Debates- Tuesday, 27th January, 2009

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Tuesday, 27th January, 2009

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, in the absence of His Honour the Vice-President who is attending to other national duties, Hon. G. W. Mpombo, MP, Minister of Defence, has been appointed Acting Leader of Government Business in the House for today, Tuesday, 27th January, 2009.

I thank you.




The Minister of Education (Professor Lungwangwa): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you for according me this opportunity to make a ministerial statement on the financial assistance that Zambia has received from the Education for All Fast Track Initiative (EFA-FTI).

Mr Speaker, first of all, I wish to announce, through this House, that the Catalytic Fund Committee of the Education for All Fast Track Initiative, after a rigorous assessment of the Zambian proposal, has successfully approved a grant worth US$60 million for the education sector in the Republic of Zambia.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, allow me, at this stage, to inform the House and the nation what the Education for All Fast Track Initiative is all about. Mr Speaker, the Education for All Fast Track Initiative was launched in 2002 as a global partnership between developing countries, donor countries and multilateral organisations, including the World Bank, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and United Nations Education Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). The purpose of the Education for All fast Track Initiative is to ensure accelerated progress towards the millennium development goal of universal primary education by 2015.

Mr Speaker, since its formation in 2002, the Education for All Fast Track Initiative has only been able to support thirty-six low income countries around the world. That demonstrates a serious commitment towards achieving the education millennium goal. Mr Speaker, twenty-two of the thirty-six Fast Track Initiative countries are in the Sub-Saharan Africa and they account for an increase of 15,000,000 children who have been enrolled in primary education since 2002.

Mr Speaker, in terms of financing, the Education For All Fast Track Initiative aims at enabling current and new donors to confidently provide better co-ordinated and increased aid to country-led programmes through existing bilateral and multilateral channels. The Education for All Fast Track Initiative helps in increasing the co-operating partners’ investment in basic education. This is in realisation that full financing of universal basic education will require substantial funds from all aid channels.

Mr Speaker, the Education for All Fast Track Initiative Partnership further supports new aid modalities that could help finance the education gap and allow for scaling up in countries with Education for All Fast Track Initiative endorsed education plans in the immediate future.

Mr Speaker, it should be understood that accessing the catalytic fund is not automatic, but heavily dependent on a country’s demonstration of its commitment in establishing sound educational policies, credible strategic plans for the education sector, viable budgetary allocations to education and creating measurable educational opportunities that impact on measurable quality indicator outputs.

Additionally, Sir, other broad and macro-economic considerations like commitment to poverty reduction, good governance and human rights are taken into account in the assessment of the applicants. Mr Speaker, our qualifying for the Fast Track Initiative Funding is a good indicator that the development path which the Government is taking is positively and favourably evaluated and accepted by the international community.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: We are on the right track.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Having said this, Mr Speaker, I must emphasise that accessing the EFA-FTI facility has not been easy for Zambia. The process was highly rigorous, demanding and competitive.

For Zambia, the exercise which started in 2002 involved a vigorous assessment by both the local co-operating partners and Catalytic Funding Committee, of Zambia’s Environment impact, its fiduciary capacity, Zambia’s overall macro-economic performance as well as its education strategic and national plans in terms of their credibility.

Mr Speaker, I am happy to report to this august house that the external assessment which we have been subjected to has resulted in the conclusion that Zambia has demonstrated an impressive record of commitment to the promotion of education for all and the millennium development goals.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: This is exemplified by a number of indicators which are used by the Catalytic Funding Committee to assess Zambia’s suitability to access the Education for All Fast-Track Initiative Funds (EFA-FTI), namely:

(i) Access to education

In recent years, Zambia’s education sector performed quite well in terms of growth of enrolment. In basic education, total enrolment of Grade 1 to 7 increased from 1,633,292 in 2000 to 3,166,310 in 2007, representing a 10 per cent growth rate per year on average. The growth in enrolment shows that 1.5 million additional children have been availed opportunities for basic education since the New Deal Government came to power in 2002.

Hon Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: The enrolment of Grade 8-9 (Upper Basic level) and Grade 10-12 (High School level)  has also shown a similar trend during the same period, increasing from 173,462 to 298,475 and from 102,849 to 193,726, respectively, representing over 10 per cent annual growth rate in the five years since 2002. Very few low income countries have been able to achieve such remarkable growth rates in education enrolments in both basic and high school levels. Zambia’s school enrolment record has been remarkable and is worth commending.

(ii) Equity

Mr Speaker, there has also been a remarkable increase in awareness in catering for orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) through provision of bursaries, school feeding programme and implementation of the re-admission policy for girls. A total of K13.7 billion has been spent on bursaries for orphans and vulnerable children between 2006 and 2008 benefiting 51,328 children. The number of vulnerable children of the school feeding programme in 2008 was 244,518 and all of them are in the rural areas.

(iii) Parity in Access and Participation

Mr Speaker, the basic school sub-sector has achieved a lot in terms of creating opportunities for the children to participate in education. Girls’ participation, between 2003 and 2008, has increased from 1,101,949 in 2003 to 1, 635,844 in 2008. This represented an increase of 48 per cent. This represents an increase in gender parity from 0.13 in 2003 to 0.6 in 2007.

Mr Speaker, the improved gender parity can, partly, be attributed to the introduction of equity divergent strategies such as feeding programmes, bursaries, advocacy and school health and nutrition. Likewise, there has been increased gender parity from 0.78 in 2003 to 0.83 in 2007 at high school level. The re-entry policy and advocacy have contributed to the gains in the improvement of gender parity in high schools.

(iv) Teacher Recruitment and Teacher Numbers

 Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Education has made good strides in the last three years in ensuring that the recruitment of teachers is consistent. Since 2005, the ministry has been recruiting between 7,000 and 10,000 teachers annually. In these recruitments, rural schools have been given priority.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: On the whole, the number of teachers at basic level has been increased from 41,546 in 2003, to 56,895 in 2007. In total, the ministry has recruited over 30,000 teachers between 2004 and 2008, catering for both the basic and high school levels. The recruitment has significantly reduced the previously high teacher/pupil ratio, especially in the rural areas.

(v) Infrastructure Development

 Classrooms and teacher housing are the most important infrastructure inputs in engendering a conducive teaching and learning environment. The ministry is completing an annual average of 900 new classrooms each year at new and existing schools, thereby creating new school places for 36,000 pupils per annum. The 2008 Infrastructure Operational Plan which projected a construction programme of 1,527 classrooms, forty-three high schools and 228 teachers’ houses, most of them in the rural areas, was a clear indication of the Government’s commitment to the provision of education opportunities to its people.

(vi) Provision of Teaching and Learning Materials

 Mr Speaker, teaching and learning materials are vital inputs in the improvement of the quality of education. In the last few years, this programme has been receiving an allocation of K90 billion per year. The Government, through the Ministry of Education, underpins the importance that schools are provided with adequate resources to undertake their school development programmes. The ministry has also been undertaking curriculum reform in the last five years. To this end, it has, as a matter of priority, embarked on a roadmap for a comprehensive and holistic curriculum reform and capacity development for implementing a new curriculum.

(vii) Increased Budgetary Allocation to the Education Sector

 The level of funding for the Zambian Education Sector significantly increased over the last five years. In 2002, the Government spent 2.1 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on education. By 2008, the Government allocation increased to 3.2 per cent of GDP on education and training.

Mr Speaker, over the years, the co-operating partners have been consistently impressed with the performance of the Ministry of Education, as highlighted in the speech made by the lead donors at the joint annual review meeting held at Mulungushi International Conference Centre on 29th January 2008, and I quote.

 “Looking back, we can certainly point to achievements that we are happy to highlight: A significant increase in enrolment in basic education; improvements in gender parity; an increasing share of Government funding to education; massive recruitment of teachers, with over 10,000 new teachers in 2007 and, finally; the development of a new Education Sector Plan: The National Implementation Framework for the period 2008 to 2010.”

“The co-operating partners recognise these positive developments and applaud the ministry. We are proud to be associated with these achievements and can also share them with our constituencies in our home countries as results of our investments in Zambia’s education system.”

Mr Speaker, I wish to further inform the nation, through this House, that after the extensive appraisal process, the co-operating partners arrived at a consensus and agreement that Zambia’s education plan (the National Implementation Framework) and the Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP) were credible education sector plans and endorsed the country’s admission to the Education for All Fast Track Initiative.

Mr Speaker, the final approval of Zambia’s admission was made by the Education for All Fast Track Initiative Catalytic Funding Committee at its meeting which took place from 13th to 14th December, 2008 in Oslo, Norway. The US$60 million grant which Zambia was given will be for the period 2009 to 2010.

In addition, the Catalytic Funding Committee also endorsed the proposal of the Kingdom of the Netherlands as the alternative supervising entity for the fund. The formal aspect of this endorsement will follow in due course and arrangements are being worked out for the Kingdom of the Netherlands to take on this role.

It is my hope that this year we can also re-open discussions on the Fiduciary Risk Assessment Report in relation to the new funding modality and the Education for All Fast Track Initiative implementation.

Mr Speaker, the Education for All Fast Track Initiative Catalytic Fund has not only been timely, but will be very handy particularly that a funding gap of US$121 million arose within the Fifth National Development Plan for 2006 to 2010 and the subsequent development of the Sector National Implementation Framework (2008 – 2010). This financing gap posed a great challenge for the Government and, indeed, on the sector to source for additional funding to support programmes in the education sector.

Mr Speaker, the approved grant is a clear demonstration of the major effort that the Government, through the Ministry of Education, has undertaken to foster improved education provision in the country. This is not a mean achievement. It is a great leap in our quest to ensure that we attain our sector mission, which is:

“To provide equitably accessible education and skills training opportunities for sustainable livelihood and development by 2030.”

This is in accordance with the Government’s national and international commitments enshrined in such instruments and protocols on education, as the Millennium MDGs, the Education For All (EFA) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) protocol on education.

Mr Speaker, with the approval of the Education for All Fast Track Initiative Catalytic Fund for Zambia, the education sector in Zambia will endeavour to achieve the education for all goal. The US $60 million will be used in supporting school infrastructure development. The ministry is going to scale up the construction of classrooms, teachers’ houses and other essential infrastructure. The ministry is expected to construct about 5,000 classrooms by 2010, …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: … thereby creating new school places for 200,000 pupils in the single shift. This will eliminate the double shift sessions in most schools. Special emphasis will be given to rural areas in this massive school infrastructure programme.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Education has and will continue to continuously engage our co-operating partners to assist in securing additional funding beyond their regular support to finance other priority areas. In this vein, I am happy to inform the House that because of the confidence that our co-operating partners have in the Government’s education development efforts, the Netherlands Governments has recently given the Zambian Government K30 billion.

This money will be used for the procurement of 85,417 desks and will augment the Government’s procurement of 25,000 desks for schools in the country. We are now in the process of procuring a total of 110,417 desks for our schools throughout the country. I need not emphasise the importance of desks for our children in schools. I wish to thank the Netherlands Government for this gesture.

Mr Speaker, let me conclude by emphasising that the major priority of the Government in the Fifth National Development Plan and Vision 2030 is to work towards achieving the MDGs. Zambia is committed to the EFA and MDGs. One of those goals that the country is committed to is:

“Ensuring that by 2015, all children, particularly girls, children in difficult circumstances …have access to and complete free primary education of good quality”

Hon. MMD Member: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: In the quest of responding to this goal, my ministry is currently developing a new strategic plan covering the period 2009 to 2015. The strategic plan will be formulated in such a way that it spearheads and facilitates the attainment of education for all and the MDGs.

Mr Speaker, the strategic plan will also play a pivotal role in according Zambia another opportunity to apply for additional support from the Education for All Fast Track Initiative Catalytic Fund. I wish to highlight that the co-operating partners have pledged to support the Government in this strategic plan undertaking and ensure that the country accesses financial support. Our goal is to succeed and success we shall achieve under the able and effective leadership of His Excellency, President Rupiah Banda.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members may now raise questions on points of clarification on the statement which has been made by the hon. Minister of Education.

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, if I heard the numbers right, the hon. Minister said that thirty-two countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have qualified for this same fast track education facility. However, at the same time, he emphasised how difficult it was and how good a country’s governance had to be in order to access this. Can he give us, for purposes of comparison, examples of Sub-Saharan African countries that have failed to access this same fund because of bad governance? We can leave out failed states like Somalia and those that have had civil wars like the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, the correct figure is twenty-two and not thirty-two countries, and that is twenty-two out of forty-six countries. My ministry has not been availed the countries that have failed to access funds from the catalytic initiative but if the hon. Member wishes to know, he can access the website of the Catalytic Funding Committee and we can provide that address to him so that he can personally read on which countries were applicants to the fund.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe (Matero): Mr Speaker, I would like to commend the Ministry of Education for a job well done.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: However, throughout his statement, the hon. Minister did not address matters related to children who are differently abled. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister if he still believes that the issues of these children are going to be addressed through the disorganised inclusive education.

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, the inclusive policy in education that we are following is very embracing in our programme of orphans and vulnerable children which, to a large extent, takes into account children with special educational needs. We have a very elaborate programme in that regard which, to a large extent, is in accordance with the international trend of looking at children with special education to have an inclusive education environment perspective.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr V. Mwale (Chipangali): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister assure this House that the grant is not going to end up in workshops, seminars and study tours at the expense of putting up infrastructure?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, earlier I made reference to fiduciary assessment which was undertaken and this was to ensure that the funding will be towards achieving Education for All goals and not wasted on such activities. I can assure the House that a close supervision will be undertaken to ensure that we achieve our plan of school infrastructure development, teachers’ housing and other targeted activities which will guarantee that Zambia achieves education for all by 2015.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muteteka (Chisamba): Mr Speaker, having heard about the funds that are coming in that sector, is the hon. Minister considering scrapping Parents and Teacher’s Association (P.T.A) fees, which are affecting our children, some of whom are being sent out of classes in rural areas, to appreciate the full education from Grade 7 to 9?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, PTA fees should not be a hindrance to accessing basic education. According to Circular No. 3 of 2002, the ministry gave a directive that PTA fees should not be levied in our schools, especially at the basic education level because the policy of the Government is free basic education from Grade 1 to 7.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ntundu (Gwembe): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out whether he is the same hon. Minister who, last week, answered a question from the hon. Member for Mfuwe, concerning community schools and in the answer he gave, he said that the Government was not ready to upgrade the community schools in his constituency. May I find out whether he is the same Minister because in his statement he has stated that his ministry wants to ensure that every girl child is assured of quality education? If this hon. Minister is not able to upgrade schools in Mfuwe where there are girl children, how is he hoping to achieve his dream?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Gwembe does not seem to be following. I will be very delighted to give him a lecture and, as such, I invite him to come to my office so that I take him through a series of lectures on education policy in Zambia. Clearly, there is a lot of confusion there, and if the hon. Member was attentive, I said in the ministerial statement that we are targeting to construct 5,000 classrooms by the end of next year with the assistance of this funding facility. This will go a long way in improving the infrastructure in our schools, especially at the basic education level, which of course, will impact on the community school structures.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC. (Chasefu): Mr Speaker, while commending you for the achievements that you have scored which may be due to proper planning, may the hon. Minister, through you, tell us when, according to your planning, you will achieve appropriate levels in the teacher/pupil ratio so that the educational standards in our schools can improve?

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, that is a planning process which, of course, is evaluated on an annual basis and we are very confident that within the nearest future, we should be able to achieve an appropriate and acceptable teacher/pupil ratio both in urban and rural areas.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister told us that this US$60 million grant is for 2009 and 2010 which means this year is also included. My concern, as a Member of Parliament, is whether I will even see any of this amount in my constituency. Could the hon. Minister confirm to this House that lines will be drawn in this grant in the budget so that we can debate it in this House and see how this fund will be used?

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, we probably need a session on budgeting and how external funding is incorporated in the National Budget. We have been getting funding from our external co-operating partners on a yearly basis, and that is included in the Yellow Book. If the hon. Member cares to go through the Yellow Book when he gets the it, it does indicate the categories of funding and this US$60 million will not be covered individually that this is the US$60 million. It is an integral party of the budget.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, in nearly all the towns and provinces, we have more basic schools than high schools. May I find out from the hon. Minister whether his Government’s policy is to provide half-baked citizenry in this country or fully-baked and educated people because there are very few places in the high schools as compared to basic schools?

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, we are not baking pupils, but aiming at providing quality education for our children and we do not bake them into mediocrity. Clearly, there is a difference in terms of numbers at the basic school and high school level, and that is why in all the statements that I have made in this House, I have stated that the Government has embarked on a process of constructing high schools so that the disproportionate distribution between high schools and basic schools can be addressed. As I pointed out a few minutes ago, we are in the process of constructing forty-three high schools countrywide. This has never been undertaken in one period in this country since independence, which shows the commitment and seriousness of this Government regarding the provision of quality and accessible education opportunities to all our children in the country.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Mr Speaker, out of the 900 classrooms that are built every year, how many of these are built in the rural areas?

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, I cannot, at the moment, give a clear percentage as to how many are being constructed in the rural areas, but the answer is that most of the classrooms are constructed in rural areas.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Kapata (Mandevu): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister mentioned the support that the ministry is giving to orphans and vulnerable children in the rural areas. I just want to find out how these children are traced.

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, clearly, there are a number of agencies that we work with. The Ministry of Community Development and Social Services is one of them, various NGOs who are working with the ministry and ourselves bring data to bear on our orphans and vulnerable children support programme.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Speaker, with that amount of money, which the Government is accessing for this project, and which is quite considerable, can the hon. Minister assure the House and the nation that his ministry will move to incorporate more of the community schools, especially in the rural areas where people are desperately trying to educate children without any Government assistance at all? Will he ensure that more of these now come under Government funding?

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, we are already doing that and we shall always scale up as I pointed out, so that the Infrastructure Development Programme is improved in the community schools.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chongo (Mwense): Mr Speaker, in the statement, there was a mention of some money that has been sourced that will go towards the purchase of desks in schools. Would the hon. Minister assure this House and the nation that this money will be shared equitably in all the provinces and districts unlike what happened last year when 2,000 desks were given to each province, but many schools did not benefit?

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, our target, of course, is to ensure that every child sits on a desk and equitable distribution is one of the criteria we use in our distribution programme and there is no debate over that.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr E. C. Mwansa (Chifunabuli): Mr Speaker, I just want to know what formula the hon. Minister uses to ensure equitable distribution.

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, I am not quite sure what the hon. Member for Chifunabuli is trying to aim at. Is equitable distribution referring to infrastructure, grants, desks or what?  Clearly, …


Professor Lungwangwa: … equity is one basic criterion that we use in our funding.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Silavwe (Nakonde): Mr Speaker, first and foremost, I want to thank the hardworking hon. Minister of Education.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. PF Member: Ulefwaya incito iwe!

Mr Silavwe: Arising from his ministerial statement, I want to find out if the ministry can come up with a deliberate policy to ensure that all these newly-constructed classrooms are accompanied by furniture like desks so that our children can benefit.

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, like I pointed out, our goal is to ensure that every child has furniture or a desk provided, and we are clearly working towards that. That is why we negotiated, last year, with our co-operating partners who gave us a funding facility of K30 billion which is currently with us, and which, in addition to our own resources, will see us procuring 110,417 desks which I pointed out in my speech. This is a continuous process and we shall ensure that we work very hard to get the necessary resources so that we have adequate desks for our school-going children.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, why is this good programme only catering from Grades 1 to 9 leaving Grades 10, 11 and 12?

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, going back to 1990 when the Education for All Conference was held in March, the thrust of Education for All has been on basic education so that all children have access to basic education as a matter of human right. This is why funding like this one, which has been put together by the co-operating partners, is targeting basic education provision so that we move towards the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, one of which is the right to basic education. This clearly, also, enables us to address the problems of the other sectors like the high school and tertiary education, and we shall do that.

I thank you, Sir.




36. Mr Malama (Mfuwe) asked the Minister of Works and Supply what plans the Ministry had for the Bailey Bridge which was removed from the Nkalamabwe Bridge in Chongwe District and taken to the site of the bridge across the Luangwa River on the Chama/Matumbo Road.

The Deputy Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Ndalamei): Mr Speaker, the design for the construction of the bridge across the Luangwa River at Matumbo required the use of the Bailey Bridge components for the middle span. The two end spans were going to be reinforced concrete. Following the termination of the earlier contract awarded to China-Heinan in association with consultants Brian Colquhoun, Hugh O’Donnel and Partners (BCHOD), the Ministry of Works and Supply, through the Roads Development Agency are currently preparing tender documents for these works.

I thank you, Sir.


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

(a) when a court room would be constructed at Mwata Local Court in Chasefu parliamentary Constituency; and

(b) when the dilapidated staff houses at the Phikamalaza Local Court in Chasefu Parliamentary Constituency would be rehabilitated.

The Deputy Minister of Justice (Mr Chilembo): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the Judiciary had, in 2007, initiated a vigorous programme to rehabilitate and construct local courts countrywide. The tempo has, however, slowed down due to the country’s adverse economic downturn. With the above background, the courtroom for Mwata Local Court in Chasefu Parliamentary Constituency cannot be constructed immediately, but when funds are available.

Mr Speaker, with regard to part (b) of the question, 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, is it Government policy to open courts and allow court staff to operate under a tree? If it is not, could you specify when the Government will start constructing the court rooms?

Mr Chilembo: Mr Speaker, it is not Government policy for courts to operate under trees. The Government shall continue to rehabilitate and construct more local courts as funds are available.

Hon. Member: When?

Mr Chilembo: It is only a question of availability of funds.

I thank you, Sir.


38. Mrs Banda (Chililabombwe) asked the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development what the number of employees at the Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) Plc was in the following categories:

 (i) permanent and pensionable; and

 (ii) fixed-term contract.

The Deputy Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr Nkhata): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that as at 31st December, 2008, KCM had a total of 12,296 employees broken down in the following categories:

 Permanent and pensionable
Zambians   Expatriates   Total

11,588    166   11,754

Fixed Term Contract

Zambians   Expatriates  Total

 542    0   542
Mr Speaker, the total number of Zambians is 12,130 while expatriates are 166. Together they add up to 12, 296 which is the total number of KCM employees.

Mr Speaker, the House may wish to know that the 542 employees on fixed term contract are non-pensionable and are employed for periods of up to two years. Their contracts are renewable depending on the need.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mrs Banda: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister if he is aware that KCM is …

Dr Scott: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Dr Scott: Thank you Mr Speaker. I apologise to the hon. Member for interrupting her question. I rise on an important point of order, which I think would stick best on the hon. Minister of Defence who looks very affluent.

I think most people in this House remember that about eighteen months ago, His Excellency Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, was very emphatic that there would be no co-operation with the United States Government in military operations on our territory. I remember it, particularly, because Patriotic Front President, Michael Sata, fully supported that statement.

Mr Speaker, my concern with this continuity with change arises from a story in the London published Guardian Newspaper of Friday, 23rd January, 2009, where the lead story reads and I quote:

 “Obama Shuts Network of CIA ghost “Prisons””.

I lay it on the Table.

Sir, it concerns the very controversial practice of the Bush Administration of operating mini Guantanamo Bays across the world where the normal laws protecting prisoners in the United States do not apply. Of course, it requires the complicity of the host regime.

Mr Speaker, looking at further information inside the newspaper, I find more and I quote:

 “New Chapter Begins with End to Secret Prisons and Torture.”

Mr Speaker, on this page is a map of the world showing which countries played host to the United States’ torture and rendition. Rendition is a form of kidnapping and illegal detention. Lo and behold, Sir, our own beloved Zambia is on this map as one of the fourteen countries in the world which are hosting illegal detentions by foreign nationals. These detentions are highly suspected of water boding and other forms of torture.

Sir, to be generous, this is a newspaper and the information may not be 100 per cent correct. However, I wonder whether the hon. Minister of Defence is in order not to clear the air on this issue, seeing that this is in the public domain because of Obama’s desire to correct the American human rights lapses that occurred under the previous US President.

 We need to know how we are implicated in this human rights abuse. We need to know whether this is a false allegation. Right now, it looks as if our own nationals and possibly from neighbouring countries are being illegally kidnapped and held in Zambia and possibly tortured. I beg your honest ruling on this matter, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Following the point of order by the hon. Member for Lusaka Central and assuming that the newspaper is legal, I hereby task the hon. Minister of Defence to come to this House as soon as he has gathered the necessary information and brief the House on the truth or otherwise of the newspaper article that has been referred to. I emphasise, as soon as possible.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Mrs Banda: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out if the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development is aware that KCM employs casual workers and hides in the name of contractors.

The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr M. B. Mwale): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for demonstrating that she is keen to see that her constituents are protected. I thank her for bringing this new information to us.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr D. Mwila (Chipili): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has informed this House that 166 expatriates have been employed at KCM. I would like to find out why there is no expatriate who is on fixed term contract when there are 542 Zambians.

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister stated categorically, in his response, that these were employees who were engaged on specific tasks. For example, if you need a welder and there is no one who can do, but there is somebody who has passed retirement, he can be engaged by the company so that they make use of his services. This is how people are engaged on fixed term contracts.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, last year, this House was told that Konkola Copper Mines employed 637 Indian nationals on the smelter project. The hon. Minister promised that the Government was going to address this issue. I would like find out from the hon. Minister how far the Government has gone in addressing this issue of expatriates working in Zambia at the expense of our own nationals.

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, in our response, we have indicated that there are only 166 expatriates working in the KCM Business units and that represents only 1.4 per cent. Therefore, that question falls off because those who were engaged on the smelter project have carried out their tasks and have been disengaged.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Kankoyo can ask his question.

Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): Mr Speaker, I had a similar question.


39. Mr Chazangwe (Choma Central) asked the Minister of Defence whether the ministry had any plans to enlist into the Zambia Army the following school leavers:

(a) Grade 12 school leavers; and

(b) school leavers with Grade 9 and 7 certificates.

The Deputy Minister of Defence (Dr Kazonga): Mr Speaker, I would like to inform the House that:

(a) plans to recruit Grade 12 school leavers are there in the following categories:

(i) Officer Cadets; and

(ii) Recruits.

(b) At present, there are no plans to recruit those with Grade 9 and 7 certificates.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what the minimum qualification is for one to be recruited in those respective categories.

Dr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, the details for the minimum requirements are as follows:

The minimum qualifications for Officer Cadets or specialists are:

(a) must have a university degree or diploma

(b) must be physically fit and pass the fitness test;

(c) must be between twenty-five and thirty years;

(d) must be 1.67 metres tall;

(e) must be a Zambian by birth or descent (nationality);

(f) may be single or married; and

(g) should have no criminal record.

Mr Speaker, with regard to the second category, we have Officer Cadet Regular and should meet the following:

(a) must be a holder of a Grade 12 school certificate with at least five O levels including mathematics;

(b) must pass the physical fitness test;

(c) must be between eighteen and twenty-five years of age;

(d) height must 1.67 metres tall

(e) must be a Zambian by birth or descent;

(f) must be single; and

(g) must have no criminal record.

Mr Speaker, the other category of recruits is as follows:

(a) must be a holder of a Grade 12 school certificate with passes including English language;

(b) must pass the fitness tests;

(c) must be between the age of eighteen and twenty-fives years;

(d) must be 1.67 metres tall;

(e) must be a Zambian by birth or descent;

(f) must be single

(g) must have no criminal record.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC.: Mr Speaker, would an applicant who meets all those qualifications, but is HIV positive be recruited?

Dr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, I have clearly indicated that these applicants must be physically fit in terms of medical fitness. If those medical examinations are passed, this person would be taken on.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): I thank the hon. Deputy Minister for his elaborate answer, but I would like to find out from him how they arrived at the limitation of 1.67 metres as a yardstick for recruiting people, because there are many people who are born without deciding how tall they shall be in their lives.


Dr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, for every profession, there are certain minimum requirements.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kazonga: For this one, the height was put at a minimum of 1.67 meters tall.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kazonga: There is no segregation at all, except that, that is what is required as far as this particular profession is concerned.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chongo (Mwense): Mr Speaker, it is a constitutional requirement that whenever the defence forces are recruiting, they should recruit from all the districts. Can the hon. Minister explain why they centrally recruit and do not go out there in the districts so that everybody is accorded a chance?

The Minister of Defence (Mr Mpombo): Mr Speaker, the recruitment policy of the Government is to go to all districts in order to have a balanced army and this we will continue to do.

I thank you, Sir.


40. Mr Chimbaka (Bahati) asked the Minister of Education:

(a) when standards officers last visited the following high schools in Bahati Parliamentary Constituency;

(i) Kabunda;
 (ii) Bahati; and
 (iii) Mansa;

(b) whether the reports compiled during the visit at (a) above reached the ministry headquarters; and

(c) what action the ministry had taken in order to address the issues raised by the standards officers.

The Deputy Minister of Education (Mr Sinyinda): Mr Speaker, the standards officers last visited the following high schools as follows:

High School     Date

Kabunda     24th November, 2008;

Mansa     13th December, 2008; and

Bahati     28th November, 2008.

Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Education headquarters received the reports and the final decision will be made when the results have been processed by the appropriate committee of the ministry.

Sir, I would like to inform the House that the Ministry of Education headquarters received the report and the school has been deregistered. The culprits are appearing in the courts of law.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chimbaka: Mr Speaker, for efficiency’s sake, the labour movement, the teacher unions and the Government, for a long time, contemplated establishing a Teacher’s Accreditation Board which was meant to give certificates to teachers in order for them to practise teaching as a profession and not a service. Can I find out from the Ministry of Education when this is going to be inaugurated to enhance effective and professional teaching in the Ministry of Education?

Mr Sinyinda: Mr Speaker, I am glad that the hon. Member for Bahati, who is also an educationist, is concerned about that. Therefore, I would like to inform him that we are in the process of establishing that.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


41. Mr Chisala (Chilubi) asked the Minister of Health:

(a) why registered male nurses who were posted to Chilubi District in 2006 and 2007 were withdrawn and subsequently posted elsewhere;

(b) whether the Government had plans to review the requirement for establishing a rural health centre from the minimum population of 10,000 people to 6,000; and

(c) why the Government had delayed the construction of the following health posts in Chilubi District;

(i) Mwenge;

(ii) Kasansa; and

(iii) Kapofu.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Mr Akakandelwa): Mr Speaker, there were no registered male nurses posted or withdrawn from Chilubi Rural Health Centre in 2006 and 2007.

Sir, in 2006 and 2007, the structure at Chilubi Rural Health Centre only provided for a Clinical Officer, Zambian Enrolled Nurse and an Environmental Health Technologist.

Mr Speaker, before the Ministry of Health was restructured and given Treasury authority to employ new staff in 2008, each district health board used to employ their own staff on what were termed as local conditions and paid them salaries outside the Government payroll, using the monthly operational grants.

In the restructured Ministry of Health, appointments are only made to funded positions in all health institutions. This means that each health facility shall only accommodate personnel in line with the new structure. In this regard, a male Clinical Officer and an Environmental Health Technologist have been posted to Chilubi Rural Health Centre and they have been placed on Government payroll.

Mr Speaker, the policy of the ministry is to have a rural health centre for a minimum population of 10,000 people and to establish health posts for smaller populations with a minimum of 3,500 people. The ministry has no plans to reduce on the minimum number as a health centre would be generally under utilised.

Mr Speaker, the Government has not delayed the construction of health posts at Mwenge, Kasansa and Kapofu. The construction of health posts in these areas was discussed with the area Member of Parliament in 2008 and it was resolved that priority be given to the construction of two staff houses and an out patient department at Matipa Rural Health Centre and rehabilitation of Chaba Rural Health Centre. Therefore, construction of health posts in these areas may be considered in the 2010 Investment Plan.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.




The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Dr Musokotwane): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the following members do constitute the Public Accounts Committee for the Third Session of the Tenth National Assembly:

Mr C. L. Milupi, MP;
Mr V. Mwale, MP;
Mrs E. M. Banda;
Mr E. M. Hachipuka, MP;
Mr L. M. Mwenya, MP;
Mr B. Y. Mwila, MP;
Mr H. H. Hamududu, MP;
Mr L. P. Msichili, MP; and
Mr R. C. Banda, MP.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, may I begin by thanking the previous members of the Public Accounts Committee for the commendable job they did in the second Session of the Tenth National Assembly.

Sir, the Committee, in accordance with their terms of reference considered the two Reports that the Auditor-General produced namely, the Report on the Accounts for the Financial Year ended 31st December, 2006 and the Report for 2006 on the Accounts of the Parastatal Bodies.

Sir, in line with the basic practices in the functioning of Modern Public Accounts Committees, the House will note that an attempt has been made to have some degree of consistency in the membership of the Committee to ensure effective continuity and enable Parliament benefit from the skills that hon. Members have acquired in dealing with Public Financial Management issues.

Mr Speaker, the work of the Committee is mainly driven by the Auditor-General. I, therefore, wish to assure the House that the Public Accounts Committee will continue to receive valuable input from the Auditor-General in the form of reports because the Government is determined to provide the office with the necessary support in order for them to effectively undertake their duties.

Mr Speaker, during the past year, the Government took a number of measures to improve financial management in the Public Service, which includes:

(a) having quarterly consultative meetings on public financial management with controlling officers and heads of accounting units;

(b) making follow-up verifications on all matters outstanding in the Public Accounts Committee; and

(c) producing Treasury minutes within sixty days following the adoption of the reports by this august House. 

Mr Speaker, my ministry will continue with these measures, among others, and the implementation of the Public Expenditure Management and Financial Accountability (PEMFA) reforms. 

The oversight role of Parliament on public financial management has been criticised by some quarters of our society as being ineffective because there seems to be little action on the revelations contained in the Auditor-General’s Report.

Sir, the Auditor-General’s Report is not a criminal investigations report. However, it can indicate or point to cases where criminal acts may have been committed. In this case, the police and other investigative wings, such as the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) and the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) may pursue the cases further.

Hon. Members may have read in the press on 16th January, 2009, about the eight accounting officers from the Copperbelt provincial accounting unit that were arrested for misappropriating K2.2 billion meant for poverty reduction programmes. There are many such cases that are before the courts of law.

Mr Speaker, 2009 will be a challenging year in that the Government will undertake austerity measures in response to the economic slow down our country will experience as a result of the global economic crisis. Rather than just controlling expenditure, the Government will ensure that the limited funds available in this year’s Budget are properly utilised. In the case of revenues, my ministry will ensure that collections are maximised and losses minimised. To this effect, officers who will misappropriate and misapply public funds will be severely and appropriately dealt with.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I wish the Public Accounts Committee for the Third Session of the Tenth National Assembly all the best and wish to encourage them to carry out their duties in the same manner of diligence, faithfulness, efficiency and effectiveness as the previous Committee did. My ministry will fully support and co-operate with the Committee to ensure that public resources are properly accounted for.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me an opportunity to contribute to the Motion on the Floor. I wish to state that I am in support of all the hon. Members that have been appointed to this Committee, even though it appears that they are the same people as last year. I have every reason to believe that they will do a good job, just like the previous Committee.

Mr Speaker, there is only one observation I would like to make on this Committee in view of the fact that we need to be gender sensitive. I note that there is only one woman on this committee. I would like to appeal to the powers that be that next time they appoint the Public Accounts Committee, they include more women.

Mr Speaker, the issue of providing watchdogs on the usage of public funds is paramount in good governance. However, even though the Committee have done a lot of work in the past, we continue to see a situation where people are still pilfering and stealing from public coffers. The reason for this is very simple, really. We tend not to be very careful about the people we entrust public funds with. We have seen situations where we continue to appoint cadres, who are the Permanent Secretaries, as controlling officers.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: This is one of the reasons why our coffers have continued to be pilfered. We need to appoint controlling officers who have got qualifications for the job, rather than looking at one’s political affiliation as a qualification to public office.

Mr Speaker, last year in the Maputo Mission, we saw a situation where there were malpractices in as far as the usage of public funds was concerned. Nonetheless, the only action we saw being taken was the Ambassador being recalled. To-date, no action has been taken on that report. This is extremely sad for Zambia. This is why, last week, I said that Zambia is full of talking the talk and not walking the talk. Therefore, as long as we continue in this direction, we are not going to improve on the usage of public funds.

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

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to wind up this Motion. I wish to state that I have taken note of the statement made by the hon. Member who spoke. To the extent possible, as we constitute the Committee for next year, we will take those factors into account. Obviously, there are certain limitations, including that of the number of the female Members of Parliament. Nevertheless, the point has been well taken.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to.



The Minister for Western Province (Mr Mufalali): Mr Speaker, before the House adjourned last Friday, I was advising some disgruntled Opposition hon. Members of this House who, for the sake of opposing, were opposing. I was advising them that they should repent and ask for God’s forgiveness


Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, his Excellency, the President’s Speech is full of many economic development programmes.

His Excellency, the President started with Obituary. This was so because last year was not a year of rejoicing. It was a year of harsh decisions on Zambians because of the loss of our beloved President and other hon. Members of Parliament.

Sir, His Excellency, the President continued to advise us how we could go on about this, but alas, some hon. Members of this House do not want to get His Excellency’s advice. The President has given us the summary for us, as a House, to digest. Instead, some hon. Members are calling it different names. This is the reason I was saying they should ask for God’s forgiveness

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, we all stand in front of you, before that Table, and hold our Bibles in the air…


Mr Mufalali: … and say I will pay allegiance to the President of the President of the Republic of Zambia, not to a president of a political party.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Bauze!

Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, this is why I was advising my hon. Colleagues to go back to God and ask for forgiveness.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, in his Speech, His Excellency, the President talked about poverty reduction and economic empowerment despite the global recession.


Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, there is no reason for us to be poor because we have natural resources and human resources. In my province, we have the Liuwa National Park, Sioma-Ngwezi National Park, Sioma Falls in Sinjembela and the Kuomboka Ceremony. These could reduce poverty in Western Province and Zambia as a whole. The mighty Zambezi River which has abundant water resources could attract many tourists for boat cruising, fishing and even irrigation.

Hon. Opposition Members: Finally!

Mr Mufalali:  Not finally!


Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, the projected gas deposits in Mongu, oil deposits in Lukulu, petroleum deposits Kalabo districts, diamond deposits in Shang’ombo and other mineral deposits in the other districts of Western Province could revamp the economy of the province and uplift its status from being the poorest to the richest.

 Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Mufalali: Thanks should go to the MMD Government for applying intervention measures designed to mitigate the adverse impact of this crisis to enable us fulfil our key programmes of the Fifth National Development Plan, that is, poverty reduction and wealth creation.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, thanks should also go to the Government for putting up youth skills in all districts in Western Province except Sesheke which is in the process of building a youth skills centre because most of the youths in this district depend on smuggling in the neighbouring countries where they end up in jails.


Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, His Excellency, the President described last farming season as the worst. It was so bad that the yield was not good because of the floods and the heavy rainfall. This is the reason there is hunger this year. However, the 2006/07 farming season was very good for Zambia because we had a bumper harvest of which we even sold some maize to Zimbabwe and South Africa. My own constituency (Sesheke Central) sold maize to other countries like Namibia for the first time.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Tell them!

Mr Sichilima: Teach them! They are not listening.

Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker,…


Mr Mufalali: … people in my constituency are grateful. The Senanga/Sesheke Road will be tarred and it is my hope that this working Government will not allow any shifting of funds from this road to other uses.

Mr Speaker, feasibility studies were done, seminars and several meetings have been held. The last meeting was held last year in Siavonga. We are grateful to this Government for the five high schools which will be constructed in our province

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, I am happy to report that the work is going on very well. The high schools that are under construction are Lukuwa, Mayukwayukwa, Luambi and Nakanya Girls’ High School. Therefore, I am very happy about the progress.

Mr Speaker, we have to unite as a House. We should not just be opposing for the sake of opposing.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Sichilima: Ema Ministers aya!

Mr Mufalali: Otherwise, we are going nowhere. This Government is not for MMD alone. Even Opposition Members are included in the Government.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichilima: Tell them, hon. Minister!

Mr Mufalali: Therefore, you are reminded not …

Mr Sichilima: Take time, drink water!


Mr Sichilima gave a bottle of water to Mr Mufalali.

Mr Mufalali: … to boycott any national event in this country.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichilima: Ema hon. Minister aya!

Ms Changwe: Hear, hear! Well done!

Mr Matongo (Pemba): Mr Speaker, I wish to join those of my sisters and brethren who have spoken on the Speech of the President, delivered on Friday, 16th January, 2009, on the state of the nation, and what he thought would be the aspirations we shall look to during 2009.

Sir, the indicative pointers dealing with our economic problems do not start by imitating or doing what we may not understand well to pull this country forward using help from outside and one’s boot straps.

Mr Speaker, the economic problems of Zambia are not just because of the credit crunch as experienced in the United States of America. The effect of that credit crunch, perhaps, will only reach the people of my constituency and, indeed, other parts of rural Zambia long after it has been resolved. Our problem is economic growth. The President said that this year, the economic growth will be at 5 per cent. Sir, we need to be ambitious in this area ....

Major Chizhyuka: Hear, hear!

Mr Matongo: … for without economic growth and ambition in getting production up in this country, and without that fiery decision to pull ourselves, while, of course, looking for help elsewhere, at 5 per cent, we stand no chance to get anywhere.

Hon. Minister, I can tell you that as you prepare your Budget, there are indications from the banking sector such as the Bank of Zambia and others, that are already targeting 5 per cent. Even with deficit financing into agriculture, well targeted, getting every peasant farmer to hit the ground and produce food, and reduce food imports, there would be growth.

Therefore, I am saying it is not a bad idea, hon. Minister to subsidise production.

Hon. UPND Member: No!

Mr Matongo: However, it is an abomination to continuously encourage ourselves to subsidise consumption. I am saying that as much as the people are crying, they are also hungry. There are times when they have to face the tough times and invest in food security. Mr Speaker, if we were self sufficient in food security, we would have solved 64 per cent of the American credit crunch.

Sir, of course, I am mindful of the fact that the biggest expense is on petroleum imports, and I will not pretend that we have an immediate solution to that matter. However, the savings we would make from food security would go into that direction.

Mr Speaker, my third point is that …

Mr Speaker: Order!

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

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Matongo: Mr Speaker, when business was suspended, I was making a distinction between solving our food security and the petroleum products which are still being explored in the country, therefore, making it very difficult for us to solve that problem. However, I was saying that making a saving on food imports can easily help us deal with the prices of petroleum products.

Sir, the third point I wish to raise is that, as the hon. Minister formulates the National Budget, I would like to state very categorically that it is disheartening that the growth paradigm was not emphasised in the President’s Speech.

Mr Speaker, 64 per cent of our people in this country are very poor people and 54 per cent of are extremely poor with a growth rate of 5 per cent. If rural investment in agriculture stands at such a growth rate, I am afraid that our people will not be spared.

Mr Speaker, there is abundant evidence to believe that poor countries, through agricultural subsidies and investments, have pulled themselves out of poverty.

Sir, I also wish to clearly state that the greater expenditure of the Government must seriously be addressed. Emoluments cannot remain at about 38 per cent of our National Budget. I challenge you if you think this is not true.

Mr Speaker, I would like to see money put into the agricultural sector. It is a prerogative of those in the Executive to employ and redeploy. Whereas we are tightening our belts, excess manpower is running around the streets and being paid salaries because jobs are still being sought.

I think sentiments must be put back so that reality comes up. So, I hope the new hon. Minister will see to it that the cost of running Government, in its totality, will lead to money being put where it is effective. It is not my duty to condemn, nor is it my responsibility to praise, but the reality of the matter is that together we can work this country out of miserable poverty.

Mr Speaker, once we deal with the area of agriculture in the situation of the declining prices of copper, I would like to encourage the hon. Minister that he should not lose heart. These mining companies are a business and the taxes that are due must be paid. However, if there are new or green investments, those we will consider. Mr Speaker, the windfall tax is easily implemented and easily dropped when the people making the money in the industry are flattened down. I urge you to stick to your guns. Mr Speaker, in your Budget, I would encourage you to cut expenditure and collect revenue so that we move this nation forward.

Mr Speaker, on the point of growth, I would like to say that without growth, all other poverty alleviation measures that we want to think about, whether it is money for youth empowerment or women empowerment, will get to nothing. At this point I want to state ,and clearly so, that I am a little disheartened because I would have thought that the President would have made a clear instruction that women and youth empowerment cannot be dealt with through the Citizens’ Economic Empowerment Commission.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Matongo: Sir, this can best be dealt with at the level of community services and those programmes must be reverted to the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services in the new budget. Nothing has happened under the present arrangement and I would like to challenge any hon. Member here to show me one beneficiary to this money in their constituencies. Mr Speaker, out of K150 billion, K90 billion was sent to the provinces but nothing is moving and I am sure it is now even returning to the Ministry of Finance and National Planning.

Mr Speaker, even the way those who are running the CEEC look will discourage some, because they look like executives. They are nowhere near the poor person. They must continue dealing with Lusaka, Ndola and all these big areas, but for the rural dispensation in this light, I appeal to the President to revert to where people correctly belong. You do not expect a chairman of a bank and 300 other institutions to think of a poor person in Habanyuka or in Kasonde. We should be realistic.

Mr Speaker, I am disheartened at startling decisions at uplifting the poor. We are instead pushing the money into the pockets of the well-to-do already. On behalf of the people of Pemba, I demand that the income tax they so dearly pay, and faithfully so, must reach them and those two votes must go back to community services and to the Ministry Sport, Youth and Child Development for youth empowerment.

Mr Speaker, I would like to remind the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning that as he presents his budget, we expect that where the President did not come out flying, he should fly. Where there were troughs, he must get over them because this is what is required of the economic ministries of this Government.

I have said enough of the growth strategy. I now wish to move to a much lighter and, perhaps, easily understood position. This country has a well articulated five-year development plan but if when this plan was dealt with at a district level, you were not a Member of Parliament, I would like to say that the sins of your predecessor are your sins, and so pick the document and read it. This blaming game in this country after forty-four years of Independence must be a thing of the past. One moves out, the other one comes in, hit the ground and move. Do not start wondering or backbiting the person who has left the chair. There is too much waste of time in transition. I am saying that we should be more civilised now to take over the job and move. To start saying that you were not a Member of Parliament when this document was being discussed, but the former Member of Parliament whom you beat in the elections who did not hand over is out. Please, just see the district secretary or district commissioner because they have that information. We need to move and we, in Choma, do move.

If those officers do not move, we kick them out. We went to see the late President Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa when we were not happy with the District Commissioner and he was kicked out and now we have a different one. We have refused to have a cadre appointed as district commissioner. You have seen your predecessors there and the current President will tell you because we went to see him with my friend here to tell him that we did not want that district commissioner.

You have the right to demand for quality service at the local level and we encourage you to do so. As I wind up, Sir, I am saying that we should put money in agriculture because it is part of the Fifth National Development Plan priority. Let us put money in mining and the mines must pay back because it is one of our priorities in our five-year development plan. Let us put money in real tourism by even encouraging domestic tourism, an area well articulated as a development area.

Mr Speaker, if we want to kick start the development of this country, let us put money in construction. We have equipment that has come from China which is languishing in provincial capitals. The equipment arrived last year in November and December. Now, imagine the expenditure involved in heavy equipment arriving in Kapiri Mposhi, bypassing Kasama and being brought to Lusaka. For us, in Southern Province, the equipment is put on trucks to Livingstone. Surely, those are all costs. Could one not think of establishing a temporary base for servicing those pieces of equipment in Kapiri Mposhi and then distribute them to areas where they were supposed to go so that costs could be cut? What will happen now is that when they start grading roads in Southern Province and elsewhere, that equipment will have to come to as far as Mwanamainda. Is that not a cost which we would have cut?

Mr Speaker, this all involves strategic thinking and planning. Think of the money that will be wasted. At the moment, the equipment is sitting there and when you ask why, they will tell you that they are waiting for the rains to end.

Did we not know that, in September/October, when the machine arrived, the rains would hit the ground in November/December? Why should we be singing songs about praising our dear brothers in Government? We are saying no.

Hon. Opposition Member: Yes.

Mr Matongo: However, we want to help you if you are short of ideas. We are going to praise you when you do the needful. Quite frankly, I believe in constructive criticism until you bring development in this country.

Mr Speaker, I want to conclude by saying that we are not in the Opposition to condemn, but we are here to provide constructive criticism.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Matongo: Therefore, we have passed on criticism today in a very mild language. I think it is very clear. Now, you cannot continuously have an alternate Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Livestock and Veterinary Services). The people are the ones who demanded for the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Livestock and Veterinary Services) to be there. Those who have read the Mung’omba Commission know that the people in Luapula and elsewhere demanded for that ministry. Now, to be told - and it looks like there are two Permanent Secretaries. One Controlling Officer gives me a ticklish sensation and the feeling that, in fact, it will continue as a double barrelled ministry. Let the President be best advised that the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives should be separated from the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries. It is the wish of the people.

Hon. Members: Yes.

Mr Matongo: I have reason to believe that it is not budgeted that way, but budget it that way or else. I do not even care who the hon. Minister is. It is the principle. Let us put in management practices properly.

Although with very few words, Mr Speaker, I rest my case.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister for Luapula Province (Dr Kawimbe): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me the privilege to contribute to the President’s Speech. I hope that you bear with me, as I shall frequently refer to my copious notes as I deliver my maiden speech.

Mr Speaker, allow me to register my heartfelt thanks to the President of the Republic of Zambia, His Excellency, Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda, for nominating me to Parliament, and appointing me as Minister for Luapula Province.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kawimbe: Mr Speaker, allow me to convey my sincere thanks to my predecessor, Hon. Crispin Mumba Musosha, Member of Parliament for Mansa Central Constituency and Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, for his contribution to the development of Luapula Province and for the smooth hand over of the province.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Dr Kawimbe: Mr Speaker, during this session of Parliament, I am looking forward to working very closely with all the hon. Members of Parliament who are from Luapula Province because they are very key stakeholders.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kawimbe: Allow me, Mr Speaker, to register my profound thanks for the very warm welcome with which I have been received by all the people of Luapula Province. Since my appointment as Luapula Province Minister, I have had the opportunity to visit all the seven districts and met with the following stakeholders.

(i) Their Royal Highnesses, our chiefs;
(ii) Provincial Heads of Departments;
(iii) Districts Heads of Departments;
(iv) Our elected local Government leaders, the councillors;
(v) our Church leaders; and 
(vi) last but not least, our MMD officials.

Mr Sichilima: Hear, hear!

Dr Kawimbe: Mr Speaker, in my audiences with Their Royal Highnesses, I was impressed that all Their Royal Highnesses, in their representations to the Government, gave priority consideration to the welfare of their subjects and their development needs. The personal needs of Their Royal Highnesses always came last. I was, therefore, very happy when His Excellency, the President, Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda, said in his speech that this year, the Government is committed to buying the remaining 136 motor vehicles for those gazetted chiefs who did not benefit from the first batch. These motor vehicles have helped and will help Their Royal Highnesses to visit their subjects and inspect projects which are being developed.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Dr Kawimbe: Mr Speaker, our modern system of Government has one major limitation which is that there is no Government presence in the vast majority of our villages. The only authority which one finds in every one of our villages is the headman, who is a direct representative of the chief. The headman is the custodian of law and order where there is no police presence and to arbitrate disputes where there is no judiciary.

Mr Speaker, as modern day rulers, we can only succeed to bring development to the village level by working closely with Their Royal Highnesses and their headmen. More than 95 per cent of the land in Zambia is vested in the custody of Their Royal Highnesses under the overall supervisory authority of the Republican President. His Excellency, in his speech to this House, talked about the need for fair and equal access to land. Achieving the goal of fair and equal access to land, will only be realised when we work hand in hand with Their Royal Highnesses.

Mr Speaker, allow me to bring to your respective attention a suggestion from some of Their Royal Highnesses. The suggestion is that while the existence of the House of Chiefs at the national level is appreciated, the creation of two lower structures below the House of Chiefs is suggested, namely;

(i) a districts council of chiefs; and 
(ii) provincial council of chiefs.

The district council of chiefs is suggested as a forum where all the chiefs in a particular district would be able to meet and discuss matters that may include land allocation, chiefdom border disputes, chiefdom succession disputes and development projects in the districts. The district council of chiefs could also considerably act as an appellate body to which the elected councillors could refer matters that need arbitration. The provincial council of chiefs, as suggested, would be for all chiefs in a particular province to compare notes and deal with the problems of land allocation, chiefdom border disputes and chiefdom succession disputes that have resisted resolution at the district level.

Mr Speaker, this is an attractive proposition in that it will enhance the work of the House of Chiefs and integrate our traditional leaders into our modern system of Government. This proposal will be passed on for consideration by the hon. Minister for Local Government and Housing.

Mr Speaker, during my tour, I had the opportunity to meet with all the elected local Government leaders, our councillors. One of the most important outcomes of our meetings was the realisation that the reason we exist as councillors or Members of Parliament is the most ordinary of our fellow citizens, the common man or woman. Let us just, for once, imagine what would happen if God decided to remove all his people from Luapula Province. There would be no need for Members of Parliament or councillors, schools or teachers, hospitals and doctors. The only department, for which there may be a need, is Zambia Wild Authority (ZAWA). This is why, in Luapula Province, we have resolved that the welfare of the common man and woman will be our top priority because it is because of him or her that we exist.

Mr Speaker, the other important outcome of our meetings was reaching agreement on the difference between campaign politics and politics of development. Just as we have the dry and rainy season, there are also two seasons in politics, namely, the seasons of campaign politics and politics of development.

Mr Speaker, campaign politics begin when the Electoral Commission of Zambia announces that there will be Local Government or Parliamentary elections and the dates when nominations will be accepted and the votes will be cast.

Mr Speaker, allow me to pick on the hon. Member of Parliament for Mpika Central, who happens to be a personal friend of mine, as an example. During the period of campaign politics, I am allowed to tell the electorate that they should vote for me because I am a medical doctor while the hon. Member of Parliament for Mpika Central is not and that my children are better behaved than the hon. Member’s children and so forth.


Dr Kawimbe: Mr Speaker, however, once votes are counted and the hon. Member of Parliament for Mpika Central is declared winner, that is the end of campaign politics. I can no longer disparage the hon. Member’s record or personality because if I live within the boundaries of Mpika Central Constituency, the hon. Member of Parliament for Mpika Central is now my hon. Member of Parliament. The hon. Member now represents all those who were too young to vote and those who were eligible to vote but did not exercise their right to vote for whatever reason.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kawimbe: He also represents all those who did not vote for him and those that voted for him.

Mr Speaker, the tradition in this august House is that hon. Members are recognised by the constituencies or ministries that they represent and not by the political parties on whose tickets they stood.

Mr Speaker, once votes are counted and winners are declared, it is the end of campaign politics and the beginning of politics of development. We all have a duty to support and encourage elected leaders during their term of office.

Mr Speaker, the reason we must support our elected leaders is that our development goals are the same. We all want more and better schools, enough jobs, good roads, improved health care, cheaper and abundant food, peace and security, law and order, clean and abundant water and so on and so forth.

Hon. MMD Member: Hammer, neighbour!

Dr Kawimbe: Mr Speaker, come 2011, the season of campaign politics will return and then we will all have the right to criticise the performance of our elected leaders and tell them that they have failed to deliver in spite of all our support, or praise them for a job well done and reward them by re-electing them into office.

Mr Speaker, when we take the oath of office, we pledge to uphold the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia. One of the things that the highest law of the land prohibits is discrimination based on race, tribe, religion, gender or political affiliation. If we discriminate between those who voted for us and those who did not, we are in violation of the highest law in the land.

Mr Speaker, His Excellency, in his speech declared that, and I quote:

“I will be President for all Zambians.”

We all need to be hon. Members of Parliament for all who reside within the boundaries of our constituencies. For those of us who are hon. Minister and Deputy Ministers, we must be hon. Ministers for all Zambians.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kawimbe: Mr Speaker, as I toured Luapula Province, I had very fruitful meetings with the provincial and district heads of departments.

Mr Speaker, in the run up to the last elections, one word which was on the lips of most Zambians was “change”.  However, what type of change was being talked about? It was change in the face of our political leaders.

Mr Speaker, in Luapula Province, we have concluded that it does not matter how often we change the faces of our political leaders. The only people who have it within their power to improve the quality of health care in Luapula Province are our health care professionals working with communities. It is not our politicians who will maintain law and order, but our men and women in uniform who have it within their power to do so, working hand in hand with the communities.

It is not our politicians who will improve the quality of education that our children receive in Luapula Province. It is our teachers in partnership with the parents. Our politicians are not going to improve our agriculture sector and grow more of our food. It is our large and small scale farmers working in partnership with our colleagues in agriculture who have it within their power to do so.

Mr Speaker, in Luapula Province we have concluded that we are the agents of change. It is us who have been given the power of our laws and budgets to bring about positive change in the lives of the most ordinary of our fellow citizens. However, to bring about this change, we must change our attitudes towards the people we are entrusted to serve and our work as well as strive to find new and innovative ways of delivering our service to the people.

Mr Speaker, Zambia is among the fifty poorest countries in the world, out of a total of about 350 countries. 73 per cent of our people in Luapula Province live in abject poverty. Life expectancy is thirty-nine years, that is to say that the majority of the people in Luapula Province will die before they reach the age of forty years old. One of the major reasons for this is that the number of new cases of HIV/AIDS in Luapula Province has increased from 10.2 per cent to 13.2 per cent, unlike other provinces where prevalence rates are falling. 100 out of every 1,000 babies born in Luapula Province die before they reach the age of one year. Eight out of every 1,000 expecting mothers die in child birth. The list is endless.

Mr Speaker, in his inaugural address last November, the President promised the people of Zambia that the main objective of the Government would be fighting poverty. In Luapula Province, we are of the view that we are so far behind in terms of development and, therefore, we must run while those who are more developed than us are walking.

Mr Speaker, in Luapula Province we have resolved to work on Saturdays, Sundays, holidays and for long hours if that is what it will take for us to change the face of Luapula Province.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kawimbe: Mr Speaker, in Luapula Province, we are thankful for the Mwanawasa Bridge, the brand new district hospitals being built in Samfya and Chienge districts and the brand new high schools in Milenge, Chienge and Mwense districts.

Mr Speaker, Luapula Province is looking forward to the tarring of the Pedicle Road, rehabilitation of the Serenje-Kashikishi Road, commencement of infrastructure development of the Luena Farm Block Development Project and exploitation of the vast tourism potential of the province.

Mr Speaker, Luapula Province welcomes His Excellency’s proposed creation of the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries because the fishing industry is to Luapula Province what mining is for the Copperbelt and North-Western provinces. The fishing industry is to Luapula Province what cattle are for Southern and Western provinces. It is against this background that, as Luapula Province, we have resolved to give the highest possible priority to fish restocking of the Luapula River and lakes Bangweulu and Mweru.

Mr Speaker, as Luapula Province, we intend to learn from the experiences of our Malawian brothers and sisters who, a few years ago, saw their fish stocks in Lake Malawi depleted. Today, Malawi is exporting US $20 million worth of fish to Europe after restocking Lake Malawi with fish.

Mr Speaker, if there is one development activity with the capacity to impact positively on the lives of the largest number of people in the Luapula Province, it is fish restocking of the Luapula River and lakes Bangweulu and Mweru. This one industry has the greatest capacity to reduce poverty, unemployment, the transmission of HIV/AIDS, malnutrition and increase the revenue base of all the seven district councils.

Mr Speaker, the second development project with the capacity to impact positively on the lives of a very large number of people in Luapula Province is the proposed Luena Farm Sugar Estate, located in Kawambwa. The Luena Farm Block Development Project has been recommended and confirmed by several studies to be the most suitable site in Zambia for a new sugar cane estate which has been on the drawing board for over thirty years now.

Mr Speaker, the question must be asked:

 “Does Zambia need another Nakambala Sugar Estate?”

The answer is an emphatic ‘yes’ not only because the Luena Sugar Estate will be strategically positioned to export sugar products to the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Great Lakes Region and East Africa, but it will also make it possible for Zambia to produce ethanol from sugar cane.

One may ask, “What is Ethanol?” Ethanol, in a layman’s language, is a type of petrol produced from sugar cane. The world wide economic recession has forced reduction in the price of petroleum products. However, as the world economy recovers, which will happen sooner rather than later, the price of crude oil will inevitably rise and Zambia will, again, be saddled with high petroleum product prices. The importation of petroleum products is the single most costly expenditure our country endures.

Ethanol production from sugar cane will reduce our country’s dependence on imported petroleum products.

Brazil, a country which is as large as the United States of America, with a population of over 200 million has seventy-three million cars, and 80 per cent of those cars run on ethanol petrol produced from sugar cane.

Clearly, Zambia needs another Nakambala Sugar Estate at Luena Farm Block Sugar Estate. However, before private investors come into the Luena farm block, access roads, dams for irrigation, and electrification will need to be put in place.

In conclusion, for us to ever hope to reduce the number of our fellow citizens living in abject poverty, dying prematurely, and dying in labour unnecessarily, we must join hands and work as a team that is prepared to run while those more developed that we are – walk.

Mr Speaker, I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me an opportunity to add my voice to the Presidential Speech on the State of the Nation address that he delivered to this House.

Mr Speaker, I have mixed feelings after reading the President’s Speech. I must, however, say that inside my mixed feelings, there is no area that may denote that the President’s Speech was not full of any substance.

Mr Speaker, I would like to state that it is important for the hon. Members to understand that governance is not a simple matter, but a complex matter and no matter how clever one thinks he can perform his duties, they need to understand that there is somebody there who can do it a lot better than them.

Having said so, it is important for us all to accept the fact that there can only be one President at each given time.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: This time around, the President of the Republic of Zambia is none other than Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda and we, from the UPND, do accept that fact.

We would like to also indicate that by its nature, politics is competitive and we would like to appeal to the Republic of Zambia and its citizens to see the value that UPND might provide in the future to come because human beings go while institutions remain.

Mr Speaker, in his address, the President, in his preamble, put emphasis on the fact that his Government would target reduction of poverty and promotion of education. I think there is nothing empty about that. Many people have indicated that the speech was empty, but in my view, I think there are just too ambitious elements in reducing poverty and increasing the promotion of education, which is yardstick enough for people to be given the zeal to move.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, on page 2 of his speech, His Excellency the President, Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda indicated that, and I quote:

 “We can look back with pride and satisfaction at the progress we have made.”

I then tend to stop and ask myself the question as to what progress the President really meant, because if the president of my party were to be sitting in that seat, I think I would have advised him to itemise all the successes and failures because it is a fact that whilst the MMD Government may have recorded a number of successes, there are certain areas of failure, and this is the only reason I think that whoever prepared the speech for His Excellency the President, he or she may not have done it in a great favour by not itemising the successes as he put it.

I would like to say that I will take an example of what I deem to be a failure on the part of this Government. One that comes to mind is the most recent acquisition of Mubuyu Farms, a public institution, in Mazabuka. I think that this is a terrible error of judgment on the part of whoever advised the Board and Management of National Pensions Scheme Authority (NAPSA), which belongs to the Government and gets guidance from the Executive, to go ahead and commit US $6.7 million of pensioners’ money into an investment such as Mubuyu Farm in Mazabuka, which is debt ridden to the tune of US $17.5 million. As a result of many factors, this debt was accrued due to the unforeseen circumstances of drought.


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, some person may comment that they diverted money, but this is the heckling that I always want to say that we do not need, and we do not need delinquent leaders in this House. We need responsible leaders.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: I am trying to drive a point home and someone on your right is passing comments. That is delinquency and you do not need delinquent leaders. It was folly for a Government institution, outside any consultation, to commit US $6.7 million of pensioners’ money and yet there are many pensioners who have been standing in the queue waiting to be paid their dues.

Mr Liato: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Liato: Mr Speaker, I do not want to disrupt my cousin, the hon. Member of Parliament for Mazabuka, who is debating well, but I just wish to raise a point of order in regard to what he has just talked about. Is he in order to raise the issue of Mubuyu Farms and put the blame on the Government when he knows very well that I gave a statement regarding Mubuyu Farms and stated, exactly, the preventive measures that this Government is taking to prevent exactly what he is complaining about? Is he in order to continue talking about something where action has been taken? I seek your serious guidance.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: It is a fact that the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security, who has raised that point of order, did make a ministerial statement in the House on the matter of NAPSA. However, the Chair does allow the hon. Member for Mazabuka to continue on the rationale that the public enterprise known as NAPSA invested an amount of money that the hon. Member for Mazabuka raised in his debate which amount, I believe, the hon. Minister also revealed in his ministerial statement. There is a possibility that whereas we normally do not encourage revisiting issues that have been discussed in the House, on matters of public interest like the public enterprise investing funds in a commercial entity that a Member may think is not viable, will continue to be raised. Until, hopefully, the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security comes back and says, now I can report that all that money has been successfully recovered, that matter continues to be debated in this House and I believe elsewhere.

May the hon. Member for Mazabuka, please, continue?

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I truly thank you for your wise counsel to the hon. Minister.

Mr Speaker, His Excellency the President, in his preamble, spoke about poverty and I want to make a correlation of this poverty with regard to the Government that appointed the management of NAPSA to go ahead and invest in an institution or a farm that, year in year out, has its dam drying up because the place is arid, a place where they have sunk forty-two boreholes and only eight of them can yield water. These are facts on the ground and then you go ahead and invest US $6.7 million whilst pensioners are waiting in the queue, hon. Minister, to be paid. What is the status of these pensioners as they wait to be paid? They are poor. They are wallowing in poverty. It would have been extremely pleasing if there was not a single pensioner waiting at the door of the pension’s authority to be paid. It is not good for NAPSA to start doing some abracadabra in investing money in an entity that is clearly not viable.

Mr Speaker, I want to talk about the Fertiliser Support Programme (FSP) because I am trying to itemise a few of what I deem to be Government failures which His Excellency the President, Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda, would have actually attempted in his speech to state that this is work in progress and they are yet to improve on it but, in my view, he did not put sufficient beef on the matter of the FSP. The fact, hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives, is that the total National Budget last year only allocated 8.8 per cent of resources into the agriculture sector. Hon. David Matongo, in his speech, indicated the reason he thinks that it is prudent for the Government to subsidise production. We do not know what means we can use to communicate this very clear message to you. It does not give dignity for you to tamper with market forces. Go to National Milling Company and Chimsoro Milling and tell them that their mealie-meal is too expensive, and ask them to reduce the price. It means you are actually subsidising consumption.

Now, there are some SADC protocols, one of which actually stipulates - and hon. Members have these documents - that you agreed. I think it was in Mozambique where you said plus or minus 15 per cent of the National Budget should go to agriculture. Or is it 11 per cent? I am not certain. Why can we not make that yardstick and then see where we go from there? We have 1.4 million plus or minus peasant farmers in this country and FSP, as at the last farming season which unfortunately was a year of election, saw only 200,000 of the small-scale farmers benefiting from the FSP. More than 1.2 million farmers remained just waiting with their tongues out of their mouths to see what the Government was going to do for them. This is clearly another failure on the part of Government, and it must be accepted. There was no point in saying that fertiliser is going to be K50,000 a bag and the day after elections, everything went back to the future. That amounts to deception of the Zambian people.

Sir, the people on your right hand side deceived the Zambian people because if they did not deceive the Zambian people, to this moment, fertiliser would have been costing the same K50,000. What happened to the market forces? They solicited for a vote by duping voters and this is a timely warning to our Zambian voters that they must take heed next time, that when the Government of the day decides to give incentives, that is tantamount to corruption. It has no other definition. It is tantamount to corruption for which this Government requires to be ashamed. There is no beating about the bush. These people got the presidency in a very a corrupt manner.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: It is simply that, as Zambians, we will continue to support them because we know…

Mr Speaker: Order! The hon. Member ought to be very careful with regard to the usage of words. When you refer to obtaining the presidency through corrupt means, I shall require you to produce proof, not allegations. What proof do you have that there was corruption? Have you gone to court? Unless you can give proof, you may have to confine your allegations within you but not voice them out here because you cannot prove them. You either withdraw that remark or you lay evidence on the Table of the House.

May the hon. Member, please, continue?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I have no difficulties withdrawing the statement, but to state that I do withdraw the statement and replace it with the assertion that they may have gotten the presidency through a few unconventional means…

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: … hoping that may be acceptable.

Mr Speaker, Mazabuka Constituency, that I represent, by and large, depends on agriculture. I would like to thank the President for taking a bold decision to split the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives into two in order for each of the components, the agriculture as well as the livestock service, to get full attention from the designated hon. Ministers. However, I have this to say.

One of the categorical failures that the MMD Government has recorded is in the livestock sector. We have, in Mazabuka, a fully-fledged college which was established in 1923. It is called the Zambia Institute of Animal Health. This institute, twenty years ago, had nearly 1,000 cows on its farm. It had a fully-fledged staff of lecturers, tutors and, of course, the college students. Today, this college may have not more than a 100 students and, maybe, ten or fifteen cows. What happened is that people did not put any concern to make sure that this college is developed. They had even put up a laboratory to try and curb animal diseases in which they were going to be actually manufacturing vaccines, but because of this Government and, at this point, I think I should not even dare care that they call themselves a different management.

It is the same MMD that saw this laboratory move from Zambia to Malawi. As a result of this relocation, Malawi has managed to curb animal disease to a satisfactory level. However, our economy which is based on the animals that help us take our children to school continues to diminish. That is another failure of the Government.

Sir, I would also like to quote the President on page 9 of his speech where he said:

“So, let us face this year united, working together, and supporting each other, standing as one.”

Mr Speaker, the UPND has demonstrated that we are committed to this call. In this regard, our party president wrote a comprehensive letter to His Excellency the President, Rupiah Banda, on what measures he thought this country could take to try and cushion the impact of the global economic crisis.

Mr Speaker, we have played our part. We will not engage in throwing stones when time for political development has come, as Hon. Kawimbe put it. There shall come a time when we will go back to the Zambian people to ask for their mandate and see if they can favour us ...

Hon. PF Member: It will be too late.

Mr Nkombo: … with the leadership of this country. Those who are saying it will be too late, remain the delinquents that I was speaking about earlier in my speech. They have no other definition.

Mr Speaker, the President also indicated that we recorded a 5.1 per cent Gross GDP. He also said we attained at one stage, but for a very short time, a single digit inflation rate.

Sir, there is reason for everybody to be worried about a 5.1 per cent growth rate because it is not enough for any economy. The fact that the single digit inflation rate only stayed with us for a short while means that something went wrong.

Mr Speaker, as I wind up my contribution, I would like to urge this Government to take particular interest in the human-investment conflict.

I would like this Government to allow more powers to the Environmental Council of Zambia so that when it undertakes an environmental impact study on a would-be investment, it should take great care of the detail of how it would impact on the owners of the land.

Mr Speaker, in this respect, let me address the issue of Mugoto in Mazabuka. I have been left orphaned by President Levy Mwanawasa, may his soul rest in peace, through the decisions that were made based on the advice that was given by some hon. Members seated on the right side to allow Albidon Mine to take position.

The Albidon Investment has left the people of Mugoto poorer than they were before. Right now, those houses that looked flamboyant are falling apart.

The habitants are tying the houses with wires. They are stitching them as they are collapsing due to the above normal rainfall.

Hon. UPND Member: They are in the dambos.

Mr Nkombo: Hon. Konga once asked me what my problem was over the houses because, according to him, they were beautiful.

Mr Speaker, these people have been forsaken by this Government. They have told me that for as long as this Government does not address this problem, they shall never give even a single vote to the MMD.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: They have told me that even if they had to throw me out as Member of Parliament, they would not vote for the MMD.

Hon. Leader of Government Business, we need to revisit Mugoto.

Hon. Sichilima: Awe!

Mr Nkombo: We need to revisit that area because you left those people in limbo.

Mr Sichilima: Twaumfwa, twalabombelapo!

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I would like to summarise by addressing the issue of irrigation in relation to energy which the President alluded to in his speech.

Sir, his late predecessor also came with ideas of irrigation. I am of the opinion that the people who drafted the President’s speech did not do him a favour because we know that currently, the electricity tariffs have been dictated by the demand. We have a very serious shortage of power even for our own domestic use. An ordinary Zambian cannot even dream about having a centre pivot.

Mr Speaker, the President was addressing poverty when he talked about irrigation. I hope he meant using sprinklers which do not need power, but water pressure. However, even then, in the rural areas a power generator propelled by petrol would be needed to make a sprinkler work. All that requires energy.

Mr Speaker, as I have been re-elected Chairman on of your Committee on Energy, Environment and Tourism, I am more than prepared to liaise with the Government to see how we can resolve the issues that affect the Zambian people.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion on the Floor.

Firstly, I would like to congratulate Hon. Dr Kawimbe, Minister for Luapula Province, who has come back to the House. He is an old hand who knows the way the Government works. I am happy that he has been sent to Luapula where he can utilise his experience to ensure that development is delivered. This is quite clear from his well thought-out maiden speech which gives encouragement and hope. That is the kind of leadership we want.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: On that score, I would like to congratulate the President for appointing Hon. Kawimbe to Luapula, especially that I carry the name of Luapula as the Member of Parliament for Luapula Parliamentary Constituency.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichilima: Ma oranges!

Dr Machungwa: Mr Speaker, the President touched on a number of issues in his address. A lot of comments have been made about his speech depending on which side people are. Some have called it hollow, while others have called it brilliant and excellent.

Sir, this is the eighteenth Speech that I have listened to in this House. I have been in this House for eighteen years. I have listened to these speeches. What differs is the style in which they are delivered.

If you listened to President Obama’s speech you would note that he is such an orator and is considered very inspiring. However, the test of the pudding is in the eating.

Ms Changwe: Yes!

Dr Machungwa: We will see what happens there. It is not correct to condemn or even be so overly optimistic. What we are saying is that we should give a chance to the programmes that have been laid down to see how they work. I am sure they can work if we work together.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: Mr Speaker, let me talk about the sincerity in the speeches. Some speeches are delivered to please, while others are to change attitudes. I like sincerity in a speech. An example of sincerity is on Page 6 of the President’s speech, and I quote:

“I am happy that I will no longer be able to be ambushed with tough questions on Friday during the Vice-President’s Question Time”.

For those who were in the Chamber, this is quite true. The President was being very truthful. He took quite a lot of time when he answered questions to ensure that time ticked away  because he did not want to be ambushed.


Dr Machungwa: Here is a man who is being very sincere and truthful. I can give examples of sincerity in some of the statements that he made. I would like to take what he said at face value. If it fails, we will still be here, next year, to tell him that he has failed on this part. If he succeeds, we should be able to support him because, as leaders, we also want to succeed. The truth of the matter is that, even as Members of the Opposition, if the Government totally fails to deliver, then we cannot deliver.

Mr V. Mwale: Walikwata amano, mudala!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: Mr Speaker, there is a symbiotic relationship between the Government and hon. Members of Parliament. We fall or die together.

Mr Sichilima: Ema MPs aya!

Dr Machungwa: Obviously, we are competing for power and, at some time, we would like to take over. However, we would like the Government to succeed so that we can also succeed but, perhaps, not to sufficiently succeed to impress so that it makes it difficult for us to take over.


Dr Machungwa: Mr Speaker, the President promised the people of Zambia that the main priority of his Government was to fight poverty. I welcome this because eradication of poverty and hunger constitutes millennium development goal no. 1. If you can manage to fight and reduce hunger successfully, you will also be able to go some way in attaining millennium development goal No. 2, which is about universal adult education. If you are poor and cannot have food to eat, I cannot see how you would be able to send children to school.

Sir, successfully fighting poverty and hunger also helps the attainment of millennium development goal no. 4, which is about reduction of child mortality. If we can fight hunger and reduce poverty, then chances are that we are likely to reduce child mortality. If people are starving and have no food, chances that children are going to be dying are very high. Fighting poverty also helps in the attainment of millennium development goal no. 5, which is about improving maternal health. It also helps towards attaining millennium development goal no. 6, which is to combat HIV/AIDS and malaria. These are all important. We know that there are eight millennium development goals and I have not talked about gender and environment millennium development goals, but if we can successfully fight poverty, we will go some way.

Mr Speaker, what we need is to work together. If we can work together, we can go somewhere. However, let me show how we fail to work together. In 2006, when copper prices in this country were buoyant, we, the Opposition Members of Parliament, asked the Government to introduce some measures so that we could get some revenue from the mining companies. The Government strongly resisted the idea. The non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and donors were urging us to do something, but the Government was very adamant.

In 2007, we fought for the introduction of a law which would increase mineral loyalty tax. However, the Government fought hard and because they were the majority, they only accepted a watered down Act or Bill which simply stated that we empower the Government to go and negotiate for mineral taxes. There was nothing we could do because we did not have the numbers. Even at that, they never even went to negotiate. When they came back to the House, they had not even begun the negotiations.

Fortunately, in 2008, our late president, may God rest his soul, like he woke up from sleep, directed that we should increase the taxes on mines. This we did and we were going to get some revenue. However, it was too late because those prices could not stay up at that level indefinitely. As a result, we lost an opportunity to get some money to support our people. If only the Government had listened to us, we could have attained something. We hope that when we advise and the advice is good, you will listen to it. Whether it is coming from us, the streets or NGOs, if it is good, let us take it. Whether they are going to borrow it from China or elsewhere, let us take it if it is good and can work for our people.

Mr Speaker, another issue is that we must appreciate that the economic downturn is real. Powerful economies, all over the world, are crumbling and big companies are in trouble. Some people in this country tend to trivialise that and when they see unemployment increasing in the country, they think that the Government is not doing anything about it. The truth of the matter is that this has come and it is real.

Mr V. Mwale: E machungwa aya!

Dr Machungwa: Let me give some examples. The economy of the United States of America is facing the highest unemployment levels it has seen in many decades. Closures of large companies are looming. Europe’s largest economy, Germany, is in trouble. Unemployment in England has reached unprecedented levels. According to the latest figures, China, which has been growing at the rate of 11 and 15 per cent a year, is now only growing at 8 per cent. It is much more reduced. In fact, others are saying 5 per cent.

Mr Speaker, this year, the Toyota Motor Company is predicting having the first loss in seventy-one years. Philips, Microsoft and other companies everywhere are all cutting jobs. I am quoting these figures because I am trying to stress that it is extremely important that we understand that this is an important issue. As we plan, let us not mis-inform our people. We need to focus on strategies that can be used to help us get out of this problem. What we should remember is that the Zambian economy is intertwined in the world economy and if the huge economies begin to crumble, the Zambian economy will also be affected. The question, however, is what can we do about it?

Sir, the President has outlined, on page 13, what the Government intends to do. Let me just stress a few of these points. Agriculture has been mentioned by a lot of my colleagues like Hon. Matongo, Hon. Nkombo and others who have spoken before me. Where I come from, they say, “Apakomaila nondo pali ubulema.” This means that when everybody is saying there is a problem, then there is a real problem. There is no way we can get out of this without subsidising agriculture. Let us help our farmers get the inputs. If people cannot buy the fertiliser, how do we expect them to produce? If we do not even have food, how are we going to attain anything? Whatever it is that has been done, I do not know how far the budget has gone, but if you have not put emphasis in trying to support agriculture, then we are in trouble because even when people are walking, if they have at least eaten, it is extremely important.

Therefore, it is extremely important that we support agriculture. I welcome the President’s support on agricultural extension and other aspects to support agriculture, but I think subsidising inputs such as fertiliser is something that we must take very seriously.

Sir, I am glad that our hon. Minister for Luapula Province has talked about animal and fish restocking in the province. Fisheries have become depleted especially in Luapula. We want these to be restocked.

Mr Speaker, with regard to mining companies, the President said that it was important to engage the mining companies so that job losses are minimised. As some of my other colleagues who debated earlier pointed out, the copper prices now are above £3,000. They are quite high because in eighty years of copper mining in this country, copper prices never went that high. When the mines were privatised, the copper prices were about £1,600. Once you reach £2,000 and above, you will be doing well. Some of these investors brought in their kith and kin who get about ten times the salaries of the Zambian experts.

Major Chizhyuka: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: My hon. Colleague, Hon. Mukanga, was working in the mines and the information he gave me was that some of his counterparts who were expatriates with more or less the same qualifications as his were getting about ten times his salary and that does not even include other allowances and incentives. Perhaps, one of the things we can do is push these mines to be realistic. When they are retrenching, they should also retrench the most expensive workers, who are the expatriates. I think if they down size some of these salaries for themselves, the job losses will be tremendously reduced.

Sir, with regard to attracting investors, I think it is important. There are some people who are saying, “Why attract Chinese and Indians instead of Zambians?” What kind of jokes are these? How many Zambians have the money to invest in Luanshya Mine if they cannot even raise US $30 million to resurrect some airline which they support? How can Zambians go and invest in Luanshya? If we add up our assets in here, are we able to start even a small mine on the Copperbelt?


Dr Machungwa: Let us be realistic and not have jokes.

Mr Speaker, on infrastructure development, I am happy that President Banda opened the Bridge at Chembe. What we are looking forward to is what the President promised when he was opening that bridge. He promised to tar the Pedicle Road. This was also mentioned by his predecessor. I hope the new hon. Minister, who may not have been in the Chamber before, has read the speeches by the late President Mwanawasa. On two or three occasions, he said it and President Banda has also mentioned the same matter. We will be looking forward to such works to commence.

Sir, while on infrastructure, I would like to mention that the Government has tended to neglect water transport in this country. The last time dredgers were bought was by the former Minister of Energy and Water Development, Ms Edith Nawakwi. That time, waterways and marines were under that ministry and we have not invested anything. A large potion of our population depends on water transport. Therefore, why are we so selfish? I, therefore, urge this Government to look at this issue a little bit differently. We need some investment in those areas. Chilubi District in Northern Province just depends on water. If you talk about Luapula Constituency, everything you do depends on water.

Mr Kasongo: Even Western Province.

Dr Machungwa: If you look at parts of Western Province, Southern Province and Northern Province, they all need water. Why are we getting this bambazonke attitude? Everybody must be talking about infrastructure. Why are we not beginning to replan our roads? The carrying capacity of our roads has been exceeded. It is a dreadful thing to drive in Lusaka now. It takes you thirty to forty minutes to drive from one end of Cairo Road to the other at peak hour. It is surprising to find that everybody thinks it is alright. How much fuel are we burning? How much pollution or carbon monoxide gets into the lungs of those people driving those cars? These are some of the issues we should look into.

Mr Speaker, we will support the Government if it supports development. As for my part, I will work with my colleagues, all the hon. Members of Parliament here, those on the other side and the hon. Ministers, if they can deliver development. If they cannot, they should not worry. We are just waiting for time. For now, we are ready to support them so that they can perform and probably come back.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

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

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, thank you for catching your eye.

Sir, I would like to add my voice to this very important speech. This speech is very inspiring and I think it is a challenge to all of us who are in this House. It is a big challenge and challenges go in phases. The first challenge goes to the hon. Ministers. In this speech, the President has towed the line which all of us are supposed to follow. The people who are supposed to be the first ones to follow this line are the Cabinet Ministers and their Deputy Ministers. The hon. Ministers will, depending on their calibre and performance, uplift or meet the objectives of the President’s Speech.

Hon. Opposition. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: Sir, the hon. Ministers who will not perform will let the President down. Therefore, the President’s Speech will not bear fruits which all Zambians are supposed to get.

Mr Speaker, I will debate more on agriculture because our Government is a rural Government. It is a rural Government in the sense that most of our voters are farmers who are villagers.

Mr V. Mwale: Makamaka?

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, I would like to put it on record that the issue of Fertiliser Support (FSP) is good but it needs fine tuning so that it assists the people who are supposed to benefit from it. There is need to increase the number of beneficiaries in this group.

Mr V. Mwale: Makamaka?

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, the number of people can be increased by coming to a price of fertiliser which can be affordable by the commercial and poor farmer. For those farmers who fail to access this fertiliser, those who are vulnerable but viable, another method should be looked into so that those people are assisted, for example, by sending money through community development.

Mr D. Mwila: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, if the system goes on as it was last season, then the hunger in Zambia will continue. I, therefore, ask the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives to come up with a price before farmers start planting so that they know which crop they should grow in that  particular season.

Mr V. Mwale: Zoona!

Mr Mbewe: Giving prices at the end of the season is one way of duping the farmers. Farming is a business and a farmer is supposed to plan.

Sir, I would also want to talk about livestock. The Government has a very good institution called Balmoral, in Chilanga, which is supposed to manufacture vaccines for livestock in order to fight diseases which are giving us problems here in Zambia. That institution has been neglected for a long time. We should revise that institution so that we start manufacturing drugs for our animals.

Mr V. Mwale: Machila, mvela!

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, I also want to look at issues which were there in 1969. To-date, we are still using the same method. It is sad to note that we seem to be moving when, in actual fact, we are not.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe:  Mr Speaker, we have tobacco schemes in rural areas. The Tobacco Board of Zambia (TBZ) is no longer viable. However, there are some schemes under which farmers have land, which they have been occupying for more than forty years and yet they cannot have ownership of that land because TBZ still has their title deeds. Why can we not review the Tobacco Act so that people get value for their land?

Mr Speaker, as long as TBZ is keeping the title deeds for those farmers in these rural tobacco schemes, I do not see them being empowered with land. I would like to appeal to TBZ to give back the title deeds to the Government so that the farmers can apply for them, and use them to acquire loans from banks. When those farmers acquire loans, their productivity will increase.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, I would like talk about the School of Agriculture at the University of Zambia. We still have a curriculum where when one graduates, he has to look for employment. Why can we not have a curriculum where when these chaps graduate from the University of Zambia …


Mr Mbewe: … the Natural Resources Development College (NRDC) or from wherever …

Mr Speaker: Order! 
Mr Mbewe: …they become self employed and are given loans.

Mr Speaker: Order! The word chaps is unparliamentary.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, I withdraw it.

Sir, when the students graduate from the University of Zambia or NRDC, they should start farming. The Government should give them loans to start their businesses. Therefore, the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives should design a curriculum for blue collar jobs and not white collar jobs.

Mr Speaker, I would also like to talk about co-operatives. When we talk about co-operatives, everybody thinks of fertiliser, which should not be the case. There is urgent need to review the Co-operatives Act. The Co-operatives Act of 1972 was more authentic than the one for 1996. The 1996 Act is just there for farmers to access fertiliser and not to bring development to rural areas. I, therefore, ask the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives to look at the Act as quickly as possible. Co-operatives are not only there for fertiliser.

Mr Speaker, we want development in this country. We want to see Lusaka grow. The showground is idle land, used only once in a year. We cannot keep that land idle for almost a whole year when we can actually develop that area.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: The best solution would be to move the agriculture show to Chongwe so that we put up better structures there.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, these are the issues which I felt I should share with the House.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Chibombamilimo): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for allowing me this opportunity to debate. Contrary to some sections of our society that do not see anything substantial in the President’s Speech, I see a lot of substance, sense of direction and true leadership.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chibombamilimo: There are several policy pronouncements in the speech that clearly vindicate our repeated assurances to the Zambian people that we truly mean to address economic and social conditions that are closest to their hearts.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chibombamilimo: Mr Speaker, take for instance the pronouncement regarding the formation of the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock. This will bring more focus on a sector that holds so much promise in terms of reducing food deficits in the country and improving the general living standards of the Zambian people.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. MMD Member: Hammer, my brother!

Mr Chibombamilimo: Mr Speaker, I want to say that as a Member of Parliament, from an area that boasts of the Great Rift Valley Lake, Tanganyika …

Hon. MMD Member: Tell them!

Mr Chibombamilimo: …I would add that a school of fisheries where marine science should be taught must be set up in the area so that we may train as many Zambians as possible in understanding life in our rivers and lakes.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chibombamilimo: Mr Speaker, countries such as Japan and the United States of America have had these schools, where in the case of the latter, some universities have a programme in oceanology, which is marine science, and would be more than happy to help Zambia in this new area.

Hon. MMD Member: Teach them!

Mr Chibombamilimo: The knowledge gained in such schools should then be disseminated to the local population in form of extension services so that, together, we may manage our marine resources in a sustainable way.

Mr Speaker, there is no need for provinces like Luapula and Northern provinces, with lakes such as Mweru and Bangweulu, and Luapula River, and also Lake Tanganyika and Chambeshi River, not to be self sufficient in food production when these natural water bodies are sources of sustenance.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Chibombamilimo: Mr Speaker, we have not, in the past, invested in the sustainable management of fish resources, leading to the depletion of the stocks in some parts of these rivers and lakes. As a Member of Parliament in an area that stands to benefit from the formation of a ministry in charge of fisheries and livestock, I will render whatever support I can, to ensure the success of the fisheries sector.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichilima: Ema minister aya.

Mr Chibombamilimo: Mr Speaker, as a Christian …


Mr Chibombamilimo: …I believe that things happen …

Hon. Members: Hammer!

Mr Chibombamilimo: …to the human family for a purpose …

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chibombamilimo: …so that we may draw some lessons that may be helpful in furthering the good of society.

Mr Speaker, I would like to say that in the loss of our beloved president, may his soul rest in peace, and in the loss of other hon. Members of Parliament, we may, among other lessons, learn that as a resource-starved nation, we should pass the kind of legislation that is not too expensive to implement.

Mindful that these issues are under deliberation at the National Constitutional Conference (NCC), I will not go into details. However, for the sake of making myself clear in terms of what I am saying, allow me to just say that when the US President Balack Obama …

Hon. Members: Aah!

Hon. Member: Barack!

Mr Chibombamilimo: …won and vacated his Senate seat, the State of Illinois did not have to go for fresh elections. Similarly, in the case of Mrs Hilary Clinton, the new Secretary of State, the State of New York will not go for fresh elections to fill the Senate seat left vacant by her appointment to the Obama Administration.

Instead, the law allows the Governor of the State in question to appoint someone to fill the vacancy. If rich nations such as the United States would allow the Vice-President to assume the Office of President should it fall vacant for any reason until the end of the term, why should poorly-resourced nations such as us not take a leaf?

Mr Speaker, the President has informed this House that the Government will be reviewing the Technical Education Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training (TEVET) Policy. As we invest savings from the growth of the economy in such initiatives as the Citizen’s Economic Empowerment commission (CEEC), we are aware that we must step up skills training and boost investment in the education sector.

Mr Speaker, how else can a population participate in the economic opportunities being created if they lack the necessary skills and education? We are investing in the development of human capital so that, in turn, the Zambian citizens, so developed, can enter the mainstream economy and make their contributions.

Mr Speaker, this path has been travelled before elsewhere and the benefits have been phenomenal. The conditions for similar benefits exist in this country. Countries such Japan, Singapore and Taiwan, among others, invested deliberately in skills development, thereby allowing as many of their people as possible to participate in the economic opportunities that had been created.

Mr Speaker, as hon. Members of this august House, let us be sincere to the people we represent by telling the truth…

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chibombamilimo: … regarding what their Government is doing on their behalf.

Mr Sichilima: Quality!
Mr Chibombamilimo: The destructive criticism of the Government that some politicians engage in at the expense of the truth is not fair to the Zambian people that depend on us for information regarding what is being done to address their living conditions.

Mr Speaker, with regard to the tourism sector, the President challenged immigration officers to be friendly to our visitors especially that they are the first point of contact when a visitor arrives. I would like to add to this list, airline crews such those on Zambezi Airlines, especially that they now shall be operating regionally.

Mr Sichilima: Hear, hear!

Mr Chibombamilimo: Do not just display formal smiles when passengers comes on board. Display genuine Zambian smiles and hospitality.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chibombamilimo: Before a visitor lands on Zambian soil, they will have felt welcome up in the skies. In fact, I would like to propose to Zambezi Airlines to consider introducing on the list of meals such unique Zambian dishes as cikanda.

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear! Finkubala!

Mr Chibombamilimo: Mr Speaker, when visitors go past immigration and emerge outside the airport building, they meet tax drivers. I urge our taxi drivers to be friendly to our visitors and provide them with tips on what Zambia has to offer.

The Zambia Tourism Board should consider enlisting the taxi drivers in promoting tourism by encouraging them to carry, in their taxis, brochures on the country’s tourism potential for distribution to their clients.

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chibombamilimo: Mr Speaker, I would like to urge our taxi drivers not to exploit our visitors by distorting fares because that would send a wrong signal to the rest of the world.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chibombamilimo: They should return to the client what he or she may have left in the car. Give them your business cards in case they need to call you for anything, including what they may have left in your car.

Mr Sichilima: Quality! Quality!

Mr Chibombamilimo: To our hotel staff, be truly helpful and welcoming to our visitors. Ensure the safety of their valuables and provide in each and every one of your rooms and at guest desks, information on Zambia and its tourism potential.

Mr Speaker, to my fellow Zambians at large, let us develop the habit of greeting one another on the highways, in our streets, at our places of work and so on.

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chibombamilimo: Mr Speaker, I want to say that, walking in the streets of Maseru in Lesotho, how lovely it feels to hear greetings everywhere, dumela ndate…

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chibombamilimo: …which means good morning or good afternoon.

That is a much more practical expression of a friendly nation than walking past one another without acknowledging each other.

Mr Speaker, these are not untested theories or suggestions. The Government in Singapore implemented all these suggestions that I have made and the results speak for themselves. The implementation of these simple suggestions does not require any injection of capital.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chibombamilimo: Mr Speaker, With regard to Kasaba Bay, the President has informed this House on the processes underway. I just wish to add that as the Member of Parliament in which the Bay falls, we shall ensure that the deal we will come up with in the final analysis is the kind that shall benefit all the principal parties.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chibombamilimo: The principal parties in this case include, first and foremost, the people that live on the piece of land and have a legitimate claim to it as the land of their ancestors or their progenitors. The second principal is the Zambian Government and then the investor.

Mr Speaker, this House can trust this Government to come up with a good deal for the Zambian people as there are sufficient example to draw from and avoid mistakes that may have been made elsewhere.

Mr Speaker, as a matter of necessity and urgency, Zambia needs massive investments in infrastructure development such as the construction of roads, schools and hospitals.

Mr Speaker, again, let the truth be known. The Zambian Government is aware of this need and we are facing it head on. My message to my colleagues on the opposite side is that they know that when we launched the Public Private Partnership Policy (PPPP), we were establishing a framework in which the Government could collaborate with the private sector in the development of public infrastructure.

Mr Sichilima: Tabomfwile icisungu. Bwekashapo!

Mr Chibombamilimo: PPPP is not a fancy economic theory with no empirical evidence to support its efficacy.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

 Mr Chibombamilimo: Mr Speaker, there are public works such as roads that have been constructed under this framework just here in Southern Africa. For those of you that have travelled by road between Maputo and Johannesburg, you may not have known that the road is a practical example of how the PPP formula works and what it can accomplish.

Mr Speaker, private investors put together funds that built that road and the toll fees that road users pay at toll gates located on the highway are part of the recovery plan of the initial investment. Therefore, we are on track as far as addressing what could otherwise be an elusive challenge is concerned.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for the opportunity given to me to deliberate on this particular speech as I have listened to about nine speeches during my term of office in this House.

Mr Speaker, I want to pick the parts of this speech that are non-controversial because they are facts and, therefore, I will take the liberty to quote.

Mr Speaker, on page 2 of the President’s Speech…

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.


Mr Hachipuka: Madam Speaker, when business was suspended, I was assuring the House that I was going to quote specific sections from the President’s Speech because those sections are facts.

Madam, I also want to pre-empt my submission by clearly stating that one of the problems that this country finds itself in is that people spend more time politicking instead of recognising the magnitude in which we find ourselves.

Mr Kakoma: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: I, therefore, Madam Speaker, want to quote on Page 2 of the President’s Speech to set my presentation:

“2008 was a difficult year for Zambia. The illness and subsequent demise of our beloved President in August and the Presidential By-election in October dampened what had started out as a year of great advancement. The year began in prosperity and ended in recession.”

I will continue to quote:

“I think it is true to say that 2008 will be remembered as the year that the world, and in particular, Zambia, took one step forward and then two steps back.”

That is a fact and I do not think anybody sitting in this House can dismiss that.

What then are we supposed to do? I have seen the press and various discussions centring on who should be in Government. Is that an issue any more …

Mr Kakoma: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: … for the next two and half years?

Hon. Government Members: No!

Mr Hachipuka: Is that an issue?

The problem we have in this country is that we do not seize opportunities. We cannot work to help ourselves. On our agenda, politics is always item number one. When the Americans are changing and putting economics as item number one and when the rest of the world is doing that, we are not.

Colleagues, I think we should wake up.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: We have a problem now. The country is in a very serious economic melt down and if we continue politicking. We will not be able to assist the poor that we represent in this House.

Madam Speaker, the President went on to say and I, again, quote:

“Mr Speaker, hon. Members will recall that during my inaugural speech on 2nd November, 2008, I called for reconciliation and national unity.”

Now, to call people to work together is an attempt to call the country to refocus on serious issues. There is nothing criminal about that.

He further to says:

“I would like to reiterate that this Government, under the MMD leadership, is a Government for all Zambians and not only for members of the ruling party.”

In my view, this means that it is about refocusing the country on the core issue about how we can steer this country for survival.

Major Chizhyuka: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: He goes on to say:

“Therefore, I wish to assure the nation that the concerns and issues raised by various political stakeholders, irrespective of party will be addressed equally.”

Again, I am trying to draw your attention to the bottom line that we have to swim. How do we swim?

To some of you who are critics, this speech is inviting. However, one of the problems that I see in this country is that we are able to define our problems, but we are unable to provide solutions.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: Madam Speaker, I want to refer you to pages 12 and 13 of the President’s Speech. Why is it that this speech cannot be translated by the Cabinet Ministers and Deputy Ministers and the Civil Service into programmes?

Mr Hamududu: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: Before I go to programmes, I want to ask this question: Why is this Government of the view that foreign investment is the answer to our advancement? I have difficulties in swallowing that.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: Why is it that we have gone out in public, and everywhere, soliciting for foreign investment, without any provision for local investment?

We are making the same mistake Dr Kaunda made except it was the opposite. Dr Kaunda nationalised all the foreign assets and turned them into parastatals. I would have thought that after years of running parastatals and getting almost 80 per cent economic control, he would have passed it on to indigenous Zambians. At that time, we had a cadre of indigenous Zambians who were excellent managers.

Major Chizhyuka: Excellent managing directors!

Mr Hachipuka: There were excellent managers with skills. The whole economy could have been handed over. If I was Kaunda, I would have nationalised, provided training to Zambians, which he did, and given the industry to those Zambians with the capacity.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: Hear, hear! That is the language we understand!

Mr Hachipuka: That was the problem.

Now, your Government is saying we must bring investors. However, when those investors come, you should have a second programme that encourages Zambians to own businesses or go into business.

Major Chibamba: Jealousy!

Mr Hachipuka: You have introduced the CEEC which will not do because it is inadequate. Promoting foreign investment is good, but you must have a deliberate policy to pass on the businesses after the foreign investors have left them to Zambians. I do not think you intend to keep Zambians as servants for foreigners. Is that your engagement to run this country by bringing in foreigners? One of the problems I want to share with you, which you have not thought about seriously, is one on what has happened to Kamwala Market. Does anybody know what has happened to Kamwala Market? When you go to this market, you will find foreigners coming in the morning to open doors and Zambians will be sitting there pretending they own those stalls, but in the evening, the foreigners come to collect the cash and lock the doors. The situation is the same even in the town centre, in the beautiful new markets you have created. The point I am making is that if you go there you will find that all of those stalls are owned by proxies of foreigners.

The point I am making is that I would like to ask the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry and the hon. Minister of Finance and National Development why this Government does not set up a commission to find out what has happened to the assets such as the ones you intend to let the Zambians use. You are able to create markets and infrastructure but soon after that, the infrastructure falls into the hands of the foreigners.

Madam Speaker, on the corruption you have talked about at the Ministry of Lands, even if you are able to allocate land to Zambians, it will not be kept in the hands of the Zambians because it is often sold to foreigners. The question I am asking is: how, then, are we going to ensure that the wealth that we have created, such as the infrastructure I have referred to, goes to Zambians and is kept by Zambians? It will not be possible for Zambians to keep it for as long as the poverty levels are as high as they are. For as long as Zambia’s poverty levels for the indigenous people are as high as they are, everything you try and pass on to the Zambians will find its way into the hands of the foreigners. What, then, should we do?

Madam Speaker, I have no quarrel with the issue of inviting foreign investment. The quarrel I have is what measures you are putting in place to make sure there is a balance between Zambian investment and foreign investment. I am talking about equity and not just appeasement funds that we are creating which have no serious meaning in them. I also want to address the issue of politics here. You people, who are governing, and we, who are not, say many things. Do you think a foreigner can invest money here and export anything and bring money in Zambia? Do you seriously believe that?

Madam Speaker, there is no way a foreigner will come here at the rate of our politicking. If you see a foreigner coming here, he will be here without his family and dogs, but he will be sending money to the family. That is what is happening, but you are sitting and feeling comfortable. Foreigners send their children outside the country and no foreigner, under the present level of what you call peace and security – you are saying there is peace in this country, I do not know what kind of peace you talk about.  I am saying that the peace you talk about is not good for an investor to stay here and put his money in Standard Chartered Bank or in Finance Bank. As a Government, you must address this issue. Here, I am not only referring to those of you in Government, but to even those of us who are not in Government. We have not created an atmosphere or security for somebody to feel secure to stay in this country and keep his gains here.

Madam Speaker, even our message about foreign investors makes us look like beggars to the foreign investors. We are looking like beggars because even the laws in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security are not adequate to support them.

Madam Speaker, I urge the Government to seriously consider every project. We should have several projects in the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services, but on what appraisals do projects start and finish? If you go to the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, the FSP, which was started, is a good programme but where is it today? We are still quarrelling today about 200 farmers. I would like the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives to tell me if there are records of graduates from this programme, who you can point at and see that they are wearing a decent pair of shoes from their profits. I can say that there are none. You started a good programme but there is nobody following it because there are no records. We have this tendency to politicise good programmes. You want to give fertilisers to civil servants and cadres who sell it the following day. Where can the country go? Where is the hope for my children and my grandchildren?

Madam Speaker, I feel sad that the UPND has not made it up to now and I feel sad that I am not even a hon. Minister …

Mr Sichilima: Join us!

Mr Hachipuka: … but you will not allow me to do the things that I want because you are …


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Speak through the Chair.


Mr Hachipuka: Madam Speaker, I am sad because there are many things I see. I know my brother-in-law is teasing me, but there are many things I see which we could have done and which this country can do. It does not have to be us. You are there to do them to assist the country move forward. There are many programmes, here, which the President indicated on page 13. He says,

 “We are going to engage mining companies to prevent major job losses.”

 You have already lost over 300 jobs and you could lose many more and you are saying you want the Chinese, the Indians and everybody else to come, but those are just wishes because the mines will be closing and there will be more job losses.

Madam Speaker, I have a lot of respect for Hon. Mwale, not because we used to work together in the mines, but because he means well and he understands what he must do and I urge his colleagues to help him.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: Madam Speaker, we need to move the country forward. We must take the country away from politicking and get it moving.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: Madam Speaker, for us in the Southern Province, we have projects that we want to attend to and we are looking forward to working with the hon. Minister you have given us, and thank God he is an old man who has seen the world over. He has no better ambitions than leaving a legacy of goodwill and we are happy that he is there to help us and …

Mr Munkombwe: And I will help you.


Mr Hachipuka: Madam Speaker, in Southern Province we have serious problems. Like now, we have food shortages, fertilizer was not enough, even the food that was distributed was not enough and the roads are impassable. Therefore, we keep on going to our people to tell them please, hold on. We hope that this Government through our Minister though will divert and recognise the importance of making sure that we are looked at. However, the rains have been decent this year, if we had sufficient fertilizer, we would have done much better than this. Please, colleagues, there is nothing more important in life than having guarantying your life for better tomorrow, your children and grandchildren. Please, look at your programmes and see that each programme has a reasonable conclusion because you have had so many years in Government even if you have another 3 years to go, but please make sure your programmes are decent and are seen through.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): Thank you, Madam Speaker, for giving me this chance to contribute to the Motion on the Floor. I will start with what is contained in the speech on page 17, under empowerment. The President says;

“The Government will place greater emphasis on small and medium enterprises as a source of employment.”

Madam Speaker, this, on paper, looks as if it is a very great idea, but I hope this Government has done its homework. This is because such an idea is not a new one in this country. At the moment, we are faced with a situation where small and medium entrepreneurs are not protected. We have also a situation where all sorts of finished products are brought in this country without any control.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hammer!

Mr Chanda: Madam Speaker, under the UNIP Government, we had what was called Small-scale Industry Development Organisation (SIDO) …

Mr V. Mwale: It is ZDA now.

Mr Chanda: In no time, Madam Speaker, SIDO was synonymous with stealing items from the mines and, later on, reselling them to the same mines.

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

Mr Chanda: Bearings, nuts and bolts, welding electrodes and so on and so forth were stolen. I just hope, as I said earlier on, that this Government has done its home work because if they have not, they will create another problem for this country. After so many years of ruling ourselves, are we not ashamed that we cannot even produce a needle now? What has gone wrong in this country? We have a lot of engineers, technologists, technicians, craftsmen and women who are currently roaming the streets. Why do we not utilise these people and set up a technical research centre, where small machinery can be made on a trial basis before such programmes are rolled out to other small and medium entrepreneurs.

Madam Speaker, as the President has stated, this will reduce dependence on others, or indulging in self pity. I believe this Government is hearing what I am saying.

Mr Shakafuswa: What have you said?


Mr Chanda: Madam Speaker, I hope they have heard. Let me talk about the environment and natural resources. I debate the issue of pollution which is very close to my heart because I come from a constituency that is highly polluted. That is Kankoyo Constituency. I do not know, Madam Speaker, if you could allow me to cry because my people out there are suffering.

Madam Deputy Speaker: No, you will not be allowed to cry, but to speak.


Mr Chanda: Madam Speaker, I wonder what the President means when he says,

“The Environmental Protection and Pollution Control Act will be reviewed to make it investor-friendly whilst protecting the integrity of the environment.”

Why do I say so? The current law is very weak in addressing the issues of pollution and environmental protection. The law is so weak that the regulatory body, which is the Environmental Council of Zambia (ECZ), is even reluctant to take, to the courts of law, the people who have even gone to an extent of polluting our drinking water in Mufulira because the compensation levels will be meaningless.  So, then, I wonder if we are suggesting that we make this law very weak in order to please the investors. Is that what I am being told? I do not think that is proper because whatever happens in this country, we should be able to protect and safeguard the Zambian people.

Madam Speaker, often, we have heard answers from the people on your right hand side, where investors have been treated with kids’ gloves when issues of environment pollution have been brought to this House. Unreasonable arguments have arisen because we are stating the truth of what is on the ground and our colleagues are there protecting something that is out of imagination.


Mr Chanda: I hope, as we go along this year, things will change for the better and we will start giving Zambians the respect that they deserve.

Madam Speaker, I would like to talk about another issue that is contained in the President’s Speech. That is infrastructure. Let us not pay lip service when we talk about developing the infrastructure in this country. The rail system in Zambia has collapsed and that has put so much pressure on our roads. So, we are bearing the costs because some of the cargo that is supposed to be transported by rail line is being transported by road.  Hence, we have seen a road being repaired today and after two days or one week, is damaged.

Madam Speaker, maybe, the hon. Members on your right do not believe me when I say Zambia Railways - or whatever its name - is nothing to talk about. In Kamwala shopping area, traders carry out their business on the main railway line. What this indicates is that there are no trains. A person can now even cross the railway line with the eyes closed …

Mr Sichilima interjected.


Mr Chanda: What will kill me when there are no trains?


Mr Chanda: Unless there are, maybe, imaginary trains or witchcraft. Someone driving a vehicle no longer needs to slow down when approaching a rail road crossing.


Mr Chanda: Madam Speaker, in some areas people, have even constructed houses very close to the railway line because they do not see any trains passing.

Mr Sichilima: On a point of order, Madam.


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

Mr Sichilima: Madam Speaker, I apologise for interrupting you and disrupting the hon. Member of Parliament debating. However, I am concerned. Is he in order to mislead this House and motorists out there that people do not need to follow the rule of stopping at railway crossings and that pedestrians can  close their eyes when crossing the railway line …


Mr Sichilima: … when this House knows very well, through the statement the hon. Minister issued, that the railway system is going to improve? This means that there are still trains on the railway lines and people have to be careful when crossing the railway lines to avoid mishaps. I need your serious ruling.

Madam Deputy Speaker: The Chair believes that the House is following the debate and is hearing all the words used and the implications as well as the meaning of the sentences or phrases being used.

The hon. Member may continue.

Mr Chanda: Madam Speaker, I am not debating from without …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! You debate and do not refer to the point of order.

Mr Chanda: Madam Speaker, I thank you for your guidance. I was just wondering whether the new investors that have taken over Zambia Railways have the heart for this country because what they have done to our railway system is criminal and if I had a way, I could have opened a docket for them.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chanda: Madam Speaker, how many times are we going to talk in this House? How many times are we going to get answers that tend to protect investors that are not performing? People are out there destroying our infrastructure and we are here saying that they are doing a good job in running the mines. When they hear such answers, they will obviously see no need to improve because the Government is on their side. That is how bad it is. I think that on certain issues we need to be serious. This is our country and we have only one Zambia.

Major Chizhyuka: One Zambia, One nation.

Mr Chanda: In the past, a lot of people used to board the train going to Southern and Copperbelt provinces. However, I wonder if nowadays there are any passengers waiting for the train as it takes too long to arrive at any destination.  A train journey takes two days from the Copperbelt to Lusaka.

Mrs Speaker – Ooh, Madam Speaker …


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chanda: Madam Speaker, I beg your pardon …


Mr Chanda: … but I hope that hon. Members on your right have heard and I am sure that they will be crossing the railway line with their eyes closed.

Madam Speaker, let me now come to the issue that I like best, which is the mines. Yes, indeed, there is a financial crisis in the whole world, but, sometimes, as a nation we have made very careless statements on this issue. We have statements that have helped the investors to take advantage of us, Zambians. We have heard of job losses and this is happening everywhere but we seem to be a bit excited here in this country. Instead of looking for a solution, we are busy quarreling amongst ourselves. Our friends out there are planning and looking for solutions, but here we are quarreling.

Mr Sichilima: And suspensions.


Mr Chanda: Madam Speaker, here, we have a situation where we trivialise things and just want to implicate one another and so on and so forth. However, when we are faced with a problem such as the current crisis, we need to be able to move as one nation. What is happening right now is that while we are quarreling, foreign investors are busy externalising money from this country. I am aware of one mining company that has made money in Zambia and is investing in a neighbouring country. The investors in this company have said that they have nothing to do with the community where they are operating from here, but, in a neighbouring country, the same company is busy constructing roads. What is wrong with us?

Mr Nsanda: They have taken kickbacks.

Mr Chanda: Are we serious or not?

Hon. PF Members: We are not.

Mr Chanda: Why do we treat investors in this manner?

Madam Speaker, this country was almost taken to court when we introduced the new tax regime on investors in the mining industry. This case was not supposed to be about the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government, but about all Zambians. Now, we have the Chamber of Mines that is supposed to be a regulatory body but what I know, from the actions from the Chamber of Mines, our brothers and sisters employed by these foreign investors are not employed for anything else apart from quarreling with the Government. I say so because in the past we had a situation where conditions of service in the mining industry were almost similar in all the companies. However, we now have a situation whereby a Chinese investor is paying K700,000 to an employee and a certain company is paying over K2 million and our brothers and sisters in the Chamber of Mines are there watching.

I think it is incumbent upon you to check the activities of the Chamber of Mines because it is a complete let down.

Madam Speaker, I want to bring it to the attention of this House that, very shortly, you will hear that Nkana Smelter has been closed, but this will not be a headline and there is nothing to excite people about. They will shift their operations to Nchanga where they have constructed a flashy new smelter because it will be expensive for them to be transporting the concentrates from Konkola and Nchanga to Kitwe for treatment, and any investor will be able to do that, but when this comes up, everybody will be excited. What are you excited about?

I think, as a country, we have concentrated on quarrelling too much and it is high time we stopped this habit. If we do not stop it Zambia will never develop.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Misapa (Mporokoso): Madam Speaker, I thank you for according me the chance to debate the President’s Speech.

Madam Speaker, allow me to quote from page 42 of the President’s Speech, from paragraph 1:

“Mr Speaker, road construction, rehabilitation and maintenance countrywide remains a high priority for the sustainable economic development of the country.”

Madam Speaker, allow me also to quote paragraph 2:

“Earth moving and engineering equipment which has been distributed to all provinces will facilitate the completion of on-going projects. May I request hon. Members of Parliament to ensure that the equipment is used for the intended purposes.”

Madam Speaker, we have heard many complaints from the provinces, Members of Parliament, and also from district level that the equipment which has been bought is lying idle in most areas.

Madam Speaker, let me pose some questions:

(i) Have provinces come up with plans or programmes to see to it that these machines are utilised to the required levels? What we know is that we have not had time at the provincial level to sit down and plan on how these machines should be used.

(ii) What should be involved in the plans? In the plans we expect to have the number of districts identified in each province. After identifying the districts, they should be listed in numbers and give chance to the district to also identify the number of roads that can be worked on in a particular period.

After that we expect the timing to be programmed. Thereafter, we may ask another question: Has the provincial administration sat down together with the required personnel to recruit qualified personnel to operate the machines? What we see here in Zambia is that we do not have qualified personnel to operate the machines. This can be evidenced by seeing the already existing contractors such as, for example, Sable Contractors. If you check, you will find that most of the machine operators are contracted from outside Zambia. They are from places like Zimbabwe and South Africa. On this one, we may be blaming the Government that the machines are not being used or they are lying idle. We forget that we have one problem that we need to solve. As a country, we need to dialogue so that we have a training school to train machine operators for us to make a difference between people driving motor vehicles and those that operate the machines. As you all know, for a machine to operate, someone has to know how to drive it, have the skill of operating it and knowing how the road will be made. On this one, I would propose to the Government that it will be right and prudent for us to think of, at least, building a school for people to train on how to operate heavy equipment or earth moving machines.

Once these people are trained, they may not only concentrate on the roads. We know that in the mines, at times, we complain as to why foreigners bring their own personnel. Sometimes, they do so because they realise that we do not have qualified personnel to operate these sophisticated machines in order to come up with the required standards in making the roads.

Madam Speaker, the other question is: Do we really sit down as a province and have a budget drawn? As a province, we ought to all sit down and come up with a budget for fuel, allowances for the people who will be doing the work, a thing we do not do. Therefore, I am asking people at the provincial level to sit down and draw up a budget for fuel to cater for the planned roads in each district. This should also take into account the required allowances.

Madam Speaker, on this one, I would also like to look at the people who should be involved in the planning sector.

His Excellency the President emphasised and urged hon. Members to be vigilant on this issue and I wish to propose that when planning is being done in any province, hon. Members should be present because they are the people who know the important roads that are supposed to be worked on in the various constituencies.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear! Even the councillors.

Mr Misapa: Mr Speaker, the councillors, provincial engineers and planners also have to be present. If we did that, things may work as expected.

Madam Speaker, I would also like to talk about tourism in connection with roads.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Misapa: The people in Northern Province are very thankful that the airport in Kasama has been completed.

Hon. Opposition Member: You are thanking them before tabalabika na tarmac.

Mr Misapa: This is a sign that tourism is definitely going to be promoted. We know very well that people may not see all the natural wonders which exist in the Northern Circuit of Zambia because of lack of good roads. It is on this note that I humbly request the Government to consider the construction of a road from Kasama to Kaputa District via Mporokoso Boma. If this is not done, then we are denying the tourists the chance to see the natural rivers and wonders that are along the road like the Chishimba, Lundalubwika, Lumangwe and Kabwenga falls to mention a few. I really urge the Government to construct good roads in order to promote tourism. We need good roads in the Northern Circuit so that Kasaba Bay can start operating. In fact, people will be able to travel by road and not only by air in order to go and see the rivers and other wonders.

With these few remarks, I thank you, Madam.

Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Thank you, Madam Speaker, for allowing me, also, to add my remarks to the President’s Speech.

Madam Speaker, a lot of names or phrases have been used to describe the President’s Speech. I have heard of hollow. I have heard of people talking about skeletons…

Hon. PF Member: Lamentations.

Mr Simuusa: … and lamentations. I wish also to add a phrase in describing the President’s Speech. When I was working for the industry, we were using one phrase when budgeting and that phrase was wish list. We always used to talk about wish lists and I want to add this as one of the descriptions to the President’s Speech. It is a wonderful wish list.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simuusa: It has nice-sounding phrases. It has formulas, plans and pledges, but the speech lacks specifics and lacks direction to which the nation will be going. It is difficult to debate this speech from a positive angle without sounding or risking being hollow because it is difficult.

When you look at this speech, you will find that the natural way to debate it is in the negative. No wonder, Hon. Mr Speaker made the correct observation that the debate in the House was lopsided. I do not blame that observation because the only natural way to debate the speech is from a negative point of view because of the way it came forward.

Hon. MMD Members: Aah!

Mr Simuusa: I sympathise with the hon. Members on your right who have a very difficult job of debating this speech positively as they have to appear in support of it. They have a very difficult job. That is why you will notice that when most of them debate, they only refer to the speech the first few seconds and then talk about other things for the next nineteen minutes. They only go back to the speech in the last two seconds. That is the difficulty that my colleagues have.

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

Mr Simuusa: Madam Speaker, as such, I would like to go into more detail to put on record what I am saying. The biggest problems I have with the speech are threefold.

Firstly, the speech is not specific.  It lacks specifics. It lacks continuity from the previous speech and it also lacks direction. Those are the three main issues I have with the speech.

Madam Speaker, I was of the view that when the President stood to make a speech, he should have been giving direction to the nation. In fact, we are debating the proposal given by Chipangali Member of Parliament on the President’s exposition of public policy. I expected to see specificity, direction and continuity.

To illustrate my point, I will concentrate on mining for the simple reason that it is the mainstay of the economy. The President even alluded to this fact in his speech.

Madam Speaker, mining is what is keeping the economy going. The Government has been accused of not being caring, but merely talking the talk and not walking the talk. I see this in the speech.

On the mining section, which is the mainstay of the economy, I expected the President to give at least ten pages. However, in a speech of seventy-four pages, mining was only given two pages.

It is said that actions speak louder than words. However, it is what we do not say that actually shows what is in the heart. If you give two pages, out of seventy-four, to a topic, you are saying that it is not important. That point already tells me that the Government, in this case, is not putting the importance that is necessary to the mainstay of this economy.

In this vein, I would like to compare it with last year’s speech. Out of eighty-four pages, twelve were dedicated to mining. It showed from that action that President Mwanawasa had attached the necessary importance to mining. Just by counting the number of pages in the speech, you can tell that importance was attached to the subject.

Mr V. Mwale: Mwanawasa enze wa PF? Enze wa MMD!

Mr Simuusa: Madam Speaker, I am worried about the talk of job losses, economic problems and the collapse of the mining sector. However, instead of addressing the issue with specifics as to what action will be taken in this situation, only two pages of rhetoric are given. I am very concerned.

In comparison, again, President Mwanawasa’s speech, which had dedicated twelve pages to mining, was very specific. I will give you an example.

Last year, the Opposition, especially the Patriotic Front, through president Michael Sata, talked about windfall taxes and that Zambians were not gaining the maximum benefit from the mining sector.

Hon. MMD Members: Aah!

Mr Simuusa: As such, the Opposition called for an increase in the mining taxes. In response to this, the previous President presented an impressive speech which I remember very clearly as it was my first in this House. I remember the details.

He came here and alluded to the cries of the Opposition. He first gave a profile on the prices of copper from 2001 to 2004. The prices of copper, then, were in the range of US$1,000 and US$6,000. He further talked about the earnings. He informed the House about the earnings from the price in 2001, 2005 and 2006, which came to about US $4.7 billion. He compared this to what the Government was earning, which was to the tune of US $142 million at the time.

Madam Speaker, he also talked about the price forecast. He said at the current price forecast, the mining companies were going to earn a revenue of about US $4 billion and that the taxes amounting to US $301 million were not enough. He then talked about the solution which was to increase the tax. At that time, the President said the tax would be raised from the current 31. 8 per cent to the international medium of 47 per cent. That is what he announced. I remember that clearly. This was going to result in an increase of US $400 million additional revenue from the US $250 million. This shows a speech which was very specific in addressing a very specific problem. I was very impressed with that.

We have not seen specifics in this speech and I am very concerned. I am involved in mining and that is why I am talking about it. It is a very specific industry requiring very specific solutions.

Madam Speaker, in terms of continuity, I expected the President to also talk about the windfall tax, the money that this Government earned from that. It was projected to be in the range of about US$400 million. When the President gave his speech, I expected him to allude to that money and how it was going to be used. I recall the debate by the hon. Member of Parliament for Kabwata who suggested that before the money from the windfall taxes is spent, it should be debated in Parliament as to how it would be spent. There were even suggestions that the money should be divided by 150 constituencies so that each may get about US $3 million, but there was no reference to that issue and I find it to be a gross oversight. The Zambia Revenue Authority Commissioner told us that the money was actually collected and used to supplement 30 per cent of the National Budget. Who gave the Government authority to use that money to supplement the National Budget while, in the previous session, we said that the Government should come back to this House for us to debate how the money was to be used? That is a serious omission and I still want the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development to tell this House how, and on what authority, they used that money to supplement the National Budget when we wanted it to come to this House for debate.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simuusa: The only reference he made to that money was about ensuring that we do not kill the goose that lays the golden egg. There is little point in taking a few millions of dollars in tax if dozens of jobs are lost as a result. What does the President mean? Is he saying that because of taxing the mines, we are going to kill the goose that lays the golden egg? That is what I learnt from this. Therefore, the President is actually saying he is against these taxes. That is very dangerous and I still want a clarification on this issue. That is why I say his speech is very difficult to understand. When he says a few million dollars, how many millions is he referring to? Is our President saying that, because of the taxes, we are killing the golden goose? This is a gross oversight.

Madam Speaker, the biggest problem is that the mining sector is in trouble and yet the measures to take of the sector are not there. What is the forecast? What are we doing to mitigate this? Where are we going? The only statement on the mining crisis is on page 36 of the President’s Speech and I quote:

“My Government will do all it can to protect jobs and safeguard the industry for the future”.

Madam Speaker, what measures have been put in place to safeguard jobs? The lack of specificity and direction makes me very uncomfortable. I wonder, as a nation, where we are going.

Madam Speaker, smelters are closing and yet we have allowed Kansanshi Copper Mine and other units to export copper ore. I had expected him to talk about why we export copper ore when we have smelters that are closing. He never mentioned anything like that. I expected him to talk about the campaign promises he made. He promised to pay benefits to ex-miners because that is a very big issue on the Copperbelt. Ex-miners have not been paid their benefits. There was a campaign promise to that effect and when people are listening to the President’s Speech, they are looking for that, but there was no mention of it.

Madam Speaker, there are a lot issues. I raised a question on dumps to the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development in this House and I did not get a satisfactory answer. In Chingola, people would like to know the way forward. Those copper dumps were offered for sale and those offers of sale were withdrawn and given to other people. Up to now, people are still asking questions in connection with the same. Obviously, those are major economic empowerment issues for the citizens. People, especially on the Copperbelt, in Chingola in particular, were waiting for these pronouncements, but nothing came up.

Madam, on the Copperbelt, the issue of housing is critical. There are fights and wrangles going on. The former President, Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, was very explicit on this housing issue and he promised, in one of his speeches, that he was going to clear this problem but, unfortunately, he left us. May his soul rest in peace. Therefore, I expected his successor to come and be very specific on this issue so that we know where we are going and which direction we are taking. I am very concerned about this issue.

Madam, I would like to borrow the words of Hon. Muntanga, that the only hope we have in this speech is for each hon. Minister in each ministry to come out clearly and show us where we are going, what the policy is, what the direction and numbers are so that we can come back to this House and ask specific questions and see whether we got specific directions. That is the only way we can correct this. In six months, there is no way I can query anybody, or the President, for not fulfilling anything in this speech because there is nothing to query as it is not specific. The only way to correct this, through you, is to request each hon. Minister to be specific in their ministries. In that way, as we debate, I will more comfortable.

Madam, in winding up my debate, I wish to bring up an issue that Hon. Chota brought up which I would like to quote. The hon. Minister for Luapula Province also mentioned the same. This is the issue of allocation of resources. I read on page 7 of the President’s Speech and I quote,

“I would like to reiterate that this Government, under the MMD leadership, is a Government for all Zambians and not only for members of the ruling party”.

Madam Speaker, I have been on record bemoaning the inadequate or unfair allocation of resources in this country. I believe a lot of people know that and that is why the President mentioned this. I also concur with what the hon. Member of Parliament for Luapula mentioned. Even when I go in my constituency, I know that I am an hon. Member of Parliament for everybody, whether it is MMD, UPND or PF. I do not choose that because in this area I was not voted for, I will not take development there. I am supposed to go into all the areas and bring development in my constituency but, at national level, that is not so. During elections, it is on record that some of the people in this House, on your right, have been heard making statements to people that if you do not vote for the ruling party, there will be no development in your constituency.


Mr Simuusa: This is a shame. These are not empty threats. If you go on the ground, truly, you will see this pattern. For example, in my constituency, with regard to road construction, in two to three years, only one contractor was brought and this contractor did not do anything. He was later blacklisted. That was after three or four years and no road construction has been done. If you go to other constituencies, like in Chipata District, I think there is K19 billion available and they are re-doing all the township roads. There is another road worth K30 billion.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simuusa: If you go Mongu…


Mr Simuusa: Madam Speaker, there is no problem and we should develop our country. I just wanted to illustrate that in Mongu, there is about K30 billion available for roads. There is also a bridge. In my constituency, I have two bridges but, from last year, I have been singing for only K40 million. There is a bridge in Mongu and equipment to fix that bridge has been imported from China.

Masaiti and Mpongwe are two places where the equipment is being used. I have not heard that much talked about Chinese equipment in Nchanga, even after being promised. You can also find that equipment in Solwezi. These are places where the MMD is popular and has interest.

Mr Mulyata: On a point of order, Madam.

Mr Simuusa: Therefore, I would like …

Madam Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mulyata: Madam Speaker, I have never raised a point of order. I am especially at pains to raise this point of order on my very good friend who, I think, to some extent, was delivering some points across.

Madam Speaker, is the hon. Member in order to make reference to Mongu in his speech, when he knows only too well that Mongu has suffered a lot in terms of lack of development from previous administrations compared to his constituency, and the Copperbelt in particular? Today, the hon. Member can even stand up and make reference to the poorest constituency, which is only receiving its first developmental project. Is he in order to make that kind of reference? I need your serious ruling.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Speaker: The serious ruling of the Chair is that issues of equity and equality are important. However, all the hon. Members should feel free to bring out the issues as they see them. The hon. Member who has raised a point of order should be able to come and counter that and show the benefits of the other.

The hon. Member may continue.

Mr Simuusa: Madam Speaker, when I made those points, I said that it was good that we are developing the nation. I was giving a comparison. I was looking at how equitable K40 million is to an amount for bridges which is almost K1 billion. I was making that comparison in view of the fact that equitable distribution of resources in this country is not there.

Hon. Opposition Member: No!

Mr Simuusa: Therefore, when the President talks about Zambia being for all Zambians, and not just the ruling party, I question that. We need to demonstrate more on the ground, especially our hon. Ministers, who need to prove that the President’s statement can be brought into reality. I would also want to advise the hon. Ministers on their conduct. When they say Zambia is for all, they should not, just because they are in the ruling party, do things to deliberately provoke the other party. I will give an example. There was an hon. Minister who came into this House and gave a ministerial statement that by 5th December, 2008, all mayors should be elected.

Madam Speaker, what happened was that even before the ink dried on that statement, within one week, he changed his statement saying there was no need for the elections. He gave no  explanations or reasons. In his next statement, he said he wanted the budget to come out first. This had absolutely no connection to the election of the mayors. When he got a reaction from the people, he threatened to dissolve the councils.

Madam Speaker, is this the way we are going to run the country? That is a direct provocation of other people, especially on the Copperbelt where the Patriotic Front has a stronghold. I would like to advise that the attitude and conduct of our hon. Ministers should not be provocative. We should not provoke others.

Madam Speaker, the same hon. Minister dissolved boards of water companies and appointed MMD officials on these boards. This is another issue which we need to look at.

Hon. Opposition members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simuusa: If Zambia is for all Zambians, why not appoint a PF or UPND member to these boards? This is a direct message that Zambia is not for all Zambians, but for the ruling party. It is things like this which make this speech ineffective or useless.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

     Mr Simuusa: We will not move forward unless our actions and what we say change. I am saying this because what we say and our actions on the ground are totally different. What carries the day and what gives the message is the action that we do on the ground.

Madam Speaker, in concluding my speech, I would like to urge the Government and the MMD, in general, that for this speech to carry weight and cease to be just mere words, rhetoric and wishes, we should be very serious and sincere in implementing all that His Excellency said. We are here and we are watching. We are, therefore, going to be raising these issues so that we have a speech that will make sure that Zambia is for all Zambians, not just for the ruling party.

 I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwenya (Nkana): Madam Speaker, I would like to thank you for according me this opportunity to debate the Motion on the Floor of the House. This is on the President’s Speech which was delivered on the 16th January, 2009.

Madam Speaker, this speech has been dubbed as a skeleton speech. I, therefore, believe that it is a very important speech.

Madam Speaker, a skeleton is very important in any form of engineering and construction. Therefore, without a skeleton, you cannot achieve your intended objectives. It is for this matter that I wish to congratulate His Excellency the President for presenting to the nation this visualised framework for this country.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwenya: Madam Speaker, at this time, I find it difficult to commend it until such a time that the flesh is attached to it.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwenya: However, allow me to propose this as food for thought as ministries work tirelessly to dress up this skeleton.

Madam Speaker, before I forget, allow to adore the wonderful manner in which the election and the inauguration of the American President was conducted. As a nation, I hope we have learnt a lot from that experience although our country has a long way to achieve that.

Madam Speaker, opportunism is a disease and, if not carefully checked, it shall destroy our country. Three quarters of our colleagues on your right side are opportunists

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwenya: Madam Speaker, when President Mwanawasa passed on, most hon. Members of Parliament on your right saw an opportunity where plunderers arose from slumber and started coming back. Those within the country facing court charges had the audacity to question the legality of the Task Force on Corruption and started issuing press statements at will. We saw one man-parties arising and finished politicians also started coming up…

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!  Can the hon. Member for Nkana use the correct words for the House? You cannot talk of the words like ‘finished.’ Use the words that show the dignity of this House.

Mr Mwenya: We saw certain politicians arising and running from one place to another. We also saw that a number of our colleagues had seen an opportunity and, indeed, they all benefited through what is known as the brown envelope.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwenya: Madam Speaker, I want to mention that leaders are born and not created. When President Mwanawasa died, our hon. Colleagues decided to create a leader.


Mr Mwenya: Since a leader was not born, but created, we should brace ourselves for more embarrassments.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

I think that the Member is losing track of the debate. You are not here to debate an individual in their personal capacity. Can you debate the issues?

Hon. PF Members: Hammer!

Mr Mwenya: Madam Speaker, let me move on.


Mr Mwenya: Madam Speaker, allow me to express my disappointment with the President’s address, especially when he highlighted the state of affairs and his plans for the mining sector.

Hon. PF Members: Yes!

Mr Mwenya: I could not believe it that this is the same man who, only five months ago eulogised the late President and promised the people of Zambia, before and during elections, that he was going to ensure continuity with the Mwanawasa legacy. I am sure that after that address, the late President must have been turning in his grave.

Hon Government Members: Aah!

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Sure!

Mr Mwenya: Madam Speaker, if there is a legacy to talk about the late President, it is what he achieved to re-orient the mining sector. Unless we guard that legacy jealously, whatever was achieved by the late President shall not be respected.

Madam Speaker, one of the late Mwanawasa’s achievements in the mining sector was the repeal of the Mines and Minerals Act, and enactment of the Mines and Minerals Act of 2008.

Hon. PF Member: Which I had earlier proposed.

Mr Mwenya: And among the great provisions in this new Act were Sections 159 and160, where powers of the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development to enter into development agreements were scrapped and done away with. All development agreements in existence before April 2008 ceased to be binding to the Republic of Zambia. That was a bold decision by our late President.

Mr V. Mwale: Bakulembela!

Hon. Member: Ebaume aba mwaice!


Mr Mwenya: Madam Speaker, from the speech and insinuations of the President in his speech on the mining sector, and particularly on wanting to amend the 2008 Mines and Minerals Development Act, to attract foreign direct investments (FDIs), it simply means that the President was intimating on trying to amend Clauses 159 and 160. Madam, if such a thing is done, it will bring misery to the people of Zambia.

Madam Speaker, I do not have a problem with FDIs, but cannot entertain, again, the kind of FDIs that rendered the leadership and our country impotent through slavish development agreements.

Madam, I wish to categorically state, here, that Luanshya and Chambishi Copper Mines did not close on account of low copper prices and the so-called global financial crisis. I question that and I am not in agreement.

Hon. Government Member: Aah!

Mr Mwenya: The mines closed because shareholders had made their money and the time had come for them to leave.

Hon. PF Members: Yes!

Mr Mwenya: We have seen this happen before. We saw Smart Centre and Ackermans do the same. Therefore, this is not news to us. If these mines are unprofitable, why are Indians and Chinese showing interest to take over these mines?

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwenya: Madam Speaker, to halt this circus, we need to create what I had proposed to your Committee on Economic and Labour Affairs in my submission on the Mines and Minerals Development Bill which is now the Mines and Minerals Development Act, 2008, that we provide for the creation of the directorate for mineral revenue accountability which was turned down by this House.

Today, Madam Speaker, we would have all the information relating to production, types of minerals being produced, operational costs, mineral sales, profits, and so on and so forth, of all the mining companies.


Mr Mwenya: What I mean is that we would have a clear and genuine picture of what is obtaining in all the mining companies. I hope that it will be one of those amendments that are going to be considered. Otherwise, if we are not going to do that, then benefits from the mining sector shall remain a pipe dream.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

(Debate adjourned)


The House adjourned at 1956 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 28th January, 2009.