental heads under the ministry, I want to commend the hon. Minister and his team for a good budget. I noticed that most of the programmes have continued and this pleases me, being a former Minister of Local Government and Housing.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: I note that the Urban and Rural Water Supply Programme has been well funded in this year’s budget compared to last year. I also noticed, with happiness, that the Make Zambia Clean and Healthy Programme is still getting serious attention from the ministry.

Having made these positive statements, let me get to the real issues at hand. I agree with most of the speakers that spoke before me that the local government system in Zambia continues to face critical problems at the centre of which is funding.

Mr Chairperson, the hon. Minister in his policy statement said that only 47 per cent of the ministry’s 2009 Budget allocation has been released so far. 

Mr Chairperson, this is against the background that this is a ministry that is responsible for critical services such as water supply, garbage collection, street lighting, ensuring that roads are passable, chief’s affairs and valuation of properties. All these are issues close to the people at the grassroots and any Government worth its sort is judged by the kind of local government system it has.

Hon. Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Mrs Masebo: Local government is what creates a better life for citizens. It is the system that can better life because it deals with social economic issues. When a ministry has this many functions, and yet has a budget allocation which is meager and poorly released, what do you expect of it? Of course, it cannot perform. I agree with somebody who said that we should not even blame the officers, but ourselves, as a Government, because it seems we do not have our priorities right.

The problem is that many of the politicians holding office in this country do not understand local governance. This is unfortunate. We have continued to give lip service to the local government system year in and out.

Mr Chairperson, people have called for the Government to ensure that it expands its revenue collections from the formal sector to the informal sector. I want to believe that one such informal sector is the levying of grains. That was an initiative to levy the informal sector. However, the Government has decided to ban it and has to make provisions to the councils to make good on that lost revenue. Now, of what good is it that the Government must give itself a headache of finding more money, which it does not have, to give to the councils when the councils where able to collect this money on their own?

Mr Chairperson, the issue of grain levy will cripple councils. Mark my words that in the next three months, you will hear that councils that were able to pay salaries are no longer able to do so.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Like in Kalomo.

Mrs Masebo: That is a fact. I was disappointed to hear one politician say that the peasant farmers had been protected and I said to my self “Oh my God!” Where are we going …

Mr Muntanga: Hell!

Mrs Masebo: … when some hon. Members understanding is that the Government is protecting peasant farmers by removing the grain levy?  The Government has not protected the peasant farmers.

Mr Chairperson, I know that this decision has already been taken, but I ask the Government to reconsider it next year. If not, all I can say is that the Government will regret.

Hon. UPND Members: This year!

Mrs Masebo: Well, we already have a Budget on the line and you know what happens. This year, the Government has said it will substitute the lost revenue. It will take it from somewhere and give it to the councils. That is well and good. However, my appeal is for the Government to reconsider that decision, next year, failure to which, it will be in problems.

Mr Chairperson, I want to talk about the Budget for the local government, especially the one for loans and investments. There is an allocation of about K400 billion. However, much of that money will have to come from donors and only ten percent will come from our Government. This is money that will be used for drilling boreholes, garbage collection and for all the other important activities of the ministry which improves the living standards of the people of Zambia. Most of that money is coming from the donors and our input is only 10 per cent.

Mr Chairperson, if the donors pulled out tomorrow, it would mean that we would not be able to drill even a single borehole. I think we must re-look at this issue. You can only improve education and health if you put your money where it is needed the most and that is in priorities such as water and sanitation. Those are important things for any Government.

Hon. UPND Members: Yes! Tell them.

Mrs Masebo: We need to get away from dependence on donors to fund water when water is more important to me than everything else that we are talking about.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Chairperson, last year, the water supply programme did not have an allocation in the budget. It meant that little was done with regard to the drilling of boreholes. However, I am happy that in next year’s Budget, money will be given in accordance with the rural water supply programme that was adopted by the Government and I commend the Government for that.

However, I implore the Government to be consistent and begin increasing the amount of money for water and sanitation. There is no need to spend a lot of money on drugs when some of those diseases can be prevented. We all know that most of the diseases people suffer from in the rural areas are as a result of drinking dirty water. Most babies are dying from diahoerreal related diseases caused by drinking poor quality water. We need to put money where it is important.

Mr Chairperson, I hope the acting hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing is listening. There are a number of problems that the ministry has had. One of those is the issue of retrenchments. From 2003 to 2007, there was an improvement in the number of retrenched people who were paid off. The Government had put aside some money to ensure that the retrenchment problem was resolved in all the fifty-four local authorities. The councils were assisted until 2007 and were able to stand on their own with regard to retrenchment thereafter. This programme was also extended to the fourteen municipalities.

Sir, in 2008 and 2009, we should have been looking at helping the four cities, but that was not done. I see that, in the 2010 Budget, we do not seem to be trying to dismantle the retrenchment problem because the resources seem to be dwindling. That is one problem. If the Government wants to make progress, it has to ensure that it assists the remaining city councils to clear the backlog.

The other institution I would like the hon. Minister to look at is the Local Authority Superannuation Fund (LASIF). When we started in 2003, LASIF had ten year’s arrears. In fact, it was almost closing at the time we took over office. By 2007, LASIF was up to date and is now doing well and paying accordingly.

Hon. Member: Who was the Minister?

Mrs Masebo: Well, it was the same Government. I see that, somehow, along the way, LASIF has stopped receiving assistance. Additionally, the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security has done nothing about the Statutory Instrument (SI) which he should have issued to exempt LASIF and the Public Pensions Scheme Authority (NAPSA). The SI will allow those being employed either in the local government system or in the Public Service to be captured by LASIF as opposed to all of them going to NAPSA. There has to be some way of understanding these issues and clearing them in a logical manner.

Mr Chairperson, people have talked about the confusion in the Ministry of Local Government and Housing and I agree with them because there seems to be no direction and continuity when it comes to some issues. I would like the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security to look at the issue to exempt LASIF to allow new members being employed in the local government system to be captured by LASIF and not NAPSA.

I have noticed that I do not have enough time to continue debating, but I want to talk about the Decentralisation Implementation Plan. I would like to be very frank. I think we are paying lip service about this policy. It is important that we call a spade a spade. The Decentralisation and Implementation Plan has not been adopted by Cabinet.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: This matter has been outstanding for the past three years. I am surprised because the President came here and talked about its adoption. To date, nothing is happening in that regard, but the hon. Minister is claiming that there is decentralisation. There is no decentralisation, hon. Minister. If you are going to mislead yourself, then we will not move forward. Please, call a spade a spade. There is no Decentralisation and Implementation Plan which is being implemented here. We are just wasting time.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Can we be factual and focused about these matters? It is either we stand up and say that we are abandoning it or implementing it. It is better to tell the truth that we are abandoning the policy because a lot of money and time is being wasted when we already have the plan in place although it is not being followed. It is really a shame because that is a policy of the Government and MMD, as a party.

Lastly, I would like to talk about the issue of chiefs. I will not talk about the issue of respecting chiefs, but I would like to appeal to their Royal Highnesses to ensure that no political party or politician abuses them …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: … so that they can be respected. I know that both the MMD and Opposition parties, in some cases, have abused the chiefs. Therefore, I would rather address their Royal Highnesses not to allow themselves to be abused by politicians.

Sir, my other concern under the Chiefs’ Affairs is the sudden increase in the budget allocation from K30,000,000 to K200,000,000 for traditional ceremonies. I am wondering whether we want to turn ourselves, again, into the Ministry of Community and Social Services because that is not our role. Therefore, we should not be seen to be spending more money on ceremonies as local government instead of developing chiefs’ affairs as it relates to development in the villages. I have seen that there is a reduction on that activity, but there is an increase on ceremonies, and yet that should be falling under the Ministry Community Development and Social Services.

Mr Chairperson, there is also the issue of market boards. I am happy to note that some resources have been put in place for the establishment of boards. I urge the hon. Minister to quickly create those boards to reduce politics in the markets so that they can start functioning properly. It has taken too long to even just open the Soweto Market. That market should have been opened on 3rd September, 2008. Today, November, 2009, the market has not been opened. We are still allowing politics in the markets, but we expect that the European Union (EU) and other donors will continue supporting us in the construction of urban markets. It is going to be difficult.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to say that unless the ministry moves fast on that issue, the donors will not continue assisting us in as far as urban market construction is concerned. This is because there are agreements that we construct these markets which must be run in a certain manner. Let us not delay on that score or politicise the markets because if we do that, nobody will be interested in supporting us. Therefore, let us move fast by establishing market boards. Let the markets be managed in a professional manner and not in a cadre-like manner.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: I have noticed that some associations are still interfering with the running of markets.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Your time has elapsed.

Mrs Masebo: I thank you, Sir.

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

First of all, let me start by acknowledging the debate of my sister, Hon. Kapata, the hon. Member of Parliament for Mandevu. I was just reflecting in my mind which chief lives in Mandevu …


Dr Kalumba: … and I realised that there was none. Perhaps, she has forgotten about the institution of chieftaincy and what it stands for.


Dr Kalumba: I know she is one of my sisters in the Lunda House, but she has forgotten that to rule any people or population is political work. Chiefs do the business of ruling people and that is political.
Let us address this folly of hypocrisy where, on one hand, we celebrate the chiefs’ endorsement and on the other, we do not. In this House, we have been saying that when we want the chiefs to support our candidates, we go and crawl in front of them and even celebrate their politics. Now, when the tables turn, we start insulting them. What is good is to forget a simple dictum. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

Sir, not too long ago, in the province where I come from, the hon. Member of Parliament from the MMD, who lost an election, dragged the chief to court and the party that was behind the candidate that won, supported that effort very strongly. That chief said, “Look, I would like to defend my right to speak” and they celebrated that. Today, one of us, in this House, is a beneficiary of the support he got from that chief. Today, you can turn round and speaking evil of our chiefs. Shame on you!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalumba: Mr Chairperson, let us be frank with ourselves. We all live off the generosity of our chiefs. We live off the political generosity of our chiefs unless where you come from, you do not understand the institution of chieftainship. All we are asking is that as much as the citizens have a right, the chiefs too have a right so see to it that, in their system of governance, they do everything good for their people and when they observe violence, they should speak against it.

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

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mushili: Mr Chairperson, it is also my rare opportunity to raise a point of order on the hon. Member of Parliament for Chienge. Before we get misled, is the hon. Member in order to insinuate, in his debate, that as Zambians gathered here, we do not have chiefs where we come from and we do not know the roles of the chiefs? Is he in order to insinuate that Hon. Peter Daka comes from a village where there is no chief?

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Dr Kalumba, can you take that point of order into account as you debate.

Dr Kalumba: Mr Chairperson, I generously respect my brother for that interjection although it is off target.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Why do hon. Members find it difficult to give somebody a chance to debate? When it is your turn to debate, you want to be heard and when somebody else is debating, you want to interject. That is what I do not understand. Can you give him the time to debate.

Dr Kalumba: Mr Chairperson, in my constituency, in 2006, an hon. Member of Parliament for Chienge and an opposition leader were elected very handsomely. Thank you to the effort of the chief.

In 2008, the Opposition candidate for the presidency was elected very handsomely in my constituency. At my expense, it was painful. One of my colleagues even accused me of having failed to deliver to the constituency. This is all thanks to the institution of the chieftaincy. I do recall that in both incidences, not a single day has that hon. Opposition leader gone to the people of Chienge and the chiefs who played such a pivotal role in advancing his political agenda in that constituency to say, “ thank you” as he recently did in one constituency.


Dr Kalumba: Double standards.

Hon. Government Member: GBM!

Dr Kalumba: If you expect that the Bwiles are going to celebrate, you have got it wrong.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalumba: We will take you on wherever you take us. We know the courts enough. We are fighters in that community. We have always fought. We fought the colonialists and we will continue to fight any abuse visites on us.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalumba: Be reasonable. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. The chiefs have now realised that they have been backing a wrong horse and that you have been sponsoring their enemies at the same time that they were fighting for you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwenya: On a point of order, Sir.


The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwenya: Mr Chairperson, I rarely stand on points of order. However, listening to our hon. Member of Chienge, who is debating so well, is it in order for him to remain silent and not take advantage of this opportunity that he has been given to debate to apologise on behalf of Chief Puta for the statements that he has been issuing …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! We try as much as possible not to mention names of people that are not in the House. I think that you should come to your point of order without bringing in the name of any other chief.

Mr Mwenya: I thank you, Sir.

Is it in order that the hon. Member does not take advantage of this chance to apologise on behalf of certain chiefs who have been issuing statements that they will not allow any other Opposition party to field candidates in the local government by-elections being held in one particular ward when that is supposed to be a right? Is it in order?

The Deputy Chairperson: I think that we should allow each other to debate. When you have the opportunity, you will be able to counter that.

The hon. Member may continue.

Dr Kalumba: I celebrate the logic of my brother.


Dr Kalumba: Too bad that it is beyond you.


Dr Kalumba: Mr Chairperson, we need to understand what is going on before we pass judgment. You cannot expect an individual who has been standing behind you at the same time you were sponsoring his enemies to fight and expect him to come and celebrate you. He will fight you to the end and I will be behind him.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalumba: I have no reason to apologise.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalumba: I will never apologise to you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalumba: Let us stop the abuse that we are heaping on our chiefs. Some of our colleagues have been very good and very smart at it.

I believe in the institution of the chieftainship and this institution has served us well for many years.

Hon. Government Member:  For a hundred years.

Dr Kalumba: Yes, for hundreds of years. Thank you, hon. Minister. Suddenly, you are cooking up conflicts in chiefdoms because you want political and when chiefs react you come back crying like babies.


Dr Kalumba: Mr Chairperson, I will stand by our chief and all chiefs who want to protect their people.

 Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Chongo, you are not on the Floor.

Dr Kalumba:  Mr Chairperson, where I come from, a fight against one Bwile is a fight against all Bwiles.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalumba: This is the fight that you have brought to us and we will see it to the end.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalumba: I can tell you that. This is the fight which you will not finish properly.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalumba: Even if you say uzaona. Yes, uzaona mama!


Dr Kalumba: I have never seen such abuse on our royal houses. Change your habits. You cannot deal with orphans as you say. You cannot.

 Mr Chairperson, we want to defend the institution of our chiefs in Luapula, but I do not know about other provinces.

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalumba: If you have got a problem, please, tell us and we will teach you how important a chief is.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalumba: I know that the other part of my chief who is a very good…

Mr Mudenda interjected.

Dr Kalumba: By the way, Hon. Mudenda, if you do not know, you respect chiefs even on that side of the country. Therefore, do not misrepresent the facts, Hon. Muntanga, and in the process, misinform us that where you come from, you do not respect the chiefs. You do.

 Hon. Muntanga laughed.

Dr Kalumba: Mr Chairperson, I want to move to the next point because I know that there is more on this issue and we will see as time goes on who has been manipulating chiefs.

Sir, I want to come to the problem of councils per se, particularly, with respect to the issue of financial management in councils.

Hon. Jack Mwiimbu has said that it is not a problem of management that we are seeing all these problems in councils across the country. Those of us who have been associated with the Committee of Parliament that deals with matters of councils have noted the persistent problems of financial management in councils. It is across the country. The audit report confirms the misappropriation and misapplication of funds year in and year out, and where councils do generate considerable amount of revenue, as one hon. Member said, we do not see the service delivered to the people. Not a single one. Instead, money goes to officers to attend workshops. Whenever there is a grant, they multiply the visits, trips or tours to attend workshops. This must stop.

Sir, there is one council, which I will not mention, but this council has a council executive officer who says they live off workshops. Surely, time has come and the hour is here for us to look at the financial management of councils.

The financial management of councils needs to be streamlined. No matter how much we cry and say, “Let us change this” it will not work. We can have a thousand policies, but if the rules pertaining to management of finances of those councils are not being enforced, they will forever remain a big problem for the Central Government. For this reason, I believe that there is something we can do and it is within our power to do it.

Now, we have appointed internal and external auditors going to visit councils, and yet still the problems do not stop. Somehow, we need a whip to control the controlling officers who are the council secretaries, town clerks and others. There are councils where expenditure is dispensed without the approval of a chief executive officer of the council. A year later, they come back and say, “We are cleaning the books.”

Mr Chairperson, spending money without authority is very common. Imprest given that is never retired is very common. Something has gone wrong. We need a closer monitoring of the financial management of councils. That is what the Government has to focus on right now. The minister responsible of this sector should seriously look at the issue of financial management.

Sir, I do concur with my sister’s debate on decentralisation by saying that the policy is in place, but the implementation …

Mr Mushili: Lip service!

Dr Kalumba: … strategy I do know. The Decentralisation Implementation Plan is still outstanding. It is Central Government’s responsibility to put this plan in place so that we remove the excuses councils have been giving.

Decentralisation empowers us. It does not disempower. We invest our power in councils that are independent and are able to do the jobs without us being insulted by the local people because we have failed to deliver from the Central Government. It is not a form of political suicide, but is a necessary instrument of devolving power and ensuring that the people have the power to control their destiny. That is the way we demonstrated in terms of resource control.

Dr Kawimbe, now hon. Minister of Luapula Province and we proved the point that when you give people power and financial resources, they can, in fact, do a fantastic job without help.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

The Deputy Chairperson: Mr Muntanga, assure me that you are going to be brief.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Mr Chairperson, I will be brief.

Sir, I am not in the habit of going into the arena of chiefs’ quarrels. Although Hon. Katele Kalumba wanted to drag me into it, I respect chiefs and I do not want to go into arenas.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: My chief is principled. You can ask Dr Chituwo about it.

Sir, I wish to talk about the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). When the allocation of CDF started, it was at K30 million. It was later increased by 100 per cent to K60 million. Then further increased by 50 per cent to K90 million. It was then increased by 125 per cent to K200 million. Again, it was increased by another 100 per cent to K400 million. Then it was increased by 50 per cent to K600 million. With this sequence of 50 per cent or 100 per cent increase, I worked it out that the hon. Minister was definitely going to increase it either by 100 per cent to K1.2 billion or by 50 per cent to K900 million.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: All of a sudden, the sequence is gone and he has just increased it by K10 billion.

Dr Machungwa: Confusing the pattern now!

Mr Muntanga: The pattern was such that when it is increased, the figure given was divisible by 150. The recent increase of K100 billion is not even properly divisible by 150. You are going to have K666,666,666.66. Why did we have this kind of thing?


Mr Muntanga: Why should the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning increase this figure by a percentage much lower than 10 per cent and then make it even difficult to share amongst hon. Members of Parliament?

Mr Syakalima: He is not considerate!

Mr Muntanga: When you send K100 billion to the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, it will have a problem on how much to send to the various constituencies. Why not do the correct thing, hon. Minister? You have allowed K54 million for the hon. Minister to look at the Action-Taken Report on the usage of the CDF. Why then is it difficult to follow-up these funds? Everyone has explained how good it is and the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has enough money in the ministry to increase it by 50 per cent, which will bring it to K900 million per constituency.

I know very well that Hon. Kaingu agrees with me because he has seen the goodness in the usage of the CDF. Even the hon. Members on your right are agreeing because this is the money they use to develop the constituencies.

Mr Kaingu: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Muntanga: We need this money.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kaingu: Mr Chairperson, is the hon. Member for Kalomo in order to bring me into his debate even though I am aware that the CDF is a very important component of our Budget? I need your serious ruling.


The Deputy Chairperson: The hon. Minister is worried that you are bringing him into your debate. Can you refrain from doing that.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, I move on to crop levy. The hon. Minister indicated that after banning crop levy, councils would be funded. I have looked at the budget hoping to see what funds could have been made available to the councils. I thought this would be under the line for Support to Institutions where we have grants in-lieu of rates. Last year, there was K20 billion and we did not have the ban on crop levy, but this year, there is only K22 billion, an increase of K2 billion. How can you support the councils with this amount? Kalomo will lose K800 million or thereabout after the ban of crop levy and Mazabuka will lose K1.9 billion.

Mr Chairperson, I will not repeat what my colleagues have said about decentralisation, but I would like to say that after a while, we should let hon. Ministers of Local Government and Housing leave office and sit in that corner where they debate better.


Mr Muntanga: In that corner at the Back Bench, they raise very good points. When they are in the seat, as hon. Ministers, they do not agree to what we suggest. We will ask the new hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing to go in that corner and later bring them back to act on what they are telling us. The former hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning was hard on increasing the CDF. He only saw the sense when he was given a constituency. Even the present hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning should have a constituency, then he will realise that the CDF is serious business.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Machila: Mr Chairperson, through you, I would like to thank all the eight hon. Members of this House who have made submissions on this Vote.

Mr Chairperson, Hon. Nkombo has spoken about how the Mazabuka District Council will be failing to pay salaries as a result of the removal of the crop levy and so on and so forth. I wish to inform him and the other hon. Members of the House who come from councils that may be similarly affected that the Ministry of Finance and National Planning did undertake that resources will be made available to make up for this deficit, …


The Deputy Chairperson: We do not seem to be listening. Please, you listen to what the hon. Minister is saying.

Mr Machila: … the details for which will follow. So, with regard to the appeal that has been made not just by Hon. Nkombo, but others for us to revisit the issue of the crop levy, I wish to state categorically that it is not going to happen. As far as we are concerned, it is a closed issue.

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

Mr Machila: Hon. Chongo lamented issues relating to the district council and receiving notices of meetings by way of text messages. This is an issue that we take seriously because it is important that all hon. Members of Parliament have an opportunity to participate in the deliberations of their respective councils and, therefore, we shall consider the option, if possible, of introducing regulations that would provide that council meetings take place on Mondays in order to enable all the hon. Members of Parliament to be in attendance at the same.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Machila: Hon. Namulambe, also touched on the issue of the council meetings and I need not to go over that again, except to say that I agree with the sentiments he expressed about the importance of having the CDF-funded projects being visible and being seen on the ground, unlike what was suggested by Hon. Kapata that she wants the CDF so that she can give it to her people without necessarily indicating whether or not it will be reflected on the ground.



Mr Machila: With regard to the demand and cry from several hon. Members who have contributed about escalating the CDF to K1 billion, I am sure all the hon. Members of the House appreciate the constraints the Ministry of Finance and National Planning has been faced with in view of the global financial crisis and so on and so forth. We, on the Government side of the House, would like, as much as those on the Opposition side, to have this amount raised to K1 billion and beyond, but we will, however, be realistic about our capacities in terms of the resources that are available and, therefore, the target of K1 billion for now shall have to remain an aspiration.


Mr Machila: Mr Chairperson, the issues of financial mismanagement in the councils have been mentioned and issues of the need for action to be taken to address those particular excesses and abuses. I know this is something that the ministry is looking to attending to.

The hon. Member of Parliament for Chongwe and former Minister for Local Government Housing made a number of observations which we are already addressing. I just wish to correct a figure that she gave in that in terms of the budget that was provided for this year, it is 67 per cent of what was budgeted that has so far been made available and we anticipate that the balance shall be forthcoming before the end of this year.

Mr Chairperson, she also spoke about crop levy and my earlier comments would apply in that regard also.

On the issue of retrenchments, …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

(Debate adjourned)




(Progress reported)


The House adjourned at 1956 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 11th November, 2009.