Debates- Thurdsay, 5th March, 2009

Printer Friendly and PDF


Thursday, 5th March, 2009

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






Mr Speaker: This is just to remind you that it is necessary that the national anthem in this Chamber is sung in English. Please, take note, I emphasise, the national anthem in this Chamber must be sung in English.


Hon. Members, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Zambia branch will join other Commonwealth countries in commemorating the Commonwealth Day on Monday, 9th March, 2009.

The Zambia branch has lined up activities involving young citizens drawn from the nine provinces of Zambia. These include, the presentation of posters depicting this year’s theme which is: The Commonwealth at 60: Serving a New Generation.

I invite all Members of Parliament, as CPA Zambia branch members, to find time to attend the commemoration of the Commonwealth Day on Monday, 9th March, 2009, at 09:00 hours, in the Auditorium here at Parliament Buildings to support this important event on the CPA calendar.

I thank you, Sir.




174. Mr Chisala (Chilubi) asked the Vice-President and Minister of Justice:

(a) How many appeal cases from local courts in Chilubi District were heard by subordinate courts in Samfya and Luwingu Districts from 2000 to 2008; and

(b) of the cases at (a) above, how many had been concluded as of 30th June, 2008.

The Deputy Minister in the Vice-President’s Office (Mr Sichilima): Mr Speaker, the total number of appeals that were filed in the local courts in Chilubi District from 1st January, 2000 to 31st December, 2008 was four, which were all heard by the subordinate court in Samfya and no appeal cases from Chilubi District were heard by the subordinate court in Luwingu.

Mr Speaker, as at 30th June 2008, four cases had been concluded in the Samfya subordinate court.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, is His Honour the Vice-President aware that the limited number of appeal cases that are brought before the court mentioned in the question are limited due to the fact that there have been some malpractices at the local court situated in Chilubi District.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice (Mr Kunda): Mr Speaker, if there are any malpractices you should bring them to the attention of the Judicial Complaints Authority (JCA).

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Kapata (Mandevu): Mr Speaker, I just want to find out from His Honour the Vice-President whether the local court justices go through legal training because they have been engaging in a lot of malpractices.

Mr Kunda: Mr Speaker, I covered that extensively in my policy statement the other day on the Judiciary.

Mr Mbewe: Ni Loya osasowera.


175. Mr Kambwili (Roan) asked the Minster of Mines and Minerals Development:

(a) How much total turnover was recorded by the Luanshya Copper Mines Plc from 2003 to 2008, year by year;

(b) how much was spent on salaries, year by year;

(c) how much was externalised; and

(d) how much was spent on the purchase of assets, year by year.

The Deputy Minister for Mines and Minerals Development (Mr Nkhata): Mr Speaker, a total of US$312,469,000 was recorded as turnover by Luanshya Copper Mines Plc from 2003 to 2008 broken down as follows:

Year  US$
2003 Nil
2004 12,373,000
2005 39,282,000
2006 83,127,000
2007 87,508,000
2008 90,179,000
Total  312,469,000

Mr Speaker, as regards to part (b), Luanshya Copper Mines (LCM) Plc spent a total of US$84,339,000 on salaries from 2003 to 2008 as detailed below:

Year Annual total Expatriates Locals
 (US$) (US$) (US$)

2003   Nil    Nil   Nil
2004   6,213,000    504,000   5,709,000
2005 12,496,000    756,000 11,740,000
2006 17,482,000 1,182,000 16,300,000
2007 20,581,000 1,968,000 18,613,000
2008 27,564,000 3,430,000 24,137,000

Total 84,339,000 7,840,000 76,499,000

Mr Speaker, in response to part (c), I would like to inform the House that Luanshya Copper Mines Plc did not externalise any money during the period under review.

As regards the last part of the question, a total of US$143,000,000 was spent on the purchase of assets from 2003 to 2008 broken down as follows:

Year US$

2003    Nil
2004   31,136,000
2005   27,255,000
2006     6,135,000
2007   41,196,000
2008   37,801,000

Total 143,000,000

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Sichilima: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out the mechanism the Government used to ascertain that the figures given by the mining company were correct in view of the fact that all salaries for LCM Plc employees used to come from the United Kingdom (UK) on the 24th of every month. Furthermore, how can the hon. Minister now say that there was no money externalised if the salaries of employees come from abroad?

The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr M. B. Mwale): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Roan for his follow up question. The payment for our commodities is in foreign currency from other countries and that is why that money was remitted from abroad.

As regards …

Mr M. B. Mwale coughed.

Mr M. B. Mwale: Excuse me, Mr Speaker.

As regards the question whether the figures that we have been given are correct, we have every reason to trust the management of LCM Plc.

I thank you. Mr Speaker.

Mr Kambwili: Question!

Mr D. Mwila (Chipili): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has informed this House that in 2003 there was no salary increment that was given to the employees. Would the hon. Minister inform us why this was so.

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member should know that an increment is not awarded when there are no employees. As far as our response is concerned, we have indicated that there were no salaries paid in that year.

I thank you. Mr Speaker.

Mr Mushili (Ndola Central): Mr Speaker, in his answer, the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development has said that all the figures that have been given are true based on the Government’s trust for the LCM Plc management. I believe we all know that the Government is a share …

Mr Speaker: Order! Ask your question.

Mr Mushili: Since the Government is a shareholder, why should it trust the management of LCM Plc to give us these figures which the Government is supposed to have in written, without confirmation?

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, I am surprised that such question has come from the hon. Member because he must be fully aware that shareholders are not the ones that run companies. There is management that runs a company on behalf of shareholders.

I thank you. Mr Speaker.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Mr Speaker …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: … taking advantage of the answer by the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development, I would like to find out whether in the event of the closure of    LCM Plc, the Government has thought of using its golden share.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member is fully aware of the limitations of that golden share which was in fact under his former ministry.

I thank you. Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka (Namwala): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister clarify the limitations of the golden share which the Government can not use.

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, the golden share only relates to issues of consultations. For instance, if the current owners of the mine wanted to sell it, they could not do it without consulting the Government.

I thank you. Mr Speaker.

Mr Sichilima: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, since the hon. Minister has said that nothing was externalised, I would like to find out how LCM Plc was paying its expatriates who were operating from the buying office in South Africa.

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, when we talked about externalising of money from a company, we always relate it to dividends and management fees and not to personal emoluments.

I thank you. Mr Speaker.

Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): Mr Speaker, rather than depending on trust, is the ministry or the Government checking with the banks or various institutions on these figures?

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, let me make this point clear to this House. The management of the mine are the agents that perform any functions on behalf of shareholders. Therefore, they should be trusted.

I thank you, Sir.


176. Mr D. Mwila (Chipili) asked the Vice-President and Minister of Justice whether the Government had plans to include Members of Parliament on the membership of provincial and district development committees country-wide.

The Deputy Minister in the Vice-President’s Office (Mr Sichilima): Mr Speaker, the provincial and district development coordinating committees are institutional frameworks for planning, coordinating and monitoring development in the districts and provinces.

A district development co-ordinating committee (DDCC) is purely a technical advisory body to a district council and line departments. Its function among other things is to assess projects and other proposals from a purely technical point of view and to ensure that relevant information about developmental programmes and objectives in the district is collected and available.

Mr Speaker, after an assessment of the project or proposal, a DDCC will then submit its recommendations to a council or line department. The final decision will be made by the council which councilors and all hon. Members of Parliament are part of. The decisions will not only be limited to approving projects but even the utilisation of funds under the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

In this regard, the relevant hon. Member of Parliament and councilors should be involved in the decision-making process as members of the local council.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has concentrated on DDCCs. My question was also on the provincial development co-ordinating committee (PDCC). I would like to get the answer from His Honour, the Vice-President and Minister of Justice why hon. Members of Parliament have not been included in this committee so that we are able to monitor what is going on in terms of development?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice (Mr Kunda): Mr Speaker, the functions of these committees are the same at provincial and district level, to co-ordinate and monitor development either at provincial or district level. As explained in this answer, the work of these committees is technical in nature. It includes the evaluation of projects, plans and many more. If you look at these functions there are better performed by expert officers.

Hon. Members of Parliament have a political input role to play at the district level. That is the way we have structured these committees.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sichilima: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, from the answer given by His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice, how does a District Commissioner (DC) who could have served less than a Member of Parliament find himself on this technical committee?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, unfortunately, I know that you have a low opinion of DCs, but we have all the confidence in these officers. They play a vital role in development planning and many other functions in the districts.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Beene (Itezhi Tezhi): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice why there has never been a national development co-ordinating committee meeting from the inception of these planning units in the country?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, there is a central advisory committee (CAC) at national level which performs the same function.

 I thank you, Sir.

Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Mr Speaker, taking advantage of the answer the Vice-President and Minister of Justice gave to the hon. Member for Mbabala I would like to find out how we can have the political will when we have had a problem of development not reaching the grassroots. Usually hon. Members of Parliament have got the will to develop their areas. In this case, can he find the means for hon. Members of Parliament to sit on these boards where people like the DCs who are less qualified sit?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order! It is normal for hon. Members of Parliament to ask questions.

The Vice-President and Minster of Justice: Mr Speaker, hon. Members of Parliament have a role to play at district level. This is at council level, and if they have any technical input which they can offer, they can do it at this level. It is the same thing.

I thank you, Sir.

Major Chizhyuka (Namwala): Mr Speaker, following the answers that have been given by His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice, does he not realise that by not involving hon. Members of Parliament, the people’s representatives from the beginning there is lopsided development and other problems that affect the budgeting process?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, as I have indicated, this structure is according to Cabinet Office Circular No. 1 of 1995. The role of hon. Members of Parliament is specified there. It is through the councils that they can also participate in the work of these committees which involves a lot of consultation. They can get involved at any time by way of consultation if they are interested in the development projects.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from His Honour the Vice-President what the composition of a DDCC is?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, I am surprised that the hon. Member does not know the composition of DDCCs.


The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, membership of the DDCC is as follows:

(a) Town Clerk or Council Secretary, Chairman;
(b) Secretary City Council;
(c)  District Planning Officer;
(d) Director of Works;
(e) District Treasurer;
(f) District Works Department Officer;
(g) District Roads Officer-in-Charge;
(h) District Agriculture Officer;
(i) District Livestock Officer;
(j) District Health Inspector;
(k) Health Board Representatives;
(l) Water Affairs officer-in-charge;
(m) District Fisheries officer;

The committee also has other relevant district department officers, donor representatives in the district, and DCs since the creation of that office have also been included.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): Mr Speaker, has there ever been any deliberate assessment of the country’s yearly development at district level through these committees? Have these committees established a relationship between their findings, the Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP) and the Vision 2030? If that information is available, when does he intend to publish it?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Sir, development planning starts from the grassroots. We have district development plans which are then fed into the national development plan. There is some co-ordination and relationship between district development plans and the national plan. That is all I can say about that question.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze): Mr Speaker, when did the Government amend the circular which conferred power on the town clerks and council secretaries as chairpersons of the development committees at the district level considering that it is now the DCs who have usurped the power and they are the chairpersons of these committees?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Sir, there has been some amendment. I may not give you the exact date when it was done but I am aware of that amendment.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr L. J. Mulenga (Kwacha): Sir, at what level are hon. Members involved in these developments because the composition that you have given us does not include Members of Parliament and if they do, when are we notified that such meetings are taking place so that we can participate?

Mr Speaker: The Chair wishes to call all the hon. Members to pay attention when answers are given. I have heard His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice say that you are involved at council level. I have heard that and so for me to call him to answer will amount to tedious repetition.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Sir, I would like His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice to confirm that the list he gave us at the beginning which showed that the town clerk or council secretary was the chairperson for the DDCC was a wrong one.

Mr Speaker: That is a comment.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Sir, following the confirmation by the Vice-President and Minister of justice, that the DCs will chair council meetings, is the Vice-President and Minister of Justice aware that they are deliberately avoiding Members of Parliament by attending these meetings?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Sir, I am not aware.

Thank you, Sir.

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


177. Mr P. P. Chanda (Kankoyo) asked the Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development:

(a) how many former street kids had graduated from the following camps since inception;

(i) Zambia National Service Camp in Kitwe District; and

(ii) Zambia National Service Camp in Chiwoko in Katete District;

(b) how many of the graduates above are girls;

(c) how many of the graduates at (a) above were now self-employed and how many were in formal employment; and

(d) how many graduates had sold the tool kits that were given to them on graduation and how many had gone back to the streets.

The Deputy Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development (Ms Cifire): Mr Speaker, a total of 648 former street children graduated from the two Zambia National Service camps since inception of the programme as follows:

(i) the first intake of skills training of former street children and vulnerable children at Kitwe’s Zambia National Service Camp commenced in December, 2004 and a total of 112 male trainees graduated in August, 2006. The second intake of skills training at the same camp commenced in March, 2007 and a total of eighty-two female trainees graduated in August, 2008 giving a total number of 194 trainees graduating from Kitwe Zambia National Service Camp since inception;

(ii) the first intake of skills training at Chiwoko Zambia National Service Camp commenced in December, 2004 and a total number of ninety-two male trainees graduated in September, 2006. The second intake of skills training at Chiwoko Zambia National Service Camp commenced in March, 2007 and a total number of 362 boys graduated in September, 2008 giving a total number of 454 former street children and vulnerable children to have graduated from Chiwoko Zambia National Service Camp since 
 the inception of the training programme.

With regard to (b), Mr Speaker, out of the total number of 648 graduates from the two training camps, eighty-two were girls who graduated from the second intake of skills training from the Zambia National Service Camp in Kitwe which has been designated as a training centre for female street children and vulnerable girls.

As regards (c), Mr Speaker, the following breakdown shows how many of the 648 graduates are self-employed and how many are in formal employment:

(i) a hundred had been employed by the Zambia National Service as civilian workers; and

(ii) ninety-three are self-employed.They have engaged in productive ventures such as automotive mechanics, poultry, shoe-making and tailoring.

On (d), twelve will be employed by King George VI National Youth College which is an institution under the Ministry of Sport, Youth and Child Development. Additionally, 344 graduates from the second intake are currently awaiting the possibility of being taken on by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training for advanced training in addition to the trade certificates obtained from Zambia National Service camps.

Mr Speaker, for the sixty-four remaining graduates and those who may not be taken on by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training for advanced training, the ministry in collaboration with the provincial street children mobilisation committees (PSCMC) is working out measures to have the graduates engaged in productive ventures at provincial level. Under this programme, the ministry intends to procure tools and provide start up capital for the graduates to access in groups for a period of over one year after which they will be expected to gain enough experience and capital for themselves to stand on their own.

Mr Speaker, additionally, the PSCMCs are also working on the identification of land for settlement and employment opportunities for the graduates.

(d) Mr Speaker, the exercise to determine the number of graduates who sold their tools and those who have gone back on the streets is being undertaken through the PSCMCs using the graduate tracer programme. This involves the use of a questionnaire to capture data on the graduates regarding the skills that they have acquired and what they have been doing since graduating from the camps.

The exercise also involves outreach activities which involve family visits, routine checks on the street and verification of presence of tools using the tools issuance forms provided by ministry.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chanda: Mr Speaker, I would like to know if there is any deliberate policy by the Government to mobilise the street kids and the vulnerable children to form cooperatives so that they can be productive like those in Lusaka’s Garden Compound.

Mr Hachipuka tried to cross the floor.

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Mbabala tried to cut right across the bar.


Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, part of the exit strategy is that as the children go towards graduation, they work in cooperatives or groups so that even when they leave, it is easier for them to continue. The process is already as the hon. Member wants us to do.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapeya (Mpika): Mr Speaker, could I learn from the hon. Minister whether there will be a continuation of the same exercise?

The Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development (Mr Chipungu): Mr Speaker, there will be a continuation of this exercise. In fact, we want to replicate the success stories for Chiwoko as well as Kitwe to other provincial centres where the national service camps are available.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwenya (Nkana): Mr Speaker, this is probably the 3rd or 4th time that the Ministry of Sport, Youth and Child Development has indicated that it will assist the former street kids who have been trained with start-up capital. Could the hon. Minister indicate the time frame in which they intend to start assisting the youth who have been trained?

Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, we are already doing that. What happens is that as soon as they graduate, they are given the start-up capital in different forms. For instance, those that are doing agriculture are given seed and fertiliser. Those who have finished the auto mechanics are given the tools and some of them are doing very well.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out why of late the number of street kids in Lusaka has increased and nothing much is being done about it.

Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, there are several reasons for this situation. These include HIV and Aids, the breakdown in marriages and the tendency by some families to deliberately send their children on the streets.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, I want to mention to the House that we will soon be advertising the recruitment of more street children as well as the vulnerable ones into the Chiwoko and Kitwe training camps.

All those children that are willing to come and learn survival skills in these two centres are welcome. Hon. Members of Parliament, who may know some street children somewhere, should get to the nearest provincial offices. The PSCMCs are already in place. Adverts will be running in the press soon. Please do not ignore them.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe (Matero): Mr Speaker, there are posters that say, “do not give alms to the street kids.”Are we going to prosecute those who perpetuate the children’s stay on the streets by giving them money?

Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, we must obey the law.

Hon. Members: Which one?

Mr Chipungu: I mean if law says do not give alms … That is contained in our Constitution is it not?


Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker we have to follow what the law says.

Hon. Opposition Members: Awe, takwaba law iya ifyo.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): Mr Speaker, in his earlier response, the hon. Minister indicated that some of the kids go to the street with the blessings of their parents. Has the hon. Minister done anything to punish parents whom it has been proven that they send their children on the street?

Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, I think we have no mandate to punish. What we have done as a ministry is to invite some of them to our offices and give them guidance.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that one of reasons for the increase in street kids is that the youth feel it is the only sure way to get some free training. What is the Government doing about it?

Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, sometimes it is difficult to understand some of these questions. I do not agree with what he says.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nsanda (Chimwemwe): Mr Speaker, sometime last year, street kids disappeared. Around December last year, the street kids reappeared in large numbers both on the Copperbelt and in Lusaka. Did the Government deliberately release them from the camps where they were keeping them?

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister Sport, Youth and Child Development, did you release them on to the street?


Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, the answer is obviously ‘no.’ It is very clear from our initial answer that those that entered the two national service camps were trained and there is evidence that some of them have been recruited by the ZNS and others are self employed. Others are waiting to be sent for training at the Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training. My ministry never released any children back to the streets.

I thank you, Sir.



178. Mr Chisanga (Mkushi South) asked the Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources whether there were any plans to restock the South Luangwa National Park which had lost many animals due to unprecedented poaching.

The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources (Mr Mwangala): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that poaching in South Luangwa National Park is under control and not unprecedented. Records at the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) indicate that the population of major animal species that are of interest to tourists has been increasing trends.

Furthermore, tourists and tour operators in South Luangwa National Park have expressed satisfaction on the abundance of animals in the park. Currently, there is no need to restock the South Luangwa National Park with animals except the black rhino which was decimated over fifteen years ago. The black rhino restocking exercise began in North Luangwa National Park and is near completion. ZAWA has plans to restock black rhinos in major national parks which include the South Luangwa National Park.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Mwamba (Lukashya): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources when a survey was conducted in the South Luangwa National Park to ascertain that the numbers of wild animals therein are increasing.

The Minister of Education (Professor Lungwangwa): Mr Speaker, in line with the importance that the Government attaches to the development of tourism, surveys of our animals in the bush or game parks are a continuous process. With particular reference to South Luangwa National Park, a survey was conducted in 2002 as well as 2006.

Sir, allow me to indicate to the hon. Members of this august House what the situation has been regarding the population of our animals in the South Luangwa National Park arising from the surveys that were undertaken. The details are as follows:

 Species Estimates per Year
2002 2006
 Elephant 5,434  6,112
 Buffalo 9,306  9,379
 Eland    204      246
 Thornicrofts Giraffe    236        94
 Lichtenstein’s Hartebeest    283      597
 Impala 11,814     12,340
 Kudu      505         476
 Puku    5,959   3,444
 Reedbuck      225      436
 Roan Antelope     632        944
 Waterbuck     575       738
 Cookson’s Wildebeest     527     193
 Warthog  1,129  1,496
 Zebra 3,250  3,281

Mr Speaker, according to the survey conducted comparing the two periods, the actual numbers of animals in South Luangwa National Park is satisfactory and the tourists are satisfied with the number of animals in the national park.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister tell the House that the trend that he has quoted from South Luangwa National Park is the same in many other game parks and game reserves including Sichifulo.

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, as the hon. Member understands, this kind of trend arises from surveys which, of course, we can verify in terms of the situation in other parks in the country. At the moment, we do not have those figures to indicate the trend in terms of the animals in other parks.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nsanda (Chimwemwe): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether the investors in Lochinva National Park and other game parks including Sichifulo come with their own animals to restock the game parks. What value to do they add to our game parks for them to collect our foreign exchange?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, clearly, the hon. Member knows that there is no way tourists can come with elephants …


Professor Lungwangwa: … on the planes.


Professor Lungwangwa: At the same time, investors can not come with animals. It is the responsibility of ZAWA to restock our national parks. ZAWA has been doing that.
Mr Speaker, let me tell the House what has been happening. Black rhino was in abundance in North Luangwa National Park. In the 1970s, North Luangwa National Park was among the best parks in Africa in terms of the population of black rhino ranging from 2,500 to well over 12,000 animals. By the 1980s, that population had almost been exterminated and ZAWA has undertaken the responsibility to restock North Luangwa National Park with the black rhino.

Sir, in 2003, five black rhinos were brought into the park followed by ten in 2005. In 2007, five more were brought into the park, bringing the number to twenty. By 2010, ZAWA intends to bring five more so that the population of the black rhino in North Luangwa National Park can be brought to twenty-five. These are the efforts of that authority which of course, are important and can also invite investors to come and invest in our national parks and contribute to the earning of foreign exchange which we so badly need in our nation.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr C. K. B. Banda (Chasefu): Mr Speaker, in view of the glaring omission on the numbers of monkeys in South Luangwa National Park…


Mr C. K. B. Banda: … and bearing in mind that some Zambians value that meat,…


Mr C. K. B. Banda:…can the hon. Minister confirm that there is an increase in the population of monkeys just as there is an increase in the number of applications to hunt them.


Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, clearly, we have no information to indicate that monkeys are currently endangered in our national parks.


Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, the wild flora is such that monkeys are able to survive and multiply in abundance. As people drive along the roads of most parks, its clearly evident that the population of monkeys is clearly not under threat.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order! Just to guide the House. The House may wish to know that there  monkeys on the Parliamentary premises right here but they are not available for hunting.


Major Chizhyuka (Namwala): Mr Speaker, an increment in numbers of the black rhino from 2,500 to around 12,000 is very significant. The South Luangwa National Park is a big game management area which extends up to Chieftainess Mwape area. Having increased the number of black rhinos, how many indigenous people have been relocated and displaced in that game management area?

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, clearly, the debate which we have been having over the past three weeks is still coming into the debate in an indirect way. As far as South Luangwa National Park is concerned, the issues of concern to the hon. Member are not relevant to the current issues that he has been concerned with because such a problem has not arisen.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mwenya (Nkana): Mr Speaker, what is the animal/human population ratio in South Luangwa National Park?

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, I do not have the actual animal/human population ration per hectare right with me. The available information in terms of a general population density is that South Luangwa National Park is not densely but sparsely populated, which of course makes the coexistence between the animals and the human population reasonable or amicable. It does not create any major problem.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.




(Consideration resumed)

VOTE 34 – (Human Rights Commission – K8,141,790,456).

Mr Chisala (Chilubi): Mr Chairperson, yesterday, before I was cut short, I was trying to emphasise the point that the Human Rights Commission (HRC) has not been receiving sufficient funds from the Government. It would be important for the Government to ensure that more money is allocated to the commission in order for it to perform to the expectation of the Zambian people. The trend of allocating inadequate funds to the commission has greatly contributed to the ineffectiveness in its operations. This has also made them immobile.

     The commission cannot go to rural to areas to investigate certain cases because their movements are hampered by insufficient funds. It cannot go to prisons to see how prisoners are kept and to police stations to see how the people are kept before judgment is passed. It would be prudent to look into such issues seriously.

Mr Chairperson, since the creation of the Police Complaints Authority (PCA), the performance of the HRC has been below par. I do not know whether it is because some of the issues that were being handled by the HRC are now being handled by the PCA. I feel that if there is any kind of overlap in the work of the two institutions, the best thing to do is to scrap off one of the two institutions which is not doing quality work. We cannot have an institution in place which cannot perform the duties it is required to perform by the people of Zambia.

Mr Chairperson, there is also the issue of victimising the people in prisons. It has been observed that some inmates are being abused to some extent by fellow inmates. Such cases are never investigated.

Hon. Opposition Member: Yakumbuyo!

Mr Chisala: These are serious cases which are supposed to be followed up to the bitter end.

Hon. Opposition Member: Yakumbuyo!

Mr Chisala: Mr Chairperson, we should not delay because these issues have brought a lot of embarrassment to the country.

Furthermore, there have been delays in concluding some cases. One case takes up to five years without being concluded. This is an infringement of human rights. If anything, it would be prudent for His Honour, the Vice-President, to bring a piece of legislation to this House that will seek to repeal some outdated laws.  These archaic laws that are being enforced currently are not supposed to continue existing because the world is changing. If the world is changing, everything has to change.

Mr Chairperson, furthermore, I would now like to take a close look at the way some prisoners are kept. It has been observed that we have a limited number of prisons. From 2001 to-date, the Government of the Republic of Zambia has totally failed to construct new prisons. As a result, there is total congestion in prisons. Why can the Government of the Republic of Zambia not build more prisons so that the congestion is reduced? The best place they can build modern prisons is Chilubi.


Mr Chisala: Mr Chairperson, if some prisons were built on Chilubi Island, it would be very difficult for them to escape.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chisala: Furthermore, I would like to talk about the space in prisons. Last week, I went to see a colleague who been incarcerated at Kamwala Prison. I was deeply disappointed to discover that a room which is supposed to accommodate 235 inmates was in fact accommodating 720. This is something that we have to seriously look into. This is one way of infringing human rights. It is not supposed to be the case. I am, however, very hopeful that since His Honour, the Vice-President of the Republic of Zambia and hon. Minister of Justice is a lawyer, he will look into this issue seriously and ensure that it is attended to adequately Let us give them humane treatment so that they can look at us like fellow human beings who care for them. There is profit in building human relationships.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to conclude by saying that if we want to avoid putting this country into possibly dangerous circumstances, it is imperative that we build more prisons. Let us also give good food to the prisoners and see to it that when some cases are in the courts of law, we speed up the trial so that prisons are decongested.

Mr Chairperson, I beg to move.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chimbaka (Bahati): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for affording me this opportunity to debate on the HRC in Zambia. I want to declare interest having served as chairperson for Luapula Human Rights Committee from 2000 to 2004, when I stepped down, having become secretary of a bigger party. It was not necessary for me to continue promoting human rights while politicking.

Mr Chairperson, human rights are human rights. I have a passion for them. After the first and second world wars, the world leadership sat, having noted how much humanity suffered and was being demeaned as a result of the selfishness of humanity. The leaders from different countries came together in 1950, through the United Nations came to form the United Nations Human Rights Charter and Commission. I just wanted to give this background.

However, I also want to talk about the pre-independence era. During the federal system, there was no provision in the Bill of Rights for human rights provision and enhancement in the Constitution of this country at that time. Those who were there will recall that human beings were being abused. An African, as a result of the colour bar was constrained and restricted from performing certain activities. Africans at that time were not even allowed to buy meat from the butchery. That was human rights abuse of the first or second class those days.

Mr Chairperson, when Zambia became independent in 1964, we had a new constitution was crafted. The Bill of Rights was there, but we saw again that there was a perpetual infringement on the rights of certain people by persons who where in the Government then.

   There were so many abuses to the extent that some people even died or were incarcerated for nothing. We were not very even free even to talk so openly on the Floor of this House because people feared they would be incarcerated. Not only that, some who spoke their minds out, went missing mysteriously. People were not allowed to exercise their freedom of speech. That is how the one party State was created. Ideas from politicians with different schools of thought from the party in power were not allowed to prevail. The authority then, thought political and economic development would only be realised if people belonged to one party. I commend them because that school of thought had substance. However, in this era, we are not going to tolerate the abuse of human rights in any form.

Mr Chairperson, it was not wrong for the MMD Government to come up with the formation of the HRC in the year 2000. They had good intentions. The purpose is even there today. The reason was that once human rights were enhanced and people appreciated their existence, there would be development. There would be less human right violations and above all, there would be no abuse of authority by those in power. This is why the HRC was formed.

Today, I fee very sad as I speak because when I look through the budget allocation for the HRC, there is literally nothing for advocacy and education. How are we going to enhance the respect for human rights in this country if the HRC is not given funding to conduct human rights education? A lot of strife that we see in this country emanates from the abuse of human rights by those that are in authority.

Mr Chairperson, workers rights are human rights. If we do not teach our workers, employers and politicians to respect human rights, there shall be a lot of strife in this country and none of us shall manage to run away. We shall be victims of this strife because of our failure to consider all human beings equal and important. I want to thank His Honour, the Vice-President and Learned Minister of Justice for his efforts in promoting human rights.

Sir, when Zambia rose against Dr Fredrick Chiluba on the Floor of this House, he had a right according to the Constitution of the land to come and give his side of the story on the Floor of this House. The Legislature and civil society were all of against Dr Chiluba being afforded that chance. Today, people find it easy to call him a thief, robber and all sorts of names because he was not afforded the chance to come and defend himself on the Floor of this House. That was a total abuse of Dr Chiluba’s human rights. The President then…

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

The Deputy Chairperson of Committees: So far, we have been proceeding very well, but if we are going to debate through points of order, we will not proceed faster. Having said that, I will allow the point of order.

Mr Mwila: Mr Chairperson, I am getting concerned. Is the hon. Member for Bahati in order to condemn the decision of this House to remove the immunity of the former President, Dr Chiluba? The hon. Member is also condemning this House for not according the former Head of State a chance to defend himself against the allegations that were labeled against him. I need your serious ruling on that matter.

The Deputy Chairperson of Committees: I would like to thank the hon. Member for Chipili for that point of order. Actually, had I known, I would have made the observations that Hon. Mwila has made in his point of order. Actually, he is out of order. Hon. Chimbaka, do not talk against a decision that was made by this House.

Can you please continue.

Mr Chimbaka: Mr Chairperson, I have taken note of your point.

Mr Chairperson, the persecution and incarceration of persons is not going to end if the people are not taught to respect human rights. I understand the way decisions are made in this House very well. It is not my intention to condemn this House and I have not done that.

The Deputy Chairperson of Committees: Do not go back to that issue because you are you are going against the ruling by the Chair. Just proceed with your debate.

Mr Chimbaka: Mr Chairperson, I understand the way Parliament operates very much. I understand each institution has rules follows which must be followed very well, but this should not be at the expense of disrespecting a person’s rights must. That is the only way we shall have the peaceful and united country that President Rupiah Banda wants to see every day.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chimbaka: Mr Chairperson, it is very important in this world and Zambia in particular, that the rights of an institution when carrying out its work are not absolute at all. Therefore, what we must appreciate as Zambians is that where our human rights begin or end is where the rights other individuals begin.

Mr Chairperson, I wish look forward to a day when Zambian would make human rights justicible. I also look forward to a day when our citizens shall demand that human rights Zambia become justicible. Since human rights in Zambia are not justicible, people in the name of enjoying their human rights have engaged in calling people names, judging and demeaning people in newspapers. Therefore, my prayer is that one day this generation will take it upon itself to all things possible to promote human rights. All political parties must also promote the respect for human rights amongst its members.

Mr Chairperson, what I say to myself is that, there will never be any two Chimbakas under the sun, born of one and the same father. My young brother shall never have the same attributes, thinking, posterity and the same intelligence like me. The point I am trying to put across is that we are all unique and special. The fact that we are all unique and special is what makes us have different view points over the same issue. Therefore, when we bring divergent views to a debate, we must be able to appreciate each other and still get along. I am sure that God’s wish is that although we are all different and unique, we should still get along with each other.

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chimbaka: Some non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are the rights that they are supposed to enjoy when carrying out their work. Something to put these NGOs in check.

I would also want that the HRC to work towards stopping human trafficking both at international and local level. I have conducted preliminary research and I have found that human trafficking in Zamia is so rampant.

Mr Chairperson, educated and privileged individuals go to their villages to collect vulnerable children in the name of bringing them to Lusaka to look after them. These children only end up as house maids and are never sent to school. If they are, it is a cover, but the intention is to make them house maids.

Some NGOs have continued to deliberately abuse their institutional rights. How I wish Government allowed the people of Zambia to know how these NGOs operate, how much is given to them by donors and how that money is spent.

Mr Sichilima: Quality!

Mr Chimbaka: Mr Chairperson, our cultural values have terribly and adversely been eroded in schools. That is why even amongst ourselves we are unable to distinguish how to treat those that older than us. In the name of all of us being members of one parliament, we call each other all sorts of names which amounts to a serious violation of human right. Yes, we could be colleagues, but we should bear in mind that we have different personalities and backgrounds. Every one of us is entitled to be treated with respect. The fact that we enjoy certain immunities by virtue of the offices we hold does not qualify us to insult one another.

Mr Kambwili: Hear, hear!

Mr Chimbaka: All those are human rights abuses.

Mr Kambwili: Bwekeshenipo apo!

Mr Chimbaka: Sir, because of time, I would like to end by saying that time has come when the Government must realise that it is not a crime for Chimbaka to come from the village at all. It is not a crime for Chimbaka to be a Zambian at all. It is not a crime to be an African. We need to be proud of our heritage. I wish that we could go back to our archives so that we can find way of infusing our cultural values into our educational curriculum. Where is the respect between the young and old people? Where is the love that existed amongst our forefathers? There is none. When I look at each one’s face in this House, I can only see hate and rage. There is too much hatred amongst us in this House. It has kept on growing. Every leader for wanting to stay in power or to make money is so vindictive to the bone marrow that he or she can do anything to anyone without any hesitation.

God was not wrong to collectively nurture all of us, divergently, though we can only get to eternity collectively.

Mr Sichilima: Amen!

Mr Chimbaka: I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Mwamba (Lukashya): Mr Chairperson, in supporting the Vote on the HRC, I would like to say that more money must be allocated to the commission so that it can be empowered to monitor the status of human rights all over the country.

Sir, many people relate the abuse of human rights to the excessive of force by the police on a suspected criminal. People mostly say that the rights of an individual have been infringed upon whenever police use excessive force on that person. However, I would like to look at human rights from the point of view of a rural person.

Mr Chairperson, governments have the mandate to provide social services to all its citizens. When I look at life in rural areas, one thing that stands out strongly is that children do not go to very good schools. We have talked about the quality of education in the rural areas many times on the Floor of this House. We have told the Government several times that most of the community schools in rural areas resemble chicken runs. A lot of our children sit on the floor when they are learning and yet they have a Government in place which is supposed to ensure that they receive quality education under building.

Mr Mukanga: Hear, hear!

Mrs Mwamba: Sir, I would now like to talk about the state of health facilities in rural areas. The health centres in rural areas are in a deplorable sate just like the schools. In fact, the health care facilities are even in a worse condition than the schools. In my constituency, health centres are far away. People have to travel more than fifty or sixty kilometres to access a health centre. Pregnant women travel very long distances to attend antenatal clinics or to be attended to during when giving birth. As result, some of the women die on the way.

Mr Chairperson, you would be interested to know that a few months ago when I was in my constituency, I had to transport the body of a young woman who died along the way to the clinic. She was supposed to travel to Kasama because she had certain health complications. There was no transport at the medical centre so they carried her on a bicycle, but could not reach Kasama and so, she died on the way.

Many a times you hear Members of Parliament talking about lope sided development, these are the issues that they base their arguments on. When you always think of building clinics all over Lusaka, why is it difficult also to build clinics all over the rural areas? The people are scattered. It is not their fault that they found themselves living in those areas from the time they were created or from the time their forefathers brought them on this earth. That is another way we can even avoid over population in the urban areas. If the people in the rural areas have access to all the amenities like their counterparts here in town, then there will be no reason why people should be rushing to urban areas to access these amenities.

Mr Chairperson, the other area I wish to talk about is that of roads. In constituency, there are no roads to write home about. For example, there is a place, which is the last point in my constituency which is more than 150 kilometres from Kasama town, there is a village of about 350 people. From the onset of the rains, it is a no go area. These people are cut off from civilisation until after June. For eight months, no government vehicle or a Member of Parliament can go there and no councillor can reach them. If there is hunger, they die of hunger and disease and yet these are Zambians who have a Government in place.

Sir, we have raised this issue in this House time and again and I think even my predecessors who were there raised the issue of the people of Chimalila not Sichifulo. The people of Chimalila are completely cut off from the rest of the country from November until after June. However, when time for voting comes, they do vote.

Sir, the other issue which I have often talked about in this House is the recreation for the youth in the rural areas. The Government probably through the Ministry of Sport, Youth and Child Development think that the youth are only found in the urban areas, such as Lusaka, Ndola and Kitwe. You can find a youth everywhere in this country. The youth of the rural areas are more vulnerable in the sense that when they drop out of school, or even those that pass, they cannot manage to pursue further education. They do nothing but linger around in villages and engage into all kinds of vices because there is nothing else to do. The Government has not done anything to try and provide some form of recreation for these youths. There is a Government in place, again, which is supposed to look into the needs of such people.

Finally, Mr Chairperson, we should also look at other issues like the provision of clean and safe drinking water for the people in the rural areas. This is an issue that has been discussed often times on the Floor of this House. The HRC must be empowered so that it is able to monitor whether the children, especially in the rural areas are receiving the attention which Government must accord to each citizens and also to see that the human rights which each person is born with, are being respected even amongst the rural population.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Chairperson, I begin contribution to the debate by looking at an issue that I find very disturbing. Sir, the purpose of sending people to prison is not to punish them but to reform them. However, it seems that all those that enter Zambian prisons are sent there to be punished.

Mr Chairperson, today the women parliamentarians and the workers from the National Assembly went to clean some cells at the prison. Sir, the conditions that the prisoners live under are deplorable. We must realise that these prisoners are entitled to human rights. If as a country, we cannot maintain prisons, we must find another way of correcting criminals rather than sending them to prisons where they live like animals.

Most of the cells were built to accommodate fifty prisoners but today they are accommodating over 300 people who are all packed in one room like sacks of kapenta loaded in a truck.Hon. Members should know that umulandu mume, bakumpula fye meaning that to commit a crime is like the early due which gathers on the grass in the morning and as you walk past, it comes in contact with your body.From the way most of you are conducting yourselves in this current Government, most of you are potential prisoners.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Therefore, Mr Chairperson, you must be aware…

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Address the Chair and say, ‘most of them’ because if you say most of you, they will begin to react.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Chairperson, I thank you very much for your guidance. From the level of corruption that I can see in this Government, I can safely say that most of them are potential prisoners. Colleagues, you will regret when you will be sent to Chimbokaila. The time is now for you to prepare your future homes.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Mr Chairperson, ichili pamunobe mailo chilipaliwe…

The Chairperson: Order! When you use an unofficial language, you must give its meaning. Do not wait for the Chair to guide you.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Chairperson, it means that whatever happens to your brother may happen to you the following day. With that proverb in mind, those in authority must know that prisons must be well looked after well. In the United Kingdom, when you see prisoners, sometimes you would even wonder whether, indeed, in Africa what we have are prisons or torture chambers. The prisoners here are fed on beans and kapenta without cooking oil and tomatoes. This is despite year in year out, the Government allocating a lot of funds towards caring for prisoners. Where is the money that is being allocated to the prisons going? Our colleagues in prisons are being kept like animals or wild dogs. We should be serious with the way we treat our fellow human beings even if they are prisoners.

Mr Chairperson, His Honour the Vice President and Minister of Justice is a prominent lawyer who has defended a lot of people in the courts of law. I am sure it is clear to him that some people who are in prisons have wrongfully been imprisoned. Some people are there because they are not able to express themselves and probably they do not have money to hire lawyers and so, they find themselves in prison. The condition under which prisoners live in must be improved as soon as possible. The prisoners are people just like us.

With these few remarks, I thank you.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank all hon. Members for their constructive debate and support to this particular Vote. Indeed, there is need for us to improve our human rights situation in the country. As Government, we agree that there is need to improve on prisons…

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.


The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Chairperson, when business was suspended, I was saying that we agree as Government that there is need to improve on the conditions in prisons. In fact, under the access to justice programme which falls within my ministry, we are looking into some of these issues. It is not that we are doing nothing, we realise that the situation is not good in the prisons and, therefore, we should do everything possible to improve conditions in prisons.

Mr Chairperson, Hon. Mwamba talked about the issue of economic, social and cultural rights which include the right to education and health. The Member said that people in rural area travel long distances to a school or clinic. We acknowledge that such situations need urgent attention from the Government. We need to build more schools and health centres and this is why in the national budget, you will find that education has gobbled about 17.2 percent of the national budget and health has taken 11.4 percent. Building more schools and health centres this every year will make it possible for us to progressively realise the economic, social and cultural rights a good number of our citizens.

Mr Chairperson, the assertion by the hon. Member that Government is doing nothing is not true. The budget allocations speak for themselves. The national cake which is the budget is the only sure source of funds to be used in building more health centres and schools. On top of that, we also have the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) allocation which hon. Members participate in allocating. All Zambian should make themselves available to help in the building of more educational and health infrastructure so that as many people as possible can have access to these essential facilities.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Vote 34/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

VOTE 44 – (Ministry of Labour and Social Security – K16,657,299,740)

The Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mr Liato): Mr Chairperson, I wish to thank you for giving me this opportunity to present this statement to explain the focus of my ministry’s 2009 budget. Before I go any further, allow me to commend all hon. Members of this House who have always positively debated and raised concerns in support of my ministry. This reaffirms the important role my ministry plays in our country’s socio-economic development.

Mr Chairperson, the ripple effects of the current global financial crisis have placed huge challenges on my ministry. However, the ministry has continued to be steadfast and proactive in the management of labour affairs.

Mr Chairperson, labour administration and labour market management are the key responsibilities of my ministry. This mandate is discharged through implementation of the following policies:

(a) Employment and labour;
(b) social security;
(c) occupational safety in health; and 
(d) productivity.

My ministry’s mandate also extends to the supervision of two statutory bodies, namely; National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) and the Workers’ Compensation Fund Control Board (WCFCB). The two statutory bodies contribute to the provision of social protection for retirees and workers that sustain injuries in the course of duty.

Mr Chairperson, let me highlight a few successes scored in the past 1 year, before I outline the priorities for 2009.

(a) The ministry in collaboration with the Central Statistical Office (CSO), successfully undertook the 2008 Zambia Labour Force Survey. The survey is key in the development of interventions for the labour market, as it provides useful labour market information on employment, unemployment, under-employment, child labour and so on.
(b) The ministry continued to sensitise employers and employees on the existing labour laws.
(c) The ministry continued to engage its stakeholders on the review of labour laws through various fora, such as the Tripartite Consultative Labour Council (TCLC) and the Private Sector Development Programme (PSD) labour law reform working group.

   Policy Focus in 2009

Mr Chairperson, this includes the following: employment creation, strengthening social dialogue, capacity building of field labour offices and undertaking labour law reforms.

(a) Employment Creation

Mr Chairperson, hon. Members will agree with me that the most serious governance challenge, facing developing countries, including Zambia today, is the issue of employment creation. In pursuing our employment creation agenda, Government’s starting point is always to protect the existing jobs. In saying this, I am therefore, saying I am deeply saddened by the fact that despite the strong assurances made to us as Government by mining companies during the numerous meetings we had with them, some of them still went ahead to fire some employees, …

Hon. Government Member:  Hear, hear!

Mr Liato: … as a response to this financial crisis. Nonetheless, my ministry will continue to work very hard with all employers and the labour movement to address the issues of job losses.

Mr Chairperson, Government in collaboration with the International Labour Organisation (ILO), trade unions, employers, organisations and other stakeholders, will intensify the implementation of the Zambia decent work country programme which, among other objectives, seeks to facilitate the creation of employment opportunities for women, youth and persons with disabilities.
(b) Strengthening Social Dialogue

Mr Chairperson, social dialogue, amongst labour market players is crucial for industrial peace and harmony. In this regard, my ministry will ensure that a number of meetings are held with our social partners in job creation sector.

Mr Chairperson, the labour offices need capacity building for field labour offices. The labour offices play a very important role in upholding of labour standards and the provision of various employment related services. Regrettably, most labour offices need some attention in order to provide quality service. The 2009 budget has made a provision for the rehabilitation of some field offices and capacity building for staff.

( c ) Labour Law Reforms

Mr Chairperson, my ministry will continue to discuss the review of the labour laws with all stakeholders. Various meetings have been lined up to finalise this work, and the work that has been going on regarding the review of labour laws. We shall work to strengthen the law to address the weaknesses that have been observed and we shall also focus on eliminating bottlenecks in the law that hinder the growth of the private sector. We also intend to bring to this House sometime this year, the review of the Employment Act after due consultation with various stakeholders.

As I conclude, I wish to reaffirm my ministry’s commitment to the creation of an enabling labour market environment that enhances growth through private sector participation. I, therefore, appeal through you, Mr Chairperson, to all hon. Members of this House to support the budget of my ministry in 2009 budget.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Mr Matongo (Pemba): Mr Chairperson, thank you very much for according me this opportunity to debate on this Vote. The Ministry of Labour and Social Security for many years had been advocated to be one of the ministries that is budgeted for well and ranked highly on the priority scale. Although, human beings cannot be tamed as assets, but in terms of their contribution in the vitality of this ministry in the labour market and our social security programmes, they are not properly classified. For that I am certain. So, we ask His Honour the Vice-President, to please look into that. We have been advocating for this ministry to be classified as an economic ministry along the lines of agriculture, mining, commerce trade and industry and so on. Let it be done.

    Secondly, when President Banda opened this Parliament, he was very categorical on the issue of labour and social security. According to my understanding, his instructions to the hon. Minister responsible for this ministry was that in this year of extraordinary circumstances and difficulties, there is need to develop tripartite dialog, meaning intensive discussions between the employers, employees and the Government. Such kind of dialog requires money.

A short while ago, in his policy statement, the hon. Minister talked about job creation, which is mandatory in anybody’s sane mind if this country has to move forward. We are producing tertiary graduates and schools leavers who need jobs. There too many youths who are just on the streets doing nothing. None of us will be comfortable if these youths start rising against us.

Mr Chairperson, I frankly refuse, for the third time on this Floor, that when something happens in the world, we should develop a habit in this country …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Please, can you consult quietly. I am failing to concentrate.

Mr Matongo: I refuse to accept that anything that happens in an economy that is prosperous, like the United States and other western countries, immediately affects us. Whether we like it or not, it is a fact that we have been under economic distress for over 25 years. Maybe the last decade, between 1991 and 2002, was even worse. What depression is the Government talking about that has not been there all this time?

I would like to ask the hon. Minister and His Honour, the Vice-President, to accept that there are things that we can still manage by ourselves despite this is credit crunch.

Now, it is not right for the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning and his colleagues in the budgetary office to argue and say that they are cutting every allocation because of the credit crunch.

Dr Musokotwane entered the Chamber.

Mr Matongo: Oh yes, the hon. Minister has come. I think he should sit down there and listen. I agree that a jacket must be cut according to the cloth. However, if certain ministries are mandated to do extraordinary things in order to withstand modern pressures, surely these cuts must be moderate so as to allow the ministries to operate.

I do not see how the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security, with the cut in the ministry’s budget this year, is expected to carry out his mandate successfully. I know the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning will tell me that I do not understand how difficult the situation is right now. I understand. Nonetheless, how will the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security create jobs with a cut of K3 billion from his budget? Yet, he has being instructed by the President to do certain extraordinary things.

We have an answer for him to lose his excess fat so that he is able to deal with such matters but I suppose that he needs money.

Mr Muyanda: He should go to Chimbwakaila to lose the fat.


Mr Matongo: He has been ordered to reform labour laws but it requires money and a lot of consultations. He has also been ordered to discuss and create harmony in the working environment in a very fragile economy. However, the reduction in the ministry’s budget is not being helpful.

I want to make it clear that we all understand the difficulties the Government is going through but certain ministries need certain relative leverages in budgetary allocations in order to do their jobs. Our priorities and litmus test in this country, for those who like to talk about imitations, are very clear. If we help the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to secure our retired workers, injured people and create jobs, then we would have solved the problem. If we put more money in the Ministry of Works and Supply, for instance, for roads to be worked on, we would be creating a stimulus plan.

Mr Chairperson, I sometimes do not understand why anybody should think we do not understand our current situation and only a few people in the Ministry of Finance and National Planning understand where we are coming from and going. We have been around for a very long time. We have created wealth in this country, which the present Government is enjoying. The hon. Members on your right must understand when we tell them that there must be relative leverage and consideration for certain ministries to be given certain advantages in order for them to operate efficiently and help solve the country’s problems.

Mr Chairperson, this is one of the ministries that I believe went through the Public Service Reform Programme (PSRP) and I think this programme dealt with pay reforms. I also believe that various programmes have been undertaken to make this ministry efficient because it is central to labour sustainability and creation. I would like to find out the results of these programmes that cost us so much money. Even the vehicles marked PRSP have disappeared together with everything else. What has happened to them? What has happened to the people that have been trained under these projects?

Sir, if I may divert a bit, I would like to find out why most of our well trained and competent staff are not given the jobs that they deserve. Yesterday we were talking about the Public Service Management Division (PSMD) but unfortunately, I was denied a chance to debate. Hon. Government Members must understand that being a permanent secretary is not the same thing as dancing to Pepe Kale music.


Mr Matongo: It requires more capacity than that. Being a permanent secretary for Lusaka Province, for example, has nothing to do with how many chains one wears on wrists and fingers or who made the most sound during the last campaign. If a cadre has to be given a Government position, he or she can be dealt with in different manner. We want these ministries to have people that have been trained at great cost. I agree that all human beings are equal, but they may not be equal in terms of capacity and putting in effort to develop this country. I can argue and say that I am equal to Hon. Hachipuka but the truth is that he is bigger than me and if I have to fight him, I have to be well prepared.


Mr Matongo: Mr Chairperson, I would like to appeal to the Leader of Government business in the House to understand our concerns. We really mean well for this Government to succeed and it can only do so in these difficult times if this and all other ministries are well catered for. For example, it does not make sense to send a left hooked boxer into a ring with the left hand tied behind the back. This is exactly what this Budget is doing to these ministries.

I do not want to hear anybody tell me that I do not know where we are coming from. I know where everybody here comes from and I know where I am coming from. What I am saying is the correct thing. These ministries must be properly funded, particularly the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.

In any case, in a civilized society one does not promise a supplementary budget. If I was a hon. Minister, I would spend very fast and quickly come to ask for the supplementary funds. Budgeting is about stating what we have in order to spend and what will be collected or raised by the Zambia Revenue Authority(ZRA). I appeal to the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to look at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security in light of the instructions that were issued by the President on this Floor. The K3 billion that has been cut from this ministry’s budget, compared to last year, should be reconsidered. The Leader of Government business in the House should know that in equity, what one has is not taken away but increased.

I thank you, Sir.

 Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): Mr Chairman …

The Deputy Chairperson: Before the hon. Member takes the Floor, by way of guidance, the Chair never tires to guide. Reference has been made that the hon. Member of Parliament was denied to speak yesterday. Indeed, if you do not catch the Chair’s eyes you may not speak. Not catching the Chair’s eye does not mean that the Chair has not seen you indicating. The Chair may see you indicating, but if you are not asked to speak, it is not out of bad faith, but because it is not your time to speak.

Thank you, can you continue.

Mr Chanda: … straight away, I wish to agree with what Hon. Matongo stated that the hon. Ministry of Labour and Social Security is a very important ministry. When the current Minster of Labour and Social Security was appointed, Zambian workers said, yes, here comes a man who is one of us. A man who knows all the tactics that management employs. However, I want to be very frank with my brother. I do not think this is the case now owing to the fact that employees are gradually losing hope and faith in him. Why do I say so? It is because nothing is working out for the Zambian worker.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chanda: Day in, day out, a Zambian worker is being threatened of being laid off. I do know that when a company wants to lay off its employees the first step it takes is to write to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.

However, my concern is and this is where the problem is: How does the Ministry of Labour and Social Security respond to such requests? Do they go back to the same employer and say, please can you tell us how you want to lay off these people or do they go and consult the employees themselves if the reasons being advanced are true or not because in some cases, the reasons that are advanced are very cosmetic. The hon. Minister even knows because he is a fellow former unionist like me. There are things that we challenged management on, on the table when they said this is the situation and proved otherwise.

Mr Chairperson, I hope and pray that having a background of unionism the current Minister will be able to put things right in that ministry.

As regards factory inspectors, the Zambian workers have been abused in this country. The safety of workers in the workshops and factories is bad to say the least. If you walked in any factory or workshop, you will find people working almost bare footed. It is a shame.It is only that I was told not to cry, otherwise, I would have cried.


Mr Chanda: Mr Chairperson …

Mr Mubika: Join Kambwili’s club!

Mr Chanda: … to underscore my points, one needs to walk out of the Chamber and see how employees who are carrying out construction in one of the areas around here dressed.

Mr Kambwili: Canvass.

Mr Chanda: One will be able to agree with me that there is a problem. You do not need to go very far.

Mr Chairperson, last year we were informed that they recruited factory inspectors, but where are they? Here at this premises where laws are made, people working on constructing the new building are meant to work almost bare footed.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Mr Chanda, you started very well, but I think that you have debated enough about this place, can you go elsewhere. Continue.

Mr Chanda: Mr Chairperson, it is high time the hon. Minister started demanding reports from inspectors to see what they are doing in order to correct the situation in factories.

Mr Chairperson, as we drive on our roads whether in a private vehicle like me or you have got a flag, we pass through people who work on the roads and see how they are dressed. Sometimes as I pass through the roads, I wonder whether these people are Nyau dancers or workers. Therefore, when we pass through, what message are we leaving behind? They say there goes the Minister, but I am working in patapata. I think let us be serious.

Some of the investors …

Mr Mubika: Gure wamukhulu!

Mr Chanda: … have a poor safety record even where they come from. That is why they are behaving like this and without adequate supervision, they will never improve. We need to see what they do on the mines regardless of the money that is involved in that contract, proper safety attires have to be bought for the workers.

Mr Chairperson, gone are the days when you go in the plant and identify a contractor by his attire which was in tartars. This time, you will only be able to identify them because of the identification cards that they wear. Things must change.

Mr Chairman, I do not want to stay too long on the Floor, I would like to give chance to other. Let me know talk about labour offices. Employees who do not belong to a union take their complaints to this office, but we have seen these complaints being twisted. The employer would abuse his employees and when the employees take the matter to this office, the decision will be made in favour of the employer.

Mr Chairperson, I do not want to allege any corruption but I think it is up to the hon. Minister concerned to check how these cases are handled. In my constituency, some employees approached me because they had been abused by their employers and I said, “look, honestly, in those days I would have assisted you. I had the powers as Chairman of the union but I cannot do anything now. You must go to the Labour Office”. When they start telling you stories about what they went through, you can almost shed tears. I, therefore, plead with the hon. Minister to put things in order in this department.

Mr Chairperson, I want to keep to my word.

I thank you very much, Sir.

Mrs R. M. Musokotwane (Katombola): Thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Mr Chairperson, I want to take Hon. Matongo and Hon. Chanda contributions as mine, but let me add a little more. I do support the Vote for the ministry though the money is not enough. The ministry’s capacity at the moment is not as it is supposed to be. The ministry does not have enough labour officers and inspectors. The few inspectors that the ministry has are only along the line of rail. Therefore, they need to decentralise so that all the districts in the country have inspectors. Because of the fact that they do not have enough inspectors, the integrity of these officers is compromised. Since they are few, it takes too long for them to settle cases between workers and workers. Some of these inspectors work very hard while some of them are compromised in favour of the employers.

The ministry, Mr Chairperson, needs more labour officers and inspectors because most of the employers do not support the work of a union. The union officials are always threatened. As a result, workers are afraid of losing their jobs. In fact, this trend is growing not only among foreign investors but even among Zambian investors. Zambians are not treating their brothers and sisters well and maybe it is because they have seen that foreign investors are doing all sorts of things to Zambian workers and Government is not taking any action. Employees working for Zambians and foreign investors have the same problem.

Mr Chairperson, the hon. Minister talked about the review of the labour laws, especially the Employment Act. This must be done as quickly as possible because it could improve the working conditions of the workers. This Act should also stipulate how to handle casual employees. There is no law at the moment that guarantees the proper treatment of workers.

A lot of employers declare their workers redundant without giving them benefits. Maybe we need to legislate in this House a law that is going to compel companies to have trust funds so that when workers are retrenched or a company closes, they can be paid benefits from this fund. I am sure the House is aware of what happened to Getway Television (GTV) recently, Smart Centre, Ackermans and Spirit of the River. All these companies closed without paying their workers. If each company had a trust fund, we would not be worrying about this. I ask the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security, if it is possible, to work around coming up with legislation that ensures that every company that employs people must have a trust fund.

Mr Chairperson, when a company is closed, they should not be allowed to come back using a different name. Those companies which will come back using a different should be black listed. They should not be allowed to come back in this country under a different name again.

Hon. UPND Member: Wamba kabotu.

Mrs R. M. Musokotwane: Mr Chairperson, another issue I would like to discuss is the late payment of benefits. Pensioners and retirees go for years without being paid their terminal benefits. This is because there is no trust fund. This ministry should be in the forefront to ensure that when workers are declared redundant, they are paid their dues.

Mr Chairperson, I am a retired civil servant. If I died today, my children who have never worked in Government and who do not know which offices to go to will not be paid my benefits. Eventually my benefits will be used by the staff in the Ministry of Education where I worked. This has happened before. The staff have taken benefits for retirees and the deceased because employers take too long to pay, especially for people who live far away from Lusaka like in Mongu and Kalabo. I urge the hon. Minister to look into this and ensure that people are paid their money in full. We do not want to be destitutes after we retire.

Chairperson, the Wage Act says the minimum wage is K260,000. What can one do with the K260,000? The average number of children that most of us have is six and K260,000 will only buy three bags of mealie-meal. I cannot buy malasha, groceries and let alone paying school fees.

Mr Chairperson, can the ministry increase the minimum wage from K260, 000 to at least a million? Why does it not review these figures annually? The economy changes every year and, therefore, it should review the figures according to the inflation rate. However, I do not support the downward adjustment in the case of deflation. This ministry has the huge responsibility of ensuring that the Zambian workers are taken care of very well.

Mr Chairperson, let me speak on the security of our workers.  I know that workers are locked up in factories where there is no proper sanitation and ventilation. For instance, some employees who work in bakeries to make bread using hot ovens which may at some point affect their breathing. The ministry should address the issue of why people should be locked up in factories.  If a fire broke out, we would lose people. I do not know if the foreign investors who do that to our people can do the same in their countries. I doubt it. Why should we let them do this to our people in this country?

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Mr C. K. B. Banda (Chasefu): Mr Chairperson, I will be brief in my debate.

Sir, during the United National Independence Party (UNIP) era, we had a committee that was called the Committee on Zambianisation. That committee performed exceedingly well in ensuring that certain jobs were reserved for Zambians. However, after the Movement for Multi party Democracy (MMD) came into power, maybe for a good reason, the function of this committee was relegated, notwithstanding the fact that they succeeded in attracting foreign investment into the country.

Mr Chairperson, my appeal is that it is about time that this committee was revived. I note with satisfaction that a sum of K134 million has been allocated to this committee. That is a good start.

The importance of this committee cannot be over emphasised, especially that we have a lot of foreign investment that has come into the country.

We know that some foreign investors do not understand our labour laws and even employ expatriate marketing practitioners and accountants at the expense of Zambians.

Mr Chairperson, my appeal is that this committee must come up with positive legislation which must ensure that certain jobs are reserved for Zambians.

Sir, we have a lot of well trained accountants as well as marketing and human resource practitioners. It is about time that jobs in these categories were reserved for the Zambians, hence my support for the allocation to the committee on Zambianisation.

Mr Chairperson, with the coming of foreign business people into Zambia, we have also attracted bad investors who have no respect for the rights of workers and subject them to terrible working conditions. If you had a committee like this, which would work hand in hand with the Inspectorate Department of your ministry, I am sure there would be a marked improvement in the conditions of service for Zambian workers.

It is for this reason that I also support the Vote that has been given to the factories department in the ministry. We know that the ministry employs inspectors. However, I hasten to add that they need to employ more since we have a lot of industries and factories. I submit that we can do better by increasing the number of inspectors.

The problem of inspectors is compounded by the fact that they do not have adequate means of transport. I hope the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security will look into this and ensure that our inspectors are given transport to conduct inspections from time to time.

Yes, K544 million has been allocated towards their transportation needs. I thought a lot more could have been done. However, since there is the same song of limitation in the resource basket, a beginning has been made. I hope you can put this money to good use.

Mr Chairperson, I also support this Vote because there is a provision that has been set aside for the review of the labour laws. With the coming of investors, more of our people will be employed. It also means that there will be the likely violation of labour laws and the only recourse these people have is to the courts of law. I note with satisfaction that the Industrial Relations Court falls under your ministry. This court is doing a very commendable job. However, they have a serious problem. The problem is that although this court has a provision for the position of a Registrar, under the current Industrial and Labour Relations Law, this Registrar has no serious functions. Those that have looked at this Act will agree with me that section 87 of the Industrial and Labour Relations Act gives the Registrar no powers. It is because of this lacuna that the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson of the Industrial Relations Court have a heavy workload. They have to deal with inter-locutory and chamber applications.

Mr Chairperson, it is not too late, with the new Permanent Secretary in place who is a lawyer, the country can come up with an amendment to add two sections to give powers to the Registrar to hear Chamber applications and extensions of time for filling applications. At the moment, all these applications are done by the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson.

If you have won your case and the court wants you to get damages and refers that matter for assessment, the Registrar has no powers to effect the ruling. Previously, the Registrar used to operate illegally in carrying out the assessment of damages and the Supreme Court has held that the Registrar had no power to do that. I am mentioning this because it is extremely urgent that these amendments are brought to court …


Mr C. K. B. Banda: … to this House as soon as possible.

Mr Chairperson, I think that many hon. Members want to contribute. I, therefore, rest my submission.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to add the voice of Kantanshi to this important Vote.

Mr Chairperson, we cannot talk about labour and employment without looking at the history of this country.

In the one party state, the State controlled almost all the jobs in the country through the State owned companies. With the changes in the political dispensation and the coming of liberalisation, we saw that most employment conditions changed. Both the employer and the employee began to face new challenges.

For the workers, their new challenge was the meager salaries and how to survive with them because they were living below the poverty datum line, despite working.

In short, the workers were living in total poverty regardless of their commitment to work.

The other issue that has become so difficult to handle is joblessness. The workers are trying to find a way of how to protect job loses that they have been experiencing in the recent past. People who have been working on the mines have realised that they put in so much, but get so little. The question that they always ask themselves is, “Is there a Government that cares? How is this problem going to be resolved”? They have seen situations where investors have come into this country with a briefcase and learnt the job from the local workers. At the end of the contracts, these investors go back with a lot of money to their countries of origin. They have thrown away their briefcases here, but have gone with a lot of money back to their countries while the Zambians continue to toil and receive peanuts for their labour.

Sir, the question that they have always asked is, “how are these people given work permits and who monitors their issuance?” I think these are some of the questions that we need to look at. I have always thought that the issuing of work permits which is now being done by the Ministry of Home Affairs should be transferred to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. This is because the Ministry of Labour and Social Security is supposed to have proper inventory as far as who is part of the workforce in Zambia. When you look at the way the foreigners and Zambians are working, you wonder whether the issue of equal pay for equal work really exists because Zambians put in more work, but at the end of the day get less money than the foreigners.  This issue has been discussed in the House for a long time, but it just receives no serious attention from the Government. The Government has done nothing while investors continue to mistreat Zambians and paying them meagre salaries hiding under the minimum wage of K268,000.00 per month.

I agree with what Hon. Musokotwane said. What can K268,000.00 buy? It is only …

Mr Kambwili:  Sweets!

Mr Mukanga: … sweets or a tie instead of something tangible for the family.

Sir, the reason we have all these problems is because of very bad labour laws in this country. Our labour laws, in this country, are archaic and cannot change improve working conditions. The ministry needs to ensure that these labour laws are changed expeditiously.

 The ministry has got labour inspectors, but how can they go and inspect companies on the Copperbelt if they do not have transport. If they are going to inspect the mines on the Copperbelt, they will have to request for transport from the mining companies. When transport is provided for them, launch is also provided. Don’t you think it will be difficult for the inspectors to be compromised in such a situation? Are we not exposing these labour inspectors to corruption? Are we not forcing them to compromise their findings? Therefore, it is important that when we employ labour inspectors in this country, we attach the importance to their job by providing them with good working conditions.  We must give them better conditions of service and provide all the necessary facilities for them to execute the job properly. If we do not do that, we will not get the best results that we need.

Mr Chairperson, labour inspectors meet various people in various companies and that is why they need good conditions of service. Their first challenge is comparing their conditions of service with those in other companies. They first thing they will see is that wherever they are going, they will notice that people in those companies have better conditions of service. What are they going to do? They will be tempted to find other extra ways of making money while working. Even the factory inspectors are exposed to the same problems that I have spoken about it. When the President came to this House, he stated and I quote:

“Any job loses should only come as a last resort after consultations with trade unions and after thorough analysis of all the options available”.

However, how can consultations with major stakeholders be held when there is no provision for that in the Yellow Book? It is not only that, even for the tripartite consultative process, that is made up of the labour councils meetings, no serious funds have been provided for them. How can we achieve the set goals if we do not provide enough money to work towards them? How can we achieve the set goals if there is no data available in this country on the true performance indicators? When we talk about labour, we are supposed to have serious indicators like labour productivity, labour competitiveness and capital productivity. Right now, there is no data. No one has the proper data even in the ministry. How are you going to compare how you have performed this year with how you performed last year and what targets have been set? No data is available because you do not seem to be serious with labour issues in this country. If this ministry is not funded properly, I can assure you that most of its programmes will not be implemented this year. Therefore, there is no reason that can stop the hon. Minister from raising an amendment so that we increase the funding for this ministry because it needs a lot of money.

Sir, I would tell you that when you look at the actions compared to set targets for labour inspections, in 2005, we had a success rate of 6.9 per cent. In 2007, we had reached 22 per cent. Even in factory inspections, we were in the range of 16 to 22 per cent. These are poor results because 22 per cent is a poor result. If you are getting 22 per cent in any engineering course, then you are not fit to be called an engineer. You are supposed to get above average for you to say that you are performing. Therefore, this ministry is not performing in that aspect. There is need to ensure that we fund the ministry properly. Even if you employ very hardworking people, if the ministry is not well funded, it will not do anything.

This ministry will always be under-performing unless it is properly funded. The bottom line that we have seen is that the Budget has been reduced from 19.7 billion last year to 16.7 billion this year. This reduction will have detrimental result. The employers will start doing all sorts of wrong things because the ministry does not have sufficient funds to provide to the labour inspectors so that they can regularly visit these companies. How do you expect results when the budget allocation for inspection on pressure vessels has been reduced from 200,000.00 to K144,000,000.00? To inspect one pressure vessel, we need a colossal amount of money. How are you going to expect results if the factory inspections budget allocation has been reduced from K720,000,000.00 to K544,000,000.00? The only increment, I have seen somewhere, is the Labour Day celebrations which has been increased from K120 million to K150 million. Does this show seriousness?

Mr Kambwili: Shame!

Mr Mukanga: How serious was the Government when increasing funding for the Labour Day Celebrations and then reduce on other more serious areas? I do not know what they will be celebrating. What is important is that we should be able to seek for an increment on things that matter because people are living in abject poverty. Even if you are employed, in Zambia, it does not matter because you still continue to live below the poverty datum line.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to comment on the Workers Compensation Regulation Act. The current Workers Compensation Regulation Act in the country does not seriously save the interests of the worker. What is your explanation for giving a person who has been incapacitated, and is sitting in a wheelchair, K10,000.00 or K36,000.00 per month for the rest of his life? What can he buy from K10,000.00 apart from sweets.

Mr Kambwili: And cigarettes

Mr Mukanga: Yes, whatever!

It is important that we look at these issues seriously. I spoke about the same issue last time but nothing happened. That is why I always say that it is easy to debate in this House because all you need to do is to refer to your old notes and debate the same things because this Government does not change anything. For a start, why can we not be serious about issues that are raised in this ministry? The people should see that the compensation given to those who are incapacitated allows them to survive.  For example, it is wrong for a person in a wheelchair, after working so hard, to be paid K10,000.00 or K36,000.00 per month as compensation. This makes people feel used. In short, we are using the workers to execute jobs without giving them anything at the end of the day.

  Anyone in this House can be a victim. If you do not improve the Workers’ Compensation Act, you might be the next victim and you might be getting only K10.000. For those of us who have many children, how do the children survive and how do they go to school. We should look at this issue seriously and ensure that things are changed and that we are able to review this law. At least, for a start, let the people of Zambia see that they have a Government that is able to care. If you do not approach these issues with great seriousness, I think we have ourselves to blame. God is giving us an opportunity to change the lives of people. In order for us to do this, we should ensure that we do everything we can to ensure that we improve the lives of the people of Zambia.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Dr Machungwa(Luapula): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me an opportunity to debate on this very important Vote for the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. This is a ministry that is very dear and important to me because it talks about all the Zambian workers. Unfortunately, our labour laws only provide for those who are in formal employment and those of us who might be working in the field are not covered. That notwithstanding, this is an extremely important ministry. As some of my colleagues have said, if we want to produce goods, we could borrow capital from outside. We could even borrow machinery and even import technology. We also have to teach the people here efficient production methods and address the issues that affect them because a system can only produce if all its components are functional. One of the most important components is labour.

Sir, there is an economic crunch in the world. In the Yellow Book, you will find that allocations to most ministries have been reduced. The Ministry of Labour and Social Services has suffered a reduction of K3 billion. First of all, what it was given last year was inadequate and now, it has suffered a reduction of K3 billion. As my colleague Hon. Matongo has said, the Ministry of Labour and Social Service ought to be considered an economic ministry because without the labour input, no serious development can be achieved. I do not know where the problem is. I do not know whether we should change the hon. Ministers or the problem is with the civil servants. I am saying so because year in, year out, inspite of cries from this House and elsewhere, the performance of this ministry does not seem to change. If you do not pay anything, you get nothing.

Sir, there is an economic crunch in the world.  In our country, we anticipate as elsewhere, loss of jobs, reduced earnings from most companies and industrial unrest. In this situation, we would hope that the Ministry of Labour and Social Services…

Mr Kambwili interrupted.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! I think the hon. Member on the Floor should be protected. You are too close to the person debating. I am sure you are destructing his line of thinking when you make noise.

Can you continue.

Dr Machungwa: Mr Speaker, I am most obliged. Certain people cannot stay quiet for very long.


Mr Kambwili: Question!


Dr Machungwa: Mr Chairperson, we are going to be expecting all these issues to arise in the current scenario. Under these circumstances, the Social Dialogue Tripartite Consultative Labour Council becomes extremely important. I am glad that it was mentioned that this is one of the areas the ministry will focus on. However, how are they going to be able to focus on this when they do not have the means? In the Yellow Book, I notice that K180 million last year, was allocated for the Social Dialogue Tripartite Consultative Labour Council (SDTCLC) to be able to call the tripartite consultative labour council meeting to discuss these issues. This year, its allocation has gone down to K96 million. With the issues that are brewing, it is very difficult to see how they can achieve carry out their work well with these limited funds. It is like the ministry is designed to fail. I hope the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning will come to the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Service’s aid because it is not possible to achieve much with this amount of money

Sir, my colleagues have already mentioned that we have new investors in the country whose work mentality and approach to labour issues is not the same as we used to have before. In some countries where some of the investors come from, if you hear that fifty or 200 people have died in some work accident, to them it is normal. We hear of these things all the time. If they come here, we need to police our industry and our working institutions very carefully to ensure that these things do not befall our workers.

Mr Chairperson, when you look at what has been allocated for example, to Occupational Health and Safety Promotion, last year, we had K1,510,000,000 and this year, we have only K1,110,000,000. This money is supposed to help in inspecting pressure vessels, inspecting lifting machinery, inspecting factories and for prosecuting those who go against the labour laws. If you ask the hon. Member of Parliament for Chasefu, he will tell you that prosecutions are expensive. For you to be able to just consult him, probably you will need about K10 million. Some of us who are always seeing lawyers because of certain disagreements within our parties already know that legal services are very costly.


Mr Machungwa: There are so many people who violate labour laws such that I donnot know how much it will cost that ministry to prosecute those people. For example, we know that in Chambeshi, there is a worker who was shot at a mine. This person may still have a bullet in his spine. Obviously, we do not expect this person who cannot even earn anything at the moment to take the mine owners to court. Does the ministry have the muscle or the capacity to even buy fuel for their officers, labour inspectors and prosecutors in all the ministries to be able to go and give some assistance to the suffering Zambian workers where ever they are located? It is extremely important that these labour inspections are done. I would also like to refer to what my colleague, the hon. Member for Katombola said. We know that there are some factory owners who like to lock up their workers during the night. Bakery owners do that and only come back in the morning. I used to inspect these places in the morning and found that is what was happening. These people must be taken to task for their actions. I therefore, urge the Hon. Minister to be very proactive on these issues because it is not all the time that the workers will have to courage to come and report the violations of the labour law. Our workers must be protected. 

Sir, we passed an amendment to the Labour Industrial Relations Act in this House and this is somewhat controversial because in this country at one time, we supported the issue of one union one industry but then, this was seen as being unconstitutional and it was contrary to Article 21 of the constitution. It was also contrary to certain International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions. Therefore, we allowed a multiplicity of unions to exist but now, we are trying to say that you can have three or five unions but only one union can negotiate in its terms to defeat the concept of freedom of association. Obviously, there were arguments presented on the Floor of the House and because of what others like to call, arrogance of numbers, we were not listened to. I think hon. Minister you have to be looking at this again and again. Perhaps, you may wish to come and tell the House what has happened. Has this law been implemented yet?

Mr Chairperson, I would like to come to the issue of social security institutions under the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. I know that NAPSA and the WCFCB have their own directors.  However, as far as we are concerned, your ministry oversees the operations of these institutions. I think that it not beyond your ministry, hon. Minister, to encourage them and ensure that they fully serving the interests of the Zambian worker.

For example, what business has NAPSA got to take pensioners’ money and buy shares or invest in some business venture that is already collapsing? That is not acceptable. Hon. Minister, because I know that your director of social security and possibly the Permanent Secretary sit on that board, you should give counsel. In some cases, these institutions fail to collect what is due to them. They have adequate power to prosecute institutions which have not paid their dues. What is the use of waiting until the institutions collapse for you to realise that they have not paid? Hon. Minister, you have to look into this because in the end, it is the workers who suffer.

Mr Chairperson, I am happy that in spite of these limitations, the hon. Minister, having been a trade unionist, will see how to work it out. Let me also encourage you to understand and work with your former trade union colleagues. This business of not wanting a certain person to be a trade union leader is not acceptable. Let the workers choose who they want. Just like hon. Members of Parliament go to their constituencies to campaign, and if elected, come back to Parliament, if not elected stay in the constituencies. Workers should also be allowed to choose their leaders.

In the case of trade unions, we do not want a union not having a quadrennial conference because the ministry has placed an injunction against it being held. Such issues should belong to the past. We have liberalised the economy and people should be allowed to choose their leaders.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Liato: Mr Chairperson, through you, I wish to thank all the hon. Members who have been kind enough to make very positive contributions towards the Vote under my ministry.

As a ministry, we shall obviously take into account various contributions which have been made. We do take note that it not practical to fulfill all the suggestions and contributions made, for various reasons. For example, there are limited resources and we can only do with what we have. Where we have failed to meet your expectations, it will definitely not be because we have been negligent. I will assure you that we always try our best to see how we can meet your expectations.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to quickly go through various submissions made. However, I will try to mix them through what I picked from each one of you that spoke at different times. On the issue of the ministry looking at redundancies in companies, we are keeping eyes open when it comes to issues of redundancies. What we have done is engage the employers at this stage so that if there may be people who will lose employment, they do this as a very last resort. The objective of engaging employers is to see if there are any other ways of avoiding this, either to deploy or engage them in some core business and to move away from the non-core business so that we could beef up area of the core business rather than the non-core business.

We have also insisted that in the event that people have to be laid off, they should not go away empty-handed but have meaningful packages. This brings me to another issue which was raised by another hon. Member, Hon. Musokotwane, who said we should consider setting up a trust fund. At the moment, what we have at law is that the various institutions or companies must engage the employers, meaning the workers must engage the employers so that within the conditions of service, without even going to what is available as minimum payment at law, regarding redundancy package, must be able to work out their redundancy and retrenchment packages. E.

Mr Chairperson, I also picked up the issue of the minimum wage. It is important to note that even before this presentation, as a ministry, I did make an announcement that we would be taking the issue of the minimum wage to review. At the moment, we are just doing review consultations and we hope to have the first tripartite council in the first quarter of this year. We hope that we shall, among other issues, be looking at reviewing our minimum wage. It is top on the agenda.

Mr Chairperson, the issue of Zambianisation is real. I think that the only commitment I can make to the hon. Member is that we will step up the work of the Zambianisation committee. In fact, you may want to note that this is one of the issues we intend bringing in the Employment Act. Even if it existed under the UNIP era, it lacked the legal muscle to be enforceable. Therefore, we now want to bring it in the Employment Act so that it can compel employers to follow the mandate of the provisions of the law.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to come to the issue of inspectors. Again, we note that yes, we have few inspectors. However, it is on the agenda to recruit more where we can. At the same time, we note and agree with those who have made submissions that as a ministry we have insufficient transportation for our inspectors to cope with the demand of the kind of work that needs to be done in far flung areas. However, we will try as much as we can to see what best we do to acquire transportation in order to meet the expectations in this regard.

Mr Chairperson, locking workers is definitely illegal. One of the things we shall be doing in the possible coming Employment Act Amendment is to give more power to the Office of the Labour Commissioner so that he can be able to deal with such situations decisively and issue penalties to employers who break the law with impunity.

Mr Chairperson, I agree with Hon. Machungwa that the issue of Conventions 87 and Title of the High Law that gives us the freedom to associate with an organisation of our choice, and to freely organise trade unions has also given us a couple of difficulties. It could be counterproductive in some areas. For example, you may have in one institution five to ten unions being formed because each one of them has got a freedom to form an institution to represent them. In that event we will give the employers so much headache that they will spend most of their time negotiating with particular individual trade unions. In the end, that activity will be affecting productivity.

   Therefore, the concept of negotiating with the most represented group is aimed at ensuring that none of them will feel left out in the negotiations. I am sure Hon. Dr Machungwa is listening keenly to what I am saying because he also used this point I am making. The most of representative workers group is in the International Labour Organisation (ILO). It is better study ILO at that very high level. We are trying to use the the ILO’s suggestions to enhance productivity in many workplaces. Let the union institutions as many as they might be, meet and agree that this is going to be their agenda and approach whenever they are about to meet with the management of a company. The one who leads the group should be the one who has got the most members. The one of the biggest share of members must be the leader of the group. That is what the concept of the most represented group means. It does not mean that those with small members will be isolated and ignored completely.

We have also taken note of the WCFCB minimum payment as noted by Hon. Mukanga. There are a lot of issues that we intend looking at. We shall also be addressing problems that are related to are the management of these funds. We are examining the management like we have done at NAPSA. We hope to also look at management structure of WCFCB so that we can make the necarry progressive management changes.

Mr Chairperson, I may have covered most of the issues that have been raised.

The Deputy Chairperson of Committees: Yes! I think you have. Kindly, wind up.


Mr Liato: I must say that I would like to thank everyone for having supported the vote.

I wish to thank you, Mr Chairperson.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Vote 44/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 44/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 44/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote44/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 44/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 44/06 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 45 − (Ministry of Community Development and Social Services − K62,761,381,240.

The Minister of community Development and Social Services (Mr Kaingu): Mr Chairperson, I wish to thank you for according me this opportunity to discuss the estimates of expenditure for the Ministry of community Development and Social Services for the year 2009 which stands at K62,761,381,240 compared to last year’s approved budget expenditure of K67.1 billion.

The Ministry of Community Development and Social Services is an important vehicle which Government created to protect the poor and most vulnerable protect  against the effects of the economic down turn in our society and attain the millennium development goals (MDGs)such as goal number one which seeks to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.

In the recent past, there has been a great increase in the number of vulnerable people who are mainly women, children, the disabled and older persons due to the global financial crisis which has negatively impacted our economy especially in the mining sector with people losing their jobs. As people lose their jobs, the level of vulnerability increases. This entails an increased responsibility for my ministry. In order to achieve MDG One…


Mr Kaingu:…by 2015, we as a Government will utilise this vehicle it created known as Ministry of Community Development and Social Services.

Mr Chairperson, the country’s population currently stands approximately at 11.7 million of which 64 per cent are regarded to be poor and 53 per cent extremely poor. The larger proportion of the country’s population (65 per cent) live in rural areas while only 35 per cent are urban based. It is this vast population of our people in the rural areas who benefit the most from my ministry’s programmes and projects hence, the need for it to be adequately funded.

Sir, the Government through the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services has a number of programmes aimed at improving the welfare of the poor and vulnerable in our society. Allow me to highlight a few of them. Before, I do that, let me read the mission statement of my ministry. It reads and I quote:

“To Provide and Facilitate Social Economic Empowerment of the Poor and Vulnerable and Promote the Development and Reservation of Culture for Sustainable Human Development.”

(a)Social Cash Transfer Scheme

Mr Chairperson, the social cash transfer scheme (SCTS) aims at delivering social welfare assistance in form of cash to those that are extremely poor and incapacitated and cannot be reached by labour based programmes. These people need regular and continuous assistance to survive and educated their children.

Government has made a policy decision to scale-up the SCTS in order to benefit more vulnerable people with an additional five districts in the year 2009. To this effect, the budgetary allocation has gone up from K1.5 billion in 2008 to K3.0 billion in 2009. The up-scaling will be done in phases.

(b)The Food Security Pack (FSP)

The programme targets vulnerable but viable farmers by giving them fertiliser and other inputs. Government through this programme also places emphasis on other methods of agriculture other than that which is rain fed such as wetland cropping, conservation farming and livestock farming. The Government through the food security pack programme (FSPP) aims to improve productivity among small agricultural households to realise household food security. The ministry has engaged Programme Against Malnutrition (PAM) to implement 65 per cent of this programme while 35 per cent is being implemented by my ministry with a view of eventually taking over full implementation. We have allocated K10,000,000,000 to this programme.

(c )The Public Welfare Assistance Scheme (PWAS)

The public welfare assistance scheme (PWAS) is one of Government’s major social safety nets aimed at providing support to the most needy such as orphaned children, the elderly persons, the disabled and chronically ill who have no support from any one. The programme, therefore, targets the poorest of the poor. Assistance is given in form of food, shelter, education, health, clothing and repatriation.

In this year’s budget, my ministry has increased the amount allocated to this programme from K4,292,630,548 in 2008 to K6,700,000,000 this year, due to the anticipated high demand for social welfare support from vulnerable people considering what is happening in the country’s economy and world over.

(d) Street Children’s Programmes

Mr Chairperson, with an allocation of K10,000,000,000 to this programme in 2008, my ministry made progress by rehabilitating and reintegrating street children into their families and communities. In addition, the resources were used to turn the Chikumbi Learn Resource Centre in Chibombo District into a child care facility model, where children who have been removed from the streets will be accommodated and empowered with life skills.

In this year’s budget, my ministry has allocated K4,000,000,000 to this programme. The reduction of K6 billion from last year’s allocation is due to the fact that the capacity building programmes with stakeholders most projects was done last year and thus there is no need to carry out the exercise today again..

(d) The Women’s Development Programme

Mr Chairperson, Government recognises that women are among the most vulnerable and poorest of all in the country.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Kaingu: It is for this reason, that Government places a lot of emphasis on women development and implements programmes that empower women and other vulnerable groups in entrepreneurship training that can uplift their living standards.

The Government, therefore, encourages women to work together through the formation of women groups in order for them to access funds. Women groups are encouraged to engage in self-help projects such as chicken rearing, gardening and improvement of sanitation. My ministry has increased the allocation to this programme to K700,000,000 in order to increase the number of beneficiaries.

This programme complements the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and it is another way of improving on the MDG one. This is because if women are empowered they can feed the nation and contribute to the reduction of poverty at household level.

(e) The Promotion of Arts and Culture

Mr Chairperson, the importance of culture to any given country cannot be over emphasised. Cultural heritage forms the identity of any country. In this regard, the Government is determined to preserve Zambia’s cultural heritage. Government will continue to construct and rehabilitate various infrastructures such as cultural centres and galleries. The Government will also continue to support traditional ceremonies in Zambia.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kaingu: In addition, the ministry in conjunction with the Lusaka National Museum has an ongoing programme of promoting culinary art with emphasis on the promotion of indigenous traditional cuisines and recipes. This is with a view to promote the nutritional value of traditional food and to encourage women to venture into the preparation of indigenous food for sale as a way of empowering them and reducing poverty.

Hon. Members, I still want to emphasis that we should not demonise the eating of indigenous foods. My ministry will continue to champion the consumption of such food stuffs.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kaingu: In terms of creative arts and cultural industries, Government through my ministry is of the view that handcrafts, theatre, film and other cultural enterprises have great potential to create employment and wealth, especially among our unemployed youths in rural and urban areas.

Hon. Members, as I conclude, let me state that it is in your interest to support the budget of the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

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

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Chairperson, I would like to talk about one thing. The entry in the Yellow Book on page 459, Vote 45/02 - Programme 7, Activity 08 – Social Cash Transfer – Counterpart – K3,000,000,000. The hon. Minister did point out or claimed that the Vote for this item has gone up from K1,500,000,000 to K3,000,000,000. However, if we look in the Yellow Book, I think we get closer to the truth. Last year, there was a supplementary of K11,485,688,136, so the total of K12,985,688,136 was actually spent on Social Cash Transfers (SCTs) which has now been reduced to unexpected K3,000,000,000. It does not mean it is an actual K3,000,000,000 of course, but it could also receive supplementary.

Now, I believe that I am not mistaken in assuming that this extra money, K11,485,688,136 was actually election related.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Dr Scott: It was famous or a well known issue …

Mr Sichamba: Question!

Dr Scott: … of the presidential candidate of the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) handing out the so-called SCT such as sugar and so forth, in Katete …

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: … which ended up …

Hon. Government Members: Iwe!

Dr Scott: I am talking.

The Deputy Chairperson: He is debating give him chance, please.

Dr Scott: It ended up in the conflict resolution committee (CRC) where those complaints were lodged. There was one response by the donors refusing to have anything to do with this programme until the election was over.

Mr Mukanga: Yes!

Dr Scott: Mr Chairperson, I would like to make an appeal to the hon. Minister and I hope that he will take my advice. We really must depoliticise our efforts to take acre of the poor. You cannot take the desperate situation of a poor person as an opportunity for vote buying …

Mr Mukanga: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: … and in other years ignore him or her. The poor should be a class of people, whose needs both sides of this House are committed to meet.

Mr Mukanga: Yes!

Dr Scott: This is an excellent programme on the drawing board or on paper. It is an excellent idea that people should have some form of social pension, if you want to put it that way. People, who cannot be expected to make a living for themselves because of many reasons, due to age, too many responsibilities of non-economic nature and so forth, are looked after by any government.

Year in, year out, election year and none election year, we are more than ready to support the expansion of this programme. However, at the moment it is shooting itself in the foot because it’s just being used for vote buying.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Mr Chairperson, I also want to …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.


The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Members, before Hon. Hamududu takes the Floor, I would like to seize the opportunity to confirm to you what I have always said that almost all hon. Members are capable of making their points in a much shorter time. You do not necessarily have to finish the fifteen minutes time given to you because you saw how Hon. Dr Scott contributed to the debate in less that fifteen minutes, he did it in only five minutes time and so I am encouraging all hon. Members to be brief but if you have many things to say, you can use your time.

Mr Hamududu: Mr Chairperson, coincidentally, I want to confine my debate to the SCTs. Mr Chairperson, coming from a district which is on pilot, I thought I should give my observations on the SCTs. I must say that I agree with Dr Scott that what is indicated in the Yellow Book is not up-scaling because the figures dropped from K12 billion to K3 billion is contrary to what the hon. Minister said. Mr Chairperson, I hope this programme could be free from other motives, apart from assisting the poor because it is a noble venture. It must not be diluted with other ambitions.

Mr Chairperson, the poor will always be amongst us but we must do everything possible to relieve their sufferings because it is our noble duty to do so. Right now 85 percent of our people are poor and so we have the mammoth task of assisting them.

Mr Chairperson, I was privileged to attend a workshop which was held to educate us on the project of the SCTs. Mr Chairperson, at the moment it is being piloted in a number of districts and Monze is one of them amongst others that include Kalomo, Kazungula, Katete and Chipata. I hear you want to up-scale. The problem in this country is that we want to invent things which are already invented and we cannot re-invent a wheel when there are enough best practices within the sub-region where we can learn how this programme is being administered. The programme is being run successfully in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Lesotho.

The problem I have with this programme is on the method used when picking beneficiaries. I differ with the route the ministry has taken of using a subjective approach in the selection of beneficiaries, for example, by targeting those that are very poor. Where do you draw the line? In my constituency, I would like to tell you that it is a disaster. Mr Chairperson, two weeks ago, because I was in another meeting in one ward, I could not attend the one which looked at the method used in selecting people to benefit from the  SCTs  that was held in my constituency. I discovered a lot of lapses with the method that they are using.

The method in which you use community based approach to the selection of beneficiaries by a few groups like the headmen and the quacks to select who is poor and is not the best. They spend most of the time debating on who is poorer than the other. This method cannot really work. If you are not careful, this programme can even perform worser than the Fertiliser Support Programme(FSP) and if you continue going that route, you will embarrass yourselves. I would like to put it on record that there are best practices that we must follow and here I suggest that we use the Katete method.

Mr Chairperson, the Katete method is the best way of running this programme. It is the demographic approach where we can define clearly the target group. We can use the age approach and then add to them, the widows and the disabled because it is very clear to define these people. In the region, they use the age based social pension approach and it is working very well. In the country where I lived for ten years, that method worked very well, I want to suggest that the ministry considers using this method. The current subjective method of choosing who benefits from SCTs in our country cannot work. If we cannot manage the FSP were the actual fertiliser can even be seen. Mr Chairperson, I suggest that the Katete model should be adopted because it is the best and I want you to, perhaps, encourage the ministry to visit these countries and see for themselves. The advantage of the age based method is that at the moment, it is proven through studies that the old people take the burden of poverty in the country because they are more responsible. When you help an older person, he also in turn takes care of the society around him or her. It is true that the older people are looking after our orphans and the vulnerable in society and so when you give the older people this SCT will truly be , transferred to the needy ones within the community. This is because older people do not have any ambitions at all and secondly these old people cannot benefit from any other incentives that are given to economic players like the empowerment fund. They also cannot get jobs because they are old and so it is these people whose vulnerability cannot be reversed. It is these old people who will be very careful in using the given funds because they have no other source.

Mr Chairperson, if you give this to the young people whom you think are vulnerable, but are not, you will create a culture of them being unnecessarily dependant on the Government. The young are still vibrant and easily can stumble upon many income earning opportunities. Its wrong to just pick on anybody and say they are poor. Give the older people and they will take care of society. For those of you who travel to the rural areas and compounds, I am sure you should have noticed that older people are not selfish. If you help an older person, that help will be distributed to other needy as well. I would like to advise the ministry to look into my suggested approach seriously.

Mr Chairperson, ‘the picking on the old method’ which was piloted in Katete has the cheapest administration costs as opposed to the one in Kalomo and Monze. The Katete model used about 9 percent of the money for administration and the rest of these subjective methods in Kalomo and Monze are using over 17 percent of the money for administration which is very high for a pilot project. Mr Chairperson, I also want to say that it is not correct for the ministry employees to actually run the day to day administration of this project. This, I suggest must be given to an agency. That is what has been done in other countries within the region which have successfully implemented this programme.
 You can put an open tender and an agency is given a contract for 2 to 3 years or 5 years, but if it does not perform properly you can review it and give it to somebody else. For this programme where you use the age, you cannot even cheat. This is because if we say people who have reached 60 or 65 years should be assisted, then only those within this age range will be supported. If I go to my constituency or you go to your constituency any one above that age can be captured because the budgeting of this programme is definitive. You will know how much money you will spend because you would just go to Central Statistical Office (CSO) to find out how many people are above 60. Then, you can work according to the amount of money that you have.

Finally, Mr Chairperson, there are other programmes in this ministry that can take care of the other categories of people that are vulnerable. We have the food security pack and also the PWAS that can be used to cover those people you think are desperate, who are not above a particular age.  Both scientific research and empirical evidence has shown that the Katete model is the best because it is cheaper and more effective. However, the ministry is busy pushing for the other one which is very subjective and will land them in serious trouble. So, I urge them to follow the easier model.

So, Mr Chairperson, with these few words, I thank you.

Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Thank you, Mr Chairperson, for allowing me to also add my voice on Community and Social Services Vote which is currently being debated.

Mr Chairperson, I will restrict my debate on just two issues and the first one obviously has already been raised by the previous debaters. What has already been established is that in Zambia, we have a very large number of vulnerable and poor people. It is not a secret. All of in this House, whether from an urban or rural area are aware of the high poverty levels in Zambia. In my office at my constituency, I get a lot of people who come looking for assistance and it is an endless queue. They look for assistance for food, school fees, payment of electricity bills and even payment of rentals. So, the needs are endless. The statistics also tell us that over 80 per cent in fact, over 60 per cent of our population is poor.

Hon. Opposition Member: Over 75 per cent.

Mr Simuusa: Over 75 per cent, now 85 per cent.

Mr Chairperson, what we need in this country is a very effective system of addressing the needs of poor and vulnerable people. I know one of the reasons why we have such high poverty levels is because of our change of policies. In the UNIP era, when Dr Kaunda was the President, we pursued socialist policies where we deliberately as a country looked after everybody. The national resources were truly for everybody. With a change in government, we decided to change to capitalism. Where we privatised and started pursuing capitalist policies which obviously have negative consequences.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Simuusa: Mr Chairperson, when we pursue such policies, we should not totally neglect some aspects of socialism. We should be like the American or Britons, when they pursue their policies of capitalism they also put in place very effective social security nets, which can cushion those that are worse hit by these new policies. Now, in Zambia we have a problem where we have embraced these policies of capitalism and western style economies, but at the same time, we have not embraced their style of addressing the needs of poor. The continued job loses that the country is experiencing should encourage us to come up with proper social safety nets for the poor. As such, I wish to just urge the hon. Minister to quickly identify who the poor are in our country and find ways of attending to their needs.

Mr Chairperson, indeed, I agree with the previous debater on the criteria to be used to identify poor people who should benefit from these programmes of food security and social welfare. the key and what is important is to identify or criteria to identify these poor and vulnerable. To his criteria, lets also add the involvement Members of Parliament in the process. I say so that it is because a Member of Parliament through his office is in touch with the people and can easily tell who are the most vulnerable. When ever, I am move around my constituency, I see the poverty which is there. Even as a Member of Parliament, I find myself powerless most of the times to assist these people or to direct them where to go for help. I get widows coming to my house asking for assistance because they cannot pay electricity bills and we are talking about urban not rural people. These widows cannot afford to pay electricity bills, water bills and they do not even have any food.

Hon. Opposition Member: Marry them.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


Mr Simuusa: Mr Chairperson, almost every meeting that I address, those people are there asking me as a Member of Parliament to help them in one way or the other. Now, as a Member of Parliament what can I do? The only answer is the Government developing a proper social security system. So, as a Member of Parliament, I find myself so powerless and as such ...

Ms Cifire: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Ms Cifire: Mr Chairperson, I have never raised a point of order, but I find it very disturbing that the men in this House should take advantage of the vulnerable women by advising the Member on the Floor to marry us when we are vulnerable.


Ms Cifire: I need your very serious ruling.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Ms Cifire, I am surprised that you have raised that you have raised that point of order. I cannot make a proper ruling….


The Deputy Chairperson: … because it is nice that men should marry you.


The Deputy Chairperson: So, he is in order.


The Deputy Chairperson: Can you continue, please.


Mr Simuusa: Mr Chairperson, thank you for that guidance. Indeed, marriage is one solution, but there is a limit to how many people one can marry. That is why we need that proper social programmes. We need proper social programme that will be easily accessible to the people. I wish the hon. Minister can also give us as Members of Parliament that power to direct a certain number of people vulnerable to go and get assistance from his ministry. Companies that provide social amenities like water and electricity of providing their services to the most vulnerable people even for free. We need to find any means possible to help out poor people.

Mr Chairperson, before my time is up, I just want to look at one institution that I believe the hon. Minister should look at very carefully. This is on page 457 of the Yellow Book, on Programme 3 ─ Support to Institutions ─ K12,646,773,458. There are eleven institutions and I wish to single out one which is Activity 08 ─ Peri-Urban Self Help (PUSH) ─ K722,000,000.

I have singled out this institution because of what I have seen it do in my constituency and this was even before I become a hon. Member of Parliament, about five to six years ago. This institution came into my constituency and went into a compound called Kapisha where it worked on the roads of that compound using the people in the area, mostly women and children and a few men. PUSH used a programme it called food for work. The way it worked was that when a road was slated, the women and few men did the drainage, laid a proper camber and in exchange got mealie-meal, cooking oil and kapenta.

Mr Chairperson, I can tell you that the roads in that township were done properly at a very minimal cost. This is five to six years later and those roads are still intact.

Mr Kambwili: Hear, hear!

Mr Simuusa: I can drive in Kapisha and the drainage is very intact because of a programme implemented by PUSH and for only a fraction of the cost.

Mr Chairperson, if a contractor was given to do those roads, it would have cost the Government about K2 billion and only one little road was going to be done. However, this group of women, children and a few men, at a fraction of the cost, which is just a bit of mealie-meal, cooking oil, some salt and kapenta, did the roads in the whole compound. What I am saying is that kind of work, which I am still enjoying five to six years later, is a very valid way to go.

Mr Chairperson, I have even copied that model. As I speak, there is one road that I have adopted in Soweto Compound in my constituency and I have used the same model with the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). The job that a group of women and a few men in the area have done is commendable. The road and drainage has been done properly and we are soon going to start using this road for minibuses and taxis to transport the people of Soweto Compound. For the first time, there will be public transport going to the compound because of a little effort and cost, which is K15 million. The residents of this compound will be enjoying the benefits of me having used a model which I saw PUSH using a few years ago.

Mr Chairperson, PUSH has also constructed a community centre, for lack of a better term, in the same area where it worked on the roads. The centre is being used the community for various developmental activities. I believe in giving praise were it is due and therefore, I think this organisation and its model is something we can copy. Since we have been crying about the bad state of our roads and lack of funds, a simple model like this one can achieve two things. First of all, we will get the job done for a little amount of money. At the same time, we would avoid handouts as people would do some work in exchange for a little money or food. That way we get the roads done and provide food to the people all at once.

Mr Chairperson, as such, I wish to encourage the supporting of such organisations. Now to my dismay, when I look at Programme 3, Activity 08, the hon. Minister has reduced the support to PUSH from K1,700,000,000 to K722,000,000.

Mr Kambwili: Ya, baonaula.

Mr Simuusa: Mr Chairperson, this is not right and we are going to spoil a very good programme. It is unfortunate that support to other less important activities within the ministry has not been reduced. If it is being reduced, it has only been reduced maybe by 10 to 20 per cent.

Through my debate, I wish to appeal to the hon. Minister to re-look at this allocation for PUSH because I have seen what this organisation has done in my constituency even before I was a hon. Member of Parliament. I appeal to the hon. Minister to give PUSH more support. It is not right to cut this allocation from K1.7 billion last year down to K700 million this year. Probably reducing it to K1.5 billion or K1.2 billion would be reasonable. I know that other people will benefit from the work that PUSH is doing and I am also aware that it is now in North-Western Province. I think it is in Mwinilunga and the people there are really appreciating what PUSH is doing. So I strongly urge the hon. Minister to change this figure before we call for a division.


Mr Simuusa: However, in all seriousness, I think that it would be good if the hon. Minister seriously looks at my concern.

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

Mr Milupi (Luena): Mr Chairperson, following your advice, I shall be very brief. Pensions are part of social protection and this Government must consider moving the administration of pensions to the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services. The Ministry of Labour and Social Security must remain with helping to create more employment and …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Please let us consult quietly.

Mr Milupi: … looking after active labour. If we do that, we shall have rationalised the administration of labour in this country. On pensions, the ministry must actively consider introducing what is called universal pensions, which entails pensions for everybody reaching a certain age. For example, everybody above 60 years old should get something as a pension. According to my calculations, about K60 billion would be enough to look after all those who are over 60 years old. Swaziland is doing this and we can also do it as a country. It would not cost a lot of money to look after the vulnerable who are old regardless of whether they worked or not.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Chairperson, I will also try to be very brief in my debate. I would like to specifically refer to the programmes on page 461 relating to community development. The issue I would like to debate, firstly, pertains to women development.

Mr Chairperson, you would recall that in the last two years, the issue pertaining to women development has been contentious. You would recall that at one time, this House used to approve monies for women’s clubs and development of women’s associations in our various constituencies. Alas, the MMD Government found it prudent to remove this particular vote last year and transferred the same to the Citizens Economic Empowerment Fund (CEEF) with the misguided view that women, who are so vulnerable and poor in the various localities of Zambia, would have collateral and the means to borrow money from this fund.

We are all aware that the majority of the vulnerable people in this country are women, for very obvious reasons. Most of the women in our constituencies cannot afford to borrow money from the CEEF. This particular vote was intended to empower the vulnerable women in our constituencies as it used to have grants from the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services to enable the women undertake certain activities. Unfortunately, this Vote was reduced drastically to nothing last year and this year, this particular vote has been reintroduced with a sum of K700 million for 150 constituencies. If we divide 150 into K700 million, you will realise that each constituency will get less than K3 million. Surely, if the Government is serious with issues pertaining to empowerment of our vulnerable women …

Major Chizhyuka: and mothers.

Mr Mwiimbu: … and mothers, it must find money from same vote

The allocation to this Vote must be increased for the interest of all of us. We have all been saying that if we empower women, we are empowering the nation. However, what we are doing as a House is the opposite. We are disempowering our women. I would like to call upon all of us in this House to be united and make an amendment to increase the allocation to this particular vote. I know that some of our colleagues would question where money is going to come from. There is money in the contingency fund and if you increase the Women’s Development Fund (WDF), it will benefit the majority of our people in Zambia.

Mr Chairperson, I also want to appeal to the hon. Minister of Community Development and Social Services to appreciate development partners in community and social welfare departments. I am aware that the MMD Government in most instances is very unappreciative to organisations that assist us. It is not unusual to find hon. Minister demeaning organisations that assist us. We are aware that churches in Zambia have played a pivotal role in uplifting the living standards of our poor people in society.

Mr Chairperson, I have in mind the gallant Catholic Church in my constituency and I stand here very proud to state that the Catholic Church has done so much for our people in my constituency. They must be appreciated and not to be demeaned by anyone.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, we have the Seventh Day Adventist Church (SDA) and other various churches that should be accorded the respect from all of us …

Mr Hamududu: Rusangu!

Mr Mwiimbu: … in this House. They have provided the requisite education and social services in our various communities. They deserve all the respect they deserve.

Mr V. Mwale: You do well except for Father Bwalya.

Mr Mwiimbu: With those few remarks, I wish to thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Mr Chairperson, I will also endeavour to be brief. In starting, let me adopt the debate of my colleague who spoke before me as my very own debate. I do agree with Hon. Jack Mwiimbu that unless we invest in women, the whole of this Yellow Book shall not deliver any development to the people of this country. Development ought to start with the most vulnerable in our country. If we are to develop this country, let us make sure we uplift the standard living of the most vulnerable. As has been demonstrated, the most vulnerable in our country are the women folk. I had stated before that, if the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin. We have institutions that can deliver development, but are why are we not using them?

Mr Chairperson, let me put a contention here that as we talk about decentralisation, this ministry is the one that is easiest to decentralise because a lot of its efforts are fought down at the community. I would also like to urge the Government as they are grappling with this notion of decentralisation to quickly move into the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services so that it may be the first to be decentralised through our local authorities.

Mr Chairperson, I say see some similarities between the efforts of the ministry and our local authorities. All our local authorities have community development officers as well as community development officers.

If I may, through you, beg the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives, not to discourage me by openly showing me that he is blocking his ears and eyes like he was doing yesterday.


Dr Chituwo: On a point of order, Sir!

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Dr Chituwo: Mr Chairman, I hardly rise on points of order. Is the hon. Member of Parliament for Kabwata in order to persistently be attracted by my efforts to reduce the decibels in his debates. I need your serious ruling.

Mr Lubinda laughed.

The Deputy Chairperson: He is not in order if he does that, but I hope he is not saying that in order not to enable the hon. Minister from listening to his contribution. Please Continue.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Chairman, the matter that Hon. Mwiimbu spoke about is a very critical matter. Looked at from a different perspective, the back and forth movement of this Government on matters of such importance is very bad as a measure of good governance and focus. It shows that this Government, for lack of a better word, is not focused. It is extremely inconsistent in the way it manages the affairs of the country.

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Lubinda: It is inconsistent even for those who are saying ‘question.’ Let me demonstrate. In 2007 these same colleagues brought a Yellow Book here. In that book my hon. Colleagues proposed to this House that the women of Zambia deserved more than K1.5 billion for women’s clubs. We all supported them.

Only last year, on the Floor of this House, this Government said that the women will access money through the CEEC. They took away K1.4 billion and only left a K100 million in the budget for the women’s clubs. We all believed that they were serious about using the CEEC as the vehicle through which women would access empowerment money. Less than a year later, we have come back to this House and they are saying, ‘We are such an inconsistent lot, we are again, going to start allocating money to women’s clubs by allocating K700 million to their programmes. Does that not show lack of consistency? That is the inconsistency that the Zambian people must see through these people. You cannot have a Government that is terribly unpredictable and I am not sure whether next years, they will have K2 billion in this programme.

As a Member of Parliament, I must be able to predict what this Government’s plans are so that when I go to speak to the people of Kabwata, I should be able to tell them what I anticipate this Government will do over a particular matter. As things are now, it is impossible for us to say what their policy will be next year.

I want to agree with Hon. Mwiimbu that it will do all of us, particularly those of us who have constituencies that they represent a lot of good if we considered increasing the money allocated to the WDF account so that our women can be given an opportunity to build their capacities.

I would like to remind you my dear friends that the monies these women are looking for their club is not more than K10 million per club. The time when this Vote had money, the clubs were given K2 million per year. If you intend to be getting K2 million per year for these clubs from the CEEC funds then you will burden CEEC with social service delivery workers and that is not the intention.  We want to have professionals at the CEEC who shall be appraising economic projects not social projects. The money we are talking about here is social welfare money.

I want to advise that the Friedman principles of free market and free market trinity which the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning knows very well, the Free market trinity which entails privatisation, deregulation and cutting in social spending is not the formula for Zambia. We ought to ensure that we increase the amount of money on social spending to uplift the living standards of the poor.

Hon. PF. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: Sir, one of my colleagues suggested that with regard to the SCTs, hon. Members of Parliament must be involved in selecting candidates to benefit from the fund.

Let me submit, Sir, that as a Member of Parliament, I do not want to be involved in the implementation of programmes. As a Member of Parliament, I want to be involved in policy inspection and monitoring. I do not want to go in the field and start identifying which person should be on the social welfare fund. That is the role of the Civil Service. However, what is required which I agree with some of the speakers who spoke before me is that the social community welfare officers must be located as closer as possible to the offices of Members of Parliament. Why do I say that? It is because our people in the communities believe and again because of the misinformation by the MMD people, that Members of Parliament are supposed to be social service officers. Everyone is told when they have a problem to go to their Member of Parliament. When roads are not done,  Hon. Mulongoti tells them to go and complain to their Member of Parliament. When the drainage systems are broken down, they are told to go to their Member of Parliament. If the grave yards are full, they are told to go to their Member of Parliament…


Mr Lubinda: … when actually that is the duty of Government. That is the reason why I propose that social welfare officers must be located as close as possible to Members of Parliament so that when our people come to ask for support from us, we refer them to Government representatives who would be civil servants.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: Sir, another matter that I have debated on before which worries me a lot, again a sign of inconsistency on the part of that Government (pointing his finger to the Government Ministers) is their attitude towards arts and culture.

It will be remembered, Sir, that in 2003, I raised a question on the Floor of this House on how the money that was allocated to the construction of a culture centre in Lusaka along the Thabo Mbeki Road had been spent. The answer I was given in case people have forgotten is that they bought horse pipes worthy K100 million, they also bought wheel barrows, slashers and axes. If you go along that road and see the site, you will wonder why we have not had any people arrested for wasting our money because they bought horse pipes and yet nothing at that site. They bought slashers but the site is overgrown with grass. They bought axes but you see trees growing on that site. Where is the money? How long will it take us for us to build that very important culture site centre? In the budget this year, there is K1.1 billion meant for cultural infrastructure and yet the culture site centre requires much more than K10 billion. Where are you going to get the money from to build the culture site centre? I wonder why my friends have not asked our dear friends, the Chinese, to consider investing in the culture site centre like they have done in many other countries. They have built a stadium and culture centre in Ghana. Why not go and ask them because the Government seems to be very good to go with a begging bowl. The Government must go and beg because they have failed to give the artists in Zambia a culture centre.

Sir, let me end by reiterating …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: … what I said when I commenced my debate. We shall not be able to deliver any development in this country, unless and only unless, we meet the challenges of those who are voiceless or those who cannot speak for themselves. On that basis, I would like to recommend to the hon. Minister of Community Development and Social Services that the ministry’s idea to push away PAM from the delivery of the food security pack is a very dangerous course of action to take because the institution has demonstrated that it is able to meet the needs of the most vulnerable. They are capable of reaching the furthest points of this country which officers in the Ministry of Community and Social Services will never do. I wish to plead with the hon. Minister, please, lay your hands off that money. You establish your own programme against malnutrition yourselves. It is an Non-governmental Organisation (NGO) that is operating…

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 point of order. Is the PF Spokesman…

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Hon. Minister…


Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: … Mr Lubinda who speaks on behalf of his party in order to keep quiet and not tell the nation that Mr Sata has been rushed to South Africa sick? I need your serious ruling, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! The Chair will not make any ruling on the point of order. If it is true someone has been rushed to the hospital because someone is unwell, we can only pray for him to recover.

The hon. Member for Kabwata may continue.


Mr Lubinda: Mr Chairperson, I thank you most sincerely.

Mr Chairperson, I was ending on the note of requesting the hon. Minister of Community Development and Social Services to please continue to develop and forge even better relations with the PAM and many other NGOs such as the ones that my colleague identified which include the church in delivering development to the people.

Sir, before I wind up, let me just say that all of us in life have people we respect and respect dearly. However, as for me, I do respect Reverend Shikapwasha as my own uncle. In order for him not to be put on record as a rumour monger, let me state…

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! The Chair will not allow that type of debating. My guidance on that was very clear and so I do not think that we should make that an issue. Can you, please, leave that issue and conclude.

You may continue.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Chairperson, the nation should be well informed and not fed wrong information. Mr Michael Sata is not ill.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Lubinda: He is well…

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! The hon. Minister of Community Development and Social Services should wind up.


Mr Kaingu: Thank you very much, Mr Chairperson.

The Deputy Chairperson: You may continue hon. Minister.

Mr Lubinda: There is something wrong.

The Deputy Chairperson: What is wrong?

The hon. Minister of Community Development and Social Services may continue.

Mr Kaingu: Mr Chairperson, there are hon. Members here who are just simply spoilers.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Order Minister. You see, you are supposed to wind up so that we conclude. Do not bring in…

Mr Kaingu: Mr Chairperson, I am referring to Hon. Guy Scott. He came in this House just like rain in May…

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


Mr Kaingu: Honestly, Mr Chairperson…

The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Minister, you are supposed to wind up. Please, wind up and not engage in…

Mr Kaingu: Mr Chairperson, I am going to answer the allegations that have been put against my ministry.

One of them is that K11.5 billion was used for campaign.


Mr Kaingu: Mr Chairperson, can we not find a better way of dealing with these people? We have cells here.


Mr Kaingu: We cannot continue like this.


Mr Kaingu: We have to find a permanent solution to deal with people like Hon. Kambwili.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Hon. Minister …

Mr Kaingu: No, we cannot continue.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! I want us to conclude the debate, but I am afraid I cannot allow you to continue in that line. I will be forced to discontinue this Vote. You are forcing me to go very far. I will not accept that. Wind up so that we can conclude this Head.

Mr Kaingu: Mr Chairperson, the K11.5 billion referred to was corresponding funding from our donors. It has been put in the Yellow Book this year because it was not there last year. The donors are UNICEF, Irish Aid and Care International. The money was not used for campaign as it was alleged. It is not right that people should ridicule a State President and I must sit here and just listen.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kaingu: The Budget does clearly show we have up scaled the programme on SCTs because we put K1.5 billion last year, and we have put K3 billion this year. They will also be corresponding money from our donors.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kaingu: On account of time, let me thank all those who have debated and have helped to …


Mr Kaingu: … support the Vote of my ministry. However, Mr Chairperson, it is important that when allegations are made against a ministry, the hon. Minister is given enough time to answer back.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

VOTE 45/01 – (Ministry of Community Development and Social Services – Headquarters – K22,348,147,795.00).

Mr Simuusa: Mr Chairman, may I have clarification on Programme 3, Activity 08 -Peri-Urban Self Help (PUSH) – K722,000,000. I would like to know why there has been a reduction in the support to PUSH from K1,700,000,000 by more than 50 per cent.

Mr Chinyanta: Mr Chairman, the ministry has reduced funding to PUSH because we are considering whining it off Government so that it can stand on its own.  Apart from that, there is a number of other institutions where it is getting money from, including the Office of the Vice-President.

I thank you, Sir.

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

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

VOTE 45/03 – (Ministry of Community Development and Social Services ¬– Community Development Department – K15,893,443,033).

Mr Lubinda: Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Unit 1, Programme 7, Activity 02 – Women Development – K700,000,000. Could the hon. Minister indicate to this House what mechanism his ministry will use to utilise the K700,000,000.00 that is being allocated for Women Development.

The Deputy Minister of Community Development and Social Services (Mr Malwa): Mr Chairperson, the increase is because the programme is being reintroduced in the ministry for it is evident that the women development groups have not been able to access funds from CEEC.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Chairperson, thank you for confirming our fears. My question was what mechanism will be utilised to disburse the K700,000,000.00?

Mr Kaingu: Mr Chairperson, we will continue using the same mechanisms that we have been using.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

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

VOTE 45/04 – (Ministry of Community Development and Social Services ¬– Cultural Services Department – K4,417,719,113).
Mr Lubinda: Sir, through you, I solicit an informative answer, please. May I have clarification on Unit 1, Programme 04, Activity 01 – Centre for Bantu Civilisation (CICIBA) – K200,000,000.00. Could the hon. Minister, please, explain what CICIBA is because it is appearing in our Yellow Book for the first time.

The Deputy Minister of Community Development and Social Services (Mr Chinyanta): Mr Chairperson, this is a new Vote and funds are required to pay for our annual membership for CICIBA which is an organisation for the Bantu and Cultural Languages in Africa.

I thank you, Sir.

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

Mr Lubinda: Mr Chairperson, secondly, may I have clarification on Unit 1, Programme 7, Activity 05 – Arts and Cultural Infrastructure – K1,431,440,000.00. Given that similar activities were provided for at Programme 3, Activities 01 – Maramba Cultural Village – K100,000,000.00 and 02 – Kapata Cultural Village – K100,000,000.00 were identified, could the hon. Minister kindly indicate to this House which arts and cultural infrastructure we intend to work on this year utilising the K1,431,440,000.00 which they are proposing so that this House is able to monitor their work.

Mr Malwa: Sir, the reduction is due to completion of some meager works at Maramba Cultural Village and Kapata Cultural Village.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Chairperson, my question has not been answered. My question was what or which arts and cultural infrastructure shall be worked on using the K1,431,440,000. I am not asking about the reason for the reduction.

The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Minister, if you can, please go beyond what you have answered.

Mr Chinyanta: Mr Chairperson, the funds are required to complete the construction of Maramba Cultural Village and Kapata Cultural Village in Livingstone and Chipata, respectively. The reduction is due to uncompleted works on the two villages that we are constructing.

I thank you, Sir.

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

VOTE 46/01 – (Ministry of Health – K1,804,792,357,570).

The Minister of Health (Mr Simbao): Mr Chairperson, I wish to take this opportunity to thank you and hon. Members of this House for this opportunity to present my statement in support of the Ministry of Health, 2009 Budget. The Ministry of Health remains committed to the implementation of the Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP) and the National Health Strategic Plan (NHSP) whose theme is, “Towards the attainment of the millennium development goals and national health priorities”.

Mr Chairperson, from the outset, let me restate the vision of the Ministry of Health which has guided the implementation of our health reforms for the last seventeen years. Our vision is to provide the people of Zambia with equity of access to cost effective, quality health care as close to the family as possible.

Mr Kambwili: Question!

Mr Simbao: The vehicle for achieving our vision is an emphasis on primary health care. The key principles that guide the implementation of our health reforms are equity of access, affordability, accountability, cost effectiveness, partnerships, decentralisation and leadership.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! We are not listening. These are the situations where by you will start asking questions when the statement was very clear.

Continue hon. Minister.

Mr Simbao: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for your protection.

 Budget Analysis and Trends

Mr Chairperson, I wish to commend the Ministry of Finance and National Planning for increasing in nominal terms the budget allocation to the Ministry of Health in 2008 by 25 per cent from 2007, which translated into 11.5 per cent of the total 2008 discretionary budget. I also wish to commend the Ministry of Finance and National Planning for the timely release of funds that we saw in 2008. The Ministry of Health received 95 per cent of its total budget in 2008. In 2009, the Ministry of Health has been allocated K1.123 trillion from K973 billion in 2008 of the total discretionary budget, an increase of 16.3 per cent which translates to 11.4 per cent of the total budget.

Mr Chairperson, my presentation will focus on three parts.  Firstly, I will highlight the performance and achievements in 2008. Secondly, I will mention the challenges that we faced and finally, I will give the outlook for 2009.

     (a) Performance and Achievements in 2008

Mr Chairperson, our total budget for 2008 from the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) and our co-operating partners was K1.627 trillion.

 (i) Human Resources for Health

Mr Chairperson, we have from time to time highlighted the human resource situation in the health sector as needing urgent attention. The Ministry of Health has put in place a human resource for health strategic plan. The implementation of this plan is in progress. To address the human resource crisis, the Ministry of Health continued with the recruitment of core health workers following the granting of Treasury authority to recruit an additional 5,883 workers in 2007. A total of 1,300 health personnel were recruited in 2007. In 2008, the number of health personnel recruited increased to 1,805 bringing the total cumulative number of personnel stationed in various posts in the ministry to 24,471 against the required number of 51,414.

In order to increase the capacity of our training schools to produce more graduates, the Ministry of Health continued implementing its classroom and hostel expansion programme, an intervention that has resulted in a 75 per cent increase in enrolment in 2009. A total of K32 billion was disbursed to all 29 training schools.

Mr Chairperson, on retention, in 2008, the Ministry of Health continued with the scaling up of the Zambia Health Workers Retention Scheme (ZHWS), which was initially piloted on medical doctors. This scheme now covers doctors, nurses and paramedical staff in hard to reach facilities. A total of 689 health personnel were enrolled to this scheme in 2008, broken down into 92 medical doctors, 28 medical licentiates, 204 nurse tutors and lecturers and 366 nurses, clinical officers and environmental technicians.

In addition, in order to create a conducive living environment for health workers serving in hard to reach facilities, the Ministry of Health procured solar panels, radio communication equipment and motor bikes for 560 health centres.

   (ii) Infrastructure

Mr Chairperson, our national target on health infrastructure is to significantly improve on the availability, distribution and condition of essential infrastructure and equipment so as to improve equity of access to essential health services. Our target is to build hospitals in nineteen districts that currently do not have any. To this effect, in 2008, under Phase II of the infrastructure development exercise, the construction of eight hospitals was in progress in Samfya, Kapiri Mposhi, Chadiza, Isoka, Mumbwa, Kaoma, Mufumbwe and Shang’ombo districts.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: Construction of a further seven hospitals commenced in 2008 in Chongwe, Lumwana, Kaputa, Chiengi, Lufwanyama, Chama and Mpulungu bringing the total number of new hospitals constructed to fifteen.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao:…out of the nineteen required.


The Deputy Chairperson of Committee: Order! Give the hon. Minister time to debate.

Mr Simbao: Mr Chairperson, a total of forty-seven health posts were constructed while a total of seventy staff houses were constructed. The total number of health centres rehabilitated and extended was eighty-nine. A tender for thirty-four maternity wings and staff houses was floated through the Zambia National Tender Board(ZNTB).

(iii) Medical Equipment and transport

Mr Speaker, provision of quality health services requires modern and reliable equipment. Over the years due to lack of investment in replacing medical equipment, the state of medical equipment in our health facilities reached a deplorable condition. To reverse this trend, the following measures were put in place.

In 2008, the Ministry of Health completed the installation of the diagnostic and therapeutic equipment country-wide in seventy-one hospitals. This programme commenced in 2003 at a cost of K125 billion with support from the Netherlands Government. The Zambian Government contributed K62.2 billion of the total amount.


The Deputy Chairperson of Committees: Order! That is the kind of thing I cannot accept. Let the hon. Minister give his policy statement because when you are debating, you would want to be listened to.

May the hon. Minster please continue.

Mr Simbao: Sir, I would like to catch Hon. Kambwili’s attention.

Mr Lubinda laughed.

Mr Simbao: In 2008, the Ministry of health commenced the procurement of surgical, theatre, laundry and intensive care unit (ICU) equipment for all second level and third level hospitals country-wide.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: Equipment was also procured for the new hospitals in Chadiza, Kapiri Mposhi, Mumbwa and Kaoma.

Mr Chairperson, in order to ease transport constraints and strengthen the health referral system, the Ministry of Health last year  procured and additional fifty-eighty Hardtop land cruisers, ten mini buses for training schools, nine buses for second level hospitals…

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao:…and nine delivery trucks for provincial health offices. In addition, 560 motorbikes were procured for hard to reach health centres under the retention scheme.

 Hon. Government Members: hear, hear!

(iv)Medical Supplies, Syringes, Needles, Bandages Vaccines, (BCG, OPV) and Drugs.

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, our target on drugs and medical supplies is to ensure availability of adequate, quality, efficacious, safe and affordable essential drugs and medical supplies at all levels through effective procurement management and corporation with pharmaceutical companies.

The Ministry of Health spent K202 billion in 2008 on drugs, vaccines and medical supplies. Tremendous progress was made in ensuring availability of drugs, vaccines and other medical supplies in the country through improvements in drug forecasting, quantification and proactive procurement to avoid stock outs.

In order to improve the drug storage and distribution system, the Medical Stores Limited (MSL) was refurbished at a cost of K6 billion. In its present state it can serve as a central warehouse for drugs and other medical supplies.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

I think we are not giving the hon. Minister chance to debate in a good and conducive environment.

Can you continue hon. Minister.

Mr Sichilima: Ni Kambwili!

Mr Simbao: Maybe I have been too loud. I will reduce my voice.

The Deputy Chairperson: No, you are doing fine. I have observed that it is both the hon. Members on my right and left that are consulting loudly. In fact I would have thought that hon. Members on my right should pay particular attention but I am not saying that the people on my left should continue making noise.

You may continue.

Mr Simbao: (v) Provision of the Basic Health Care Package

Mr Chairperson, the core business of the Ministry of Health is the provision of the basic health care package. Within the basic health care package, core interventions have been identified to address diseases which are a major cause of morbidity and mortality.

In 2008, the Ministry of Health maintained its thrust on improving service delivery in order to sustain the achievements reported in the 2007 Zambia Demographic and Health Survey. Under child health, the national immunisation scored a success rate of 85 per cent for the first three quarters of 2008. A total of 90 per cent of cold chain equipment was replaced countrywide whilst case fatality for measles remained at zero.

Mr Chairperson, the provision of integrated reproductive health remains a major priority for the Ministry of Health. Through our concerted efforts to increase access to integrated reproductive health and family planning, our antenatal coverage was 94 per cent, with antenatal care visits averaging three visits per pregnancy.

The number of births assisted by skilled personnel slightly increased from 43 per cent in 2002 to 46.5 per cent in 2008 while the percentage of institutional deliveries slightly increased from 43 per cent in 2006 to 45 per cent in 2008.

Under HIV/AIDS, a total of 207,500 living with HIV/AIDS were put on ARVs in 2008 from 180,000 in 2007. The number of care and treatment centres increased from 420 in 2006 to 1,365 in 2008. The number of HIV/AIDS positive pregnant women accessing ARVs under the PMTCT Programme, increased from 29,166 in 2006 to 35,000 in 2007 and 67,000 in 2008.

Mr Chairperson, Tuberculosis (TB) represents one of the major respiratory infections in Zambia. This is made more complex by its association with HIV/AIDS. Through our efforts to halt and begin to reduce the spread of TB, we managed to cover 100 per cent of the Zambian population with dots activities, while the TB treatment access rate remained constant at 85 per cent in 2007 and 2008 respectively.

Malaria remains the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Zambia. Through our concerted efforts to roll back Malaria, the parasitaemia rate in children under five declined by 50 per cent from 21.8 per cent in 2006 to 10 per cent in 2008, whilst severe anaemia in children reduced by 62 per cent from 13. 3 per cent in 2006, to 5 per cent in 2008. The hospital case fatality rate has reduced from 32.1 deaths per 1,000 admissions in 2006 to 30.2 deaths to 1,000 admissions in 2008. These achievements can be attributed to our concerted efforts at vector control and case management programmes.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: (vi) Challenges Faced During the Budget Execution in 2008

Mr Chairperson, despite these achievements, the health sector is still fraught with many challenges which require our concerted efforts to address. Allow me to highlight some of the challenges.

Mr Chairperson, the major challenge facing the health sector in Zambia today is the shortage of human resource for health. The health sector is currently operating at less than 50 percent of its current establishment. This has impeded the ministry’s efforts to scale up the delivery of the basic health care package as human resources are a critical input in the delivery of health services.

Mr Chairperson, on drug supply, while availability of essential drugs and medical supplies improved at MSL in 2008, due to poor drug supply and logistics management at the district level, the sector still experienced some drug stock outs. On the inadequate resources to finance the delivery of health services, as indicated earlier, we are at 11.4 percent of the total discretionary budget and still striving to reach the 15 percent Abuja target. Recently, the Ministry of Health undertook a costing of high impact interventions to accelerate the attainment of MDGs. This exercise established a financing gap of US$13.56 per capita which translates into US$378 million per annum and US$756.18 million for the period 2009-2010.

Mr Chairperson, on the high and rising disease burden, Zambia is experiencing an increase mainly driven by diseases of poverty such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, malnutrition and tuberculosis. According to the health management information system, malaria is still the highest cause of illness and death currently contributing well over 40 percent of all diagnoses.

Mr Chairperson, on dilapidated and obsolete infrastructure, some of our hospitals still have obsolete equipment and dilapidated infrastructure.

Mr Chairperson, on poor logistical system for effective service delivery, the 298 motor vehicles that the ministry procured are still not adequate to meet the transport needs of our health facilities. For instance, a recent transport assessment undertaken in 2006 indicates that each district requires a minimum of four motor vehicles including an ambulance. Lack of radio communication equipment also hinders a smooth referral of patients from rural health centres to the district hospitals.
Mr Chairperson, on poor access to health services by the majority of Zambians, access to basic services shows a wide spatial variation. Provinces closer to the line of rail have closer access to services. In urban areas for instance, 99 percent of households are within 5 kilometres of a health facility while it is only 50 percent of households within 5 kilometres of a health facility in rural areas. The problem of poor access to health services by the rural community is exacerbated by the poor road network and inadequate transport for the district health management teams to enable them carryout outreach health services.

Mr Chairperson, on priority areas of focus for 2009, based on our performance and achievements in 2008, allow me to end my budget statement presentation by giving the House the picture about how we intend to improve on the 2008 achievements and to mitigate the challenges that we faced within the proposed budget. We intend to execute the budget in collaboration with cooperating partners and other stakeholders including Parliamentarians. The proposed budget for the ministry of health is K1,804,792,357,570.

On scaling up high impact health interventions, in 2009, we will accelerate our efforts to scale up health interventions that will bring the desired impact. Our focus will be on efforts towards the attainment of MDGs related to health, particularly malaria, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, child health, reproductive health and environmental health programmes.

Non communicable diseases have now been recognised as one of the number one …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

(Debate adjourned)



(Progress reported)


The House adjourned at 1956 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 6th March, 2009.