Debates- Friday, 20th February, 2009

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Friday, 20th February, 2009

The House met at 0900 hours






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

Madam, on Tuesday, 24th February, 2009, the Business of the House will commence with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by the presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply and continue with consideration of individual Heads of expenditure in the Budget and, will consider the following Heads:

 Head 07  - Office of the Auditor-General;

 Head 11  - Zambia Police – Ministry of Home Affairs;

 Head 15  - Ministry of Home Affairs; and

 Head 12  - Commission for Investigations – Office of the President.

On Wednesday, 25th February, 2009, the Business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by the presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. After that, the House will consider Private Members’ Motions, if there will be any. The House will then resolve into Committee of Supply to continue with the consideration of individual Heads of expenditure in the Budget and the following Heads will be considered:

 Head 13  - Ministry of Energy and Water Development;

 Head 14  - Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development;

 Head 17  - Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and

 Head 18  - Judiciary.

On Thursday, 26th February, 2009, the Business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by the presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply on the 2009 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure and the following Heads will be considered:

Head 20 - Loans and Investment – Ministry of Local Government and 

 Head 29  - Ministry of Local Government and Housing;

Head 21 - Loans and Investment – Ministry of Finance and National 
  Planning; and

Head 26 - Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services.

On Friday, 27th February, 2009, the Business of the House will begin with His Honour the Vice-President’s Question Time. Then, the House will consider Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by the presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply on the 2009 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure to consider the following Heads:

 Head 27  - Public Service Management Division;

Head 31  - Ministry of Justice; and

Head 33  - Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry.

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

Madam Speaker, I thank you.




The Minister of Foreign Affairs (Mr Pande):  Madam Speaker, I wish to take this opportunity to inform the House about the outcomes on the meetings that His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda, attended in the last three weeks, to which I accompanied him, namely; the Extra-Ordinary Southern African Development Community (SADC) Summit on Zimbabwe held in Pretoria, South Africa, from 26th  to 27th January, 2009; the Extra-Ordinary Summit of the Great Lakes Region held in Ethiopia on 31st January, 2009, and the 12th Ordinary African Union (AU) Summit held in Addis Ababa from 1st  to 3rd February, 2009.

The SADC Extra-Ordinary Summit

Madam Speaker, with regard to the SADC Extra-Ordinary Summit, the following was decided:

(a) the parties shall endeavour to cause Parliament to have passed the Constitutional Amendment No. 19 by 5th February, 2009;

(b) to swear in the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Ministers on the 11th February, 2009;

(c) to form the inclusive Government on 13th February, 2009;

(d) a Joint  Monitoring Implementation Committee to be activated immediately. Each of the stakeholders to submit four names of the prospective members to this committee, to the facilitator, and among themselves, by 29th January, 2009. The first meeting of this committee shall be convened by the facilitator in order to elect the chairpersons;

(d) The MDC – Tsvangirai shall submit, immediately, a draft Bill on the National Security Council for consideration by all parties;

(e) the allocation of ministerial portfolios shall be reviewed six months after the formation of the inclusive Government.

(f) appointments of the Reserve Bank Governor, Attorney-General and other related appointments will be dealt with by the inclusive Government after its formation;

(g) negotiations of all parties shall meet immediately and agree on the National Security Bill and the formula for the distribution of the Provincial Governors;

(h) the Ministry of Home Affairs shall be co-managed between the ZANU-PF and MDC – Tsvangirai, as decided by the summit held on 9th November, 2008.

(i) the extra ordinary summit appreciated the efforts of His Excellency Thabo Mbeki, Former President of the Republic of South Africa and the facilitator of the political dialogue on Zimbabwe, in finding an amicable solution to the challenges facing the Republic of Zimbabwe and encouraged him to continue with his mediation efforts.

(j) the Extra-Ordinary summit commended the political parties to the Global Political Agreement for their openness and constructive engagement in finding a lasting solution to the challenges facing Zimbabwe.

Madam Speaker, I am happy to report, as this August House is aware, that the Parliament of Zimbabwe, as recommended by the Extra Ordinary Summit, passed Constitutional Amendment No. 19 on 5th February, 2009, and that Mr Morgan Tsvangirai was sworn in as Prime Minister on 11th February, 2005, together with two Deputy Prime Ministers. 

The inclusive Government was formed on 13th February, 2009, after the swearing in of the Ministers and Deputy Ministers. The first Cabinet meeting was held on 17th February, 2009.

Madam Speaker, the House will wish to join me in congratulating His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Mr Robert Mugabe, and other political stakeholders in Zimbabwe on the occasion of the formation of the inclusive Government.

It is hoped that the people of Zimbabwe will work hard to make this new Government a success for the benefit, not only of Zimbabwe, but also of the SADC Region. We can only wish them well in their endeavours.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Extraordinary Summit of the Great Lakes Region.

Madam Speaker, the Summit of Heads of State of the Great Lakes Region held an Extraordinary Summit on the margins of the African Union Summit on 31st January, 2009. The Summit basically received the report of the Special Envoys of the Secretary General of the United Nations to the Great Lakes Region, former President of Nigeria, His Excellency Olusegun Obasanjo and former President of the Republic of Tanzania, His Excellency Benjamin Mkapa, concerning the efforts in brokering peace in the Great Lakes Region.

In this regard, they reported, among other things, that the relations between the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda, including relationships between the Heads of State of the respective countries, had tremendously improved. They also reported that the joint military efforts against the rebels in Eastern Congo were bearing fruit.

The 12th Ordinary Summit of the African Union.

Madam Speaker, the 12th Ordinary Summit of the African Union was held under the theme “Infrastructure Development in Africa with Emphasis on Transport, Energy and Investment”. It considered, among other issues, the following:

(a) Programme Budget for 2009;

(b) election of members of the Advisory Board on Corruption;

(c) abuse of the Principle of Universal Jurisdiction ;

(d) the Union Government of the United States of Africa; and 

(e) the date and venue of next Summit.

Madam Speaker, I wish to report that the Summit elected the Libyan Leader, Brother Muammar Gaddafi, as Chairman of the African Union for 2009 …

Mr Kambwili: Question!


Mr Pande: … because it was North Africa’s turn to assume the Chairpersonship in accordance with the rotational tradition. Besides, the Libyan Leader happened to be the only Head of State and Government from North Africa present in Addis Ababa.

Madam, with regard to the Programme Budget, the Summit adopted a total budget of US$164,266,817 broken down as follows:

(a) Operational Budget - US$95,575,771;  and

(b) Programme Budget - US$68,681,046.

Although the budget has increased over and above last year’s allocation, member States’ assessed contributions will, however, be reduced in real terms because 40 per cent of this allocation will be derived from member States’ paid arrears that will cushion the Operational Budget.

Madam Speaker, with regard to the election of the eleven-member Advisory Board on Corruption, Malawi, South Africa and Namibia were elected from the SADC Region.

Concerning the Abuse of the Principle of Universal Jurisdiction, the Summit condemned the selective tendency by Western Powers of indicting serving African Heads of State. In this regard, the House will recall that the arrest warrant issued against President Kagame of Rwanda as well as the prospective indictment of President Al-Bashir of Sudan by the International Criminal Court (ICC). The Summit considered these indictments as an abuse of the Principle of Universal Jurisdiction. The Summit’s decision notwithstanding, it was made clear that Africa does not and will not condone impunity.

Madam Speaker, concerning the formation of the Union Government of the United States of Africa, two schools of thought prevailed namely: those member States favouring immediate establishment of the Union Government and those urging a gradual and incremental approach. Meanwhile, a decision was taken to transform the Commission of the African Union into an Authority which will be headed by a President, Vice-President and composed of Secretaries who are currently serving as Commissioners. The transformation of the Commission into an Authority will entail amending the Constitutive Act of the African Union which will take at least one year to effect. In this regard, it was decided that an Extra-ordinary Session of the Executive Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of member States be held within the next three months to consider the implications of such a transformation.

Madam, Zambia’s position on the Union Government has not changed. While it fully subscribes to the formation of the Union Government leading to the United States of Africa, the Zambian Government advocates the gradual and incremental approach, which entails, on one hand, the strengthening of the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and, on the other hand, the carrying of our Zambian people along with us. Considering that we accept the principle that the Union Government should be a union of the African peoples, it goes without saying that we should embark upon sensitisation in order to facilitate the understanding of the concept and to solicit the people’s support.

Madam Speaker, the House may wish to note that the next Ordinary Summit of the African Union will be held in Antananarivo, Madagascar, at the invitation of that country from 1st to 3rd July, 2009. This will, of course, depend on the resolution of the on-going conflict in that country.

Madam Speaker, in conclusion, I wish to inform the House that Zambia fully and effectively participated in the deliberations of the Summit. His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zambia was given the honour and privilege of giving a vote of thanks which was well and warmly received by the Summit.

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Pande: Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Kambwili: Question!

Hon. Government Members: Boma!

Mr Kambwili: Imwe ba Mabenga ikalenifya mwalikwata umwenso.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!



Madam Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members, I wish to acquaint the House with the presence, in the Speaker’s Gallery, of the Delegation for the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), United Kingdom (UK) Branch. The names of the hon. visitors are:

(a) Mr Andrew McKay, MP, Leader of the Delegation;

(b) Ms Julie Kirkbride. MP

(c) Ms Charlotte Atkins, MP

(d) Ms Kerry McCarthy, MP; and

(e) Mr Andrew Tuggey D. L., Secretary to the CPA, UK Branch.

In addition, His Excellency the British High Commissioner to Zambia, Mr Tom Carter, has accompanied the delegation and is in the Gallery. We are, therefore, happy to have the hon. visitors in our midst.

Thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Madam Deputy Speaker: The hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the ministerial statement given by the only hon. Minister of Foreign of Affairs.

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Madam Speaker, soon after the AU Summit that the hon. Minister has referred to, the recently-elected Chairman of the AU made a very important pronouncement on the democracy of Africa. He said Africa and African counties are not ready for multi-party democracy because of the numerous tribes whose effect would lead to tribal wars. Can the hon. Minister clarify whether that stand made by the AU Chairman, a brother of that Government, …


Mr Lubinda: … is a stand that was agreed upon by their brother when their President, Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda, went to Libya on a trip …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Lubinda: … that has not …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! He is the President of the Republic of Zambia.

Mr Lubinda: I thank you Madam Speaker for your guidance.

… been talked about in this country? Was that one of the matters that was agreed upon between Mr Banda and his brother, the Chairman of the AU?

Mr Pande: Madam Speaker, I think I was expressly clear on what was discussed at the AU Summit. If what the hon. Member is asking was one of the issues that were discussed and agreed upon, I would have referred to that in my statement.


Mr Pande: Yes, Brother Muammar Al Gaddafi was elected Chairman of AU and the statement which you are referring to was not made at the AU Summit. Therefore, I cannot refer to that statement because what we believe in is what was deliberated on at the AU.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): Madam Speaker, could the hon. Minister explain to me when and how this brotherhood authority is going to begin its first step towards the gradual implementation of this authority given that Africa has been a trading ground for terrorist activities. How will this authority manage to police the movements of these bad elements in our society when they decide to decontrol the border restrictions?

Mr Pande: Madam Speaker, the Government of Zambia and the SADC Region believe that to get to the United States of Africa, we need a gradual approach and take all those issues that you have raised into consideration. How do we overcome them? It will only be through this gradual process that these issues could be addressed rather than implementing them immediately. If that was implemented immediately, we would face language problems. We have different democratic Governments and dictatorships. Some of them are also headed by the army. So, we need to overcome all those stages before we reach the ultimate goal of a United States of Africa.

Mr Milupi (Luena): Madam Speaker, first of all, I note that Barrak Obama and our own President were elected during roughly the same period and yet Obama only went outside America for the first time, yesterday and only for seven hours.

Madam Speaker, however,…


Mr Milupi: …would the hon. Minister inform this House, and the nation, why an important gathering such as that of the AU could have taken place and the following international issues were not discussed and, therefore, not reported to this House? There were events such as the coup d’etats in Mauritania  and Guinea, and upheavals in Madagascar.

Mr Pande: Madam Speaker, the hon. Member referred to the President’s trips. Hon. Members, you must be extremely careful. You should not try to transplant what goes on in other countries into Zambia. This is Zambia.


Mr Pande: It is a sovereign State and we have our own way of doing things. It is like democracy. You cannot transplant democracy from this country to another country. For example, you cannot say that the democracy in the United States of America can fit in the United Kingdom or the democracy in India can fit in China or other countries. As Zambians, let us not equate or compare what we believe in to other countries. We have our own democracy which we should build and improve on. We must do that which fits the circumstances of the Zambian people.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Pande: The issue of going out should not be compared to President Obama. Besides, President Rupiah Banda was sworn in last year and President Obama was only sworn in in January. Actually, if you have to compare the two, President Obama left the country much earlier than President Rupiah Banda.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr V. Mwale (Chipangali): Madam Speaker, why is it that the African Governments, without consulting their citizens, have thought that they should not compel leaders who  have committed crime against humanity to go and be tried at the Hague?  Why do you think that it is alright for you to do that as African Governments?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Pande: Madam Speaker, if you listened to my statement, I indicated that notwithstanding the position that African countries have taken, Africa will not condone impunity.

Madam Speaker, President Omar al Bashir is a sitting President. The Vice-President, including others in Government, have been indicted. Now, if those were arrested, imagine what would happen. There would be a very big vacuum and the problems that are in the country would escalate. As a result, the AU has given the Sudanese Government one year to put their house in order.

Madam Speaker, for example, they are saying that there are groups who are perpetuating these atrocities. Therefore, we have asked the Sudanese Government, as AU, to set up courts that will try those people and bring them to book. Additionally, why should it only be African leaders, and why only sitting African leaders? If you recall, the former American leader called Dick Cheney was indicted by the Belgians. America pressed on Belgium until that law was removed. Why should it be easy for African Heads of State to be indicted at any time? It must be followed to the letter.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Colonel Chanda (Kanyama): Madam Speaker, arising from the statement by the hon. Minister, I would like him to enlighten us on the absence of African Heads of States from North Africa from that summit. Does this not spell the imminent failure of the union?

Secondly, I would like him to show the commitment of Zambia to this noble cause as to whether we are up to date in our contributions to the African Union.

Madam Deputy Speaker: The hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs may answer one of those questions.

Mr Pande: Madam Speaker, the reason some of leaders were not there is that the President of Egypt, for many years now, does not attend AU meetings. The last time he attended was when an attempted coup d’etat was made on him and from that he has not attended. Algeria are preparing for elections. Therefore, the Head of State was busy with those preparations. In Mauritania, as you are aware, there was a coup d’etat and they were suspended. Morocco are not members as of now. As you recall, some years back, they went out protesting because AU had admitted Saharawi Republic. The President of Tunisia does not attend as well.

Madam Speaker, just to give the hon. Member a bonus answer, Zambia is up to date in its dealings with the AU.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Sejani (Mapatizya): Madam Speaker, with regard to this statement that has been issued, does the hon. Minister now wish to confirm that from now onwards, this House is going to be fully informed on all the travels that the President makes outside this country?

Mr Pande: Madam Speaker, it will depend on whether we need to give the information to the nation or not. I do not think that each time hon. Members on your left side, go out of their homes, they come back to brief their children.


 Mr Pande: Madam, it is not like that. It is not all the time that they will do that.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Let us listen to the hon. Minister.

Hon. Opposition Member: It is taxpayers’ money.

Mr Pande: Madam Speaker, yes, it is taxpayers’ money, but he has a duty to perform. There are certain consultations that are only done among Heads of State. Even as hon. Ministers, sometimes, we may not be privy to what they discuss regarding the day - to -day running of the countries concerning issues like neighbourliness and other relations. Some of the things you see are as a result of those meetings.

Let us come out of the kind of politics where we are always suspicious and trying to get the negative aspect of things. Let us be positive in all our thoughts. Let us take our country forward.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! If the hon. Members would like to follow and get clear answers, it is important that the hon. Minister is given an opportunity to speak for everybody to hear rather than shouting when he is on the Floor.

Hon. Minister, you may continue.

Mr Pande: Madam Speaker, I thank you for your protection. I was emphasising the fact that, as Zambian politicians, we should change the way we look at politics. Let us move this country forward. Instead of always searching for the negative aspect of Kabinga Pande, let us also look for the positive side.


Mr Pande: If we concentrate on the negative aspects all the time, we will not prosper as a country. Do not misunderstand me. This Government has said clearly several times before that we will accept positive criticism, contributions and ideas. When you advise us, do not be sarcastic. I will take your advice if you come to my office. This is something that many hon. Members have done. However, if you go to advise us in the newspaper first, we will take it as just another way of being negative. Let us be positive.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Kambwili: Question!

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Madam Speaker, as we move towards a United States of Africa, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what arrangements they have made to seek permission from the Zambian people. This is an issue we are talking about in the House, while the ordinary Zambian is not aware. Have they given you permission to go into this United States of Africa?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Pande: Madam Speaker, the Government is the representative of the people of Zambia. We belong to a number of communities such as the AU, United Nations (UN) and SADC. As I indicated earlier, we, in principle, agreed to this. When the time comes for a final decision to be made, I made it clear that consultations will be done before we move to the United States of Africa. We will not do it without consulting. What I am explaining in this House is part of the process. You, as representatives of the people, are expected to go to your constituencies and inform them about what is going on.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kapata (Mandevu): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister how a President who has never been popularly elected in his own country can lead the United States of Africa.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Pande: Madam Speaker, we have different systems of Government. Earlier, I spoke about transplanting certain democracies into our country. We have our own system. Therefore, we should not equate our system to the system of other countries. As far as they are concerned, they are happy with their system.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out the hon. Minister’s position regarding democracy when the President of Libya, Colonel Muammar al Gaddafi says democracy causes chaos and, therefore, cannot be undertaken in Africa.

Mr Pande: Madam Speaker, this is a Government of multi-party democracy. The MMD is the parent of multi-partism.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Pande: Therefore, it goes without saying that we believe in pure and unfailing democracy.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!



Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from His Honour, the Vice-President, whether Zambia has fully participated in the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice (Mr Kunda, SC.): Madam Speaker, that question will give me an opportunity to brief hon. Members about  what we are doing in the United Nations Human Rights Council.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice:  We are members of the UN Human Rights Council and we have been attending meetings. Zambia is a shining example of respect for human rights in Africa. This is why we were elected into the UN Human Rights Council. We served one term and we were unanimously re-elected to the council because of our good record in respecting human rights.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Madam Speaker, Zambia is current on human rights reporting under the various UN human rights instruments to which we are a party. We are effectively participating in the affairs of the council and we shall continue to do so.

Thank you, Madam.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr L. J. Mulenga (Kwacha): Madam Speaker, one of the vexing issues that is affecting our nation today is the food crisis. When will the maize price be stabilised? Can you assure this House as to when the stocking levels of maize and the stabilisation of maize prices will come to an end, and what is the timeframe?
The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Madam Speaker, we have taken various intervention measures. As a Government, we are concerned at the fluctuations in the prices of mealie-meal. I know that you are referring to our strategic commodity, maize. We are trying to replenish the stocks of maize by buying maize locally and also through imports. With these intervention measures, we hope that the price of maize will stabilise.

Madam Speaker, we are also facing the problem of mealie-meal smuggling. This is something that we are attending to. We have deployed police and paramilitary officers to check on our borders so that we reduce on the smuggling of mealie-meal. I would, therefore, like to urge hon. Members to assist the Government in this regard to ensure that we safeguard our stocks of maize and mealie-meal.

 I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chisanga (Mkushi South): Madam Speaker, there were plans to set up an agriculture college in Mkushi. I would like to find out from His Honour the Vice- President if those plans are still there.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: I have taken note of that particular point from the hon. Member. I would like to encourage him to give me any documents on that issue and even make further representations to my office so that we can take it up.

 I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Madam Speaker, the Electoral Commission of Zambia is refusing to release, to stakeholders, a post-mortem report containing an analysis of the last Presidential By-election. Can His Honour the Vice-President explain to us how transparent the Electoral Commission of Zambia is if they can be withholding information from stakeholders or, alternatively, promise to ensure that the document is released to the public?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice President and Minister of Justice:  the Electoral Commission of Zamia conducts its affairs in a very professional, transparent and fair manner.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: I have no knowledge about the issues of the commission withholding the information which the hon. Member for Lusaka Central alleges is being withheld. I will appreciate if he can give me details or give the details to the commission itself because the commission operates independently. They will be able to look into that matter.

 I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr C. K. B. Banda (Chasefu): Madam Speaker, could His Honour the Vice-President tell us what measures - if there are measures - this Government is going to take to lower the exchange rate which, of late, is unstable and unpredictable. If they have measures to take, will those measures include stabilisation of the same?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: This Government is very proactive. I have already asked the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to deliver a ministerial statement next week so that we can discuss this issue comprehensively.

I thank you, Madam.

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze): Madam Speaker, it is a fact that whistle blowing is a very important tool in the fight against corruption. I would like to find out from His Honour the Vice-President what measures this Government is putting in place to protect the whistle blowers rather than harassing them.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Madam Speaker, that is a very important question. As you know, we have announced, as a Government, that we are reviewing the law on the fight against corruption. In this regard, we have developed an Anti-corruption Policy which will be going to Cabinet for approval. Once that policy is approved, we will do legislation to fight corruption and that will also include the issue of whistle blowers.

Madam Speaker, let me say that whistle blowing involves acts of corruption. Therefore, people should be encouraged to report acts of corruption, but they should not be malicious.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: They should stick to the truth. The people on whom they are making reports are also entitled to protection and they have human rights. Therefore, even when we present this particular law, there is need to make some safeguards so that we protect people, not only hon. Ministers, but even hon. Members of Parliament, from malicious reports which may be made against them.

 I thank you, Madam Speaker.

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Zulu (Bwana Mkubwa): Madam Speaker, I would like to know at what price the Government bought this maize locally and at what price they subsidised it and sold it to the millers.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives has been giving comprehensive statements with accurate figures on the issue of procurement of maize. It is at that time that a question of this nature could have been asked. I do not have those figures immediately.

 I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Beene (Itezhi-tezhi):   Madam Speaker, can His honour the Vice-President confirm whether the delimitation of constituencies will take place before 2011? If it will, when will that exercise commence?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Madam Speaker, indeed, many of us, especially those of us from rural constituencies, are very concerned about the size of our constituencies. I am an elected Member of Parliament for Muchinga Parliamentary Constituency.

Mr Lubinda: For the first time!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Yes! I was I elected with a landslide in Muchinga.


The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Therefore, it is very difficult to service a large constituency like Muchinga Parliamentary Constituency. I know other big constituencies like Katombola and Keembe. Some of the districts have only one constituency in the entire district. Therefore, there is need for us to look into this issue of delimitation. I know that delimitation has been done before and we already have reports, but this can only be done through the National Constitutional Conference.

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: The hon. Member who is asking is a Member of the National Constitutional Conference and I would encourage those hon. Members who are not part of the NCC to participate effectively from outside and make suggestions. Madam Speaker, I agree that it is important to address the issue of the size of constituencies because, already, I know that the NCC has made a resolution suggesting that we increase the number of constituencies. As a Government, we are already making consultations on this particular subject so that we can start preparing ourselves in the event that we change the number of constituencies.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Madam Speaker, my question is on governance issues. I am aware that the Government did constitute the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Committee last year. My question: At what stage are they and how can the people in Chongwe interact in this whole process of the African Peer Review Mechanism? I would also like to know the roadmap of the Government in bringing the Constitution to Parliament for enactment. Will it happen this year or next year?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that loaded question. For the African Peer Review Mechanism, we have constituted a National Governing Council which is a driving body of the African Peer Review Mechanism. The APRM National Government Council is now sitting and has commenced its work.

Madam Speaker, from next week, we are going to have a visit from Dr Gracia Machel who is leading a panel of eminent persons and after that mission comes to Zambia, I will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the …

Mr Lubinda: With the approval of the Attorney-General.


The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: …approval of the Attorney-General or the Solicitor-General if the Attorney-General is not present.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: I will sign that MoU. The roadmap of the APRM is such that we shall go to all the provinces and it is important that we engage the people of Zambia in implementing this particular mechanism and, of course, the people of Chongwe are no exception.

As regards the Constitutional Review process, this process is guided by the National Constitutional Conference Act. It is for the delegates in the conference to decide whether they will take the entire constitution to a referendum or they will make amendments and then take those parts which require a referendum, such as the Bill of Rights, to a referendum. Madam Speaker, a decision will be made in the conference. I understand that the work of the conference is very advanced. The committees have done their work except for the Human Rights Committee which will conclude its work, I am told, over the weekend. Madam Speaker, once all the reports are in place, we are going to the plenary session where all the hon. Members of this august House who are participating, including those who are doing it from outside, will contribute for us to decide how we should proceed.

I urge all Zambians to participate so that we have a new Constitution by 2011.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Msichili (Kabushi): Madam Speaker, the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) offered flats and houses to its sitting tenants. However, the offer prices were very high. After an appeal to the Government, they acknowledged by saying that they would look into this issue. I would like to find out from His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice when this problem will be resolved.

Hon. Members: Declare interest!

Mr Msichili: I wish to declare interest, Madam Speaker.


The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Madam Speaker, I wish to confirm that the Ministry of Labour and Social Security is the lead ministry looking into this particular issue and specific recommendations will be made to the Government on that issue so that a decision can be taken.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Madam Speaker, I would like to know what the Government is doing to cut down on Presidential trips abroad and also reduce the size of the Government entourage in order to reduce expenditure in view of the current global crisis.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Madam Speaker, I do not agree that the delegations in these international trips are large as alleged. The way we compose these delegations depends on the purpose of the trip and the subjects to be covered …

Mr Kambwili: Cadres!

Hon. Members: Yes!

Ms Lundwe: We have cadres who are specialists!


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Madam Speaker, whoever is included in the delegation has some role to play when we go…


Hon. Member: Beve baziba chabe ma cadre yama libwe!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: … out of the country and so I cannot say that we intend to reduce on the delegations because they are of the right size and we do not have a permanent size for a delegation which goes outside the country.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Chizhyuka (Namwala): Madam Speaker, the international body of nations takes human rights very seriously. Is the reason this country decided that Mr Al Bashir should not be internationally indicted that the Government, following the recommendation of the United Nations African Human Rights Committee (UNAHRC), pleaded with the Government and the State President to stop the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) from subjecting people to cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment and punishment by contravening the Zambian Constitution through their actions and omissions in Sichifulo …
Hon. Member: Breath, please!


Mr Chizhyuka: Is it the reason you decided that Mr Al Bashir of Sudan, given the record in Darfur, that he should not be indicted because you are doing the same thing to your people?


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! The hon. Member for Sichifulo  …


Madam Deputy Speaker: … must learn to be calm all the time. His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice may see how he combines all those issues.


The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Madam Speaker, the issue of President Al-Bashir is totally irrelevant to the issue of Sichifulo.


The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: The issue of President Al-Bashir is being dealt with by the United Nations and AU. Members of the AU, to which Zambia belongs, have taken a position on that particular issue of indictment.

The issue of Sichifulo was well covered by the hon. Minister.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: On the allegations that ZAWA officers are involved in what is being called atrocities, or whatever it is, I would like to say that this is a Government of laws and …

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: … nobody is above the law in Zambia. If any hon. Member here has evidence pertaining to these allegations, the police are there to deal with those allegations but, otherwise, the hon. Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources adequately dealt with that matter.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda (Sinazongwe): Madam Speaker, may I know from this His Honour the Vice-President why the Government has persistently sent or appointed cadres to foreign missions. In the past seven years …

Mr Milupi: Seventeen.

Mr Muyanda: No, I am referring to the seven years I have been in this House. Do not put words into my mouth.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! The hon. Member should be speaking through the Chair and ignore hecklers.

Mr Muyanda: Madam Speaker, for the past seven years that I have been a hon. Member of Parliament for Sinazongwe, this Government has continued to send cadres with questionable records. Some of these cadres are on the verge of arrest or have cases still pending in courts. At the end of the day, trained and well qualified diplomats have been left. Consequently, these Zambian cadres that have been sent to foreign missions have ended up embarrassing the Zambian Government. I do not want to mention any names because it is unparliamentary, but an example is the one that is known to have stolen money in Mozambique.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Madam Speaker, the hon. Member asking that question is also a cadre.


The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: When there are elections, he transforms himself into a cadre.


The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Madam Speaker, it is important that the people we send into Foreign Service are trained and this is what we do when people are appointed. They go through the Zambia Institute of Diplomatic Studies.

Mr Syakalima: For only two weeks.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: People are appointed according to their abilities and we are satisfied with the people whom we appoint.  Appointees must also be royal and patriotic to the country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: I think the issue of political affiliation is irrelevant.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Silavwe (Nakonde): Madam Speaker, it is a fact that the falling prices of copper …


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Silavwe: … have put us in an awkward situation. May I find out from His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice the Government’s position over Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ), if diversification is to bear fruit in Zambia?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Madam Speaker, as I said in last week’s Vice-President’s Question Time, we are looking into the matter of NCZ. This matter will come to Cabinet and we have allocated some money in this year’s Budget towards that issue. So, we are also concerned and looking into the matter.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Kapeya (Mpika Central): Madam Speaker, of late, there have been allegations by the general public that the Government has taken a defensive stand and thereby failing to tell the truth about Hon. Siliya’s saga. What is His Honour the Vice-President’s reaction to this?

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! The hon. Member asking knows very well that the public has taken the same matter to court for a tribunal to be set up and, therefore, it would be sub judice at this point for us to go into that discussion.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr D. Mwila (Chipili): Madam Speaker, I thought I should bring back this matter. The teachers in Luapula Province have been on strike for two weeks because of non-payment of rural hardship allowances. As a result of this, our children are not going to school. I also would like to find out whether negotiations have started for public workers’ wages.

Madam Deputy Speaker: The hon. Member is very persistent and I will allow the question. However, you would get a better answer if you use the avenue of questions of urgent nature because then the Government would have a good position.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Madam Speaker, I am told that the Ministry of Education is looking into that. Payment of allowances such as the rural hardship allowance is a routine matter which is being looked into. I understand we are making payments. That is the position of the Government on that issue.

As regards negotiations of public workers’ wages, they will soon start, but I cannot confirm exactly when.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Milupi (Luena): Madam Speaker, two years ago, the predecessor of the current Vice-President sat in that chair and, in answer to my question, promised the people of Western Province that he was going to deliver a dredger for the clearing of canals. Bearing in mind that without Western Province, hon. Government Members would be on this side of the House, when is that dredger going to be delivered to Western Province?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Madam Speaker, the good news for the hon. Member is that we have allocated some money towards that issue in this year’s Budget. It may not be enough but at least it is a starting point.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kambwili stood up after the Vice-President’s Question Time had expired.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member for Roan.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Order!



143. Mr Imenda (Lukulu East) asked the Minister of Health whether the abolishment of the Central Board of Health had brought any significant change in relation to the following:

(i) improvement in work performance and high morale in the ministry;

(ii) availability of drugs in hospitals; and

(iii) general improvements to justify the change of policy.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Mr Akakandelwa): Madam Speaker, with regard to part (a) of the question, the shifting policy has improved the performance of the sector through inclusion of health workers under the Public Service conditions of service as opposed to having them under various boards with different conditions of service. This has brought about consistency and predictability in the conditions of service for health workers across the country. To this effect, all health workers are able to work in any part of the country under the same conditions of service which has greatly improved their morale.

Madam Speaker, as regards the availability of drugs in hospitals, there has been increased funding for procurement of essential medicines. The Government has prioritised procurement of essential medicines by providing a specific budget to ensure availability of essential supplies. Other partners are also assisting the Government of Zambia in procurement of ARVs, malaria medicines and reproductive health commodities;

Madam Speaker, the Ministry of Health has operationalised the Drug Supply Budget Line (DSBL) Unit whose main objective is to co-ordinate procurement activities for these vital supplies. In addition, the unit is also responsible for securing the National Medicines’ Budget.

Madam Speaker, the Ministry of Health has entered into long-term contracts with leading local and international pharmaceutical suppliers for bulky purchase of medicines to achieve economies of scale and cost benefits and improve availability of medicines in institutions;

Madam Speaker, the Ministry of Health, in co-ordination with partners, has instituted specific training on supply chain management of essential medicines to ensure efficient management of supplies once they reach the districts and hospitals. District and hospital pharmacy managers have been trained in supply management and rational use of medicines to ensure medicines reach the end user;

Madam, the Ministry of Health annually procures about 22,000 health centre kits which are distributed monthly to all health centres in the country. The kits consist of basic medicines for primary health care.

The ministry has also developed an essential medicines list which it uses for procurement. This list is regularly revised to ensure that medicines procured are only those that satisfy the needs of the majority of the population;

Madam Speaker, Medical Stores Limited (MSL) regularly communicates with the districts and hospitals on stocks available for public health institutions. The ministry is also strengthening communications at various levels of the logistic system to ensure availability of medicines.

Madam, the Government of Zambia has contracted MSL to carry out storage and distribution of essential medicines and other supplies. Medical Stores Limited regularly delivers medicines on monthly basis to districts and hospitals; and

Madam Speaker, with regard to part (c) of the question, some of the improvements are that the cost of running the health sector has been reduced following the abolishing of the Central Board of Health. The problem encountered was that there was duplication of functions and duties between the Central Board of Health and the Ministry of Health jobs resulting in blotted and costly structure to run.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Imenda: Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister giving a clear and true picture when the shortage of staff, few health posts and inadequate drugs in rural areas are rampant? I am not talking about Medical Stores Limited but rural areas.

The Minister of Health (Mr Simbao): Madam Speaker, it is true there is a shortage of staff. At the moment, we are at half establishment, but the problem that has led to this is a global problem and it is very well known. Most of the medical staff in Africa and Asia have migrated to other areas. Since we are not an island, we got affected. We have opened all our closed nursing training schools all over the country and we are now trying to train more medical staff. It is important for hon. Members of Parliament to know that we have allowed private training schools for nurses. Here in Lusaka, we have five nursing training schools. All this is for us to increase on the number of medical staff. That is how we are handling the shortage of staff. However, it is a fact that we have a shortage of staff.

As regards shortage of drugs, this is a matter of communication between a health centre and Medical Stores Limited. It is a pity that the hon. Member did not find time to go with me to Medical Stores Limited. Since I am not going there for the first time, what I will say this time is what I have seen about three to four times that I have been there. The request from any centre is very well attended to and this time, drugs are being sent as per the needs of the community health worker. What the community health worker requests is what they pack for that health worker individually at Medical Stores Limited and it is labeled as to the point where it will be delivered.

Therefore, any shortage of drugs is a result of a communication breakdown especially from the centres where these drugs are required. As a Government, we are trying hard to store all the essential drugs in the country. The drugs which are not essential, but are peculiar to a disease, that we are able to bring in, will be brought within 48 hours if a patient presents himself/herself to our institutions.

We are trying our best to meet these needs.

I thank you, Madam.

Mrs Kapata (Mandevu): Madam Speaker, why is it that the ministry lets a lot of drugs expire despite the shortage that we have, and when is the ministry going to remove these expired drugs from the health centres?

Mr Simbao: Madam Speaker, it is important to realise that there are two problems to the expiration of drugs. The first one is that if that a drug is procured and all of a sudden there are no patients requiring that drug, it eventually expires. The second is the old system where we used to have a general kit sent to all the places. It so happens that some places …


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! The hon. Members do not seem to be listening and yet they want to ask questions. It is baffling. Can we pay attention to the response? You may continue.

Mr Simbao: Madam, the research carried out by Medical Stores Limited has revealed that drugs differ from centre to centre. Some centres need certain drugs which other centres do not need. Now, the ministry would like all centres to put in specific requirements. What has been happening is that the drugs that have expired at the health centres are sent back to Medical Stores Limited and these expired drugs are the ones that the ministry ends up destroying.

There has also been a tendency by some of our partners sending us drugs that are about to expire because some partners work parallel or in a vertical way such that the Ministry of Health only receives the drugs without having requested for them. Now, in that case, again, the drugs will expire and we will have to destroy them. We do not pay for these drugs and this is the bulk of drugs that have expired.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr D. Mwila (Chipili): Madam Speaker, the Ministry of Education normally sends money for infrastructure to districts rather than the province, and in terms of implementing the projects, it is effective. When will the Ministry of Health start sending the money straight to the district for easy implementation of the projects rather than the province?

Mr Simbao: Madam, the money is actually sent to the district, but the decision is taken by the province. When we send this money to a district, the provincial administration must get involved because the districts will have to retire to the provincial administration which, in turn retires to the headquarters. That is more transparent and I guess it is the same system being used by the Ministry of Education.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Kasongo (Bangweulu): Madam, is the hon. Minister of Health aware that some drugs expire because some clinics or rural health centres are closed for one or even two months due to the shortage of personnel? Is he aware? If he is, what measures is he going to put in place to ensure that this problem is resolved as quickly as possible?

Mr Simbao: Madam, if there has been such a case, maybe, it has happened once because these drugs are sent on request by the health centres. If the health centres request drugs which they cannot administer, then we have a big problem. All the requests emanate from the heath centres that are worked on by Medical Stores Limited. The people who request these drugs should be in a position to administer them, but if that has happened somewhere, maybe, it happened once. If the people that are there are not able to request for drugs, we will look into that problem.

Thank you, Madam.

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Madam, during the transition, there was a lot of talk about the possibility for asset stripping at the Central Board of Health. Caution was also made in this very House. Was there any audit conducted after the transition or hand over to ensure that the feared asset stripping did not take place? If there was such an audit, what were the findings?

Mr Simbao: Madam, I am not in a position to answer the question right now, but I can come back at a later date. What I know is that most of the people at the Central Board of Health have been absorbed by the Government. They are all working in the Government and so I would not be in a position to say whether there has been asset stripping or not, but I can find out and report back to the House.

I thank you, Madam.

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Madam, firstly, I want to commend the Government for the very smooth transition. I am aware that when the Central Board of Health was abolished, what the hon. Members feared never happened and we see a stable Ministry of Health.

Hon. PF Member: Question!

Mrs Masebo: When the Government was dissolving the Central Board of Health, the Government did allude, on the Floor of this House, to the fact that one of the reasons was because of decentralisation.  With that as a reason for the dissolution of the Central Board of Health, why is the Government at the moment creating committees which are outside the council as opposed to using the health sub-committees of the councils in line with the reasons for the abolition of Central Board of Health?

Mr Simbao: Madam, I think we have not yet adopted the Decentralisation Programme. I do not think there will be any problems when this programme is adopted. The Ministry of Health was in the past very much involved. It used to attach personnel from the ministry to the councils and they worked very much in unison which is what we still expect in the Decentralisation Programme. I do not see much fear right now.

Thank you, Madam.{mospagebreak}


144. Mr Imenda asked the Minister of Finance and National Planning:

(a) what the status of the assets of the following parastatals companies was:

(i) Zambia Engineering and Construction Company (ZECCO);
(iii) Zambia Airways Limited; and
(iv) Zambia Railways Limited;

(b) how much was realised from the assets of companies that were sold or liquidated; and
(c) how the proceeds at (b) above were utilised.

The Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning (Ms C. M. Kapwepwe): Madam Speaker, I wish to inform the House that 65 per cent of the Government of the Republic of Zambia shareholding in the Zambia Engineering and Construction Company (ZECCO) was sold to the minority shareholder Energoprojekt Holding Company of Yugoslavia on 31st October, 1995. Please, note, however, that some specific plots, plant machinery and production equipment and chattels were excluded from the sale. These were sold separately by ZECCO and the proceeds of the sale were shared proportionately between the Government and Energoprojekt Holding Company.

On (ii), Zamhort Products Limited, I wish to inform the House that the Lusaka Zamhort Products Limited Plant was sold to Foodcorp Limited on 9th May, 1996 while the Mkushi Zamhort Plant was sold to Ebrahim Dawoodje, Mohamed Dawoodje and Yusuf Dawoodje.

On (iii), Zambia Airways Corporation Limited, as you may be aware, was placed under voluntary liquidation by the shareholders through a resolution passed on 4th December, 1994. On 12th December, 1994, J. S. Ward and N. C. Allen were subsequently appointed as liquidators of Zambia Airways Corporation Limited in liquidation. Since their appointment, the liquidators have, in accordance with the Companies Act, realised the assets of Zambia Airways Corporation Limited in liquidation which included, among others, aircraft, aircraft spares, airport technical base, commercial property, residential properties, chattels, equipment and machinery. A detailed list of assets sold as at 31st December, 2008 is shown in the statement of position at Appendix 1.

On (iv), Zambia Railways Limited, the core assets of Zambia Railways limited were concessioned for twenty years to a private operator, Railway Systems of Zambia (RSZ).

As regards (b)(i), ZECCO, Madam Speaker, I wish to inform the House that K415,798,000 was realised from the sale of the Government of the Republic of Zambia shareholding in ZECCO to Energoprojekt Holding Company. The House may wish to know that the purchaser undertook to pay the Government a further K25,312,000 for a loan the Government had given the company. All the liabilities, including terminal benefits for the employees of ZECCO, were taken over by the purchaser.

On (b)(ii), ZAMHORT, I wish to inform the House that US$1,100,000 was realised from the sale of Lusaka ZAMHORT Plant and K101,000,000 was realised from the sale of the Mkushi ZAMHORT Plant respectively.

On (b)(iii), Zambia Airways Corporation Limited (in liquidation), I wish to inform the House that the total gross realisation from the sale of the assets, as at 31st December, 2008, amounted to K62,284,259,976. There are currently three residential properties occupied by former Zambia Airways Corporation Limited (in liquidation) employees which have not been sold because they are subject of court proceedings.

On (b)(iv), Zambia Railways Limited, in consideration of the rights and privileges granted to it by virtue of the concession agreement, Railway Systems of Zambia(RSZ) paid a one time entry fee in the amount of US$750,000 to the Government. Further, the concession agreement stipulates that RSZ pays:
(i) a fixed concession fee; and
(ii) a variable concession fee being 5 per cent of the railway income.

On (c)(i), ZECCO, I wish to inform the House that K290 million of the proceeds of the sale were used to pay employees retrenchment benefits and the balance was transferred to the Zambia Privatisation Revenue Account under the Ministry of Finance and National Planning.

On (c)(ii), ZAMHORT, I wish to inform the House that the proceeds of the sale of ZAMHORT were transferred to the Zambia Privatisation Revenue Account under the Ministry of Finance and National Planning

On (c)(iii)Zambia Airways Corporation Limited (in liquidation), the proceeds of the realisations of the assets were distributed in accordance with the provisions of the Companies Act, as follows:

(a) some proceeds were applied to the satisfaction of the secured creditors. The total amount paid to the secured creditors amounted to K875,214,501.00;

(b) some proceeds were applied to the satisfaction of the preferential claims amounting to K1,005,087,973.00;

(c) some proceeds were applied to the satisfaction of the unsecured claims amounting to a total of K16,614,631,131.00. The unsecured creditors were paid in accordance with their claims as a total distribution of 30 per cent, which was in excess of the estimated 15 per cent at the commencement of the liquidation. The liquidators estimate a further dividend before the closure of the liquidation of approximately 5 per cent, and this will bring the total sale to 35 per cent exceeding the initial estimate by 20 per cent; and

(d) part of the proceeds were applied to the cost of realization, including legal costs, statutory payments, liquidators’ fees, and other incidentals.

Mr Speaker, these distributions and expenses are also detailed in the Statement of Position at Appendix 1 attached hereto.

Madam Speaker, on (c)(iv), the concession fees from the Zambia Railways Limited are paid to the Government and contribute to Government revenue.

Mr Imenda: Madam Speaker, I would like to find out whether it was appropriate for the Government to sell parastatal companies like Zamhort, just to allow their assets to be taken out of Zambia.

The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Dr Musokotwane): Madam Speaker, the assets were sold and it was up to the buyer to decide what to do with them.

I thank you, Madam.


145. Ms Limata (Luampa) asked the Minister of Health when the Government would construct a health centre at Lububa in Luampa Parliamentary Constituency.

Mr Akakandelwa: Madam Speaker, the Government has no immediate plans to construct a health centre at Lububa Rural Health Centre. You may wish to note that last year, the Ministry of Health constructed two health posts at Mulwa and Namando in Luampa Constituency. As such, we would like to focus efforts in ensuring that these health facilities are fully operational before embarking on new projects.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr D. Mwila: Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister when the ministry will come up with a long-term plan for the construction of rural health centres countrywide.

Madam Deputy Speaker: The question is on Lububa in Luampa.

Mr Chisala (Chilubi): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister of Health said that if some hon. members of Parliament want to have their rural health centres constructed, they have to liaise with the district and provincial directors. It has been discovered that some districts are given a lion’s share of the health centres to be constructed. Would it not be wise for the hon. Minister to direct the provincial directors of health that each district throughout the country should have an equitable number of rural health centres?

Madam Deputy Speaker: Again, we have to be specific to the question on the Floor.


146. Ms Limata asked the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives:

(a) how much profit was made by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) from maize exports in the following years:

 (i) 2006;

 (ii) 2007; and

 (iii) 2008;

(b) to which countries the maize at (a) above was exported; and

(c) how many tonnes of maize were sold to local millers during the above period.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Mulonga): Madam Speaker, in response to (a), the FRA made the following profits from maize exports:

Year   Profit (K)  Quantity (Mt)

2006 – 2007  6,852,283,800  60,730

2007 – 2008  2,696,189,295  241,066.64

Madam Speaker, during the 2006/07 season, maize was sold at K874,000 per tonne at a purchase cost of K740,000 per tonne. As for the 2007/08 season, the selling price was K771,174.41 per tonne for the maize which was purchased at K760,000 per tonne. That was K38,000 per 50kg bag. The selling price for 2006/07 was higher than that of 2007/08 season, thus registering a small profit margin in the 2007/08 season.

Madam Speaker, maize as at (a) above was exported to Zimbabwe and South Africa in 2006-2007 and to Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Malawi, Namibia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and South Africa, in 2007- 2008, as per details below:


2006 -2007 2007-2008

Country Quantity Amount  Quantity Amount 
 (Mt) (K) (Mt) (Value) (K)
Angola        10.89 8,99,140.00
Botswana       670.04 528,157,875.20
DRC   20,717.71 16,295,884,000.00
Malawi      2,774.00   2,002,828,000.00
Namibia   12,453.12    9,813,921,160.00
Tanzania      5,000.00     3,610,000,000.00
Zimbabwe 59,670 57,614,000,000.00 152,462.50 118,090,978,400.00
South Africa 1,060      489,720,000.00   46,978.29    35,556,071,120.00
Total 60,730 58,103,720,000.00 241,066.64 185,906,835,695.20

Madam Speaker, the quantities (metric tonnes) of maize sold to local millers and the value is given in the table below:

2006-2007                                       2007-2008
Quantity Value (K) Quantity Value (K)
(Mt)  (Mt) 
18,759.40 14,519,238,600 316,408.87 271,191,346,640

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr C. K. B Banda, SC, (Chasefu): Madam Speaker, year in year out, the FRA always cries for funding from the Government. When will the FRA be run independently without relying on support from the Government?

The Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Dr Chituwo): Madam Speaker, the FRA, being a grant-aided institution and mandated to manage and administer our national food reserves, does raise some money as has been stated, but this is not enough. We believe that when the rehabilitation programmes in many of our silos and storage sheds are completed, they will be in a position to hold much more stocks than currently. We hope then, that they will realise more money and profits than is currently the case.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Madam Speaker, …

Madam Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1045 hours until 1100 hours.


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, I thank you for according me the opportunity to ask a supplementary question on the answer that was given by the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives.

Madam, through you, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether he is aware that because of the irresponsible and imprudent export of our staple food to other countries, the Zambian community has been exposed to severe shortages of our staple food. What measures is the Government putting in place to ensure that this sad episode is not going to be repeated, the Zambians are protected and that the staple food will be readily available in the country?

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, the measures being put in place for Zambia to be self sufficient in food, particularly maize which is our staple food, are that we increase on production and productivity. Hence, the efforts being made to strengthen those areas which were weak links between, for instance, the provision of inputs like fertiliser and seed and that of extension work.

Madam Speaker, let me once again try to clear this issue that the exportation of maize is responsible for the situation we have find ourselves in. In the years that we have talked about, 2006-2007 and 2007-2008, the FRA utilised all the funds that were allocated to them to buy maize from the small-scale farmers.

At the end of that exercise, or even before, there was so much maize still lying around with our very hard working farmers in various part of our country. Then we decided not to leave our farmers without buying their crop.

It was decided that the FRA borrows money from the banks in order to mop up all this crop. Being a loan, that money had to be repaid. The grain which was bought from the loan was to be exported in order to repay the loan. The Government was not the one to repay this money. This was the reason these quantities of maize were exported.

Madam Speaker, through that exercise, FRA was able to liquidate these huge loans so that we could start rebuilding our food strategic reserves. That was the position. As I said, as a whole, we should put measures together and the Government is committed to reviewing the Fertiliser Support Programme which is under way. I hope that the Committee on Lands and Agriculture will be able to attend the workshop tomorrow where they will be informed of the recommendations by experts as to the way forward. Basically, in Zambia, we must produce more food to ensure that there is household and national food security. When that is done, then we can export. That is the only way forward.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister is correct.  We need to produce more food. How do we do that when the fertiliser inputs are insufficient? In Kazungula District, 3,000 farmers had applied for fertiliser but only1,600 were given. Now that their maize was exported to Zimbabwe and it was not replaced, in this coming year, how do we know that people in Kazungula District will not starve as they are already starving?

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, the answer to that question lies in the review of the Fertiliser Support Programme, basically, to see how best we can cover as many of our small holder farmers as possible, in terms of access to these inputs.

Madam, secondly, I think we have to consider the sustainability of this programme. Hence, in this review, there are recommendations that, perhaps, the farmer should also take the responsibility of sustainability. When that report is through, I am sure it will clearly spell out what the way forward would be to ensure that farmers continue to be productive.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Chimbaka (Bahati): Madam Speaker, Luapula, Northern and North-Western provinces receive rainfall very early. Is Government considering delivering fertiliser to these places earlier than the other provinces that receive rainfall later?

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, in fact, one of the objectives of this review is to remedy these ills that we have found. As a Government, we would like to see that fertiliser is available throughout the year. I would like to urge the hon. Member of Parliament to just wait for a few days or so. We will see what plans are under way, not only for early deliveries but also for all year round availability of fertiliser. Clearly, the role of the private sector is important. The more we open this, we believe, the better.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Imenda (Lukulu East): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister, in his explanation, alluded to the fact that we were able to export maize and make a bit of profit. Now, why is it that the FRA, year in year out, take long to pay the farmers after buying from them?

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, whereas it is true that in the past we have had these difficulties, one can only look back to the last season. With increased competition, we saw that, in fact, the FRA did improve on the period of payment to the farmers for the crop that they had purchased. I think, with competition, certainly, it will make the FRA improve its activities and its performance will be even better. We will continue to urge the FRA to perform better than in the past or match with the private sector so that our farmers can benefit.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Madam Speaker, could the hon. Minister assist me and confirm that the FRA is owed huge sums of money by the individual executive members of your Government and what you are doing to recover this money? I also want to know how much this money is.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, I cannot confirm because I am not aware of that. What I am aware of is that the FRA is actively pursuing those that have owed them for several years. It is the general citizenry and any business persons who still owe that are being asked to repay money.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mwenya (Nkana): Madam Speaker, I would like to agree with the hon. Minister that it makes business sense to sell maize and, of course, make a profit. From the answer given, close to about K10 billion was realised as profit including the cost that was there after they had repaid the loans and whatever money that was accessed. Did this money improve the capital base for the FRA and, if not, how was the K10 billion utilised?

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, indeed, these profits did improve the capital base and this is why I gave you an example of the rehabilitation that is now under way now with the contract with the Grain Marketing Board of Zimbabwe in the rehabilitation of the Lusaka Silos. The funds being used are those realised from such profits. Therefore, one would imagine that with more profits, they would be able to do it on their own and improve on their assets that they hold.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


147. Mr Imenda asked the Minister of Energy and Water Development when the hydro-power stations would be constructed at the following places:

(i) Satele Falls on the Kabompo River near the Watopa Ferry Point; and

(ii) Sioma Falls on the Zambezi River in Shang’ombo District.

The Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Chibombamilimo): Madam Speaker, there is no specific time frame set for the construction of hydro power stations at the two named sites on the above mentioned rivers. My ministry is still undertaking a survey programme countrywide on rivers with hydro-power potential. Sioma Falls is one of the sites that has been identified. The potential capacity will be determined in the third quarter of 2009.

Madam Speaker, with regard to Satele Falls, I wish to thank the hon. Member of Parliament for the information of the site. It will be included in the on-going study. I would, therefore, like to take this opportunity to urge all hon. Members of Parliament aware of any other sites, to quickly submit the details so that they can be covered by the study.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Imenda: Madam Speaker, for three years in a row, I have been asking this question. Assurances of commitment to implement were made at every turn. We have been told in this House that Sioma falls was under investigation and that studies were being carried out. When are we going to start generating power at Sioma?

The Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Konga): Madam Speaker, the information provided in this House was true, that studies would be undertaken on various sites that hon. Members of Parliament and, indeed, the general public, bring forward to my ministry. However, these studies take time and may not be concluded in a specified time frame.

My ministry, in the response given by the hon. Deputy Minister, has confirmed that the studies for Sioma Falls will actually be done in the third quarter of this year. This is the commitment being given following the plan of action which has been put in place. The Government will only be able to determine exactly when the development of this site can be undertaken through after the study. I would like to urge hon. Members of the House, and the general public, not to wait for the Government to undertake these projects. These projects can be undertaken by the private sector. After the feasibility studies are done, the Government can come in and partner with financial institutions, especially now when resources through the Citizens’ Economic Empowerment Fund (CEEF) are available for Zambians to undertake development of some of these small hydro power stations for future use. This is one of the empowerment programmes in the electricity sector which my Government would like to encourage.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Milupi: Madam Speaker, currently, the Western Province is fed, with regard to the supply of electricity, from Livingstone. The power supply is extremely unstable because of that single line. When is the ministry going to augment the supply to that province by connecting Kaoma via Kasempa/Solwezi so that we have a ring feed into that province?

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, it is true that the quality of supply to most parts of Western Province is compromised because of the single line from the Victoria Falls Power Station in terms of the distance covered. It is a good proposal. My Government will consider reinforcing the supplies not only to the Western Province, but also to many other parts of the country where electricity is not available. That proposal will be taken into account as and when funds are available.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Nsanda (Chimwemwe): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister when this Government will consider using wind-generated power instead of the hydro-electric power, which has been used for a long time. The hon. Minister may wish to know that other countries are now using the wind which does not need a lot of power lines, as is the case with us.

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, the Government, through the revised energy policy, has decided to adopt various renewable forms of energy. Wind energy is one such source. However, the wind speeds measured in most parts of the country are not strong enough to generate substantial energy to give the necessary electricity.

The Government is, nevertheless, seriously considering producing electricity from solar, as a renewable energy, because it has been established that we have abundant amounts of solar energy in the country which, when appropriately tapped and utilised, will be one such form of energy that can augment the traditional hydro energy utilised for the past many years.

Madam Speaker, the other forms of renewable energy, which will also contribute towards mitigating the effects of climate change, is the use of biomass which is being encouraged in several parts of the country.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Madam Speaker, arising from the hon. Minister’s response to Hon. Milupi’s question, is the hon. Minister aware that the quality of power supplied to Luapula Province, in Samfya, is low and not adequate? If he is aware, what is his ministry doing, especially with regard to Kalungwishi Power Station so that this problem can be attended to?

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, it is true that the quality of power to Luapula Province and some other parts of the country, as earlier mentioned, is poor.

Definitely, my Government is aware of this status specifically for Luapula. This year, the Government is committed to undertake the refurbishment of Musonda Falls so that we can increase the power generated from this power station which will go a long way towards improving the quality of power that can produced and supplied to Luapula Province.

As regards Kalungwishi Power Station, the project is on course. The financial closure has been reached and once all the details and reports are in place, the developer will start producing power to the value of about 210 mega watts. This power will not only benefit Luapula Province, but will go a long way to supply and augment the power in the country.

 Madam Speaker, I thank you.


in the Chair]

VOTE 06 − (Public Service Commission − Office of the President − K4,113,860,750).

(Consideration resumed)

Mr Milupi (Luena): Mr Chairperson, yesterday, we were at a point when we were talking about the adulteration of the Civil Service.

Mr Chairperson, just to recap, the Civil Service is a foundation upon which proper governance of this country lies. Therefore, the need to re-establish it as a professional Civil Service cannot over emphasised.

Mr Sing’ombe: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi: The political head of any ministry or province is the Minister - Cabinet Minister, or Deputy Minister in case of a province. Under normal circumstances, this is the link between the ministry and the powers that be - especially the Presidency. Where you begin to introduce political operatives in the Civil Service, at higher levels, such as Permanent Secretary, in a number of cases, you have a case where you have two political heads, a Cabinet Minister and a Permanent Secretary. Sometimes, you would find that a Permanent Secretary may have a more direct link to State House than a Cabinet Minister.

Mr Sing’ombe: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi: Sometimes I feel sorry for certain such kind of hon. Ministers because, under those circumstances, it means that the decision of a Permanent Secretary is there to help you on the Front Bench. It, therefore, is necessary that together we influence our society to leave the Civil Service alone and create it, together with the Diplomatic Service, as a professional service in order that our country may advance.

Mr Sing’ombe: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi: All the plans we had set for ourselves, be they Vision 2030, Millennium Development Goals and on, will not succeed until we have a professional Civil Service.

Mr Chairperson, we have begun to see that in certain ministries that have demonstrated that they are able to perform, it is because hon. Ministers have used their professional acumen to override the desires of the civil servants.

 Mr Sing’ombe: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi: I have heard a number of my hon. Colleagues, especially from your left - from various constituencies - praising the Ministry of Education and, more specifically, the hon. Minister of Education, and we are proud of that. May he continue performing in the manner that he is doing. That is a professional person and he is using his professionalism to ensure that the ministry is guided.

Mr Sing’ombe: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi: Mr Chairperson, let me leave that subject and, now, refer to another item which our Public Service Commission needs to look at. What performance criteria do they put in place for our Civil Service? How do they determine who gets promoted, awarded, salary increases and so on? Yet, this should be the core of their function. What sort of people do we have in the Public Service Commission? What job assessment do they have? Do people get assessed? For the performance of the Civil Service or, indeed, anywhere else, it is necessary that people are targeted, targets set, assessments carried out and people get rewarded on the basis of their performance against the set targets.

Mr Sing’ombe: It is only Professor Lungwangwa who knows.

Mr Milupi: It may look as if the Civil Service is too big to do so, but it is not difficult because we can begin to do that.

Mr Chairperson, finally, over the years, starting from when we got independence, and because of various factors including high inflation levels and the depreciation of the kwacha and so on, this is what we have done to our salary structure. Over the years, we have moved away from basing the pay structure on basic salaries, to allowances. This has been a danger to our country in terms of development for two reasons.

The first reason is that there is now there is now a preponderance of allowances and workshops. Everybody does nothing, but create an opportunity to have allowances. Let me remind various people that in the mining industry, and some of my colleagues are still here, an overtime allowance is not paid to senor members of staff. If you were member of senior staff, you stopped earning overtime allowance. The reason for that is that if you are member of senior staff, you are the one who is capable of determining when overtime days were worked. To stop frivolous work with overtime, you were stopped. It is the same for allowances and workshops.

Mr Chairperson, in the Civil Service, you would find that every senior person is entitled to workshops and allowances. As a country, we must find ways of reversing this. It is absolute imperatives for two reasons.

Mr Chairperson, because you have allowed a situation where people can be creative, we have people who are earning way above average, not from basic salary, but from the allowances that they get. This is because of the demand that you have to leave your office and go elsewhere, the focus on what they ought to do in their various work places is totally lost.

 Mr Sing’ombe: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi: A number of people who do not have access, or have no ability to create those things, are poorly paid. Therefore, we must reverse that. Our Civil Service, through the Public Service Commission, whose budget we are debating now, ought to perform.

It might well be that they are also politicised but this is a very important matter and non-controversial. It is one of those that we need to focus on if we are to achieve what we need to achieve. We will need a chairperson who will advise hon. Ministers where they are going wrong, and where they are going against procedures, they should be told that this is not allowed and it may land them in trouble. However, Mr Chairman, we are not seeing that. What we are seeing is that our civil servants, who should be advisors to the politicians, step aside and, sometimes, even allow them to commit mistakes so that, later, they can leak information to certain places to nail those same politicians.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi: We can do better, Mr Chairman.

With those few words of wisdom, I hope, I would like to thank you, Mr Chairman.

Hon. Member: Continue!

The Deputy Chief Whip (Mr Mwanza): Mr Chairman, I thank you for giving me this chance to contribute to the debate on this Vote. Mr Chairman, this Vote is close to my heart. First of all, I would like to define what the Civil Service is. The Oxford Advanced English Learner’s Dictionary, 7th Edition, defines the Public Service as follows: ‘Something that is done to help people rather than make a profit’. That is the adequate definition of the Public Service. You are supposed to render service at no cost, charge or profit but what we seeing now is that our civil servants are very interested in getting profit, like my brother stated just a while ago. This is unfortunate and it must stop.

Mr Chairman, I would like to state the functions of the Public Service Commission, which are to make timely appointments to any office in the Public Service either on permanent and pensionable conditions of service or on contract; to make appointments on probation, confirmation in appointments and managing retirement processes and transfers; to exercise disciplinary control over persons holding or acting in the established public office positions; and remove them when they are found wanting at any time.

Mr Chairman, these are the functions of the Public Service Commission and my concerns arise from some of these. One of the concerns relates to appointments. Appointments on permanent and pensionable conditions, in my view, are alright because these are reflected to developing the various cadres in the Public Service to become career civil servants. However, Sir, I have some worry on appointing persons on contract basis and, here, I would restrict myself to Permanent Secretaries.

Mr Chairman, most of the time we see that the head of the ministry is the hon. Minister and not the Permanent Secretary. The Permanent Secretary services the Office of the hon. Minister but in a number of cases, this is not done and this is creating confusion in the Public Service.

Mr Muyanda: Lusaka Province.

Mr Mwanza: Mr Chairman, I do not want to name particular positions, but I am speaking generally. Mr Chairman, the issues of appointments have become problematic because there are limitless. You will find that a Permanent Secretary has been serving in that position, on contract basis, more than four times after he or she reached the age of fifty-five years. Is there need for that? You are suffocating the young people who would like to be Permanent Secretaries also.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwanza: We have a number of young professionals in these ministries who would, one day, like to become Permanent Secretaries as well, but because we have allowed these positions to be held for a long period, it is becoming very difficult for the young people to rise. I am of the view that my Government will consider this and ensure that they limit the contract term, to an officer, of only up to two terms after the age of fifty-five years. After that, the young people should come in. We have some civil servants who have been working since Independence, is there any reason for such people to continue working? Why can they not become entrepreneurs who will employ young people?

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwanza: This is what we would like to happen. Mr Chairman, I would like to link this with what happens at Parliament. Parliament is one of the most effective institutions in this country because the officers who work in various positions are very effective. They come to the office on time and if you want certain work done or you want a document and they tell you to get it at such and such a time, you will definitely find it. This is not the case in the Civil Service.

Mr Chairman, my proposal is that the Government should consider bringing about some linkage between Parliament and the Civil Service. At intervals, maybe one or two persons can be attached to Parliament so that they can learn how to effectively deal with administrative issues.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairman: Order! You are disturbing him.


Mr Mwanza: Mr Chairman, I want to move to another point which is equally relevant. Sir, I want to talk about discipline in the Civil Service. In the Civil Service, discipline is not as much as it should be because it has disappeared and this is worrying to this Government. We have not found out where it has gone.

Most of the time we hear politicians being in the forefront of doing wrong but surely is this what is happening in the ministries? We have not heard of a Permanent Secretary or Director committing an offence. Several officers in ministries do commit offences, but we are not proactive enough to ensure that disciplinary action is taken actively, and at the right time. This is very unfortunate. I notice that once an officer is put on charge, for example, in Mwense, by the time disciplinary action is taken, that officer will have retired or resigned. Now, is this what we want to see in our Civil Service? I, personally, do not agree with that. We must be productive and ensure that we do the right things and disciplinary mechanisms are enforced.

Mr Chairman, I am from the private sector and we were very strict in handling matters of discipline. If an employee committed an offence, that person was given an opportunity to be heard. This took many forms. He was called to the office of the supervisor but, in the Government, I see very little linkage between the supervisor and the employee. It is not there and we need to create it because effective management of discipline will start from the immediate superior who will be aware that the employee has come to the office late. How many of us do that? We do not and we have to answer unnecessary questions and hon. Ministers are being blamed for this and that, and finally the blame is lumped on the Government, that things are not moving, because we have destroyed this institution of the head of department in the ministry.

Mr Chairperson, these issues are very worrying, indeed, and, therefore, if we have to become an effective player and a Government that is respected internationally, we have to make sure that our Public Service is in order.

Mr Chairperson, I would also like to comment on the issue of performance appraisals. The last speaker talked about it briefly. I very strongly believe in the values of performance appraisals. I do not know whether these things are conducted regularly in other Government institutions.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwanza: However, here, at National Assembly, appraisals are done frequently and that is why Parliament functions perfectly. The workers here are professional in the execution of their duties. Therefore ...

Hon. Opposition Member: Amen.


Mr Mwanza: … performance appraisals in the Public Service must be encouraged.

Mr Chairperson, in order to ensure that the things I have talked about are addressed, the Government should see to it that human resource practitioners in Government ministries are proactive and able to take action when necessary. This can be achieved by making sure that these practitioners become members of the Zambia Institute of Human Resource Management, which was passed by this …

Mr Muntanga: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, is the hon. Deputy Chief Whip, who is speaking extremely well, in order not to include the fact that even hon. Ministers who do not know the Civil Service and are actually performing very badly, should first go and learn about how the Public Service works? The hon. Ministers who are ignorant about the operations of the Civil Service confuse the system when there are no proper Permanent Secretaries. Is he in order, Sir?


The Deputy Chairperson: The hon. Member debating might wish to take that point of order into account as he debates.


Mr Mwanza: Mr Chairperson, my last point in wrapping up my debate is that I want to briefly comment on the work culture in the Public Service, which is atrocious ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwanza: … to say the least. Nobody knows when officers report for work in Government institutions. Furthermore, officers usually just leave their jackets hanging in offices without staying there. I think this is because we have relaxed on supervision by the immediate superiors. The other day I was talking about Chinese investment. If only Zambians can emulate just 25 per cent of the work culture of the Chinese, development in this country would turn around.

Mr Muntanga: Hammer them!

Mr Mwanza: I would also like to encourage the Government workers to adopt a culture of a career Civil Service. This will allow us to build a Civil Service that is strong and effective. It is true to say that employees join the Civil Service expecting to, one day, become Permanent Secretaries or Directors in public institutions. It is important, therefore, that my Government embraces the aspect of encouraging the culture of a career Civil Service.

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

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr L. J. Mulenga (Kwacha): Mr Chairperson, I think I will just try to augment what the other speakers before me have said. The Civil Service is very critical to the development of a country. We are looking at the Budget right now and once it is approved, this Budget will be implemented by the Civil Service. Often times, we find that what is approved by this House never gets implemented because civil servants only focus on certain activities which benefit them, such as workshops, as alluded to by other speakers, travels abroad and so on and so forth.

Hon. Oppositions Members: Hear, hear!

Mr L. J. Mulenga: When it comes to key projects, they are not interested. They only get interested in projects which will profit them somehow. This is totally wrong. When it comes to analysing and looking at project proposals, quotations and so on and so forth, their focus is on how much is there for them. To some extent, this has depreciated the value of money for the Republic.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr L. J. Mulenga: It is, therefore, important that the Public Service Commission, very strongly, takes up its key function. Otherwise, there will be no reason for its existence. If the commission is not able to get the Civil Service to levels of excellence and acceptable performance, there is no use to even approve its Budget. In fact, in my opinion, even the Vote that we are considering for the Public Service Commission is inadequate when you look at the size of the Public Service.

Mr Chairperson, I do not agree that Zambia is a poor country, as we want to call ourselves. The biggest problem has been the inability by Zambians to come out of the shackles of poverty and realise meaningful lives for themselves.

Major Chizhyuka: Exactly.

Mr L. J. Mulenga: The people that can lead and get everybody moving are those in the Civil Service. In most developed countries, and in some other countries that are within our region, the Civil Service is more efficient than the private sector. In fact, the Civil Service sets the pace at which the private sector also begins to follow. However, in Zambia, the private sector is doing far better that the Public Service, which is not correct.

As politicians, including hon. Ministers, we are not civil servants. The job of hon. Ministers is policy framework formulation and the people below must carry out and implement that which is decided by those in Cabinet. We should not wait for next year, month or week to make decisions, but take immediate action.

Hon. UPND and PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr L. J. Mulenga: This is where the Public Service Commission comes in handy. People must understand that when they are given a responsibility or job, they must take it seriously and are expected to perform according to their job description. If they are not able to do that, they must leave the work to others. Now, the problem we have is that those who are supposed to play a supervisory role are afraid of being seen as bad people. This is why the Civil Service has gone from worse to bad.


Hon. Government Members: So it is getting better.

Mr L. J. Mulenga: If the head of a department is Tonga, it means that most of the people below him or her will be Tongas. If he is a Bemba, most of the workers in the department will be Bembas and so on and so forth. We cannot work like that.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr L. J. Mulenga: Supervisors even fail to make decisions because of working with cousins, nephews, sisters and so on and so forth.

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

Mr L. J. Mulenga: That is where the Public Service Commission comes in. It must be impartial and follow these things on a routine basis. You should not come in after the worst has been done because it does not make sense. Where is proactiveness in there? You will not achieve anything by looking at old issues. My plea through you, Sir, is that, we need to have a deliberate policy of ensuring that the Civil Service performs, rather than profiteering. For instance, they delay in retrieving files that are just under their drawers.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Malama: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Malama: Mr Chairperson, I am very concerned, but I do not wish to disturb a very good debater. Is he in order not to state, in this House, that, in fact, the reason there are so many problems in the Civil Service is that those hon. Ministers are toothless and cannot even fire a cleaner? Is he in order not to include that part so that those hon. Ministers can have powers of firing those who are failing to implement? I need your serious ruling.

The Deputy Chairperson: My serious ruling is that the hon. Member for Mfuwe has adequately debated his point of order. Can the hon. Member, please, continue?

Mr L. J. Mulenga: Mr Chairman, I have taken his point of order as my own.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr L. J. Mulenga: What we require is a total overhaul of the Civil Service. In the absence of that, these hon. Ministers will do whatever they want to do, but will not achieve anything. They will be a laughing stock, and we do not want that kind of scenario because we only have one Zambia which we have to develop. It is, therefore, our time to ensure that Zambia develops whether you like it or not. It is incorrect and immoral for people who go to these offices to get certain information and, also, civil servants that are profiteering on the basis of extracting the little money from the poor pensioners. They must stop it.

This is why I implore the Public Service Commission, through you, Sir, to be proactive. In other words, they must be able to follow the events at these institutions on a daily basis. They should not get themselves involved after a wrong has been done and reported. Sometimes, after bribing senior officers, they sit on files so that they are not reported.

Mr Chairman, sometimes, it is amazing if you go to these ministries only to find jackets hanging on their chairs. Therefore, you wonder how they organise workshop when, most of the times, offices are unmanned. What kind of management is that?

Mr Muntanga: They leave their jackets in offices.

Mr L. J. Mulenga: They just leave their jackets in offices without anyone to make decisions and, as such, the whole operation is paralysed. This must come to an end we need a Civil Service that is proactive.

Mr Chairman, to do business in Zambia is also a problem. If you want to register a company and you go to the Registrar of Companies, it may take you three to four weeks. Why? It is the same with the Passports Office. If you want a passport, it must take you two weeks. Why? All these ministries have problems. So whose responsibility is it to ensure that the Civil Service performs to our expectations? There have been so many reforms that have happened in the Civil Service which have yielded nothing. There are so many of these reports that are lying in all these hon. Ministers’ offices and I do not even know when they last perused through them. If you go to their offices, you will see that these reforms have gathered dust after paying so much money. Therefore, what are they for? All it requires is someone to stand up and say enough is enough and from today onwards, let us do the correct thing.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr L. J. Mulenga: We do not need workshops. All we need are people that are serious and more focused and get things moving.

If there will be no improvement in the Public Service Commission’s allocation, I will not approve their budget.

For now, I support the Vote and thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Mr Chairman, I will be very brief. In supporting the Public Service Commission, I want to say that our problem in this country has nothing to do with an unqualified Civil Service because we have the best qualified Civil Service in sub-Saharan Africa, but what is the problem? We have the most qualified Civil Service in sub-Saharan Africa and I have enough proof of that. Most of the civil servants who have gone outside are holding the most senior positions where they are. For your own information, in most of these countries, we are the advisors of the governments. You go to Botswana, Namibia and South Africa; you will find that Zambians are at the top. Why are they not performing in Zambia?

Mr Muntanga: MMD!

Mr Hamududu: What is the problem? The problem is that the MMD Government has failed to give the right conditions of service for the Civil Service. These are human beings and they have feelings. Due to inadequate salaries, they have found ways of surviving and they have even corrupted the budgetary process. They are now hiding the money into wasteful lines. They are crowding out the core functions of the Government. They are putting their money in staff welfare, gender awareness and HIV/AIDS awareness and yet there are basically only about three or four ministries with workplace programmes for HIV/AIDS. Where is this money going? You check in this Yellow Book. The hon. Minister of Health is confirming.

Mr Chairperson, very few ministries have workplace programmes for HIV/AIDS, but every year, there is money allocated for HIV/AIDS awareness. What is it for? Instead, it is diverted to workshops as well as monitoring and evaluations. Capacity Building at the workshops is poor.

These civil servants are very smart. Because you have not listened to their plea, they have found ways of getting this money. They have put it where they can draw it - in workshops, HIV/AIDS awareness, tours, and monitoring and evaluation. I have an example. If you go to Chalala area, here, after Woodlands, all those houses are owned by civil servants who earn meagre salaries.

Mr Chairperson, those are houses that hon. Members or Parliament or Managing Directors cannot build. How is that possible? It is because they found a way of earning the same salary they were going to earn outside the country. Not until you pay the civil servants their due wages and you realise the fact that they are human beings who have feelings, they will never change. Therefore, this Government must find a way of completely changing the way you address the Civil Service. I am not going to blame them. I am blaming the governance of those who make the decisions to change the cost of the Civil Service and address their remunerations. Do not blame the civil servants and I am not going to blame them here, but the problem is with the leadership of the country. We have failed to inspire and give this country a new direction.

As long as we do not address the issue of the conditions of service for the civil servants, forget about good performance. Parliament workers here work properly, maybe, because they are looked after properly.

Mr Muntanga: Nearly all of them drive here.

Mr Hamududu: Since they discovered that the Government does not listen to them, they have found a way of getting the money in a smart way and they are getting it. When these hon. Ministers are appointed to these ministries, they quickly put them in the scheme of workshops. You will find that in one day you will open about four workshops and, in that way, you become a beneficiary of their schemes until you say wait a minute. Therefore, let us take a serious audit in the way the Civil Service operates. The blame is laid on the door of the MMD Government.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: You must listen once and for all. These civil servants are not robots that you can use and pay meagre wages. You must address this issue. If it means running a lean Civil Service which you can pay adequately, do it. These debates are recorded and our children will read them. I am sure when they read these debates, they will say I am right. I want someone to stand here in this House and challenge me if I am wrong. Do not blame them, or their way of culture. How come workers at Parliament, here, work better than those in the ministries and yet they are from the same homes?   The issue here is conditions of service. This issue should be addressed.

Mr Chairperson, there is also the issue of unfairness in the Civil Service. In some ministries, for example, workers have access to salary advances and other ministries have nothing. Workers who do not access salary advances are exposed to these unscrupulous money lenders and most civil servants are in debt traps. They will borrow this month and borrow again the following month to pay the first one and then get again something. I think you must appoint a commission to look into this issue. I agree with what Hon. Hachipuka mentioned, the other time, that a commission should address this issue.

Sir, civil servants should also express their feelings. They should not be suppressed and enslaved in their own country. This brick (showing the Yellow Book) can only change if the people who draft it are well looked after.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Can you use the correct name for that? It is not a brick.

You may continue, please.


Mr Hamududu: Thank you, Mr Chairperson. This Yellow Book has been compromised. This heavy thing will not produce…

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Hamududu: … anything for Zambians because there are things in the Yellow Book which will make civil servants survive. That is why it is big and you cannot move money from anywhere. A lot of wasteful lines are crowding out the core functions of the Government. Until we understand that and do something, this Government will not deliver. It will also go in history as a party that was in Government and failed to seize the opportunity…

Mr Muntanga: And they will only be known for …

Mr Hamududu: … when free information is provided. I think it is important to improve the conditions of service for civil servants. Civil servants must access advances because they have a lot of problems to solve such as sicknesses and funerals. How do you expect them to survive if they are being paid K1 million or K1.5 million per month? If, for example, one wants to travel to the village in Mwinilunga, one needs K2 million. Do you want these civil servants to be attending funerals with nothing? I urge the Government to look into this issue and see to it that civil servants’ conditions of service are improved. It is better for the Government to have a small Civil Service which will be paid well and be able to deliver.

Sir, my timely advice, as I wind up, Mr Chairperson, is that I have hit the point on the nail - I mean the nail on the head.


Hon. Member: You have hit the nail on the head.

Mr Hamududu: Of course. Yes, I am hitting the point on the nail and on the head of the nail.

Sir, I have made my point. If the Government does not do something about the conditions of service of these human beings who are not animals or robots, they will not deliver. They will deceive you because they are very advanced and educated. When these people start using skills, you will not catch them. I urge the Government to do something about the conditions of service so that civil servants can deliver.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chimbaka (Bahati): Mr Chairperson, I am sure all has been said by my colleagues who spoke earlier than me, but I want to emphasise on the issue of conditions of service.

Sir, there is need for the Public Service Commission to re-introduce in-service training for civil servants. Previously, we had the National Institute for Public Administration (NIPA) - NIPA Chalimbana Campus and NIPA Lusaka Campus. The NIPA Chalimbana Campus was providing in-service training for Local Government civil servants, and the NIPA Lusaka Campus was providing in-service training for the whole Civil Service in the nation. Once the tools of implementation are sharpened, we expect the Civil Service to effectively and efficiently run the Public Service for the betterment and development of our nation.

Mr Chairperson, I want to compare the Civil Service to how the body works. The Civil Service is the heart that pumps blood to all the parts of the body. Once the heart is affected and the arteries and nerves are corroded, then a person suffers from hypertension. As a Government, once the Civil Service, like everybody has said, is adversely affected and corroded by inefficiency in terms of reporting for duty and working, then we expect the Government to have hypertension which is contracted by the fuss that comes out of inefficiencies in terms of performance of duty.

Sir, the Public Service Commission should also consider the speedy execution of disciplinary action. This takes long. We have heard of people leaking information for consumption to the public because of indiscipline and, thereby, creating or attempting to bring about anarchy which is very bad. I urge the Government to make sure that discipline is maintained in the Public Service. Civil servants must not participate in politics. They must be appreciated by everyone and all of us must deliver to the people of Zambia because that is what we are here for.

Thank you, Sir.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice (Mr Kunda, SC.): Mr Chairperson, I have taken note of the various points of view made by the hon. Members in their debates. Indeed, we need a professional Civil Service and one which is not politicised. We need discipline in the Civil Service.

Hon. Chimbaka has mentioned the need to preserve information. Of course, if we have civil servants who are not professional, we will have leakages of information in the Civil Service which, of course, the police will deal with very firmly. If any of the culprits is found, they will be dealt with according to the law.

There is also need to train civil servants so that they can, indeed, deliver to the people of Zambia.

I thank you, Sir.

Vote 06/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 08 – (Cabinet Office – Office of the President – Headquarters – K121,757,472,287).

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Chairman, I thank you for the opportunity to present the Cabinet Office Budget for 2009.

Mr Chairperson, hon. Members may wish to know that Cabinet Office is the highest administrative office in the Public Service, responsible for co-ordinating the effective implementation of Government policies, systems and procedures and the monitoring and evaluation of the overall performance of the Public Service for the efficient administration of the Government.

Cabinet Office operates directly under the Office of the President of the Republic of Zambia. The status of Cabinet Office and its functions are derived mainly from Article 53 (i)(ii) of the Constitution of Zambia.

Cabinet Office comprises the following:

 (a) Office of the Secretary to the Cabinet;

 (b) Administration Division;

 (c) Management Development Division;

 (d) Policy Analysis and Co-ordination Division;

 (e) Gender in Development Division;

 (f) Office of the Former Presidents.

From the foregoing, it can be envisaged that the responsibilities for Cabinet Office cut across most of the Government ministries and institutions in relation to supervision and influencing the policy implementation process in the Government.

Cabinet Office is the policy centre for the Government administration and management. In addition, the office takes responsibility for ad hoc commissions and new functions that may not have been assigned to any ministry or institution. It also considers appeals and arbitrates between contending Government ministries and agencies.

In the context of the Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP) and Public Service Reform Programme, Cabinet Office seeks to improve delivery of public services with regard to policy formulation, implementation and interpretation as well as monitoring and evaluation. This will be achieved through the implementation of the objectives as reflected in the Cabinet Office 2006 to 2010 Strategic Plan. The Objectives are operationalised through well designed, but mental work plans in order to enhance performance and delivery of public services.

Gender in Development Division

The Gender in Development Division is responsible for co-ordinating the implementation of the National Gender Policy which was adopted by Cabinet in March, 2000. The division facilitates research and resource mobilisation for implementation of the National Gender Policy Framework and developmental programmes.

In addition, the Gender in Development Division is charged with the task of liaising with, and networking at national, regional and international levels. The division also monitors and evaluates the implementation of policies and programmes to ensure gender responsive development.

 In that regard, therefore, the 2009 Estimates of Expenditure of the Gender in Development Division will support various activities which include the following:

(a) facilitating the operations of the newly-created  Office of the Deputy Minister of Gender and Women in development, in addition to the existing Office of Minister;

(b) mainstreaming gender in all sector policies through meetings and sensitisation programmes with sector ministries and institutions;

(c) capacity building among stake holders in order to improve gender analytical skills and techniques in the process of mainstreaming gender in development plans, programmes and projects;

(d) monitoring and evaluating the implementation of gender and development programmes, disseminating information relating to gender, including research findings, registration on gender based violence and gender disaggregated information on HIV/AIDS prevalence and reviewing the National Gender Policy.

The Office of Former Presidents

The Office of Former Presidents was established in 1993 through the Benefits of the Former Presidents’ Act No. 40 of 1993 Cap 15 of the Laws of Zambia. The Act provides for the pension and other retirement benefits of former Presidents of the Republic of Zambia and for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing.

Accordingly, the budgetary provisions for the administration of the offices of the First and Second Presidents are under the Cabinet Office Vote and as distinct departments.

In conclusion, as hon. Members of this august House will appreciate, Cabinet Office plays a key role in the management of the Public Service and providing central administration guidance to the nation.

The funds requested for in the 2009 Estimates of Expenditure will be necessary for the effective implementation of these activities. I, therefore, request the support of the House for these estimates.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute on this Vote. If I heard the Vice-President correctly, he said that there are about five divisions that are under Cabinet Office, but only one division has a Cabinet Minister and Deputy Minister. This division that has a Cabinet Minister and Deputy Minister has only ten workers. What a misplacement!

Sir, four years ago, the MMD Government created the Ministry of Gender and four years down the line, that ministry is not there. There is a Cabinet Minister and a Deputy Minister who are hanging in the air with no ministry to run. Is it because it is a women’s ministry …

Hon. Opposition Members: Ooh!

Mrs Musokotwane: … or because women are always marginalised?

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

Mrs Musokotwane: As women, we need this explained to us. You cannot give us a hon. Minister and Deputy Minister who have nothing to do. The division is run by a Permanent Secretary. What are these two women doing as Cabinet Minister and Deputy Minister?

Sir, when it was created in 2005, we were told that it could not be a ministry because the Budget had already been passed. Are you sure that in the last four years we have had no Budget brought to this House? Why has this ministry not been created up to now? When the Vice-President winds up the Vote, I would like him to explain why, in the last four years, we have a Cabinet Minister and a Deputy Minister for the Ministry of Gender who are just hanging in the air.

Mr Chairperson, what have the women of this country benefited from this ministry? This ministry is not implementing any programmes because they have no programmes to implement, but it is called Ministry of Gender. They are supposed to monitor and co-ordinate, but whose programmes and projects are they monitoring? They have no projects of their own on the ground and yet they are called a Ministry of Gender. This is very serious. It is time this Government brought legislation to this House for this ministry to be formalised. We cannot go on like this. This is not acceptable. You are dealing with people. Women are partners in development in this country.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Musokotwane: Therefore, we need to be respected. If you are going to give us a ministry, then it had better be a real ministry. You should not run us through a division. None of the divisions that the Vice-President mentioned has a Cabinet Minister and Deputy Minister. Are you fooling the women of this country? We do not want that. We would like to be respected as women because we are partners in development.

In the last four years, what has happened at that division is consultation after consultation and a lot of money has been wasted through consultations. This money should have been used to empower women, especially the rural women who cannot access your Citizen’s Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC). You are the only ones who are able to access that money. Therefore, we need some money, either through the Ministry of Gender and Women in Development, or through the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services because this animal you call, ‘CEEC’ is yours but, as women, we have not benefited from it.

Mr Chairperson, there are focal point persons in every ministry. What are they doing? All they do is arrange march pasts. They have been doing this for four years now and that is not worth it. Women are not even benefiting from these focal point persons in ministries. They only buy them uniforms once in a year when going to march. That is not acceptable. Women should benefit and they must be empowered. We have done enough capacity building and we must get on the ground in order to change the lives of women in this country through this ministry. If this ministry was fully fledged, I do not think we would have a situation where, when a female hon. Minister is dropped, she is replaced by a male hon. Minister. That is not acceptable.


Mrs Musokotwane: The female hon. Ministers that are dropped should be replaced by female hon. Ministers because we have enough educated women in this country.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Musokotwane: Sir, on page 15 of the Presidential Speech, the President said...

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

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mrs Musokotwane: Ooh! Bikiloni!


Mr Sichilima: Mr Chairperson, I am sorry, I did not wish to interrupt my mulamu but is she in order to…

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! There are no mulamus here.


Mr Sichilima: Sir, I did not wish to interrupt the hon. Member of Parliament for Katombola, Hon. Regina Musokotwane.

Sir, is she in order to emphasise that if a female Cabinet Minister is dropped, she should not be replaced by a male. Is that gender?

Secondly, are the women not the same ones who like pulling each other down? They cannot even speak for fellow women. I need your serious ruling, Mr Chairperson.


The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Member on the Floor, please, take that point of order into account as you debate. 

Mrs Musokotwane: Mr Chairperson, on page 55 of the President’s Speech, it says, and I quote:

“I will appoint women on merit not because of quotas”.


Mrs Musokotwane: Mr Chairperson, are you sure that those men that side were appointed on merit?

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Musokotwane: I am saying so because we have men who have problems with reading speeches. We had men in this House who would pronounce US dollar as, “us dollar”, but they were hon. Ministers.


Mrs Musokotwane: On that side, no women have failed to read speeches, to answer a question or have lied in their answers. Therefore, women should be appointed on merit. Is it because we are women?


Mrs Musokotwane: If it is merit, the President must appoint the women on merit too. We are not going to have men who cannot read and yet the appointments must be on merit. 

It is not acceptable. We have a lot of women who can read better in this country. Therefore, the President must think again about this. His merit must apply to both men and women.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

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

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Mr Chairperson, what is similar to Public Service is now Cabinet Office. The highest civil servant sits at Cabinet Office as the Secretary to the Cabinet.

Mrs Musokotwane: Hammer!

Mr Muntanga: Lack of discipline and misplacement of people must be corrected by the highest civil servant, who is the Secretary to the Cabinet. We had hoped that position would remain unpoliticised. However, we are beginning to fear that the position is being politicised.

Mr Chairperson, as we approve this Budget, we would like the Office of the Secretary to the Cabinet to save the indictment of the Civil Service. The Secretary to the Cabinet is one person who may help to advise hon. Ministers that are not adequately qualified, but are appointed, as my sister alluded to.

Hon. MMD Members: Aah!

Mr Muntanga: Yes, it is true. Even when you left school, your job was probably nothing other than being a shop owner. You have never been a civil servant and now you have become an hon. Minister on charge …

Hon. MMD Member: On charge?

Mr Muntanga: …in-charge of a ministry.

Mr Chairperson, we appeal to the Secretary to the Cabinet to continue running induction seminars, which used to be held for anyone getting into the Civil Service.


Mr Muntanga: Do not force me to mention your name. Be quiet because I want to debate without mentioning your name.

Mr Chairperson, I am appealing to the Secretary to the Cabinet to put in place a Civil Service that is professional. I am worried about the Cabinet Budget in this Yellow Book. 


Mr Muntanga: Hon. Minister, if you debate while seated, I do not mind.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! When we say “Order!,” it means you wait. The Chair deliberately kept quiet in the hope that the person debating was going to ignore the comments made by those seated. I think that it is not correct. Can we, please, listen? If you want to counter, you should indicate your desire to speak. However, do not make running commentaries when you are seated.

The hon. Member may continue.

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

Mr Chairperson, I have noticed something in the Cabinet Budget. Earlier, the hon. Member of Parliament for Bweengwa noticed how money has been moved. You will observe that last year, K29 billion was allocated for the HIV/ AIDS programme at Cabinet Office. What was done about HIV/AIDS at Cabinet Office that gobbled K29 billion? I am happy that this year it has been left out.

Mr Chairperson, I will emphasise the fact that lack of proper remuneration has gone up to the Secretary to the Cabinet. Before President Mwanawasa departed, we talked about building houses for former Presidents. This was a big issue. We were even told that the plans for the Second Republican President’s house were approved. However, there is nothing to that effect in this year’s Budget. This is cause for worry to me. Is it possible that you moved the budget for this project to be under the Ministry of Works and Supply? If it has been moved there, we need it to be reflected that the building of the House for the Second Republican President is under Ministry of Works and Supply.

We should not build the houses for former Republican Presidents and praise them when they are gone. The Second Republican President is staying in his own house. Why do we not start building? We need to start building the house now and start planning for the Fourth Republican President. After all, the Fourth President promised the Zambian people that he is going to retire after three years.

 Hon. Government Members: No!

Mr Muntanga: We should, therefore, start preparing for his retirement by building his house now. We do not want to start worrying when his time is over. I am not quite sure where the family of the late Republican President is staying. This is so because we had not built a house for the Third Republican President. I would like to appeal to Cabinet to ensure that things do not pile up. Now, since we know that we can change Presidents any time, we should make sure that we prepare in advance. We will soon have ten Republican Presidents who will require houses to live in. Before any Republican President becomes a tenant at State House or claims to be a tenant, let us start preparing for them before they put us in problems because we have not built them houses. We need to address this problem. Cabinet Office must inform and alert these people.

There have been a lot of stories of leaking of information. What has happened in Cabinet? The Vice-President has to pay them a visit and pay attention to unqualified civil servants. Why is it so? If it is coming out very clearly that leaking of information in Government is because of unqualified civil servants, what do we need to do? This issue is supposed to be addressed by the Secretary to the Cabinet because he is the highest civil servant who should find out how this is happening and if these people have been to colleges like NIPA to do some courses. When we were in employment, we could not be promoted without undergoing certain examinations. We had to be tested in order to be promoted. You had to know your profession and how good you were. People know that ranks in the Civil Service start from Administrative Officer, Assistant Secretary, Deputy Permanent Secretary and, then, Permanent Secretary. Now, we have a situation where someone can be moved from teaching to District Commissioner (DC) and then, end up as Permanent Secretary. You start wondering what courses they go through.

Mr Chairperson, I know that there is little money which has been allocated to this Vote, but the Secretary to Cabinet must use the allocation under the Support Services to start scrutinising his own officers. We want you to start scrutinising certain Permanent Secretaries. It does not matter who is offered a contract. We should ensure that we give contracts to people who are qualified to be Permanent Secretaries and can do the job properly. This has to start with the Secretary to Cabinet because he is the person who employs civil servants and signs letters.

Mr Chairperson, a politician can simply proclaim and say on has been appointed, but as long as the Secretary to Cabinet has not issued a letter to such a person, he or she is not employed in the Civil Service. Whatever you are, wherever you are working - be it in Government or elsewhere - if the Secretary to Cabinet has not given you a letter, then, you are not a civil servant. It is for this reason that we want to appeal to him to avoid appointing people that are not qualified for the job. You should withhold your signature. Let the man work as per political arrangement because these are political arrangements. When the time comes for his retirement he will not get his benefits.

Mr Chairperson, we need this issue to be dealt with because we are getting more and more concerned. Our appeal is that we want to have a good Civil Service. Therefore, this appeal is directed to the Secretary to Cabinet. People who have power to promote should ensure that there are some changes. When you notice that certain people do not come from your area, you remove him/her and take them somewhere else and, instead, bring in someone you know and push him/her there.


   Mr Muntanga: When these promotions are being made, what usually happens is that if the incumbent is not liked or they do not come from the same area with the promoter, they will be transferred somewhere else and somebody of their choice is brought in. There is a Deputy Secretary to Cabinet who was nominated as hon. Member of Parliament who should have been the Secretary to Cabinet. The man is a professional and you can see it from his performance in this House that he is a senior civil servant. The way he carries himself when answering questions will tell you that a civil servant is answering. Even you, from the way you behave when answering questions, it will show that you are a civil servant. Those who shout while seated may have just tasted and smelt the civil service by being sheriffs and they thought they were civil servants. Mr Chairperson, this is the problem and I am not going to mention their names because they know themselves. Sir, I would like to remind them that my only appeal is that the Secretary to Cabinet must have the power that he deserves to serve this Civil Service diligently because he is the appointing authority to anyone who must get what is due from the Government.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Mr Chairman, I thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the Vote.

Mr Chairperson, in supporting this Vote, I would like to discuss the issue of pay reforms. For a long time, as a Government, we have been working on these pay reforms and our hope was that by now, Cabinet Office could have consolidated this issue of allowances such as housing allowance and the rest to become a basic salary. However, it looks as if this exercise is taking too long. In this year’s budget, there is a provision but I want to say that the Government should seriously begin to consider the creation of a salaries commission.

Mr Chairperson, this is a mammoth task for Cabinet Office to undertake when they have several other functions. It is clear, in this country, when it comes to the issue of salaries and when you look at the Government structure and compare it to those who are in the mainstream Public Service and those in quasi Government institutions, that there is a big disparity in salaries. I can give an example of the salaries of those at Zambia Wildlife Authority, Food Reserve Agency and Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation when compared to those who are under Cabinet Office.

Mr Chairperson, you will notice that when the Government turns a Government department into an agency, what first changes is the salary structure. An officer who was working under a department and getting something like K2 million will, the following month, after the agency is created, get K25 million. This is demoralising the people who are working for the mainstream Public Service. If you look at the salaries of those working for the mainstream Public Service, those who do big jobs under very difficult conditions, and compare them to what their colleagues in Government agencies or quasi Government institutions are getting, you will feel sorry.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Chairperson, I feel that the Government should seriously look at this issue and start to consider having a specialised commission which is going to look at the issue of salaries in this country. Mr Chairman, today, we have public servants in some of these specialised agencies who are receiving higher salaries than the Secretary to Cabinet, who is equally a professional, and you begin to wonder.

We, sometimes, get poor service delivery from our public servants because they see that their colleagues who go to work for other institutions get as much as K25 million while they remain getting K1 million or K2 million. They do not even have houses and are only given K50,000 as housing allowance, which is not even enough to get a house in Kanyama.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: So, in my view, a salaries commission will actually address this problem of remunerations in the public sector.

As regards the issue of the women’s department, I want to take the statement made by Hon. Musokotwane as my own statement. Last year, the former hon. Minister of this department, on the Floor of this House, told us that the department was going to become a fully-fledged ministry. It was obviously because the department was established mid-term when the budget process had already been effected, but she did tell us that in the following year, meaning this year, we would see a budget line under Gender in Development. However, this is not the case. I take it that, maybe, because this is a very difficult year due to the global financial crisis.

So, I am hoping the hon. Minister of Gender and Women in Development will, next year, come with a budget line for this department as a fully-fledged ministry. If, God willing, the prices of copper start going up, maybe, the hon. Minister can bring a Supplementary Budget this year.

Mr Magande: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: I can imagine how difficult it must be to really co-ordinate the activities of gender. Now, when we talk about gender, we are not talking about women only because gender includes both men and women and that we want to be equal. Equality does not mean that when appointments are done, we must use words like “capable and qualified” men. Only when we talk about the other gender, female, do we then start seeing a lot of English words being used to describe the appointment of women. I think that is very unfair. Gender means that we must be equal and want to be treated equally. We do not want favours from men. As women, we want to be able to stand on our own, just like men.


Mrs Masebo: We do not want to rise in the ranks using underhand methods. We want to rise just like men, themselves, are rising.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: So, we are not asking for favours and we have no apologies to make by the mere fact that we are women.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: So, I think that I can speak for myself that most of the women that …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Order! Let us listen to her.

Continue, Madam.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Chairperson, I want to believe that most of the women, if not all, that are here, come here on merit. I do not know any woman, here, who came here through the back door or otherwise. I think that the women that are in this Parliament are all credible and have the necessary qualifications to take on any job, including being President or Vice-President.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Member: But you need a man.


Mrs Masebo: I do not need a man.


Mrs Masebo: A man is the one who needs me.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Order! You see, the debate is now becoming something between a man and a woman. So, please, address the Chair.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for the guidance. I think that it is necessary that the Zambian men begin to realise that we are equal partners, and women, equally, have an important role to play in this country just as the men folk themselves. It is important that the Zambian men begin to respect women and treat them just as they treat fellow men. Even when we make mistakes, the manner in which we are attacked must be the same manner that men folk are attacked.


Mrs Masebo: We have seen bias against female leaders, and I think that it is about time that we really began to treat each other fairly, squarely and equally. Men should just look at us as if we are also men. The fact that they are wearing trousers does not make them different from women.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! She is speaking.

Mrs Masebo: Even Hon. Lubinda wears a skirt.


Mr Lubinda: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! A point of order is raised.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Chairperson, is the former Minister of Local Government and Housing, who knows very well about siziba from Western Province, in order to state that this hon. Member of Parliament, representing the noble people of Kabwata, wears a skirt in reference to siziba without declaring to this House that the man she is saying needs her, will be laid on the Table?


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! No, the wearing of clothes is not what shows who is a man and a woman. It goes far beyond that. So, she is in order.


Mrs Masebo: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for that very good ruling on this very important matter.

Mr Chairperson, Cabinet Office is a very important institution in the running of the Government. I want to urge the Government that Cabinet Office should hold regular seminars and workshops for hon. Ministers and senior Government officials whenever the appointments are done. I note that, sometimes, it takes a long time and hence, you sometimes find that some of the practices that are in Government may not be appreciated on time by those that have been appointed. Therefore, I have not seen anything under Cabinet Office or, maybe, it is under administration, but I think it is a very important activity that should be organised by Cabinet Office from time to time and not just once at the beginning of each new administration. I note that even midstream you will have new appointments of people that are totally strange to the system of the Government.

There is so much that has been talked about leakages in the Government. Sir, it is true that leakages are bad for any government. However, it is also important to protect whistle blowers.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: It is also important that those that are in public office must always live above board so that you do not encourage people to begin leaking out Government documents.

Mr Chairperson leakages will always be there for as long as those that are mandated to run this country find themselves doing things that others might think are illegal.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Therefore, the best way to proceed as a public figure at any given level is to try as much as possible to do the right thing. I know that we cannot be 100 per cent perfect and that it is very easy to find a fault in a person. For instance, if I am going to look for a fault in Hon. Dr Machungwa and I start trailing him, I will definitely find something wanting.

Normally, it is easy to find a wrong in a person but, as leaders, we must as much as possible try to be seen to be doing things in a normal way. Cabinet Office has a role to play in ensuring that we minimise leakages in Government. Sometimes, what may be leaked out might not be the full story. It might be a half-baked story. This is why it is also important that in running the Government, we have workshops so that hon. Ministers and Permanent Secretaries begin to understand each other’s role.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

(Debate adjourned)

The House adjourned at 1257 hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday, 24th February, 2009







       Total Position
       As at 31 December, 2008

Aircraft         5,584,108,370
Aircraft Spares        2,552,270,520
Airport Technical Base         3,195,000,000
Commercial Property       8,501,166,294
Residential Property     13,231,920,425
Overseas Assets        3,118,026,352
Cash at Date of Appointment         266,638,949
Interest         4,249,441,495
Exchange Gains on Conversion     13,271,857,886
Equity Investments       2,082,040,237
Ground Handling Revenue and Operations     1,944,105,000
Debtors          1,350,606,183
Sundry Assets and Income        1,477,009,100
Tax Refunds/Output VAT              923,282,966
Rentals            536,786,198

Sub Totals      62,284,259,976


Liquidation Fees-PwC Office    14,188,496,185
Liquidation Fees-PwC Foreign Office     1,097,931,458
Liquidation Expenses/Vat Paid on Expenses     2,238,582,263
Legal, Professional and Consultancy Fees   11,903,750,981
Exchange Loss on Conversion        2,500,446,882
Repairs and Maintenance              681,362,592 
Utilities               432,401,440
Insurance and Security              883,830,936
Finance Charges               323,922,163
Sundry Expenses                697,635,964
Interest Payments to GRZ Group Scheme Sale     1,018,701,261
Dividend payment-Preferential Creditors       1,005,087,973
Dividend payment-Secured Creditors        875,214,501
Dividend payment-Unsecured Creditors   16,614,631,131
Property Rates           154,294,874
Purchasers’ Refunds          110,492,059
Property Transfer Tax

Sub Totals      55,491,578,103

Funds Available for Distribution and Future Costs      6,792,681,873