Debates- Thursday, 15th October, 2009

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Thursday, 15th October, 2009

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






The Minister of Foreign Affairs (Mr Pande): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you very much for allowing me to brief the House on three key issues, the 64th Regular Session of the United Nations General Assembly, the Africa-South America Summit and the State Visit to Cuba by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwahsa: Hear, hear!

Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, as the House is aware, from 21st September, 2009 to 1st October, 2009, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda recently visited the United States of America to attend the United Nations General Assembly. He also went to Venezuela for the Africa-South America Summit and finally to Cuba for a State Visit.

Mr Speaker, the 64th Regular Session of the United Nations General Assembly commenced on 15th September, 2009 and is still going on at various levels until December, 2009. The theme for this year’s session for the general debate was “Effective Responses to the Global Crisis, Strengthening Multi-lateralism and Dialogue Among Civilisations for International Peace, Security and Development”.

His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda led the Zambian delegation to the United Nations General Assembly in New York. He delivered his speech on 24th September, 2009. In his speech to the General Assembly, the President bemoaned the adverse effect of the global economic crisis which had not spared Zambia either. He stated that due to the economic crisis, the Zambian Government had, therefore, developed a diversification plan to shift the economy from dependence on copper to other sectors through policy interventions such as agriculture, tourism and manufacturing.

He called on the parties to expeditiously conclude the World Trade Organisations DOHA Round of Negotiations for these efforts to succeed. The President indicated that Zambia believes that there is a need to reform the United Nations, International Financial Governance Systems included.

Mr Speaker, on climate change, the President stated that the time to act on climate change was now and that Zambia’s view was that the shared vision should be based on shared responsibilities to climate change.

Regarding the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, the President reported that the region was more stable and peaceful than it had been in the last fifteen years, albeit with challenges.

Mr Speaker, on human rights, the President stated that since Zambia was elected a member of the Human Rights Council in 2006, it had continued to advocate for the promotion and protection of human rights. In addition to addressing the UN General Assembly, His Excellency, President Rupiah Banda attended side meetings in New York. The President participated in the high level dialogue on climate change which assessed progress in the implementation of the programme of action and identified obstacles, constraints and challenges. This meeting provided room for dialogue in preparation for the forthcoming Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change. President Banda and other Heads of State participated in the interactive discussions on this matter.

Mr Speaker, President Banda also attended the Clinton Global Initiative Event, bearing in mind the immense positive results being recorded in Zambia by the Clinton Foundation. The Clinton Foundation is one organisation that concentrates mostly on bringing in Anti-retroviral (ARVs) drugs for children and adults in Zambia. It works in partnership with the Ministry of Health to increase access to treatment to paediatric, HIV and AIDS patients. The foundation has provided, among other things, support for the rollout of early infant diagnosis, routine counselling and testing for children and training in paediatric ARVS.

Mr Speaker, His Excellency, President Banda also met with the Vice-President of Africa, World Bank where they discussed issues of economic importance to the country. He also held a meeting with the Acting President of the Millennium Challenge Co-operation (MCC), Mr Darius Mans. The President also found time to meet with the business community that came from different countries. The purpose of this meeting with prominent businessmen and women was to attract investment to Zambia.

Mr Speaker, the President also attended the Working Luncheon for the Sub-Saharan African Heads of State hosted by the United States President, Barack Obama. During the luncheon, three main issues were tackled. These were job creation, trade and investment and agriculture and food security. President Obama exchanged views with the Sub-Saharan Heads of State on the fight against poverty and promotion of trade. The meeting was the first of its kind. Therefore, it was proposed that there should be a formalisation of co-operation between the United State of America and Sub-Saharan countries. President Obama took note of the proposal and said his Government would consider it.

Mr Speaker, during the General Assembly, the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) leaders spearheaded and disallowed Madagascar’s coup leader Andry Rajoelina to address the UN General Assembly due to the unconstitutional nature in which he took over power and the fact that he was not recognised by both SADC and the African Union (AU).

Mr Speaker, during the UN General Assembly, I had opportunities to hold bilateral discussions with some of my colleagues. These included the Minister of International Co-operation of Sweden, the Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates, the Lebanese Minster of Foreign Affairs and the Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs, among others. The underlying focus of these bilateral discussions was on strengthening our bilateral relations to levels where both our countries yield desirable outcomes for the benefit of our peoples.

Mr Speaker, while at the UN General Assembly still, I also attended the 8th Commonwealth Ministerial Meeting. The meeting mainly deliberated on the preparations for the forthcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) which will take place in Trinidad and Tobago towards the end of November this year. It also touched on the need for concerted efforts to curb and counter international terrorism.

Mr Speaker, at the invitation of the President of the Republic of Venezuela, Mr Hugo Chavez, President Rupiah Banda attended the Second Africa-South America (ASA) Summit which took place in Venezuela on the island of Margarita, from 25th to 27th September, 2009.

Sir, a brief background on the Africa-South America Summit is that the idea of convening a summit between African and South American leaders was first initiated by the former President of Nigeria, General Olesugun Obasanjo, and the President of the Federative Republic of Brazil, Mr Luiz Inacio Lula De Silva, during President Lula’s visit to Nigeria. The summit was conceived as a means of strengthening the ties between the two regions in the broader framework of the South co-operation. And so, Nigeria hosted the first ASA Summit on 30th November 2006. It was attended by forty-six African countries and twelve South American countries. Zambia was represented by His Excellency the President, Mr Rupiah Banda, in his then capacity as Vice-President of the Republic of Zambia.

Mr Speaker, the summit considered and adopted the Abuja Declaration that affirmed the need for countries of both regions to strengthen co-operation between them in specified areas such as UN Reform, World Trade Organisation trade negotiations and equitable participation of the nationals of both regions in the Bretton Woods Institutions, among others. The Abuja resolutions established the Africa-South America Co-operation.

The Second (II) Africa-South America Summit was last hosted by Venezuela and was attended by about thirty Heads of State. The aim of this summit was to adopt strategies and measures that would translate the vision of the Africa-South America Co-operative Forum into concrete economic, political and social benefit; intensify co-operation and consultation at all levels to exploit the immense opportunity which bind the two continents.

The summit was, also, aimed at promoting the South-South Co-operation and consolidating the Africa Agenda in the betterment of the African Continent and the countries of the South.

Mr Speaker, the House may wish to know that the summit adopted the Margarita Declaration and the Plan of Action. The declaration covers issues concerning climate change and building alternative financial mechanisms to counter the current economic crisis and to stave-off possible future crises. Also, food security was a major topic at the summit.

Venezuela signed an agreement with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to help build irrigation infrastructures, donate certified seeds, train staff in African nations and provide grants for African students in Venezuela. Most importantly though, the summit launched the Bank of the South with US$20 billion from seven countries, namely; Argentina, Bolivia. Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela

This is a development bank that South American countries founded in 2007, in part, to reduce dependence on international lending institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

Sir, Zambia welcomes and supports the summit decision to bring on board the Bank of the South as it will be an important financial institution that will establish a new international financial architecture and enable member states to access credit facilities. This bank will accord member states an opportunity to achieve mutual economic development and enhance self-determination, as well as leverage of the people and nations of the South. This bank will be a Bank of the South, by the South and for the South.

Mr Speaker, Zambia intends to organise investment trade promotion that would promote trade between Zambia and countries of South America and encourage activities as well as consider ways and means of expanding commercial transactions.

Under mining, Zambia will share experiences and information with the South American nations in order to develop mining development policies that would address the challenges that are associated with small-scale mining. These include illegal mining, low production, environmental degradation and lack of business and management structures.

Mr Speaker, Zambia has a lot to learn from South America in various fields of tourism, including tourism training, research, heritage and culture technology, agro tourism, tourism standards, destination travel promotion, investment promotion, tourism infrastructure development, community-based tourism and capacity building and direct job creation, among others. Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez also floated a plan for Petrosur, a public multi-national company, to supply fuel to both regions. Petrosur is a regional integration and co-operation initiative oriented at promoting socio-economical development of the peoples of the South and decreasing the notable energy and social symmetries suffered by the region.

Sir, the summit backed the Tunisian President Ben Ali’s initiative to proclaim 2010 the International Year of the Youth and organise a World Youth Congress, under the aegis of the United Nations.

This stand is a new recognition of the President’s pertinent policy, one that seeks to guide youth and strengthen their role and contribution to the consolidation of communication dialogue and understanding among world peoples.

Mr Speaker, the summit decided to set up a follow-up mechanism at the foreign ministries level to ensure materialisation of the decisions taken. It also approved the holding of the Third Africa–South American Summit in 2011 in the Arab Libyan Jamahiriya.

My last issue is on the State visit by His Excellency, Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda, to the Republic of Cuba, from 28th September, 2009 to 1st October, 2009. Our President was invited to Cuba by His Excellency, Mr Raul Castro Ruz, President of the Republic of Cuba.

President Rupiah Banda held bilateral talks with President Raul Castro. The two Presidents discussed a range of bilateral, regional and international issues. They reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthen and consolidate the excellent relations that exist between the two sister countries. The two Presidents underscored the need to enhance social, cultural, political and economic co-operation, especially in the areas of agriculture, tourism, trade and education. They emphasised the importance of executing decisions of the Joint Permanent Commission (JPC) as a platform for promoting bilateral co-operation.

Mr Speaker, the President and his delegation visited a pharmaceutical company, Labiofam S.A and held discussions with the management of the company. After discussions, the Zambian Government agreed to set up a project for malaria control in Zambia. This programme will be developed and executed by Labiofam, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries. Zambia also agreed to set up a programme for the training of young Zambians who are studying in Cuba, in the technology of manufacturing vaccines and production of medicine. The objective of this programme is to reduce the malaria incidence by 80 per cent within a period of two years. The aforementioned results would be noticeable after three months of the application of the products. As I speak, a three-man delegation is in the country, looking at the logistics of establishing a project on malaria control in Zambia.

President Banda has been advocating for the elimination of diseases that menace cattle in Zambia. As you are aware, the rural communities in the country depend, to a great extent, on cattle raising as a source of wealth, especially my brothers in the Southern Province …

Mr Muyanda: Hear, hear!

Mr Pande: … and my children in the Western Province.

Mr Milupi: Aah!


Mr Pande: In this regard, a programme will be worked out with this pharmaceutical company with a view to fighting these diseases.

Mr Speaker, the President and his delegation were taken on a conducted tour of Veradero, a tourist attraction city in Cuba or the Livingstone of Cuba. In order to compare notes on tourism development, it was agreed with the Mayor of Veradero that Livingstone twins with Veradero.

The two governments also held the Eleventh (XI) Session of the Inter-Governmental Commission during the same time. I led the Zambian delegation was and the Cuban delegation was led by Mr Rodrogo Malmierca Draz, Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment. During the session, we expressed our willingness to strengthen the historical relations of co-operation, as well as the bonds of solidarity and fraternity between our two countries.

Among the outcomes of the commission was the agreement to pursue co-operation in the areas of health, education, sports, culture, agriculture, tourism and energy. In the health sector specifically, the Cuban side proposed a programme for the control of malaria in Zambia through the use of the biological products, bioactive and criselesf and another one for the control of rats and mice using the biological rodenticide, biorat. The Cuban side stated that both proposals would include technical assistance for the implementation and requested for support of the Zambian authorities with regard to the registration process of the products of interest to Zambia.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I wish to state that the development co-operation between Zambia and her co-operating partners and friends has been encouraging in view of the high level meetings and exchange of information aimed at envisaged maximum benefits. The Zambian foreign policy’s focus on economic diplomacy is truly being pursued aggressively.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Member: Boma!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the statement by the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Ms Kapata (Mandevu): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister talked about a three-member delegation coming to Zambia to look into the issue of malaria. As a country, we have the Malaria Control Centre which is based here in Lusaka. I would, therefore, like to find out from the hon. Minister whether this delegation that will come to Zambia to eradicate malaria is going to work in conjunction with the Malaria Control Centre.

Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, I indicated, in my statement, that the delegation will work in conjunction with the Ministry of Health under which the Malaria Control Centre is and the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries. The answer is, yes, this will be the case. The delegation will be here to determine the logistics to be put in place for them to set up this centre.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs whether he is saying that the country will have new suppliers of oil from South America, that the price of oil will be lower than that set by the current suppliers and that there will be no short supply of oil as a result of this good trip which His Excellency the President undertook.

Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, currently, we are all aware that Zambia does not produce any oil and therefore, any cheaper source of oil is an advantage to the country. As for Venezuela, their focus is not on just supplying oil, but coming here to start production. Therefore, at the moment, we are not just looking at the prospect of getting cheaper oil from there, but also, in view of the oil discoveries in the country, getting assistance to set up refineries here.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi (Luena): Mr Speaker, I was pleased to hear from the hon. Minister that the President met with the Director of the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA). In view of the fact that a lot of money can be obtained from MCA, as evidenced by Tanzania that got US$700 million therefrom, would the hon. Minister inform this House whether that meeting resulted in something positive so that Zambia can benefit from MCA? I understand that the difficulties are with our governance, especially our stance on corruption.


Mr Simbao: You are very negative.

Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, the situation is to the contrary because Zambia is currently on track and we hope to do that by 2011. This will be achieved through concerted efforts by not only the Government, but also everyone else in the country. When we talk of governance issues, we include all the citizens. At the moment, we are on track.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, in view of the global crunch and in the spirit of reducing travelling costs, I would like to know how many people accompanied the President, the role of the two Opposition hon. Members of Parliament who were part of the delegation and what criteria was used to choose them.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, I cannot give the exact number of people in the President’s delegation, but when a delegation is constituted, we only go with people with a role to play on the trip. For example, I was the only Minister on the delegation. On the issue of Opposition hon. Members being part of the delegation, it is the policy of this Government, under the leadership of President Banda, to let Opposition Members have a feel of how governments are run.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Mr Speaker, I wish to find out from the hon. Minister what resolutions on global warming that affect Zambia were made.

Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, there were no specific resolutions made on global warming. What I indicated, in the statement, is that it is in Copenhagen where the main resolutions will be made.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze): Mr Speaker, it seems that the Zambian Government has a propensity for dancing with governments that are considered to be undemocratic. Do you not think that by colluding with countries that are considered undemocratic by our major donors, we will continue losing aid from our democratic donors?

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, since the hon. Member did not specify which country is undemocratic, I am not able to respond.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda (Sinazongwe): Mr Speaker, will the Government tell us the pride it derives from seeking help on the eradication of malaria from the tiny island of Cuba and yet Zambia has the same technical skills at research centres such as the one based in Ndola and others? Why are you not ashamed to seek help from a tiny island?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, Japan and the United Kingdom are small islands. We should not look at the size of a country because it is like saying that a big man should not seek wisdom or knowledge from a smaller man. We do not look at it that way.


Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, Cuba, small as it may be termed, is not small in terms of technology. For the information of the hon. Member, countries such as the United Kingdom, Belgium and France have associations with Cuba in the area of medicines. America has failed to wipe out cattle diseases, but Cuba has managed to do so. I am sure without the embargo, the Americans would have gone there for help.


Mr Pande: Therefore, Mr Speaker, we are following technology. Cuba is a very highly technologically developed country. It is not like Zambia. We have no plans for the production of medicines nor to make any pharmaceutical products, but Cuba has.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Scott (Lusaka): Mr Speaker, just a follow up on the question of the Opposition Members of the delegation. In Cuba they have no Opposition. Therefore, what on earth was the role of our Opposition visiting Cuba?. Is it to teach the Cubans something about democracy, perhaps?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, the fact that Cuba has no Opposition does not mean that we are dictated by its position. We follow our own principle of democracy which is multipartism. We do not follow what Cuba does.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}

Mr Chisala (Chilubi): Mr Speaker, the President of Madagascar, Andry Rajoelina, is not the only leader who rose to power through a coup d’état. A similar situation happened in Guinea where Captain Camara rose to power through a coup d’état. I would like to know the current position of the African Union (AU) and United Nations (UN).

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, the question is vague, but, maybe, I can try and …

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Kambwili: Question!

Mr Pande: What question?


Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, it was vague, but perhaps those who are saying, “question” followed it. They are questioning themselves, but the question was both Rajoelina and Camara rose to power through coup d’états. Now, what position do you want to know?


Mr Pande: There are regulations that stipulate what should follow after a coup d’état in a country. The coup plotters were asked to follow certain rules which were made by the Guineans. Camara left the position as the coup plotter and went for elections and he was elected.

Hon. Opposition Members: No!

Where you there? He killed them.

Mr Pande: For Rajoelina there have been no elections at all.

Mr Kambwili: Question!

Mr Speaker: Order!

For the sake of the record, may the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs clarify the issue of the coup leader Camara? Have there been elections in Guinea since then?


Mr Speaker: Order!

It is just for the sake of clarifying the record. There have been no elections yet, I believe. Can you clarify that?

Hon. Opposition Members: Lelo.

Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, the clarity is that after the coup had taken place, Guinea was suspended from the AU. They were asked to follow the guidelines which are stipulated by the AU. After following those stipulated rules, Camara wanted to stand in the elections which were set, but the people of Guinea refused. Therefore, he has continued to rule the country.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Msichili (Kabushi): Mr Speaker, during the President’s visit, the President honoured Mr Fidel Castro with the highest medal of this country that is usually given to people who have contributed significantly to this country. Mr Mpundu Mwape, the man who has really contributed to this country has not yet been honoured. I would like to find out …

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Msichili: … whether Mr Fidel Castro will travel to come and receive his honour as is the usual practice with all people who get this kind of medal.

Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, the medal was given to Mr Fidel Castro in Cuba. Therefore, there is no need for him to come to Zambia.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Cifire: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, I would like to seek clarification from the hon. Minister on the size of the President’s entourage, especially that the hon. Ministers of Home Affairs and Foreign Affairs are the ones whose offices work on visas. Can he be definite on the size of the entourage?

Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, I indicated earlier that I am not able to give the exact number, but it was a reasonable number and all the people in that delegation had roles to play.

Mr Kambwili: Question!

Mr Pande: I thank you, Sir.


The Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Konga): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you for giving me this opportunity to address this House and the nation at large on the fuel supply situation in the country.

Mr Speaker, my statement is aimed at highlighting the exact status of the current fuel supply situation in the country and providing comfort to the motorists and the general travelling public by informing them that the Government is committed to ensuring that fuel is made available to all consumers in the most cost-effective manner whilst ensuring security of supply.

Mr Speaker, the current petrol shortage is as a result of the refinery catalyst and other attendant components such as the reforming unit requiring replacement earlier than previously researched. As a result of this, the technical performance of the refinery has decreased well before the estimated time for the planned shut down of the refinery. It is for this reason that the production and output for petrol has decreased, resulting therefore’ in the shortages being experienced on the market, especially in Lusaka. The Indeni Petroleum Refinery is due to be shut down for scheduled maintenance on 18th October, 2009, for a period of two weeks. This shut down is a normal operational matter and it is intended to enable the replacement of the components I have mentioned earlier.

Mr Speaker, as a way forward and in order to reduce the inconvenience experienced by the general public, the following measures have been taken:

(i) as regards the importation of fuel during the period of the shutdown, the Government has engaged the Independent Petroleum Group (IPG) of Kuwait, the current suppliers of petroleum feedstock, and Dalbit Petroleum Limited (DPL) of Kenya to import 50 million litres of diesel and 30 million litres of petrol. The products will be brought in through the ports of Dar-es-Salaam and Beira. Loading for both routes commenced on 13th October, 2009 and the first trucks are expected in the country by tomorrow Friday, 16th October, 2009.

(ii) in addition, one million litres of kerosene is also being imported.

(iii) in order to expedite delivery to filling stations, the fuel from Beira will be delivered directly to Lusaka while the products from Dar-es-Salaam will be delivered to Ndola. The Government has already made arrangements to facilitate logistics in the delivery of fuel.

Mr Speaker, in order to supplement the above mentioned efforts and possibly allay the risks associated with disruptions in supply, the Government has requested the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) to make arrangements for the importation of finished petroleum products. To this effect, the Government has agreed with OMCs that it will, with immediate effect, make arrangements to bring in the following quantities of petroleum products:

(i) 11 million litres of unleaded petrol;

(ii) 22 million litres of diesel; and

(iii) 1 million litres of kerosene.

The Government, through the Ministry of Energy and Water Development and Energy Regulation Board (ERB), is working out an allocation mechanism to the OMCs for the importation of these products based on their market share. It should be noted that in order to land these products competitively, the OMCs have requested that the current waiver of import duty on fuel imports that is applicable to the Government be applied to them as well. My ministry is, therefore, working on the details of this matter in liaison with the Ministry of Finance and National Planning. Implementation of these measures is expected to commence during the week beginning 19th October, 2009. These measures are expected to ensure that the fuel supply situation stabilises as soon as possible.

Mr Speaker, to further mitigate the recent shortages, OMCs have been directed to release any fuel allocated to them to the public. In Lusaka, for instance, 400,000 litres out of the available 600,000 litres of petrol was allocated on 12th October, 2009. This is more than twice the daily petrol demand for Lusaka. A further 350,000 litres of petrol has been allocated to Lusaka. The allocation of petrol has been with due regard to the size of the OMCs’ distribution network. Therefore, most of the fuel released on the market has been through the British Petroleum (BP) Zambia Limited and Total Zambia Limited.

 With regard to the supply of jet fuel, the two OMCs that deal in this commodity, Total Zambia Limited and BP Zambia Limited, have made arrangements to import all their requirements. We have been assured that this fuel is already in transit.

I wish to inform the nation that since all the required spares for the refinery are already in the country, it is expected that the two weeks planned shutdown of the refinery will be adhered to.

Mr Speaker, it is my sincere hope that this statement has clarified the various anxieties the motorists and the general public may have had regarding the fuel supply situation in the country.

I thank you.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: The hon. Members may ask questions which will help the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development clarify some of the points that he has made in his statement.

Mr Muyanda (Sinazongwe): Mr Speaker, may I find out from the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development whether it has now become an annual event …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: … for the country to run out of – may I pronounce the word properly – fuel …


Mr Muyanda: … and not ‘fuwel’. Has it now become an annual event for this country to run out of this essential commodity which the nation desperately needs in preparation for farming and other activities?

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, the challenge that the nation experienced was a shortage in the supply of petrol. The supply of diesel, which mostly drives economic activities such as farming, has been uninterrupted. I would like to set the record straight. Diesel has been normally supplied to all the filling stations throughout the country.


I indicated in the ministerial statement that petrol production was affected because of the aging catalyst and reforming units. As a result, there was a reduction in the supply of petrol on the market. The Government endeavours not to have a disruption in the supply of fuel on the market. In future, the Government will put in place measures which will ensure petrol, diesel and kerosene do not run out.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC. (Chasefu): Mr Speaker, we have heard from the brief that the Government has engaged IPG of Kuwait and a company from Kenya to import petroleum products. Would the hon. Minister tell the nation, through you, Sir, why the Government, itself, cannot import directly instead of engaging private companies which will inflate the prices of these products when they deliver them to Zambia? Why engage middlemen? Can the hon. Minister tell Zambia the connection between the company from Kuwait and the Kenyan company?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, the two companies that I mentioned in the ministerial were selected using a competitive process through the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) to supply petroleum products to the Government of Zambia. Owing to this challenge that the Government experienced, they were asked to go beyond the supply of crude products. They were requested to also supply finished products because they had already been competitively selected through ZPPA.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chota (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister why he always tries to manage important issues when they reach the crisis stage. Who is gaining out of this crisis? Do you not have planners?

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, the challenge we are facing, as I indicated, is the supply of petrol on the market. The refinery catalyst and reforming units required to be replaced much earlier than was envisaged. Therefore, despite the Government’s efforts to plan for the shut down, as was the case, the two units deteriorated much earlier. We could not wait until our scheduled dates to respond to the problem, contrary to the allegations by the hon. Member. This, of course, resulted in the shortage of petrol, and I have indicated that the Government is endeavouring to ensure that such a situation does not recur.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Mr Speaker, we seem to have this agonising situation almost every year. Last year, the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development told us that the prices of petroleum products were at their lowest. Did we take advantage of the situation to import and stock up so that we can have some reserve stocks even just for one week since the situation is becoming uncontrollable?

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, the Government imported and stocked up when the prices were low. My statement is very clear. The challenge we have relates to petrol. We only import the recommended crude products. We have repeated, in this House, that we import the recommended crude products which are refined at the refinery. However as a result of the aging catalyst and the reforming units from which we produce petrol at the refinery which broke down, our production was affected. This is why there is a shortage of petrol; and therefore, I would like to put it on record that this was a matter that was unexpected, and that the normal production of the other products such as diesel and kerosene was not affected. Only the production of petrol was affected because the components that  produce petrol broke down.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ntundu (Gwembe): Mr Speaker, that hon. Minister …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ntundu: … did mention on the Floor of this House that the Government is in the process of ensuring that it establishes provincial fuel storage facilities. He went further to say that these reserves would last up to thirty days. I will pull out one of his ministerial statements and lay it on the Table of this House. Therefore, I would like to find out from this same hon. Minister why he is now somersaulting and changing the information? Is he telling mere stories to this House or it is becoming his style to be musical in his statements to this House? What is the correct position on the provincial fuel storage facilities?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, I would like to tell hon. Members of the House that it is true we had said that we would put up provincial fuel storage facilities. His Excellency the President made reference to that when he came to this House. It is not something that can be done instantly. It takes a process that cannot be completed overnight. Anyhow even when you have these storage facilities, you must fill them up with finished products. If the finished products are not there because the machine used in the production process has broken down, what would you fill the storage facilities with?

 Your Government is in the process of setting up provincial fuel storage facilities so that our nationals in the rural areas especially can have the benefit of uniform prices. Of course, it will take a while because of the costs associated with the setting up of these provincial storage facilities.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, last week the hon. Minister issued two statements. In the first one, he said that there was no shortage of fuel while in the second one on the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC), he said the shortage of fuel is being caused by the OMCs that are withholding their stock. Today, he is telling us that, indeed, there is a shortage of fuel because of the catalyst or whatever he called it. Would he confirm that he misled the nation and apologise for that or resign?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, I did confirm and I think I have indicated to this House that there was no fuel crisis in the country. I would like to put this on record.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Konga: We had a problem with petrol. Having no fuel means that there is no diesel, kerosene or jet fuel.


Hon. Opposition Members: Ah!

Mr Konga: Yes. I want to put this on record. We had a challenge of the supply of petrol. I would like to appeal to hon. Members not to panic that there is no fuel in the country.

Mr Muntanga interjected.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Konga: There is diesel throughout the country. The farmers are buying their fuel to carry out their farming activities and so I do not understand why hon. Members are creating this notion that there is no fuel in the country. Of course, there is no petrol, but other forms of fuel are available. Our citizens are buying kerosene for their lamps and planes are refuelling at the airport with jet fuel. Why are you saying that there is a crisis of fuel? The fact that there is no petrol does not mean that there is a fuel crisis. Petrol is only one form of fuel.

Mr Speaker, I would like to set the record straight. I have said, in the ministerial statement, that the challenge we had been facing is one of lack of petrol and not the other forms of fuel because these are available at filling stations throughout the country.

I thank you, Sir.




131. Mrs Chitika-Molobeka (Kawambwa) asked the Minister of Education when the Government would construct a high school in Iyanga Ward in Kawambwa Parliamentary Constituency.

The Minister of Communications and Transport (Professor Lungwangwa): Mr Speaker, currently, there are no plans to build a high school in Iyanga Ward in Kawambwa Parliamentary Constituency. However, the ministry is constructing four high schools in Luapula Province. These are Mponde Day High School, Lukwesa Day High School, Milenge Boarding High School and Luapula Girls’ High School.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Chitika-Molobeka: Mr Speaker, how are the people in Iyanga Ward going to access and achieve education for all if they are not provided with a high school because children walk thirty-four kilometres to the nearest high school?

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, hon. Members are aware that the Government is committed to the principle of Education for All. Currently, a lot of efforts are being made to construct high schools countrywide. We have stated, time and again, on the Floor of this House, that the Government, at the moment, is constructing forty-five high schools countrywide through the contractor mode and eighteen high schools under the community mode. This clearly shows the commitment of the Government to the provision of high school education to our children.

 Sir, with specific reference to Iyanga Ward, we know that children in that area, at the moment, have opportunities of high school education at Kawambwa Technical High School, St Mary’s High School, Ng’ona High School and the Tea Estate High School. These are the high schools in the vicinity of Iyanga Ward.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chongo (Mwense): Mr Speaker, most of the school-going children in Iyanga Ward are from poor families and, as such, they may not afford to pay for boarding facilities elsewhere. Is the ministry contemplating, at least, assisting these children with bursaries so that they can go to those schools whilst you are thinking of giving them a high school nearby?

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, I do not know how many times we shall clarify or state, on the Floor of this House, the Government’s policy. We have, time and again, indicated that in the interest of equitable development or increased access to education, the Government has a bursary scheme for eligible children. There is a provision for bursaries to enable them access high school education. This is something I have been stating, over and over again, and I am sure most hon. Members of the House have heard about this policy several times in the House.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Sinyangwe (Matero): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Education whether the policy that was there where poor parents could pay in kind is still there. At that time, if parents had grown maize, they could pay a certain number of bags of maize equivalent to the school fees to solve the problem of schools fees.

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, I do not know whether the hon. Member is restating a statement of practice which is a local arrangement at the school level. Those are local arrangements which are made by Parents Teachers’ Associations.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr D. Mwila (Chipili): Mr Speaker, thirty-four kilometres is a long distance and since the hon. Minister has mentioned a community mode high school which costs about K800 million to build and that the Government can manage, will the hon. Minister state to this House whether the Government intends to build a community mode high school in future?

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, we all know that distances in most of our rural areas pose a big challenge to access to education and the situation at Iyanga Ward is clearly not the only situation in the country. There are quite a number of places where school children are challenged not only by thirty-four kilometres but by even longer distances. This is a fact and, clearly, as a Government, we are aware of the problem and that is why we have a continuous programme of constructing high schools. The hon. Member who has asked that question knows very well that there is a contractor or community mode high school being constructed in his constituency. That is why, as a Government, we have introduced the formula of community mode of construction of high schools so that we can increase the numbers of high schools in a cost effective manner.

This is an on-going process that cannot be accomplished in a day. I can see the hon. Member for Sinazongwe nodding his head in agreement because he is happy …

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Prof. Lungwangwa: … that Sinazongwe High School is now at the roof level.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: On a point of order, Sir.

Professor Lungwangwa: Sorry, not Sinazongwe, but Gwembe.

Mr Speaker: Order!

You cannot raise a point of order on good news.

Professor Lungwangwa: I am sorry, Mr Speaker. I meant to refer to the hon. Member for Gwembe and not Sinazongwe.

I thank you, Sir.


Ms Kapata (Mandevu): Mr Speaker, in view of the poverty that is so rampant in this country and the bursary that the hon. Minister has mentioned, is the ministry thinking of making high school education free for all?

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member is aware that that particular issue was debated in this House. It is a complex and expensive process and the Government is still studying the possibility of going in that direction. However, it is not something that can be addressed overnight.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


132. Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC. (Chasefu) asked the Vice-President and Minister of Justice:

(a) when a court house would be built at Mwata Local Court in Chasefu Parliamentary Constituency; and

(b) when houses for local court staff at Phikamalaza would be rehabilitated.

The Deputy Minister of Justice (Mr Chilembo): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the Judiciary had initiated a vigorous programme to rehabilitate and construct local courts countrywide in 2007. The tempo has, however, been slowed down by the country’s adverse economic downturn.

 With the above background, the courtroom at Mwata Local Court in Chasefu Parliamentary Constituency cannot be constructed immediately, but when funds are available.

Mr Speaker, the dilapidated staff houses at Phikamalaza Local Court in Chasefu Parliamentary Constituency will be rehabilitated when funds for the purpose are available.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC.: Mr Speaker, the Mwata Local Court has no Government-owned building. The structures being used by court staff were left by the Tobacco Board of Zambia. Why did this Government sanction the opening of a court at this place when they had no capacity to construct a court building?

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice (Mr Kunda, SC.): Mr Speaker, this Government has the capacity to construct local courts countrywide. Last year, we had allocated some money for the construction of local courts countrywide. We will repeat this next year. If you care to check the Budget which is before the House, you will appreciate the kind of effort we are making.

However, I would also like to appeal to the hon. Member of Parliament to provide some alternative means by making representations to us through the local establishments, the Ministry of Justice and the Judiciary. What I can say is that we shall vigorously address these particular problems, starting from 2010 onwards and you will prove it if you check the Yellow Book.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from His Honour the Vice-President whether he will give hon. Members of Parliament a work plan of all the local courts and staff houses that will be rehabilitated and constructed next year so that we do not ask questions on which court will be constructed.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, at the moment, all the information regarding local courts which will be rehabilitated is in the Yellow Book which will be considered by the House. If the House approves it, those are the local courts which will be rehabilitated. The information is available.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}


133. Mrs Banda (Chililabombwe) asked the Minister of Education when another high school would be built in Chililabombwe Parliamentary Constituency.

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, there are no immediate plans to construct another high school in Chililabombwe Parliamentary Constituency which already has three high schools.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Banda: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that most children in Chililabombwe are left out at Grade 9 because there are very few Grade 10 places?

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, we are aware of the constraints in terms of access at the Grade 10 level and that is why efforts are being made to construct more high schools. There are a number of high schools being constructed on the Copperbelt at the moment. These will provide opportunities for children in the province.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

134. Mr Munaile (Malole) asked the Vice-President and Minister of Justice when the local courts at Makasa and Chimbola in Malole Parliamentary Constituency would be rehabilitated and court rooms extended.

Mr Chilembo: Mr Speaker, the local courts at Makasa and Chimbola in Malole Parliamentary Constituency are scheduled to be rehabilitated in 2011.

I thank you, Sir.

135. Mr Kambwili (Roan) asked the Minister of Education:

(a) who owned the busses that were  bought by Parents Teachers’ Associations in Government Schools;

(b) whether the Government officials such as District Commissioners have authority to direct Government school managers to release their buses for political party functions; and

(c) what disciplinary measures are taken on Government officials who abuse school property for political party functions or activities.

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, I would like to inform the House that buses bought by Parents Teachers’ Associations (PTAs) are property of the Government.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, Government officials such as District Commissioners have no authority to direct Government school managers to release their buses for political party functions.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, erring officials may be charged, surcharged or even dismissed, depending on the gravity of the offence committed.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, when there was a demonstration against me, in Luanshya by the perceived Lunda/Luvale group, the Luanshya District Commissioner directed all head teachers to release buses for that purpose. This complaint has been lodged to the Ministry of Education, through the District Education Board Secretary (DEBS), but no action has been taken. May I know what action is going to be taken against the District Commissioner.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, that is a highly personal matter …


Professor Lungwangwa: … which he can follow up as the aggrieved party.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Mr Speaker, I would like to learn from the hon. Minister why schools go through such trouble to collect money from pupils to buy buses, and yet they belong to the Government. Why do these buses not have the Government of the Republic (GRZ) number plates on them?

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member knows very well that PTAs are institutions created by the Government and that there are regulations and procedures governing their operations. For as long as they operate within the Government school premises, what they do is controlled by the Government.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chazangwe (Choma Central): Mr Speaker, most mission high schools have both PTAs and boards for proper governance. When will the Government high schools introduce boards in order to have proper governance?

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, I am surprised that the hon. Member who is a former head teacher of a high school has asked this question …


Professor Lungwangwa: … because he knows very well that there are boards at high schools that are Government-owned.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC. (Chasefu): Mr Speaker, may the hon. Minister of Education inform the House who owns buses purchased by PTAs in privately-owned schools.

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, private property is just that and is defined as such by the law.

I thank you, Sir

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Order!




(Debate resumed)

Mr Chongo (Mwense): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Budget Speech that was presented by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning.

Mr Speaker, my debate will be very short because it is based on the very few observations I have made. First and foremost, I would like to congratulate the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning on presenting a Budget which appears like it cannot be challenged or criticised …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chongo: … going by what has happened in the last two days. Maybe, it was so good that we are contemplating where to start from. I would like to congratulate you on that, hon. Minister.

Mr Speaker, the other observation I would like to make is on the challenges that this Budget Cycle, that we just passed in this House is going to present. To me, twelve months is just that. Whether we start counting from January or December, it is still twelve months. I am yet to see whether we will do better now that the Budget has been presented in October and its implementation will start in January, than when it was presented in January and implemented in April. The problem that we have is the challenge of perfecting, what I would call, delivery efficiencies. That is where we have a problem.

Sir, for instance, South Africa presents its Budget, I think, a month or two after the Zambian Budget has been presented in January, but project implementation in that country is almost flawless. Therefore, I would like to inform the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning that even as we change this cycle, there is a lot that requires to be done. We need to perfect the system, especially by removing the bureaucracy in tender procedures. If we do not do that or change the mindset of the implementers, who are the civil servants, we should not be surprised, next time, to hear about the change of the presentation of the Budget from October to June. I believe the problem is in that aspect and not when the implementation of the Budget starts.

Mr Speaker, the other observation is that this Budget is an estimate of the new expenditure. In this country, it looks like we are more concerned about where the resources are going and not where they are coming from and that is the problem.  Indeed, for instance, we can budget for K32 trillion or even double what has been presented this year, but do we ask ourselves where we are going to get these monies from?

Mr Speaker, in this country, there appears to be a respect of private demanded prices in certain services and products. A case in point is that we have a passed law in this House on the television license, which entails that every citizen who owns a television pays K3,000. It has been very difficult to collect this money and I am saying so because most of us in this House may not be complying with this law. However, we are very eager to pay the private demanded price for a digital satellite television, which is K300,000 on a monthly basis. Therefore, we, as citizens of this country, need to cure that disease. I would like to appeal to the leaders of this country and the citizens, at large, to change their mindset. If everybody obliged to pay the K3,000 television license fee, I do not think we would be having the problems that are prevailing at the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) as the institution would be financially sound. We are, therefore, prepared to fund the private sector and not the Government programmes.

Sir, the other problem that we have in this country is that the Government is more concerned with addressing problems experienced by spending agencies or sectors. Day in and day out, we are worried about how we are going to pay our teachers or address nurses and teachers’ problems. These are spending agencies. Not for once are we concerned about how the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), which creates the money for us, is operating so that we can increase its operating efficiencies.

Mr Speaker, these are the problems that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning needs to look into.

With these few words, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Lands (Mr Mabenga): Mr Speaker, I thank you for affording me the opportunity to contribute to this debate. In the first instance, let me join the rest of the House in congratulating the mover and the seconder of the Motion. I also would like to join the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning who remembered the departed soul of our late brother, John Mwanakatwe, who was a very hard-working hon. Minister of Finance of this country. May His Soul Rest in Peace.

Mr Speaker, I would like to congratulate the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning on retaining the theme, “Enhancing Growth Through Competitiveness and Diversification.” I thought this was a very clever way of ensuring that there is continuity to bring prosperity to this country.

Mr Speaker, just before I read the speech by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, I took time to look at the cover of the speech. Immediately I did that, I was filled with gladness and I am sure my colleagues on this side (left) have their faces beaming with gladness.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabenga: I also see that Hon. Muntanga is struggling to try to beam with gladness.


Mr Muntanga indicated.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Mabenga: Mr Speaker, thank you for the protection. I was saying that my face was beaming with gladness and a good number of our colleagues here had their faces beaming with gladness because what is on the cover of this speech depicts its content. A close look at the pictures on the cover depicts agriculture, manufacturing, mining and, of course, promotion of culture activities, which are very important for tourism. You can see very clearly that our co-operating partners are shown dancing with us.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabenga: That is an indication of the full co-operation that we have from our colleagues from China.

Mr Speaker, I would like to congratulate, once again, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning on increasing the 2010 Budget allocation from K15.5 trillion to K16.7 trillion which is an increase of K1.4 trillion. This is a big credit to the hon. Minister, who has brought this amount of money which is the most needed requirement of this country.

Mr Speaker, this gives credit to this Budget. Therefore, it is important that we give credit where it is due. At the same time, I would like to mention that researched and discovered that quite a good number of stakeholders in this country, those who are concerned with the livelihood of the people, are concerned about the way things should run in this country. This is based, especially on the comments that they have made with regard to this Budget. They are very important comments that should be taken on board and understood to mean that this Budget means well.

Sir, the Private Sector Development Association (PSDA) has said that the Budget has invested in the Keep-Zambia-Clean and Healthy Campaign. For what purpose, we may ask. The answer is that this has been done for tourism purposes, especially, that in 2010, the World Cup will be hosted in a country not far away from our own.

The World Bank has said that it supports the continued use of the theme because it means well for the country. The International Monitory Fund (IMF) is saying that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has maintained the tax regime which is good for the mining industry and the country as a whole. The Bankers Association of Zambia (BAZ) is pleased to hear about the Government’s commitment to establishing overnight lending windows for banks in the country. The Zambia Chamber of Small and Medium Business Association is glad that the Budget is emphasising infrastructure development. The Bank of Zambia (BOZ) has said that this Budget will get the country back to high growth and reduce poverty in the country. The Millers Association of Zambia (MAZ) has said that the Budget has actually concentrated on all key aspects of the economy. The Economic Association of Zambia has said that the Budget was presented in a manner that restores confidence in the economy as this would usher in economic stability. The Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants (ZICA) has said the Budget looks bright and that it will address most challenges of the economy.

Mr Speaker, these are comments made by people who take time to analyse Budget issues. Therefore, when they comment on matters in this manner, it means that the Budget has the blessing of these various stakeholders. This, therefore, gives credit to the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, and, indeed, the MMD Government.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabenga: Mr Speaker, this can be proved by what has come out of this Budget Speech. It can be proved by what is contained therein. It is very clear …

Mr Muntanga: What about the villagers in Mulobezi?

Mr Mabenga: … that the villagers in Mulobezi are going to benefit.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Mabenga: They are going to benefit.

Mr Speaker, it is very clear in the speech that infrastructure will be developed, in addition to what already exists. It is also clear that agriculture and livestock development have been emphasised and quite a large sum of the money will go towards these items.

Mr Speaker, I talked about tourism, manufacturing, energy and water development. These are key areas of development that should be taking root in the community and that everyone should be talking about and this is what is happening.

Mr Speaker, I would like your protection because this man, sitting two metres away from me is making too much noise ...


Mr Mabenga: … and mispronouncing words because he missed the lecture we had in this House yesterday.


Mr Mabenga: Mr Speaker, I am emphasising the fact that the hon. Minister’s speech has brought out pertinent issues that have given us great hope in the transport and communications sector. It has done the same in the health and education sectors. It has given us hope in skills development and in the water supply and sanitation sector. It has also given us hope in social protection and local governance.

Devolution of powers means that power will go to the local communities to enable them to run their own affairs so that people like those sitting two metres away from me, will be able to understand …

Hon. Opposition Members: Chituwo.

Mr Mabenga: …. No. Two metres away from me means someone further than that.


Mr Mabenga: Mr Speaker, this is only a distance of one metre (pointing at the distance between him (Mr Mabenga) and Hon. Dr Chituwo).

Two metres away is beyond Hon. Dr Chituwo. This person knows himself and he should know how matters are supposed to be discussed. Are they meant to be discussed with him sitting there in an un-ironed pair of trousers?


Mr Mabenga: Mr Speaker, I am trying to emphasise here …


Mr Speaker: Order! The hon. Deputy Minister of Lands is protected. Will the House listen.

Mr Mabenga: Mr Speaker, I am very happy that I am protected.

Mr Speaker, I was emphasising the fact that this speech must be taken seriously because it is for the good of the people of this country. What the hon. Minister is bringing out and what we shall positively see coming out of the Yellow Book will emphasise the importance of the points that have been highlighted in the speech.

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

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): Mr Speaker, I am grateful. I would like to start my debate on the hon. Minister’s Budget Speech by first congratulating him on …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Speaker: Where are the Whips?

As you can see, another five and half hours have been wasted. If you translate this into money, that is millions of kwacha wasted. I am going to report you to the voters. They will know what to do with you. They send you here and you come in late. They send you here and you leave too early. The House is meeting and you go home. I will tell them.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice entered the Assembly Chamber.


Mr Speaker: Therefore, because of what you, hon. Members, have done, I will not stand up. I will speak while seated.

 The hon. Member of Parliament for Mazabuka may continue.


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for this opportunity.

 Sir, I would like to join you in insisting that, as you report the hon. Members who come late after the tea break, you start with Muchinga and then go to Keembe. You need to tell them the truth.


Mr Nkombo: Sir, I was in the process of saying that I would like to congratulate the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning on a fair attempt to deliver the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the Budget year ahead of us. It is only fair to state that even the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning ought to have taken his seat because this is his Motion. Alas, he is not here, but I will continue to debate and hope to be heard through his hon. Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning. I would also like to join him in passing a word of condolences to the Mwanakatwe family. Unfortunately, at the time of his demise, I was away in Mozambique. Therefore, I was not able to attend the funeral. May His Soul Rest in Peace.

Mr Speaker, in part two of the hon. Minister’s speech under the title “Development in the Economy”, the hon. Minister spoke about job losses in the mines. He also talked about how 8,500 jobs were lost on the Copperbelt and in Mazabuka, the constituency that I am very fortunate to represent. The hon. Minister went on to say that of 8,500 jobs that were lost, about 1,500 have been regained and that this represented about 17.6 per cent recovery. The hon. Minister and his team could have done a lot better and not congratulated themselves on retaining 1,500 out of 8,500 jobs. I know that he attempted to speak about the situation as obtaining in the neighbouring countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Africa. We must try by all means to ensure that we learn from the adage that says, “once beaten twice shy”.

I will zero in on the Munali Nickel Mine which he talked about and that is domiciled in my constituency. Sir, it is as a result of recklessness on the part of this Government and on that of the investor at the time they were consummating the relationship at the commencement of the Munali Nickel Project that the mine found itself in such a quagmire. Had they tried to be a little more focused and made sure that they had tightened all the loose ends, the mine would not have closed.

Sir, one of the things that they did not do is make sure that the person responsible for inspection and supervision of mines did his/her job. Clearly, that was not done because had it been done, the mine would not have gone under care and maintenance at its inception. The mine went on record as having been a still born baby. I am looking very carefully and cautiously to see that the mistakes that this Government made are not repeated.

Mr Speaker, I will quote what the hon. Minister said in trying to describe how good the MMD Government was:

“I am, therefore, concerned that our detractors …

 Sir, the hon. Minister called us detractors. Unfortunately, he is reasonable enough to find a tutorial to allow him to know that we are not detractors, but hon. Opposition Members of Parliament.

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: Sir, if we were detractors or if you did not have any people to do the check and balance, what the hon. Minister said, which I am about to quote, would have landed this country into turmoil. He said:

“I am, therefore, concerned that our detractors do not seem to appreciate the gravity of failing to secure mining jobs. Through these statements they make, I suspect that the mining industry and the country would have been in ruins today if it were them who were in Government.”

Mr Speaker, this is not only an arrogant statement from the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, but also a sad one because there is a need for them to be checked and balanced. This is a fact.

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: If they were permitted to carry on like this, they would ruin this country. The purpose of our coming to this House is to make sure that, together, where they do not see things as we see them, we dialogue and tell them that “Look, we think that you should have taken this route and not the route you have taken.” Clearly, the mining houses went down because of the collective irresponsibility on the part of the Government on your right.

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

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I would also like to advise that self-praise is the best recipe for self-destruction. Why do you not permit us to praise you and just keep quiet and get the accolades? If you cannot get the accolades, wait for them, they shall surely come. Do not come and pat yourselves on the back because in attempting to do so, you will pull a muscle. Let us be the ones to pat you on the back. I am, therefore, advising the hon. Minister to start thinking the big picture style. To do this, he must be ready to get views from a variety of interest groups. For as long as the hon. Minister will think that when he hears, “Hear, hear!” from the MMD, then he is on course, I am sure that one day, he will live to regret it. Please, accept insight from a variety of groups, including children. Ask them what they think is good for them. The fact that they gave you the mandate to govern this country for this moment does not give you the ultimate power to do what you wish.

 I would like him to ask my uncle, Hon. Magande, who, fortunately today, is in the House to reflect on this matter. When he was a nominated Member of Parliament and Minister of Finance and National Planning, sitting on that same seat Hon. Dr Musokotwane is seated on, I am sure he saw the world a little differently from the way he sees it today because he now represents a constituency. Therefore, it is important and proper that you lend your ear to hon. Members who represent constituencies when they speak to you, because we may just help you to govern properly. The idea of being stiff-necked is not good.

Mr Speaker, I am now speaking with specific reference to the removal of the crop levy as is the case now countrywide. The Government on your right has done that.  In Tonga, we have a saying “Ikwambila bwee” which means that it is like telling a rock because a rock has no ears. Ikwambila bwee is the same as talking to this Government. In English, I will probably put it as farting against a thunder. When you fart against a thunder, you will not be heard. That is what we have been attempting to do to this Government in an attempt to make it listen.

Mr Speaker, I will, now, go to item number twenty-six of the speech. This is where the hon. Minster spoke about tourism. The hon. Minister lamented the few tourist arrivals recorded in this country, and yet this is a way of raising revenues for our economy. He also tied this to the global economic crisis that we are all aware of.

Sir, you do not reap where you do not sow. In other countries, they go to cable networks such as Sky News, CNN, Al-Jazeera News, you name it, and advertise to sell a country. You cannot form a tourism fund for people to start building brothels or what you call rest houses and expect tourists to come here. They will not come. You need to advertise Zambia and tell them about the Victoria Falls. Unfortunately, to date, certain people of this world think that the Victoria Falls is in Zimbabwe because this Government has done a very bad job of advertising this country.

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: Things will fall into place.

Sir, I asked this question to Hon. Hon. Kaingu when he was Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources. He told me that advertising is expensive. It is about US$500 per 3 minutes on CNN. Who cares? It is because you not reaping where you have not sown. You must invest that money in advertising for people to come to this country.

 Mr Speaker, let me now move on to the issue the hon. Minister indicated is obtaining in the agri-business.

Mr Speaker, in the agriculture sector, he said that the reason we had a bumper harvest this year is that we have recorded a 5.2 per cent increase in the agro economy business segment. This indicates that we have not had a bumper harvest for the last ten years. This is an all-time-high as he described it. I think that is fair. If they think that the bumper harvest is attributed to their good agriculture policy, why did they change the structure of the Fertiliser Support Programme (FSP) to the Farm Input Support Programme (FISP) and reduce the input given to each beneficiary farmer from a pack of eight to a pack of four or to a half pack? What was the reason they did this in a year there was a bumper harvest? Did you want to change things for the heck of it? That is not the way things work.

Hon. Government Member: Growth!

Mr Nkombo: If there was growth, why the change? It is a clear indication that you do not have confidence in yourselves. If there was a bumper harvest, you ought not to have changed. Unless you convince me that it was an accident, which it probably was.

Mr Speaker, I now would like to scale down to the marketing of this bumper harvest. Last year, we saw how farmers were duped by selling their produce at ridiculously low prices to grain traders and millers who formed a cartel with the Government’s eyes wide open but that could not see. No wonder people always tell you that depending on where you are seated, you will see the world differently. On this side of the House, we saw that there was a cartel that was sitting on an excess of 100,000 metric tonnes of maize in this town, but this Government did not know this. They went ahead to try to import maize, committing the Zambian people’s money to buying maize at three or four times the price. It took my colleagues and I, on the left side of the House, to stop them. We made sufficient noise for the Hon. Dr Minister Chituwo to actually take a position. I am grateful to him because he stopped that importation. Otherwise this country would have been ripped off by unscrupulous dealers. This is money which could have gone to the provision of sanitation to our people.

Sir, in his Budget Speech, the hon. Minister spoke about K433 billion which has been allocated towards the water sector. I congratulate him on that. However, that money he used to buy maize from the millers after their arms were twisted would have gone to sinking many boreholes.

In his speech, he also mentioned that next year, he was going to sink 1,000 boreholes in this country. Through you, Mr Speaker, I would like to tell the hon. Minister that it is not a great achievement because that translates into thirteen boreholes per district. A district such as Mazabuka would have thirteen boreholes. If it comes to the constituency level, it means you have given each constituency only six boreholes. Would you say that is an achievement? There are 282,000 living human beings in my constituency. Do you think they can share six boreholes? I think the answer is no. As you present yourselves hon. Members and Colleagues, do simple calculations and see what the net effect is. 1,000 boreholes sounds like a grand figure, but if you said 500 boreholes per constituency, we would give you applause.

Mr Hachipuka: 100!

Mr Nkombo: At least, if you said you were going to sink fifty boreholes per constituency, we would say, “Yes, well done”, but not six. In Mazabuka, we refuse to have only six boreholes.

Sir, I have sunk twelve boreholes in my constituency using my own resources. This means I have done better than you, as a Government. I am on record as having sunk twelve boreholes in two months in 2004. You sunk six in a year and you are claiming that you are doing very well. Please, check that one as well.

Mr Malwa: You used CDF!

Hon. Opposition Members: No!

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I am still talking about the agriculture sector. Last year, the budgetary allocation was K1.09 trillion and today, it is K1.1 trillion with an increase of plus or minus K40 billion which translates to US$10 million. In 2006, US$10 million is the amount of money that this Government gave to a single farmer, Lendor Burton, to grow winter maize. However, you have increased the whole agriculture sector by K40 billion in addition to slitting the ministry into two. Hon. Machila will be responsible for livestock which does not even appear in this Budget Speech. What appears under agriculture is an inclusion of forestry under the Vote for agriculture, but there is no allocation for livestock. We have been lamenting, in this House, how this Government can make the livestock ministry stand on its own with a full budget line. Alas! It is not even showing in the Budget Speech. Probably they will show it to us in the Yellow Book. For now, it is a demonstration of failure not to show on your table that the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries is going to stand on its own and run its own budget line. As it is, you have lumped the two ministries together.

Sir, I would now like to talk about education. Unfortunately, the hon. Minister of Education is not here. However, it is sufficient to say that K3.3 trillion appears to be alright, but it represents about 19 per cent of the Budget. A person who does not read correctly can easily say, “Well down.” However, I would like to demonstrate to the hon. Minister that science and technology in education has been ignored. I have not seen it in here unless you can show me or unless I am blind. Under your table, it does not exist. Did you hide it inside the Vote for the Ministry of Education? If you did, why did you do that despite knowing that science and technology is one of the driving engines of any economy? Why did you hide it in education? Is it because you think that once Zambians see the schools that are being built with mortar, bricks, conforce wire and a roof, then they will think you have done well? No! You have to go a step farther in making sure that you impact knowledge in the growing generations’ heads for this country to be better and not to simply say, “We have built Ndola High School”. If you have done so, so what? So what if you have built Kapiri Mposhi High School? How many laboratories have you put in existing infrastructure? Those are the questions you need to ask yourselves.

Mr Speaker, I now wish to talk about the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). Sir, the hon. Members on your right disagreed when we pleaded on the Floor of this House not to remove the crop levy. If it is the maize they want to deal with, let it just be removed for maize. The removal of crop levy has disadvantaged me in my constituency. The sugar company and the coffee growers have also stopped paying crop levy. Everybody is saying, “The Government has said no more crop levy”. Nature does not permit a vacuum. It simply does not. There is a window for you to redeem yourselves by increasing CDF from K650 million to, maybe, K5 billion per constituency.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: Then it will cover the vacuum that you have created by removing the crop levy.

Mr Speaker, I would like to inform this House that the Mazabuka Municipal Council is on record as having been netting K1.9 billion every year. Where does this Government think it will get another source of such revenue from unless they change their style and increase the vote on CDF because this is money that shall surely be spent? It is different from these moneys that they keep in their vaults and send back to the Treasury at the end of the year. We shall not send a single penny to the Treasury because we are going to give it to the direct beneficiaries; the people who voted them into Government.

Mr Speaker, I would like to end my address by saying that the Government sometimes baffles me in that in October they can go ahead and try to entice voters with blankets in Kasama. Blankets that were bought using taxpayer’s money.

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

Mr Nkombo: Such kind of thinking is worrying. If it were in June …

Mr Mabenga: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mabenga: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order on the hon. Member of Parliament for Mazabuka. Does he have empirical evidence to show that these hon. Members were involved in giving out of blankets? I know that Hon. Simbao never stayed in Kasama Town. He was 25 km away from Kasama Town. The time he is referring to, Hon. Mutati was in Lunte doing some work there. He was not in Kasama Town. Does he have that evidence? I need your serious ruling.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Yesterday, I banned all reference to the campaigns in Kasama because I could foresee this kind of talk degenerating into something else. In this House, we speak from facts and not allegations. If the hon. Member for Mazabuka has a blanket there, which he seized from somebody who was about to donate it to someone, he should lay it on the Table of the House.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: If he cannot, he should move on to another point.

Will the hon. Member continue?

Mr Nkombo: I am most obliged, Sir.

I would like to end my debate by saying that it is very hot and this is not the season we use blankets.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Misapa (Mporokoso): Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for according me the chance to contribute to the debate on the Motion.

Mr Speaker, first of all, I would like to dwell on the issue of water in the country. We know that in the Budget, the issue of water is well catered for and that is very good. If we look back, probably ten years ago, this problem of water has been resolved bit by bit, but we still have to reach where we intend to reach. There could be some reasons we are failing to reach that point and the first one is that the crude oil that is pumped through the Tanzania-Zambia Mafuta (TAZAMA) pipeline from Dar-es-Salaam to Ndola at the Indeni plant reaches the plant with less problems, and yet it is denser than water.

Mr Speaker, if we can manage to transport oil to Ndola, how have we failed to provide water to our citizens? I have a proposal on this one. We have been spending billions on sinking boreholes which have proved to us that they cannot solve the problems of water supply in this nation. My proposal is that we should come up with a big company and invest whatever money is budgeted for in Zambia and ignore the boreholes because, in most cases, they have failed us. We should use the budgeted money to have one good centre and branches in certain areas so that water can be pumped from wherever it will be situated to the rest of Zambia with fewer problems.

Mr Speaker, I know it sounds impossible, but the truth is that if we compare ourselves to our friends in deserts such as Botswana, Libya and other countries without rivers, we see that they do not complain about inadequate water supply. We need to forge ahead on this one.

Mr Speaker, I now would like to talk about the manufacturing industry. Whilst we want to promote agriculture, which is very important, we need to look at how we can improve the manufacturing industry as well. We may not start big, but it is important to start from somewhere. We know that in this country, during the rainy season, we have a lot of mangoes in the country, but most of them just go to waste. In Mwinilunga, pineapples are produced, but most of the fruit goes to waste. I hope that we can organise Zambians to start canning or producing foods such as jam and juice which would, in turn, earn revenue for our nation.

Mr Speaker, after our industry has been trampled upon, we have completely forgotten about it and people are, now, going to a nearby country, Malawi, to get juice, and yet we can also make our own from mangoes and the other fruits I mentioned. We need to look into this issue seriously because a country without a manufacturing industry can definitely face problems of development.

Mr Speaker, I now would like to talk about the road network in the country which needs some attention. The hon. Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Mulongoti), yesterday encouraged us to visit his office. Yes, it is very important to do that but, at the same time, certain roads, including the roads in my constituency which I sing about everyday, that is, the Kasama/Mporokoso and Kaputa/Mporokoso roads, which are very important also need a lot of attention because they connect districts to the provinces. I am humbly requesting the Ministry of Works and Supply to see to it that these roads are considered for tarring so that we see development in these areas.

Mr Speaker, I now wish to mention the state of the Great North Road. It was only yesterday when we had some vocabulary explained thoroughly well. I now would like to emphasise the word “great”. We have only two roads called “great”, but I do not know whether the road which goes to the north that is called the Great North Road, qualifies to be so called.

Mr Speaker, this road has a lot of potholes which are death traps to motorists and so I humbly ask the Ministry of Works and Supply to improve the state of this road. I propose that since the road is quite busy and it even helps the Government to make revenue at our Nakonde Border, they should consider that even a third or quarter of whatever moneys are at the border post go towards the maintenance of this road because if it becomes worse than it is, it will definitely be very expensive to repair.

Mr Speaker, I would like to also talk about the health sector. In Mporokoso, there is a good hospital which is probably the third biggest hospital in the Northern Province, but unfortunately, we do not have any medical doctor. There was a Dr Chimba who has gone for studies. We are, therefore, humbly requesting, through you, Mr Speaker, that the hon. Minister helps us with a medical doctor. We are making this request because this hospital caters for both Mporokoso and Kaputa districts, including the Mwange Refugee Camp. Therefore, it is clear that a big population uses our local hospital.

Mr Speaker, it is not the only main hospital which does not have doctors. I can also think of many rural health centres and some clinics which do not have paramedics. The paramedics are needed in order for our people to get proper medical attention.

Mr Speaker, there is a point that I would like to emphasise before I wind up. We know very well that next year, we are going to conduct a census. I hope that at the end of the census, we shall be informed that the Zambian population has reached 20 million. If we continue having a small population, we shall continue facing the problem of inadequate human resources in our country. When we have a problem of human resource, we should expect a lot of problems.

Mr Speaker, yes, some people may say it is better to practice family planning, but in reality, it is not good because a country with a small population cannot develop. Why? The reason is that every country needs a basket from which it can tap human resource. It is from that type of basket where we can also tap all the intelligentsia that we need to work in all the Government departments. It could be the military and for any military to do fine in any part of the world, it needs the intelligentsia. For these people to be available, they should be tapped from the basket of 9 million people, if that is the county’s total population. If we want people to work in hospitals, we can find them amongst the intelligentsia. If we need people for whatever job that we can think of, we can find them in same basket.

Mr Speaker, if the population of this nation does not increase, we are going to face problems when marketing our crops. If we have a big population, we shall be able to easily create our own market. Allow me to talk about a country which has been able to do so. China has been able to reach the development heights it wished for because it was able to see the importance of a big population. This is because it knows very well that upon production of whatever items, the population of its own country will act as a market.

Mr Milupi: Hear, hear!

Mr Misapa: Mr Speaker, I am now asking the Government to look seriously into how to increase our population. It should not be at 9 million, but should instead go up by 8 million. I would like to emphasise that during the census in 2010, I hope that the results shall indicate that the population has grown bigger so that it can lead us to development.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Mulobeka (Kawambwa): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate. Since I did not have the opportunity to debate the President’ Speech due to other national engagements, allow me to congratulate His Excellency the President of Zambia on his well-thought out speech which he delivered at a time when the global economy has begun to pick from what I shall call an economic Tsunami.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Mulobeka: Mr Speaker, our national economy, like many other major economies around the world, has been under a lot of pressure as a result of this global economic crisis. It takes a lot of commitment and good will for a government to continue doing what our Government is doing in as far as mitigating the impact of this crisis.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Mulobeka: For this reason I would like to commend it.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Mulobeka: Mr Speaker, development is a process which needs to be planned for. The measures pronounced in both the President’s Speech and Budget Speech form part of this development process.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Mulobeka: Development cannot be achieved in a day or a few months. A country needs to pass through many stages before it can actually take-off.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Mulobeka: The vision for Zambia to become a middle income economy by 2030 will be realised, if not disturbed and if the Zambian people give the required support to the Government.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Mulobeka: Mr Speaker, the Vision 2010 forms part of a development process. A country- I want to emphasise- cannot, therefore, be developed in a few days. That is wishful thinking.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Mulobeka: Zambians should not entertain such fake theories.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Mulobeka: Mr Speaker, it is pure comedy which can only be entertained by personalities like Mr Bean and also known political comedians.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Hammer!

Mrs Molobeka: Mr Speaker, it is a theory that cannot be sustained.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Molobeka: Mr Speaker, we should do away with politics of the past whereby the Opposition only sees the wrong things done by the Executive. We shall not develop our country in this manner.

I was shocked with what I saw when I went to Ghana last year to observe the elections, which had a re-run. I was amazed with the political maturity exhibited by the Ghanaians. What the Ghanaians have achieved we can also achieve if we have a responsible Opposition in this country.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Molobeka: The Ruling Party should also listen to various stakeholders in order to gain support from all Zambians.

Mr Speaker, when I won elections three years ago, I was told by the people of Kawambwa that I was now the hon. Member of Parliament for all the people in my constituency and not only those who voted for me. This meant that I was the representative of all the children, churches, political parties and all the residents of Kawambwa Constituency. I was further told that the people of Kawambwa have never seen an opposition political party fixing a bridge in the area. Therefore, I was advised to work with the Government when I came to Lusaka to represent my people …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Molobeka: … because it is the Government that was going to bring development to my constituency.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Molobeka: Mr Speaker, I should, therefore, not behave like Nicodemus. It does not make sense for me to come here and insult the Government and then in the night, I run after hon. Ministers, asking them for a bridge to be constructed in my area. The people of Kawambwa told me that I should come here to plead for development on their behalf.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Molobeka: Mr Speaker, having followed the advice of the people of Kawambwa, I am happy to report, on the Floor of this House, that a number of developments are taking place in Kawambwa.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Molobeka: It would be wrong for the people of Kawambwa to say that nothing is happening because the Government is doing a number of things in the constituency. We are building a few community and basic schools. We have also sunk some boreholes and, as a representative, it would be wrong for me to ask why the Government is sinking boreholes instead of giving us a lake. It would be very unreasonable.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Molobeka: Mr Speaker, markets have also been built in the area. So many developments are happening in Kawambwa, but there are also some challenges. A responsible hon. Member of Parliament is supposed to bring out the good things that are being done and also emphasise the need to do more.

Dr Chishya interjected.

Mrs Molobeka: I was just talking about the high school in Iyanga Ward. This is a ward that has remained behind in terms of development and consequently, we have seen girls as young as eleven, twelve and thirteen years old getting married and having children. These are girls who have dropped out of school because they cannot walk thirty-four kilometres to the nearest day secondary school at the Boma. I am, therefore, appealing to the Government to consider building a high schools in Iyanga Ward the next time there are plans to construct schools nationwide.

Another issue is that of the Kawambwa Tea Company. I have talked about this for the last three years. The story is well known by all the hon. Ministers involved. I am appealing for urgent intervention by the Government.

Mr Speaker, as regards the Mansa/Kawambwa Road, I am, once again, appealing to the hon. Minister of Works and Supply to work on upgrading this road into a tarred one. It is a shorter route from the Copperbelt to Kawambwa and Mporokoso up to the border. People would not even use the Great North Road which is in a bad condition if this road were to be worked on. This would bring much relief to the people in the area as it is the only road leading to the border at the moment.

Mr Speaker, I would like to also talk about the Luena Farming Block.

Dr Chishya: Yes, tell them now.

Mrs Molobeka: We have been waiting for this project for many years. We are happy that we have been given about K3.4 billion for preliminary works on this project. However, the Nansanga Project was allocated K42 billion and now the people of Kawambwa are asking the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning why there is a great disparity in the allocations to the two projects. Probably, this is an issue the hon. Minister may need to talk about.

Mr Speaker, in the last session, I talked about the Chibalashi Bridge on the Kawambwa/Mansa Road that was washed away. I have since written to His Honour the Vice-President and he has responded. Therefore, I would like to thank him for the effort he is putting into this matter.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Molobeka: However, I would like these efforts to be translated into action.

Mr Speaker, we have been informed that funds have been allocated for the sinking of 1,000 boreholes across the country in next year’s Budget. On the other hand, it was in this House where we heard that 300 boreholes were sunk in one particular area. Thus, I am appealing to the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing for the 1,000 boreholes budgeted for in 2010 to be shared equitably among the various constituencies. We all want a stake in what is happening.

Mr Speaker, having said that, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani (Mapatizya): Mr Speaker, I thank you …

Mr Muyanda: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: … for this opportunity to contribute to this debate on the Floor.

Mr Muntanga and Mr Muyanda: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!


Mr Sejani: Mr Speaker, today I feel a little happier and slightly lucky because I have been reminded that it is my birthday.

Mr Muyanda: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: So, hon. Government Members can seat there and …

Mr Muntanga: And smile.

Mr Sejani: … expect a very modest debate. I know that, as I stand, …

Mr Muntanga: Happy birthday!

Mr Sejani: … there are already mental demands for me to praise this Government for a very good Budget Speech.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: Mr Speaker, I would like to assure this Government that, indeed, praise will come at an appropriate time. When my grandmothers and mothers who are crushing stones in Kalingalinga say well done to the Government, I will join them.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: When the Zambians in Kalingalinga, Mpatamatu and Kimasala in Solwezi who are having one meal a day say well done to the Executive, I will join them.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: However, when only elitist organisations, as was mentioned by the Chairperson for the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD), praise the Government without the voice of the people, there will be no praise from me.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: Praise from me does not come cheaply.

Mr Mabenga: A point of order, Sir.

Mr Sejani: The MMD has employed enough people to sing praises for them.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: I will direct my efforts and energy to more serious matters and not churn out melodies, praising this under-performing Government.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: Therefore, when the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning stood up in this House to deliver his speech last week, at one stage, my expectations were raised when he declared that 9th October, 2009 was a historic day and I sat up. By that declaration, I expected momentous pronouncements on your policy changes. I was expecting that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning would make major budgetary pronouncements of historical proportions, and radical changes to the philosophy, structure of budgeting and economic policies in Zambia. Alas, I was profoundly disappointed when I later discovered that, in fact, the only history he was talking about was the change of dates from January to October.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: The rest of the contents were business as usual, except for occasional tinkering with the figures here and there. Even the theme was the same which, to me, showed the ultimate confirmation of national stagnation.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: We are no longer moving and this is confirmation of the drought of innovation and ideas. We have reached a dead end. What a disappointment! I was expecting major policy pronouncements. Unfortunately, we are still maintaining diversification in the theme as if we made progress. The only progress the hon. Minister made was that in the 2009 Budget, he mentioned the word “diversification” thirteen times. This year, he mentioned it fourteen times. There is a 7 per cent increase in talkativeness.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: We do not measure progress by the number of words or times you pronounce a project. That is talkativeness. We measure progress by the amount of resources you allocate to these programmes and the steps that you have taken to implement them. This Government is more of a talkative Government than a listening one.

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

Mr Sejani: Thirteen to fourteen times, well done, hon. Minister, but you have done nothing yet. We expected this diversification which, to our ordinary understanding - and I am very happy today …

Hon. Government Member: It is your birthday.

Mr Sejani: … yes, it is my birthday. Diversification is a movement from copper to agriculture, tourism and other sectors. When you take resources to agriculture, I expect pronouncements that take us beyond maize. Admittedly, we need maize, but beyond maize, we need policies that begin to deal with this maize mono-culture by sharing resources with other crops, taking into consideration the cost of fertiliser and the drought.

Mr Lubinda: Listen!

Mr Sejani: There are no such pronouncements in this Budget and we will all end up with maize.

I expected pronouncements going beyond maize to livestock, but not to end with cattle. In as much as we know that cattle are important, there is a need to diversify to other smaller livestock in view of the diseases that we are talking about. It does not matter whether the smaller livestock are goats or any other animal. After all, what is the problem with our small-scale farmers owning smaller livestock such as goats, sheep, chickens, ducks and pigs? Unfortunately, no pronouncement was made along those lines.

Mr Speaker, I expected pronouncements to the effect that we are moving resources to tourism and that, in tourism, we are moving beyond the traditional targets of waterfalls and wildlife. Of course, we need waterfalls and wildlife, but beyond that, a tourist wants to come to Zambia and see something which is uniquely Zambian. For instance, if I want to see a giraffe or lion, there are many countries where I can go. Even for waterfalls, I can go to the Niagara Falls. However, there is only one thing which is uniquely Zambian and that is our culture. I have decried the low levels of investment in promoting and researching our culture in this country. If I want to see the Kuomboka, Shimunenga, Ncw’ala, Umutomboko or Ukusefya Pang’wena ceremonies, it is only in Zambia where I can find them.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: Why do we not direct our energies and resources to promoting that which is uniquely Zambian?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: Mr Speaker, if you get the Yellow Book, you will see how much money has been allocated towards researching our culture.

Mr Muntanga: K2 million!

Mrs Musokotwane: Mwazibona? Amuchibone!

Mr Muntanga: Look at them!

Mr Sejani: Mr Speaker, for as long as we do not venture outside this traditional box and our budgeting is locked up in this traditional box, we will not break away from this vicious circle of lack of resources. Time and again, this Government has decried the lack of resources and the standard answer from that side is that we have a small resource envelope. How are you going to have a bigger resource envelope if you cannot think beyond the traditional box, your priorities are wrong and your investment decisions are faint?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: I am happy today because it is my birthday.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: When the rest of the downtrodden people praise you, you will find me at the end of the queue, also, praising you, but before that, sorry.

In Tonga, we have a saying which says Nchoolya nchoziba. You eat what you know.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: Only when the people of Mapatizya have eaten what they know will they praise you. There are no vicarious praises.

Mr Muyanda: They do not deserve to be praised.

Mr Sejani: Mr Speaker, on the tax burden, I just would like to have a small note for the hon. Minister. Hon. Minister, can you take time to deal with this perennial problem?

Mr Speaker: Order! Address the Chair!

Mr Sejani: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning is hereby requested to, once and for all, deal with this perennial problem of the tax burden. It is very sad to discover that the Zambian worker is still bearing the heaviest burden of taxes in this country. They are still paying three times more than the corporate taxpayer. That is sad. The Zambian worker needs to have relief and that is why when we, in the pact, get into Government, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: … we are going to lower taxes and put more money in the pockets of the Zambian people.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! Bwekeshapo!

Mr Sejani: Mr Speaker, another note that I consider to be the greatest disaster in this year’s budget on health is the reduction in the allocation to the Ministry of Health. There are problems in our rural constituencies of drug supply and lack of qualified staff. Many of the constituencies have constructed health posts through their own initiative by using the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), but they have no staff to man these institutions that have been built at a great cost. This is the time this Government has decided to slash the allocation to the Ministry of Health. I consider this move as the greatest tragedy in this Budget.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: Mr Speaker, I will join in praising this Government when a Zambian nurse or public worker praises it.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: I looked at the basic needs basket produced by the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) and discovered that a family of six in Lusaka needs something like K2.3 million to survive. I do not know how many Zambian workers earn this amount of money. Is anybody in the Government aware of how the people who are not getting this amount of money are surviving? By the way, this amount does not include expenditure on education, health and transport. Does the Government know how Zambians in the various compounds are surviving?

Hon. Opposition Members: No!

Mr Sejani: I would like to request the Government to commission an inquiry to find out how these people who are getting near to nothing are surviving. Once this is done, I am sure the Government will be shocked at what they are engaged in. When these people praise you, I will join them in praising you.

Lastly, Mr Speaker, on Page 26, paragraph 162, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning said:

“Mr Speaker, what the Government is saying is: Stop contaminating the minds of the young ones with negative attitudes. Instead, let us challenge them, let us encourage them, let us inspire our youth so that they can achieve feats even under difficult conditions. This is what will move our great nation forward.”

Finally, these are lofty ideals. I expected the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to include, on his list, the issue of good governance. This is extremely important in ensuring that there is development in this country. In a country where corruption has been allowed to flourish, you do not expect the Budget to be good. If the perception and reality is to resolve to fight against corruption, Budget performance is going to be affected.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: If the perception and reality is that the Judiciary is very soft in dealing with matters of corruption, Budget performance is going to be affected. If the perception and reality is that the Judiciary is no longer independent, Budget performance is going to be affected. Amongst all these lofty ideals, I would like to appeal to the Government that the issues of good governance are absolutely critical and, without correcting the issues of governance …

Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I would like to apologise to my colleague for interrupting his very good debate. Is the hon. Member for Namwala, Major Chizhyuka, in order to be provocative to his colleagues who are supposed to be listening to the debate in this House? Is he in order to bring politics here? We are human beings. I need your ruling, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Order! The entire House is paying attention to the hon. Member for Mapatizya who is debating and is the only one we are listening to. I am unaware that there was another provocative debate going on elswhere.

As far as I know, I have always advised hon. Members to cut down on interjections because those who debate while seated do not have the protection of this House. That is why I keep saying “Order” so that the entire House, beginning with myself, should listen to those who are debating.

The hon. Member for Mapatizya may continue.

Mr Sejani: I thank you, Mr Speaker. Before the point of order was raised, I was emphasising good governance as being an important ingredient in national development and if there are question marks in the way we govern ourselves, inevitably, it will affect the Budget performance. I urge this Government to take care of issues of concern in as far as the governance of this country is concerned, especially the fight against corruption.

I am a happy man today. It is my birthday. I will spare you.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: Any excess luggage, which is on this side of the House, will be off-loaded to you for your own storage.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order! That is not part of this Motion before the House.

You may continue and debate the Motion.


Mr Sejani: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Since I have already said that it is a very happy day for me, I would like to end by saying that it is time that we started thinking outside the traditional areas if we want this to make progress. The hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning should go beyond the box. Once this is done, the perennially small envelope will begin to get bigger. However, if we continue to fit ourselves in this box, sorry, it will be Budget business as usual. We expect innovations and priorities that will bring about a bigger resource envelope.

With these few remarks, I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development (Ms Cifire): Thank you, Mr Speaker.

I would like to start by wishing a happy birthday to the hon. Member for Mapatizya, Mr Sejani.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, we can achieve a lot by having solutions to 20 per cent of our problems and getting the 80 per cent solved. I am sure that was the essence of the Budget Speech this time. We do not need to have a list because that, indeed, becomes business as usual.

Mr Speaker, I would like to make my contribution to the Budget Speech by looking at the word, “acceptance”. Mr Speaker, in the last few days, I have observed your agony in trying to get us to open our mouths and speak on this subject. I must say that I did not envy your situation. Indeed, yesterday, you had to come up with a stimulus plan that may have helped today. However, I can see us getting back to the same situation.

Mr Speaker, last night, I tried to analyse what the real problem could have been, following the inability of the hon. Members to contribute on the Budget Motion. I realised that there was no problem at all, but that the silence indicated that there was total acceptance of the solutions that were delivered …

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Ms Cifire: … by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning and the Government. The issue is that the hon. Members are in a hurry to see implementation of the Budget.

Mr Speaker, I must commend the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning for the excellent presentation skills he employed when presenting the Budget.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Cifire: I noticed that there was an absence of the usual heckles because people did not realise that the hon. Minister had started delivering the speech. We demonstrated, as a Government, our achievement in Information Communication Technology (ICT).

Mr Speaker, I could see that our neighbours were mesmerised and others were totally confused as they were waiting to see the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning start flicking pages.

Hon. Opposition Members: Finally!

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, the fact that the usual was not done has added to the confusion in the House. When we went outside and started mingling, I could hear comments from colleagues such as “Ulya guy ulya, alifiswata fyonse, tacilabelenga.”


Ms Cifire: Others admitted and said, “Musankwa ooyu tabali, pe.”


Mr Speaker: Order! The hon. Deputy Minister will interpret those expressions for all to understand.

Ms Cifire: I will come to the interpretation, Mr Speaker. As if this were not enough, one of the evenings when the hon. Minister was on television talking to Mr Frank Mutubila and Mr David Wood, reflecting on the Budget, …

Hon. Members: Denis Wood!

Ms Cifire: Yes. Mr Speaker, as you can hear, there is evidence from the hon. Members who are correcting the name. Denis Wood commented that he was very impressed. Apparently, he is a brother to the hon. Minister.

Hon. Opposition Member: What do you expect?

Ms Cifire: Mr Wood said, “Minister, I was very impressed with the way you presented the Budget. You had everything on your finger tips.”

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Opposition Members: What are your points?

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, it took an Easterner to indicate that “Koma MMD yakudabwisani …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Cifire: …vinabwela mochedwa.”

Mr Speaker, this indicated that the total package that was presented, here, was totally accepted and in place. Therefore, it is very difficult for anyone, in here, to present a different package from what was presented.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Cifire: I do not see any departure from the silence that has been created. All I wish to say is that we should give praise where it is due.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the Motion on the Floor.

Mr Speaker, I know that one of the most difficult things that we do in our homes, corporate bodies and country is to come up with a budget that is acceptable to all.

However, there has to be a starting point and the hon. Minister has given us the direction. We can assess whether it is the right one and if we think his is not taking the right direction, we can give advice on what we feel could be a better direction.

Dr Katema: There is no direction at all!

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, there is one matter that used to surprise me when I was Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning. I hope that the hon. Minister will look into it.

Mr Speaker, you will be surprised that when there is a bumper harvest, inflation goes up because of rising food prices. I thought that when people have harvested, they have food and, therefore, the food prices should come down. However, when the Central Statistical Office (CSO) gives out the inflation figures, the rate is pushed up by the rising food prices.

Mr Speaker, if we say that there was stability in food prices, we should say that inflation was pushed upby non-food items such as furniture and energy. What benchmarks are we using? We might be using figures which, in real terms, are not obtaining on the ground.

Mr Speaker, I know it is very difficult for us to apportion sufficient monies to demanding areas, but it is very important that we try. The hon. Minister gave us a growth rate of 5.2 per cent in agriculture, indicating a bumper harvest of 1.9 million metric tonnes. When we had 1.5 million tonnes, last year, we called it a bumper harvest. However, by December, we had spent US$100 million on importation of maize.

Hon. Government Member: We stopped it.

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, what we should look at is how so? The hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has the instruments to find this out. Hon. Minister, you have the Department of Planning which is a very useful tool you could use to follow-up on where the money is going and how it is being used. This way, as you prepare the next Budget, you will be in an informed position on how the money has been utilised in a particular year.

Mr Speaker, this year, we are estimating a bumper harvest of 1.9 million metric tonnes. However, the question is how do we have a bumper harvest of 1.9 million metric tonnes when the fertiliser industry recorded an overall decline in sales of 40 per cent? The estimate might make you prepare a budget premised on having that maize in stock, but supplies come in December and January, which might force you to go on the market to look for money to buy maize for this country.

Mr Speaker, the question is why are we having such trends? I hope, hon. Minister, that when you talk about the growth …

Mr Speaker: Order! The hon. Member will address the Chair and not the hon. Minister.

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, I thank you for your guidance.

Mr Speaker, through you, I hope as the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning looks at the growth of the agricultural sector, he will also look at the critical issues. Agriculture is a basic occupation for the people of Zambia. Therefore, if we have a bumper harvest this year, it will mean that there are good economic activities taking place in the rural areas. However, why are we not seeing a corresponding reduction in poverty levels in the rural areas if we are producing enough food? This should tell us that something is going wrong.  You will notice that the commercial sector will only produce a certain percentage and the other percentage is met by peasant or subsistent farmers.

Sir, if the wellbeing of these households is not improving, but we are saying that the agriculture sector is improving, are we doing the right thing? We are talking about reducing support for the farmers from a hectare to about 1.1 acres this year. Will the farmers we are supporting be able to sustain their families with the 1.1 acres? Are we tailoring our expenditure towards uplifting the lives of those we cannot represent, that is, the people on whose behalf we cannot talk? Are we doing that? These are the issues we should be looking at and the questions we must be asking ourselves when we talk about resource allocation.

Mr Speaker, yes, it is good that a huge amount of money is going towards current expenditure and people will get their salaries, but for the service we are doing on behalf of the people, is the money trickling down to them? When we look at the Fertiliser Support Programme (FSP), we should ask ourselves what we are trying to do and whether we are trying to uplift the farmer. If not, we should ask ourselves where we are going wrong. Perhaps, it is because we, the farmers, are feeding people who wear white collars. Maybe, we are not giving the farmer enough money to create a multiplier effect in the agricultural sector or it could be that the Government is concentrating on getting cheap food from the farmers so that it maintains unity in the towns where the demand for food is high. These are the issues that we should look at. Can we analyse the system and opt to, instead, have the Government subsidise K10,000 per bag of the produce which the farmer is producing? In this way, the farmers would not have walked away with a raw deal.

Mr Speaker, let me talk about another aspect concerning farming. We have concentrated on assisting the farmer with fertiliser and seed. According to Hon. Request Muntanga, I am a farmer by accident.

Mr Muntanga: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: Those who are in real farming will realise that most of our soils lack calcium. However, this can be replenished by using a very cheap commodity called lime. Most of our soils are bleached and no matter how much fertiliser is added to them, the yield is poor. As a result, the dependence on fertiliser is perpetuating poverty because people buy fertilisers and apply it in their fields, but yield nothing.

We expect the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives to come up with solutions such as liming. Some farmers already have lime in their areas. What remains when farmers crush stones for sale as quarry is lime dust. This can be applied to their fields to add the needed calcium and manganese content to the soils. The Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives should also look at that as a solution instead of just using fertiliser which looks like a political tool. No! Let us use it as a political tool, but it should also emancipate the people.

 Other than agriculture, the biggest challenge we have is financing the National Budget. All of us have been talking, but the biggest headache is where to get the resources from.  Mr Speaker, through you, to my former lecturer of economics, in 2000, permit me to say that people sat down to work on development agreements. At that particular time, it appeared like the prices of commodities were not going to be what they were at the end of 2008. The development agreements show that they were a one-sided tool which were made when our knees were on the ground. They were made when the Anglo-American Corporation was withdrawing from our industries. We were on our knees and a look at the agreements will show that for the next twenty years, the prices of commodities were anticipated to be depressed.

Sir, investors projected that their investments were going to take about twenty or thirty years to give back returns. However, the hand of God came upon Zambia and said, “Zambia awake. The resources that you have can make you rich.” Suddenly, there was a boom reaching US$9000 per metric tonne of copper and this was unprecedented at the London Metal Exchange. Nevertheless, it happened because of the hand of God and not through innovation. Were we going to stick to the development agreements as a nation? Were we going to still look at getting something from these people based on the depressed prices on the international market? Copper is a wasting asset. It is finishing, but the ones who are making money are the so-called investors, and yet it is our resource.

Mr Speaker, in Norway, you are expected to pay a tax of 65 per cent charge for the exploration of their oil. We expect Norway to give us donations from the 65 per cent which they tax their people and companies. Peru has got copper mines and that is the regime they are using. Today, we cannot compete with Botswana because that is the regime they are also using. Are we saying we should become perpetual dependants on aid when we can use our resources?

Sir, instead of doing away with the windfall tax, we could have increased or reviewed the threshold. The windfall tax was triggered when the price of copper was US$5,500 per metric tonne and people said it was a bad thing. How did it help the business sector, last year, because the prices of copper have been depressed the whole of this year? We gave them relief which they should not have had, but what about the future?

Mr Speaker, we envisaged an income of about US$415 million had we collected all the taxes. This could have translated into almost K2 trillion support just from one tax to the Treasury of this country. The hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning could have been laughing his way to the bank, today, because instead of my arguing with the Vice-President about the equipment in Serenje, which has taken too long there, …


Mr Shakafuswa: … we could have found money for the Mungule Road to be rehabilitated, today, for the reason that we could have had excess money from elsewhere.

Mr Muntanga: In Serenje!

Mr Shakafuswa: Money to construct the high school that the hon. Member of Parliament for Kawambwa was crying for could have been found. This money generated from the windfall tax would have gone to infrastructure development and this would have made us a proud country.

Sir, I know that a business person will pay a bribe of about K10 to K20 million so that he or she does not pay K400 million, but that has an adverse effect on the country because you forgo K400 million. I do not know what they have to offer because now we are saying, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Ulula!

Mr Shakafuswa: … yes, we had a movement because the mining taxes performed exceptionally well. Those were corporate taxes which were delayed and only came into effect …

Dr Musokotwane: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.


Mr Shakafuswa: On your Motion?

Sir, I do not know what tools the other people who were negotiating used. I do not want to insinuate anything. It baffles me that I should forgo K400 million and yet the so-called investors cannot find the copper or the minerals we have anywhere. That is why even when the prices were US$ 2,000 per metric tonne, they came and invested. They will not leave. They may say that they will take investments elsewhere, but where will they find the resources such as copper and uranium that we have? Where? They will come back. We should be bold enough to make money which will make our people be proud of us. We should make the people know that there is money to spend on them and not on pleasing these investors.

Sir, if they leave, we will reserve the copper for our great grand children. Maybe, they will be more clever than us. They may even have a better vision than us. For our copper, they may resolve to share the profit fifty-fifty with the investors. They may say we will get a normal profit and the excess profit will be shared and our country would be developed. We should not be shy because we want to drink Champagne and be taken to dinners with the so-called investors. No. Those people are using our resources to make us enjoy these things. Let us show them that we are a rich country and we can make decisions which can hurt them. For how long are we going to be underdeveloped? For how long do we have to go before we can wake up and realise the Zambian dream of a middle-income country? At the pace we are going, at 4.3 per cent and 6 per cent growth, it is a pipedream.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, we need a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of not less than 12 per cent to realise the Vision 2030. However, at the rate we are going, it is a pipedream. We need manna from God. We need the magic manna God gave to the Israelites, where things that were free to be eaten by everyone just fell from on high. As long as we remain timid and the way we are, we will not achieve the dream of reducing the poverty in which our people are living now. We will not dream of reducing distances between sanitation facilities and schools to 4 kilometres. What magic are we going to use because a GDP growth of 4.3 per cent and a Budget of K16 trillion will not take us anywhere. How much is K16 trillion in United States Dollars? It is about US$3 billion and we say we are a nation and yet we have a Budget that is smaller than that of some corporate entities. We are going nowhere. We are just playing in this House. We should ask ourselves whether we are worth what the people of Zambia are giving us. At the end of the day, we are becoming better off and they are becoming worse off.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister for Central Province (Mr A. Banda): Mr Speaker, I wish to express my profound gratitude for this rare honour and privilege to ask the House to join me in commending Hon. Dr Musokotwane for having delivered not only an inspiring speech but also a speech that gives hope for the Zambian citizenry.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr A. Banda: Mr Speaker, I wish to commend the administration of His Excellency the President, Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda for implementing a change in the Budget Cycle. It is envisaged that this change will improve the management of the Budget since implementation of programmes will, now, begin in January, giving the Government a full year to implement its Budget. The change in the Budget Cycle is also expected to give an added meaning to Parliament’s instrumental role of prioritising public expenditure.

Mr Speaker, as noted by His Excellency the President during the Official Opening of the Fourth Session of the National Assembly on Friday, 18th September, 2009, the nation’s economy should grow in this Budget Cycle, as the change is meant to overcome our previous failures and utilisation of all the funds in the Budget.

Mr Speaker, as rightly observed by Hon. Dr Musokotwane, the main effect of the global economic crisis on our economy has been through external trade which has led to other economic consequences. I wish to pay tribute to the Government for the measures that have been instituted during the global economic crisis. Among other things, the Government instituted tax and expenditure measures to safeguard mining operations in a bid to save some jobs.

Mr Speaker, allow me to highlight some salient features of the Budget Address that relate to some measures that the Government will undertake during the year 2010.

Agricultural and Food Security

Mr Speaker, agriculture has a great potential for enhancing economic growth and reducing poverty. A well-performing agriculture sector improves GDP. The Government has continued with the Farm Input Support Programme (FISP), formerly Fertiliser Support Programme (FSP). The allocation of K430 billion shows the Government’s commitment to improving the welfare of the majority of Zambians whose livelihood depend on agriculture-related activities. The Farm Input Support Programme is meant to double the number of beneficiaries, thus, guaranteeing household food security among the many small-scale farmers.

Mr Speaker, storage and infrastructure development plays an important role in influencing private sector participation in agricultural marketing. The significance of having appropriate agricultural marketing infrastructure would not be over emphasised if I reiterated it here. I wish to commend the Government for commencing an exercise of rehabilitating silos, especially, in Chisamba and Kabwe.

Ms Lundwe: Hear, hear!

Mr A. Banda: This will go a long way in improving grain storage and protection against damage.

Mr Speaker, the introduction of the Agricultural Marketing Bill would not have come at a better time than now. Our small-scale farmers tend to suffer a lot of setbacks when bargaining for their prices. The Bill will have a provision to allow small-scale farmers access finance against the value of their produce. The introduction of this Bill needs to be supported by all well-meaning citizens.

Mr Speaker, the Government remains committed to its quest for developmental projects. It is gratifying to note that the Government has injected more resources in the Nansanga Farming Block in Serenje District, which is my constituency, where the road, water and power infrastructure is currently being worked on.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr A. Banda: This is particularly related to the construction of additional roads, bridges and dams. The Government has allocated K26 billion and K3 billion, respectively towards this. The completion of the development of this 150,000 hectare farm block is expected to be a model of agricultural development in Zambia.

Mr Speaker, during the Budget Presentation by Hon. Dr Musokotwane, MP, there was emphasis on the word, “diversification”. I wish to commend the Government for creating a specialised Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries. With good interventions in place, there are some prospects that beef and fish can become major sources of …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

[MADAM SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr A Banda: Madam Speaker, when business was suspended, I was talking about diversification. With good interventions in place, there are some prospects that beef and fish can become major sources of income.

Madam Speaker, tourism is one of the major sectors that play a vital role in the stimulation of economic growth. Growth in the tourism sector creates employment, good infrastructure development, increased foreign exchange and subsequently contributes to poverty alleviation. I wish to commend the Government for increasing the allocation to the tourism sector from K77.6 billion in 2009 to K95 billion in 2010. These funds will be used for the continuation of the development of the Northern Tourism Circuit. A further K1 billion for the re-stocking of the Nsumbu National Park has been allocated. This is good development.

Madam Speaker, development of the transport sector remains one of the priorities of the Government. When the road infrastructure is sound, the cost of doing business will greatly reduce. More gratifying is the recent procurement of the road maintenance equipment that is already on the ground and has since started operations in the maintenance of feeder roads in the provinces.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr A Banda: Madam Speaker, in the Central Province, the road maintenance equipment has started operating in the eastern, western and central parts of the province. To say that the equipment has overstayed in Serenje, as one Opposition Member said, is wrong because we started in Chitambo. The Opposition politicised this well-meant programme, claiming that it was because there was a by-election in Chitambo. Therefore, we withdrew the machinery from Chitambo and took it to Mkushi. This was meant to facilitate a speedy process in terms of efficiency and effectiveness in the road rehabilitation and maintenance works in the province. The works have commenced in Serenje, Mumbwa and it is expected that they will be extended to Chibombo.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr A Banda: More works have started in Keembe and it is expected that they will be extended to Chisamba and Katuba.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr A Banda: It is anticipated that the equipment will adequately cover all areas.

Madam Speaker, I also wish to commend the Government for upgrading Kwame Nkrumah and the Copperbelt Secondary Teacher’s Colleges (COSTCO) to a university level.

Madam Speaker, let me conclude by reiterating the call made by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to hon. Members of this august House to remain united in our quest to rededicate ourselves to economic diversification, building on the rich signage shown by our economic tunnel so that, as a nation, committed to becoming a middle-income economy, we take full advantage of the re-bound of the international trade and revived global growth.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

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

Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the many voices of those who have already debated.

Madam Speaker, I would like to start with the issue of education and skills development. I have noted from both the President’s and the hon. Minister’s speeches that money has been apportioned to rehabilitate training institutions throughout the country. It is quite commendable for the nation to tap the much-needed skills in technical subjects.

Madam Speaker, let me, however, mention to the hon. Minister of Science, Technology and Vocational Training that currently, there is what I will describe as organised confusion because the ministry has no capacity to monitor what is going on in private institutions. We have training colleges or institutions that train machinists without Leigh or even a mealing machine. We have institutions that train motor mechanists without even a model of an engine.

Madam Speaker, in the hospitality industry, there is a situation where a cook is trained without a kitchen. I think that, in the end, parents are being robbed of their money. They send their children to these institutions, but, at the end of the day, they are employed as semi-skilled personnel.

Madam Speaker, there has been a lot of debate in this House about certain investors coming into the country with their own manpower even for jobs as simple as bricklaying and carpentry. If we are not careful to correct the wrongs in these institutions, we will have no one to blame but ourselves. These investors will continue bringing their own people because nobody will risk doing a job that is unacceptable. 

Madam Speaker, a good example I can give is our local contractors. Wherever they are given a job, they decide to engage unqualified manpower and they end up doing a half-baked job. This is on record and it is high time we looked into this. I, therefore, hope the hon. Minister of Science, Technology and Vocational Training will take this issue very seriously.

Madam Speaker, let me now move on to tourism. I was among the people who travelled to Kenya. Whilst in that country, the hon. Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources for that country was away, trying to sell his country to the Eastern Block. To me, this is what is supposed to be done.

In this country, we talk about promoting tourism, and yet we do not make efforts to market our country outside. What do we expect? Nothing, and yet we are saying tourism has the potential to turn this country around. What are we doing? Let us suppose the hon. Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources was given a chance to sell this country abroad, what would be the reaction amongst ourselves? There would be a lot of political choruses that we are wasting money.

Mr Sikazwe: Hear, hear!

Mr Chanda: At the same time, the people out there will be saying that this is wasteful Government. Really, what kind of a country are we? We talk and quarrel too much amongst ourselves for nothing. It is high time we put the interest of this country first if we want to develop.

Madam Speaker, there have been suggestions that there be a special package for local tourists. Indeed, this is a move in the right direction. I just hope this will become a reality, and if it does, I will commend the Government for stepping in the right direction.

Madam Speaker, I hope to be brief today as I talk about Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE). From time-to-time, I have debated on the Floor of this House that the issue of PAYE is a Mary-go-round where employees are chasing nothing and, at the end of the day, they fall into the trap. Every year, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning comes with a threshold. This time around, we have been told that the threshold is K800,000, but we are also mindful that in a short time, unions will be meeting to negotiate for higher salaries. In the end, we even push those who were supposed to benefit from this K800,000 into higher brackets, meaning that they have to pay more tax.

Madam Speaker, we cannot have it both ways. We cannot say that we are giving this and the unions are asking for that. It is in the interest of the nation that, maybe, our unions should look at the offers they put on the table because, at the end of the day, they push their members into the higher income brackets which does not benefit their members. This is the reason I am saying that it is a Mary-go-round where an employee in Zambia has never benefited. This is the reason I am saying that I have doubt whether the money that has been projected to go into the pockets of employees will be in their pockets.

Madam Speaker, let me now come to the issue of health. I just would like to repeat my invitation to the Hon. Minister of Health. At one time, I came with a message in this House that the people of Mufulira are looking for him and they wanted him to visit the Ronald Ross Hospital where, unfortunately, patients use curtains as bed linen. To date, the hon. Minister has not visited the hospital. I do not think this is enough for you, hard working hon. Minister…


Mr Chanda: Please, find time to go and have a look at that hospital. I have said time and again that if the owner, Mr Ronald Ross, rose from the dead and visited that hospital, he would say, “no, re-name this hospital as Kafwafwa Hospital” because the hospital is not as it was under the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM). How do you expect patients to take their own beddings with them to the hospital? What do you expect to see thereafter?

Madam Speaker, immediately they are discharged, they contract another disease. This is what is happening at this hospital, but people have nowhere to go because this is the only hospital in Mufulira apart from Kamuchanga Hospital. Through you, Madam Speaker, I hope this time around, the hon. Minister will take my message very seriously and visit this hospital.

Madam Speaker, I will be concluding very shortly. In his speech, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning said that he was apportioning money for the roads in Kitwe and Ndola. I am a very disappointed person because, time and again, we have been talking about the Sabina/Mufulira and Ndola/Mufulira roads. I do not know whether the intention is to cut us off from the rest of the country because these roads are practically impassable. I do not know when these roads will be worked on. The rainy season is about to come. Each time you pass on those roads, all you see are children mending the road with whatever material they can come up with.

Madam Speaker, one time I was going to Kitwe and there was a mini-bus coming from the opposite direction. As we were negotiating potholes, somebody peered out of the window and said, “There goes the MP.” Someone on the bus turned and said, “Aah, he is even able to drive on this road, I wonder if he is feeling what I feel on this bus.”

Hon. Opposition Members: Tell them!

Mr Chanda: Madam Speaker, I cannot say more than what has been said.

Dr Katema: Be angry!

Mr Chanda: Very shortly, I might cry.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Order!

There is no crying in here.


Madam Deputy Speaker: You may continue debating without crying.


Mr Chanda: It is unfortunate that each time I attempt to cry I am stopped.


Mr Chanda: One might say approaching Mufulira from Kitwe is too rough, but let me try using the Ndola/Mufulira Road.

Hon. Opposition Members: It is worse!

Mr Chanda: It is terrible. Honestly, what are we people from Mufulira supposed to say to attract your attention?

Hon. Opposition Members: Tell them!

Mr Nkhata: Just cry!

Mr Chanda: I have been stopped from crying.

Mr Kapeya: Tell them, Percy, come on!

Mr Chanda: Since you are a listening Government, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Chanda: … I hope that you have listened to what I have said.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chanda: Please, repair that road before the rainy season.

Madam Speaker, the other issue I wish to talk about concerns mineral exploration. We were promised, in this House, that a law is coming to empower Zambians to own small mines. I do not know whether there is any Zambian who has been given mining rights now.

There is an area in my constituency known as Lwansobe.

Mr Nkhata: Ati shani?

Mr Chanda: Hon. Nkhata, do not disturb me.

There is an area in Lwansobe which was initially taken up by Mopani Copper Mine. Due to some reasons, Mopani Copper Mine is reluctant to develop this area. I approached Mopani Copper Mine and told them, “Look, if you are not willing, can you surrender this area to the locals to empower them. Reading through your development agreement, you have agreed to empower the locals.” Unfortunately, I have not seen anything to talk about since they came. Maybe, they talk about that farm along the Ndola Road. When we visited that place, it was something else and I do not want to talk about it.

Madam, I am appealing to the Government to assist the people of that area by getting it from Mopani Copper Mine and giving it to the locals. This is how we can empower the people. Whatever they will realise from the small-scale mining activities will be sold to Mopani Copper Mine. This is because there are no jobs and this is the only way the people of that area can be empowered. However, this has become such a big problem that whoever you approach on this matter says, “That is not our baby, go and see that one.” As a result, I do not know who I should see.

Mr Mulonga: Go to the Ministry of Mines.

Mr Chanda: Madam Speaker, it is high time we looked at the welfare of the people of Zambia who have put us in these offices so that, at least, they can have something to live on.

Madam, lastly, in his Speech, the President talked about tree planting. May I appeal to this Government that whenever that project commences, Kankoyo should be given a priority because it is not only Mopani Copper Mine that destroyed that area, but also the Government under ZCCM. Therefore, it is equally the responsibility of the Government to give hope to the people of Kankoyo.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi (Luena): Madam Speaker, I wish to thank the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning for the Budget that he delivered to this House.

Presentation of the Budget is always a big occasion. It is something big in a nation. Many people look at it from various angles. Already, in this House, I have heard some people praising it while others have not praised it. It reminds me of a certain gentleman from Uganda who told a story of an elephant. The story goes as follows: there were several people who had been blind from birth. They were each allowed to touch the elephant and describe …


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Consultations should be done in lower voices to allow the Chair to follow the debate.

You may continue, please.

Mr Milupi: … what they touched. The person who touched the tail said the elephant was a rope. The one who touched the leg said it was a huge drum. The one who touched the belly said it was a wall. So it is with the Budget. Many people will have descriptions of what they have heard and what they perceive the Budget to be.

Madam Speaker, let us go to theme. The very fact that the hon. Minister has retained the same theme from early this year, seems to indicate that the Government is happy with it. Maybe, they have achieved certain things under this theme and they want to achieve even more.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi: The theme for this year as it was for early this year was “Enhancing Growth through Competitiveness and Diversification.” There are three operative words in this theme. These are growth, competitiveness and diversification.

Madam, in terms of growth, from early this year, we failed to achieve our targets. We set the target at 7 per cent, but we have done worse than that.

In terms of competitiveness, Madam Speaker, let me remind the House that the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) is what assesses the country’s ability to provide high levels of prosperity to their people using the resources at their disposal. Out of 144 countries, the GCI rates Zambia as No.112.

Hon. Members: Aah!

Mr Nkhata: Well done!

Mr Milupi: Madam Speaker, that indicates, to us as a nation, that in terms of competitiveness, we are not doing very well. Since our resource base is copper, I always like to compare Zambia to another country that depends on copper. Somebody has already mentioned Peru, but I would like to go for Chile because it produces more copper than us. It is about the same area as Zambia and has the same population.

Hon. Member: It is landlocked.

Mr Milupi: On this index, Chile is No. 28.

Madam Speaker, let me leave that alone and say that a number of issues mitigate our country against enhancing competitiveness and these are petty corruption, slowing down establishment of business and cost of doing business. All these work towards slowing down the rate of making our country competitive.

Madam Speaker, the many of us who have gone to business school for any period of time, even two weeks, will attest to the fact that for most businesses, if you achieve a return on investment of 15 per cent, you have done well. When you do a project proposal, and if you come up with a return of investment of 15 per cent, that project is doing well and you are likely to get funding.

Madam Speaker, if you look at the Zambian situation, and the bank interest rates which are a basis for capital to establish business, you are talking of interest rates of 20 per cent to 25 per cent and sometimes up to 30 per cent way above that threshold of 15 per cent. How do you expect to have competitiveness in the economy with such high interest rates? In addition to these high interest rates, access to these loans is not always assured for those of our entrepreneurs whose role would be to establish businesses to grow our economy.

Madam Speaker, the banking sector appears to be structurally positioned to allow their foreign headquarters to mop up liquidity in this country for the benefit of their capital. Look at the farmers, at the moment, it is suicidal for a farmer to borrow from a commercial bank for the purpose of farming. Many have lost their farms on account of these interest rates. Major companies operating in Zambia such as those in the mining, retail, sugar, and cement industries are allowed to bank their saved revenue outside this country and, therefore, loading this country with liquidity problems in the economy.

Madam Speaker, if the Government wants to make us competitive, as a country, it must address such issues. Among other things, the quality of education and health will determine whether our country’s economy is competitive or not.

Mr Speaker, we also need diversity in our economy. Diversification is the underpin to the growth of this country. Words alone are no longer enough, action is what is required. We must determine in which areas we can achieve this diversification.

Among them, we have been singing from the UNIP days to date about the need to diversify to agriculture, but words have continued to be mere words. Tourism has the major potential for diversification. Much excitement has been generated regarding the Northern Circuit and we thank the Government for opening up that particular area. Let me also remind them of the Western Circuit which starts with Siavonga, Sinazongwe right through the Bottom Road. Many of my colleagues talk about the Bottom Road, but I would like us to be looking at the road from an economic perspective and not a social one. Countries such as Mauritius which are medium-income countries and even small countries such as Seychelles that have no resources have roadways right round the waterways and because of the availability of these roads, many hotels have opened up in these countries. Lake Kariba is a major resource and if we tar the road leading to the area in which it is found, in no time at all, you will see the mushrooming of hotels in that area.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi: This will, to a certain extent, help us to compensate those people who gave up so much that we could have electricity. We need things like that.

Madam Speaker, let me tell you how I am able to determine whether some things said by some people about the Budget are right using what is defined in the English word “tell”. One of the meanings of the word is that sometimes a sub-conscious sign which we express when we are under pressure can tell people what we are thinking. For example, when somebody is about to tell a lie, there is a certain action that they will do. That action is what is called a tell. They may touch their back and the face might twitch. I have noticed that hon. Mulongoti is not here …

Hon. Members: He is here!

Mr Milupi: Hon. Mulongoti has a tell. I do not know if the House has noticed it. When Hon. Mulongoti is about to say something outrageous, you should pay attention to what he does to his shoulders.


Mr Milupi: Yesterday when he was debating, I saw his shoulders twitch and what he said next was “this wonderful Budget” although sub-consciously he knows that it is not a wonderful Budget.

Madam Speaker, as we always say and as someone has already said, the Budget has two sides. The revenue side and the expenditure side. The 2010 Budget has an expenditure side of K16.717 trillion as opposed to the K15.279 trillion for the 2009 Budget. This indicates a 9.8 per cent increase, but in the real sense it is a reduction because we had an inflation year end of 16 per cent with an average of 13 per cent. You also had a population growth of 3 per cent and so many other factors came into play.

Madam Speaker, in real terms, it indicates that we have reduced our expenditure side of things in the 2010 Budget. That, to me, indicates that, as a country, we are in trouble. We must look at next year’s Budget from that perspective. The hon. Minister, being fully aware of this, has tried to balance the Budget from the little resources that he has.

Madam Speaker, in putting up the Budget, I have always said that we focus too much on expenditure and not on the revenue side. This makes us lose out on a number of opportunities. In this Budget, we have also lost opportunities to grow our revenue base despite our resource envelope being too small. The essence of a good budget is its ability to maximise revenue and optimise expenditure. If we look at the revenue side of next year’s Budget, we have lost opportunities in terms of the ability to maximise?

Already, one hon. Member here, Hon. Shakafuswa, eloquently talked about the windfall tax and what we did to the mining industry. We shall continue to talk about this because it is a sensitive subject. Many people in the country cannot understand why we gave away that which we had. There was a statement from the Zambia Revenue Authority that in terms of domestic taxes, the copper sector only contributes 2 per cent. That is a disaster and those in the know will give you statistics that indicate that in terms of retention of the profits from the mining sector, Zambia retains 5 per cent of the profits. These are not my figures, go on the internet and you will find them.

Madam Speaker, let us look at a country which is doing much better than us and that is Botswana. This country relies on diamonds and it is retaining 65 per cent of the profits from diamonds. Those clever economists have told us that until such a time that Zambia begins to retain, at least, 50 per cent of the profits from copper, we cannot hope to develop.

Madam Speaker, let us look at the other areas where we could have made money. In the speech by the hon. Minister, there is a figure of K11.4 billion that will be coming from dividends. Zambia has parastatals such as the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO), Zambia Postal Services and Zambia Telecommunications (ZAMTEL). In addition to these, we also hold equity in the many mining companies in the range of 10 to 20 per cent. These are the areas where these dividends are supposed to come from and it is the supervisory role of the Government that determines whether we can maximise the returns on those dividends. Can anyone in this House tell me that with all these investments, this country can expect to make K11.4 billion in a year? If one farm can be run very well, it can produce K11.4 billion.

  Madam Speaker, there are also other areas through which the Government can raise revenue. The Government can raise revenue by selling assets. We have already declared that we are going to sell 75 per cent of the ZAMTEL shares. Where is the money that we are going to earn from the sale of ZAMTEL reflected in the Budget? I have not seen it. When you are preparing a budget, include everything and then you will be able to see whether you are making headway.

Madam Speaker, the domestic debt from which most of the money in our Budget will come from is going to be raised from the previous 1.8 to 2 per cent of the GDP. Now, what does this mean? It means that, first of all, we are going to strain the banking sector because more attention will be put onto Treasury instruments such as Treasury Bills and Government Bonds. This will keep the interest rates high. Another area, through which we accrue domestic debts, is when we fail to pay our pensioners. Domestic debts also increase when we fail to pay our local suppliers. The fact that the amount of money which is owed to the local suppliers has gone up by 2 per cent is indicative of the fact that we are going to have trouble in this particular area.

Madam Speaker, we continue to rely on foreign loans and grants amounting to 19 per cent of the Budget. No wonder the donors keep telling us what to do and what not do. It is our responsibility to make sure that we grow and diversify our economy and bring in competitiveness.

Madam Speaker, let me now focus on agriculture at this stage. Agriculture is an area which does not only provide employment to the vast majority of our people, but also a means of livelihood and wealth. We can do better than we are currently doing in the agriculture sector. The budget for agriculture for this year has been increased from K1.096 trillion to K1.139 trillion, a rise of 3.9 per cent. If we factor in inflation and other factors, you will see that the agriculture sector has suffered a reduction in funding, and yet it is that ministry which was split into two. When comparing funding to the agriculture sector between the years 2009 and 2010, we are comparing figures for the ministry before and after the split. We now have two ministries with double overheads. Surprisingly, this is the sector which we want to grow.

Madam Speaker, I think George Bush senior in one of his debates with Mr. Carter talked about voodoo economics. We see elements of that type of economics in the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) that used to be the Fertiliser Support Programme (FSP). Surprisingly, we are beating ourselves on the chest that we have increased the number of farmers to be increased to 534,000, and yet at the same time, we have halved the package. Those of us who engage in farming know that village farming stipulates that four bags of D-Compound and four bags of Urea can only be used on two acres of land. If you halved that package, all the people who will be on that programme can only cultivate one acre. The FSP was meant for our poor people to graduate from peasant farming to large-scale farming. There is no way the small-scale farmers can graduate into large-scale farmers when they can only cultivate one acre. That is impossible.

Madam Speaker, let me talk briefly about livestock. The hon. Minister was very right when he said beef can be our next copper. It will be our next copper when we pay attention to it and when we apply resources to developing the livestock sector. We need to look critically at the areas that have competitive advantage over others.

Madam Speaker, God gave manna to the Israelites. God was even able to tell the Israelites that they would no longer feel hungry. God was able to do so many things for them, including parting the waters of the Red Sea. Though God was able to make it possible for them to go out and collect manna, they also had to put in an effort. If we want beef or cattle to be the next copper, we have to put in an effort. Nothing in this Budget indicates that we are allocating sufficient resources to move this sector in that direction.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Sing’ombe: Hear, hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

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

Question put and agreed to.

The House adjourned at 1916 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 16th October, 2009.