Debates- Friday, 6th November, 2009

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Friday, 6th November, 2009

The House met at 0900 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]





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

On Tuesday, 10th November, 2009, the Business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Then, the House will consider the First Report of the Committee on Energy, Environment and Tourism for the Fourth Session of the Tenth National Assembly. The House will, thereafter, resolve into Committee of Supply on the 2010 Budget to consider the following votes:

Vote 26   –  Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services;
Vote 27   –  Public Service Management Division;
Head 34  –  Human Rights Commission; and 
Head 45  –  Ministry of Community Development and Social Services

Mr Speaker, on Wednesday, 11th November, 2009, the Business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. After that, the House will consider Private Members’ Motions, if there will be any. The House will then consider the First Report of the Committee on Sport, Youth and Child Affairs for the Fourth Session of the Tenth National Assembly. Thereafter, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply on the 2010 Budget and the following votes will be considered:

Vote 46   –  Ministry of Health;
Vote 51   –  Ministry of Communications and Transport; and 
Vote 64   –  Ministry of Works and Supply

Mr Speaker, on Thursday, 12th November, 2009, the Business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will consider the First Report of the Committee on Education, Science and Technology for the Fourth Session of the Tenth National Assembly. The House will then resolve into Committee of Supply on the 2010 Budget and the following votes will be considered:

Vote 65  –  Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training;
Vote 77  –  Ministry of Defence; and 
Vote 78  –  Zambia Security Intelligence Services – Office of the President

Mr Speaker, on Friday, 13th November, 2009, the Business of the House will commence with the Vice-President’s Question Time. This will be followed by Questions for Oral Answer, if there will be any. After that, the House will consider the presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. This will then be followed by the consideration of the First Report of the Committee on Agriculture and Lands for the Fourth Session of the Tenth National Assembly. Thereafter, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply on the 2010 Budget and the following votes will be considered:

Vote 80   –  Ministry of Education; and 
Vote 88   –  Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development

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

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!



Mr Chisanga (Mkushi South): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice how non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are funded in Zambia.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice (Mr Kunda, SC.): Mr Speaker, these are the important questions we want in this House.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, in Government, we consider NGOs as public entities. That is why in the NGO Bill, which we passed overwhelmingly in this House, we require them to declare their assets and liabilities …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: … in the same way that public officers and politicians are required to declare their assets. Now, this particular requirement is important because the way most of the NGOs are funded, especially those involved in poverty reduction and assistance to the vulnerable, is that the Minister of Finance and National Planning does sign agreements with co-operating partners which have an element of assistance to NGOs. Under those agreements signed by the hon. Minister, a certain portion, a big chunk, is allocated to NGOs so that they can participate in assisting the poor and providing checks and balances in terms of monitoring some Government activities as well as the provision of requisites and helping in poverty reduction. So, these NGOs are public entities and they are funded with what we can call public resources. They are required to be accountable to the people of Zambia.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice why there has not been so much attention paid to other resettlement schemes, as to opposed to what is happening at Nansanga Resettlement Scheme. In particular, I have in mind Kanchibiya Resettlement Scheme where not even a single road has been graded.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, hon. Members must do research and understand Government programmes. Nansanga Farming Block is not a resettlement scheme. This is a farming block on which the Government is providing facilities and demarcating land so that investors can move in and grow food for the Zambian market.

Mr Speaker, resettlement schemes fall under the Office of the Vice-President. This is where we settle retirees, especially from Government service. Sometimes, anybody who is displaced is resettled in these areas. The Ministry of Lands demarcates land and allocates it to our people so that they can be resettled in these areas and grow more food. Again, in these areas we provide facilities such as water and other amenities which may be necessary for our people.

Now, on farming blocks, it is not only Nansanga Farming Block that our Government would like to develop. There are other areas which we will look into so that we can have more farming blocks where people and investors can be allocated land and to grow more food and grow our economy.

As you know, we are diversifying the economy and agriculture is one of the priority areas we shall pay attention to.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Mr Speaker, last year, when the current President was Vice-President, he visited my constituency in February. At Kalulu Settlement Scheme, he promised two boreholes, a 1 x 3 classroom block and two teachers’ houses. I would like to find out from the Vice-President how far those arrangements have gone.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, it is the intention of the Ruling Party to start visiting Southern Province so that we can start making inroads in the province.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: As regards that particular school, I have taken note of what the hon. Member is saying. We will start making programmes so that we can visit developmental projects in Southern Province and sensitise our people that it is the Government which is providing development in the province.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musonda (Chitambo): Mr Speaker, may I find out from His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice what the relationship is between the Government and donors now in view of the controversial media reports in the recent past about some representatives of donors and the delayed resumption of funding to the Ministry of Health.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the people of Zambia that the relationship between the Government and the donor community is quite warm and very cordial. We have held several meetings with the donor community and shared views on how we can co-operate much more effectively. As you read in the media, most of the co-operating partners are ready to assist us. They have promised budget support and most of them have released the money they committed.

Therefore, it is the intention of the Government to strengthen co-operation with co-operating partners. We shall continue working together and they are satisfied that we are also on course in our governance programmes such as the fight against corruption. Therefore, they are assisting us and we are interacting very well. It is our hope that our co-operation will grow from strength to strength.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe (Matero): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the Vice-President and Minister of Justice whether the Government has any plans to extend the boundaries of Lusaka because space in Lusaka is now a problem such that we cannot even find resting places for our dead.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, I can confirm that the issue of extension of the boundaries of Lusaka is one which has been on the cards for some time now. However, people should not only settle in Lusaka. There are many other parts of Zambia in which they can settle. For example, in Serenje District, there is a lot of land and we want investors to go there.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: We also want investors to go to North-Western, Western and Southern provinces as well as other parts of Zambia. It is not only Lusaka that is in Zambia. While we are looking into that particular issue, we should go and develop other parts of Zambia.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, the 2009/2010 rainy season is about to commence.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Nkombo: I would like His Honour the Vice-President and learned hon. Minister of Justice to explain to me what practical measures the Government has put in place in terms of preparedness for any potential disaster arising from the rain. I would also like to find out if he has received a report from the Meteorological Department on the rainfall pattern in the coming season.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, we are prepared to rise to any challenge which may occur. We are always preparing for disasters and I must also take this opportunity to inform hon. Members that we will be presenting a Bill in this august House during this sitting on disaster management and mitigation in this country. This will streamline the way we manage and mitigate disasters. So, we are prepared.

As regards the issue of weather forecast, this is public information which has been relayed in the public media. I do not have the exact details and, therefore, I would not want to mislead the House or the people of Zambia. So, all in all, we are prepared for disasters.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC. (Chasefu): Mr Speaker, the people of Isoka, Chama and Lundazi are anxious to have the road from Lundazi through Chama, Muyombe, Thendere to Isoka tarred. Bearing in mind that it is the policy of the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) to make areas accessible, may I know what plans, if any, are there to tar this particular road which is very important?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, I must congratulate the hon. Member. He is always asking about roads on Fridays.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: That is the way it should be. I think we have plans to upgrade and rehabilitate our roads and that particular road, like any other, should be in the work plan of the Ministry of Works and Supply. I have taken note of the hon. Member’s reminder once again.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr D. Mwila (Chipili): Mr Speaker, now that the Government has bought the other 50 per cent shares in Indeni Oil Refinery from Total International, I would like to find out from His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice how much the Government paid for those shares and will the Vice-President indicate to the House the new business plan for Indeni?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, the amount paid for the shares is K5.5 million.

Hon. Members: Kwacha?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Sorry, it is US $5.5 million. Kwacha is our currency and so I am tempted to talk about our currency.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: That is the amount we have paid and we are looking into the problem of Indeni and better management of the company.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, can his Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice confirm that there is a financial scandal at the Ministry of Education and, if so, how much is involved?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, we need details from the hon. Member on that matter. I do not have such information and, therefore, I cannot confirm it. If the hon. Member has details, instead of just making allegations, he can always give that information to investigative agencies such as the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mushili (Ndola Central): Mr Speaker, will His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice tell us when the Government is going to do away with the Road Development Agency (RDA) which has made the cost of maintaining roads higher by more than 60 per cent, and give that power to the big cities with equipment so that they can look after roads?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: To my knowledge, Sir, the RDA has been praised for its good works …

Hon. Opposition Members: Where?

The vice-President and Minister of Justice: … and it is doing very well in many parts of Zambia. So, the simple answer is that we have no intention of doing away with the RDA.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwamba (Kasama Central): Mr Speaker, I would like His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice to tell us why the contractor constructing the Kasama/Luwingu Road has abandoned the road.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, what the hon. Member has said is not true.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}

Mr Sichamba (Isoka West): Mr Speaker, from the answer given by His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice on non-governmental organisations (NGOs), I would like to find out when the NGO Bill is going to be operational and most of these NGOs have concentrated their work in Lusaka.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, again, that is a critical question. The NGO Bill is important for the development of this country as it renders assistance to the poor. It will soon be operationalised. Currently, we are working very closely with NGOs. By the way, there are many NGOs which are doing a commendable job for the people of Zambia, apart from a few who are doing politics, here, in Lusaka. Therefore, NGOs have been in contact with the Government and are supporting the NGO Bill. They want to work with the Government in developing guidelines and regulations, which will guide them. We shall sit down together with the hon. Minister of Community Development and Social Services, and other stakeholders. The British Government is also interested in sharing ideas with us on how best we can develop a better framework for the operation of NGOs. Therefore, we shall sit together with these co-operating partners, come up with the guidelines and regulations and then move forward.

Mr Speaker, all the NGOs are subject to public criticism and scrutiny, but what is worrying is that some of them do not want to take criticism. If an NGO or an NGO leader is pinched just a little bit, they will be crying the whole month. This is not how it should be. If they attack us, as politicians, and their watchdogs monitor our activities and talk about corruption and other public affairs, they should be ready to be criticised as well. In other words, when they are criticised, they should also grow thick skin like us, instead of crying whenever they are attacked or there is simple criticism.


The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, they even go to the extent of holding press conferences and advertising themselves on full pages in newspapers to defend themselves when we do not do that. As a Government, we take criticism and accept to be criticised provided the criticism is well founded and constructive. Let us work together and I am appealing to all NGOs that we should work together to develop Zambia.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sikota (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice whether, in view of the fact that the Government has stated that the Freedom of Information Bill, which was withdrawn about five years ago for consultation, is now going to be reintroduced, he is in a position to state the areas where we expect differences from what was submitted to this House and was withdrawn. Furthermore, may he also state when, exactly, the Bill will be reintroduced?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, our main concern about the Freedom of Information Bill is State security and this is the bone of contention we have against this Bill. That particular Bill can destroy this country if it is not properly handled and if we do not take care of issues of State security.

Some of the media houses, at the moment, have displayed that they are irresponsible, very unpatriotic and may sell this country. That particular Bill is double edged. It can be used for espionage and can dig into public information. Therefore, the Government is treading very carefully on this particular Bill and will only present it when it serves the interest of the people of Zambia. At the moment, it remains shelved for further consultations.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chitonge (Mwansabombwe): Mr Speaker, I would like His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice to indicate how much Zambia has done in terms of meeting the required international standards to enable Zambian registered planes start flying over the European air space.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, we are seriously looking into that particular issue so that Zambia can meet international standards in the running of the aviation industry. We are, therefore, training people to meet these standards which are required in the European Union and internationally. We are looking into this matter because it is very serious as it concerns the safety of civil aviation in Zambia.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Mr Speaker, the Government has been saying that it will increase the distribution of fertiliser to more farmers numbering, at least, 500,000. However, there is a circular from the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives that has gone to districts stating that new co-operatives should not be given fertiliser. Therefore, I would like to know from His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice how we can ensure that new members benefit from the support that is being given to the people.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, it is the intention of the Government, as the hon. Member who is an expert in agriculture has said, to spread the distribution of fertiliser to, at least, 500,000 farmers. If the issue of managing the co-operatives becomes a hindrance, it will have to be looked into. However, I will find out from the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives what the problem is and why that particular measure is being taken.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muyanda (Sinazongwe): Mr Speaker, in the Southern Region, the Head of State normally has time to interact with his fellow parliamentarians. When will the President come to this Parliament so that we can interact with him and ask him pertinent questions, which this country needs to draw his attention to?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, under our system, it is the Vice-President who answers questions and I hope that I am answering the questions on behalf of the Government effectively.

Hon. Opposition Members: No!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, the President comes here to open the National Assembly and that is the way we interact with him according to our system. In other Commonwealth countries, the Prime Minister or Vice-President is Leader of Government Business and, therefore, he apprises the House on Government issues.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order! Can you stop the clock for the moment?

In addition, once in five years, the Speaker-elect goes to State House for what is known as approbation. This means that he or she presents himself or herself to the Head of State. During that process, the Speaker makes a very important request to the Head of State, that he, at all reasonable times, be available, on appointment, to interact with any hon. Member of Parliament who so requests. That request is not casual and hon. Members of this House who wish to pursue it are free to do so.

Thank you.

Mr Malama (Mfuwe): Mr Speaker, why has the Ministry of Finance and National Planning not released money to the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) so that it works on the bridges damaged in the 2008/2009 rainy season?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Sir, that is a very important question because I am also laden with requests for repair of damaged infrastructure over the last two seasons. Indeed, we, as a Government, must attend to this. It is in this regard that a request has been pushed to the Ministry of Finance and National Planning that is looking for money. As you know, we, as a country, went through an economic crunch and, therefore, money has been hard to come by. Furthermore, the Government has not performed to expectation in terms of collecting revenue. That particular matter is a top priority on the Government’s agenda so that it can attend to damaged infrastructure.

Thank you, Sir.

 Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Health, the other day, when winding up debate on his vote, reassured us that there was no problem with the reduction in health expenditure because it was, as he called it, ‘waste’ expenditure on workshops and things like that. Now that the donors are about to resume funding the health sector, is the Government planning to tell them to keep their money because it is being wasted?


The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, as hon. Members, we have to be patriotic when talking about help from our co-operating partners meant for the poor people of this country. I am surprised that an hon. Member can make a suggestion that all donors should withhold their funds. This money is required in rural areas as well as in Bauleni in Lusaka Central Constituency. Therefore, I would like to encourage the co-operating partners with whom we have developed a rapport not to withhold their money. There are assurances that they are going to help us and we are very positive that they will. The Government is still signing agreements with the donor community which shows that, as a country, we are going to receive assistance because our performance, as a Government, has been excellent.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Mr Speaker, in keeping with the request that we be patriotic, may I find out from His Honour Vice-President and Minister of Justice whether or not the turf at the Independence Stadium for which the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) paid a colossal amount of money shall be protected during the time that the Independence Stadium shall be demolished and reconstructed. Has FIFA been approached over that very critical matter which is for the good of the people of Zambia?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, we, as a Government, are very responsible and are going to take measures to ensure that we protect property on which we have spent our money. Thank you for that very patriotic question.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr R. C. Banda (Milanzi): Mr Speaker, why is it that some sections of people are still doubting the Government’s commitment to the fight against corruption?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Sir, I wish this question was asked first. In this country, we have what we call celebrated critics and fault finders. They never see anything good in what the Government is doing. Some of them, maybe, are presidential candidates and they think that by criticising everyday, they will make mileage. We, as a Government, are fully committed to the fight against corruption and we shall fight corruption head on.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




176. Mr Mwango (Kanchibiya) asked the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry:

(a) how much money was disbursed by the Citizens’ Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) to the beneficiaries countrywide;

(b) how much money was expected to be disbursed to the beneficiaries by the CEEC in 2010 countrywide; and

(c) what the major achievements on the money disbursed had been so far.

The Deputy Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Mr Taima): Mr Speaker, as at 30th September, 2009, the CEEC had approved a total of 240 projects valued at K54 billion. This is under the project finance category. Out of the 240 projects, 116 have been funded at a total value of K35 billion. The remaining amount is yet to be disbursed, subject to perfection of securities and other necessary documents with respect to the loan contracts. The sectors that have benefited from the funds disbursed include agriculture, trading services, tourism, manufacturing, education, mining, construction, information and communication technology and forestry.

Mr Speaker, K150 billion is earmarked for CEEC disbursement out of which K96 billion, so far, has been released. It is from this K96 billion that the CEEC has been able to fund its projects, as earlier mentioned, totaling K54 billion. It is expected that the remaining balance shall be disbursed between the end of this year and the first quarter of 2010.

Mr Speaker, the major achievements of the CEEC, so far, have been wealth and job creation through formation of business entities and disbursement of the K54 billion which will go towards reducing poverty among the people of Zambia. So far, more than 1,200 jobs have been created and are well spread among Zambian women, the differently abled, people living with HIV/AIDS and other categories.

Among the notable achievements we thought we should highlight are two projects in the North-Western Province called Kauba and Luwaka. These are farms where vegetables and other plants are being grown and over fifty people have been employed.

Another project is Kecha General Dealers in the Central Province which is engaged in the manufacturing of corrugated iron sheets.

 In Lusaka, another beneficiary is the Jazz Company which has acquired a lathe machine for making engineering equipment. This project has also created jobs.
Other examples of the benefits trickling from the CEEC, so far, include the Western Cashew Industries in the Western Province which is expected to create well above 200 jobs once the equipment has been installed.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mwango: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has mentioned colossal figures. I believe the beneficiaries are mostly from urban areas. I would like to know why rural applicants have difficulties accessing the fund even when they have collateral.

Mr Taima: Mr Speaker, I mentioned, in my response, that we had chosen to select only a few success stories to cite as examples. If the hon. Member followed my response attentively, he must have heard me cite two projects in the North-Western Province which are from the rural parts of the province. I also made reference to the Cashew Nut Industries in the Western Province which are rural based. It is, therefore, not true to say that we are just concentrating on urban-based projects.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out what the Government is doing to ensure that it cuts down on bureaucracy in order to reduce the time taken between the application and disbursement of funds.

Mr Taima: Mr Speaker, we are aware of the concerns that the people of Zambia generally have about the process of appraisal and approval of the applications that come from would-be entrepreneurs as well as practising ones.

Mr Speaker, as a result, we have taken a dynamic approach in our expectations and requirements in response to the demands and expectations of the Zambian people. I want to mention that since we started, there has been a big improvement with regard to the time taken between applications and approval of projects.

However, that is not the only challenge that we have. There are a number of challenges, but we are trying to make sure that we rise to the occasion and respond as expected.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Imenda (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out whether the hon. Minister is aware that a lot of people are failing to access the fund due to the stringent conditions put in place. As a result, the impact of the fund is not reaching the people who are supposed to benefit from it.

Mr Shakafuswa: What does he want to do?

Mr Taima: Mr Speaker, we have mentioned, time and again, in this House, that the people of Zambia need to take steps and prove for themselves that what they hear is one thing and what is happening is yet another.

Mr Speaker, I have had the opportunity, through delegated authority from my hon. Minister, to go round the nation.  I have been to a number of provinces and interacted with the people of Zambia so as to have a feel of how they perceive this project. What has come out is that most of our people choose to rely on hearsay. They have not even taken the first step to get to our offices or any bank to ask how much it would cost to get a form. They would rather live on information passed on from other people.

We are saying that when you try us, you will find that we even have help desks in each province.

To say that a lot of people are failing to access the funds due to the stringent conditions put in place is not true. So far, we have over 3,500 applications from around Zambia. That question is based more on a rumour than reality.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mwila (Chipili): Mr Speaker, it is now two years since the CEEC was introduced and the Government has given out K54 billion. We expect that money to be recovered. What has the Government done with regard to recovery of the money?

Mr Taima: Mr Speaker, I just said that about K96 billion has been released so far out of which K54 billion is the approved amount and what has actually been disbursed is K35 billion.

The hon. Member might want to appreciate that the CEEC is working in collaboration with banks in the disbursement of these funds. It goes without saying that even the recovery of this money will be done with the help of banks and thus, I cannot comment on what has been done because we are only talking about amounts since the inception of this project.

I thank you, Sir.
Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, I want to thank the hon. Minister for his earlier answer in which he refuted the fact that there was bureaucracy in obtaining the CEEF loans. I want to know how long it takes for funds to be disbursed after a project has been appraised and correspondence has been given to the applicant that the project is approved. I have, in mind, a Mrs Maggie Masupa whose project was approved in Mazabuka a year ago and no money has been credited to her account.

Mr Taima: Mr Speaker, I cannot be specific on how long it takes between approval and final disbursement of funds because each situation stands unique from the other and each case is assessed differently.

Mr Speaker, what brings up the gap between the time of approval and disbursement is the fact that the appraisal of a project might not be the final stage per se.  For example, there might be need to ask an applicant to prove that they have collateral, particularly in the event that they might have surrendered photocopies of title deeds. Once the project has been appraised and found suitable for financing, approval will be communicated to the applicant who will then be asked to formalise, for instance, by submitting original copies of title deeds. Additionally, issues of gauging the certificate for security purposes and insurance also ensue. Those are the things that cause delays in the disbursement of funds. Ultimately, as long as a project has been approved, funds are supposed to be disbursed.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister how many women’s groups and youth groups who, hitherto, were supported through the Women’s Empowerment Fund and the Youth Empowerment Fund, respectively, which funds were collapsed into the CEEF, have accessed any money out of the K35 billion. I would like to find out because many women from Keembe, Kabwata and other areas now do not access their social safety net funds because their fund went to CEEF.

Mr Taima: Mr Speaker, obviously, the larger part is a new question. However, I would generally say that in our approach to the disbursement of this fund, we ensure that we place as much emphasis on women and the youth as well as the disabled and those living with HIV and AIDS.

For example, I have a few figures of women who have benefited from the funds that we have given through a few markets so far. In Lusaka, about 130 women have been empowered while in Solwezi, 239 women have been empowered and the list goes on.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mushili (Ndola Central): Mr Speaker, the number of applicants countrywide, is more than the money that is available. When will the Government consider an increment?

The Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Mr Mutati):  Mr Speaker, the Government makes a provision to increase the funds available under CEEC on an annual basis and in 2010, such a provision will be there.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Speaker, when some of the projects that are now under CEEC used to be funded by the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services, a lager number of people used to benefit than the number that is currently benefiting. Is the ministry in a position to carry out a study to see how many of the beneficiaries are not benefiting and if they find that there are such people who are not benefiting, what programmes have been put in place to ensure that such people can also benefit?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, the difference with the funds that were disbursed through the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services is that those funds were mainly grant funds. Under CEEC, they are funds to lend to entrepreneurs with the purpose of creating investment and returning the money. Realising that we have to extend the empowerment in 2010, the hon. Minister of Community Development and Social Services has made provisions for grant funds to deal specifically with the challenges that you have referred to.

I thank you, Sir.

Colonel Chanda (Kanyama): Mr Speaker, I find the figures that have been given by the hon. Minister at variance with what is prevailing on the ground. The picture that is being painted by the hon. Minister is at variance with the truth obtaining on the ground. Indeed, even with the figures published in the press …

Mr Speaker: Order! Should I take it that you have no question?

Colonel Chanda: Why are the figures that are published in the press at variance with the picture that the hon. Minister is painting?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, what we must run away from, as Zambians and citizens, is being vague regarding what we want to know. If we remain vague, we are not going to receive proper responses.

I thank you, Sir.


117. Mr Mweemba (Magoye) asked the Minister of Health:

(a) what the staffing levels in each of the following health centres and clinics in Magoye Parliamentary Constituency were:

(i) Itebe;
(ii) Munjule;
(iii) Nkonkola;
(iv) Musuma; and
(v) Magoye clinics; and 

(b) when construction of the clinic at Itebe Ward in Magoye would be completed.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Mr Akakandelwa): Mr Speaker, the following are the staffing levels in each of the following health centres and clinics in Magoye Parliamentary Constituency:

 Name of Clinical  Nurse Environmental Classified  Total
 Health Centre Officer Health Technologist Daily Employee
 Itebe    1      1               0              2     4
 Munjule    1      1               1              2     5
 Nkonkola    1      1               1              2     5
 Musuma    0      1               0              2     3
 Magoye    1      5               1              4    11

Mr Speaker, construction of the health post at Itebe Ward in Magoye is progressing well and is likely to be completed by December, 2009. The project is expected to cost approximately K311,237,000.00

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mweemba: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that there is only one nurse at Itebe Clinic who is currently on study leave and, as a result, people are being attended to by a watchman or dresser? Can the hon. Deputy Minister put the record straight?

Mr Akakandelwa: Mr Speaker, we acknowledged that in our response and stated that there is one nurse at that clinic, but I would like to inform the hon. Member that as we train more nurses, that position will be filled.
I thank you, Sir.



Mr Speaker: Before I call on the hon. Member for Nchanga to move this Motion, I would like to remind the House that this is your report. It is not necessarily for you to debate in detail. It is for you, as part of your oversight function, to ask them, and through the Action-Taken Report, for them to report to you what they have done on matters that have been identified and recognised in your report. Therefore, the sooner we conclude discussions and approve these reports, the faster the Executive will answer back to your requests.

I would like to guide the House that despite the clockwork over there, Members should be as brief as possible on these matters so that we may task the Executive to answer.


Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the report on the Committee on Economic Affairs and Labour for the Fourth Session of the Tenth National Assembly laid on the Table of the House on 28th October, 2009.

Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Ms Imbwae (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, I beg to second.

Mr Simuusa: Sir, in line with their terms of reference, your Committee resolved to study the following topical issues:

(a) the impact of the global financial crisis and stability of the financial markets in Zambia; and

(b) the pricing of sugar in Zambia.

Sir, the origin of the global economic crisis has now been well documented and has mainly been attributed to the collapse of the sub-prime mortgage lending in the United States of America. Evidently, Zambia has not been spared from the adverse effects of the crisis.

Mr Speaker, the global financial crisis affected Zambia mainly through the real sector. Depressed commodity prices rendered operations by the mining companies unprofitable. The mining companies were forced to streamline their operations through closing, downsizing the workforce and, in some cases, putting certain plants on care and maintenance.

Sir, your Committee are aware that the challenges brought by the global financial crisis in Zambia are not new. Zambia has, in the past, experienced high inflation rates, unemployment, free falling exchange rates and limited economic growth. Therefore, it was expected that the Government would be ready for such eventualities.

Mr Speaker, your Committee are aware that recommendations on various economic problems have been made before through indabas and Committees of Parliament, but implementation has been a challenge. Your Committee urge the Government to be serious in implementing these recommendations.

Mr Speaker, one of the recommendations that has been advanced in various fora is the need to diversify the economy. This recommendation, important as it is, has not been successfully implemented by the Government.

Mr Speaker, your Committee urge the Government to seriously diversify the economy into other sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing and tourism. They are cognisant of the fact that Zambia’s continued dependence on copper and cobalt has serious implications as we witnessed during the global financial crisis.

Mr Speaker, your Committee are concerned that Zambia continues to export primary products. In a way, our country has been exporting employment and depriving ourselves of more foreign exchange.

Your Committee urge the Government to promote value addition through manufacturing, thereby providing backward and forward linkages to the mining and agriculture sectors. This, in turn, will create a solid market for our agricultural products, increase the value of exports and generate employment.

Mr Speaker, your Committee are not happy with the unrestrained capital flight from Zambia. They observe that this problem has, in most cases, led to the sharp depreciation of the kwacha against other convertible currencies.

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

Mr Simuusa: This has also increased the cost of imported inputs and fueled inflation. Your Committee are convinced that capital flight would have been minimised if there were regulations in place to avert the free externalisation of earnings. After selling copper on the international market, mining companies in Zambia do not bring back the sales revenue. In this regard, your Committee recommend that the Government should not allow the externalisation of sales revenue. What is permitted under the existing legislation is the externalisation of dividends from profit.

Sir, the tour of the Lusaka Stock Exchange (LuSE) by your Committee, accorded them an opportunity to see the developments on the exchange. They observed that with the global economic crisis, foreign investors were averse to investing on the exchange. At the height of the crisis, foreign investors were withdrawing their investments from the LuSE, causing a decline in the volumes of trade and the all share index. As a result, there was uncertainty in the economy. In this regard, your Committee urge the Government to promote the participation of locals on the LuSE. Further, they recommend that parastatals be privatised through public floatation of shares.

Mr Speaker, your Committee were dismayed that some people were quoting and selling their products in dollars here in Zambia. Dollarisation was being practised by some sections of the society, particularly commercial farmers and landlords. This practice only benefited a small group of people hedging themselves against the fluctuating value of the kwacha against major currencies. Dollarisation was contributing to the depreciation of the kwacha. Your Committee recommend that the Government should issue a statutory instrument to curb dollarisation.

Mr Speaker, your Committee expected that with the policy of diversification in place, investment in tourism would be given priority. Unfortunately, your Committee’s tour to Livingstone revealed that the sector is facing a number of challenges. They observed that road infrastructure is in such a poor state that it is difficult to attract investment, let alone tourists. For example, one major road leading to the Zambezi River water front had very embarrassing potholes. Your Committee urge the Government to embark on a robust programme of constructing new roads ad rehabilitating old ones.

Mr Speaker, your Committee also observe that the cost of Jet A1 fuel is still high despite the removal of taxes. This discourages planes from landing and refueling in Zambia, thereby adversely affecting the number of tourist arrivals. It was revealed that the high cost of Jet A1 fuel is as a result of some suppliers having a monopoly over pricing.

Your Committee, therefore, recommend that the pricing of Jet A1 fuel should be reviewed and that various players in the supply chain should be allowed to compete freely. This will lead to efficiency and self adjustment in prices to acceptable levels.

Mr Speaker, your Committee observe, with concern, that the International Civil Aviation Authority has declared aeroplanes registered in Zambia unsafe to fly. This is giving the impression to the tourists that Zambia is not a safe tourist destination and consequently hurting the sector. Your Committee urge the government to resolve the matter with the European Union and the International Civil Aviation Authority.

Mr Speaker, the importance of energy in any economy cannot be overlooked. The stability of the economy, by and large, depends on the smooth supply of energy. Regrettably, the energy sector in Zambia has not performed to the people’s expectations. These include load shedding in the electricity sub-sector and fuel shortages in the petroleum sub-sector. The Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO), which is a major player in the energy sector, continues to face a number of challenges which include high labour costs.

Mr Speaker, it was regrettable, therefore, that before the company could address its labour costs, especially the high management salaries and allowances, ZESCO proposed a tariff adjustment amidst the global economic crisis. Your Committee recommend that ZESCO be restructured to make it responsive to the current challenges in the energy sector. This will require unbundling into three entities of generation, supply and distribution. Your Committee also recommend a wage freeze on management salaries and allowances for ZESCO.

Mr Speaker, your Committee bemoan the continued shortages of petroleum products such as petrol. Despite assurances from the Government that strategic oil reserves will be established to mitigate fuel shortages, the Government has not yet established any fuel reserves. The oil reserve tanks in Ndola are empty. Your Committee recommend that the Government should quickly establish the oil reserves.

In conclusion, I wish to thank all the witnesses who appeared before your Committee for their invaluable input to the findings of your Committee. I also wish to thank the Clerk and her staff for the support rendered to your Committee during their deliberations.  

Finally, I wish to record my indebtedness and gratitude to you, Mr Speaker, for affording us the opportunity to serve on this important Committee.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

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

Ms Imbwae: Now, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker, I wish to second the Motion to adopt the Report of the Committee on Economic Affairs and Labour for the First Session of the Tenth National Assembly which has been so ably moved.

Mr Speaker, your Committee observe that many countries in the region are positioning themselves to take advantage of the 2010 World Cup to be hosted by South Africa. However, they are dismayed that nothing much is being done on the Zambian side to harness this yawning gap. 

They are further disappointed to note that the Zambia Tourism Board, which is charged with the responsibility to market the tourism sector, is poorly funded. Your Committee recommend that the Government should provide incentives to attract participating countries in the tournament and for the soccer fans to be able to camp in Zambia. They also urge the Government to increase the budget allocation to the Zambia Tourism Board to enable them carry out tourism marketing activities.

Mr Speaker, your Committee also observe that the visa fees, which are charged on foreign tourists, are prohibitively high compared to what is obtaining in the region. This is discouraging foreign tourists from visiting Zambia. In addition, the visa system where foreign tourists are required to pay each time they temporarily cross into neighbouring countries has also adversely affected tourist arrivals in Zambia. Day trippers need to be treated differently from other tourists coming to the real Africa. Your Committee, therefore, recommend that in view of the expected influx of tourists during the 2010 World Cup in South Attica, the Government should reduce visa fess paid by foreign tourists. 

Multiple entry visas should also be considered for tourists wishing to temporarily visit other tourist places upon arrival in Zambia.

Sir, let me now turn to the issue of pricing sugar. There were reports that sugar produced in Zambia was more expensive locally than it was in the regional markets like Rwanda and Burundi.

Mr Speaker, your Committee’s findings revealed that there is no evidence to show that the price of sugar produced in Zambia is more expensive in Zambia than in other countries.

This notwithstanding, your Committee believe that the price of sugar in Zambia can be cheaper than it is at the moment. However, because of the high cost of production, the price is slightly on the higher side. They, therefore, urge the Government to reduce the cost of production in Zambia. This will, in turn, reduce the price of sugar, making it affordable for the ordinary Zambians.

In conclusion, please, allow me to join the mover of the Motion of the Committee in thanking you, Mr Speaker, for according us the opportunity to serve on this important Committee. I also wish to thank the hon. Members of your Committee for affording me this opportunity to second the Motion.

Mr Speaker, I beg to second.

Mr D. Mwila (Chipili): Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing me to make a contribution on the debate on his report. From the outset, I would like to support the report by your Committee and I will be very brief.

Sir, your Committee have talked about the economic crunch which we had. In the mining companies, we lost more than 10,000 jobs. The reason that was advanced by the mining companies was that the price of copper went down. That is why we lost more than 10,000 jobs. The question that I always pose to my colleagues on your right is that, now that the price of copper is over US $6,000 per tonne, what are they doing about it? When are they going to engage the mining houses so that they are able to bring back the people who lost jobs? This is a very important because at the moment, our colleagues are making profits. Why can they not retain our people? Most of our people are now on the streets.

The second and last issue I wish to talk about is on the externalisation of funds which are coming from the sale of copper. Mr Speaker, I wish to propose to the Government to bring in a law which will ensure that our colleagues in the mining sector are able to bring the money back into the country by investing in a lot of projects like roads and hospitals so that our people can benefit from our copper.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mwansa (Chifunabuli): Mr Speaker, thank you. I also wish to render my support to the Motion on the Floor. In agreeing with the report that is before the House, I only wish mention a few issues.

Firstly, Sir, the economic affairs of a country are the most critical in the development of that country. If we do not manage our economy well, we are not going to improve the status of our people both educationally and in terms of health. Therefore, it is very important for the ministry and the Government to ensure that we manage our economy very well.

Sir, one of the things that I have observed is that we spend a lot of money on the social sectors of our country as opposed to the economic sectors. The end result is that most of the money that we have in the country is merely consumed rather than invested in development programmes and projects. For as long as we embark on that route, we are going to have serious difficulties to develop our country.

For example, there is a lot of money that goes to capacity building in the Government. These are huge amounts of money which, if channelled towards development ministries, would make a tremendous difference in a given financial year. I am pleading with the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to consider the possibility of limiting capacity building programmes in all the ministries and put that money in development ministries. The changes that will take place will be phenomenal. We can build a lot of roads using just money that is consumed in capacity building.

Sir, we have been building capacity in our professionals for the last fifteen to twenty years. If people are not qualified for the jobs they hold, I think the safest is to ask to them to leave. We cannot teach them if they cannot be taught after fourteen years.

My humble plea to the Government is that it is time we begun to put money where it will bring results and benefits to our people.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: Sir, we cannot continue building capacity in the Public Service. What capacity are we giving to them? If they are not educated for the jobs they hold, there is only one solution, remove them and put people who are already qualified for those positions. Otherwise, that is money going down the drain. It is money we can better use in programmes such as agricultural development, fisheries and livestock, and improving our road infrastructure. We can put money in a lot of programmes that would enhance the development of our country. I find it extremely difficult that we are still putting huge amounts of money in capacity building. Mr Speaker, if you look at the budget and money that is going into sectors that do not engender development, you will be amazed that so much can be spent in such a manner in a poor resource country such as ours.

My appeal, as I support this Motion, is that we relook at how we have programmed the development of our country and the economy and try to avoid those things that do not help us. Sir, we need to relook at that particular programme.

Sir, coming to the issue of labour, I just want to mention one point and I hope I am not stirring a hornet’s nest, but I think that we need to be true to ourselves and look within ourselves.

Mr Speaker, one of the major problems I find about our work culture is that we talk more than we work. I think there are very few Zambians who spend the entire eight hours of every day doing honest work for which they get paid. We need to begin to ask ourselves whether we will be able to compete with the international community at the rate we work.

For example, if you look at the way our friends from China and Japan work - in fact, the entire Far East - their work culture is such that they are glued to the work they do. They are prepared to sacrifice time. Sometimes, they do the job for which they are paid freely. They can go extra hours trying to achieve what they set for themselves.

It is saddening to hear a contractor from abroad coming here and say, “If you give me this contract and you want me to finish it within three years, then allow me to bring in foreign labour.”

We have heard this said time and again and the answer they give is simply that if you allow me to use Zambian labour, you will need to give me more time and more money because it will take us longer and this means we are not sacrificing for our country and we are not paying attention to the things that make the economy move. Human labour and capital make up the best engine that can move our economy and if we do not ensure that we spend as much time doing that which brings food to our table, then we will have serious problems in developing our country. We need to begin to drum in ourselves as Zambians the value of working, the value of spending time on things that make money and things that bring bread to our tables.

Mr Speaker, it is a waste of money to keep pumping money in programmes and projects that do not work. We need to know that whatever we put in as Zambians and as workers, that is what, in the final analysis, will show whether we are developing or not. We need, as a people, to improve on our work ethics. The thing we see about ourselves is that we usually report for work late, but are always quick to leave on time. We always knock off on time, but usually report for work late. Sometimes, we knock off earlier than we are supposed to. This is our predicament. We need to ask ourselves how we expect to compete with people who do not sleep. There are cities in this world where people never sleep.

In Zambia today, and especially in Lusaka, when it is 24 hours, it is the best time to drive along any of our roads because you will find virtually no vehicles on the roads because everyone is asleep. We must remember that when we are sleeping at 24 hours, it is day time in some corner of this world because people are busy working. The time we spend on sleeping is the time some people catch up on us or, in fact, ensure that we are down and sleeping. We need to wake up to the realities of the world we live in because we live in a world that is competing for the very services and the money that we need for development and if we do not remodel our culture to ensure that we compete adequately, we will always be on the receiving end, and negatively so.

Mr Speaker, I worked in the mines at one time and the system there is very simple because we had people working from 0600 hours to 0600 hours the following day, every day of the week. Twenty-four hours a day, the system is continuously moving, even when others have gone to sleep. Those who go in the morning will knock off about 15:00 hours and then another group goes in which will come out at 22:00 hours. Another group takes over until morning and so the cycle continues. How can you compete with people like that if you only work for five hours in a day? How can you ever compete? This is reality we must face …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, we need to relook at the culture we have inculcated in ourselves towards work. If we fail to do that, we will sing songs and insult each other, but we will not develop. We need to ask ourselves - is this the right way to go?

In conclusion, I would like to say that the economy of our country is dependant on us. We should never imagine that there is any person who will come to Zambia to improve the country and make it better. When investors come to this country, they come to make money and our responsibility is to look at ways and means of ensuring that where they make their money, we get our cut. We have a right to that which belongs to us and it is our responsibility to make sure that we plan for the development of our country.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Mr Mutati): Mr Speaker, I rise to support the report of your Committee and the issues that they have raised and, in particular, those arising out of the global financial crisis. The hon. Member for Chipili pointed out that as a consequence of that global financial crisis, 10, 000 jobs were lost in the mining sector.

Mr Speaker, only yesterday, we had a policy statement from the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development indicating the revival that is taking place in the mining industry in Zambia. As part of that revival, jobs will be created. The hon. Minister did indicate that the re-opening of Luanshya Mine has created 18,000 jobs. The hon. Minister also did indicate that Chambishi is about to re-open, further creating more job opportunities. He also indicated that there are prospects of commencing and opening up the Konkola North Project. Indeed, we have an opportunity for Albidon to, also, open and this will create the 
potential for more job creation, particularly in the mining industry. We also heard, last night, the president of the mine suppliers indicating that with improved payments in the mining sector to suppliers, there is stability in their business, thus they are able to employ more people. These are efforts the Government is putting in place to ensure that, emerging out of the crisis, we will replace all the jobs that may have been lost during that period.

Mr Speaker, in terms of the value addition that has been referred to in the report, again, in the mining sector by the expansion of the smelting capacity, we are now able to add value to the productions produced. We are no longer exporting concentrates, but smelting the concentrates and exporting cathodes and so this is part of the value addition. Beyond that, in the mining sector, in the MFEZs, we are going to be taking the cathodes and converting them into cables and other products. Indeed, the programme is that, next year, we are going to establish, in the Chambishi MFEZ, a plant similar to Zambia Metal Fabricators (ZAMEFA) that will be converting copper into finished products. There will be more companies that will be established in the MFEZs which will try and engage in value addition.

Mr Speaker, value addition is not a substitute. We have seen many other industries that are also adding value to their products. We are now able to make cell phones and soon we will be exporting edible oil to other countries in the region. Today, we have local companies that are able to supply the pipes that are required by the mining industry and export to other countries in the region. We are also able to produce steel in Zambia and we are also able to export it to other countries in the region. That is the definition of value addition that this Government is promoting. As the figures indicate, in terms of value addition, our total exports have now progressively been more non-traditional over the last five years.

Mr Speaker, five years ago, the total exports of Zambia were 10 per cent non-traditional and last year, they moved up to 40 per cent of the K5 billion worth of exports. 40 per cent was non-traditional, meaning that we continue to shift away from predominantly being a copper exporting country to exporting non-traditional products. These are the key measures that the Government is taking in order to move away from commodity exports to value addition and, also, to go beyond that so as to diversify the economy and create jobs for the people of Zambia. We recognise that the challenge we have is going forward and we have to continue with our focus in value addition and in capturing the regional market before we go into the international market.

On the international platform, only two days ago, we engaged with the United States of America (USA) Assistant Secretary to try and see what we can do to take advantage of the opportunities that are being provided under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). We are working with the US Government to see what we can export through value addition to their market. So, these are the various measures that we are taking to address the issues of value addition that are being referred to in your Committee’s report. These are the measures for job creation being referred to in your Committee’s report.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simuusa: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Indeed, I wish to thank the House for the constructive debate and the support they have rendered to this report of your Committee.

I thank you, Sir.

Question put and agreed to.




VOTE 44 – (Ministry of Labour and Social Security – K18,091,129,278).

(Consideration resumed)

The Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mr Liato): Madam Chairperson, yesterday, before we adjourned, I was looking at social security management.

Madam Chairperson, an amount of K1.8 billion has been allocated to carry out decent workplace promotion activities under the Social Security Department which comprises the extension of social security coverage to the informal economy as well as work towards reforming the current system.

Madam Chairperson, I wish to conclude by stating that my ministry will remain committed to the creation of an efficient and flexible labour market system that promotes productivity and job creation while guaranteeing workers’ rights. I, therefore, expect strong support from hon. Members of this august House during the debate of my ministry’s 2010 Budget.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Madam Chairperson, thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to contribute on this very important vote of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.

Madam Chairperson, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security is a ministry of great economic importance, but over the years, if you look at the allocation of resources to this ministry, it remains one of the least funded. If you look at the amount that has been given to this ministry, compared with other social ministries, you will find that the differences are so drastic. I am not saying anything against the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services, but when you look in the Yellow Book - Vote 44 - Ministry of Labour and Social Security and the other one is the Ministry of Community and Social Development, you will see that the difference in funding is that, maybe, one gets a quarter of what the other is getting. Obviously, we are not giving this ministry the importance it deserves.

Madam Chairperson, issues of labour are extremely important. These are issues like workers’ rights, occupational health, and safety, especially in new areas where we have received investors who have come from different countries whose work ethics and professional approach is very different from what is happening here. In a way, this is good because we can learn something from them, but at the same time, some of the practices of some of these new investors or employers are such that they make it very difficult for our workers. In this regard, the activities of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security need to be increased in those parts of our country where there are a lot of new developments. Here I am thinking of what is happening, for example, in the North-Western Province. Has the Ministry of Labour and Social Security put in place measures that will ensure that the labour office there is strengthened so that it can stand up to the challenge of the needs of the workers in that area. I am not sure if that is happening. Perhaps, the hon. Minister should be able to come and tell us. In the past, we have had foreign nationals who have come to head those departments dealing with human resource when they are not familiar with our labour laws.

Madam Chairperson, I recall, at one time, for example, that at Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), some of the people who were in that department dealing with human resource were foreign nationals. I do not know what experience they had in labour and industrial relations, especially regarding what is obtaining in our country. Are they familiar with our Labour and Industrial Relations Act, Employment Act, National Pension Scheme Act and other laws? I think the answer in a lot of those cases is that they do not know much about our labour laws. Maybe, they are trying to learn or they just ignore them completely. What has the ministry done regarding what I am talking about? We have an Act of Parliament which provides for the Zambia Institute of Human Resources Management (ZIHSM). Is the ministry doing anything to work with the Zambia Federation of Employers and other employers to ensure that those who are occupying these offices are affiliated to or, at least, recognised by the ZIHSM because members of that organisation are familiar with our laws?

Madam Chairperson, if this is not done, it becomes very difficult for the ministry to protect the workers. The ministry does not have enough personnel around the country to go to every organisation. If, however, people who are qualified as practitioners of human resources, who are recognised by the ZIHSM which is recognised by a law passed by this House, are in the Human Resources Department, they can be working with the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to ensure that workers’ rights are respected.

Madam Chairperson, in the last few years in this country, there emerged some development in this country which I considered disturbing and this was the practice of having employment or labour brokers in place.

It was rampant at some new companies, especially at Kansanshi Copper Mines. If I recall well, last year or the year before, the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security was subjected to what I considered unacceptable conduct by some very junior security guards who had the impertinence to stop the hon. Minister from entering the plant. I do not know if these practices are still continuing.

I am aware that the previous hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security had assured this House that all was being done to ensure that labour brokers were kicked out. The issue of labour or employment broking does not fit in well in our system. What, in fact, it means is that if people are working for a mining company such as Lumwana Copper Mines Plc - and I am not saying that it is being done at Lumwana but I know that it was being practised at one time at Kansanshi - the workers who are employed in the mine are considered not to be working for the mining company but are subcontracted through some small company somewhere. What happens is that these workers are denied the normal benefits that one would get if they are employed directly by the mining company. Things such as education, leave and funeral allowances are no longer there. I hope when the hon. Minister winds up debate on this vote, he will brief this House on this matter because we are still concerned about this practice going on. I hope he has been able to root it out of our country.

Madam Chairperson, I am happy to note that K65 million has been contributed to the African Regional Labour Conference (ARLC) which is based in Zimbabwe. As you may know, a Zambian is the director of that institution and, for that matter, a lady who was an employee of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. So, it is important that we continue giving our support. Through this institution, we can also try to encourage other countries that are not practising good labour practices to follow suit.

Madam Chairperson, let me come to the issue of the National Productivity Development Department in this ministry. I contributed to the setting up of this department and its aim was to try to ensure raising national productivity in the nation through, among other things, campaigning for better and favourable work ethics among our people, creating a more favourable attitude towards work among our workers and, also, encouraging companies and employers to introduce programmes that would induce workers to produce more. These are exactly some of the issues that my colleague, the hon. Member of Parliament for Chifunabuli, was talking about.

I see that there is an allocation of K2 billion to this department. However, we are not hearing much about some of the activities of this department. We want to hear more campaigns about encouraging workers to be more productive not only in Government, but throughout private companies. Are there any liaisons that are being developed by officers in this department with managements and employers across the country? It does not seem that we are doing a lot. So, perhaps, the hon. Minister can say something about this but I would hope that more effort and resources will be put into this department so that the programme or mission for which this department was set up continues.

Madam Chairperson, in conclusion, I would like to encourage the hon. Minister that this is the time when we should push forward with a lot of vigour. As hon. Mwansa said, we cannot continue to be at the bottom of the continent in terms of development.

I thank you, Madam.

The Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1045 hours until 1100 hours.


Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the debate on this important vote. In trying to support this vote, I would like to state that labour or employees in any country are a very important and valuable asset which should be managed properly. If this is done, labour can contribute to sustainable development in this country. Yet, we have a situation in our country whereby labour has not been properly managed for a long time.

Therefore, I would urge the hon. Minister to ensure that he looks at this issue differently and try to improve the management of this resource. We should create a proper databank or inventory for labour so that we know exactly how many professionals of a particular skill we need at each and every point in development. For example, we need to know exactly how many teachers we need in this country at every level of development. We need to know how many doctors, nurses, paramedics and so on and so forth we need in the medical field. We also need to know how many engineers, accountants, artisans and technicians we need to develop this country.

This would help us in making proper labour projections for development. Without doing that, it will be very difficult for us to even achieve the millennium development goals (MDGs), Vision 2030 and Fifth National Development Plan, which we have set for ourselves. It will be very difficult because we will not have a proper database. We need to have a proper database so that we can work out our development plans properly. There was an allocation in the Budget for the conducting of a labour survey in the country. I think it is important that when a survey is conducted by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, the report comes out promptly so that the data that comes out is used there and then rather than carrying out an inventory in 2008 and then a report comes out, maybe, in 2009 or 2010. At the end of the day, things would have been overtaken by circumstances.

Mr Chairperson, when I look at the performance of the ministry, I see that the key performance indicators that have been put for this sector were not met for a long time. I have, with me, the data that I collected on labour inspections for the years 2005, 2007 and 2008. In 2005, the target was supposed to be 8,640 but we only did 1,130; in 2007 we had 1,990 and 2008 we had 324. From the figures above, the inspections were going down.

On factory inspections, the target was supposed to be 1,840 but, in 2005, we only did 224; in 2007, we did 312; and in 2008, we did 300. We have not performed well in as far as inspections are concerned. It is against this background that I urge the hon. Minister to ensure that logistics are provided to the inspectors for the industry to make a difference. 

Mr Chairperson, the Deputy Minister has been all over trying to make things change. Of course, that is a good idea and we want to see the same vigour taking place at the inspection level because we want to see everybody moving at the same pace.

Mr Chairperson, occupational accidents have increased in work places. In 2007, the reports that they provided showed that there were twenty-four cases while in 2008, we had thirty-two, but if you look at these figures, they are so low. We have had a lot of accidents taking place and I do not think that everybody in the industry is providing proper information. We heard that these investors keep two reports - one for themselves and the other for the Government inspectors. Therefore, we need to carry out proper inspections to ensure that the reports that they are giving us are genuine reports. Otherwise, we will be working on reports that are not correct.

On the increase of accidents, I think there is serious need to revamp safety in this country. We have safety laws in this country and it is pointless for somebody to say that people in industries are complying with safety laws, but if the safety laws, themselves, are defective, what compliance are you talking about? It is important to ensure that labour laws and safety laws are reviewed in this country so that people operate in a better and safe working environment.

However, how can we do that when the Yellow Book has no provision for the revision of the labour laws? As regards decent work, the budget has been reduced from K1.9 billion to K1.3 billion. In child labour management, there is a reduction from K522 million to K187 million. How do we expect these issues to be resolved if there is always a reduction? We need to look at these issues from a more serious angle and have a priority as to which one is our first priority and what we want to achieve.

Mr Chairperson, in order for us to change we need to have serious investment taking place. The ministry needs to look at all the laws that exist in the ministry like the Employment Act, Cap 268, Industrial Relations Labour Act, Cap 269, and the Minimum Wages Act. All these were enacted in 1996, but the needs that are currently obtaining are different from what we used to have before. The employee needs to be on a decent wage which will enable him feed his family and send his children to school. Alas, how do you expect a person who is getting K268,000.00 to feed his family and send his children to school? Do you not think that this is a recipe for HIV/AIDS? It is important that we look at these issues seriously. Do not just look at the law and think that if we give him K268,000.00, he will manage his family.

Mr Chairperson, my brother, Hon. Kambwili, said that the Chinese are working in accordance with the laws of Zambia.  I do agree in that they are giving K268,000.00 which is stated by the law, but what we are saying is that the K268,000.00 is very low. We need the Government to review and amend this Act so that the minimum wage is close to K1 million for everybody to manage family affairs.

Mr Chairperson, it is said that a well-paid employee will always give you good results, but if you do not want good results, do not pay your employees. I have always said that if you pretend to pay somebody, he will pretend to be working. When people are lowly paid they do not show commitment. This is why, when they go to their offices, they would rather leave their jackets there and do other things to raise money. We want to see commitment and that commitment can only come if we start giving Zambians decent wages.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security is well placed to look at all these laws and also lead in the fight against HIV/AIDS. As a member of CAPAH, I know that the Ministry of Labour and Social Security is well placed in the fight against this pandemic and that if the ministry improves the laws, it will be easy for all of us to fight the pandemic vigorously.

Mr Chairperson, yesterday, when the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development was answering a question on the mainstreaming of disability issues, he stated that there was no provision in the budget. It is very embarrassing to state that they decided to remove an important issue of mainstreaming disability in all ministries. What are you trying to achieve? The people living with disabilities are very disappointed and embarrassed by the answer that was given. How do you remove a very important aspect?

Mr Chairperson, when the Fifth National Development Plan has provided for focal point persons in those ministries, you remove the provisions for them, I think …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Hon. Mukanga, we are debating the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. So, please, get to that route and you may continue.

Dr Chituwo: Cross cutting!

Mr Mukanga: It is not cross cutting or cross country, but the issues are cross cutting.

The Workers Compensation Act, in its current form, of between K10,000.00, K20,000.00 or K30,000.00 for people who have been injured at their work places as compensation, is not acceptable. How many times do you want me to talk about the same things?

Mr Chairperson, I have spoken about these things six times in this House and nothing seems to be happening. People who have been injured in their work places have been complaining to me on how they are being treated by their employers regarding compensation. It is important that the Ministry of Labour and Social Security looks at this issue seriously rather than talk about the same things which we do not even follow. Here, in this House, there are a lot of things that are discussed and those ideas that are brought forward are meant to be for the development of the nation. It is not politicking. These are serious issues that need to be looked at seriously and resolved.

Mr Speaker, with these few words, I thank you, very much.

Mr D. Mwila (Chipili): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate on this vote. From the outset, I would like to support this vote. However, I am very disappointed that, last year, we had K16.6 billion and this year we have K18 billion. If you look at the increase, it is not enough and if you look at the work that needs to be done by this ministry, we need support from this House, especially from our colleagues on your right.

Mr Chairperson, you will agree that our colleagues on your right do not value the importance of this ministry. First and foremost, we have laws, as a country, and the Government expects all the companies to abide by them. I heard from the hon. Member for Luapula, Dr Machungwa, who said that once these foreign investors come into the country, they violate some of the laws, but we have to learn from them. I think there is no need for us to learn from them in that…

Dr Machungwa: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Dr Machungwa: Mr Chairperson, I rise on a serious point of order on Hon. Mwila who is misinterpreting my debate. Is he in order to state that we should learn from foreign investors or employers when, in fact, I was saying that the Ministry of Labour and Social Security should ensure that these people follow our laws, but only learn from them when they do good things such as adhering to labour practices and ethics? Is he in order to be saying exactly the opposite of what I said?

The Deputy Chairperson: The hon. Member for Chipili should take that correction into account.

You may continue.

Mr D. Mwila: I do not want to…

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! You are reacting.

You may continue.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Chairperson, I do not want to be provoked by anyone.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! The hon. Member should continue with the debate.

You may continue.

Mr D. Mwila: Sir, I have respect for the hon. Member for Luapula.

Mr Chairperson, before the point of order was raised, I was saying that there were a lot of violations in this country. I have always said that the Government must lead by example. We have the Chinese investors, who I am not saying are 100 per cent in compliance of the laws of this country. However, once the Government leads by example, even the foreign investors will follow the laws which are in place.

Sir, let me now talk about the terms of payment of the housing and hardship allowances. These arrears have been outstanding for many years, and yet the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security is there to ensure that no one violates the law. However, we have been talking about the non-payment of hardship and housing allowances for three years. If you look at the way the Government negotiates, even in this year’s budget, for example, you will realise that we, as a country, went through problems because the Government did not look at when the running agreement was going to expire. As a result, there was a strike which lasted for almost a month. Therefore, I would like to advise the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to ensure that the laws are followed. I am happy that the Government has started negotiating with the Public Service unions.

Mr Chairperson, the other issue is about the farm blocks for the differently-abled people. For the past six years, no collective agreement has been entered into and the employees have not received an increment for the past five years. These are some of the things for which we solicit the support of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. This is to ensure that these laws in question are followed. Therefore, I urge the hon. Minister responsible to look at all the farm blocks for the disabled because they have not had any increment for five years.

Mr Chairperson, you will recall that we made an amendment to the Industrial and Labour Relations Act last year. I remember it was agreed, in this House, that all trade union leaders who retire from their original employers must leave the union, but the Government has failed to implement this. It is now one year since this decision was made. When will the hon. Minister implement this? It is very important to do this because the union is not for retirees or people who are above fifty-five years. Once you reach the retirement age, you retire. However, it is surprising to note that all the union leaders are still in the system. I urge the hon. Minister responsible to look into this issue seriously.

Mr Chairperson, the other issue I want to raise and which the hon. Minister must look at is that of the Lotto Company which falls under the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. It is on record that the Government invested US $2.4 million in the Lotto Company. The hon. Minister responsible informed us, on the Floor of the House, that the Lotto Company is making losses and intends to pull out. As of today, it is now four or five months and nothing has been done. If you look at the amount of money which was invested in the Lotto Company, it came from the contributions of the members of the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA). We questioned who authorised the investing of that money, but nothing has been done. I urge the hon. Minister to inform us how far he has gone on this matter.

As regards the ex-Roan Antelope Mining Company of Zambia (RAMCOZ) employees who were contributing to the Mukuba Pension Scheme, both the employees’ and employer’s contributions were not sent to Mukuba Pension Scheme. As a result, Mukuba Pension Scheme cannot pay the workers. It is now nine years down the line and nothing has happened. I urge the Government, through the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, to pay Mukuba Pension Scheme who, in turn, should pay the ex-RAMCOZ employees.

Mr Chairperson, I am also concerned about the issue of expatriates. We are all aware that when an expatriate is being brought into this country, they normally go through the Ministry of Home Affairs. I think it is important that the Ministry of Home Affairs involves the Ministry of Labour and Social Security when they are dealing with the issue of expatriates. If this is done, they will be able to determine the number of expatriates coming into this country. In most cases, an expatriate will be brought into this country minus the knowledge of the ministry of Labour and Social Security. I think it would be prudent if this responsibility is transferred to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.

With these few remarks, I support this vote.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Chimbaka (Bahati): Thank you, Mr Chairperson, …

Mr D. Mwila passed between the Chair and Mr Chimbaka.

Hon. Government Members: Order, iwe!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Hon Mwila, you are deliberately disobeying the rules. You know that you are not supposed to cross in between the person speaking and the Chair.

Hon. Chimbaka may continue.

Mr Chimbaka: Mr Chairperson, I rise to support the vote on the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. I want to be brief because a good number of people have spoken on it. However, there is only one piece of advice I would like to give to our working Government.

I have interacted with a number of people who have suggested that instead of hiking salaries and inflating allowances, the Government could encourage business houses to give soft loans to teachers who may want to own vehicles and drive on the streets of Kasama and Lusaka. Further, the Government should go back to the time it made it possible for civil servants to walk into shops and collect items of choice such as furniture. They argue that if the Government has allowed chiefs to get vehicles, why can it not allow the same for teachers who are civil servants assured of a pension which can be used as guarantee to ensure repayments?

Mr Chairperson, if the Government saw to it that all civil servants were entitled to housing schemes, transport and other things, it would go a long way in motivating its staff. In this regard, issues of other political parties taking advantage of the vulnerability of the civil servants to outdo the Government would not arise as they would be content and be able to work effectively.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security should explore that idea and see how it can work for the workers in Zambia.

Thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}

Mr Liato: Mr Chairperson, I would like to start by thanking all the hon. Members of Parliament who have made various contributions to my vote. I thank, particularly, those who have spoken positively and in support of my ministry.

Mr Chairperson, let me be quick and make a few comments on some of the issues that have been raised.

Hon. Machungwa raised a couple of issues on the challenges that are before us in areas such as the North-Western Province.

Mr Chairperson, we, as a Government, have taken the necessary steps. We are sending a senior labour officer and back-up staff to the province so that he can meet the challenges that are unfolding there. We realise that they will have a lot of work and we will keep a close eye on them. We shall be beefing them up from time to time with various visits of staff from Lusaka. These will be periodical visitations which we call on-the-spot checks in the industries.

Mr Chairperson, the Government is also harmonising the relationship between the Zambia Federation of Employers and the Institute of Human Resource Management. There is an intersection curve and the Government feels that a close relationship between the two institutions will render a lot of assistance in getting the right people to manage issues of industrial relations at places of work. That interaction is already being promoted and we, as a Government, are on our way to see how we can conclude in that interaction.

Mr Chairperson, the issue of labour brokers is a thorny one. Yes, the Government agrees with Hon. Machungwa. At the moment, it is illegal to engage in labour brokering. There are serious discussions going on between the essential partners who are labour employers and the Government for the simple reason that labour brokering is something that is happening almost all over the world. We, as a Government, are looking at what positives we can derive from the whole programme. We have to ensure that whilst it is good for a broker to find employment for somebody who does not have a job, there should be no disadvantages like those that were experienced at Lumwana and Kansanshi where some labour brokers were getting money on behalf of employees from the employer and paying employees a less amount. There is that kind of mischief going on.

Mr Chairperson, the Technical Committee is studying to see how this can be cured and if this process can be relevant to our situation. If it is found relevant and the three social partners agree that we can put it in our laws, we shall do that at an appropriate time. However, for now, labour brokering is illegal.

Mr Chairperson, to conclude on Hon. Machungwa’s contribution, we wish to inform the House that the Ministry of Labour and Social Security has harmonised its relationship with Kansanshi. The company has changed its management structures and personnel. There is new management personnel that is user friendly and has made several visitations to the ministry. I must report that the ministry is working well with them. There are no difficulties foreseen such as those that arose in the past coming our way again. The Government is on the right track in terms of its working relationship with Kansanshi and it is a good thing to say to Hon. Machungwa that we, as a Government, are comfortable with the way things are going on there.

Hon. Mukanga raised a couple issues, but I will only comment on two. On the issue of decent wages, I mentioned, in my statement, that the Government is reviewing the issue of the minimum wage. This is being actively done by the Technical Committee of the Tripartite Council. They will be reporting back soon and we hope to take steps in that direction before the end of the year.

On the Workman’s Compensation Fund, again, the Technical Committee is working on the revisions with a view to comparing what is tenable in the region. It is a non-contributory workers’ scheme. I must also add that we want to encourage workers at places of work to negotiate packages that will be additional to the Workman’s Compensation benefits because they must draw up conditions of service that take care of the members in times of injury, accidents or even death so that the issues of Workman’s Compensation only become supplementary to what is existing in a given organisation.

Hon. D. Mwila mentioned a couple of things, but I will address two of those. On the issue of RAMCOZ, the Government did a lot of work to find money to pay the ex-RAMCOZ workers. It would have been better for Hon. Mwila to have asked about what is happening to the liquidator because the money was paid to the liquidators and hon. Mwila now has a close working relationship with someone who was a liquidator at RAMCOZ. Those are some of the issues that could have been raised with a president of some particular party I will not mention.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Liato: They should finish their part because the Government has done its part in paying the benefits to the former RAMCOZ employees.

Sir, the issue of eligibility of leaders in the trade unions is a very topical subject. The law is very precise. It states that if you are not an employee in an organisation or any industry, you cannot hold office as a union leader or official.

The problem we have at the moment is that there is a court case where the Federation of Free Trade Unions in Zambia (FFTUZ) has taken this matter to court and we hope that when it is concluded, many other issues will follow.

Sir, let me thank all those who have debated on this vote and I hope that they will support it.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. 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.

VOTE 44/04 – (Ministry of Labour and Social Security – Occupational Safety and Health Department – K2,151,915,657.00).

Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 8 – K1,108,008,332. Why are we duplicating this function and spending an extra K2 billion when the same function is being carried out in the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development?

The Deputy Chairperson: Well, I will permit the hon. Minister to answer although that is something that should have been debated during the policy debate. The hon. Minister can say something if he so wishes.

Mr Liato: Sir, I would like to say that this department has always been there to handle issues of occupational health and safety. You may find similar functions in the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development. Perhaps, that is just a similarity, but I think they perform different functions.

I thank you, Sir.

Vote 44/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 44/05 (Ministry of Labour and Social Security – Planning and Research Department – K3,017,862,407).

Ms Kapata (Mandevu): Sir, may I have clarification on Programme 08, Activity 03 – Zambia Decent Work Advisory Committee Meetings – K60,000,000.00). In the previous years, no money was provided for this function. Does it mean that this is the first time they are going to hold these types of meetings?

Mr Liato: Mr Chairperson, this is just to enhance the programme of decent work country agenda. This programme has been in existence under different departments, but it is more specific here because we want to make it more pronounced.

I thank you, Sir.

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

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

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

VOTE 17/01 – (Ministry of Foreign Affairs – K283,952,206,795).

The Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services (Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha) (on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Mr Pande): Mr Chairperson, I wish to express my gratitude for according me an opportunity to present Estimates of Expenditure for the 2010 Budget for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

First and foremost, I would like to state that the mission statement for my ministry is to “Efficiently promote and protect Zambia’s interests and maintain good international relations in order to contribute to sustainable development”.

Sir, as per Government Gazette notice number 547 of 2004, my ministry is responsible for the following portfolio functions: foreign policy, international relations, international and regionally co-operation, treaties, co-ordination of missions abroad, foreign service training, diplomatic corps in Zambia as well as pledges and contributions to the United Nations Agencies and other international organisations.

In this regard, allow me to recap some of the major activities undertaken by my ministry, during 2009, …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

I cannot follow the debate because you are consulting too loudly. Please, lower your voices. Hon. Minister, continue, please.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: … in pursuit of these responsibilities.

Mr Chairperson, in its endeavour to strengthen Zambia’s bilateral relations, my ministry facilitated a number of visits by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda, to Angola, Swaziland, Tanzania, Malawi and Zimbabwe. My ministry also facilitated the visit to Zambia of His Majesty, King Mswati III, of the Kingdom of Swaziland.

Mr Chairperson, the President also represented the people of Zambia at the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Summit in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and also addressed the 64th Regular Session of the United Nations General Assembly on behalf of the people of Zambia, as well as attending the South American Summit which was held in Venezuela.

Mr Chairperson, bilateral relations were also enhanced through the five Joint-Permanent Commissions of Co-operation (JPCs) meetings that Zambia held with Kenya, Angola, Nigeria, Mozambique and Cuba, respectively. These meetings provided and opened up opportunities for Zambian businessmen and women and all those in the business community by among other things, improving cross border movements of goods and people as well as creating opportunities for technical co-operation in various developmental areas including oil exploration, exchange of experiences and technical know-how.

Mr Chairperson, my ministry has also continued to play an active role in regional affairs. In this regard, the ministry participated in the SADC Council of Ministers which was held in Johannesburg. The Council discussed the consolidation of the SADC Free Trade Area (FTA), preparations for the launch of the SADC Customs Union in 2010 as well as the convening of the North-South Corridor Conference that was held in Lusaka in April, 2009, under the auspices of the 2008 SADC-COMESA-EAC tripartite arrangement. The ministry also participated in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Ministers’ of Foreign Affairs meeting held in July, 2009 at Victoria Falls Town in Zimbabwe. The mandate for this meeting was to advise the COMESA Heads of States and Government Summit on the political, peace and security situation in the region.

Mr Chairperson, in addition, Zambia successfully hosted the 3rd Ordinary Summit of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region from 6th to 10th August, 2009. At the summit, Zambia assumed the Chairmanship of the international conference for a period of two years. Among the main issues discussed during the summit was the review of security situations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Uganda and the Central African Republic. In this regard, the summit agreed to continue engaging international partners in exerting pressure on negative forces in conflict affected countries to accept voluntary disarmament and repatriation.

Furthermore, the summit launched the regional centre for the promotion of democracy, good governance, human rights and civic education and named the centre after our late President, His Excellency, Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC. This was in recognition of his contribution to the promotion of democracy and the rule of law.

Mr Chairperson, at the continental level, my ministry participated in the African Union summits that were held in February and July, 2009. At the February Summit, Zambia and other African member States agreed to transform the African Union Commission into an authority. To this effect, Zambia, at the ministerial level, was part of the committee which compiled the modalities for this transformation. The July Summit recognised the need to hold an extraordinary summit to discuss the security situation on the continent. This extraordinary summit was held on 30th and 31st August, 2009.

Mr Chairperson, with regard to Zambia’s involvement in international economic partnership fora, my ministry participated in the ministerial follow-up meeting of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), which was held in Gaborone, Botswana on 21st and 22nd March, 2009. The meeting reviewed progress in the implementation of the Yokohama Action Plan and expressed satisfaction that the outcomes of the TICAD IV Summit that was held in May, 2008, were being implemented.

Mr Chairperson, concerning cluster munitions, I am pleased to inform this august House that Zambia is on course in terms of the clearance of areas contaminated with explosive remnants of war, and my ministry has remained committed in the area of mine risk education. Furthermore, as co-ordinators of cluster munitions for Africa, Zambia, through my ministry, continued to play a significant role in the advocacy and co-ordination of activities to ensure that other African member States adhere to the United Nations Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Mr Chairperson, the ministry of Foreign Affairs will build on the momentum gained in the period under review, to undertake the activities that we have planned for implementation in 2010. In 2010, my ministry has planned to hold up to six JPC meetings and also strengthen the follow-up mechanism in order to ensure that the resolutions of all JPC meetings are implemented. This will require concerted effort and support from line ministries and relevant institutions.

Mr Chairperson, co-ordinating Zambia’s participation in regional initiatives, such as SADC and New Economic Partnerships for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), will also continue to be a key activity of my ministry. It is important, therefore, that such regional initiatives be fully utilised to advance socio-economic development in the country. In this light, my ministry will establish a regional integration unit that will enhance the co-ordination of such initiatives.

In line with my ministry’s policy focus on economic diplomacy, the ministry will continue to participate actively in various international economic partnership fora such as the United Nations General Assembly, TICAD, the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), the Framework of China-Africa Co-operation (FOCAC), the European Union (EU)-Africa Summit and the Africa-India Partnership Forum.

Mr Chairperson, in 2010, my ministry will also facilitate a number of activities including the smooth operation of the Zambia Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies, Zambia’s active participation at continental and international fora as well as the activities of the Levy Patrick Mwanawasa Regional Centre for the Promotion of Democracy, Good Governance, Human Rights and Civic Education. Other activities to be undertaken include public diplomacy activities, mine risk education and landmine clearing as well as rehabilitation and on-going works at the ministry headquarters and various Zambian missions abroad.

Mr Chairperson, to enhance my ministry’s performance in its given programmes, a planning and information unit that will be responsible for planning, monitoring and evaluating all the activities in my ministry will be established. It is through the implementation of such activities that my ministry has and will continue to contribute to Zambia’s sustainable development.

Let me, therefore, conclude by expressing appreciation to the hon. Members of Parliament, line ministries and other institutions that have given my ministry support and thus contributed to the successful implementation of the ministry’s programmes. In the same vein, I wish to appeal to this august House to favourably consider my ministry’s budget estimates for 2010.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Members: You can cross over to the other side!

Mr Matongo (Pemba): Mr Chairperson, I wish to thank you for allowing me to debate the vote on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Sir, I will be categorical in my debate. Approximately K284 billion has been allocated in this years budget to this ministry compared to last year’s allocation of K245 billion. This translates to an increase of K39 billion. I am aware of this information because I interact with this particular ministry and was informed that the money that was provided for last year was insufficient. I can confirm that this year’s budget allocation for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is equivalent to the amount of money needed to run a district such as Lundazi. This is not appropriate.

Secondly, I wish to state that over the last few years, the ministry has been used as a conduit for the employment of …

The public address system failed.

Business was suspended from 1156 hours until 1217 hours.

(Debate adjourned)




(Progress reported)


The House adjourned at 1217 hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday, 10th November, 2009.