Debates- Wednesday, 25th February, 2009

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Wednesday, 25th February, 2009

The House met at 1430 hours







The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Dr Musokotwane): Madam Speaker, the Kwacha currency has depreciated by 17.1 per cent against the United States Dollar (US$) since the beginning of the year. Most of this depreciation has occurred over the past two weeks. This development has raised concern about the maintenance of the country’s macro-economic stability and the wider economic impact on businesses and households in Zambia. It is against this background that I wish to make this statement to Parliament this afternoon.

Madam Speaker, I wish to address these concerns by focusing on the fundamental causes of the depreciation and the Government’s response to the challenges faced. I will also outline the opportunities that are presented by these movements in the exchange rate.

Developments in the Foreign Exchange Markets

Madam Speaker, before I consider the causes of the depreciation, let me start by providing an overview of the movements in the exchange rate. Whereas the kwacha has depreciated quite rapidly since the start of this year as indicated above, the weakening of our currency against the US$ started in mid 2008 after the late President Mwanawasa got ill. At the end of June, 2008, the kwacha closed that month at K3,186.11 against the US$. By the end of October, however, after the presidential election, our currency had depreciated against the dollar to K4,646.15 or a drop in value of almost 46 per cent. By the end of the year, it had further weakened to K4,832.26 bringing the cumulative depreciation from June, 2008 to nearly 52 per cent. Today, the exchange rate is just over K5,500 to the dollar, a cumulative depreciation of almost 73 per cent from June last year.

Madam Speaker, it is necessary to be more precise when we speak about our currency depreciating. Here, I need to emphasise that the depreciation that I have referred to above is just with respect to the US$, but Zambian importers often need foreign currencies other than just the US$ for their imports. Among the important foreign currencies in this respect, are the South African rand and the pound sterling. Other currencies include the euro and the Japanese yen. The performance of the kwacha against the pound and the rand is however, quite different from that with respect to the dollar. Against the pound sterling for example, the kwacha had depreciated only by 11 per cent between June and December, 2008 as opposed to the 52 per cent depreciation I mentioned earlier against the US$.

Madam Speaker, against the South African rand, the kwacha’s depreciation was only 26 per cent. It follows that when analysing the kwacha exchange rate and its effect on the economy, we cannot just focus on measuring it against one currency, the US$ in this instance. A lot has to do with specific foreign currencies that one is dealing with. Commodity imports or exports that are invoiced in US$ like petroleum for example, may attract high amounts of kwacha equivalence but this may not be the same for the commodities that are invoiced in rands or pound sterling. In other words, if we consider the depreciation of the kwacha against the hypothetical average exchange rate that reflects all relevant issues surrounding trading currencies, the so called effective nominal exchange rate as economist like to put it, it becomes clear that the kwacha has not done to badly.

Mr Kambwili: Question!

Causes of the Depreciation in the Exchange Rate

Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, let me now turn to the causes of the depreciation of the kwacha against the US$ and other foreign currencies. A number of these factors are short term in nature while others can be attributed to fundamental changes in the economy. The short term causes include the following:

               (a)  political uncertainty;

(a) increased and bunched demand for foreign exchange rising from oil, maize and fertiliser import requirements; and

(b) some element of panic and speculation in the market linked to uncertainties about the supply of foreign exchange;

Madam Speaker, the fundamental causes include the following:

(a) a change in investor sentiments as a result of the global financial crisis;

(b) the worsening of economic fundamentals particularly growth in terms of  
                trade leading to a reduction in foreign exchange earnings;

(c) the re-emergence of  pricing of local goods and services in dollars;

(d) the global strengthen of the US$ against most major currencies as                    investors and firms returned funds to the largest economy in the world through  acquisition of US Treasury securities.

Madam Speaker, I will now elaborate on these points.

Political Uncertainty and the Exchange Rate

Madam Speaker, as in other countries, politics plays a strong impact on economic developments. This was clearly also demonstrated here in 2008 when the unprecedented events surrounding the death of our late President affected movements in the exchange rate. At the time of the President’s illness and subsequent death, the price of copper was still very high and the only explanation for the depreciation that occurred then was that some people and institutions with investments in Zambia may have felt that it was no longer safe to keep some or all their wealth in the country, especially that they did not know who the next President would be.

To our credit as a nation, and as I mentioned in my Budget Address to this august House, the exemplary manner with which we, as a family of Zambians handled these events did not impair, fundamentally, the long term confidence that investors have in Zambia. It is, therefore, important that we, the political leaders, act in a manner that continues to convey confidence in ourselves and our economy, and that we do not talk ourselves into trouble.

Increased and bunched Foreign Exchange Demand for Oil, Food and Fertiliser Imports

Madam Speaker, in 2008, the high oil, fertiliser and maize prices were a constant source of demand for foreign exchange. However, these demand pressures were dampened by increased foreign exchange receipts from the high copper prices earlier in the year and augmented by foreign exchange sales by the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) to the market, particularly during the fourth quarter of the year. Over the fourth quarter of 2008, sales towards oil imports, an indicator of demand, amounted to US$74.1 million, sales to fertiliser suppliers amounted to US$15.8 million and sales to millers, US$29.1 million. However, during this period, these demand pressures were spread throughout the quarter. They were not bunched and by and large, they occurred in moderate quantities. In other words, they were not lumpy. Nonetheless, they were still an important factor in the depreciation of the kwacha against the US dollar during the fourth quarter of 2008.

Madam Speaker, towards the end of 2008 and going into 2009, oil and fertiliser prices fell quite substantially while maize prices remained high, partly, reflecting the actions of key participants in the agricultural sector, who held on to maize stocks, restricting supply and had priced maize at import parity in dollars. Naturally, given the global and particularly, regional food deficits, these prices were high. Further, foreign exchange demand towards fertiliser and maize purchases continued to be high and this time coincided with the lumpy oil import demand. Sales towards oil import increased to US$94.5 million for that year to February 20, 2009, while sales to fertiliser suppliers and millers amounted to higher figures of US$27.4 million and US$24.3 million respectively when compared to the whole of the fourth quarter of 2008. Not surprisingly, these pressures contributed to the significant depreciation in the exchange rate that we have witnessed, particularly over the past two to three weeks.

 The Global Financial Crisis and Developments in the Exchange Rate

 Madam Speaker, the impact of the global financial and economic crisis on economies around the world has been on investment, imports and exports to individual economies. In the case of Zambia, the initial shock to the economy was felt in October 2008, when the collapse in the global stock markets led to the reversal of direction in the so-called portfolio investments from outside Zambia. By this, I am referring to the money that non-residents bring to Zambia to invest in Zambian based financial assets like Treasury bills and bonds and shares on the stock market.  In October, 2008, non-resident investors made net withdrawals of US$122 million during the month. This contributed to the 14.3 per cent depreciation in the average exchange rate against the dollar compared to the September average.

Madam Speaker, the financial crisis created a recessionary economic environment in which commodity prices, particularly, for copper deteriorated significantly. In the case of Zambia, this led to a noticeable reduction in export receipts and foreign exchange sales in the domestic market by the mining companies. Foreign exchange sales fell to an average of US$86 million per month in the fourth quarter of 2008 compared to an average of US$108 million per month between the first and third quarters of the year.

 Dollarisation and the Exchange Rate

Madam Speaker, dollarisation in quoting, invoicing and transacting for domestic transactions has also played a part in the current exchange rate pressures. While dollarisation is partly a response to uncertainty, it has the undesirable effect of inducing exchange rate instability. Typically, dollarisation weakens the achievement and maintenance of macroeconomic stability because the Central Bank has no control over the supply of the US dollars as it does with its own local currency. These dollars are produced and ultimately controlled by the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States. Dollarisation tends to have adverse effects on the exchange rate and the economy at large. This is because it tends to amplify the demand for foreign currencies like the dollar because transactions involving some domestic goods and services require foreign currencies rather than the local currency.

Madam Speaker, a good example of the adverse effects of dollarisation is the observed practice in the agricultural sector where commercial farmers and millers have been conducting transactions for locally produced maize and wheat in US dollars.

Hon. Opposition Member: Why?

Dr Musokotwane: In so doing, some millers have been acquiring foreign currency loans to purchase locally grown maize. As the exchange rate depreciated, they found themselves needing to purchase a fixed amount of foreign exchange with an increasing amount of kwacha, thus eroding the profitability of their businesses since they are not always able to pass on this higher cost to consumers. Efforts on the part of the millers to limit these losses have led to a bunching of demand for foreign exchange which has implications which I have already outlined.

The Strengthening of the US dollar against Global Currencies

Madam Speaker, it is also important to note that the kwacha is not the only currency that has depreciated against the US dollar. Most of the major global currencies as well as the regional currencies have been depreciating against the dollar as investors flee to the one market in which US dollars can be readily supplied, in the United States of America (USA). In this respect, this simply reflects that the US dollar remains the pre-eminent reserve currency reflecting the size and depth of the economy and financial markets it originates from. This is in spite of the fact that it was in the US that the global financial and economic crisis originated from. 

Madam Speaker, to illustrate the global strength of the dollar, let me provide a few examples. The pound sterling is currently 26 per cent weaker than it was years ago. Similarly, the rand is 22.5 per cent weaker. The Tanzanian shilling is 12 per cent weaker. The Ugandan shilling is 13 per cent weaker over the same period. Over the same period, the kwacha has been about 30 per cent weaker than the US dollar.

Clearly, therefore, the kwacha’s weakness is partially explained by the global strength of the dollar.

Government’s Response to the Demand and Supply Pressures on the Foreign Exchange Market.

Madam Speaker, let me begin my remarks on this by acknowledging the actions being taken at the global level by major economies to address the root causes of the global financial crisis. The fiscal stimulus measures being put in place are expected to help boost global demand and avoid a deeper global contraction of the world economy.

Madam Speaker, you will recall that it was only last week when I stated in this House that here in Zambia, key response measures to the global economic crisis are contained in the 2009 Budget.

Madam Speaker, with regard to the issues of uncertainty in the economy and the foreign exchange market that are driven by political factors or development, the approach of the Government has been to remain calm and to address the underlying causes of demand and supply pressures in a rational and consistent manner. We have been congnisant of the need to articulate in a clear and consistent voice our belief that the exchange rate must remain flexible and market determined, casting aside the simplistic view that we can solve our economic problems by imposing control measures that our experience has shown, dictate who should get what, who should eat what and who can import what. Members of this august House may remember the shortage of essential commodities we all had to endure when controls were enforced in the Kaunda era. Do we really want that again?

Conduct of Peaceful Presidential Elections

Madam Speaker, the peaceful nature of the succession of the late President was a testament to the maturity of our political system.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: Peace in any country must be understood as an important indicator of the fundamental strength of the governance process as well as the economy. It is unfortunate that we sometimes take peace that we enjoy for granted when it is in fact a privilege that others countries crave for. We should therefore, continue to resolve our political differences through the appropriate governance structures that are in our Constitution. That is what will guarantee us a sound economic base.

Increased Sales of Foreign Exchange by Bank of Zambia

Madam Speaker, with respect to the direct and indirect impact of the global financial crisis on the foreign exchange market, the Bank of Zambia has responded by significantly increasing the supply of foreign exchange to the market with the overriding aim of reducing volatility in the exchange rate and responding to an exogenous shock. During the fourth quarter of 2008, the Bank of Zambia made net market sales of US $127.5 million.

Madam Speaker, in responding to the increased demand for foreign exchange by increasing foreign exchange sales to the market, the Bank of Zambia has been mindful of the need to address the shock to the foreign exchange supplies associated with the global down turn and lower commodity prices. However, the Bank of Zambia is also mindful of the fact that the global financial and economic crisis demands that every economy adjusts to the new economic realities that the world finds itself in. As Zambia is a small open economy, a fundamental aspect of this adjustment is likely to include some depreciation in the exchange rate. In the absence of exchange controls, it is this depreciation that will re-balance the demand for foreign exchange with the supply.

Following the first post independence copper price shock in 1975, Zambia failed to respond appropriately in this manner that I have just indicated and instead, preferred to increase short-term external borrowing to maintain the existing consumption patterns. This failure contributed to the huge debt build up which was only resolved after Zambia reached the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative completion point and other debts forgiveness mechanisms. This time round, we should not fall into the same trap.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Fiscal Measures

Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, on its part, Government through the measures announced in the 2009 Budget has taken concrete steps to maintain prudent fiscal policies and continued to encourage investment in our economy that will lead to a diversified economic base and increased local value addition by the Zambian manufacturing sector.

Mr Kambwili: Question!

Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, these measures support export diversification through interventions in the agriculture, tourism and manufacturing sectors as well as in the building of physical…


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Dr Musokotwane:…and human capital through investment in infrastructure, education and health.

Madam Speaker, in some quarters, these measures have been derided as inconsequential to meeting the challenges that we face because they will provide the greatest return to the economy in the medium to long term and not necessarily in the short- term. I reject this argument completely because the best time to plan for the future is not tomorrow, but today. Indeed, a number of measures in the 2009 Budget which are aimed at cushioning key players in Zambia’s economy from the global financial crisis already took effect from midnight January 30, 2009. Further, our current economic circumstances do reflect our past endeavours and it is clear that despite the strong efforts made, much more could have been done in the past to strengthen the ability of the economy to withstand global shocks.

Smoothening Foreign Exchange Transactions

Madams Speaker, with respect to the lumpy nature and bunched timing of foreign exchange demand arising from the petroleum and maize import requirements, the Bank of Zambia is actively engaging the commercial banks and other key players in sharing information on any large foreign exchange demand pressures with a view to facilitating an orderly functioning of the foreign exchange market. In this regard, the increased foreign exchange sales to the market have taken into account some large demands for foreign exchange by market participants. The Bank of Zambia has also continued to encourage market participants to spread their foreign exchange purchases over a period of time in instances where these demands are particularly large.

Madam Speaker, on its part, Government is reviewing importation transactions in the oil sector as well as fertilizer purchases to ensure that payments are done over a period of time.

Reducing Dollarisation in the Economy

Madam Speaker, with respect to the challenge of dollarzation, it is clear this problem partly reflects the uncertainty that exists in the market with respect to recent developments regarding the exchange rate. However, it also reflects a failure of firms and households to adhere to the law that the kwacha is the legal tender of the Republic of Zambia and that all domestic transactions must be invoiced and settled in that currency. The Bank of Zambia has held consultations with key regulatory bodies on this matter and has implored all regulators to ensure that the firms under their jurisdiction follow the law of the land or face appropriate consequences.

Hon. Government Members: Drink water.

Dr Musokotwane drank some water.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: The bank of Zambia has continued to sensitise the public on the need to quote in Kwacha and settle all domestic transactions in kwacha.

It is my belief that the current regulatory framework does provide the necessary framework to ensure that the law of the land is enforced. However, I stand ready to consider measures that can strengthen existing legislation to ensure that the issue of dollarisation is addressed once and for all. I, therefore, urge all those engaging in this undesirable practice to stop.

Improving Information Flows

Madam Speaker, the Bank of Zambia (BOZ) has also initiated discussions with commercial banks on what additional information can be provided with respect to the flow of information on foreign exchange demand and supply conditions on the market. These measures include the possibility of publishing on more regular basis, the turnover of the foreign exchange market. The Bank of Zambia will continue to engage all key market participants with a view to increasing the flow of information regarding the market.

Opportunities for Zambia and the Way Forward

Madam, the current developments should not be seen as a reflection of a fundamental weakness in the Zambian economy. The Government firmly believes that the economy going forward still remains fundamentally strong. This is because the fundamental strength of any economy is derived from the investments that it makes in building its own productive and intellectual capacities. It is in this spirit that I presented the 2009 Budget to this august House.

The current efforts to stabilise the global economy that have been taken by the big players should bear fruit in the near term. Whilst financial markets in the major financial centres remain fragile, there are signs that commodity prices are stabilising.

Hon. Opposition Member: Aah!

Dr Musokotwane: After falling to below US $3,000 per metric tonne in 2008, copper prices have settled consistently above this level. The current level of copper prices is in fact much higher than the level of copper and cobalt prices when the mining sector in Zambia was privatised and was at an all time low. The mining sector in Zambia can now boast of firms that employ the latest mining technology and modern management methods and, therefore, operate at much greater levels of efficiency.

In addition to the international efforts to boost the global economy, closer to home, our cooperating partners have also made commitments to sustain and where possible augment the levels of financial support that has already been pledged, either as direct budget support or support to specific sectors or in general balance of payment support in recognition of the external sector shocks that the Zambian economy has suffered. The Government is already holding discussions with some of these partners with a view to accessing higher levels of support than what has already been given this year.

Madam Speaker, I would also like to stress that the current level of the kwacha presents a number of opportunities for our economy. Firms that receive incomes in foreign currencies and face costs in local currency stand to gain significantly from a depreciated currency. This is particularly seen in the mining and tourism sectors. Exporters also stand to gain, as their goods will now effectively cost less to buy. Local manufacturers are also urged to take advantage of this situation, as their goods will now be more competitive on local and foreign markets. It is in this light that the Government firmly believes that the fundamentals of the Zambian economy still remain strong.

In closing, Madam Speaker, the objective of Government policy with respect to the foreign exchange market continues to be to ensure that we have an exchange rate regime that is flexible and relatively stable. It is my fundamental belief that such a policy is a critical part of our efforts to develop a dynamic and vibrant economy that is able to register positive economic growth and remain positively engaged with the rest of the world.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hears!

Mr Sichilima: Quality!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the ministerial statement made by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning.

Mr Mushili (Ndola Central): Madam Speaker, is it a coincidence that when the kwacha depreciates, it takes a lot of effort and time to have the exchange rate go down while it does not take as much time for the US dollar to gain its strength, like it has of late. What measures is the central bank putting in place to correct the situation?

Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, I earlier indicated that the Bank of Zambia in the last quarter sold sum of $127 million which was pretty large by our standards, so that was intervention.

I thank you, Madam

Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): Madam Speaker, I heard the Hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning indicating that equilibrium in the foreign exchange market will be allowing the Kwacha to depreciate. However, given the fact that the Zambian economy is dependent on imported products, does he not think that allowing the Kwacha to depreciate further than the current levels is going to create a lot of inflation in this country because prices of imported goods and services will be more than the economy can contain?

Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, I think it is important to clear that no one, from the official point of view, is encouraging the exchange rate to get out of control. The desire of all of us is to have as much stability as possible in the exchange rate market.

Now, against that background, we have to realise that something has happened to the global economy. The amount of foreign currency that we are earning is less. It has reduced as indicated by the figures that I gave. What should happen?

If these were the old days, by this time the Bank of Zambia would be saying, “Look, previously, we used to give you $50,000 per month to import your spares, we are now telling you that this must come down to $20,000”. Now, we all remember the kind of difficulty that arose out of such situations.

Mr Sichilima: Fyalituletelele!

Dr Musokotwane: Therefore, against the background of less foreign currency coming into the country, there is a benefit in the depreciation of the currency. You can see that some people voluntarily change their ways of doing things without anyone dictating to them what to do. People who were buying expensive cars have now opted for cheaper ones. And so, this is the value that we see in the depreciation of the currency. Otherwise, the idea is not to let it run out of control, this is why the central bank is intervening.

With regard to exports, I would like to say that non-traditional exports have expanded from where they where about five years. Last year, we were short of reaching about $1 billion. This is money that we used to earn from copper exports alone. In the last two years, we were almost reaching $1 billion on non-traditional export which is very good. However, we are saying that results could have even been better had the currency been weaker than what it was. Therefore, this is why we are saying that now is the opportunity to make good business out of exporting things. This is the point we are making.

I thank you Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister in his speech said that one of the reasons why the exchange rates went down was due to the lack of confidence in our economy by the investors or the international community during the presidential election period. Now that the election is over and we have President Rupiah Banda in office and the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) still in power, can the hon. Minister indicate whether the confidence of the international community is still low such that the exchange rate is not improving?

Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, we need to make a distinction between what happened just after the death of the late President and what is happening now. I did mention in my statement that at the time of the death of the late President the price of copper was very high and there was a lot of money coming into the country but there was depreciation of the kwacha because most business people feared to re-invest the money they made from their transactions. Now I have talked about a number of fundamental factors that are still contributing to the depreciation. If there is any talk about reduced confidence, I do not think we can single out Zambia as the specific case because even when you read papers, investment confidence has reduced everywhere, in the UK, Japan, South Africa and any country you can mention.

Madam Speaker, our situation should not be seen to be peculiar, it is similar to what is obtaining everywhere.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa (Chifunabuli): Madam Speaker, I sympathise with the hon. Minister when he mentioned two issues that have contributed to the current problems that we are facing, one being the emergence of dollarisation and the other being the issue of purchasing items from other countries using the dollar as opposed to using, for example, the rand or the pound. Since those are real issues, surely, would the hon. Minister not concede that since we purchase fuel in dollars, the worst is yet to come and that, at least, he will stop the companies that are trying to sell their products in dollar because by law the only legal tender we have is the Zambian kwacha.

Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, dollarisation entails that if you are a farmer who has maize and you say that people must buy your maize in dollar, then the miller is also likely to do the same when selling the finished product. The effect of all this is, of course, to increase the dollar demand in the country. This is why I said that we are going to tighten the regulations so that such situations are minimised.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Magande (Chilanga): Madam Speaker, first of all I would like to thank the hon. Minister for coming up with a statement on the current state of our kwacha. My question is based on his statement and I quote “much more should have been done in the past in order to enable the economy to withstand shocks such as the current one.”

The fundamentals according to the hon. Minister are strong and alright. In the past, we managed to reduce Zambia’s debt ,…

Hon. Members: Ask your question!


Mr Magande: …in the recent past, we increased the export earnings and foreign reserves…

Hon. Opposition Member: Ask your question!


Mr Magande: In the recent past, we reduced Government deficits. My question is, what more should have been done apart from the four measures that were put in place in order to contain the shock.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Hon. Members, a lot of you qualified to be the Chair since you kept guiding the Member on the Floor. Let us wait and see the position of the Chair.

Hon. Member: Do not answer to Ubulimi bwakale!

Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, it is, indeed, true that improvements have been registered in the recent past, the economy has been growing. Around the year 2000 our export earnings were less than a billion dollars, from both traditional and none traditional exports. By last year, we were close to US$4 billion and that is a lot of improvement.

Madam Speaker, all we are saying is that in spite of this improvement, the budget of this country which is really a reflection of the taxable capacity of this economy is still less than the budget of the Harvard University. That is what I said and the reason is that the economy, in spite, of the improvement is still far too small and so the key issue is, how can we build on what has been built already to a level that will satisfy all of us so that the Government can have enough money the different constituencies. The improvements are taking place, but looking at this country, this level is still too far below the requirements of Zambia and we need to increase it.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Beene (Itezhi Tezhi): Madam Speaker, food and services have become very expensive. Is Government going to consider in their negotiations with the civil servants  the depreciation of the kwacha so that they negotiate in good faith.


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, the negotiations will, indeed, continue in good faith but, please, again remember that the budget of the country is still less than that of Harvard University and so there is a limit up to which you can share the national cake. For us to have more money to give our civil servants, we need to do much more than we have done to improve productivity, increase our gross domestic product (GDP). The resource base we have is small.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker: The House will listen to the hon. Minister, otherwise the Chair will think that we do not have enough interest in what we want to find out and so can the House pay attention to what is being said.

Mr Matongo (Pemba): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for his statement and I equally agree that the economy is small compared to that of Harvard University. The question is, who should kick-start the development of this economy for the GDP to grow.

Secondly I would like to put it to the hon. Minister that there are a lot of stranded assets on the Copperbelt Province which were imported and paid for in dollars but are not being used productively. What is it that could help to ensure these stranded assets become productive so that our copper output in terms of volume will go up which will in turn help reduce the kwacha parity against the dollar?

Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, the responsibility of growing the economy obviously lies on all of us.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: And for our part as Government, we shall continue every year to come up with proposals on specific projects that can help to grow the economy. For example, we spoke in the Budget about the need to have at least one disease free livestock area, so that we can begin to export beef like other countries. This is because the market is vast. We are currently in the process of deliberately encouraging the setting up of livestock productivity areas in different parts of the country. It is such initiatives that will assist our economy to grow. However, we need to accelerate the growth of our economy even faster than what we have done. I did not fully understand Hon. Matongo’s question about the assets on the Copperbelt Province.

I thank you, Madam Speaker


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Ms Kapata (Mandevu): Madam Speaker, I just want to find out from the hon. Minister whether there is any penalty that is charged to people who are quote the prices of their commodities in dollars, if there is, what is it?

Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, this is something that we are examining very actively with the central bank. I think very soon we should be able to make some announcements on this.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Madam Speaker, of late every newspaper I pick up has negative reports on this Government, whether it is The Post, Daily Mail or Times of Zambia. How then, can the kwacha strengthen in the light of the fact that you have decided to run your Government so transparently such that there are so many wrong things that are in the press, locally and internationally. How can the kwacha strengthen under this kind of set up?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, it is the responsibility of all of us to ensure that we talk about our country positively.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: If we do the opposite, then we are the same people who are going to suffer. So, whatever kind of problems we have, there is no point in us doing things that can derail the development of our country.

I thank you, Madam Speaker


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Listen to the hon. Minister.

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Madam Speaker, I wish to inquire about the Government’s policies in the future in relation to currency and bond speculators. These are people who come to Zambia to buy kwacha gambling that after sometime the currency is going to strengthen, thus earning them lots of interest. These people run away when the going gets tough making the market unstable. The market ends up becoming much too strong when it is strong and much too weak when it is weak. Can he assure us that his Government will discourage the issuance of high interest bills and bonds by the Bank of Zambia which encourage foreigners to come and gamble here, thus destabilising our currency.

Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, I am sure the hon. Member is aware of the fact that we cannot stop foreigners from coming to make financial investment in our economy because we live in a globalised world. We are not the only country. We actually have Zambians who go and invest in other countries with the sole aim of benefiting from currency fluctuations. So, if it is good for us to do that, why should it be bad for other people to do the same?

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi (Luena): Madam Speaker, first of all, I salute the hon. Minister for drawing our attention to the limited size of our revenue base. I hope that this House will soon come up with measures that will help our revenue base to grow.

Now, on the exchange rate, the mining companies who are the major earners of foreign exchange in this country are all in development agreements with the Government which allow them to externalise not only the dividends and profits, but the sells as well. Does the hon. Minister, therefore, agree that this arrangement contributes to the scarcity of foreign exchange and causes further depreciation of the kwacha? What is he going to do about that if he agrees with that statement?

Mr Sing’ombe: Quality.

Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, I think the point to be made is that restricting people on what kind of currency they are going to keep in their hands does not in any way guarantee abundance of foreign exchange. I think clearly that such a move is no longer sustainable. We know countries around somewhere in this region, where they have the most draconian rules about foreign currency. Do these countries have foreign currency reserves? They don not. Our own history also shows that, there was a time in this country when if you received a funeral notice requiring you to travel to Kenya or Tanzania, you had to go through a very complicated process just to get even $50 dollars. Did we have plenty of foreign exchange then? The opposite was the case. So, I do not really believe that the way forward is to create restrictions. In fact, to the contrary, when we liberalised, we saw the availability of foreign currency increasing. Okay, there is a price that goes with that, but I think everybody knows that it makes business easier for most firms. So, there is no doubt in my mind that the kind of regime that we have is better.

Now, I repeat this point. This exchange rate problem that we are facing should not be seen as a phenomenon that is affecting Zambia alone. It is a problem which is being faced by many other countries. It is part of the global economic crisis. So, please, let us understand it this way.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze): Madam Speaker, the Government itself is capable promoting dollarisation by purchasing things and contracting people in dollar within Zambia. What measures is the Government putting in place to ensure and assure Zambians that they will not be the main players in dollarisation themselves by them issuing contracts in dollars.


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, the Government will be at the forefront of ensuring that dollarisation is stopped.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Madam Speaker, Government owes retirees colossal sums of money from as far back as 3 years, when the exchange rate was better than today. Does the Government think of paying these civil servants a slight percentage more than what they owe them to cushion them from the loss incurred as a result of the devaluation of the kwacha?

Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, those obligations were incurred in kwacha and so they will be paid in kwacha.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): Madam Speaker, admittedly 73 per cent …


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Nkombo: … cumulative depreciation in a period of seven months is alarming.

  The hon. Minister in his statement said that the importation of oil and maize is part of the reason why the exchange rate between the United States dollar and the kwacha seems to be widening.

Madam, it is also true that a crisis can be manufactured. This importation of maize has been the reason why this crisis came.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Ask your question.

Mr Nkombo: Madam, I am just about to get to the question.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! I think the background information being given by the hon. Members is getting a little too long. Ask for clarification on the statement made.

Mr Nkombo: Madam, what is this Government doing in order to ensure that no more problems are manufactured in the importation of maize? As per statement by that hon. Minister (pointing at Hon. Chituwo), Hon. Chituwo, people actually have enough maize in this country not to have warranted any imports.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, I think the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives recently issued a statement indicating that the Government had acted in good faith. The Government only attempted to import maize because people in the private sector said that there was no maize when in actual fact it there was. So who was not honest?

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


_________ {mospagebreak}



153. Mr Imenda (Lukulu East) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives:

(a) how much money the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) paid to the farmers for their produce during the 2006/2007 marketing season, province by province; and

(b) how much money at (a) above was outstanding as of 31st December, 2008.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives (Mr Kalenga): Madam Speaker, for the 2006/2007 marketing season, FRA paid K305,500,080,000 for a total of 402,786 metric tonnes of farm produce bought from farmers. The breakdown by crop and province is as follows:

Crop payments to farmers (ZMK)

Province maize                 rice                       cassava                     soya beans

Central 39,341,134,000   46,600,000

Lusaka 22,929,694,000   26,920,000

North-Western 10,698,178,000 46,600,000 8,300,000

Copperbelt 18,261,774,000   28,160,000

Southern 63,903,346,000

Western 3,482,510,000 131,400,000 6,000,000

Eastern 77,923,940,000 140,000,000  632,960,000

Northern 55,079,480,000 13,520,000 108,475,000 215,680,000

Luapula 10,716,304,000 521,880,000 1,237,225,000

Sub-total 302,336,360,000 853,400,000 1,360,000,000 950,320,000

Grand total 305,500,080,000

Madam Speaker, as regards part (b) of the question, there were no known outstanding payments to farmers as at 31st December, 2008. The response has further given figures for districts. With your permission, I wish to lay the document on the Table.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kalenga laid the document on the Table.


154. Mr Imenda asked the Minister of Energy and Water Development:

(a) how much money the following strategic industries lost as a result of power outages in 2008;

(i) mining companies;
(ii) hotels;
(iii) agriculture; and
(iv) banking; and

(b) what the long-term solution to the power outage problem was.

The Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Chibombamilimo): Madam Speaker, mining companies, hotels and the agricultural and banking sectors lost an estimated total of US$ ….

Hon. Opposition Members: Why in US dollars?

Mr Chibombamilimo: …. 39,550,770 as a result of power outages from January, 2008 to-date. This figure is premised on the assumption that all these strategic sectors were operating normally and at full capacity during the reference period. This value can be broken down as follows:

Industry Estimated loss

Mining US$20,230,650

Hotels               52,260

Mr Muntanga: What?

Mr Chibombamilimo: US dollars.


Mr Chibombamilimo: Madam Speaker:

Agriculture US$19,239,720

Banking US …


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Hon. Members should listen as they are aware of the currency he is quoting in.

Mr Chibombamilimo: Banking, can you listen since you want to know.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Hon …

Mr Chibombamilimo:  I can sort you out (pointing at hon. Opposition Members).


Mr Chibombamilimo: Madam Speaker:

Banking        US$28,140

Total US$39,550,770

As regards (b), in order to ensure that the country …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! There was so much noise. I can tell the hon. Members that the Chair here did not hear what the hon. Minister said.

Hon. Opposition Members: Why?

Madam Deputy Speaker: This is because of your shouting and screaming. The Chair must be given an opportunity to listen. If you are going to raise a point of order and you are making a lot of noise, you should not expect any reasonable ruling.

The hon. Minster should not repeat what he said. If a ruling is done, you simply go on and speak.

May you continue.

Mr Chibombamilimo: … does not experience power outages in future the Government is doing the following:

(a) power rehabilitation project: This is a programme that seeks to rehabilitate and upgrade the existing power stations namely:

Description  Installed Capacity  Capacity after up-grading

Kafue Gorge  900 mega watts  990 mega watts
Kariba North Bank 600 mega watts  720 mega watts

Works at Victoria Falls Power Station were completed in 2006 and the station is now able to generate 108 mega watts. The power rehabilitation project is scheduled for completion this year.

On the development of new hydro power station, the Government is facilitating the construction of new hydro power stations in order to increase total power availability in the country. These include:

Description   Capacity                                          Estimated Cost                          Estimated year of
                                                                             US$                                           Commissioning

Itezhi Tezhi   120 mega watts                                 270 million                                 2012
Kariba North Bank  
Extension   360 mega watts                                    375 million                                  2013
Kafue George Lower…  


Mr Chibombamilimo: Madam Speaker, I will continue reading.

Kafue Gorge Lower  750 mega watts 1.5 billion  2015

Madam Speaker, nabankalifya umutima.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Can we listen to the answer?

Mr Chibombamilimo: Madam Speaker, the last table is as follows:

Description  Capacity                                Estimated Cost                        Estimated year of 
                                                                  US$                                         Commissioning

Kalungwishi  210 mega watts                  790 million                                2014
Kabompo Gorge   34 mega watts             100 million                                2013

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Imenda: Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether the affected companies were compensated for the losses arising from the outages?

The Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Konga): Madam Speaker, the Government did not compensate companies that incurred losses due to power outages during this period.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Mwenya: On a point of order, Madam!

Madam Deputy Speaker: On who?

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): Madam Speaker, from the answer given by the hon. Minister, I would like to know from him whether the assessment of …

Mr Mwenya: On a point of order, Madam!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwenya: Madam Speaker, as you are aware, I am a very humble and cool parliamentarian and I rarely rise on points of order. However, I rise on a very special point of order which hinges on the Government procedures and practices which compel this House to exercise its oversight functions over the Executive.

Madam Speaker, as the House and the nation at large, is aware the Government of the Republic of Zambia has had a lot of local and external debt over the last ten years. As at the end of 2007, Zambia’s domestic debt stood at about K8.8 billion. This debt was due to the pension fund, and suppliers of goods and services.

Madam Speaker, according to the Budget Speech presented to this House on 25th January, 2008 by the then hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, Hon. Peter Ng’andu Magande, the Government owed suppliers a total of K370 billion. During the year, 2008 more goods and services were procured by the Government on credit and as at now, the current hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning is yet to inform the House the current state of our domestic debt.

Over the years, hon. Members of this House, have been petitioned by suppliers of goods and services who have not been paid their dues as well as pensioners whose pensions have remained unpaid due to the Government’s inability to meet its local financial obligations.

Madam Speaker, the number of pensioners who have since gone to their early graves without having received their dues is sadly escalating on a daily basis. The number of businesses that have closed up due to liquidity problems caused by Government’s failure to pay their debts is also large. The number of children who have had their education terminated as a result of their parent’s businesses being forced into liquidation by the Government’s inability to pay their debts has also kept on increasing.

Madam Speaker, the numerous representations made by the hon. Members of this august House on behalf of the unpaid pensioners and suppliers have gone unanswered.

In view of the above, is the Leader of Government Business in this House, His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice in order not to have informed this House that suppliers to be paid ought to be recommended by the Deputy National Secretary of the ruling MMD , Mr Godfrey J. Kaande as was reported in the Post newspaper no. 4513 of Tuesday, 24th February, 2009 under a story headlined:

 “MMD ASKS GOVERNMENT TO PAY K1BILLION TO ITS SUPPORTERS” in which it was reported and I quote:

“The MMD has requested the Government to pay over K1 billion to food suppliers that have offered to financially support the ruling party.”

Hon. PF Member: Shame.


Mr Mwenya: Madam Speaker, on Page 4 of the same newspaper, the original correspondence between Mr Kaande and the then Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Mrs Susan Sikaneta, has been published and clearly shows the approval of the said request.

Furthermore, Madam Speaker, I make reference to the Zambia Daily Mail newspaper No. 48, Volume 13 of Wednesday, 25th February, 2009 under the headline, “Nothing wrong with paying party members, says MMD,” Mr Kaande, is reported as having justified his instructions to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs to pay certain companies because they belonged to members of the MMD.I wish to quote page 2 of the Zambia Daily Mail of Wednesday, 25th February, 2009:

“MMD Deputy National Secretary, Jeff Kaande, says there is nothing wrong with him asking Government to pay party members who are owed money for the goods and services they have supplied.Mr Kaande said it was his duty as Deputy National Secretary to ensure that his members were comfortable. I am the link between party members and Government,’ he said.”


Mr Mwenya: Madam Speaker, Government procurement and payment procedures must be in accordance with the provisions of the Public Procurement Act and the Financial Regulations Act both of which do not include political party leaders being involved in the decisions of Government officials on which supplier to buy from or indeed to pay.

As a Member of Parliament for the party that has a large number of pensioners and suppliers who have been waiting on long queues to be paid their dues by this Government, I appeal to you, Madam Speaker, to guide us on whether the Government, here represented by His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice is in order to have developed a clandestine payment procedure without bringing forth necessary amendments for consideration by this House.


Mr Mwenya: Madam Speaker, in keeping with my pledge to raise matters that affect the underprivileged in our society, I am duty bound to seek your ruling on this matter, which borders on the infringement of the rights of our citizens on the basis of political affiliation.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!
Mr Mwenya laid the papers on the Table.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! The Chair has listened to a number of things read from the newspapers which the hon. Member has since laid on the Table.

The guidance for now from the Chair is that the allegations made in those newspapers may need a little more study by the Chair if any ruling has to be made. I have not asked anybody from the Executive to say something regarding the allegations that have been raised, but a little more study by the Chair needed before a ruling can be made.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

The hon. Member for Mazabuka may continue, please.

Mr Nkombo: Thank you very much and I did not mind the point of order as a matter of fact.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Nkombo: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister indicated that works at the Kafue Gorge Lower are earmarked for completion in the year 2015. I congratulate the hon. Minister for that because Kafue Gorge Lower is the most important single solution that we have to the power problems in this country. Let me now get to my question. Has the Government found firm development partners with whom it intends to develop this power station with? If so, I would like to…

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order honourables on my left! The Chair must listen even if you do not want to listen.

Can the hon. Member for Mazabuka his question.

Mr Nkombo: Has Government found a definite development partner to develop this power generation plant with and complete all the work by 2015? If they have, I would like to find out who these partners are and when the contract was signed with them.   
Madam Speaker, in the past …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Let the Chair once again guide. When you make follow up questions, you simply ask one question. We have been allowing you to go on and on. This has made you keep adding one issue after the other. I shall only allow one question at a time, lets move on.

You may continue.

Mr Nkombo: Who are these partners that they have found? Has the Government dealt with the issue of costly reflective tariffs because that is the reason why most partners have been reluctant to invest into the power generation sector? Madam Speaker, thank you very much. That was one question.

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Mazabuka for that follow up question. The position regarding Kafue Gorge Lower for the sake of repeating myself despite the ministerial statements given to this House earlier is that Government at this stage has engaged the International Finance Co-operation (IFC) of the World Bank (WB) to be the transaction advisors on all matters relating to development of this big project. Feasibility studies have already been conducted. All the information that was generated from the feasibility studies will be made available to all potential developers who will be screened using an international tendering process. After selecting one bidder, the development of the project will begin. At this stage, there is no single developer who has been identified by Government.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Madam Speaker, whereas one may understand the quoting of the prices of constructing power stations in US dollars because they will be built by international companies, how does the hon. Minister justify answering an entire question by quoting the losses of hotels in dollars instead of the kwacha when the Government says that we should not ‘dollarise.’ This shows that the Government has a ‘dollar mentality.’

Madam Deputy Speaker: Ask your question.

Dr Machungwa: What is the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development doing about the use of dollars in his ministry when budgeting for projects?

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has given a statement indicating that to stabilise our local currency, we must quote in kwacha. However, industries such as mining do not quote in any other currency, but the US dollar. It is the international trade currency and all their losses are quoted in it. The response in question was based on that fact.

The period under review was not a single day when there was a fixed exchange rate. It is over a period of time with varying exchange rates. Therefore, it meant taking an average of the exchange rate at the time and the dollar was still the standard that was utilised.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!


155. Ms Limata (Luampa) asked the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry whether it had any plans to grant loans to women who wished to build hotels, lodges and guest houses under the Citizens Economic Empowerment Programme (CEEP).

The Deputy Minister in the Office of the Vice-President (Mr Sichilima): Madam Speaker, women in business, and not only those mentioned in lodges and guesthouses, are a key target group in the disbursement of loans under the CEEP. What is important is for the women to formulate bankable business plans that will qualify for funding. Their projects must clearly show how they shall create employment and generate sustainable income.

Madam Speaker, further, the projects would stand a very good chance of qualifying if the promoter is able to demonstrate that they are able to source at least 60 per cent of the required materials locally for the business to begin and that they are able to contribute at least 20 per cent to full cost of the project if it is above K1 billion.

The commission shall endeavor to assist targeted citizens, including women, in areas such as capacity building so they can be taught the necessary skills required to formulate bankable projects.

I thank you, Madam.

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Madam Speaker, I would like to know how many women, particularly in the rural areas, have been trained in order for them to access the Citizens Economic Empowerment Fund (CEEF).

The Minister of Defence (Mr Mpombo) (on behalf of the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Mr Mutati): Madam Speaker, the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) is active on the ground educating women on how they can access the fund.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Mpombo: I want to give some details regarding the money that has been disbursed. In the Western Province, a total of K345 million was disbursed to five beneficiaries. This is for the period covering December, 2008 to January, 2009.

Madam Speaker, we have provincial coordinators in all provincial centres, who are in touch with the local people. These coordinators also monitor the way the programme is running.

I thank you, Madam.


156. Ms Limata asked the Minister of Home Affairs when the ministry would construct a police post and residential houses in Luampa Parliamentary Constituency.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Bonshe): Madam Speaker, I wish to inform the House that all the 150 constituencies in the country are in dire need of police posts and residential houses. However, due to limited resources allocated for the construction of police infrastructure, all constituencies cannot benefit at the same time. The construction of police posts and housing units is done in phases and Luampa Constituency will benefit in the phases to come.

The House may wish to know that the construction of police posts and residential houses depends on the following factors.

 (a) availability of funds;

 (b) population of the area;

 (c) distance from the main police station; and

 (d) economic activities in the area.

Madam Speaker, during this fiscal year, the ministry will not embark on the construction of new police stations and posts, but will continue with the exercise of rehabilitating old ones. This means that we shall only rehabilitate police stations such as Westwood, Mumbwa, Kanyama and Chisamba.

However, the hon. Members may wish to know that the Ministry of Home Affairs is currently constructing 1500 residential houses for police officers. In the initial phase, 500 houses will be completed this year. The remaining 1000 houses will be constructed in the next phase.

Madam Speaker, we are encouraging communities to mobilise themselves and work with their area Members of Parliament to use the Constituency Development Funds (CDF) to build police posts in their strategic areas.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out how economic factors can be the determinant in building a police post as opposed to the crime rate.

The Minister of Home Affairs (Dr Mwansa): Madam Speaker, economic factors are just one of the considerations. The other factors have been mentioned by the hon. Deputy Minister of Home Affairs.

Where we have economic activities such as tourism, mining and farming taking place, the need for security is taken into account. However, economic factors are not the sole determinant.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Madam Speaker, experience has shown that police posts that are located far away from their residences are affected by little presence of police officers. I would like to find out whether, in their pursuit to establish police posts, they will come up with a policy which will determine the longest distance from the residence of a police officer to the post at which he works.

Dr Mwansa: Madam Speaker that is a very good observation. Police posts operations are supposed to be part of the local police activities which are locally driven by members of the public who see the need for police persons in their area. Therefore, these are very much locally based and it is very important to ensure that, as much as possible, residential accommodation is available within those areas so that the officers can be motivated to do a good job.

 I thank you, Madam.


157. Mr Katuka (Mwinilunga East) asked the Vice-President and Minister of Justice what measures the Government had taken to mitigate the effects of the electronic waste in the country.

The Deputy Minister in the Office of the Vice-President (Mr Sichilima): Madam Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the Government through the Environmental Council of the Zambia (ECZ) has participated and continues to do so in the Basal Convention programmes which includes issues to do with electronic waste. Electronic waste has been recognised by the world community as one of the key hazardous waste streams that require immediate attention.

Madam, at national level, the challenges is also big and growing by the day mainly due to the increase in the use of electronic equipment and gargets of various makes and types. To address this challenge, ECZ is this year, enacting the extended producers’ responsibility regulations that will act as a framework law on all products that have post consumer health and environmental impact. This law will aim at extending manufactures or importers financial or physical responsibility for a product to the post consumer stage of the product and this will include waste minimisation programmes and financial contributions to any fund that has been established to promote the minimisation recovery, re-use or recycling of waste. The funds will also be used for awareness programmes to inform the public of the impact of such waste.

Madam Speaker, the type of electronic waste to be targeted first will include cell phones, computers and televisions sets. These are increasingly being disposed into the environment owing to their short lifespan.

Madam Speaker, ECZ using the environmental impact assessment process has engaged with the industries to ensure that they use environmentally sound practices. The inadequacy in the current laws, however, has necessitated the development of the extended producer responsibility regulations this year.

Madam, ECZ in conjunction with other key regulatory authorities, the Communications Authority and Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) will soon constitute a technical working group at which industry will be engaged in the implementation and management of the extended producer responsibility regulations.

Madam Speaker, the Government is committed to addressing the challenge of electronic waste in the country and will work with all stakeholders. In this regard, I wish to call upon all hon. Members to be environmentally cautious as we manage electronic products so that we protect the environment from potential waste or air pollution that may result from poor management of electronic waste.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




VOTE 65 – (Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training –K120,182,978,027).
(Consideration resumed)

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hour until 1630 hours.


The Deputy Chairperson: It appears that somebody must have picked the paper I had, but all the same, when business was suspended, I was about to begin the procedures from yesterday.

When business was interrupted yesterday, Tuesday, 24th February, 2009, the Committee of Supply on the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditures for the year 1st January, 2009 to 31st December, 2009 presented to the National Assembly, in January, 2009, had completed considering head 07, Office of the Auditor-General. We now move to the policy debate of head 65, Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training.

However, before I do that, I would like to make the following statement. Hon. Members, the Committee of Supply will recall that yesterday, the Chair granted a division using his discretion on the head Total of head 07, Office of the Auditor-General.  
I wish to guide the Committee that in accordance with parliamentary procedure and practice, this is never done. The guiding procedural principle is that if the Committee has agreed on all departmental heads, the head total is not affected in any way. The Committee of Supply cannot disown what they have already agreed to. This is not procedural and should never be done. The Chair, from now on, will not use his discretion to grant a division of a similar nature.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Members, let me take this opportunity as well to guide the Committee that it is unparliamentary and disrespectful to argue with the Chair on any point of procedure and this is considered to be an affront on the dignity, decorum and authority of the House. There is a procedure for any hon. Member who wishes to challenge the decision of the Chair. This is provided for under Standing Order 61 of the National Assembly Standing Orders, 2005 Edition.

I therefore, advise the hon. Members to take this timely guidance seriously.

Thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Science, Technology and Vocational Training (Mr Daka): Mr Chairperson, I thank you most sincerely for the opportunity to present my statement on the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for my ministry.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Daka: Mr Chairperson, let me start by thanking my colleague, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning for presenting the 2009 Budget in an articulate manner. Let me also congratulate him for a solid budget, which once implemented will definitely push this country towards enhanced economic growth through competitiveness and diversification.

Mr Chairperson, as you are aware, my ministry is responsible for facilitating, coordinating and, promoting the development and application of science, technology and provision of technical education, vocational and entrepreneurship skills for sustainable national economic development. The hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning in his speech observed that Government will be in line with the Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP) and I quote,

“continue to invest in human resource development in order to enhance productivity and contribute to the attainment of a vibrant economy.”

Sir, this country cannot be competitive if the human resource to be used by investors is not available. We can invest in new infrastructure for the agricultural sector and reduce input costs but if there is no human resource, this investment is unsustainable. For instance, to strengthen agricultural extension services, there is need to build the capacity for the officers who are to provide these services. These extension officers must be trained in general agriculture which is a skill taught by institutions in my ministry.

Mr Chairperson, while opening up areas for tourism is very important in our effort to diversify our economy, the investors that will come will seek well trained and qualified workers. They will be looking for tourism operators, waiters or waitresses, cooks and other front office staff. The need for skilled human resource to back the investor confidence is critical to our development. These skills are taught in trades training institutions. The intentions of the Budget are noble and for sustainable development, we need to address the skills gap.

Sir, I am glad to point out that my ministry has positioned itself to address the development and challenges in skills provisions. With adequate resources, we know exactly how we can contribute in improving the welfare of our people through skills provisions.

Mr Chairperson, I will present my statement in two major parts. Firstly, I will look at the ministry’s Budget performance during the year ended, 2008. Secondly, I will present the key issues contained in the 2009 Budget and make my concluding remarks.

Review of 2008

Sir, I want to acknowledge that in 2008, the pool of resources we shared was very limited. In 2008, my ministry was allocated K135,901,294,811 of which 32 per cent was financed by co-operating partners. This year, the proposed allocation to my ministry is K120,182,978,027 and it is broken down as follows:

(a) Government provided K109.232 billion, representing 91 percent; and

(b) Co-operating partners provided K10.95 billion, representing 9 per cent of the Budget.

Sir, the major focus in 2008 for my ministry is to speed up the construction, rehabilitation, re-equipping of training and research institutions. We also need to build the institutional and human capacity of these training institutions so as to create a more conducive working environment. In Technical Education and Vocational Entrepreneurship Training (TEVET), the main programme was infrastructure development.

Mr Chairperson, we had to complete the rehabilitation of institutions through funding from GRZ and the TEVET Development Programme (TDP) which is a donor funded programme. The main rehabilitation works were carried out at Evelyn Hone College, Kabwe Trades Training Institute, Livingstone Institute for Business and Engineering Studies, Northern Technical College and the Lapidary and Gemstone Processing Training Centre. Over K13 billion was invested in the rehabilitation of training institutions. We continued the construction of office blocks, workshops and classroom blocks in Solwezi, Mongu, Chipata, Ukwimi and Kaoma Trades Training institutes. The focus of the construction programme has been workshops and classrooms.

Mr Chairperson, over K19 billion was spent on these construction works. Although significant progress was made in the areas of infrastructure development, the completion of works were taking longer. Another challenge has been the capacity of contractors to deliver works according to the contractual period. In some cases, they were slowing down the Government in its determination to develop the country.

Mr Chairperson, with the support of co-operating partners in 2008, the allocation to the bursary scheme group was K10 billion. This enabled the ministry to increase the number of beneficiaries of the bursary scheme to 2,800 students. Most of these students were sponsored in national priority programmes. As part of our effort to improve the quality of training, curriculum views involving relevant sectors of the industry and other stakeholders were also implemented. The result has been that over 10,000 national courses have been reviewed and updated or have reached an advanced stage in the review process.

Furthermore, the number of new national training courses that have been introduced into the TEVET system has increased from two courses in 2002 to twenty-nine by the year 2008, indicating an increase demand from various stakeholders for new courses to be introduced.

Mr Chairperson, my ministry also undertook the comprehensive review of the National TEVET Policy and it is our intention to finalise the new national policy this year. In science and technology, the major focus was the continued rehabilitation of laboratories at National Institute for Scientific Research (NISIR) in Chilanga Campus and the Kitwe Tree Improvement Centre(KTIC). By December, 2008, approximately K3 billion had been invested in various infrastructure development programmes for NISIR. The rehabilitation programme is part of our efforts to improve the working environment for our scientists and researchers.

Sir, facilitation of research in areas of important skills to the nation is part of the implementation of the strategic research fund and innovation support through the Youth Investors Fund (YIF). We are able to finance preliminary works into research on the medicinal value and side effects of crocodile fat, jatropha as a bio-diesel and other alternative energy production programmes.

Mr Chairperson, to dismantle the NISIR debt and ensure that measures are in place to avoid such institutions incurring new and unsustainable debt, K9.5 billion was paid out to retirees and other employees of the institution. This measure has significantly reduced the indebtedness of the institution to former and serving employees. We managed to pay off those workers who were owed retirement benefits for many years and cleared a significant portion of outstanding gratuities owed to serving employees.

Mr Chairperson, I would now like to address the key programmes for 2009. In Science and Technology, the capacity of institutions to fulfill their mandate will be a priority issue. The objective is to ensure that more resources are directed to the implementing agencies. We are proposing to allocate K24.7 billion as grants to science institutions aimed at strengthening their operations.

Through interventions such as the YIF and the Strategic Research Fund(SRF), the ministry intends to continue directly financing research activities. We will continue supporting the projects from 2008 so that we can see them through to their conclusion. Sir, K1.6 billion has been earmarked for these interventions. The ministry, therefore, intends to continue its debt dismantling programme and put in place measures to ensure that the increase of resources to these institutions is not fruitless. The debt currently stands at K28 billion.

Mr Chairperson, another key thrust in Science and Technology will be the revision of the National Science and Technology Policy of 1996 and commencing the implementation of critical strategies in the policy as well as putting in place a new legislative framework for the sector. The legal framework is weak and needs to be revised.

In the area of technical and regional co-operation, my ministry will ensure that bilateral and regional scientific and technological co-operation programmes are supported and monitored so that our scientists are exposed to new ideas and projects. The ministry intends to facilitate implementation of joint research projects.

Mr Chairperson, the commercialisation of technologies remains a challenge. The ministry undertook a comprehensive study to determine the feasibility of the Venture Capital Fund (VCF) which would be used to support technology-based companies utilising research outputs. The findings indicated that the most significant challenges to establishing the fund were the resources needed and the limited pool of research outputs could be supported through the fund. It is our position that the environment in the medium term is not appropriate to support a fully fledged VCF. 

We will, therefore, not implement a VCF, but instead intend to implement a business development fund which will focus on supporting technology development and its commercialisation in small and medium enterprises. The larger vision of this technology business development fund is in line with the VCF.

Mr Chairperson, in the areas of biotechnology and bio-safety, I am pleased to state that my ministry will operationalise the National Bio-safety Authority (NBA). We have made significant progress in setting up the secretariat and the authority now has a registrar.  We have also made an allocation of K400 million to the authority so that we are assured that it commences monitoring Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) products. We are now working to have the regulations processed into law. With the constant apprehension over GMO foods, this is indeed an important development.

Mr Chairperson, in TEVET, my ministry intends to implement important programmes aimed at facilitating better training delivery and improved access to skills training. A TEVET sector plan whose theme is “Increasing Access to TEVET” has been developed, which highlights in some detail the challenges of sector faces what needs to done in the next five years to improve access to skills development.

Some of the key programmes captured in this plan include Government’s plan in the putting up of a Trades Training Institute (TTI) per district programme. Under this programme, we intend to undertake preparatory work for the establishment of new trades training institutes in the Northern and Luapula Provinces where there is only one trade training institute in each province. We are also looking into introducing and developing new training delivery methodologies such as E-learning and other distance learning programmes across the sector.

Mr Chairperson, as I indicated in my ministerial statement on the MSTVT bursary scheme, my ministry will also commence the implementation of the new TEVET financing strategy. This new strategy entails making the Government the purchaser of skills training in accordance with the skills training development priorities. Like I indicated in my statement on the bursary scheme, these are skills we need for our every day life to develop our constituencies. The electricians, plumbers, metal fabricators and bricklayers are what we need for construction projects. We also need the pharmacists and radiographers in hospitals, while traffic controllers and pilots are needed in our airline industry. Mechanics, technicians and artisans are also needed to drive the wheels of our industry.  The strategy will make training institutions clearly accountable with regard to what they deliver using tax-payers’ funds. We propose to spend K11.3 billion on this programme.

Mr Chairperson, infrastructure development will also remain a key investment area. The construction of new facilities and rehabilitation of dilapidated infrastructure will continue.  We propose to spend K36.5 billion on the infrastructure programmes. Due to budgetary constraints, the focus will be on completing the works that were started in 2008.

We have further planned to begin preliminary work towards establishing an institute of technology to replace the former Zambia Institute of Technology (ZIT) in Kitwe. We propose to take advantage of the public-private partnership policy to establish this institute while ensuring stronger Government leadership in ensuring the institute is established in the shortest possible time.

Mr Chairperson, the ministry will finalise the revision of the national TEVET policy and it is further expected that the TEVET Act will be revised in order to align it to the new policy. Some of the key policy developments expected from the new policy will be measures to improve the conditions of service for lecturers and instructors.

Mr Chairperson, the conditions of service in some of our institutions are bad. While some urban based institutions are able to give acceptable salaries, the majority is failing to pay decent salaries, and as a result, staff retention is almost non-existent as these institutions had to make do with poorly qualified lecturers, which in turn, compromised the quality of training. We intend to spend K1 billion on the restructuring programme and upgrading of lecturing staff in training institutions.

Mr Chairperson, my ministry also proposes to implement the TEVET Qualification Framework (TQF), which will result into a system of regulatory standards and procedures that provide automatic linkage between different levels of training and certification with TEVET and the promotion of alternative channels of learner progression. The TQF will also allow for employers to be assured of the quality of the qualifications potential employees are present to an organization before they are given a job. It will contribute significantly to eliminating the risk of dubious local and international certification and qualification system that the Zambian publics have been exposed to. These are qualifications which employers and institutions of higher learning might not recognise.

Mr Chairperson, in conclusion, in drawing up the budget for 2009, we have taken into consideration the programmes and allocations as provided for in the Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP).  Each year, the primary and secondary school education system offloads more than 200,000 school leavers and TEVET is only able to absorb less than 10 per cent of this number. This is an imbalance between general education and tertiary education. 

We need to address this imbalance with a sense of urgency. I am confident that with the support of this House, Government will address it. We cannot eliminate the imbalance at one goal, but we are already doing it systematically.

Madam Speaker, skills training to the millions of young Zambians in the education sector will make key Government interventions more sustainable in health, tourism, agriculture, commerce and trade.

As I wind up my debate, let me assure the House that we are a serious ministry and that hon. Members can be assured that we will deliver on our commitments in 2009. I therefore, request hon. Members of this House to support my ministry’s budget.

Mr Chairman, I thank you.

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

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): Mr Chairman, I would like to thank you for giving me an opportunity to add my voice to this very important Vote. I also want to congratulate Hon. Daka because last year, there was a slight accident when his ministry’s Vote came on the Floor of the House, he was deliberately absent.


Mr Nkombo: Mr Chairperson, in supporting this Vote, I would like to make a few comments to indicate that it is true that science and technology is actually a cornerstone of every country’s development.

Mr Chairperson, in his policy statement, the hon. Minister made an indication and gave an example of extension officers as people that need to be trained in order for them to perform their duty well which is so much needed for this country to have food security.

Mr Chairperson, it is quite disheartening that a ministry that is so important like Hon. Daka’s has been given one of the least amounts in terms of funding. I say this because it is common knowledge that many pupils and students in this country have been shunning science and technology lessons not by choice. It is because Government has not provided enough space to absorb them into a working environment. I will try and demonstrate right now what is currently in this country.

Sir, the most people that are affected by job losses are those whose talents are in science and technology. In the mines, most of those people that are losing jobs are products of this very important sector of development. It is for this reason that I strongly believe that we need to support this ministry because if we give it full support, we will not be creating employment, but we will be actually be creating entrepreneurs.

Sir, the TEVET Programmes as there are designed are very good.  If you took a drive on Alick Nkata Road, you will see that we have a lot of artisans who make all sorts of things ranging from gates and metal fabricators. We also have many people who are bricklayers that are just lying around because they do not have certificates in order for them to be recognised as contributors to national development.

The hon. Minister, you need to make a deliberate plan in you ministry. The curriculum should be skilled towards making sure that you perfect the art of the developing a complete man not only in the head, but also in the limbs. Actually, you need to make sure that you open up. It is sad that by your own confession, you indicated that your ministry only absorbs about 10 per cent of those that you described as drop-outs from the normal academic school system. Unfortunately, this country does not have a deliberate plan to develop a child from a tender age that shows interest in being an artisan. The job of an artisan has always been perceived as second class and this is the reason why it is carries a lot of stigma. A plumber is a very noble professional job in the first world, but in this part of the world, it is looked upon as third class economic engagement. You need to make sure that at Grade 7, as the children are going into secondary school, they know the basic art of survival.

Mr Chairman, there is a lot that can be said about people that have invented things in this country. I have in mind at the moment and I have chatted with the hon. Minister before about one individual who I deem to be a bit unfortunate. This is a very enterprising individual, a man who answers to the name of Mumba Mubanga in Mporokoso. This man was rewarded by the late President, Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, may his soul rest peace for having developed a mineral hydro-power station on Mutotoshi River in Mporokoso. The hon. Minister is fully aware about that. Three years ago, Mumba Mubanga was given K80 million. On the day of his being awarded, he was told that the Government would be sending that money to him so that he could modernise the power station that he built using drums as pen stalks and the propeller shaft of a tractor.

Mr Chairperson, it has been two and half years, this man has not seen the money. I tried to pursue the matter with the hon. Minister, but he indicated to me that the inventors fund is not to be given to individuals, but it should be channeled an institution. Where is the encouragement for these people to be creative?

Mr Chairperson, Mr Mumba Mubanga produces 11 kilo watts of power on his farm which lies adjacent to the Mporokoso District Hospital. This man has not experienced any power blackouts as you experience in this greater City of Lusaka because of his innovativeness.

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: Probably, this Government is simply waiting for this man to die and then, they will say that we had a hero and honour him posthumously.

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: Mr Chairperson, there is need for Government to put aside deliberate funds to be used in promoting people such as Mr Mumba Mubanga. Luapula Province is endowed with a lot of water. Mr Mumba Mubanga sits on the bank of a very small Mutotoshi River, but is still doing wonders.


Mr Nkombo: Mr Chairperson, this is a very small dam where Mumba Mubanga is producing 11 KV…


   Mr Nkombo: Mr Chairperson, there is need to increase the inventor’s fund because it holds the future of this country.

For example, if you look at Rwanda, it is a country which came from a serious genocide, but is currently far ahead of us in research and development. Is this not a situation we can describe by one of the words that you do not permit to use in this House, …

The Deputy Chairperson: Do not say it.

Mr Nkombo: … which starts with the letter “s” …

The Deputy Chairperson: No! No!


Mr Nkombo: … and ends with “e”.

Mr Chairperson, this is a timely call to the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, as well as his colleague in the Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training. They should heed this call by placing more money in initiatives meant to encourage would be imparters of knowledge, to do a lot of research in science subjects so that we can rekindle the idea of putting science and technology first.

Hon. Daka and my dear friend Hon. Shakafuswa, through you, Mr Chairperson, I know that you are diligent human beings and I am sure that you have taken my comments about the dignity that the people that are innovative possess. Please, help this country. Do not take it business as usual, that the Budget is out and yet you do not produce results at the end of the year.

In the last five years hon. Minister you know you have not produced any …

The Deputy Chairperson: Address the Chair!

Mr Nkombo: … researchers and developers.

The Deputy Chairperson: Address the Chair. I do not know why you are having difficulties in addressing the Chair.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Chairperson, I am just looking at him but I am addressing you, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: No, you are not addressing me.


Mr Nkombo: Through you, Mr Chairperson, I want those two hon. Ministers to take up this matter with their colleague, that one …


Mr Nkombo: … the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning …


Mr Nkombo: … so that this year’s Budget must take into account the few comments that I have made in order to make their ministry function better, which ultimately culminates into the much desired development for this country.

With those few remarks, Mr Chairperson, I thank you very much.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabenga (Mulobezi): Mr Chairperson, thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this very important Vote.

Firstly, I wish to congratulate the Minister and his Deputy for the report that they have presented to this House. I know the hard work that these two people are putting in to run the ministry. This is why I rise to support the proposed budget for the Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training.

Sir, it is a fact that the Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training that helps to impart skills in a number of graduates that at the end of the year.The  graduates include Grades 7, 10 as well as …

Mr Hachipuka walked to his seat.

Mr Mabenga: Some hon. Members do not know when to move in the House even after being in the House for such a long time.

Mr Mbewe: Address the Chair!


Mr Mabenga: One such person is Hon. Hachipuka.

The Deputy Chairperson: No! No!


The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Mabenga, do not invite points of order.

You may continue.


Mr Mabenga: Mr Chairperson, that was on a very light note.

I was saying that we have a number of graduates totalling 200,000 at Grades 7, 9 and 12 levels. As the hon. Minister mentioned earlier, out of these graduates, only 12 per cent are taken by public institutions. However, I would like to mention that we have a number of private entrepreneurs, persons and groups of people that have teamed up to put up private institutions that are assisting the Government to ensure that the 200,000 graduates in our country are not left to roam the streets. As you can see, Zambians are actually taking part in ensuring that training skills go to the children as they graduate from different levels of educational attainment.

Mr Shakafuswa: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabenga: Sir, some of these private institutions do not have enough finances to be able to meet the challenges of modern skills training. Therefore, I would like to passionately appeal through the Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training to the Ministry of Finance and National Planning to put up some kind of funding which should be able to support private institutions.

Mr Chairperson, you may wish to know that there are 270 private institutions. This explains how much love the Zambians have for their own country. These people are willing to invest in activities that can help the country to develop.

Sir, I am very positive that the ministry would have loved to support these private institutions. However, with the imbalance between tertiary and general education as regards to funding, I can see the difficulty that the Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training has. Once again, my plea is to ask the ministry that if it will not be possible this year, let them do it in future. 
We heard from the hon. Minister that last year this ministry was allocated K135 billion. This year, it has been reduced to K120 billion. This cannot help the ministry to further its aspirations to develop tertiary education.

Mr Mwila: Uku kwine uko!

The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Mwila, why do you want to incite the Chair to take action so that you look a hero? Do not do that. I do not want to be unnecessarily hard on hon. Members but you are doing it deliberately so as to invite me to send you out, which I do not want.


The Deputy Chairperson: Can you continue.

Mr Mabenga: Thank you very much, Sir, for that guidance to the young man there, I hope he has …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Continue debating.

Mr Mabenga: Sorry, hon. Member, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: Continue debating.


Mr Mabenga: Mr Chairperson, I was emphasising the fact that it would be prudent and helpful to this country if some funds were made available, on a loan basis to assist the private institutions.

Sir, whilst we hear of strikes in Government institutions, we do not hear of strikes in private institutions. We do not hear of indiscipline in the private institutions.

Mr Mabenga: I have never heard of undisciplined students in the 270 trades training institutions. Why is it so? It is because there are stringent rules and behavioural ethics that these students follow. I do know whether it is a wish of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training to instil sanity and discipline in the public institutions as well. However, at times, it could be the type of students that cause problems in these Government institutions.

Sir, you may also wish to note that the students that graduate from private institutions are very helpful in filling in the gaps that cannot be filled by graduates from Government institutions.

I wish to name a few private institutions, in case some people do not know such institutions. Mr Chairperson, we have City College of Management and Training (CCMT), the Roads Training Institute (RTI), the Longacres Business College (LBC), Premier Institute of Accountancy …

Mr Muntanga: Declare interest!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Do not engage into discussion.

Mr Mabenga: I thank you for guiding that hon. Member there. We also have the Greenwood Institute and a number of institutions in the rural areas that are springing up. If you go to as far as Kaputa, you will get someone who has started something maybe in carpentry and this would also apply in Mwinilunga. If you go to Lukulu today, there are about two institutions there that have opened. This is what we call patriotic development which people must engage in, in a country like ours which is developing well.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to emphasise that as you can see what public institutions and the private institutions are offering are on TEVET lines which has emphasis on skills training at the expense of science and technology. Science and technology like I mentioned when I was contributing to the debate on the Motion of the 2009 Budget, is very important and I noticed that the hon. Minister was able to touch on this but it is better that we talk about it here in this House to ensure that enough funding goes to the ministry that is responsible for it.

Mr Chairperson, each year we have a workshop for young scientists in this country at provincial and national level. How far does what the children do go? Nowhere, it just ends up at University of Zambia, when we are supposed to expose these children to places beyond the borders of this country so that people can see what the Zambian young mind is able to produce in terms of science and technology. All Members of Parliament must work together to ensure that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning and the Minister of Science and Technology work together to develop this country using science and technology. We need vehicles to be manufactured in this country. We do not need to buy spare parts from outside the country to just come and assemble vehicles. Mr Chairman, ‘To manufacture’ should be the phrase to be used.

I thank you for this opportunity, Mr Chairperson.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

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

First of all I would like to congratulate the hard working hon. Minister for ably moving the motion so that we can also add to the debate.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: He is a hard worker. Mr Chairperson, science is a backbone of development and without it, there would be no sustainable development. It is important to note that when we talk about science, we talk about an institution that will be able to change the livelihood of people. If we want to see the changes in the livelihood of people, it is important that Government invests heavily in science. If there is no huge investment, we are not going to see any serious development in science.

Mr Chairperson, it is important that when we talk about science, we approach it with the seriousness it deserves. We should also realise that if we invest heavily in science at this particular time, it will cushion us from the effects of the economic recession because we shall be able to produce locally some of the goods that we currently import.

Mr Chairman, sometime back we had what we used to call import substitution. Sir, that was a deliberate policy which was adopted by the then Government so that can we could be able to use science to replace the items that we used to import. It is important even at this particular time that we use technology to ensure that we manufacture some of the items that we currently import.

Mr Chairperson, for us to do this, we need to invest heavily in research because it is at the heart of science and technology. Without investing in science and technology, it will be very difficult for us to develop fast.

Mr Chairman, how do we expect to develop if science takes the least position in terms of budget allocations? Although the hon. Minister was talking about a lot of money being put in science and technology, I am wondering what he was talking about because it is very clear that there is a reduction in the allocation from K135 billion to K120 billion.

Mr Chairperson, we should invest heavily in science and technology so that the scientists can take ownership of the current developmental problems that we are facing so that they can come up with new ideas that can improve the lives of the people. If we reduce funding to research and technology, I do not see ourselves coming out of these problems that we are in as a nation.

Mr Chairperson, we need to understand that even issues of promoting technical careers amongst female and disabled students has been disabled by the allocation in the Budget which has been reduced from K80 million last year to zero this year. How are we going to cater for that group of people?

Mr Muntanga: It is cancelled.

Mr Mukanga: Yes, in short, it is cancelled. How do you expect things to change? We talk about disabled students because they are the less privileged. Now you are trying to make sure that these people do not go anywhere by removing the money that used to help them out from the Budget. Mr Chairperson, it is important that when we are making the budget, we ensure that the under privileged are catered for adequately.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to urge Government to come up with a special bursary for people who are engaged in sciences so that when the students that benefit from it graduate, they are made to pay back the money that was used on them. It should be some kind of revolving fund. 
    Right now, the bursaries in this country do not even give us anything at the end of the day because there is no revolving fund that has been created. The Government needs to put up measures to ensure that a recovery system is created.

Mr Chairperson, other important issues that have been addressed in this budget are those that concern bio-safety. When you talk about bio-safety, you are discussing issues surrounding GMOs. Therefore, it is important that we are able to know all these things so that we will be able to stand out and be counted out there when people talk about technology. The bio-safety budget has been reduced from K869,268,000 to a mere K8,350,000. Where are we going? Just a few days ago, we where talking about GMO maize. We have a laboratory, but with K8,350,000, how can the laboratory perform? So, it is important that we put measures in place that will see us utilise science and technology in understanding bio-safety.

Mr Chairman, let me talk about the skills in this country. We have a lot of skills in Zambia. When driving along Alick Nkhata Road, one sees a lot of brick work going on, but what comes into our mind is the quality of the bricks. I think science and technology should be able to identify these people’s skill and ensure that they are empowered so that their quality improves. In Zambia the education system in science is such that people will try to work hard just to get a certificate. What we need is not only a paper. We need these skills to improve to a level whereby when they work on something, people should able to admire the quality. There is no difference between the people who make those goods in the country and those people who make the same items outside Zambia because they went to the same universities and colleges. What makes the difference is the quality. It is for this reason that I am asking the hon. Minister to ensure that a mechanism is put in place to improve the quality of the goods that are being produced in Zambia.

Mr Chairperson, if we talk about quality, we have seen a lot of real works in Zambia and the contractors are in the forefront. We have spent money where we are not supposed to spend because quality of the work done has been poor. So, I beg the hon. Minister to ensure that every time we are talking about science and technology they will take that into consideration so that we may be able to improve as a country.

Mr Chairperson, talking about the institutions and support that this Government is rendering, I would like to say that they are spending a lot of money in trying to construct TEVETA institutions across the country. We are told that in Solwezi there will be K570,000,000, but I am surprised that when we go down we will see that in Luapula and Northern provinces Government has only made a provision of K200 million, when in other places like North/Western provinces they are going to be spending K5 billion - K3 billion. Why should they spend K200 million for Luapula and Northern provinces combined? That is K100 million each. Does it show any seriousness? Is this Government serious in trying to achieve the target that they have in their minds. I do not know what they want to achieve, but I would like to state that if they want to get good results, they should be serious by ensuring that they allocate huge sums of money to development. They should not be playing double standards where in one area they give a lot of money while in the other, they just give very little money just because the people in that area did not vote for them.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Matongo (Pemba): Mr Chairman, science and technology is a very important area of investment by any Government that seeks to build a good future for its people. If you look at Japan and South Korea, after the second world war, you will see that they invested heavily in science and technology.If we want to develop, we should spend more money in science and technology because when your own people start producing goods that we have been importing from outside, we will not be suffering as much from problems related with the foreign exchange. I would like at this point to compliment the hon. Minister of Science and Technology and his team for some good work that they have done. I want to say that I happen to know Mr Himande, his Deputy Minister, I think he is a man of substance. I noticed that they now have a medical doctor as Permanent Secretary, so I do hope that he will bring in a new skill to the ministry. Please, give him time to go to the hospital so that he does not lose touch with his original skill. I am just joking about that. I am not the appointing authority.

Mr Chairperson, having stated that, I want to stay that we should not continue to provide insufficient funds to institutions that can make Zambia’s future bright.I take it that this year’s Budget was trying to be flexible whereby when more money is required there it shall be provided. I think this was made clear by the Leader of Government Business in the House. Against that background therefore, I take it that the shortfall in the current budget of this ministry of K15 trillion …

Mr Hachipuka: No billion.

Mr Matongo: … K15 billion will be part of that flexible budgeting system that in due course will come so that our children that obtain a Form V full certificate and cannot go to universities can have adequate places in colleges. I would like the Leader of Government Business in the House to ensure that this funding to tertiary education which has been cut from this ministry is brought in supplementation budget.

Secondly, I want to state this that there is no point in keeping institutions that you cannot sustain and I believe that private institutions which are now offering all sorts of training can take up the challenge of providing quality education. Despite these institutions being run by skilled people, I will insist that they are properly monitored by the Ministry of Science Technology and Vocation Training without whose supervision they can turn our children into garbage. In computer science, it is garbage in, garbage out. We want to see proper training in these private institutions.

I also wish to state that the potential boiling point in youths is when they just finish Form V. It is at that level where they either go to university or college or any other institution where they can learn a skill. This country has a severe shortage of skills.If any one of you has built a house in the last 5 years, you will agree with me that you had difficulties in getting particular skills to do the job because most of those people who had skills moved to South Africa. We need to invest in skills development so that all our buildings that we put up in this country can be completed by Zambians. I am aware of big hotels that are run by other people now, whenever they have renovations they have to bring artisans from South Africa, India and China.

I have heard people say that we cannot have foreigners pushing wheelbarrows or doing certain skilled jobs in certain buildings. However, there are certain things we lack in this country. We are too academic and desk destined that we have left some of these hands-on jobs to others.

I wish to appeal to the hon. Minister to ensure that the core business of the ministry is not diverted from. I notice in detail that most trade schools have been funded, including the Kasiya Secretarial College. The secretarial college will be upgraded to a trade school, including the part that used to be St. Peters Chapel in the past. We hope the ministry will receive this money quickly so that a trade school in Pemba is established. This will also ensure that people from the trade school help in rehabilitating roads in the area.

Mr Chairperson, one can speak volumes about science and technology but I have something else to say. This country is so dependant on hydro-power electricity, which is expensive. It is time we started looking at other means of electrifying and indeed, moving our equipment such as bio-fuels.

I, therefore, urge the hon. Minister to establish a national bio-fuels authority in consultation with his counterpart, the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development, so that we can start using bio-fuels to cut down our energy bill. We should not just complain about having a huge energy bill but do things that will help reduce it. A national bio-fuels authority would help in addressing this. I am aware that studies are at an advanced stage but I only want to encourage the Government, as the implementer of the decisions we make in this Parliament, to do the correct thing. The Government would do a very good job in cutting down hydro electric power dependency if we were to start using other forms of energy that have been discovered.

Finally, I would like the hon. Minister to know that it is no use politicking on things like science and technology. There is no need for the hon. Minister to be allowed to move away from the ministry’s original plans this year. Over the last two years, this ministry has been very consistent in doing work in this area and therefore, I would like to encourage it to be focused.

Mr Chairperson, the global credit crunch should not be an excuse to stop training children in Choma …

Mr Lubinda: And in Kabwata.

Mr Matongo: … and it does not stop the Government from doing its original and core business that does not require plastic money. All that is needed is to tax us and we will pay.

Mr Chairperson, all I am saying is that there is a total breakdown of focus in Zambia today. I even wonder whether people understand what a credit crunch is all about. A credit crunch does not affect us 100 per cent or completely. It affects us in things like petroleum and others but not on food. We can deal with this situation effectively. How can a credit crunch affect a person who does not even sleep in the Pamodzi Hotel where credit cards are used? What does it have to do with a fellow from Kasama, Mongu or indeed Lundazi?

Mr Muyanda: Or from Pemba.

Mr Matongo: It is a matter of putting priority where need be. To borrow a phrase from my old friend here (touching Mr Muyanda’s shoulder), I refuse this ‘Mickey mousing’ allover places saying …

Mr Muntanga: ‘Mickey mousing’.

Mr Matongo: …“stimulus plan”. We have a stimulus plan of growth in this country and all need is to stick to it and ensure that things that affect us are dealt with. So hon. Government Members have to stop ‘Mickey mousing’ and coming here to tell us about the credit crunch everyday.

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

Mr Matongo: They should tell us about things they can do. We know that the credit crunch affects us on petroleum but I refuse to believe that we have to import food every year.

Major Chizhyuka: ‘Mickey mousing’.

Mr Matongo: Mr Chairperson, we should be able to know the priorities for this country. Why should we have silk covered chairs in our offices when we know that we have to import the silk from Japan? Why not get local material and nicely dress our furniture? It is time we started encouraging domestic production while perhaps we continue thinking of the international market.

Mr Muntanga: And stop terrorizing.

Mr Matongo: I am not worried about that, Hon. Muntanga. We have to stop doing things that we cannot support from a science and technological point of view. I hope this message has been delivered effectively.

Mr Chairperson, with these very few words, I wholeheartedly support this Vote. I hope that the shortfall of K15 billion will be included in the Supplementary Budget.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the debate on this very important sector; science and technology. The Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training is usually not considered as a very important ministry and this is normally reflected in the allocations in the Budget and therefore, this is not the first time that this has happened. I note that this has always been the trend in the past.

However, I want to submit that this ministry is as important as the Ministry of Education, those ministries that deal with water and sanitation, tourism or agriculture, just to mention a few. In fact, this is the ministry that the Government can effectively use to reduce poverty.

Mr Chairperson, I am told that every year about 300,000 boys and girls are supposed to be enrolled in various schools and institutions in the country that are under this ministry. Unfortunately, because of low allocations, we are only able to absorb 3,000 pupils out of 300,000. This means that the rest are the ones that we see on our streets selling all sorts of merchandise, smoking cigarettes and selling and drinking alcohol in markets. 
Mr Chairperson, just think about …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Please, consult quietly.

The hon. Member may continue.

Mrs Masebo sighed.


Mrs Masebo: These men.

Mr Chairperson, if we have to reduce poverty, this is, in fact, one of the most important ministries that we should be looking at as Government. I think that we can begin to show that even just by looking at the hierarchy in Cabinet. The hon. Minister of Science, Technology, and Vocational Training should be next to the hon. Minister of Education. If we are indeed looking at reducing poverty or an area that would help the Government to really grow the economy of this country, this is the ministry that is important.

Mr Chairperson, the world today has become …


Mrs Masebo: There is too much noise here (pointing at the MMD Back Bench) and I cannot concentrate. These Lozi men here.


The Deputy Chairperson: I think the best you can do is to ignore them. Though, I understand that sometimes it is difficult to ignore somebody who is talking loudly and cannot have your ideas connected. The men there, since she has said, “these men”, why are you interfering?



The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Order! You see, I am now being asked or directed to send you out to consult. I will not do that for now but you risk facing that punishment.

You may continue

Mrs Masebo: Mr Chairman, most countries in the world today have become technical in terms of technology. You will find that that in developed or developing countries there is high use of computers unlike here at home where a computer is still a luxury which is only for those that live in Lusaka. When you go to Chongwe, you will find ten computers only, while in our church schools there are no computers, why? It is because this ministry is under funded.

Mr Chairperson, you will agree with me, for example, that if you look at an institution like Zambia Air Services Training Institute (ZASTI) in my constituency, Chongwe, it is one institution that produced the best pilots who are today running most of the effective airlines in the region and abroad. Surprisingly, when you go there now, there is no plane. There are only bicycles and a vehicle and yet it is a training institute for pilots.

Mr Chairperson, I know that last year the hon. Minister did quite a lot and I must commend the Government. This year, there is an increase in the money allocated to ZASTI, from K908 billion to K1.7 billion. However, the point is not about the allocation, it is what amounts would such a sector require? When you talk of ZASTI, you are talking about a sector that has to buy equipment like aero-planes and rehabilitate infrastructure.

Mr Chairperson, before I forget, let me also commend the hon. Minister for doing very well last year. I recall that he did quite a lot at Evelyn Hone College as well as Chipata Trades Training Institute, it is looking very beautiful. The last time I drove past there, I could tell from the smiles of the students at the institution that they are happy with the way their college is looking.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Chairperson, for this country to develop, we need to fund this ministry adequately. We are what we are most of us because of the education that we got under the UNIP Government. At that time …

Mr Lubinda: Not MMD?

Mrs Masebo: … these are facts, let us not politicise issues here. The then Government of day concentrated mainly on education. They realised that we were just coming out of colonisation and that we could only participate better in developing after acquiring the needed skills.

Mr Chairperson, the world has become very technical as I said. Therefore, there is need to invest in education which includes science and technology. It is very important that as Government, we should learn to coordinate the various ministries and then pick out which ministries as to which the most attention. You will realise that for agriculture to improve you need science and technology which is linked to quality education. As regards diseases, you will still realise that it is, again, science and technology and the Ministry of Education that can help us reduce diseases. Therefore, there is need for collective …

Hon. Opposition Members: Your rosary!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! They are saying that the rosary hitting  keeps hitting your microphone.


Mrs Masebo: … it is a special day today for us Catholics.

Mr Chairperson, it is very important that government departments or ministries coordinate. We should not be looking at the face of the hon. Minister in a particular ministry or the individuals that are in that ministry. We should be looking at science and technology in the broader spectrum and then put more emphasis on this ministry. Therefore, when it comes to allocations, we should not be saying that last year it was K900 billion but this year, we have increased it to K1.2 billion. We should be looking at the percentage of the total budget we are giving to a particular ministry. This is what was done when allocating money to the Ministry of Education. We must also be doing the same when it comes to the ministry in charge of science and technology. We need to marry the ministries of Science, Technology and Vocational Training and Education. There is no point in investing so much money in curing diseases when we can prevent the diseases and the way to prevent diseases is to ensure that we invest in the right sectors. In this regard, I urge you to consider science and technology as a very important ministry.

When you go to other countries you will discover that the government and its people are working together in the right direction. Unlike here where apart from the Government, both the people of Zambia and parliamentarians do not give certain developmental areas any serious support.

You can see that somehow, it is not just the Government that is at fault, but that hon. Members of Parliament and the people of Zambia are still far from issues of science and technology and yet it is a very important sector.


Mrs Masebo: I would like to urge the hon. Members of Parliament to speak louder about this very important sector.


Mrs Masebo: Mr Chairperson, I do not want to spend so much time talking, I just wanted to point out how important this sector is. Science and technology can help us reduce poverty.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nsanda (Chimwemwe): Mr Chairman, as I support this Vote which is a very important one to our nation, I will first enlighten the House on how important trained artisans are to the nation. I will give an example of Mr Chrysler, the owner of Chrysler Motors. This man who makes cheap cars which most parliamentarians have bought started work as a mechanic and helper to an engineer who was putting carpets on locomotives. Putting carpets in locomotives is a very serious and delicate job.

Mr Chairman, today this man is a very wealthy man and has employed highly educated people who called him a spanner boy at that time. It is in this regard that we should not treat artisans as people who belong to a trade that is inferior to other trades. This ministry led by Hon. Daka a very important ministry.

Mr Chairman, speaking for myself, I am a product of Kabwe Trades Training School(KTTS). When I was at that school, we had teachers who came from International Labour Organisation (ILO).

   The  former President, Dr Kenneth David Kaunda, who is not an engineer and who has no degree was a very intelligent because he set up training institutions. The institutions had very good lecturers.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nsanda: As a student at KTTS, I was getting paid K6 per month. This money was enough to see us through from the first to the last day of the month.

Sir, I visited the Kabwe Trades Training Institute last year and I could not believe the way I found the room where I was sleeping. It was very dirty..

Hon. UPND Member: There was linen but no beds.

Mr Nsanda: There was no linen. During my time at this institution, the Government used to provide beds and bed sheets. The President at that time, Dr Kenneth Kaunda, sent his son to learn at the same institution. If the former President sent his son to that institution, then it was good, but which Minister can send a son to that institution right now?

Hon. UPND Member: Mulongoti.

Mr Nsanda: They are scared. Last month, one of our Ministers got sick. He was sneezing. He went to South Africa for treatment.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nsanda: We need to look after these institutions. The Government must pump in a lot of money in these training institutions.

Sir, most of the lecturers that are at these institutions are a sorry sight. The lecturer, Mr J. B. Stokes, who taught me came from the United States of America. The House should know that I am a very qualified person. I learnt metallurgy.

Hon. Opposition Member: Tell them.

Mr Nsanda: I was one of the people privileged to go and study at an institution in England. I learnt how to build a Rolls-Royce engine. There are very few people who can build a Rolls-Royce engine here in Zambia. I am one of the people again who can build a Sulzer pump.

Hon. UPND Member: They do not know.

Mr Nsanda: This pump pumps 440 metres above sea level.

Sir, if you go to the Mopani Copper Mines today, you will find that a foreign plumber and mechanic get more money than a Zambian engineer. Those who are employed there are not happy with the prevailing working conditions at the mine. Why? In fact, the Government knows. I urge the Government to look into this and see to it that things are done properly. The Government should not just sit, Daka, sorry hon. Minister, Daka, you need a lot of money.


Hon. UPND Member: Which Daka now?

Mr Nsanda: It is the Minister. The Government must give the Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training a lot of money to train Zambians. The ministry has had a lot of people who have graduated from the various institutions under it.

We also have the Livingstone Trades Training Institute(LTTI). The former Vice-President…

Hon. Member: Which one?

Mr Nsanda: Dr Nevers Mumba learnt at this institution before he became the Vice-President.


Mr Nsanda: This is true. There are engineers who could not come to the Vice-President’s level. Do not underrate the people from vocational training institutions.

It is very sad to note today, Mr Chairperson, we have currently have Chinese people building an extension to our own Parliament building. Where are the Zambian engineers and technicians? What has the Government been doing…

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! No, no. I appreciate. Is there no other way you can put it rather than pointing at the Chinese?

You may continue, please.

Mr Nsanda: Sorry, Sir. We have foreigners who have come to construct a building here at Parliament. The Government has not done anything tangible in making sure that Zambians are involved in the building industry. What have they done?

Hon. Opposition Member: Nothing.

Mr Nsanda: I have a lot of respect for my dad, the former President Dr Kenneth David Kaunda, because he made me what I am today. If Dr Kenneth David Kaunda did not think of setting up institutions to train artisans, I would be on the streets today.

Mr Hamududu: As a Ngwangwazi.


Mr Nsanda: The quality of artisans graduating from training institutions is poor because the Government is not paying the lecturers well. A lot of money should be put in the training institutions. The more people we train the better for us. This country is losing a lot of money in foreign exchange paying for good that can be made by locally if we had a lot of skilled Zambians. If you had your own technicians, you were going to save a lot of money.

Sir, the Railway Systems of Zambia (RSZ), Mr Chairperson, has the highest train fares in the world. For example, you pay US$43 per tonne from Beit Bridge to Bulawayo, from Bulawayo to Victoria Falls you pay US$52.5 per tonne, Victoria Falls to Lusaka is US$96 per tonne and from Durban to Beit Bridge in South Africa its US$28.35 per tonne. People should not be ripped off like this. In fact, the Government should have just trained a lot of people to run the RSZ instead of leasing it out. You are selling institutions because there are no trained personnel to run them. If you had trained personnel, you would save a lot of money. I appeal to the Government to look after this ministry as its baby.

Hon. PF Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Nsanda: There must be direction in the development of this country

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nsanda: How can the same railway line charge lower fares in South Africa and more expensive ones in Zambia for the same distance? You signed concessions …

Mr Muntanga: You gave it away!

Mr Nsanda: You sent intelligent people to sign …

Hon. Opposition Member: Dora.

Mr Nsanda: No, Dora was not there.


Mr Nsanda: Where is the intelligence of the people who signed these agreements?


Hon. Opposition Member: Cancel it.

Hon. Opposition Members: Dora taught them.

Mr Nsanda: I urge the Government to save money for our children.

Major Chizhyuka: Hear, hear!

Mr Nsanda: Invest in their education. Investment in education is better than importing expatriates. Expatriates will go back with their expertise and your money. Die a little for your children.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nsanda: The problem with this Government is that when we ask for money for this ministry, they will vote against that like they did yesterday.


Mr Nsanda: We are just wasting our time.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nsanda: We are supporting them so that they do the right thing, but they do not want.

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

Mr Nsanda: Yesterday, they refused to increase the allocation to the Office of the Auditor-General so that the auditors can look after our money.


Mr Nsanda: Now, where are we going?

Mr Lubinda: Tell them mwana!

Major Chizhyuka: Just there.

Mr Muntanga: Just lumbani them for the next one minute.

Mr Nsanda: We must run this country with our hearts. Our seats in Parliament are not permanent and once we all retire …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nsanda: We will go back out there to dance to the same music. We will meet exactly what we are talking about out there and start crying. We have started crying while we are still here. How about after three years when we leave?

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Daka: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for this opportunity to wind up debate on the Vote for my ministry.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to congratulate Hon. Garry Nkombo although he was a little bit cynical by saying that I deliberately missed from the House the last time sceience and technology issues were being discussed.Anyway I have been advised not to defend myself.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Hon. Minister, do not continue to refer to that one as it was ruled out of order. You may continue.


Mr Daka: Thank you, Mr Chairperson, for your guidance. I would like to comment on his point about Mr Mubanga. He is working with the National Business Technological Council (NBTC) on his project.

As matter of the Government policy, we do not give hard cash to people who come up with inventions. Mr Mubanga is working hand in hand with the Technical Development Pragramme (TDU) and the NBTC. His advice is well taken and appreciated.

I would also like to thank Hon. Matongo for his good debate. We will ensure that Kasiya College improves.

Mr Chairperson, with regard to the private sector, we have funded a project worth US$71,000 in Monze.

Mr Kambwili: Only?

Mr Daka: In Kanyama, we have funded another project worth US$250,000 …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Opposition Members: Dollars?

Mr Daka: Yes, dollars because all the projects are under the TDP. That is not “dollarisation”. we are talking of TDP which is a project funded by donors.

The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Minister, address the chair and forget about the others who are merely delaying you.

Mr Daka: Thank you Mr Chairperson, for your guidance.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Give him time to debate

Mr Daka: We have handed another project in Ditandizeni which is in Mandevu Constituency. In Hon. Nsanda’s Constituency, we are happy to report that the former United Bus Company of Zambia (UBZ) workshop is a college which produces chairs for
the Ministry of Education.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Daka: I was perplexed by hon. Mushili who does not want a lapidary in Ndola considering that his constituency hosts Northern Technical College (NORTEC), a good college which has produced most of the graduates that work on the mines today.

I appreciate Hon. Nsanda’s and Hon. Mukanga’s comments. I thank you for your good debate.

Hon. Masebo stated that there are no aero-planes at ZASTI.However, we have seven aero-planes at the ZASTI which are in working condition. I appreciate your concern and your support. With these few words, I do not want …

Mr Kambwili: You want more money, we will give you.

Mr Daka: … to spoil the support the ministry has received.

I thank you, Sir.

VOTE 65/01 – (Ministry of Science Technology and Vocational Training – Headquarters – K39, 863,192,172)

The Deputy Chairperson: I thought there was an amendment by the Hon. Minister of Science Technology and Vocational Training. Have you withdrawn the amendment?

Mr Daka: We transfer K480 million from the another programme to Mongu Trades Training Institute.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! The amendment was circulated and, therefore, all you do is to propose the amendment.

Mr Daka: Mr Chairman, I beg to move the following amendment:

“Under 2 TEVET Sub Sector Unit, Programme: 3 Support to Institutions – (PRP), Activity 15 Mongu Trades Training Institute, by the insertion of K480,000,000.

Amendment agreed to. Vote amended accordingly.

Vote 65/01, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 65/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 65/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 65/06 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Mr Milupi stood up.

The Deputy Chairperson: Sorry, I did not see you, but I cannot go back.

VOTE 65/10 – (Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training – Department of Planning and Development – K48,314,038,363)

Mr Daka: Mr Chairperson, I beg to move the following amendment:

“Under 6 Project Unit, Programme: 10 Procurement of Equipment for Training Institutions – (PRP), Activity 02 Purchase of Equipment for MSTVT and Institutions, by the deletion of K1,500,000,000 and substitution therefore of K1,020,000,000.

Mr Chota (Lubansenshi): Mr Chairman, I seek clarification on Programme 3, Support to institutions, Activity 27 …

The Deputy Chairperson: Are you addressing the amendment?

Mr Chota: No, Mr Chairperson.

The Deputy Chairperson: Let us finish with the amendment.

Mr Lubinda: Sir, can the hon. Minister explain …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Chairperson, before the break, I was just about to ask the wisdom in reducing the allocation on capital expenditure namely: the purchase of equipment for institutions under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training when it is also recognised and agreed by the hon. Minister that one of the major challenges that most institutions are facing is lack of equipment. I am aware of the fact that the K480 million is being moved from this Vote to Mongu Trades Training Institute (MTTS) because there was an error of omission either by the ministry or Ministry of Finance and National Planning who might have just deleted the figure, K480 million, which was meant for the institute.

Sir, my question is, given the fact that equipment is so vital for the provision of training in science and technology, would the ministry not find wisdom in asking the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to mobilise these required resources from another operational expenditure rather than getting money meant for purchasing equipment.

Hon. PF Member: From NCC.

Mr Lubinda: There are many other Votes that we can talk about which would provide money to MTTI rather than denying our children the much needed equipment.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Chairperson, the proposal to move the funds to MTTI is meant to ensure that there is sufficient money for that institute to operate. In the absence of that, the institute will not be able to function properly.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: Sir, it was after examining all the possible budget lines that we concluded that the line that is being proposed for amendment is the most appropriate because even after this movement, there will still be money remaining for the equipment that Hon. Lubinda is talking about.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: Mr Chairperson, I thank you and I am delighted that people are starting to learn that this is not question time. It is debate time.

The Deputy Chairperson: No. This is not …

Mr Lubinda: Sir, the point I am making …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

This is not debate time. No! You are asking …


The Deputy Chairperson: It is also not amendment time.My understanding was that you were going to seek a clarification in relation to other things because the two amendments were passed.


The Deputy Chairperson: The correction is that we passed the amendment proposed on Head 65/01. Now, you are addressing yourself to the amendment on Head 65/10. You can continue, but ask your point of clarification. Do not debate. It is an amendment and you are addressing yourself to the amendment.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Chairperson, I am opposing the amendment.

The Deputy Chairperson: That is right.

Mr Lubinda: I am not asking a question, but opposing the amendment. That is why I am saying there is no wisdom, as far as I am concerned, in getting money for important operations as a way of correcting an error of omission committed by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training or the Ministry of Finance and National Planning. There are other Votes that can be affected so that MTTI is given the K480 million that is required to run the institution. The K1.5 billion that the ministry applied for the purchase of equipment should also be allocated and provided for. There is no reason to limit the allocation to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training within the budget of the ministry when there are other heads that can safely survive if they gave away K480 million to this very important Vote. All the hon. Members who stood to debate this Vote emphasised the importance of science and technology in Zambia. It is, therefore, folly of us, in this House, to just mix and mix figures without …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Lubinda: … knowing exactly what …

The Deputy Chairperson: You have made your point.

Mr Lubinda: Sir, I would like to appeal to the hon. Minister that it is not a question of the arrogance of the numbers, please. It is the question of logic. I want to appeal to the hon. Minister to consider getting the K480 million from another Vote and not from the Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! What about that appeal, hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning?

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Chairperson, indeed, it is not an issue connected to the arrogance of numbers. It should also not just be about how passionate we speak.

Mr Kambwili: Question!


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Give chance to the hon. Minister to respond, but you are interjecting, let him answer your questions.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for the protection. I indicated that after examining all the budget lines, this was the most appropriate because even after this change, there is still K1 billion remaining for the equipment that is being spoken about to be procured.

Mr Kambwili: Get from NCC!

Dr Musokotwane: Sir, we have to recognise that most of these budget lines under the ministries were extremely lean and this is why we have felt that this is the most appropriate line.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Matongo (Pemba): Mr Chairperson, frankly, I felt that this is not a matter where we should contend and debate. It is a matter where the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning can see logic. This ministry is already under funded by K15 billion. Now, should we split hairs when we can easily get the K480 million from the contingency funds so that we move on. It is not a question of challenging each other. It is a question of being positive by moving this money from a contingency Vote.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Chairperson, I just want to clarify the issue of saying this ministry is under funded. Please, as I said yesterday, look at the history of the funding in the previous years. Do you understand why, last year, the funding level was where it was?

 Do you not realise that the funding levels come down because in many of these cases, there was the construction of infrastructure that has ended? He cannot insist that because there was infrastructure construction support last year, then it should be their every year.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: This matter is straight forward. Therefore, let us conclude it and move forward.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Ms Imbwae (Lukulu West): Mr Chairperson, from the two reasons that have been given by the hon. Minister, which one should we believe? Is it that the budgeting was wrong, therefore, it did not matter whether MTTI was omitted? If that was not the case and there was really a need to have equipment in our Budget, why is it then that we are able to sacrifice equipment for a budget line that already should have been provided for?


Dr Musokotwane: Mr Chairperson, really, I do not have anything more to add on what I have already said.

I thank you, Sir.


Amendment agreed to. Vote amended accordingly.

Vote 65/01, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

VOTE 11 – (Zambia Police – Ministry of Home Affairs – K446,341,234,366 and VOTE 15 – Ministry of Home Affairs – K188,473,886,609).

The Minister of Home Affairs (Dr Mwansa): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for availing me this opportunity to speak to this august House on the policy statement for the Ministry of Home Affairs on the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the year 2009.

Mr Chairperson, internal security is a pre-requisite for a stable country in which local and foreign investments can help to grow the economy. Further more, it is a peaceful country in which the enjoyment of human rights is guaranteed to the fullest. As Zambians, we have chosen to uphold our resolve of having a peaceful country through the effective maintenance of internal security. This is the mandate of my ministry.

Mr Chairperson, my ministry’s operations are carried out by the following specialised agencies:

(a) Zambia Police Force;

(b) Drug Enforcement Commission;

(c) Zambia Prisons Service;

(d) Department of Immigration;

(e) Department of National Registration Passport and Citizenship;

(f) National Archives of Zambia;

(g) Commissioner for Refuges;

(h) Home Affairs Research Planning and Information Department;

(i) Office of the Registrar of Societies; and

(j) Police Public Complaints Authority.

Zambia Police Force

Mr Chairperson, this department is charged with the enormous responsibility of maintaining law and order within the confines of our borders. Over the past few years, the Zambia Police Force has scaled-up its operations in fighting crime on our streets so as to improve the quality of life for the people it has sworn to protect. I am glad to inform this august House that crime has been brought down to manageable levels in the past few years due to increased patrols and commitment to duty by the police.

 Defence and Security

Mr Chairperson, on defence and security, my ministry will remain committed to peace- building with our neighbours through various vehicles established for this purpose. To this effect, we will strive to strengthen our existing bilateral joint-permanent commissions, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Committee of Ministers on Defence and Security, and the Southern Africa Region Police Chief’s Co-operation Organisation (SARPCO).

These mechanisms have stood the test of time and have ensured that we remain at peace internally and externally. My ministry will continue to send police and prison officers to peace-keeping missions in an effort to contribute towards peace-making processes in war torn countries. This is how our internal stability and peace will continue.

 Human Rights

Mr Chairperson, my ministry is committed to upholding human rights and has put in place a two prolonged approach to address the issue. The programme involves equipping police and other security wings with the basic knowledge of upholding human rights in the course of discharging their functions on one hand and addressing concerns of human rights abuses on the other. In order to achieve this, the Zambia Police training schools have incorporated elements of human rights in their curriculum. This applies to other security wings in my ministry namely, …

Major Chizhyuka: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Major Chizhyuka: Mr Chairperson, it is not my intention, as you know, to stop the hon. Minister of Home Affairs, …

Mr Muntanga: Who is your mulamu.

Major Chizhyuka: …who is also my brother-in-law. I have no wish to disturb him. I make this point of order as a humble man. As you may know, I am the most humble …


Major Chizhyuka: …hon. Member of Parliament.

Mr Chairperson, in that humble capacity of mine …

Mr Kambwili: Question!


Major Chizhyuka: Mr Chairperson, the Ministry of Home Affairs must have the trust and confidence of people of the Republic of Zambia. It is the Ministry of Home Affairs that is the implementing organ of the laws that this House legislates. Given that we have abetted a decision on which it is quite clear that the Ministry of Home Affairs is being used as a conduit to siphon public funds …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!  

Hon. MMD Member: How?

Major Chizhyuka: …on the basis of the point of order by the hon. Member for Nkana, which is awaiting a ruling by the Hon. Mr Speaker. Is it, therefore, prudent that this House proceeds to deliberate and approve very important national funds before we know the ruling regarding the conduit?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! 

Major Chizhyuka: Mr Chairperson, I am specifically looking at the further deliberations on page 146 with regards to the prisons on prison welfare. I would like you to advise given the collective wisdom of this House. I seek you serious ruling.

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

The Deputy Chairperson:  The point of order raised by Hon. Major Chizhyuka is requesting the Chair to give advice. The point of order raised earlier on matter which the hon. Madam Speaker she needed more time to study was in relation to an issue that took place last year. Therefore, there is not immediate connection between that point of order and the issue we are dealing on at present. Therefore, we will continue considering the budget. Really, that point of order is disregarded. That is the guidance.

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

The Deputy Chairperson: May the hon. Minister for Home Affairs continue.

Dr Mwansa: Mr Chairperson, my ministry is committed to upholding human rights and has put in place a two pronged approach.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Dr Mwansa: The programmes involves equipping police and other security wings with basic knowledge of upholding human rights in the cause of discharging their functions on one hand and addressing concerns of human of human rights abuses on the other.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! A ruling has already been made. Therefore, let us forget about what is happening because the hon. Minister is giving his policy statement.

Can the hon. Minister please continue.

Dr Mwansa: Mr Chairperson, furthermore, my ministry has established units to address issues of human rights abuses. These include Police Complaints Authority (PAC), Victim Support Unit (VSU) and Child Protection Unit and Human Trafficking (CPUHT)

Mr Chairperson, you may wish to know that Zambia is a transit, recruitment and exploiting point for child traffickers. Persons trafficked from as far as the horn of Africa pass through Zambia. These may be young women promised jobs in other countries or children purportedly going to school in Europe, Australia and America.

Others still may be recruited from Zambia. The other category is of young persons taken from villages into towns where they are initially promised education and improved welfare, but later only become domestic workers. This is a form of human trafficking and the perpetrators are often relatives of the victims.

Mr Chairperson, with the enactment of the anti-human trafficking legislation last year, the police and other security wings now have a legal basis on which to address the scourge. In 2009, my ministry shall endeavour to bring perpetrators of such crimes to account.

Infrastructure Development

Mr Chairperson, I am glad to inform the House that my ministry is in the process of increasing police housing stock by buying and constructing new ones. So far, 307 houses have been bought for the Zambia police in various towns of the Copperbelt, Northern, Lusaka and North-Western provinces.

The current programme involves constructing…

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Hon. Minister, just a second. I know that you are consulting. It is the responsibility of the Chair to ensure when a debate is going on, at least, there are must be a fair amount of order so that the person on the Floor can be heard. We have always been advised that if there is need for you to consult loudly, you can always move to the lobby and come back afterwards, but if you wish to consult in this Chamber, do so quietly so that we can listen to the person who is on the Floor.

Can the hon. Minister please continue.

Dr Mwansa: The programme involves constructing a total of 1,500 housing units in Kasama, Chipata, Livingstone, Ndola and Lusaka. Construction of the initial 500 units is almost complete.

The construction of the remaining 1,000 housing units will be completed by the end of this year. This programme, when completed will greatly improve the welfare of our police officers.

Infrastructure rehabilitation: Police Camps

In order to improve officer’s living and working conditions, the ministry has continued to rehabilitate police stations, houses, roads, sewer and water systems in the police camps. In the year 2008, fifty-two houses in police camps were rehabilitated along with nine police stations countrywide. Infrastructure rehabilitation will continue in 2009.

Zambia Police Hospital

The Zambia Police Force embarked on a project to turn the senior officers mess into a Police Hospital at Sikanze Police Camp in Lusaka. Mr Chairperson, I am happy to report that the Police Hospital was commissioned last November and is now operational.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Mwansa: Our challenge is to construct similar facilities in other parts of the country so as to enable the police officers and their families to have easy and timely access to medical treatment. Men and women who have dedicated their lives to the security of their country need good medical services for themselves and their families.

Zambia Prisons Service

The Prison Service is mandated to “effectively and efficiently provide and maintain humane custodial and correctional services to inmates and to increase industrial agricultural production in order to contribute to the well being and reformation of inmates and maintenance of internal security.” The Prisons Service has continued to provide custodial and correctional services in the best way possible, for an average of 15,000 inmates.


Mr Chairperson, the Government has continued with the construction works of phase one of Mwembeshi Maximum Prison and the renovations of Kamfinsa Prison to create the much needed space. As a result, the Prisons Department managed to transfer a significant number of prisoners from the most congested prison centres-namely Lusaka Central and Kabwe Maximum Prison during the year 2008.


As a way of correcting and rehabilitating the inmates, several interventions are provided to inmates in order to keep them busy and to teach them the much needed skills to prepare them for eventual release. This is done through production units in agriculture and industry. Through these interventions, production of food items such as maize and wheat has improved. The service recorded an increased hectarage of maize production from 1,000 in 2007 to 1,200 in 2008 with an estimated production of 70,000 x 50kg bags and 72,000 x 50kg bags of maize and wheat respectively.


In order to augment rehabilitation, community re-entry and re-integration of inmates into society, the Government has operationalised the parole system through Statutory Instrument No. 101 of 2008. Mr Chairperson, inmates who are serving two years imprisonment or more may be eligible for parole. They could spend the last six months of their sentence outside prison under supervision of a parole officer. To this effect, the National Parole Board (NPB) comprising key stakeholders in the criminal justice system, which will spearhead its implementation, has been appointed.

The parole facility, along with regular prison releases, will decongest our prisons nationwide.

Immigration Department

Mr Chairperson, the core mandate of the Immigration Department is to effectively and efficiently facilitate and regulate the entry and exit of persons and to control the stay of immigrants and visitors in the country in order to contribute to internal security and sustainable economic development.

The department implements this mandate through various strategies which include among others, the following:

(a) issuance of permits and visas;

(b) border management; and

(c) patrols.

During the period under review, the Immigration Department arrested to total number of 11,718 people for illegal entry and stay, working without authorisation and forgery of national registration cards (NRCs) and passports.

Mr Chairperson, of this number, 3,833 persons were detained, 5,758 were removed, and eighty-three were deported while 2,044 were issued with temporary permits. My ministry shall continue to facilitate lawful entry and stay in the country and ensure that illegal migration is controlled.

Mr Chairperson, on construction of border controls, more need to be constructed to facilitate and regulate the entry and exit of persons along Zambia’s long borders. The anticipated protocols on the introduction of a single regional visa known as the UNIVISA and free movement of persons being proposed by SADC countries require that Zambia prepares itself to scale up its operations in the regulation, and control of the entry and exit of persons.

Consequently, there is need to build more border controls and procure appropriate equipment to ensure efficient mechanisms in the regulation and control of entry and exit of persons. As a start, six border controls are earmarked for construction around the country this year in Kamapanda and Kambimba in North-Western Province, Namafulo in southern Province, Imusho in Western Province, Kanyala in Northern Province and Sindamisale in Eastern Province.

Mr Chairperson, on the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC), I want to state that the commission’s core functions are to control and prevent illegal production, trafficking and abuse of narcotics and psychotropic substances as well as money laundering and to provide rehabilitation services to drug addicts. During the course of last year, the DEC opened new offices in Lundazi, Mpika, Sesheke, Kasempa and Mwinilunga.Through these new offices, a total of 102 arrests were recorded with a total seizure of 4.69 tons of drugs.

In 2009, the DEC shall intensify operations against drug growers and other drug related vices. The department shall also re-enforce border entry points in order to curb drug trafficking.

Mr Chairperson, on national registration, passports and citizenship, the office is entrusted by Government to issue national identity, and travel documents and to facilitate the acquisition of Zambian citizenship. The department also registers marriages, births and deaths. Among the achievements the ministry has scored include the following:

1. The construction of a new passport building in Lusaka and the rehabilitation of Ndola, and Livingstone regional offices and Nchelenge District office.

2. Acquisition of a plot in Kapiri Mposhi to construct a district office for the national registration department;

3. Introduction of a new digitized machine readable passport in order to enhance security of the Zambia national travel documents in conformity with the standards set out by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

Mr Chairperson, I am glad to report that the change from the current to the new digitized passport has been proceeding according to plan. The old passport will be phased out on 31st May, 2009. However, issuance of the new passports is permanently on-going. Mr Chairman, this year’s budget estimates will take into consideration the dilapidation of district offices and the limited space therein. To that end, it is our intention to rehabilitate the district offices and embark on construction of other new offices in all areas of the country.

As the 2011 Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Government Elections approach, it is important that the Department of National Registration starts its mobile registration exercise.

Mr Chairperson, on national archives, the core function of the National Archives department is to collect and preserve public records and archives from all Government ministries, departments and other institutions. These records are of historical value and help policy makers, researchers, students and the general public at large to get information on matters that affect them.

In the new structure under the National Archives department, we intend to open up provincial centres in three provinces, namely, North/Western, Western and Northern provinces. This will improve the collection and preservation of public documents.

Registrar of Societies

The mandate of the Registrar of Societies is to effectively and efficiently register and regulate societies in order to promote freedom of association and enhance good governance.

During the year under review, sensitisation on the registration of societies was intensified in a bid to ensure that societies comply with the set requirements. It is the department’s intention in 2009 to intensify inspections and monitoring of registered societies. In 2008, there were 39,355 registered Non-Governmental Organisations, including churches and political parties.

Police Public complaints Authority

The police public complaints authority was established under Section 57 (B) of the Zambia Police Act No. 14 or 1999.

Mr Chairperson, the main aim of the police public complaints authority is to control police abuse and excesses while enforcing the law. In 2008, police complaints authority received about 211 complaints against police action. The institution carried out investigations of the many complaints that were lodged by victims of police abuse.

Mr Chairperson, it is the intention of the authority this year to reach every province to sensitise people about their rights and recourse to justice in the face of police abuse or brutality.

Home Affairs Research, Planning and Information Department

The department is charged with the responsibility of research and planning functions for the Ministry of Home Affairs. It is also mandated to provide consultancy and support services in Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) to other departments and specialised agencies. The department also coordinates all policy programmes pertaining to national security.

The department analyses Government policies and programmes in order to maximise efficient planning for resource mobilisation and enhancement of national security. Part of the focus for 2009 is to review the Ministry of Home Affair’s National Security policy and to undertake research in crime trends and recidivism.

Commission for Refugees

The commission for refugees has the mandate to receive, screen and recommend to Government eligible asylum seekers. It has responsibility for the day to day affairs of the refugees. Further, the commission coordinates the repatriation of refugees. Such exercises are done in collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and International Organisation for Migration (IOM). As of January this year, the total number of refugees in the country is about 81,000.

Mr Chairperson, in conclusion, allow me to emphasise that for our nation to develop, we need concerted efforts from everyone in fighting crime and any other vices of corruption and malpractices.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Mwansa: My ministry appreciates the information and cooperation that the public gives to us which greatly helps in the fight against lawlessness. I urge all law abiding citizens to continue this support. I also urge everyone to remain strong in the fight against corruption and other crimes that slow down individual and national prosperity.

It is my hope that this august House will support the Estimates of Expenditure for my ministry for 2009.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members:  Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Chairperson, thank you very much for the opportunity to contribute to debate on this Vote. First of all, I wish to make it clear that I fully support this Vote which is extremely important for maintaining law and order in the country.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hears, hear!

Dr Machungwa: Mr Chairperson, in my contribution here, I just wish to note that if you look at Ministry of Home Affairs and Zambia Police allocations, they seem to have some what been reduced compared to last year.

Mr Chairperson, let me just read the following figures. The Ministry of Home affairs last year received K194 billion and this year it has K188 billion. The Zambia Police last year received K457.9 billion and this year it is K446 billion. The Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training received K135.9 billion last year but this year it is K120 billion. The Office of the Auditor-General received K44 billion last year and K40 billion this year. Cabinet Office received K170 billion last year and this year it is K121 billion.

It seems to me that because of the credit crunch, every ministry has received a somewhat lower allocation. So, personally, I would not make a lot of argument about the fact that the allocations of certain institutions or ministries have been reduced because this is cutting across the board.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: We have to understand that there is this crunch and therefore, what is important is that we support these allocations. In the case of the Zambia Police, I am told that its current strength is about 15,000 officers. A study by the Ministry of Home Affairs between 1999 and 2000 estimated that the country, with the population at that time, required a police service of about 27,000 officers. Today we still have about the same number of police officers despite the population of Zambia having increased since 2000. One would hope that by now we would have recruited more officers.

 In this regard it is commendable that the hon. Minister has announced that there will be recruitment of more officers so that security for our people can be enhanced. In fact, we should be talking about having 20,000 to 25,000 police officers.

Sir, this ministry is also responsible for doing a lot of criminal investigations. It has investigative agencies like the police and Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC). Even the Immigration Department also does some investigations. It is important that these institutions are left to do their work professionally. For example, if a person is collecting cash at Road Safety and Transport Agency (RTSA) and consumes that money or if a tax officer at the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) collects money for the Government but spends it or an officer at passports office takes money for passports and uses it without taking it the Government …

Mr Mubika: What about National Airports Corporation?

Dr Machungwa: … or even at National Airports Corporation if an officer is collecting …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: … departure fees and then consumes that money, this would be a criminal offence.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: I am sure that if a government officer did that, he or she would be arrested immediately.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: Anybody who receives and uses money from those engaged in crime should be followed and investigated.

Mr Muntanga: And arrested.

Dr Machungwa: Sir, in this country and other countries that I have been to, the people who investigate crimes are the police or other law enforcement agencies and not the church, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) or trade unions.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: Sir, …

Mr Sichilima: Bwekeshapo!

Dr Machungwa: … if a person who is being accused of wrong doing decides that he or she is going to choose the people to investigate him or her, what kind of law is that:?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: I think what is good for the goose is also good for the gander.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! He is debating and therefore, give him chance.

Dr Machungwa: The way we are treated is the way everybody else is supposed to be treated. Nobody is supposed to be above the law. If one is innocent, the law enforcement agencies should investigate and prove that person to be innocent.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: A person who is guilty is not supposed to go crying to some small …

Mr Muntanga: Organisation.

Dr Machungwa: … organisation for help. That is not acceptable and is not law and order.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: Nobody should be above the law.

Sir, for example, how can the Task Force investigate itself if it has been accused of doing something wrong? This is a problem and these issues must be addressed.

Mr Kambwili: Jeff Kande kabolala.

Dr Machungwa: Sir, let us talk about the culture of lawlessness.


Dr Machungwa: We cannot allow a culture of lawlessness.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Order! I want to listen.

Dr Machungwa: Sir, like I was saying, the police and other law enforcement agencies must do their job. What we see on the roads …

Mr Kambwili interjected.

Dr Machungwa: Hon. Kambwili, I am debating.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Hon. Kambwili, you are disturbing him.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

(Debate adjourned)




(Progress reported)




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

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1917 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 26th February, 2009