Debates- Thursday, 5th November, 2009

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Thursday, 5th November, 2009

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I wish to acquaint the House with the presence in the Speaker’s Gallery of a delegation from the National Assembly of Uganda.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: The names of the hon. Members of Parliament are:

1. Hon. Major David Gumisiriza, MP, - Leader of the Delegation;
2. Hon. Ekwau Florence Ibi, MP; and
3. Hon. Denis Obua, MP.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Accompanying the hon. Members are the following officials:

1. Mr Ignatius Kasirye – Assistant Director Clerks; and
2. Mrs Deborah Okoropot Akube – Principal Customer Secretary.

We welcome them warmly and are happy to have them in our midst.

I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!




171. Mrs Phiri (Munali) asked the Minister of Education:

(a) why more than 200 University of Zambia (UNZA) students at the Great East Road campus had not been allowed to write their examinations;

(b) what  was the academic fate of the students at (a);

(c) whether the students had been deregistered due to their exclusion from writing the current examinations; and

(d) under what conditions can a University of Zambia student be deregistered and excluded from writing examinations.

The Deputy Minister of Education (Mr Sinyinda): Mr Speaker, more than two hundred University of Zambia students were automatically deregistered before being allowed to write their current examinations, due to non-payment of examinations fees for the 1st semester despite the university allowing the students to pay in instalments. Historically, the UNZA has faced cash flow problems brought about by the perpetual failure by students to honour their obligations with regard to the payment of fees in instalments. The matter came to a head in April, 2008 when, in consultation with the University of Zambia Students Union (UNZASU) executive, a way forward was agreed upon based UNZA’s existing policy and the information was disseminated to all students.

Mr Speaker, on Tuesday, 3rd November, 2009, the vice chancellor, the registrar and the dean of students met with a group of the deregistered students to hear their submission given the existing policy which they were all aware of. It was also reconfirmed that several notices about the looming deregistration had been issued to the students throughout the semester. Following the meeting, management considered the students’ request and resolved that the deregistered students could sit for the 1st semester examination without settling the outstanding fees but shall be required to pay a flat surcharge on the fees of K200,000 while their results shall be withheld and students shall not be allowed to register for the second semester until the surcharge and the outstanding fees are paid.

Secondly, for any examination missed so far, students may take deferred examinations for which a penalty of K50,000 per course shall be levied. This penalty shall be paid with the surcharge on the tuition and outstanding fees, and therefore, students failing to pay the penalty will have their results withheld and will not be allowed to register for the second semester of 2009.

Mr Speaker, students who have been deregistered are automatically excluded from writing the examinations due to the non-payment of the first instalments, that is 50 percent tuition fees plus arrears and other fees shall not be allowed to register for that semester. A student at UNZA may be deregistered and excluded from writing examinations by failure to pay outstanding balances for the semester which are supposed to be cleared one week after the mid-term break. Consequently, failure to pay the balance will lead to automatic deregistration and no further payment shall be accepted beyond this date. However, the deregistered students may apply to withdraw with permission prior to the automatic deregistration deadline in the event that they are unable to pay the outstanding balance for that semester.

Furthermore, the policy to deregister students was implemented in the 2008 academic year without any problems. In this regard, students who failed to clear any outstanding fees were deregistered and requested to withdraw with permission and this was done.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Phiri: Mr Speaker, the students have since been allowed to write the examinations after my intervention.


Mrs Phiri: Mr Speaker, we know that there are some students whose parents are lecturers at the university who get a student waiver and a 100 percent bursary. We also have children of hon. Ministers …

Mr Speaker: Order! What is your question?

Mrs Phiri: My question is, when are we going to see a situation at UNZA where genuine students who need help from the Government get bursaries than what is happening now.

Mr Sinyinda: Mr Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to register our dismay to the hon. Member for Munali whose constituency is where UNZA is situated for perpetually interfering with the running of the UNZA…

Mr Speaker: Order! The hon. Minister will take his seat. They do not want to listen to your answer. So, do not continue.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


173. Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa) asked the Minister of Finance and National Planning

(a) How much money was budgeted for and released for the operations of the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) from 2005 to-date, year by year;

(b) What the major constraints the ZRA had been facing in carrying out its mandate effectively; and

(c) Whether the ministry is considering other funding models for ZRA to enable it perform better.

The Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning (Ms C. M. Kapwepwe): Mr Speaker, …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Ms C. M. Kapwepwe: …I wish to inform the House that during the period in question the following amounts were provided for and funded to ZRA:

Years Budget allocation  Releases  Performance
  K’ billion  K’ billion %   

2005  127.00   127.00  100
2006  127.00   132.00  104
2007  197.00   197.00  100
2008  210.79   210.79  100
2009  205.01   168.20  82

Mr Speaker, as can be observed, the treasury has been consistent with funding and has endeavoured to release all resources appropriated by this House to the ZRA. This demonstrates the importance Government attaches to the institution.

Mr Speaker, the key operational challenges faced by ZRA can be classified in four main areas:

 Infrastructure Investment

Investment in new border facilities is required along the borders where cross-border trading activities are significant.

Skills Development

Need for adequate investment in human capital development to equip staff to professionally and competently audit multinational corporations such as the mining companies.


Smuggling continues to create significant revenue leakages which in turn lead to unfair competition for goods in the domestic market.

Informal Sector

Formalisation of the informal sector businesses and increased taxpayer education and enforcement is assisting to capture taxes from informal sector activities.

Mr Speaker, with regard to the models of funding, my ministry has no immediate plans to change the current way of funding the ZRA. However, my ministry is still discussing and looking at the various operational needs of the ZRA and the result with these discussions could lead to a possible increase in the level of funding to the institution. This would be done to give further support to the ZRA and ensure that the institution delivers on its mandate.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwale: Quality!

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning what the position of this Government is regarding the formula that suggests that 2.5 per cent of the revenue collected by revenue authorities should be given to them. What is there position on that?

The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Dr Musokotwane): Mr Speaker, the position is that the issue is being studied.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sikota (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, arising from the hon. Minister’s answer, I would like to find out whether consideration has been made by this Government to ensure that border posts such as Livingstone, where a large amount of revenue is collected are given infrastructure that is befitting the amounts that they raise and that the people working at such border posts are given facilities such as housing and so on which currently is in short supply in Livingstone.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, regarding the issue of border infrastructure, the Government has indeed been doing some work on that. The House may recall that a significant amount of money has been spent in upgrading infrastructure at Chirundu and Katimamulilo in particular. Now, regarding the others, the Government will soon be rolling out adverts under the public-private-partnership (PPP) mode for infrastructure to be created and enhanced so that indeed, the facilities available become suitable for the work that is done at the border post. Already, one PPP agreement has been signed and this is at Kasumbalesa. However, as I said the other border posts will be covered through the adverts that we will be running shortly.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Imenda (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether he is aware that the implementation of the 2.5 per cent which is supposed to be due to ZRA can make it to be in a position to increase treasury collections.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, indeed, that may be the case and this is why the matter is being studied.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!


175. Mr Chisala (Chilubi) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:

(a) when Luwingu Police Station in Lubansenshi and Chilubi Police station in Chilubi Parliamentary Constituencies would be provided with major vehicles to resolve transport problems at the two stations;
(b) why electricity bills for Chilubi Police Station were not paid for more than ten years; and

(c) why Chilubi Police Station had not had a criminal investigations officer (CIO) for more than eleven years.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Mr D. Phiri): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the ministry is fully aware of the absence of motor vehicles at Luwingu and Chilubi Police Stations respectively. The wish of the ministry is that both stations should be provided with vehicles so that they can effectively carry out their operations. However, at the moment, financial limitations have made it difficult to procure vehicles for the two stations. Once funds for the purchase of vehicles are availed, the two stations will be considered together with other needy stations. In addition, Chilubi Island will be considered for marine transport.

   Mr Speaker, the Zambia Police has had a challenge of liquidating the electricity bills throughout the country because the annual consumption of electricity for police stations, including camps is higher than the budgetary allocation for the same.

  Mr Speaker, Zambia Police has a composite account with ZESCO. Money is paid into this account and not individual divisions. The House may wish to know that Chilubi is one of the police posts that are up to-date with electricity bills as the commanding officer has been paying for electricity from his allocation.

   Mr Speaker, Chilubi Police Post has had no CIO because the structure for the criminal investigation department (CID) at the post did not provide for the position as it was a police post until recently. Now, that it is a police station, the capacity of CID at the station has been strengthened and the structure has been reviewed.

Starting in January, 2010 three more positions for the CID at Chilubi will be created. These are the senior Criminal Investigations Officer, Investigations Officer and Assistant Investigations Officer, respectively. The Senior Criminal Investigations Officer will head the CID at the station. The station will now have four positions under the investigations wing. Officers will be posted to these positions immediately the new establishment takes effect.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, during the time of Michael Mataka as Commissioner of Police, and Fabian Chella, Darius Kalebo and Francis Njovu as Inspectors-General (IGs) of Police, they used to visit the police stations in the countryside such that they were able to know the problems the police officers were facing. This was due to the fact that they used to be well funded. Now, could the hon. Minister be in a position to tell this august House why the office of the IG is inadequately funded?

The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Mangani): Mr Speaker, first of all, the budget is discussed here and, a few days ago, we were looking at the allocation for the police. We looked at every vote and that was the time we could have seriously looked at how much we were giving the police.

Hon. Opposition Members interjected.

Mr Mangani: However, what is more important to note is that we may not, every time, require the IG to be all over, travelling and inspecting police stations. This is why we have division commanding officers so that they give reports on what is obtaining in their areas.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Chota (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister tell this House why a vehicle which was allocated to Luwingu District was withdrawn? I went to complain to the hon. Minister about this and I was told that it would be taken back as it had been sent to Kasama. Where is that vehicle?

Mr Mangani: Mr Speaker, though that is not part of the main question, the issue will be seriously followed up.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, Could the hon. Minister consider moving a boat from Chilanga to Chilubi Island, because the people there seriously need a boat as there have been several accidents of people capsizing with boats in Chilubi?

Mr Mangani: Mr Speaker, I do not think that moving a boat from one place to another would be the solution. The best way is to find resources to buy a boat for Chilubi.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Mr Speaker, arising from the answer by the hon. Minister to part (c) of the question, can I find out whether it is Government policy for police posts not to be provided with criminal investigation officers? If that be the case, how does the Government expect these police posts to curb crime and arrest criminals?

Mr Mangani: Mr Speaker, the current establishment is that at police posts, we do not have a position for criminal investigations officers ….


 Mr Mangani: … but if there is a matter that has to be followed up, we normally assign an officer from a police station. In this case, if there is a criminal case, for example, in Kabwata, a criminal investigations officer may come from Lusaka Division to follow up the matter. So, we can only have a criminal investigations officer at a police post if the position is established.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mushili (Ndola Central): Mr Speaker, arising from the hon. Minister’s statement that we should not expected the IG to go around supervising officers in remote areas, would he tell us the management style the Government applies to supervise subordinates in respective ministries, particularly the Ministry of Home Affairs?

Mr Mangani: Mr Speaker, the management system we have is that we follow the chain of command. For example, somebody from the district must report to somebody at the province and then the person at the province must report to the headquarters. We have officers in all these areas from the police posts, stations up to headquarters. So, we have a chain of command that we follow.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Mr Speaker, I wish to find out from the hon. Minister why the Government buys second-hand vehicles from Japan for the police, as is the case in Chingola. Secondly, why are these vehicles not painted in the traditional police colours? They look like civilian vehicles.

Mr Mangani: Mr Speaker, there are vehicles that we provide to the CID and they may not necessarily have to be labeled ‘Zambia Police’ because of the nature of the operations of this department. As regards the other part of the hon. Member’s question, if we have enough resources, we would love to have new vehicles being posted to areas of need. However, if we discover that we can manage to buy, possibly, ten good second-hand vehicles that would serve more stations, we would rather take that route so that we serve more police stations.
I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Dr Musokotwane): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now resolve into Committee of Ways and Means to consider the raising of supply.

Sir, I am a bearer of three messages from His Excellency the President recommending that this Motion, which I now lay on the Table, be proceeded with in this House.

Sir, as a result of the Budget which I presented to this House on 9th October, 2009, it is necessary to introduce certain financial measures which I will outline in the committee.

Mr Speaker, I wish to thank the House for the support.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to.




INCOME TAX (Amendment) BILL, 2009

The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Dr Musokotwane): Madam Chairperson, I beg to move that it is expedient to amend the Income Tax Act so as to:

(a) increase the tax free income threshold for individuals from eight million four hundred thousand kwacha to nine million six hundred thousand kwacha per annum;

(b) increase the persons with disability tax credit from nine hundred thousand kwacha to one million five and sixty thousand kwacha per annum;

(c) provide for the definition of mining licence to align it with the new Mines and Minerals Development Act;

(d) provide for the rates applicable to income received by public benefit organisations;

(e) provide for matters connected with, or incidental to the foregoing; and

that a Bill to give effect to this be introduced accordingly.

Madam Chairperson, the purpose of this Motion is to enable me introduce legislation to amend the Income Tax Act so as to introduce changes that I announce in my Budget Address on 9th October, 2009.

I thank the House for the support.

Question put and agreed to.


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Chairperson, I beg to move that it is expedient to amend the Customs and Excise Act so as to:

(a) revise the validity period in respect of carbon tax certificates for motor vehicles;

(b) revise the rates of customs and excise duty payable on certain goods; and

(c) provide for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing;

 and that a Bill to give effect to this be introduced accordingly.

I thank you, Madam.

The Chairperson: Order! Hon. Members, before we continue, remember that this is just procedural, there is no Bill for you to debate. The Bill is coming. This is to seek authority to bring the Bill. You will debate the Bill.

Dr Musokotwane: Madam Chairperson, the purpose of this Motion is to enable me introduce legislation to amend the Customs and Excise Act so as to introduce changes that I announced in my Budget Address on 9th October, 2009.

Madam Chairperson, with your very wise advice, I thank the hon. Members of the House for their support.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to.


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Chairperson, I beg to move that it is expedient to amend the Value Added Tax Act so as to:

(a) provide for the definition of calendar month;

(b) provide for the requirement for valid tax invoices for the purposes of claiming input tax;

(c) impose tax on supply of goods and services by unregistered suppliers whose turnover exceed the registration threshold;

(d) provide for matters connected with, or incidental to the foregoing;

and that a Bill to give effect to this be introduced accordingly.

Madam Chairperson, once again, I wish to thank the House for supporting the Motion.

I thank you, Madam.

Question put and agreed to.



[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Resolutions reported.

Reports adopted.

Question put and agreed to and Mr Speaker appointed the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to be a committee of one to bring in the necessary Bills to give effect to the resolutions of the Committee of Ways and Means.




THE INCOME TAX (Amendment) BILL, 2009

Mr Speaker: The Bill stands referred to the Committee on Estimates. The committee is required to submit its report on the Bill to the House by Tuesday, 24th November, 2009. Hon. Members who wish to make submissions or amendments to the Bill are free to do so within the programme of work of the committee.

Thank you.


Mr Speaker: The Bill stands referred to the Committee on Estimates. The committee is required to submit its report on the Bill to the House by Tuesday, 24th November, 2009. Hon. Members who wish to make submissions or amendments to the Bill are free to do so within the programme of work of the committee.

Thank you.

THE VALUE ADDED TAX (Amendment) BILL, 2009

Mr Speaker: The Bill stands referred to the Committee on Estimates. The committee is required to submit its report on the Bill to the House by Tuesday, 24th November, 2009. Hon. Members who wish to make submissions or amendments to the Bill are free to do so within the programme of work of the committee.

Thank you.



Mr Kapeya (Mpika Central): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the Report on the Committee on Information and Broadcasting Services for the Fourth Session of the Tenth National Assembly laid on the Table of the House on 27th October, 2009.

Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mr Silavwe (Nakonde): Mr Speaker, I second the Motion.

Mr Kapeya: Sir, in line with their terms of reference, Your Committee considered two topical issues, namely:

(i) the role of the media in national stability; and

(ii) the efficacy of the Media Council of Zambia (MECOZ) in protecting the media and promoting media ethics.

Sir, Your Committee undertook tours to three community radio stations as a follow-up to their findings during their previous tour and the Government’s response as contained in the Action Taken Report.

Mr Speaker, Your Committee also undertook a tour to Kenya to do a comparative study of how the Kenyan Government had facilitated the establishment of community radio stations.

It is my hope, Sir, that hon. Members have had an opportunity to read the report and I will, therefore, only highlight a few salient issues that came to the attention of your Committee during their deliberations.

Mr Speaker, your Committee were told that the press or the media, as it is now called, was considered to be the fourth estate of power after the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary and that each of the four had well defined responsibilities owing legitimacy in  a democracy, directly or indirectly, to the people.

The media should, therefore, act as a counterweight, overseeing development with a critical eye and making a contribution in four specific ways which are:

 (i) circulating information;

 (ii) acting as the proponent of good governance;

 (iii) highlighting worrying developments; and

 (iv)  ensuring that freedoms are safeguarded.

In addition, the media must play its watchdog role by exposing issues of corruption in public institutions and also highlight and expose developmental issues.

Unfortunately, the media in general, public and private, has not done enough to contribute to the political stability and economic development of the nation due to the lack of training and appreciation of the current political and economic landscapes as well as the undue influence exerted by shareholders on the editorial policy and content.

Mr Speaker, your Committee, therefore, recommended that media houses must train their staff to effectively handle the current political and economic landscape and shareholders must place national interests above their own and economic expedience.

Mr Speaker, on the question of the posture of the media before, during and after elections, your Committee heard that the media had been greatly polarised. That is to say, there was the pro-Government media, which were mostly State-owned institutions whilst the private media were pro-opposition.

Hon. Member: Bwekeshapo!

Mr Kapeya: The media tended to get caught up in the political polemics of personal and petty accusations by the political players at the expense of providing in-depth analyses.

Mr Speaker, although there is an existing code of conduct which spells out the media’s role in elections, this has hardly been adhered to. Your Committee were informed that during elections, the media was also threatened by various players. According to the monitoring that Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia carried out during the pre and post election periods, media freedom violations have increased tremendously. The violations increased from six between January and August, 2008 to sixteen between September and November, 2008.

This included physical harassment, threats of legal suits, dismissals, ejection from premises of political events such as rallies, threats to close down media institutions or stopping them from airing live broadcasts or publishing certain types of stories either by order or through the courts of law.

Mr Speaker, further, your Committee were informed that the perception by the public of the media during these periods was also two-fold. There was the view that the Government-controlled media was used to portray a working Government and to create the impression that the Opposition were just a bunch of noise makers who offered no more than armchair criticisms and who seized every available moment to stifle the Government operations. The other view was that the private media worked as a tool for unearthing certain unacceptable Government activities. Furthermore, the private media, had come to be viewed as an ally of the public which was relied upon to keep the Government in check.

Sir, therefore, your Committee recommended that in order for the private media not to have an excuse for always reporting negatively about the Government, the public media should be seen to be balanced in their reporting. They should be ready and willing to criticise and expose the Government’s weaknesses instead of leaving this to private media who may overdo it.

Mr Speaker, further, political parties, media houses and individuals that flout the Electoral Code of Conduct with impunity should be brought to book. Media houses should also be allowed to operate professionally.

Mr Speaker, as regards the lessons that could be learnt from what transpired elsewhere in the region, your Committee heard that, it was important to remember that it was not entirely the media that directly instigated the violence that occurred in some countries in the region, but actually the politicians who used the media. The major lesson to be learnt, among others, is that the media, useful as it might be, is a dangerous tool if placed in the hands of non-professionals, especially during election time when political tension is high.

Sir, therefore, your Committee recommended that the media, in reflecting events to society as they unfold, be cognisant of the fact that it is not what they report that matters, but how they report it. Further, professionalism is the safeguard for the media not to be used by politicians to fan violence.

Mr Speaker, as regards measures to be taken in order to enhance the positive contribution of the media to national stability and economic development, your Committee were informed that there already existed a number of laws that restricted the media. Some of these laws include the following:

(i) the Radio Communications Act  
This sets very high fees at US$40,000 for a B3 Licence for internet service providers. This undermines the development of non-traditional media also known as new media. These are the internet blogs, video and audio streaming;

(ii) the Broadcasting Act;

(iii)  the preservation of Public Security Act;

(iv) the ZNBC Act of 1988; under this law, only the Television Licence Fee has been implemented.

(v) the Security Act and Official Secrets Act; and

(vi) the Penal Code, Cap 87 of the Laws of Zambia:

Mr Speaker, your Committee recommended that the first step in enhancing the positive contribution of the media to national stability and economic development is to review these laws and bring them in tandem with the current political dispensation and world-wide media reforms.

Sir, pertaining to the extent to which the Media Council of Zambia (MECOZ) had promoted professionalism by enforcing journalism ethics, your Committee were informed that MECOZ had the handicap of not being in a position to impose any sanctions against any erring media house or individual, apart from issuing a public admonition. On the other hand, your Committee heard that MECOZ had promoted professionalism by providing a channel for adjudication of complaints from members of the public aggrieved by media reports. 

In order to help MECOZ do its work, your Committee recommended that the council works at gaining credence and acceptance among media institutions that must then give it the necessary mandate and means of enforcing professionalism.

Mr Speaker, as regards strengthening MECOZ, your Committee recommended that since international best practice on media regulation suggests that self-regulation, as opposed to external regulation, is the best form of regulating the media. MECOZ must be given an opportunity to gain legitimacy from its stakeholders by ensuring that any type of regulation originates from within the media practitioners themselves.

Sir, may I conclude by thanking you for your valuable guidance and counsel during the session. May I also take this opportunity to thank my colleagues who served on your Committee with due diligence and hard work.

In addition, I wish to express your Committee’s gratitude to all witnesses and stakeholders who made both oral and written submissions before your Committee and the Kenyan Parliament for hosting your Committee during their tour of that country.

Mr Speaker, lastly, allow me to thank the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff for the services rendered to your Committee during the session.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

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

Mr Silavwe: Now, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker, in seconding this Motion so ably moved by the Chairperson, allow me to highlight a few points of great concern to your Committee as they considered the role of the media in national stability and economic development, and the efficacy of the Media Council of Zambia (MECOZ). I will be very brief since the Chairperson’s speech was quite elaborate and hon. Members are expected to read the report.

Mr Speaker, allow me at this point to refer to the President, Rupiah Bwezani Banda’s Address to this august House and through it to the nation, on 16th January, 2009, on the issue of media regulation, and I quote:

“Recently, there have been calls in this House for the State to regulate the media in the country. However, my administration believes in self-regulation. The onus, therefore, remains on the media to work out such regulations which must be respected by all and clearly stipulate the sanctions against erring journalists or media houses. If other media houses think they are above self-regulation and refuse to co-operate with other colleagues in the Media Ethics Council, then the Government will assist in providing one.”

Mr Speaker, in the light of the above, your Committee interacted with various stakeholders who were of the view that MECOZ had not lived up to its expectations in upholding professionalism and media ethics for a number of reasons and they suggested that the following be done to improve its efficacy:


Mr Speaker, this should be reviewed so that the council is not only representative of various media but also reflects the present media landscape in Zambia. 

Mr Speaker, the quality of membership of the MECOZ Board is the only guarantee for its independence, impartiality and effectiveness. Therefore, the composition of MECOZ membership should be reviewed so that individuals with proven media expertise, independence and integrity are taken on board.

 Clear Mandate and Powers

Mr Speaker, these should be clearly spelt out, but agreed upon by the membership so that the ethics body does not construct arbitrary ‘judgments’ against members considered to be erring. Further, MECOZ must adopt a more corrective rather than punitive approach and its mandate and powers should not therefore be used to stifle the fundamental freedom of expression and that of the press.


Mr Speaker, MECOZ is not accountable to any other body. However independent MECOZ may claim to be, the process required that it is also held accountable because it is only through this requirement that it will become more impartial, independent and therefore efficient.

Mr Speaker, your Committee is in total agreement with these recommendations and take them as their own. Your Committee undertook tours to Mongu and Kasama to verify the Government’s response to the recommendations of your previous Committee, as contained in the Action-Taken Report.

Mr Speaker, in case of Mongu, your Committee discovered that whereas it is true that the relationship among the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE), the Government and Radio Lyambai has indeed improved, it is not without compromise on professionalism by the radio station. Your Committee discovered that in order to avoid conflict, management at the station has allowed the BRE to make announcements without any preview of the content. This has resulted in serious compromise on professionalism and ethics.

Mr Speaker, regarding authority, the BRE is still seen to wield more power than Government departments and no information could be disseminated without their approval. A case in point is when the Fisheries Department announced a fish ban without consultating the BRE. This infuriated them and they went to Radio Lyambai to nullify the announcement, saying it did not have their blessing. The people were consequently allowed to continue fishing.

Mr Speaker, your Committee, therefore, recommend that the Government continuously monitors the situation and makes serious efforts at making the BRE allow community radio stations to operate professionally as long as they observe media ethics and traditional norms. Your Committee also recommend that the Government exercises its rightful authority in the province, without necessarily being in contention with the BRE.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I wish to extend my thanks to the Chairperson of your Committee for the able manner in which he presided over the meetings. I would also like to thank all the witnesses for their valuable input.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Kasongo (Bangweulu): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to say a few words about the Report of your Committee, ably moved by the mover and ably seconded by the seconder.

Mr Speaker, what has come out very clearly out of your Committee’s Report is that journalism is a noble profession and that this should be a guiding principle whenever our colleagues who have been mandated to write about other people and other issues do their work. They are supposed to follow the same line of thought. 

Mr Speaker, talking about our situation in Zambia, there is quite a good number of journalists, especially those in the private media houses who tend to think that they are above the law, and that they can injure the rights of other individuals. I think that there should be checks and balances.

Mr Speaker, some private media houses have completely condemned this institution, alleging that the people who are popularly elected in their eyes are useless. This House has been described as a useless House. This is contrary to the ethics of journalism.

Mr Speaker, the Judiciary has also been condemned and yet it is an institution that is composed of people who are grounded in the law. They have sufficient experience whenever they dispense justice. However, in the eyes of some media houses, the Judiciary is rotten. This is the way they have been describing this institution. Even the Executive has been described in a similar fashion.

    Surely, can you say that only one person, two individuals or three individuals manning the same media houses, are more intelligent than others? Is it true that only those who are privileged to write about others, especially those who control the private media, are wise people and all of us are useless? Who can tolerate such a situation?  Do not use democracy to abuse those powers or privileges that are given to you …

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: You are hiding in democracy and saying, “This is a democratic country, therefore, the media should not be controlled” and so on and so forth. Yes, the media cannot be controlled only if those who are mandated to write about others also draw dividing line in terms of what they should write about others and what they should not write. We will also respect them and we deserve the highest respect.

For example, if some hon. Ministers who have been mandated by the people of Zambia to run this institution are described as useless, what reaction do you expect from Cabinet Ministers? If hon. Members of Parliament in this House have been elected popularly by the people of Zambia, are described as useless, what support can you give to the same institution? I do not subscribe to the notion that we should extend that part of democracy beyond what can be seen as democracy, no. I have never presented myself as a weak leader. I always speak for the people of Zambia. Where I notice that certain media houses have gone astray, I have to stand up and say, “You are wrong and should be condemned beyond certain terms”.

Sir, in other countries, the media is seen to enhance peace and development in the country, and yet other media houses behave in a manner that can incite people to rise against the Government of the day.

Only recently, some media houses went to the extent of inciting people to demonstrate. They incited people to begin honking, but honking over what? Unfortunately, even those who were persuaded to honk, found themselves locked up, but the same people who incited them were free.


Mr Kasongo: Sir, can we see the contradiction? You are persuaded to honk, but the same person who persuaded you to honk, is a free person.

Mr Speaker, you can see how some people can incite violence in the country, and yet the people who are behind that can even go and hide in some embassies.

 Ms Kapata: On a point of order, Sir.

 Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Kasongo: What normally happens is that they incite people to take part in violent situations and when the police begin looking for them, you will hear that they are hiding in some embassies.

 Hon. Government Members: Yes!

Mr Kasongo: They would want other people to be killed, and yet they want to enjoy their freedom in embassies. We cannot support such a situation. We want to create peace in our country and the media must be seen as a tool to create peace in our country.

We are yearning for development, Sir. Each time we stand up here, we talk about the problems that we face in our respective constituencies; looking for hospitals, clean water and so on and so forth. The media must assist the nation to develop economically.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: When you look at the front page of some of these newspapers, you see nothing about economic development or social development, but politics from the first page the last page. If you are lucky, you may find a page on sangwapo and nothing else.


Mr Kasongo: That is not journalism. For example, even here, with your experience and guidance, we have been flexible enough as parliamentarians. Sometimes, we are harsh on the Government, but other times we praise them and so on and so forth. That is what it should be even with media houses.

The front page is always about Parliament consisting of useless Member of Parliament and noise makers. On the next page, it is the Judiciary being rotten. We cannot allow such a situation. Even those who are calling for self regulation are behind us because our colleagues have been given sufficient time to regulate themselves.

Sir, it is painful to be referred to as a useless person when you know very well that you have been elected popularly by the people who sent you to this House. We cannot support such a situation. It is unfortunate that even those who are called useless can stand up and defend the same people who are calling them useless.  Let us be principled.

 I am expressing my own opinion and they are also at liberty to express their own. Hon. Members of Parliament, how would you feel being insulted every day by an individual, and yet you have not even committed any crime. Your electorate appreciates you have done and also praises the Government of the day for assisting you to develop your constituency, but one person simply stands up to slow down all that progress. All the achievements that have been recorded in your respective constituencies are rubbed off by being called a useless Member of Parliament. I will never support such media houses as long as they continue inciting people to rise against the legitimate Government and they continue inciting people to take part in activities which have the potential of creating confusion in the country. I will never support such a situation.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: I am a great believer in peace. I can stand up and request the Government to develop my constituency and the country in a peaceful manner.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: Mr Speaker, there was a time when the distinguished hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services was given the mandate to make a statement in this House about the sources of conflicts. He conducted a lot of research and presented the record in a straightforward manner. What happened thereafter? The issue was twisted. Instead, they started condemning him even where he ably quoted some of our hon. Members of parliament who had ably condemned conflict and made reference to the Rwandan situation. He was turned into a football that was hit from the right, left and centre. Unfortunately, even those who are ordained to create peace jumped on the band wagon to condemn the hon. Minister.

 Mr Kambwili: Question!

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, Hear!

Mr Kasongo: Sir, such remarks can only come from people who are not principled and I will never be moved by such. I have stood up in this House on principle. I cannot allow violence. If they are violent by nature, I will never be violent. I believe in fighting for what belongs to the people of Zambia in a peaceful manner.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! 

Mr Kasongo: They can get away with their, “Question, question” …


Mr Kasongo: … a language which is primitive.

 Hon. Government Members: Tell them!

Mr Kasongo: Sir, I would like to emphasise that it is important for the media to be controlled.

  Even in developed countries they create room for the promotion of the sovereignity of a nation. However, when the situation goes beyond proportion, the media is controlled in one way or another. For example, last week, in Argentina, the media was regulated. I caught this on Cable News Network (CNN). Some of us like watching CNN unless we are in the Chamber. Other countries have done the same. You can only allow the media to enjoy freedom if they have respect for other people.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: As Members of Parliament, we respect the Chair and cannot allow an outsider to demonise the Chair then we stand up and say, “Yes, the media is right.” We should be ashamed of ourselves.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: We do not want to bring the Chair into our debate, but we elected him and he must be respected. If an outsider condemns the Chair, we should be the first people to stand up and defend the Chair.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Opposition Member: Question!

Mr Kasongo: No amount of “Question, question” will give you anything.


Mr Malama: Chishimba, question iwe!

Mr Kasongo: These are realities.

Sir, those of us who are here through our own arrangements would like to go on your right hand side and be part of the Executive.

Mr Muntanga: Yes!

Mr Kasongo: You deserve respect.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: When you go there, we will be giving you respect. How can you allow a journalist to say something harsh about you and you stand up and say, “Oh yes, that journalist was right.” Tomorrow, you will be in government.

Ms Cifire: Tell them!

Mr Kasongo: The same people you are supporting, will be condemning you.

Hon. Government Members: Tell them!

Mr Kasongo: If I come back and you are there, I will be protecting you …

Hon Government Members: Tell them!

Mr Kasongo: … because I am not part of the pact and I will never be part of the pact. I will support you to go there.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Order! Order!

There should be no reference to the pact in here.


Mr Kasongo: Mr Speaker, thank you for your guidance.


Mr Muntanga: Wafumapo nomba!

Mr Speaker: Order! Order!

Mr Kasongo: What I am saying is that the Executive deserves respect.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: In our situation, we can be here today, but tomorrow, we will be in government. So we have to respect those people who will be in Cabinet.

Mr Muntanga: Walanda bwino!

Mr Kasongo: Even when a journalist condemns the same people every minute, every hour and every day, we should know that there is something wrong with that journalist. There is no way you can continue associating yourself with such a journalist. There must be a boundary. We need to respect each other.

Sir, in supporting the motion, I would like to emphasise the fact that journalists, who do not adhere to their professional ethics must be regulated.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: There are no two ways about it. That is when they are going to know that after all, they are not above the law. How come, each time the police are looking for them, they go and hide in embassies?


Mr Kasongo: I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, in supporting the report of your Committee, I would like to say that we, as hon. Members of Parliament, collectively, must continue to rise above pettiness and begin to look at ideas that can move this country forward.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: On the issue of media regulation, I am beginning to think that it depends on which side one is on.

Mr D. Mwila: Hear, hear! Landa ifya mano!


Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, when some people are in power, they see the media as enemies. They only realise, when they are thrown out of the system, that the media is a good platform for the oppressed.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: For this reason, I want to urge the people in Government that they are not in Government forever.

Mr D. Mwila: Yes!

Mr Hamududu: Otherwise, they will leave the very media that they want to regulate and control. The media must be left to enjoy their freedom.

Mr D. Mwila: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, the issue of regulating the media is a sign of inferiority complex …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: … by the people who yield power.

Mr D. Mwila: Quality! Quality!

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, no one has stopped political parties from starting or sponsoring their own newspapers. Leave the media to write what they think they must write. Let us compete on ideas. If you feel that you are not having fair coverage, start or sponsor your own private newspaper.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: This is happening in other countries.

Additionally, the public media must not be abused. The public media is for the taxpayers and all Zambians. The Ruling Party must not continue to enjoy a bigger share of coverage. If they feel that they are not covered adequately, they are free to sponsor and start their own private newspapers. Let the people be given a fair platform.

Mr Chazangwe: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: I am speaking as a Zambian who can never be threatened by anybody.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: Never on earth! Not by another human being.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: Especially us the leaders of tomorrow, we must stand up and begin to speak the truth even if it hurts.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: We are the future of tomorrow. Some factors may keep constant, but we are the future and we must begin to look at this issue critically. Therefore, political parties must leave the public media alone for everybody to enjoy. You cannot go to extremes. For example, the Ruling Party wants to control the public media and condemn the private media.

Sir, I would like to urge political parties that there is room for you to start or sponsor your own private newspaper and be heard. Your members will buy that newspaper. Actually, there is no need to contemplate regulating the media because the playing field is open. Let us compete on ideas. If companies can own media outlets to promote their products then you can also look for your own media avenue to promote your ideas rather than control others.

Mr Mulyata: In conclusion!

Mr Hamududu: Indeed, in conclusion, Mr Speaker, I want to speak about a cross-cutting issue in most of the media houses and these are; the radio and television stations and newspaper both public and private. There is a growing tendency of exploiting young people. The ministries that are concerned must seriously look at the issues of minimum wage. It is very shocking to see that some of these television stations and newspapers pay the young people as low as K400,000. The media is in the forefront of exposing exploitation of people, man by man. They must be free from this exploitation that they report. They must stand on a higher moral ground. We must stop the media houses from exploiting young people.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: It is a very serious issue and it does not only affect one media house, but many, sometimes including the public media.

Mrs Musokotwane: Yes!

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: We are underpaying young people and setting a bad example for the industry.

Mr Muyanda: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: We must protect the young people. Otherwise, they are compromised. Some of them have to look for an orthodox means to survive because of slave wages. Exploitation must be exposed in this country.

Since the MMD Government came into power, it has not put in place safeguards against exploitation of man by man. That is why even the investors who come to this country copy from Zambians in exploiting, especially the younger people. Where on earth, Mr Speaker, can you find a young person surviving on K400,000 per month? This is happening in this country. I think issuance of licences must be linked to adherence to a minimum wage. For this reason, I would like to urge the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to raise the minimum wage of Zambian workers. All the media houses such as the television and radio stations and newspapers, must adhere to that. Failure to that, they must be closed. This is not a regulation, but a question of safeguarding the rights of the people who are employed there. They are free to raise the salaries of these people for them to continue existing. Exploitation is a crime. Therefore, this crime must not be promoted and supported in any part of the media.

With these few words, Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chazangwe: Hear, hear!

Mr Chimbaka (Bahati): Mr Speaker, thank you for affording me an opportunity to contribute to the debate on the report of your Committee on Information and Broadcasting.

Mr Speaker, journalism, like Hon. Kasongo said is a profession and every profession is guided by what we call etiquette or what I may refer to as standing orders of the very media houses we are talking about.

I will now talk about what every Zambian has now observed. The core purpose and business of every journalist is to inform, educate and entertain the people. To inform the people about issues pertaining to the development of themselves, issues pertaining to the emancipation of the country economically and issues pertaining to the emancipation of the country. That is the core purpose of journalism and the world over, the media is just about that. So the shift in certain media houses to begin to propagate, insinuate, and incite the people of Zambia to rise against themselves is a new phenomenon. It is a newly evolved culture that has come as a result of poverty of civility, wisdom, understanding and lack of the ability to distinguish sense from nonsense, governance from anarchy and reality from what I may call untruthfulness.

Mr Speaker, it is time that Zambians realised that it is very important to be factual and truthful. Balanced reporting is not something we can condemn. We know and it is an indisputable truth that some media houses are just bent to incite the people in order for anarchy to take root in the nation. The type of language that is being used today, to some of us and I have always said that as a teacher gets us concerned because a teacher is concerned about posterity. There is no way that a teacher worth his sort would allow children to be told to demean and insult the aged or even their friends.

Mr Speaker, we want to bring civility and sanity in our nation. Most of the people I interact with also wonder as to what has led to this culture which is not by any standards acceptable in any form of life. Worse still the very people who call themselves leaders are in the forefront of using the very unparliamentary or unleadership, if there is that word and unacceptable language. Where are we going? A leader must cherish integrity, wisdom and be envied. A leader must be a person who should be welcomed and whom people must be proud to associate with and one whom people must be able to emulate.

Mr Speaker, it is very easy to do that but how do you do that? The fact is that when you start to behave and think your real selves, you will not pretend and the world will know. Some people near the person talking may be excited and ululate, but the fact of the matter is that people, whether educated or uneducated, civilised or uncivilised are able to perceive sense and wisdom in an individual and that is why sometimes …

Mr Speaker: Order!

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

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Chimbaka: Mr Speaker, when business was suspended, I was lamenting that as a teacher myself, who has contributed greatly to the development of many persons, many of whom are eminent professionals in Lusaka and outside this country, the language being used today even by us leaders is unacceptable to the good standards of governance and democratic dispensation. If Zambia as a nation has to maintain its reputation and if the people all over the world have to respect us, I want to emphasise that as leaders we must regulate our language.

Mr Speaker, we also want a vibrant media whose vibrancy is not in anarchy. There should be a media whose vibrancy is in informing people about the good policies being undertaken by the Government and the vibrancy must be about correcting and pointing constructively to weaknesses that they perceive are there in the Government. The vibrancy must be in uniting the people of Zambia to emancipate themselves professionally, politically and economically because it is only Zambians who are going to build this country to the levels we have given ourselves in the 2030 vision.

Mr Speaker, I would like to say that it is very unfortunate and it really pains me because sometimes even people in robes who should speak out the truth are also part and parcel of those who are bent on misinforming the people of Zambia and sow seeds of antagonism. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services should begin to understand and critically analyse why some media houses, especially, local radio stations which were licensed to preach the word of Jesus Christ have become tools of political propaganda today.

Mr Speaker, if I went to Mansa today and I wanted to speak on the radio station there to the people about development and to get the people to speak about what they desire of any leader, I would not be allowed to do that because in their understanding, I am not part and parcel of them and I do not subscribe to their principles and philosophies. Most times, I have to pay exorbitantly if I have to do it and in most cases, they would find ways and means of trying to frustrate me. I recall even when President Bwezani Banda was being interviewed, they brought in a person to try and frustrate the interview so that the people may not get the truth when that is not the purpose for which they were licensed. The Government must move in and ensure that those who want to get licences are given so that there is equal and balanced reporting for the information of the people of this country.

Mr Speaker, I also agree with what Hon. Hamududu has alluded to that it is unfortunate that corruption has been created in some of these church based organisations.

Hon. Opposition Member: Do not name.

Mr Chimbaka: I cannot name them, but I want to say that even though they pretend as if they are in forefront of fighting for people’s rights, they are the worst employers. If somebody argues, I have the evidence which I can lay on the Table of the House.

Hon. Government Members: Lay it.

Mr Chimbaka: Mr Speaker, some of these organisations have never ever paid their employees and if they pay them it is K50,000 and yet they are in the forefront of blaming the Government for not paying the people of Zambia very well. These people must be regulated as well.

Mr Munaile: Imyeshi iyingi.

Mr Chimbaka: Yes, for many years, I agree with the honourable.

Mr Speaker, I want to end by saying that the way we talk sometimes is demeaning to our House. Therefore, it is very difficult for those Zambians who are respectable and highly qualified to aspire to come to this House because many of them complain that the type of culture that has revolved in Parliament makes them no want to here. For sure, myself I was addressed as ba Sir, even today in Mansa I am being addressed as ba Sir, while here those people who go to work in the streets of London are the ones who come to insult me.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chimbaka: Mr Speaker, if it was not for parliamentary etiquette we would not accept certain things, but because we want to respect this House and the laws we make ourselves, yes, that is why we have accepted certain things. However, I want to say that they are so many Zambians out there who are very much disheartened by the behaviour we portray as leaders. I want to inform those who think that some of us will not come back, that they should not think that way. Those people that think that way are not okay because the people of Zambia want substance not substandard delivery.

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

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me this opportunity to debate on this Vote. I will start by saying I am a member of the committee and obviously I am not going to contradict anything in the committee’s report nor I am going to go through it again to do the job that has already been well-done. I just wanted to highlight one or two issues which I think are very relevant to this debate.

The information and broadcasting sector, if you want to call it that way, is kind of split …

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: … into the electronic sector were the issues there are taking a flavour of its own and the print media which is more familiar to most of us who have been around a long time.

Regarding the electronic media, I just want to make a couple of observations. The enormous increase in bandwidth has led to an enormous increase in the amount of information that can be broadcast or transmitted on the internet in any given width of frequencies. We are facing an explosion in bandwidth which I think will result in nobody being able to control, licence and prevent people from having access to it. I think we should recognise that. We should seek to stir it rather than try and control it like we are doing by preventing using the law in this country the use of the voice over internet telephone because it seems not to be in the interest of the Zambian telecommunications industry. However, it is freely used all over the world for telephone conversation, but we are stopping our own citizens from having the voice over internet service or the so called skype.

I think we are we not reacting swiftly to a slow pace that could be controlled. I think there is something I noticed particularly, in Kenya, but is also showing up here because of technical complications. When you look at the communications authorities set up in Kenya, it is the electronic and radio engineers who are trying to get to the top. In such a situation, you find yourself with engineers then trying to control content and trying to define what pornography, subversion and liable is. Somehow the human aspects and the people who know about these things are being sidelined. I think we should be very careful and not let that happen here. We should be content with having people in place who are experts on questions of content. That is all I have to say about the electronic media.

Mr Speaker, as regards the print media, I have this horrible feeling because I lived through part of it. The real poison in this country that is putting us off our balance when it comes to the print media, is the nationalisation of the two major daily newspapers which was part of the creation of one party state. They were two newspapers, one was which we called The Northern News and it originally belonged to the Argus News Group. The Argus News Group was the press arm of that great octopus of Cecil Rhodes which included the British South African Company (BSAC), Anglo American Company, Standard Charter and so on. It was a government newspaper in the sense that it represented the interests of the Federal Government. When the federation came along, it pursued that agenda at the cost of the interests of Zambia’s independence and ordinary citizens.

Mr Speaker, the other newspaper was The Mail. It was founded by John Triba, my father and David Astral of the Observer Trust in 1959 which took a much more independent point of view and which was I think it is fair to say part of the struggle for independence and an end to the federation. It also fought for independence based on black majority rule and one man, one vote, thereafter.

Now, the two newspapers where eventually nationalised to become part of that monolithic one party state that many of us lived through. I think the nationalisation of these newspapers made us to forget what the press really is. The fights between The Northern News and The Mail were no more because they were no dissenting views. They were now in an agreement with their views. A newspaper can be used as a mouth piece for the party and its Government because for us there was no distinction. We came to think this was a normal state of affairs and we were very surprised if there was some little criticism hiding somewhere in a State newspapers. I think that attitude and some of us of course came part of our lives outside of Zambia some of us have memories. I remember in 1992, Hon. Kawimbe who in those days was the Minister of Health and myself who was in charge of farming relief following the 1992 drought getting a pasting from The Post every day …

The microphone stopped working.

Hon. Government Member: Here it is working.

Hon. Government Members: Come this side. Cross the floor.

Dr Scott went to use an hon. Minister’s microphone.

Mrs Masebo: That is proper pact now.

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for lending me his microphone. However, even if I am speaking from this side of the House, I still belong to the PF. It is in close …


Dr Scott: … association with the UPND with a view to forming government.

Hon. PF and UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, when Dr Kawimbe and I were attacked by The Post, I do not recall one minute during which either of us said it must be controlled, regulated or shut down. We accepted this because it is what happens in democratic countries. We had re-democratised Zambia and we expected to get pasted by newspapers. That is their job. I believe many hon. Members of this House have not seen the pasting which Gordon Brown and all his cohorts get on a daily basis in London from all sections of the media. Even Tony Blair gets ‘posthumous’ ill treatment. Barack Obama is just coming up now for the bad treatment because some of the romance of his election has come off.

So, I think what is urgently needed is to, perhaps, genuinely privatise or re-privatise the daily newspapers so that we can have some competition. I am not saying that my family is interested in getting back the newspaper it used to run. I think it is too much of a liability. At the moment, there is no competition. You know what the Government papers are going to say, who they are going to support and that the private media are going to say the opposite because they have to sell their newspaper. They are not going to say the same thing you can get in another paper.

Hon. Kambwili: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, this morning, both Government newspapers, typical of the one-party mentality, had a front page story to the effect the State is disappointed with Mpombo or something like that. If you read it, it was nothing about the State being disappointed with Mpombo but rather the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) leadership being disappointed with Mpombo.

Hon. PF and UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: It was a party matter but the confusion between party and State still persists in the thinking of our outdated, dinosaur media, including the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC). That is what has created The Post as it is. It is a newspaper dedicated to controversy for a change. Sometimes, those controversies are genuine. For a while, the present Chief Whip was not in this House during this Session because he had held a press conference in Katanga. He had given an account of that press conference in this House and The Post, using its information technology (IT), was able to show that there was a divergence between what he said in Katanga, in the presence of Moses Katumbi, and what he said here. The result was that his own President removed him from this House. Is there something evil about that?


Dr Scott: Unless it was untrue and unfair. That is the job of the press - to expose these kinds of problems. It is not the job of the Government press to hunt down the Opposition and try and embarrass them over debts and so forth. The independent press has a very important function.

I write for The Post. The only reason I do so is that they are the only people who would publish what I write and I get very few complaints. In fact, the only complaint I had was the day before yesterday, from Hon. Masebo, for a joke which I am afraid did not come off as intended and I published an apology. She may now sue me in accordance with the law of defamation. However, the system is intact and it still works. Do we need something else, like I should be struck off the register of journalists because I am writing forty articles of 1,600 words on average and I managed to make one slip-up? The system is perfectly fine and works.

I write on economics, my experience as a farmer and my experience in Government. I also write because I have a knowledge of some of Zambia’s history, which is very intimate and useful to the people. I think I am proud when I ask potential investors to come to Zambia because we have a vigorous dialogue between different points of view. I tell them that when they come to Zambia, they will recognise it like a western country. Maybe, Chinese investors do not recognise newspapers which are opposed to the Government. However, a western investor will want a country in which corruption and hypocrisy are exposed. That is what the people want. That is what makes western countries proud of freedom of the press. Maybe, the Government is afraid of having a region like Taiwan in the south of China because of The Post, which is an extremely liberal, free and outspoken newspaper as compared to other local newspapers.

Mr Speaker, the PF, itself, has fallen on the wrong side of The Post newspaper. In 2006, we took, under our, wing Frederick Chiluba and The Post turned its guns on us. I remember being blacked out. I made tours of the country which were not covered by the newspaper but I do not ever remember my president, myself or anybody else in the PF turning around and saying, “That newspaper needs to be regulated.” It was backing Mwanawasa’s MMD. It was campaigning for them and it did a good job, judging by the results that came out. I am quite sure that when the PF and UPND form the next Government, The Post will turn its artillery onto us just as surely as morning follows night.

Mr Mulyata: He is dreaming.

Mr D. Mwila interjected.


Dr Scott: I hope I have not contaminated the microphone of my friend, the hon. Minister of Lands ...


Dr Scott: … with modern or western ideas. Nonetheless, I am sure even if I have, he will recover just like he would recover from swine flu.


Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, with those few words, I thank you very much and I support the report.

The Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Mbewe): Mr Speaker, first of all, I would like to thank the Committee for a job well done. The media are a very important tool in development. Every country that is on the path of development uses the media. The opposite is true that if destruction has to befall a country, people are equally going to use the media. So, the media play a very critical role in the governing of a country.

Mr Speaker, since Zambia is thirsty for development, we need to use the media properly. When we use the media properly, we are going to woo investors and our people will get jobs.

Hon. Government Members: hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker,  however, if the politicians are using the media to advertise themselves, then we have a big problem because it does not matter who sits on your right or left, what people want is to develop this country.

  If hon. Members on your left scare investors through the media, then they will find that when they form the next government which they are claiming, the country will still be the same, with no development taking place. However, when we use the media properly to woo investors, there will be development in the country.

Mr Speaker, I stand here to strongly condemn, in very strong terms, politicians who misuse the media.

Hon. Opposition Members: Like you!

Mr Mbewe: When it is misused, nothing better will come out. Therefore, I condemn politicians and the media who accept to be misused because what we want to see in our newspapers and listen to on our radios is the development of our country. People are fed up with politics in the media.

Mr Speaker, I am also asking hon. Members of Parliament here to stand up and challenge the wrong reports which we read in the media. We must all challenge and put things right so that the media publishes things that are for the development of the country. In that vein, I also want to state that I, for one, do not support them those Zambians or hon. Members of Parliament who harass reporters. I condemn them in very strong terms.

Hon. Opposition Members: It is yourselves that side.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, this country is for all of us and what we need is development which is for the good of our children. I feel very disappointed to hear from hon. Members, who are young politicians, in this House saying that the media should not be regulated. It should be regulated for the better.

Mr Kambwili: Question!

Mr Mbewe: So that in the near future when this country develops to high heights we will all enjoy the fruits of this country. Those who are agitating that the media should not be regulated do not mean well. The outsiders there, people in the diaspora, when they read about Zambia, always think that Zambia is on fire when that is not the correct position.

Mr Lubinda: It is on fire!

Mr Mbewe: There is good governance in Zambia and things are moving very well.

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Mr Mbewe: This is why those who misinform people must be controlled.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Mr Speaker, I want to add my voice to this very important debate and support the work of the committee and their recommendations on the media.

Mr Speaker, as many speakers before me have stated, the media is a very important tool for national development. As has been said by many, the media can build a person and, also, destroy a person. In the same vein, the media can build or destroy a country.

Hon. Magande: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Having said this, I want to state that I am personally not for regulating the media.

Hon. Kambwili: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, as others before me have stated, I would rather be for self regulation of the media. Sir, I know that it is very painful when the media writes something about an individual which is destructive to that individual, especially if it is not factual. I know that in the past, people’s families have been destroyed by what has been written in the media, and that is how bad the media can be. That is how bad the negative effects of reports in the media can be.

In the same vein, as I have indicated, and speaking for myself, that does not mean we should go for regulation. I know that there are some of our colleagues on the left who have been trying to encourage the Government to regulate the media. My advice to my Government, the MMD, is not to listen to them because it will not help the situation. It will just worsen it. We must also be careful not to fight other people’s battles.

Mr Chilembo: Are we together?


Mr Shakafuswa: Not with dull people.

Mrs Masebo: Yes, we are together, depending on your mind.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, like somebody said, you need to have been in politics a little bit longer, like some of us, to understand the work of the media. Those of you who have been in politics for long enough will know that some of us have been bashed by the media. Speaking for myself, it was both the private and public media. Sometimes, they have praised me and when they have done so, I have been very happy. When they attacked me, I became very annoyed, but I will still not come here and say we should regulate them.

Mr Mulyata interjected.

Mrs Masebo: When you are a public figure, you open yourself up and remember that most of these things the media write, do not come from the air. They come from ourselves.

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

Mrs Masebo: We need to understand, especially as leaders and politicians, how the media works in order to appreciate their work. As a Government, we need to ensure that the public media is assisted to become effective in their work so that they can also compete effectively with the private media.

Mr Speaker, how do you explain, for example, that if you go to Shang’ombo you will not find enough copies of the Daily Mail or the Times of Zambia, but you will find The Post newspaper there? Even in Livingstone, here, you will find that the paper is arriving so many hours late. Therefore, as a Government, we must ensure that our public media is funded or assisted to be effective. In terms of stories, we must allow them to write freely because if the story is one sided, those papers become boring and people will not buy them. So, they will not expand.

Mr Speaker, I know that some of us, when we speak, sometimes, people may not be too happy because the truth, sometimes, is not very nice. However, I want to state, like somebody said, that when you are in front there, in the Front Bench, you will find that the private media is horrible. However, when you come to the back bench or on the left, there, you begin to realise the importance of the media, especially a free media.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: Gona kuzingwa!

Mr Shakafuswa: There is no gona kuzingwa. We are enjoying ourselves because we are rich people here!


Mrs Masebo: Do not, therefore, come here and start telling us to regulate the media just because they have said something bad about you. Even the countries we are talking about, which are better than us today, when you go there, you must read what they write about their leaders and you will be shocked.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: It is not just here in Zambia where leaders are talked about. In other countries …

Mr Mulyata interjected.

Mrs Masebo: Of course, that is correct and I agree with you, but what is important is that what is being written must be the truth. However, the goodness of life is that if somebody defames you, you can take them to court.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: You heard how quickly Hon. Scott went to apologise because I threatened both The Post and him for defamation of character and because he knew he was telling lies, he had to quickly retract. However, if someone does not retract what they have said simply means that there is some truth in it.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: As I debate this, I want to support His Excellency the President, Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda’s, stance on his support not for regulation, but for self-regulation Therefore, I would personally love the media to self-regulate itself.

The other point that I want to raise is about broadcasting licenses being restricted to certain areas. We have a situation, today, where certain television channels can only be watched, here, in Lusaka and because of the advancement of technology now, when others tap into that technology and are able to air their radio or television coverage to other districts such as Nakonde or Shang’ombo, we accuse them of not having licenses to cover these places. Would it not be good, as Government, to encourage these television stations that are only in Lusaka to extend to rural areas so that the people there can also enjoy this facility?

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: I think it is unfair to have facilities such as television and radio coverage only in Lusaka and starve the people in the remote parts of Zambia information. This means that we, the people in Lusaka, want to be more advanced as opposed to this advancement also spreading to other parts of the country. It is, therefore, incumbent upon ourselves, as a Government, to ensure that we actually encourage these television stations to extend their coverage not just to Lusaka, but to other parts of Zambia. In fact, it would be a good thing if what we are watching, for example, on Muvi Television, can also be shown in Shang’ombo. People living in Lusaka watch so many good things, which our brothers and sisters in the villages do not. I would like to urge the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services to encourage the local media houses in Lusaka to extend their television coverage to all the rural parts of Zambia, instead of doing the opposite in the name of regulations.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: I think that, indeed, regulations must be followed. However, if somebody has a license for television coverage in Chongwe, he or she should be encouraged to extend this coverage to even places like Shang’ombo and Mansa. This advice can only not be considered if there is something to hide from the nation at large.

Lastly, Mr Speaker, I want also to say that those that are in the media houses have a big challenge when writing stories. They should be clear about what they are writing. Sometimes, it is very disappointing to see the type of reporting by some of our journalists. In this vein, I am not talking about personal issues, but developmental issues. Sometimes, you can see a lack of deep understanding of issues by the way a story is told. I wonder whether it is the training that journalists undergo that is not good enough or whether the problem is with the individuals.

Sometimes, we sit in this House and listen to an hon. Member debating an issue and the following day when you read about it in the newspaper or listen to it on the news, it is distorted. I think that those who have the difficult task of reproducing what others say need to understand the need for clarity in whose absence, it is better not to write. It is very devastating for one to call a colour red and have somebody write it as black. This is because even when you correct that mistake, not everybody will see that it has been corrected. The journalists’ duty is not just noble, but is a very difficult one because, as I said, the media, can build or destroy a person. Therefore, they have to ensure that they do a good job by first being factual, understanding what they write about and most of all being truthful.

I also know that there is the issue of business and making money at stake, however, I think that, as others have said, statements written are read by children and the country at large. Therefore, it is very difficult to mend a statement that has been incorrectly written. Apologies, which are in small print and need a microscope to be read, that are usually made the following day after the publishing of a defaming statement, do not do much as, normally, people do not even see them. As a result, they pick what was said in the first statement.

I wish that when matters such as defamation or media houses deliberately reporting wrongly go to court can attract stern penalties, for example, even having a media house closed down. This way, others can learn from that and know that it is important to report factually.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: I think that is very important. 

Having said this, I want to say that we should not be too jittery about what is said about us. Let us learn that once we are in public office, we open the doors to our bedrooms. I walk with my head up because I do not mind knowing that somebody is going to say something untrue about me. Let me also say that one of the things the media does is to, actually, help us become good leaders. For example, one would fear to be corrupt because they know that if they engage in corrupt practices, there will be a head line in the Times of Zambia and if one gets fired because of stealing, they earn themselves a bad name. However, if one gets fired because he or she did not campaign for somebody, this is not bad. It is okay.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mwila: Bwekeshapo.

Mrs Masebo: I think that it is important that we have an independent media that is truthful in its reporting. My hope is that when a media house defames somebody, the Judiciary will be very strict and ensure that it is closed down.  That way, things will balance. We, as a Government, should not use our powers to regulate. This is because we can be in power, today, but what will happen when we are not in power tomorrow?

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Hon. Scott talked about 2006 when some of us were very critical. I remember that towards the elections, the Patriotic Front (PF) had the support of The Post. However, somewhere along the way, because they carried some excess luggage, things turned against them and those of us on the other side were very happy. One thing I remember is that the PF sent people to The  Post offices to beat up the workers there. As such, Hon. Scott’s reference to them being good and not having threatened closure is, in fact, not true. If anything, when they sent some thugs to go and beat The Post workers, it was the State that protected them.


Mrs Masebo: It does not matter whether one belongs to the Opposition, the Government, the Front Bench or the Back Bench, what is right is right and what is wrong is wrong. Let us build good institutions for the good of this country.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sikota (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me the opportunity to contribute to this debate.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Muntanga: The speakers are not working.

Mr Speaker: You can hear.

Mr Sikota: From the outset, let me declare interest and say that I am what I call a blood relative of the press. I have always been and always shall be. I have held a constant position when it comes to the press, unlike some people, who, today, will condemn the press and pretend to be their friends when it suits them.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota: Mr Speaker, I am a true constant. I also recognise that the press is extremely powerful. In fact, it is so powerful that only a few days ago, it was even exerting its power to go as far as appointing a Republican Vice-President.


Mr Sikota: Mr Speaker, that, perhaps, should also let people know that they should not believe everything they read in the press.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Government Member: Especially the Post!

Mr Sikota: Mr Speaker, when we turn to the issue of the best regime, we should have, with regard to our press and how it conducts itself, to recognise that there are basically three positions. We can have a situation where there is no regulation at all and the Press can do as it likes. We can also have a situation where there is self-regulation or we can have a third position which is that of statutory regulation.

I am sure that nobody in this House would state that they would like to see the first situation where the Press can do whatever it likes. I would be very surprised if anybody would truthfully say that. The question, therefore, is whether we should have self or statutory regulation. I think that those are the only two viable options. In my view, there is no doubt that the best situation is for us to have self-regulation of the press.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota: I have stated this from time immemorial. I support the President, Mr Rupiah Banda, in his address to this House where he also stated that the position he would like the press to take is that of self-regulation. I hope that everybody in the House also feels the same. It is not only the people in this House who must feel that way. The press itself must also feel that there must be self-regulation.

If there are some quarters of the press who feel that there should be no regulation, I fear they are lost. There is nowhere in the world where there is no regulation of the press. There is regulation of the press everywhere in the world. The question is merely whether it is self-regulation or statutory regulation.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota: Let us all start by being honest when we deal with this question and agree that there must be self-regulation. The question of self-regulation has been mooted in Zambia for over a decade. The press has been pleaded with and cajoled to go into self- regulation mode, and yet it only decided to make a serious attempt at this when the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services gave an ultimatum. The ultimatum was not that the Government had decided on statutory regulation. The ultimatum to the press was that “self-regulate or you will force our hand.”

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota: The Government did not say that its position was statutory regulation. It said that there was regulation everywhere in the world and it was giving the Press an opportunity to regulate itself.

I must, therefore, congratulate most of the media organisations who have taken up the challenge and said that they will self regulate. That is as it should be.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota: Mr Speaker, it is hoped that nobody is going to spoil this and decide to go out of self-regulation. What will you expect the Government to do if you want to exclude yourself from what everybody else is doing voluntarily?

I would suggest to the Government, that if there are some media houses that want to exclude themselves from the self regulatory system, there must be a statutory regulation system that will catch the fish that will go out of the system.

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

Mr Sikota: Mr Speaker, there is nobody who will then be able to complain that this is an autocratic Government because it has given the opportunity to the press self regulate itself. It is only those who want to opt out who will not regulate themselves.

I would like to concur with the hon. Member for Chongwe who stated that there is also need for the courts to look at the kind of awards in defamation and libel cases. There are certain types of libel, where there is a clear malicious intent, which need to have punitive damages attached to them. However, for quite a number of libel cases, there may be honest mistakes or there may not be malice attached to them and, therefore, there would not be need for very heavy damages to be awarded.

Mr Speaker, heavy damages can become more of a deterrent than even statutory regulation. Therefore, whereas the hon. Member for Chongwe was saying that she is against statutory regulation, she has to be careful that the other option does not turn into something that is more severe than statutory regulation.

Mr Speaker, on the issues of licenses and how far people can broadcast,

I suggest, through the Government that they encourage people to set up radio and television stations in districts where there are no such facilities. One method of doing this is by giving concessionary licence rates in areas that have no radio or television stations. They can state that in districts where nobody is licensed for a television or radio station, the first person to set up such a facility would do so without paying any licence fees.

This would be an incentive for people to set up stations in those particular areas. We can see a lot of stations mushrooming in those areas throughout the country. There is a need for us to be innovative in the manner we encourage people to set up these stations. We can use taxes and licence fees as one way of being innovative and ensuring that people are encouraged to set up stations in areas where, normally, they would not.

Mr Speaker, I do not wish to take up too much of your time, but I believe that the point has been made. Out of the three options that are there, self-regulation is the only way. Nobody should feel that they are above everybody else and that they should opt out of self-regulation. It is self-regulation for all.

I thank you, Sir.

The Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services (Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me an opportunity to debate on this wonderful report. Let me commend your Committee for a good report because it has covered many areas of need in the area of broadcasting and media.

Sir, I just want to make a few observations on the report. It would have been very good if the report had also covered the media industry growth in the country. This would have helped this august House to understand how much this Government has worked to ensure that the media has greater growth.

For example, it would have been possible for the report to ensure that we know the number of radio and television stations that are in the country. We have more than forty radio stations and more than six television stations in the country. In fact, there are more that are coming for the exploration of the media growth is very big and this Government is working to ensure that this growth continues for our people to have information.

Sir, I would like to commend your Committee for bringing out salient issues, especially on page 9 of the report. This is on the observations and recommendations Number 5 and I quote.

“Where as the media was not the initiator of strife and only reported the events as they occurred, thereby reflecting society to itself, a media placed in careless and unprofessional hands, is a very dangerous entity and could lead to bloodshed as transpired in some countries in the region”.

Mr Speaker, this is very important. Indeed, this Government wants a professional media. A media that has ethics is important to the nation.

I would like to briefly comment on MECOZ. This is a voluntary organisation that all the media houses are supposed to join and regulate operations through professional ethics. This has not been possible like your Committee has observed. MECOZ is totally incapable of carrying the agenda of this country forward. Therefore, it is important that the media itself has an understanding of how to deal with self-regulation and how to go about with this self-regulation. The problem is that the media is undecided. A number of them do not want to be part and parcel of self-regulation. A number of them want to go their own way because they have their own agendas which they want to follow. However, it is important to know that in all countries, be it in the United States of America, United Kingdom or Kenya, there are media regulations that are put in place. There is no freedom that is beyond the sky. There are always regulations.

For example, in Botswana, the Media Practitioners Act helps the country to deal with issues of media practitioners. Media practitioners’ issues also include the emoluments that Hon. Hamududu was talking about regarding young reporters not being paid well. This is true. I have gone round many media houses in Lusaka. I have visited nearly every media house except The Post who turned down my offer of a visit. They said that they would let me know when I could visit them and I have not been there. However, I have discussed with media executives on how little the young reporters are being paid.

Therefore, I entirely agree with Hon. Hamududu. Is it not possible for us to help these young reporters who are being exploited? In certain cases, they are being exploited in a greater manner. They are given coupons per month to go and collect groceries from shops. These are from reputable newspapers that people read. They give their reporters coupons to collect food from the shops every month. Some of these young reporters are never paid their salaries. Such is as bad as those newspapers that talk so much about human rights and yet they, themselves, are failing to observe human rights. When the young reporters complain, they are told, “Go and find your own newspapers. This is my newspaper”.  The owners of these newspapers are driving hammers.

Hon. Government Members: Shame!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, this is important like Hon. Hamududu has said, but we must be able to deal with it.

Sir, Hon. Hamududu spoke very well because he was not personal, but when I talk about it, it becomes personal. These are issues that need to be dealt with in Zambia. We cannot allow young reporters to be exploited by being given coupons to collect food from grocery shops. This is unacceptable in Zambia when the owners of these newspapers are driving Hammers and Mercedes-Benz.

Mr Speaker, even the donors get worried about what happens to the money that they give to these newspapers when young reporters are not being paid. That is wrong!

Sir, the public is worried and unless there is some form of regulation, there is going to be chaos as we approach 2011. The 2006 and 2008 elections exposed a lot of things that were being done and would have driven the country into turmoil. The public is worried. Is the Government not going to help to deal with this issue? Are there not going to be self-regulatory measures in place? Yes, as a Government, the President of the Republic of Zambia spoke very clearly here in this august House when he stated and I quote.

“Further, in His Address on the First Session of the Tenth National Assembly, His Excellency the President, Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda said recently there have been calls on this House for the State to regulate the media in the country. However, my administration, believes in self-regulation”.

Mr Speaker, our administration, as our President has said, believes in self-regulation. However, if the baby cannot come after ten or eleven months, there is always a Caesarean operation to help the baby.

Hon. Government Members: hear, hear!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Indeed, in the case where for ten years or more than a decade the Government has been trying to help the media to have self-regulation, maybe, it is time for a Caesarean operation …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: … to assist the baby to come out. The President said here and I quote:

“My administration believes in self-regulation, however, the onus remains on the media to work out such regulations which must be respected by all and clearly stipulate the sanctions against erring journalists or media houses. If other media houses think they are above self-regulation and refuse to co-operate with their colleagues in the Media Ethics Councils of Zambia, the Government will assist to provide one”.

 Mr Speaker, my President clearly spelt out the need for us to ensure that there is self-regulation, and as a Government, we continue to help the media industry. My office is always open to discuss with them and see how best we can deal with self-regulation. If this does not come, it will be too bad because the people of Zambia are anxious. As we go towards elections, what will happen to them? Is the media going to incite people as they did in 2006 and 2008?

Mr Speaker, I entirely agree with Hon. Kasongo. I take his debate as mine. We have taken note of the many areas that your Committee has pointed out. As a Government, we want to do everything possible as we always give Government assurances. Indeed, we have the Government assurance and Action-Taken Report for last year and this Government will provide another out of your Committee’s Report.

Mr Speaker, I would also like to talk about one or two more issues. It is important for the media to grow out of personal agendas. This is very important in that we will be able to discuss key issues. This Government, like every hon. Member of Parliament knows, has gone through the most difficult economic conditions. We have built houses for teachers, and hospitals and health centres all over the country. We have gone ahead and built high and basic schools all over the country. We have even built in Opposition territory.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: We have gone ahead and worked on roads even in Opposition territory.

Mr Speaker, I remember Hon. Mwiimbu, who is not in the House, saying that they could not thank us because it was our obligation to do these things. He said it was an obligation for us to build and develop Opposition territories. Yes, it is our obligation, but even where we have an obligation, …

Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me the opportunity to raise this point of order. Is the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services in order to talk about me in his speech when I have been listening attentively to his misleading statements in this House?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: The hon. Minister may continue.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, I was saying that whilst Hon. Mwiimbu says we should not be thanked for doing so well in infrastructure development, vis-à-vis providing schools and hospitals all over the country, it is tradition as a Zambian to say “thank you” to anything, no matter how small it is. This is godly.

Mr Speaker, it is therefore necessary for the media to bring out what the people are expecting their representatives to do in this House. The representatives in this House are expected to take schools to their constituencies and the media must tell the people this. For instance, there is a good road that is being built between Zimba and Livingstone. The media must show the people how far this road has gone. This encourages the people to support their hon. Members of Parliament and their Government. This is important. This is what is called maturity of the media. Picking on individuals is not mature. In any case, individuals change.

Mr Speaker, I have talked about the many things that have been happening in the media in the United States of America (USA) and the United Kingdom (UK). You will never find a situation where a leader, be it Mr Brown or Mr Obama is being insulted.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: They have gone beyond this.

Mr Kambwili: Question!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: They have never insulted their leadership. They talk about issues that will prosper their country.

Hon. Opposition Members: They talk about corruption.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Of course, they talk about corruption. The Members of Parliament in the UK were collecting money, including the Hon. Mr Speaker. I am not insinuating anything, but the Speaker in the UK was collecting money that was not due to him. He resigned and the media spoke about it and brought it out but with facts. They did not call him names. They reported factual information. It is important for our media to do the same.

Mr Speaker, my ministry and my Government is ready to help the media to grow and move on to areas where they can do well. I want to say that the people of Zambia are worried that without either self-regulatory or indeed statutory regulatory measures in place, there will be difficulties in 2011. People are scared for their lives.

Mr Speaker, I would like to urge this august House to go ahead and, indeed, adopt this wonderful Report.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapeya: Mr Speaker, I wish to thank all Members of Parliament who debated on this Motion. Indeed, from the indications, nearly all hon. Members wanted to debate, but due to time limitation, it was not possible. This shows the importance of the media in this country.

I thank you, Sir.

Question put and agreed to.




VOTE 14 ─ (Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development ─ K24,484,817,871)

(Consideration resumed)

The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr M. B. Mwale): Mr Chairperson, before we adjourned yesterday, I had begun delivering my policy statement by thanking you, Sir, for giving me the opportunity to do so.

Mr Chairperson, allow me to begin by thanking the hon. Minister of Finance and National Panning for presenting a development-oriented National Budget that balances the interest of all stakeholders, the Zambian people on one hand and on the other, the investors in various sectors of the economy, including the mining industry.

Mr Chairperson, I am confident that the implementation of the measures outlined in the budget will contribute to the development of our country and eventually uplift the living standards of the Zambian people.

Mr Chairperson, the mission statement for my ministry is as follows:

“To formulate, implement, monitor and evaluate policy on exploration, development, exploitation and downstream processing of mineral resources in the country in a safe, economic and sustainable manner for the optimum benefit of the Zambia people.”

The House may wish to know that my ministry is responsible for:

(i) managing the mineral resources of the country which starts with exploration through to mine development, downstream processing and exportation of products;

(ii) monitoring of the operations of the mining industry in as far as it compliance to legal requirements and business sustainability is concerned; and

(iii) monitoring seismic activities throughout the country to facilitate appropriate interventions.

Mr Chairperson, the goal for my ministry is:

 “To have an efficient and computerised information and licencing system and improved compliance in the mining and petroleum industries.”

 Through this statement, my ministry focuses its energies on improving the availability of geological and mining information by enhancing geological mapping and exploration activities and developing an efficient information management system.

Mr Chairperson, oil and gas exploration continued in the Southern Province by infill soil sampling in the Gwembe Valley and Namwala areas. Fifty-two soil samples were collected and have been sent to Germany for analysis and the results are being awaited.

As the House may be aware, my ministry provided for the Petroleum Committee through the enacted Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act 2008. As a result, the Petroleum Committee was reconstituted this year and in line with its mandate, invited bids for prospective oil exploration.

Twenty-three blocks were advertised for oil and gas as follows:

 Province  Number

Western Province   7

North-Western province  12

Eastern Province   4

The said blocks were advertised in the local and in international media. The tendering process was extended to 6th November, 2009 and the response from interested companies, so far, has been encouraging. My ministry will demarcate more blocks in the Luapula, Northern and Southern provinces in the next bidding round for the areas showing positive indications for oil and gas.

Mr Chairperson, my ministry further provided for uranium mining through the Uranium Regulations 2008. One large-scale uranium mining licence has been issued to African Energy Resources Limited in Siavonga District  of the Southern Province while that of Dennison Mines (Zambia) Limited awaits final approval of the environmental impact assessment by the Environmental Council of Zambia. At Lumwana Mine, uranium rich ore is being exposed along side copper mining operations and is currently being stockpiled safely according to the Environmental Council of Zambia regulations awaiting construction of a uranium processing plant.

Further, my ministry has continued to implement a number of programmes which included the establishment of the computerised cadastre and geographical information system. The central cadastre system in Lusaka is now fully operational and the system is planned to be rolled out to the regional mining bureaux in 2010 to further ease mining rights administration.

It is also worth noting that there has been diversification of mining operations from the Copperbelt to other areas such as the North-Western, Luapula and Southern provinces. In addition to copper, cobalt and coal, we are now mining manganese, nickel and soon uranium. This poses a great challenge to my ministry and calls for intensified monitoring of operations.

Mr Chairperson, my ministry continued with mine inspection programmes to ensure compliance with mining and explosive regulations. Let me state that the sector has recorded a decline in fatal accidents in 2009 compared to 2008. Thirteen fatal accidents have so far been recorded by October, 2009 compared to nineteen during the same period in 2008. The decline in fatal accidents is attributed to increased inspections and enhanced safety awareness programmes by the mining companies. Although there is a downward trend in fatal accidents, more needs to be done to make the mines safer places to work in.

Mr Chairperson, the mining sector, in 2009, has been faced with challenges to remain viable given the developments that took place in the sector in 2008 which resulted in the fall in metal prices. The measures introduced by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning in 2009 to safeguard mining operations helped mitigate the crisis. As a result of the measures the Government took and complemented by improvements in metal prices, Luanshya Copper Mine, which was on care and maintenance, has re-opened.

Mr Kambwili: Hear, hear!

Mr M. B.  Mwale: I thank you, Mr Kambwili, for the first time.


Mr M. B. Mwale: Jobs are back. Munali Nickel Mine which also closed is about to re-open. Other mines that were threatened with closures are still operating.

Mr Chairperson, there is a need for continued intensified monitoring of mining operations due to increased mining activities. In this regard, we have started in earnest to restructure the ministry. As a first step towards this, my ministry’s strategic plan for 2008 to 2012 was approved this year by Cabinet Office. With the help of Cabinet Office, we have started to restructure the ministry which will result in the creation of a Planning and Information Department. This new department will collect, analyse and provide statistics on the mining industry. It is also important that we address safety on the mines more comprehensively as well as environmental protection and pollution control. In this regard, my ministry is in the process of formulating a policy on safety, health and environment.

Mr Chairperson, my Government does recognise the importance of the development of new mines.  In order to achieve long term sustainable economic growth, diversification of the mining industry should be directed at the exploitation of a wider range of minerals, gemstones and energy resources. In this respect, on-going exploration activities in the country have revealed potential for other minerals.

I am pleased to state that currently local and international mining companies are actively engaged in exploration all over the country. Some of these companies are as follows:

(i) Tantra Resources Limited;

(ii) Musamu Resources Limited;

(iii) Lufilian Mining company;

(iv) Indongo Mining company

(v) BHPBlliton;

(vi) First Quantum Mining and Operations Limited;

(vii) Zhongui Mining Group; and

(viii) Kiwara Resources Limited.

The minerals being explored for include copper, cobalt, gemstones, precious metals, zinc, lead, nickel, uranium, coal, manganese and iron.

The House may wish to know that to attract investment in the cement industry, my ministry has started reconnaissance rock sampling of carbonates in the Nyimba and Petauke areas to assess the carbonate rocks suitability for cement Manufacture. 164 rock samples have been collected and these are being analysed at our laboratory. This programme will be extended to other provinces in 2010 where carbonated rocks are present.

There has also been increased interest in phosphate mining for production of fertilisers. My ministry has so far issued one small-scale mining licence to Kuando Mines and Mineral Limited over the Kaluwe area in Eastern Province and other  licence is about to be granted over an area in Isoka District of the Northern Province.

Mr Chairman, let me now discuss the budget estimates for my ministry. The Budget Estimates have been reduced from K20.8 billion to K24.5 billion due to the limited resource envelope.

Hon. Members: K29.8 billion.

Mr M. B. Mwale: However, my ministry will endeavour to undertake its programmes within the budget allocation. The implications, therefore, are that there will be some increased or reduced allocations to some activities in the proposed budget in comparison to the 2009 Budget as the priorities for the ministry are realigned.

To enhance the contribution of the mining sector to economic development, my ministry will, in 2010, focus on the following:

(i) to render requisite assistance to the mining industry, both small and large scale to ensure safe, efficient and profitable operations.

In addition, my ministry would like to see a number of mining projects come on stream, for example, Konkola North in Chililabombwe and a much more organised exploitation of manganese;

(ii) increasing the coverage of geologically mapped area of the country in order to improve availability of geological information. Geological mapping of the country increased by 3 per cent to 58 per cent since 2006, leaving a total of 42 per cent to be mapped at a scale of 1:100,000;

(iii) enhancing minerals exploration and resource surveys in order to promote exploitation of other minerals, particularly industrial minerals to support the growing construction industry. Collaboration with international institutions will be strengthened so as to fast-track generation of geological information;

(iv) review the mining legislation which will include the Mines and Minerals Development Act, No. 7 of 2008, the Gold Trade Act, the Mining Regulations and the Explosives Regulations in order to address contentious issues that may inhibit development of the sector;

(v) investment promotion, particularly for the gemstone and small-scale mining sub-sectors. The gemstone sector has lagged behind due to lack of promotion. It is for this reason that my ministry will, in 2010, focus on promoting not only production but also marketing of gemstones to enhance the benefits from the sub-sector;

(vi) building institutional capacity of the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development to make it responsive to the changes in the mining industry. This will involve restructuring the ministry and upgrading the laboratories to international standards in collaboration other organisations; and

(vii) establishing a mining bureau in Mansa in Luapula Province. There is active manganese and copper mining in the province. The province also has potential for petroleum. It is the plan of my ministry to set up bureaux in all the provinces.

Mr Chairperson, the anticipated increase in activities in the mining sector implies more work for my ministry and may require supplementary funding and human resources. I, therefore, appeal to this august House to approve the 2010 Estimates of Expenditure for my ministry.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Chairperson, thank you for allowing me to make a few comments on the policy statement made by the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development.

Sir, just to correct the hon. Minister, as he was reading his policy statement, he gave a wrong figure that his last year’s budget was K20.8 billion. It was K29.8 billion, hon. Minister, and you are right it was reduced to K24.4 billion.

Having said so, Mr Chairperson, it is an indication that probably my brother and friend does not pay attention to the details of what he is reading.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Nkombo: That aside, but I would like to state that the mining industry has been one industry that has contributed to the development of this country. If I take you back to the pre-colonial era, I could also safely say that our minerals, in this country, helped to build certain infrastructure in the United Kingdom as well as our neighbouring Zimbabwe in Harare. I think that is factual.

Sir, it is true that depending on the legislative framework that we put in place, in terms of what we can collect out of this sector, we can continue to develop our country. As you know minerals are a wasting asset and therefore, we need to take full capital advantage of whatever is being extracted from our soil at the moment. There will come a day, Mr Chairperson, when we will not have any copper, magnesium, nickel, potassium or these cheap minerals to speak about.

Having said so, Mr Chairperson, I think it is prudent to also state that any government worth its salt must always put the interest of the people who gave them the mandate to govern first.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: That is the price that any government worth its salt should be willing to pay. The government must first take care of the interest of the people that they govern. How do they do that?

Political emancipation is not sufficient without economic independence. Our people have continued to live in squalor as a result of, sometimes, a very clumsy or, maybe, a little untidy way in which our colleagues on your right have been managing the affairs of this sector.

Sir, the hon. Minister alluded to the fact that last year, the entire world was affected by the economic downturn, but I would like to say that yes, 8,500 jobs were lost during that ten months turbulent period, and we also heard that a 1,500 jobs were recovered after we started recovering. Mr Chairperson, the translation of the 8,500 jobs that were lost, if, for instance, a nuclear family comprises on average six members plus four dependants, that makes it ten people. It means that 85,000 people were affected by this loss of jobs.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: 85,000 people is not a very small figure to just gloss over. We are told that 1,500 people have their jobs back. If we take the same ratios, it means only 1,500 have been affected positively by what has happened.

Mr Chairperson, the measure of distance is time versus speed. This country has been working documents such as the Vision 2030, Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP), Mid-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the annual budgets, indeed. The distance being time versus speed in my view, at the rate this Government is formulating legislative policies that will help this country earn some money, means that we shall not get to our destination of making our country a medium-income country by 2030. We need to reposition that destination because there is absolutely nothing that I can see being picked out of this particular viable sector for a Zambian to have a little hope. What I see is that the country is going into a rheumatic state.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: There is rheumatism in this country. The economy is affected by rheumatism because of the clumsy manner in which our colleagues have dealt with this matter of not looking at the welfare of the people who put them in office first.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: They have got a tendency, Mr Chairperson, of wanting to look at the interest of the investor first. I have examples that I can give of Chile and Peru, the investors that have failed to comply with the national legislative arrangements of paying windfall tax, have gone and others have come in their place.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: So those companies that convinced our friends in Government, that if we are going to continue operating on this tax regime, we are going to leave, my advice to my colleague and friends is that allow them to exit. Let them go and other people will come in their place.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: Other people will come because the prices of metals continue to fluctuate on the London Metal Exchange. The fact that last year we went down by a considerable amount of dollars per metric tonne on copper does not mean that it was the end of the world. You can see that it is already escalating to levels where, if the windfall tax was to remain, we would have been talking about it kicking in now at a threshold for us to swell up our treasury. Why kill a dead horse?

   At the time they removed the windfall tax, it was dormant, there was nothing going on. It was not triggering. Why then kill a dead horse? To whose benefit did they want to remove this tax? I know that they had a caucus as a party, which has been given the mandate to run the affairs of the Zambian people. The question is, were they discussing or they were dictated to that when they come to Parliament they must repeal that law? Are they true believers in themselves? The answer is no. If we carryon with this Government at this pace, I would describe the scenario as distance equals to time multiplied with speed, this country will remain stagnate for many years to come and we do not want that.

Mr Speaker, a lot of people have spoken about posterity, but unfortunately the time posterity will start to judge us, we will be innocently judged in the same basket as those fellows on your right.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Can you use the right word because the word “fellows” is unparliamentary.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Chairperson, I withdraw the word “fellows” and replace it with the phrase ‘as those hon. Members on your right’. What they do remind me of because of their tendency of not listening to advise and looking at the bigger picture, is the story of a little boy whose mother insisted that at 16:00 hours everyday, he and the others must take a bath and in order for this boy to demonstrate to his mother that what they were doing was an exercise in futility, he took the others for a bath and put a lot of Vaseline on their bodies and a minute later the mother saw them crawling on the ground and you know vaseline collects a lot of sand. This is how I view the MMD Government that you can be talking to them everyday and making sense to them everyday – when you are speaking to them individually like with my brother Hon. Mwale, we do get on very well. We chat about these things and we seem to be on the same frequency, but the moment they congregate as Cabinet, I do not know what goes on. Things just go haywire. Why is it that there must be something behind the curtain that is telling them not to do this or that?

Mr Chairperson, I will now gear into my constituency Mazabuka which the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development made reference to and said that the mine there is going to open and I am extremely thankful to him and his deputy for the efforts that they have made although there is an adage that goes “once beaten, twice shy”. We learn from experience and the experience we had last year of the mine closing was not of his own making since there was also Hon. Dr Kalombo Mwansa heading the ministry.

Mr Chairperson, the people of Chakola, Mugoto, and Kachembele have had their lives disturbed because of the recklessness of the same Government that Hon. Mwale is serving today. Unfortunately, the decision that they made to give the rights to private hands of the indigenous traditional land where Albidon mine is domiciled is too huge and serious to contemplate. They have put those people in serious maningi trouble. They moved them 12 km away from the nearest school with a promise that they would build them a school up to Grade 4, but nothing of that sort has happened. They promised to give them a clinic, nothing of that sort has happened. They promised to elevate the bridges there so that the people could easily move and access school from Grades 4 to 7, but nothing has happened and this is four years down the line. Whose failure is it? It is the Government’s failure because it the one which should engage the owners of the mines to do the right thing.

Mr Chairperson, as a sitting hon. Member of Parliament, I have been chastised that I should go to hell for trying to defend the rights of the people of Mugoto…

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! The use of the word “hell” is not acceptable.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Chairperson, I was told to go to a certain place where I am told there is a furnace and when you go there your body turns into ashes.

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

Mr Nkombo: Mr Chairperson, the people of Mugoto cherish the fight that I put up for them and it is for that reason that I urge Hon. Mwale that as he gets this Jin Chiang Group of Companies to reopen or resuscitate the mine, he must not forget to make a daily song that the issues of the resettlement of the traditional owners of that land must come first on the agenda. He must not forget and I keep reminding him that there are also issues of those who lost employment, but for me that is secondary. What is primary is that the traditional owners of the land who were born at Mugoto which is land given to them by God, must not be disturbed any more. They need a school and they also need to start living normally. Let him show great resolve by challenging his colleague in the Ministry of Education to give them education. Those are the owners of that land and not yourselves or ourselves. You disturbed their livelihood and you need to resuscitate it. You have killed doctors and nurses and other professionals who would have contributed to the building of this country by the act of striking a signature on a piece of paper that that stated that the people of Mugoti, 145 families should move away from Munkomba, Mugoto and Chakola to Lantana, a dambo or water logged place where they continue to live under terrible circumstances.

I challenge the hon. Minister to put this on top of the agenda because I have not heard the miners, the banks or the people from the Ju Chian Group of Companies addressing the issue of putting those people back on truck. You will be doing yourselves a great favour if hon. Minister you can address those matters.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Nkombo: Unfortunately, Mr Chairperson, I am squint eyed and so I am looking at you when you think I am looking at the hon. Minister.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Debate through me.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Chairperson, through you, the hon. Minister must try and save the face of his colleagues in the MMD. It is not too late for them to save their faces because what they did is to leave those people in a limbo. Those people are unhappy that even if I offended them so much as an hon. Member, they would rather leave the ballot papers blank than vote for this Government.

Mr Chairperson, I have said enough and I would once more like to thank you for allowing me to contribute to the debate.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Mr Chairperson, I rise to add a few words to the debate on the vote.

Mr Chairperson, I have always said on the Floor of this House that mining is something I hold dear because that is my career and I also believe that this country has been greatly endowed by God in terms of natural resources which we are not exploiting.

Once again that will be the main thrust of my debate as I try advise the Government. I will briefly speak on three issues as I advise my colleague Hon. Mwale. The hon. Minister talked about exploration of industrial minerals in Petauke and Nyimba to enhance the manufacturing of cement. I would like to tell the hon. Minister that the biggest quarrel, if I may put it that way, that the Zambian people have against the MMD Government is the failure to extract benefit from these mineral resources that God has endowed us with and translating them to the benefit of the average local Zambian. In this regard, I would like to say to the hon. Minister that even as the exploration goes on for the minerals, there was a Bill that came to this House for repeal, but before that, there was a requirement that for industrial minerals like lime, 10 percent shareholding of any company that mines this lime should be for Zambians. That Bill was brought here and repealed, thus at the moment there is no requirement for any Zambian to be part of the shareholding when it comes to mining of lime minerals.

Mr Chairperson, if you are going to derive any benefits for the Zambians, I would like to say that such legislation, including windfall tax which my colleagues talked about should be reversed. Firstly it was windfall tax and I remember this one in particular, which was also reversed although it was a good law where a foreigner was mandated to work with a Zambian so that we gain benefits, but this Government repealed that law…

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.


Mr Simuusa: Mr Chairperson, before we went on break I was developing my debate and I was telling to my colleague, the hon. Minister of Mines and Mineral Development and also to the Government in the sense that it is a fact that the Zambian people have said that this Government indeed has failed to extract the mineral wealth of this country to benefit the local people.

Mr Chairperson, for once, I would like to advise the Government to be on the side of the Zambians in terms of mining. To agree with what I am saying, you just have to look at the way this House has been passing the legislation meant to assist or benefit the Zambian people. Most of the legislation meant to benefit the Zambian people has been reversed and it has been going on for 2-3 years now. For example, windfall tax was removed and the Industrial Minerals Act which says 10 per cent of any company mining industrial minerals should be owned by Zambians was also removed.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Please, can we keep order? The hon. Minister is taking notes and he is going to respond to what is being said, but you are making noise.

Can the hon. Member  continue, please..

Mr Simuusa: Mr Chairperson, these are the issues why the Zambian people are asking whether this Government is working. Right now, the hon. Minister said they are exploring industrial minerals sites in Petauke and Nyimba and when those minerals will be discovered, I bet you, it will be foreigners that are going to mine those minerals not the Zambians. The grapevine has it that there are already some companies lined up to mine that lime.

Hon. Opposition members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simuusa: Mr Chairperson, for once, let me ask the Government to be on the side of the Zambian people so that they derive benefits from this mineral. I would like to challenge the hon. Minister to bring this legislation back to this House so that we put it back in our laws and even increase that percentage to probably 15 per cent or 20 per cent so that we start getting these benefits.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simuusa: Mr Chairperson, I am talking about legislation to support and bring wealth to the Zambian people. Recently, we passed the new Minerals Act and Clause 36 talked about the same windfall tax that this Government has said it will retain. In that clause there is a certain portion which says the revenue should be retained in that local area where the mining is being done. Since we enacted that law it has never been implemented.

Mr Chairperson, I always say I am the richest hon. Member of Parliament in this country because I house the biggest mining industry that contributes to our economy over 60 per cent, but when you come to Nchanga the roads are in a bad shape and the infrastructure is dilapidated. Chingola is like a ghost town. You cannot believe that it is a town that contributes so much to this economy. You go to any other town in the world which is like Chingola, as I already said, you would find it flashing with lights and high-rise buildings meanwhile Chingola is dilapidated. Now, there is a law that was passed that a certain amount of revenue should be retained in the town where it is being mined, for example, Chingola, but it is not operationalised. I am wondering why the Government is delaying. That is why I said let this Government be on the side of Zambians when it comes to mining so that they can benefit.

Mr Chairperson, I can assure you if this clause had something to do with Ju Chian Group of Companies or any other similar foreign company, this law would have been operationalised a long time ago, but has not because it applies to the local Zambians.That is why it is taking so long to be operationalised it. So, I would like again to tell the hon. Minister that such laws should be taken seriously. No wonder the Zambian people are saying that our Government has failed to bring benefits for us from these minerals that God has so graciously given us. The last time I debated, I even said that is the reason the MMD Government is going to lose the Solwezi seat because it will be a warning of message coming through

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simuusa: … unless things done differently, people will not support it.

Mr Chairperson, on the same issue of the foreign companies that appear to be getting more favours from the Government, there was a lot of zeal in Luanshya and I appreciate what the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development has done, to bring that mine back with a lot of effort, negotiations and diplomacy. However, we have our own mine which we own as Zambians which is Maamba Collieries, but they are not showing as much zeal to come and sort out the problems at that mine. Again, the last time I spoke I said that indeed, I declare interest that I ran Maamba Collieries for three years, from 2004 to 2007.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Simuusa: Mr Chairperson, during the time I was there that mine proved that it could tick without any input from the Government because we were producing much more than what is being produced now, even with all the US$5 million that has been put in the mine. It can tick even without that. It ticked the time I was there and the mine showed that it can tick. We even called what we used to mine as black gold. There is black gold in the Zambezi valley and there is quality coal which I said you cannot find it anywhere else in the world, may be in only in Wankie. Meanwhile we are letting the mine being run like the way it is being run, we are not serious about it. I remember even before I left that mine, I had submitted a proposal and this Government knows the solution for that mine because I was one of the people, who submitted that proposal, but three years down the line that solution has not been implemented and there have been running battles at the mine.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to challenge the Government and my colleagues in the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Development to be proactive even as we look at this set of mining. Right now, mining is the back bone of this country whether you like it or not because we have not diversified yet and that is what will take this country forward until we get to a new stage of development and the status that we want to achieve as a middle status income.

Mr Chairperson, I always liken or compare us to other similar counties that mine the same minerals we have and my colleague there referred to Chile, in fact, it is probably the Southern American countries that we can compare with. When we look at the gross domestic products we are at No. 110 out of 160 in the world and yet, those countries which mine the same minerals that we do are in the top 10 or 20. Where have we missed it?

Mr Chairperson, before I end my debate again, I will talk about the gemstone industry because in terms of benefits, I have not heard anything from the hon. Minister or seen anything in the Budget that demonstrates or shows how we are going to extract benefits from this industry. Last time I said that I was privileged to open a gemstone mine for this country under ZCCM and during that time, I leant how valuable gemstones were. I also mentioned that I was privileged to attend an auction sale one afternoon at Pamodzi Hotel where we sold US$3 million worth of emeralds, but when you go to the books you will find that for the whole year, it is declared that only US$2 million worth of gemstone had been sold. When you go out of the country where the buyers have to declare where they bought diamonds from, you would find that they bought US$350 million worth of emeralds from Zambia. Why the discrepancy? Here we declared US$2 million and there it is US$350 million. One afternoon, I witnessed US$3 million of emeralds being sold.

Mr Chairperson, that is the kind of revenue we should not be playing around with because its earnings are even more than what we get from copper. Therefore, I am waiting to see and hear what this Government is going to do regarding the gemstone industry because we are losing out a lot of revenue. That is one area which the country can turn around and I will be waiting to see that.

Mr Chairperson, I know my colleagues want to debate so I will end my debate here.

I thank you, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: Before you can debate, please, sit down. Just like Hon.  Simuusa has said there a number of you who want to contribute although we have fifteen minutes as the maximum, but you can debate in a very short time. So, let us see do so, so that a number of you can debate.

Mr Chota (Lubansenshi): Sir, I would like the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development to listen carefully because I know he is one of the best metallurgists we have. I found his name in the register of Zambian graduates or something like that. I am going to be very brief, as you have advised us.

Mr Chairperson, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning stated, in his Budget Speech, that we are going to get about K244.3 billion from mineral royal tax, which is less 2 per cent of all the income from mining operations. I want to make it clear that the break-even price of copper was US $2,811 per metric tonne, at the time the mines started closing down.  Even if we gave the mining companies the benefit of doubt and pegged the production cost at an average of US $3,000, they would still make profit. Mind you, the lowest that copper prices have ever gone to is US $2,802 per metric tonne.

Mr Chairperson, the expected production of exports will be around 673,000 metric tonnes of copper and this will be selling at US $6,000, which is the price now. If you take into account future contracts, the price will go up to as high as US $10,000. All the money from the sale of this copper is being externalised. Surely, can we not get our little contribution out of these huge profits instead of talking about K244.3 billion? Can’t the mines give us a little more?

Mr Chairperson, you may recall that in July, 2008, the price of copper was K9,000 per metric tonne and it was constant.

Mr Munaile: It was US $9,000.

Mr Chota: It was US $9,000 per metric tonne. Thank you. It was constant for nine months from July, 2008. That is on-the-spot sales. On future contracts, it was going to be nearly US $13,000 and the money from these sales was going out of this country without us getting anything. For all the nine months, from July, 2008 until the price went down to US $2,822, Zambia got nothing. Like I pointed out, even today, if the price of copper was at US $3,000, we would not earn what the hon. Minister stated. We would be earning nearly K270 billion instead of K244.3 billion. So, even at US $3,000 per metric tonne of copper, we would earn a lot.

Mr Chairperson, Zambia is the second largest producer of cobalt to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the world. I remember, very well, that some time back we formed a sort of cartel. We used to meet with the DRC to control the price of cobalt because we are the two highest producers in the world. However, the hon. Minister of Mines and Mineral Development has not said anything on cobalt. The cobalt price today is around US $19 per pound weight and going towards US $21.

I read that it is estimated that the income from cobalt in Zambia will be above US $100 million. Can we not get a share out of that? It has not been mentioned in either the Budget Speech or any other Government statement that we can get a lot of money from cobalt. The new mining investors found the mines already operational. They did not open up new mines apart from Lumwana, perhaps. From the very first day, they started making profit. After three months, Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) Plc had made over US $30 million when it was sold for US $25 million.

Mr Chairperson, minerals are depleting resources and cannot be replaced once extracted. In the extraction process, damage is done to the environment and things like pollution are created. Open pit mines end up filling with water thereby creating a hazard for people around them. We should, therefore, be careful with the way we are dealing with investors, especially the Chinese. The other day in China, thousands of people were polluted with, I think, lead poisoning. Since the Chinese are so many, they do not care if a few thousand die. They are above one billion people in population. So, to them, this is not something to worry about. In actual fact, a few millions were relocated. We do not have the capacity to do that here.

Mr Chairperson, the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and other bodies are saying that we should make the mines pay windfall tax. I am, therefore, pleading with the hon. Minister to re-introduce this tax. These are serious issues.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili (Roan): I thank you, Sir, for affording me this opportunity to debate on the mining vote. Sir, from the outset, I wish to declare that I support the mining vote and, at the same time, I am disappointed that there is a reduction from K29.8 billion to K24 billion. This ministry is very important because it contributes almost 70 per cent to Zambia’s economy. Therefore, we should have been considerate, even under difficult circumstances, to make sure that we give them more money.

Sir, I wish to state that I welcome the investors at Luanshya Copper Mines and in welcoming them, I wish to state that there is a proverb in Bemba where they say: Ukwali nsoke takwafwile bantu. This means when you are warned, you cannot get into trouble. Indeed, this has manifested in Luanshya. We spoke about the Chinese both in this House and outside; and I am glad that the Chinese investors that have come to Luanshya are abiding by our labour laws.

Sir, I am grateful, also, to state that, so far, so good, they are paying the people well and they have started calling miners back to work although in a small way, because the employment of the people seems to be politically motivated. What do I mean, Sir? We agreed with both the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development and all the stakeholders that the first people to be given priority when the mine opens should be those employees who left on the 21st January when the mine closed. However, what have we seen today? The mine is full of people from the MMD district executive who were never working for the mines. They have been called before all the other employees. Initially, we agreed with the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development that when the mine opens, they will employ …

Mr Mwale: Mention them!

Mr Kambwili: I can mention them and those are facts, hon. Minister.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! That is the problem. When somebody is speaking the hon. minister will have the opportunity to answer back if what he is saying is not according to what is on the ground. For now, give him time to debate.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Kapelwa, a sixty-five year old man who worked in the mines in the 1980s has been recalled and a Mr Siame who worked as a mine police officer at Mpelembe Drilling has been recalled. So, if you want me to give you facts …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order, Hon. Kambwili! Please, I think that to be fair to those people there, do not mention names. The point you are making should be done in another way, but do not mention names.

Mr Kambwili: Thank you for your guidance and much obliged, Sir.

Sir, I wish to appeal to the hon. minister to advise the MMD in Luanshya and those that are influencing the employing of people that were not working for the mine before to stop because that is a bad habit. There are only a few things that I am worried about with the investors. One is that they are not paying Overtime allowances. Secondly, the employees are not insured. We have had two deaths since the Chinese came and one of them was a nurse. It is traditional in the mining industry that when an employee dies, he is paid sixty months’ - five years - salary, but the Chinese are paying twenty months’ salary.

We had a mine accident where a miner died underground and they want to pay twenty months salary. Therefore, I am appealing to the hon. Minister to ensure that these miners are well paid. If you take the lowest paid employees at Luanshya Copper Mines, they get about K1.4 million and this employee who died is in this category. If you get K1.4 million and multiply it by twenty months, it will only give you about K24 million. What can a family of six, without a bread winner, do with K24 million? I am appealing to the hon. Minister to make sure that the investors conform to the laws by taking out an insurance policy for its employees. The Chinese have also removed what is known as the cash monthly supplement which was about K280,000 on the salaries for the miners.

Mr Chairperson, I also want to appeal to the Chinese to quickly resolve the issue of paying bonuses to Roan United Football Club. Before the Chinese came in, Roan United Football Club was performing very well but, since they came, they have not been paying winning bonuses and the team has moved from fourth position on the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) log to about tenth position due to the non-payment of bonuses. If these things are done in accordance with what was happening in the past, I will have no problem with the Chinese investors. In a nutshell, I welcome them to Luanshya and I hope and trust that they will continue treating the people the way they have started.

Mr Chairperson, on the issue of windfall tax, hon. Minister, no matter how you are going to explain, it is like squeezing blood out of a rock. We are not going to accept the issue of not reinstating windfall tax.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: We need to be getting benefits from the mining industry. I grew up in a mining township just as His Honour the Vice-President. In those days, we used to see better roads in mining townships. Now, the roads have deteriorated and the street lights are not there. If they do not pay enough money for us to repair those roads and street lights, where are we going to get the money to look after the mining townships? Your argument that variable tax is easy to calculate is not feasible. You need to rethink your decision, hon. Minister, and bring back windfall tax. In the 2010 Budget, you even failed to project what you are going to earn from the mining industry.

The Deputy Chairperson: Can you address the Chair!

Mr Kambwili: Sir, the hon. Minister has failed to project what he is going to get from the mining industry because it is not easy and you cannot just get two figures and come up with what you are going to get in the variable tax. However, in windfall tax, it is easy and based on the price of metal and the production estimated in that particular period. Therefore, my earnest appeal to the hon. Minister is for us to go back and reintroduce windfall tax on behalf of the people of Zambia.

Mr Chairperson, you may wish to note that there is still exploitation of workers in other Chinese-run mines. I was in Chambeshi last week …

Mr Hamududu: Hear, hear! Pamene apo!

Mr Kambwili: … and I found that there were six buses all going to Kitwe and Kalulushi. There are specific buses for the Chinese and no black person is allowed to jump on the bus for the Chinese and vice versa. Sir, are we trying to get into another South African situation where there should be segregation based on race? I hope the hon. Minister will take this matter seriously. Go and tell those Chinese to mix with Zambians. They must not jump on the buses alone as Chinese. How are they going to learn our culture and how are we going to learn about them? They are so closed up. Tell them to open up. We need to be friends with them. They do not need to be jumping on buses alone and stopping the Zambians from jumping on the same buses when, actually, they are all going to Kitwe and Kalulushi. This is a very serious matter.

At Chambishi Smelter, people are paid K660,000 and when the President went to Chambishi, one miner wanted to tell the President how they are being treated. Unfortunately, he was chased out of the hall where the meeting was. This is terrible. You should let people talk and express their views to their President. In most cases, you are given wrong information by these mining companies. They are giving you information which is not obtaining on the ground. It was a very good time for that miner to have told the President exactly what is obtaining on the ground.

Mr Chairperson, I wonder why the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry has allowed a smelter to be in the multi-facility economic zone (MFEZ)? Through you, Sir, why should we allow one smelter to have so many concessions in terms of tax and yet they are competing with other smelters which are not in a MFEZ? That smelter must be removed from the MFEZ because it is unfair. The smelters on the Copperbelt are treating metals for the other mining companies like Lumwana. It will be easy for everybody to take their metals to that Chinese smelter just because it has got concessions on taxes. Therefore, let us remove that MFEZ so that we can give the people almost the same requisites.

Mr Chairperson, as regards payment to suppliers, I am glad, hon. Minister, that after I debated the President’s Speech, Konkola Copper Mines reduced its paying time to forty-five days but, even then, this time is not enough. We need them to start paying within thirty days like Chinese Mines in Luanshya are doing. They are paying their workers on the 22nd of every month.

  Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) must not abuse the Zambians. They should pay according to what other mines are paying.

Sir, I am a very worried person. I took a research to find out how much other mining companies in the world are paying in terms of salaries. The lowest paid underground miner in England is paid ₤1,200 which is equivalent to K9.6 million per month and the Chilean mines are paying US$2,400 which is equivalent to K12 million per month, and yet the lowest paid miner in Zambia is paid US$350 when we all sell copper to the London Metal Exchange, which makes a profit. Besides the windfall tax, the only other way the Government is going to get revenue is if the miners are well paid. This is because we are going to attract more Pay as You Earn (PAYE). In any case, PAYE is contributing almost 40 per cent to the revenue of the country. Therefore, the Government should make sure that mines pay the miners what is due to them.

On the issue of paying ex-Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM) refinery employees in Ndola, I want, when the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development when he responds, to give us the Government’s position. We want to know where the problem is because the Government took all the liabilities in terms of employees from Roan Antelope Mining Company of Zambia (RAMCOZ). Today, it is twelve years since RAMCOZ was unbundled and the employees at Ndola Copper Refinery have not been paid. These are Zambians who have children that have to go to school, but they are suffering when their money is being held by the Government.

As the National Pensions Scheme Authority (NAPSA) payment for ex-RAMCOZ Employees, I have been talking about this issue since I came to this House in 2006. When the hon. Member for Chilanga was then the Minister of Finance and National Planning, Mr Magande, we were almost getting there to have these miners paid. In fact, he directed Mukuba Pensions Scheme to pay in advance while waiting for payment from the Government. How I wish the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development, today, and the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning can also instruct NAPSA to pay the poor miners while they are putting their house in order. These miners need the money they were contributing to NAPSA. If this is not done, it is tantamount to stealing from the poor people. Can we, please, for once, pay NAPSA contribution to the miners at Luanshya Mines.

Finally, I want to appeal to the hon. Minister to ask the Chinese investors who are in Luanshya to open 18 and 28 Shafts. I am on record having stated that there was a company by the name of PUKU Minerals Limited which ascertained that 18 and 28 Shafts were viable. It is only right that we ask the Chinese also to give us an independent assessment as to whether this mine is viable or not. This way, we can create more jobs in Luanshya.

With these few remarks, I thank you, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: Before I call upon the next speaker, I wish to guide the hon. Member for Roan. During his contribution, he talked about racism by the Chinese like in South Africa.  I hope that the people out there understand that to mean apartheid in South Africa. I thought that should be corrected.

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC. (Chasefu): Thank you, Mr Chairperson. My contribution will be brief because most of the points have already been ably handled by hon. Members who spoke before me.

Mr Chairperson, when God gave us this land called Zambia, He favoured us with a lot of mineral wealth in the hope that we were going to exploit it for the benefit of our people.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC.: Unfortunately, the history of mineral exploration or exploitation in this country has a very sad history. Before independence, even during the federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, figures show that the wealth from our minerals went to develop Bulawayo.

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC.: drank water.


Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC.: During the federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, most of the money from our minerals went to develop Harare and Bulawayo and figures are there to show this. When we got our independence, we thought we were going to reverse this trend but, unfortunately, the trend is continuing. What is wrong with Zambians? The University of Zambia (UNZA) has trained a lot of economists who take pleasure in theorising, but why not come up with something practical for a change to enable us make a lot of money. If you look at all our budgets, successful Ministers of Finance and National Planning are bemoaning lack of a healthy resource basket. The reason is very simple. The Government is shy to take harsh decisions.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC.: Let me advise because I want the Government to succeed. If it wants to succeed, it should not shy away from making decisions harsh as they may be as long as they benefit the people who elected the Government into office. There is no substitute to this. We cannot be wallowing in poverty when we have a lot of mineral wealth. We have qualified mine engineers and economists with doctorates in philosophy (PhDs). Why can the Government, for once, not bite the bullet? What is really wrong in reinstating the windfall tax? Hon. Ministers complain, everyday, about the lack of resources to build schools and stocking them with books and the lack of resources to build hospitals equip them medical facilities, and yet there is a solution. The solution lies in the Government taking bold decisions. It must bite the bullet and get what is reasonable from these investors. For as long as it remains shy, believe you me, this country will continue wallowing in poverty.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC.: For once, please, the Government should not take decisions to please foreigners, but Zambians.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC.: As individuals in the Governement, you may have a good income, but think of the people who put you into power. Some of them hardly see a K5,000 the whole year and so have a heart for the people for once. Zambia is ours and unless we take decisions that will benefit us, we may as well forget. God was not a fool to have given the United States of America (USA) the wealth it has and which it has exploited very well for the benefit of people. However, we cannot do this. Is it because we are Black? I thought below the colour, we are the same with the Whites.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC.: Sir, I am gratified to note that the hon. Minister is going to ensure that oil exploration will take place in the Eastern Province this year. I know that some of the areas that have to be explored are located in national parks. I also know, as a matter of fact, that some donors are now going around trying to persuade the Government not to do this in preference of protecting animals. For once, animals did not vote you into office, but the people did and so you should make decisions that will benefit the people who put you into power. Therefore, I urge the Government not to shy away from the responsibility to do the needful in the Eastern Province.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC.: If the Government was able to relocate people in Mugoto, why not relocate animals to other areas? Zambia has vast land. 
Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC.: I would advise you not to listen to some donors because they do not mean well.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC.: With these few words, I thank you Sir.

Dr Katema (Chingola): Mr Chairperson, I believe the call for the reintroduction of the Windfall Tax has been done justice by hon. Members who debated before me during the cross country debate and the Presidential Speech debate. Therefore, allow me to concentrate on the Mines and Minerals Development (Amendment) Act of 2008.

Mr Chairperson, we were told that with the enactment of this Bill, all the previous agreements would be rendered quashed. I would like the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development to shade some light on the agreements which have started cropping up, for instance, at Chambishi and Luanshya mines. I would like to know what type of agreements have been entered into once again. Is this not a reverse of what we had agreed upon in this august House?

Mr Chairperson, the Act provides for the sharing of Royalty Tax with the local people in Section 136. However, from 2008 to date, Chingola Municipal Council has not received a single dime from the proceeds of the Mineral Royalty Tax.

Mr Chairperson, if by the end of this year the people of Chingola do not receive anything from the Mineral Royalty Tax proceeds, they will engage other arms of the Government to interpret this Act. They shall go to the courts of law to have this Act interpreted on their behalf.

Mr Simuusa: Hear, hear!

Dr Katema: We are ready to go all the way to the International Court of Justice.

Mr D. Mwila: Hear, hear!

Dr Katema: We know we cannot restrain the Government from undertaking its mandate of collecting tax. However, there is one thing which we can do. We can go to court to restrain the mining company from paying tax until the Government comes up with the means of sharing the Royalty Tax. We can and are going to do that.

Given the money from the Mineral Royalty Tax, the council can repair its roads and other infrastructure. As people of Chingola, we are tired of waiting for money from the Road Development Agency (RDA), which is never forthcoming.

Mr Chairperson, there is a lot of environmental degradation during the copper mining process. Houses get cracked and people do not know where to run to. There are cracked houses in my constituency and when we run to the Government, we are told to run to Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), which also says that the Government is the one which is responsible for such issues.

Sir, I got worried when I heard from the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development that two companies would soon start to mine Uranium. If we cannot cage mining companies during their mining processes when they are causing environmental degradation, how are we going to handle Uranium mining?

Mr Chairperson, if you care to find out, Russia, which was a rich country as well as a supper power, is gobbling with the effects of the environmental degradation from the mining of Uranium in the Euro Mountains at this moment. Do we have the capacity to handle the effects of the environmental degradation which will result from the mining of Uranium with only a handful of mining inspectors who cannot even police the mining of copper at the moment? How are we going to police the mining of Uranium?

Mr Chairperson, I would also like the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development to shed light on the position of the Government with regard to the payments of the ex-ZCCM miners in Nchanga Division who were not paid or underpaid.

Mr Chairperson, I would love my colleagues to also contribute.

I thank you, Sir.

The Deputy Minster for the Copperbelt Province (Mr Mbulakulima): Mr Chairperson, I rise to support the Vote.

Mr Chairperson, let me start with what Hon. C. K. B. Banda, SC. who said that this Government should not shy away from making decisions. I reconcile that with the confession from Hon. Kambwili that the Government made the right decision in Luanshya.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 Mr Mbulakulima: I want to assure the hon. Member for Chasefu that this Government will not shy away from making decisions. We, as a Government, made a decision to go into Luanshya and that the Chinese investor was the right one. I am glad that Hon. Kambwili has openly confessed that it was the right decision, even though he rejected it at the time.

Mr Chairperson, I want this to be a reflection and a lesson to most of our hon. Members in the House. Suppose we had decided to go his route, what would have happened to the people of Luanshya? They would have been in misery.

Fellow compatriots, ours is not a shared mandate. The Zambian people have given us absolute power to rule this country …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbulakulima: … and we shall do exactly that. It is your right to advise, but please, do not stop us from making decisions. Give us room and space to make decisions. We know what we mean.

Mr Chairperson, not long ago, we made a decision to privatise the Zambia National Commercial Bank (ZANACO). A lot of people took to the streets over this decision. However, today, it is a success story. Have those people who protested our decision come back to confess?

Hon. Government Members: No!

Mr Mbulakulima: We shall move on. I agree with Hon. C. K. B. Banda, SC. that we should never shy away from making decisions. Let this be a lesson that this Government means well in its decisions because it is for the good of the people of Zambia.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Chairperson, the hon. Member for Nchanga talked about minerals and lime, in particular. Let us reflect on this. Our role, as a Government, is to provide an enabling environment. Does the current law state that Zambians should not venture into this area? Not at all.

The decisions that we make should be for the good of the Zambian people. Our idea is that when we make laws, they should be for wealth creation.

In the ten months of existence of the law you are talking about, which gives  us the right to mine lime, there was no single person, local or foreign who ventured into this business. What good is it then for the country? Is it just for the sake of having the law on paper?

Then what good is it for the country? Is it for the sake of having the law on paper? When we reversed this, we noticed that investors started coming to do business in the country. Yes, when you put the car into gear one, the idea is to go forward, but once you realise that there is danger ahead, as a wise man, you reverse. It is not a sign of weakness, but being prudent. We saw that there was something wrong with this law and we reversed it for the good of the Zambian people. It does not discriminate. It was not cancelled. It has not been removed, but it gives equal opportunities for both local and international investors.

Mr Mufali: Bulele Brother!

Mr Mbulakulima: For example, in the area of tourism, Ndola has got the best river system which flows right in town. No Zambian ever thinks of exploiting that area in terms of tourism. One day, a foreigner will come to develop that area for weekend tourism and then you will begin to say that this Government favours foreigners. Where are we? Why can we not take advantage of this opportunity?

Mr Chairperson, Nchanga is the richest area, but if you recall in 2002, when the Anglo American Corporation pulled out, there was no life in Chingola. This Government worked hard to ensure that, today, the conditions of living for the people of Chingola have improved. This is because there is production on the mine. The global economic meltdown threatened the jobs in this country and we thought that the miners at Konkola Copper Mine (KCM) would lose their jobs. However, because of the prudent manner in which this Government is doing things, today, no job is threatened at KCM.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbulakulima: Why can you not give credit where it is due?

We were almost putting Mopani Copper Mine under care and maintenance, but is that the case anymore? Not at all! It is because of the prudent management of resources by this Government.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbulakulima: In Luanshya, we realised that Baluba Mine was exhausted. Life in Luanshya relies on Mulyashi Mine and we are looking for an investor who is going to develop the green fields and this investor has agreed. This is the way a caring Government is supposed to work and …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbulakulima: … we are doing exactly that.

Mr Chairperson, the opening of the Chambeshi Copper Smelter is a success story. The multi-facility economic zone (MFEZ) in Chambeshi is a success story. This is what has made China be what it is today. The economic miracles of China that the world talks about, today, are because of the economic zones which are all over the costal areas.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbulakulima: I can assure you that five years from now, Chambeshi will be a different story.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbulakulima: The unprecedented economic developments that are taking place are going to change it into a new area. Give it five years and Chambeshi will be a different story except that people will not come and confess that they were wrong. However, I would like to state on the Floor of this House that within fives years, Chambeshi will be a different story.


Mr Mbulakulima: Sir, yes, this Government has performed well in the area of mining.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbulakulima: Today, the North-Western Province is a great province because of the mining activities taking place. We have done extremely well. Who ever thought that we could have mines in the Southern Province? Yes, there are hiccups in the process, but all in all, let us give credit where it is due.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Chairperson, I thank for giving me an opportunity to wind up debate on this Vote. In doing so, I will try to restrict myself to a few items that have been raised. As Hon. Mbulakulima has put it, I would like to say that a lot of jobs have been created in the mining industry. Even as we are talking about the 1,500 jobs, we are forgetting that even Lumwana Mine has created jobs and a number of them are still being created by exploration companies.

Sir, following the debate from a number of hon. Members, I noticed that the main issue has been the windfall tax. I would like to state an analogue. Those who saw the fall of the castle will state that some were called monks and those who were called monks, at that time, are now engineers, doctors …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr M. B. Mwale: … because they did not want instant gratification.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr M. B. Mwale: We wanted instant gratification in this country and we nationalised our mines, but what happened thereafter?


Mr B. M. Mwale: The mines had a downward trend. Production dropped from 750,000 tonnes per year to only 250,000.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr M. B. Mwale: Is that what we want to happen with the introduction of the windfall tax?

Hon. Government Members: No!

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Chairperson, for those who were called gables at schools, it is for us to go and find out, in our compounds, where they are.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr M. B. Mwale: This Government only has a long-term view for this country. We do not what to see what happened when we nationalised the mines to recur.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Hammer!

Mr M. B. Mwale: Sir, I have a letter that was written by a president of one of the big political parties.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr M. B. Mwale:  I would like to quote from it.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Just read all of it!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Belenga yonse chabe!

Mr M. B. Mwale: I am being requested by the Leader of Government Business in the House to read the whole letter.

The Deputy Chairperson: No!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr M. B. Mwale: I will lay it on the Table.


The Deputy Chairperson: That is right!

Mr M. B. Mwale: I would like to quote.

“We are not in favour of variable or windfall tax based on gross revenue. We, therefore, suggest that the two practices be abandoned”.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Sata!

Mr M. B. Mwale: That is in black and white. This letter was written to the then hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning (Hon. Magande) and I will lay it on the Table.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr M. B. Mwale: What has changed now? That letter was written by a leader of a political party …

Mr Kambwili: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr M. B. Mwale: … and we expect that some hon. Members would not be debating against their president.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr M. B. Mwale: We have seen what has been happening. There is a letter from their president to prove what I am saying.

Mr Mukanga: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr M. B. Mwale: It was even copied to you (Hon. Mukanga) although you are trying to raise a point of order.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. Government Members: Hypocrites!

Mr M. B. Mwale: Sir, as regards the issues of mineral royalty tax sharing, I would like to assure the hon. Members of this House that this Government is working out the modalities of sharing the mineral royalties. As such, a number of technocrats have undertaken some visits to other countries so that we learn how others are doing it and know how we can go about it. We should be finalising soon.

With regard to the issue of the Maamba Mine Collieries, this responsible Government has made a lot of progress.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr M. B. Mwale: Very soon, we should be taking to Cabinet an equity partner who will takeover Maamba Mine Collieries. That is the long-term solution to the problems that we have at the mine.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: The mine he destroyed, that chap!

Mr M. B. Mwale: For Mr Chota, I understand that he is nostalgic about the Metal Exporting and Marketing Corporation (MEMACO) just as I may be nostalgic about the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM) because it took care of me from the crater to the grave. However, things have changed. Let us move on!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr M. B. Mwale: Sir, profits are not just about dividends and that is where we went wrong in our country. We need to recapitalise our mines. We need to reinvest back into our mines. These are the issues that we have to understand and this is simple economics even for a layman like me.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Hear, hear, you are educated!


Mr M. B. Mwale: Today, I was very pleased to listen to Hon. Kambwili’s debate because he has realised that this Government made a very responsible decision to allow the Chinese to take over the Luanshya Copper Mines.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr M. B. Mwale: I would like to inform the hon. Member and give him some more comfort that …


Mr M. B. Mwale:  … Mulyashi Oxide Corps which has been on the drawing board for so long, will by the end of 2010, hon. Member, come on stream to produce copper.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr M. B. Mwale: That is good news for the people of Luanshya!

Mr Kambwili: Hear, hear!


Mr M. B. Mwale: On the issue of a Shafts 18 and 28, I understand that the issue can be raised by the hon. Members because he is not a mine engineer or geologist, but he has to understand is that Puku Minerals was vying to undercut Mulyashi Mine.

Mr Kambwili: Question!

Mr M. B. Mwale: Oil resources have been left over in Shafts 18 and 28. Hon. Kambwili, you can continue questioning, but I can give some maps.


Hon. Government Member: Forgive him.

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Chairperson, …

Hon. Government Member: Nikaponya.

Mr M. B. Mwale: … in conclusion, I would like to thank the hon. Members who debated and supported my ministry and I know that they will support my ministry’s budget.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

VOTE 14/01 – (Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development – Headquarters – K7,776,634,556).

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Chairperson …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Before you ask your question, I would like to advise the House to avoid what happened yesterday. Instead of asking straight forward questions, we were tempted to go back to the policy debate. I am appealing to all hon. Members to simply ask their questions.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for your guidance. 
May I have clarification on Programme 2, Activity 01 – Office Administration – K881,075,726. This allocation has been reduced from K1 billion, allocated last year to K881 million.  I would like to find out if this is a sign of reduced activities. If so, which activities have been shelved?

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Chairperson, the provision actually caters for goods and services such as fuel, motor vehicle maintenance, cleaning materials, stationery and newspapers for the operations of the departments. However, the decrease in this year’s budget is due to the reduced budget ceiling.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Chairperson, I would like some clarification on Programme 2, Activity 06 ─ Support to the Petroleum Committee –K62,347,200. We have a lot of problems in terms of the flow of fuel.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! What is your question?

Mr Kambwili: Mr Chairperson, I would like to find out why this allocation has been reduced from K162 million to K62 million.

Secondly, I would like to find out why there is no provision on Programme 6, Activity 02 ─ Water and Sanitation, K16,000,000. What has happened to this activity?

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Chairperson, regarding Programme 2, Activity 06, I would like to state that the provisions to cater for logistical support to the petroleum committee has decreased because some funds have been provided for under geological survey department in Programme 10, Activity 06 – Support to Petroleum Technical Committee K200,000,000.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!
Mr M. B. Mwale: Regarding Programme 6, Activity 02, the funds are provided for under Activity 01 of the same Programme.

I thank you, Sir.

Vote 14/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 14/02 – (Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development – Geological Survey Department – K9,136,709,601).

Mr Simuusa: Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification of Programme 8 Activity 01 – Processing and Evaluation of Minerals, Nil; Activity 02 – Chemical Analysis of Minerals, Nil; Activity 03 – Mineralogical and Petrological Analysis of Materials and Minerals, Nil; Activity 04 – Gemological Analysis, Nil; Activity 05 –Rehabilitation of laboratories and Activity 06 – Procurement of Laboratory Equipment, Nil. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister why all the figures for the geological laboratory here in Lusaka have been removed, and yet we still have all the figures under Programmes 9, 10, 11 and 12. I want to know what he is doing regarding this.

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Chairperson, the hon. Member’s observation is right. There is no provision because this activity has been moved to Programme 11 which will appear later.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 4, Activity 02 – International Union of Geological Sciences – K10,000,000, Activity 03 –Geological Society of Africa –K10,000, 000 and Activity 04 – International Seabed Authority – K10,000,000 . I would like to find out whether all the international organisations that we subscribe to have got the same contribution. Why are they all carrying a K10 – million tag?

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Chairperson, this provision is for partial servicing of annual membership subscription arrears owed to the organisations. I want to appeal to hon. Members to be mindful of the budget ceilings.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 8, Activity 01 –Geological Mapping of Luapula and Northern Provinces – K900,000,000. Will this amount cover the two provinces? What percentage of the provinces is being covered with this amount?

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Chairperson, I agree that we cannot cover both provinces entirely. However, we have to be mindful to tailor the suit according to the cloth that we have.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 8. Has this department been closed because there is no provision in any of the activities?

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Chairperson, the hon. Member should have been listening because this has already been answered.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Vote 14/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 14/03 – (Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development – Mines Safety Department – K3,215,774,606)

Mr Simuusa: Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 8, Activity 05 – Enforcement of the Environmental Protection Regulations, Nil. I want to find out from the hon. Minister why there is no allocation on the Activity. Who has he given the task to enforce environmental protection regulations?

Mr Simuusa: Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 8, Activity 05 – Enforcement of the Environmental Protection Regulations – Nil. I would like to know who the hon. Minister has given this task to?

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Chairperson, there is no provision for this activity because it has been merged with the Inspections-Environment which appears at Activity 04 just above it.

 I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 2, Activity 10 – Revolving Fund – K200,000,000. Why should we continue giving an excess of K200,000,000 every year to Revolving Fund. Last year, you provided K210,000,000 and we are proposing K200,000,000 this year. If this is a revolving fund, why should we keep putting in more money.

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Chairperson, what the hon. Member should appreciate is that the payback of these monies is very small, and hence the need to continue giving these loans to other new employees who are eligible.

 I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 2, Activity11 – Mainstreaming Disability Issues – Nil. May I find out what is happening because there is no budget provision for this year, and yet the Fifth National Development Planning says that there should be mainstreaming of disability issues in the Mines Safety Department?

Mr Nkhata: Mr Chairperson, there is provision due to budgetary constraints.

 I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Vote 14/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 14/04 – Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development – Mines Development Department – K4,355,699,108).

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 2, Activity 03 – Manpower Training and Development – Nil. Manpower Training and Development is an integral part of the human resource. May I know why there is no provision for this activity?

Secondly, may I have clarification on Programme 6, Activity 01 – Electricity – K100,000,000. The money allocated for paying electricity has jumped from K48 million to K100 million. If we were managing with the K48 million, why do they need K100 million?

 Mr Nkhata: Mr Chairperson,  there is no provision for manpower training, as all training needs will be catered for by Human Resource and Administration under Headquarters.

Sir, the provision of K100 million is meant to pay electricity bills. The 2010 provision is based on realistic figures from 2009.

 I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 6, Activity 03 Telephones – K75,000,000. May I know what method has been used to reduce this telephone expenditure?

Secondly, may I have clarification on Programme 9, Activity 02 – Large-Scale Mining Inspections and Monitoring of Operations – K449,760,000. I would like to find out how many inspections have been planned for this activity.

Mr Nkhata: Mr Chairperson, with regard to the first question, arrears were paid for that.

 I thank you, Sir.

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Chairperson, in my policy statement, I appealed to this House that there is a need to increase the monitoring of operations, hence the increase which is reflected. I, therefore, appeal for the support of the hon. Member for Kantanshi so that the department should be carrying out inspections.

 I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simuusa: Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 8, Activity 01 –Survey and Demarcation of Mining Plots – K130,000,000. I would like to find out why there has been this increase when the ministry charges for these services.

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Chairperson, It is essential that the department demarcates the mining plots as mandated.

 I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

 Mr Kambwili: Mr Chairperson, May I have clarification on Programme 10, Activity 01 – Collaboration and Networking With Local and Internal Institutions – Nil. Why has the ministry not provided any money for this activity?

 Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Chairperson, I would like to state that we had to cut the suit according to the cloth that we had, which is the budgetary provision.

 I thank you, Sir.

Vote 14/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

VOTE 44 – (Ministry of Labour and Social Security – Headquarters K18,091,129278).

The Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mr Liato): Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank you for according me this opportunity to present this policy statement in support of my ministry’s 2010 budget.

Sir, from the outset, let me outline the mandate of my ministry. My ministry scored a number of successes in 2009, among which are the following:

(i) finalisation of 2008  Labour Force Survey;

(ii) held a Tripartite Consultative Labour Council Meetings as well as Technical Committee Meetings to review the Employment Act Chapter 268 and Statutory Instrument Numbers …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Hon. Minister, your colleagues on your right are not listening. The Chair wants to listen and I am sure there are many others who want to listen too. Consult quietly.

You may continue, please.

Mr Liato:

… 56 and 57 on minimum wages and conditions of employment;

(iii) continued to hold meeting of the Employment and Labour Sector Advisory Group (EL-SAG;

(iv) in collaboration with the trade unions and the employers organisations, finalised the action plan for the Zambia Decent Work Country Programme; and

(v) effectively managed the industrial relations situation in the country.

Challenges in the Employment and Labour Sector in 2009

Mr Chairperson, during the 2009 fiscal year, the employment and labour sectors grappled with the following challenges resulting ….


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

When I said the people on my right side were not listening, I did not mean that the people on my left should be talking.


The Deputy Chairperson: Can you listen, please.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

You may continue, please.

Mr Ntundu: Long live the Chair!

Mr Liato: … from the global economic crisis:

(i) job losses, especially in the mining sector and a few in the tourism sector;

(ii) increase in cases of labour law violations; and

(iii) low labour demand in the formal sector.

Mr Chairperson, my ministry faced some difficulties in trying to respond to the problems that the crisis brought about:

(i) inadequate regulation of labour markets through timely labour and factory inspections; and

(ii) inadequate social protection system to cover workers who had lost jobs due to the crisis; and

(iii) challenges in instituting short-term measures to create effective demand for labour in the formal economy.

Sir, there a number of policy issues that my ministry wishes to focus on in the next coming year and these include the following:

(i) promotion of employment for our people;

(ii) enhance labour law enforcement and social dialogue;

(iii) elimination of child labour;

(iv) promotion of productivity; and

(v) completion of the development of labour market information systems.

Support Services and Staff Development

To support operations of departments as well as building staff capacity in my ministry, K5.7 billion has been allocated to the Human Resource and Administration Department.

Labour Administration and Labour Market Management

My ministry has allocated K3.3 billion towards labour administration and labour market management. The resources will be used to carry out decent work programmes which include; labour inspections and social dialogues, sensitisation programmes on labour laws and awareness of workers rights, child labour management; industrial labour management and labour migration management.

National Productivity Promotion

Mr Chairperson, my ministry intends to continue with the intensification of productivity promotion programmes. In doing so, K2.2 billion has been allocated to the department of National Productivity Development.

Occupational Healthy and Safety Promotions

To enable my ministry inspect pressure vessels, lifting machinery and investigate occupational diseases and accidents, K2.2 billion is allocated to the department of Occupational Safety and Health Services.

Planning and Research on Labour Matters

Mr Chairperson, K3 billion has been allocated for the purpose of carrying out decent work promotion by undertaking activities such as labour market surveys, monitoring and evaluation of ministerial programmes, employment promotion for the vulnerable, gender and employment and private sector development programmes.

Social Security Management

Sir, K1.2 billion has been allocated to carry out decent work promotion activities and the Social Security Management Department which comprises extension of social security problems …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

(Debate adjourned)




(Progress reported)


The House adjourned at 1957 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 6th November, 2009.