Debates- Wednesday, 21st January, 2009

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Wednesday, 21st January, 2009

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






Mr Speaker: In accordance with the provisions of Standing Orders Nos. 151 and 157, the Standing Orders Committee has appointed the following hon. Members to serve on the following Sessional Committees:


Committee on Privileges, Absences and Support Services

The Hon. Madam Deputy Speaker, (Chairperson);

The Hon. G. Kunda, SC, MP, the Vice President and Minister of Justice;

The Hon. V. Mwaanga, MP, Chief Whip;

Mr E. C. Mwansa, MP;

Mr S. Sikota, MP;

Mr E. Kasoko, MP;

Rev G. Z. Nyirongo, MP; and

Mr Y. D. Mukanga, MP.

Reforms and Modernisation Committee (10)

The Hon. G. Kunda, SC, MP, the Vice- President and Minister of Justice;

The Hon. Dr Musokotwane, MP, Minister of Finance and National Planning;

The Hon. Tetamashimba, MP, Minister of Local Government and Housing;

The Hon. Deputy Chairperson of Committees of the whole House;

Mr D. Matongo, MP;

Mr E. C. Mwansa, MP;

Mr B. Y. Mwila, MP;

Mrs A. C. K. Mwamba, MP;

Dr K. Kalumba, MP; and

Mrs R. M. Musokotwane, MP.


Committee on Government Assurances (8)

Mr J. B. Chongo, MP;

Mr L. J. Ngoma, MP;

Mr S. Katuka, MP;

Mr R. S. Mwapela, MP;

Mr S. Chisanga, MP;

Mr S. Chitonge, MP;

Mr E. Kasoko, MP; and

Ms E. K. Chitika, MP.

Committee on Delegated Legislation (8)

Mr Chifumu K. B. Banda, SC, MP;

Mr B. Chella, MP;

Mr C. Kambwili, MP;

Mrs J. M. Limata, MP;

Mr V. M. Mooya, MP;

Mr C. M. M. Silavwe, MP;

Dr S. Chishimba, MP; and

Mrs S. T. Masebo, MP.

Committee on Estimates (9)

Mr B. Imenda, MP;

Mr J. P. L. Mulenga, MP;

Rev. G. Z. Nyirongo, MP;

Mr A. M. Nyirenda, MP;

Mr E. M. Hachipuka, MP;

Mr S. Chisanga, MP;

Ms J. Kapata, MP;

Mr H. H. Hamududu, MP; and

Mr E. M. Singombe, MP.


Committee on Local Governance, Housing and Chiefs’ Affairs (8)

Mr M. H. Malama, MP;

Mrs R. M. Musokotwane, MP;

Mr J. J. Mwiimbu, MP;

Mr A. Mbewe, MP;

Mr M. M. Mabenga, MP;

Mr C. Kambwili, MP;

Mr E. M. Singombe, MP; and

Mr D. Mwango, MP.

Committee on Economic Affairs and Labour (8)

Mr G. Lubinda, MP;

Mr D. M. Syakalima, MP;

Ms E. M. Imbwae, MP;

Mr C. W. Kakoma, MP;

Mr C. Mulenga, MP;

Mr C. L. Milupi, MP;

Dr K. Kalumba, MP; and

Mr F. R. Tembo, MP.

Committee on Communications, Transport, Works and Supply

Mrs E. M. Banda, MP;

Mr R. M. Muyanda, MP;

Mr W. Nsanda, MP;

Mr J. K. Zulu, MP;

Mr M. Muteteka, MP;

Mr J. C. Kasongo, MP;

Mr N. P. Magande, MP; and

Mr A. Sejani, MP.

It should be noted that each Committee shall elect from among its number, one member to be the Chairperson of the Committee. An appropriate date in this regard will be communicated by the Clerk’s office. The rest of the Committees will be announced tomorrow.

Thank you.




The Minister of Communications and Transport (Ms Siliya): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you for this opportunity to present a ministerial statement on the suspension of operations by the Mines Air Services, trading as Zambian Airways on Saturday, 10th January, 2009.

We believe that this matter has raised a lot of concern and that the public deserves to be given the right information on the same.

Mr Speaker, Mines Air Services, trading as Zambian Airways, is a 100 per cent privately owned airline. According to our records at the Ministry, the shareholders include, J. C. N. Holdings, a Zambian company, with 57.5 per cent shares, The Post Newspaper, a Zambian company, with 30 per cent shares …

Hon. Members: Aah! 

Ms Siliya: …and Seaboard Overseas, from the United States of America, with 12.5 per cent shares. However, information obtained at the Patents and Companies Registration Office (PACRO) reflects a shareholding of 50 per cent, each between Mutembo and Nchima Nchito.

The airline which began as a result of a management buy out was issued with an air service permit to operate both domestic and international air services in 1998. The domestic routes included Mfuwe, Livingstone, Ndola, Solwezi and Chipata, while on the international route, Zambian Airways serviced Harare in Zimbabwe, Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Johannesburg in South Africa and Dar-es-salaam in Tanzania. Mines Air Services, trading as Zambian Airways employed 250 people and had a fleet of seven aircraft consisting of five locally registered and two foreign registered aircraft.
Mr Speaker, on the 10th  of January, 2009, I received a call at mid-morning from the National Airports Corporation (NAC) management informing me that Zambian Airways had suspended their operations until further notice. This information was relied to NAC management, initially, by some Zambian Airways ground staff. However, in the afternoon of the same day, a notice was put up at the airport informing passengers and the public that the airline had suspended operations until further notice. The notice said the decision was arrived at after a meeting of the shareholders citing high fuel costs in the last eighteen months as the cause. Prior to this, no official notification, as per the permit requirement, was forwarded to the Ministry of Communications and Transport informing it of any changes in the schedule of the decision to, actually, suspend operations.

Mr Speaker, the suspension of operations by Zambian Airways created a lot of anxiety among the general public and, in particular, among the passengers who found themselves stranded at airports both in and outside Zambia. You may wish to know that the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the clearing house for airline operators, facilitates the inter-change of passengers from one airline to another. In this case, Zambian Airways passengers could not be transferred to other airline operators as it is not a member of the clearing house.

Hon. Members: Aah!

Ms Siliya: As such, the option for stranded passengers was to buy new tickets from other airline operators or to use other modes of transport. Information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shows that forty-one Zambians were stranded in South Africa.

Mr Speaker, in my press statement on 12th January, 2009, I informed the nation that the Government regretted the sudden suspension of operations by Zambian Airways, but that it was confident that other airline operators would absorb the traffic and reduce the immediate impact on passenger travel in and outside Zambia. At this point, Zambian Airways had not yet informed my ministry on the reasons for the suspension as well as how long the operations would remain suspended. However, on 13th January, 2009, our director of aviation received official correspondence from Zambian Airways’ Chief Executive Officer, Mr Mutembo Nchito, which read as follows:

“We write to confirm that the Board of Zambian Airways resolved in a meeting on Saturday, 10th January, 2009, to suspend all operations with immediate effect. The way forward shall be advised after due consultations with the banks that have supported the project. Attached herewith is a copy of notice to suspend operations which is an extract from the board resolution”

Mr Speaker, the notice of suspension of operations read as follows:
“The last eighteen months have been very challenging for the airline industry in general and Zambian Airways, in particular. The cost of fuel surged by more than 100 per cent during this period. This created a lot of problems for Zambian Airways as a growing business. In the interest of our shareholders and our employees, we, as Zambian Airways have decided, with immediate effect, to suspend all our operations until further notice. This should enable the company to be restructured. The inconvenience caused is deeply regretted”.

Mr Speaker, the air service permit requires that my ministry is informed of the financial status of air operators. We have been aware, for a while now, that Zambian Airways was experiencing financial problems. Their current debt position to various institutions is between US$25 million to US$30million. This includes NAC whom Zambian Airways owes US$2 million, The Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ) which is owed US$4 million and other institutions such as the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA).

In December, 2008, some local airlines were due for the renewal of air service permits and audit by IATA. Since Zambian Airways has suspended their operations, their permit has not been renewed and they are currently not undergoing any audit. Other airlines, such Zambezi Airlines, have since been issued with a new permit for both local and regional flights.

Mr Speaker, efforts were made by my ministry in 2008 to discuss the way forward with Zambian Airways as we were concerned at both the financial status and safety of the airlines. My ministry is guided by the transport policy as approved in 2002 by Cabinet, which requires us to be non-discriminatory in the treatment of operators providing similar services whether local or foreign as per the Chicago Convention on international civil aviation of which Zambia is a signatory. To this effect, and appreciating the recent challenges in the aviation industry, my ministry called for a stakeholders meeting on 4th December, 2008. Represented at this meeting where major airline operators including Zambian Airways and also the Energy Regulation Board (ERB).

The purpose of the meeting was to find ways and means of reducing the cost of aviation fuel in Zambia and thereby reduce operating costs in the aviation sector. I am glad to report that as a direct result of that meeting, the Ministry of Energy and Water Development through ERB reduced the cost of aviation fuel from US$1.58 per litre to 85 cents only. This, you will agree, was a significant reduction that should assist all the operators in the aviation sector.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, as I stated before, it is always regrettable for the Government when a private sector company goes under. This is why we continue to believe that it is the responsibility of the Government to be consistent and to continue to encourage private sector investment to create wealth and more jobs. Even in the unfortunate situation such as that of Zambian Airways, our wish is to see quick investment in the aviation sector so that any job losses can be mitigated by new investments. Indications are that in 2008, the aviation industry continued to grow steadily with new operators entering the market.

Mr Speaker, lastly, I wish to inform the House that my ministry intends to strengthen requirements on the issuance of air service permits for operators to be mandated to protect and provide alternative travel arrangements for passengers in cases such as the one we have just experienced with Zambian Airways.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mwila (Chipili): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has not mentioned anything about the future of the Zambian Airways workers. I would like to find out what their future is.

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, in my statement, I mentioned that as Government it is always regrettable when a private sector company faces problems because we know that some people will have problems in terms of jobs. At the moment, we are also waiting to engage with Zambian Airways to see what the way forward will be. As I said in my statement, after their initial meeting, they just decided to suspend operations. All the same, we expect that any job losses that will result out of this should be mitigated by us trying to encourage further investment in the aviation sector. My ministry is going to work very aggressively to attract further investment so that any job losses are mitigated by investment in this sector. It is the same in every other sector. We are experiencing job losses in the mining industry and we hope that further investment will mitigate those losses too, so that people can be able to move from one company to another within the private sector.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for the Ministerial Statement.

Sir, my question to the hon. Minister is that is she able to extrapolate the U S $2 million that is owed by Zambian Airways to NAC. How did it arise? Is it from service charges or other levies and taxes?

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, the money owed to NAC is as a result of accumulation over quite a long period. Of course, it includes the charges for the services that the National Airports offer to the airline operators such as ground charges and other services including the taxes that the passengers pay that should go to NAC, which at some point Zambian Airways was not remitting. Therefore, what it meant was that in the end, they were actually collecting the money while National Airport waited at the door to make sure that they collected the cash immediately because that money, actually,  belongs to NAC.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, we have been told that Zambian Airways was not a member of IATA. I would like to find out whether the membership to IATA is optional or mandatory.

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, Zambia is not an island and we are signatory to various conventions such as the IATA/Chicago Convention. What that means is that, airlines are supposed to be members. However, to become members, they have to meet certain obligations including the way they run the business, the safety of the aircraft and going through an audit. In fact, last December, Zambian Airways was supposed to be audited by IATA to establish whether they actually qualified to be a member and if they did not, IATA would have made recommendations to my ministry on how to proceed. Nevertheless, the fact that they were not a member and had been in operation for ten years is probably − in my opinion − a lack of desire to meet the international requirement to enable them to be a member .of IATA.

 I thank You Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, did I hear the hon. Minister right  on the issue of ownership and shareholding because I expect her ministry to have taken the lead role in ensuring that the issue of ownership processes from the time it was privatised to now to be straightforward. What the registry is recording is different from what the books of accounts are saying at Zambian Airways. What is owed? Could the hon. Minister please explain because I do not understand?

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Mbabala is right. We, as the regulator, should have this information. Maybe, this has been an opening for all of us and we need to do further investigations on this matter. I think at some point, there will be need for us to do that because as our records at the ministry are concerned, this is the information that was submitted. When a check was done by NAC, just two weeks ago, at PACRO, the company registration office, we found out that the shareholding was reflected differently. It means that my ministry as a regulator truly needs to strengthen up processes and procedures in terms of issuing air permit services.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Phiri (Munali): Mr Speaker, when this company was sold under management buy out, it was a viable company and it had money. However, it was taken over by other people as she has explained. Is the ministry considering taking note of the nitty-gritty so that in future people’s lives are not put at stake because of people who think they can run a company, but end up running it down? I would like to get a comment from her.

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, again, as a regulator, it should be the responsibility of my ministry to ensure that the airlines are meeting their obligations and running proper businesses.
Mr Speaker, like I said in my statement, we have known for quite a while that Zambian Airways was having financial problems. In fact, I could give you figures to actually tabulate this debt which stands at    US $29.8 billion.

 Organisation  Money Owed ($)
 Development of  4 million

 Zambia Revenue  2.5 million

 National Pension  2.5 million
 Scheme Authority

 National Airports  2 million

 Inter-Market Bank  1.5 million

 Invest Trust Bank  1 million

 Finance Bank   6.8 million, and

 Other Creditors  9.5 million

 Total    29.8 million.

Mr Speaker, like I said, my ministry has been quite aware of this situation for a while. If the House may recall last year, this matter was turned into a political and not a business issue and therefore, we should have dealt with it at that point. This is why I can assure this House that the ministry is really going to put in place stringent measures in terms of issuing air permit services so that at the end of the day we do not make the public, the passengers, suffer for businesses that are not being run properly.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr E. Mwansa (Chifunabuli): Mr Speaker, taking into account that there are institutions that stand to lose out very seriously in this matter, is the hon. Minister considering taking over the entire company, especially, to protect those who lent money to the institution and not necessarily its shareholders. Is there a way…


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Mwansa: …is there a way those that lent money to that institution can be protected?


Mr Speaker: Order! There shall be order in the House.

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, this Government has been very consistent in encouraging a private sector-led economy and we have always believed that we need to get Zambians to participate in growing our economy. In the aviation sector, these are some of the issues that have been provided. When we run our businesses as Zambians, I think we have to observe some good conduct.

Right now, Zambian Airways has no assets. You can actually start to wonder how they were able to obtain these loans …

Hon. Members: My!

Ms Siliya: … including funds from Government institutions such as, NAC which is owed US $2 million.

Hon. Members: Oh!

Ms Siliya: NAC is not a company that belongs to this Government or Dora Siliya alone, but it is a company that belongs to the Zambian public. What should happen is that if it makes a profit, it must declare dividends so that even those who do not use its services or fly can actually benefit by building schools. For example, in Shang’ombo or somewhere else.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: At this point, we are challenged to make Zambia a transport hub by 2030, and there is US $2 million out there.

Mr Speaker, I believe that if I am to sit in Cabinet and have to advise my colleagues on spending $30 million on Zambian Airways or actually improving University Teaching Hospital (UTH), I will not hesitate to choose the latter.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Therefore, at this point, I think that it is a lesson that has been hard learnt and the private sector institutions that are owed will take the correct initiatives. On behalf of the citizens of Zambia, National Airports has begun legal proceedings against Zambian Airways. At the end of the day, we should learn some lessons on how a company, whether local or foreign, can be allowed to borrow so much without the assets to support that borrowing. It is just bad business strategy.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda (Sinazongwe): Mr Speaker, firstly, I would like to commend the hon. Minister …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: … for the ministerial statement she has delivered to clear the air.


Mr Muyanda: Sir, in the corporate world and under the Companies Act, 30 per cent owned by The Post newspaper regarding this airline is not just mere shareholding, but it is a controlling shareholding. May I know, at this point, as to whether The Post, which has shown itself to be a ‘dirty company’, will be prosecuted by your Government for having defrauded the people of the Republic of Zambia by running an outrageous company and operating above the law?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I want to emphasise that as Government it is always regrettable when a private company goes under and we will continue to encourage participation of Zambians in investing in all sectors and not just the aviation sector.

However, at the same time, we will also continue to encourage Zambians to run their businesses as businesses. Many times, last year, I stated that the problems of Zambian Airways could not be solved by either politicking or political solutions, but by business strategy. In terms of business strategy, suspension of operations is as a result of making a business decision not to continue any more and not to be supported by political influence to ensure that the company keeps operating outside the business parameters.

Now coming to your specific question, I think that this matter is not just for the attention of the Ministry of Communications and Transport alone. I am talking with my colleague in the Ministry of Finance and National Planning (MoFNP), who is also talking to the banks to see the way forward. The Ministry of Communications and Transport is owed money directly under NAC and we have actually begun legal proceedings against Zambian Airways.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

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

Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has told us that the ministry was aware of the financial problems that Zambian Airways was going through for a long time. Now, the only measure taken I have heard the hon. Minister mention is that of putting up stringent measures in the issuing of air licences. I have not heard any positive measure that the ministry took when they knew the problems the company was facing. I wish the hon. Minister could mention one other measure there is because I only heard her mention one. Is there any positive measure to help this company curb its problems?

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, as soon as I moved to the Ministry of Communications and Transport, one company that constantly came to see me was Zambian Airways. I had many discussions with Mr Mutembo Nchito on possible solutions, including Zambian Airways looking for partners so that they could actually benefit from the marketing distribution as Kenya Airways has done with KLM.

Mr Speaker, I suggested that Zambian Airways, probably, be linked with airlines such as Egyptian Airlines, and sell two wonders of the world such as the Victoria Falls and the Pyramids. I thought that those were possible business solutions. As I have mentioned, my own feeling as the hon. Minister responsible and who was dealing with them is that  they were looking for a political solution such as Government buying equity in Zambian Airways.


Ms Siliya: I do not believe that at this point, when we are experiencing such problems in this country, we can be putting people’s money after bad money. I think that for any business proposal to make sense, even to the Government, it must be worthwhile. Therefore, if I had a choice to spend US $30 million, I would have to ask myself what I would be trying to achieve. Are Zambians not able to fly in and out of Zambia? Are people not able to fly in and out of Zambia? If our problem is further connectivity, then we should be encouraging you people to invest in the aviation sector so that we can have aircraft flying to Angola, Botswana and everywhere else. We have to talk about priorities. If I have US $30 million, I think I would rather do up the Great East Road to Eastern Province or put it in UTH because this Government, and I want to insist, has been very consistent.


Ms Siliya: This Government has been very consistent. Even the mines which are really sacred in this country are being run by the private sector. Even our own institutions such as Zambia Telecommunication Corporation (Zamtel), Contract Haulage and Nitrogen Chemicals, are looking for equity partners because we believe that the Government’s role should be to continue providing an enabling environment.

Yes, it is true and I know that issues of the aviation sector evoke a lot of emotions and a lot of people are still nostalgic about the Zambia Airways days, but we have gone through that road before and we cannot be going back. What we should try to do now is to see how we can efficiently and effectively allocate the few resources that we have. If I have to choose how to spend the US $30 million, I will not make a name for myself as Minister of Communications and Transport because I can only succeed as part of the bigger group, the whole Government. I would rather we served the majority of the citizens of this country by investing in UTH.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Shame!

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Speaker, from the Ministerial Statement, it is quite clear that this company was more or less operating above the law. They did not affiliate to IATA neither did they satisfy national standards and they owed left, right and centre, including institutions like the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA), ZRA and everywhere else. Why did the Government allow this situation to continue for so long to a point where our own people were stranded all over the country and our institutions are not even going to recover any money since this company has no assets? Why did we allow this to continue for so long?

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I always believe that we should separate business from politics. Yesterday I heard, in this House, about very intelligent people who were in Government. So, maybe, we should be asking them that question. If you recall last year, when we were trying to address this matter in the Ministry of Communications and Transport, there were different opinions on the matter, but I did insist that we should separate politics from business and try and find a business solution to the problem.

I do concede that the Government and my ministry, in particular, as a regulator, should have done more oversight and this is why last year, when they made the offer that the way out was for the Government to put in good money after bad money, we declined the offer. I think the fact that we knew the situation on the ground can now be vindicated by the public.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, you have managed to see if I am one centimetre…


Mr Speaker: Order!

Dr Scott: I would just like to go back to the first question that the hon. Minister answered, which was sort of a ‘dog eat dog’ answer. She said that when companies go bust they go bust and that is a simple fact of the matter, whereas the President in his address was emphatic that no copper mining company was to lay off workers or to dare even go bankrupt without full tripartite discussions, task force involvement and so on and so forth. There are all these inconsistencies and that is all I would like to have clarified.

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I will take the opportunity to respond to the "doggy doggy" question as well.


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I know that there are some hon. Members of Parliament who would like to use this matter to give the impression that the Government, through the Ministry of Communications and Transport and in, particular, the hon. Minister, does not care about the job losses.

Mr Speaker, it is always regrettable when a private company goes bust. It is always regrettable when the citizens who elected us to come to this House lose their jobs and it is my responsibility to ensure that any job losses should be mitigated by the creation of other jobs. If a company does not have the right business strategy, I cannot provide magic. All we can try and do is make sure that the people who worked for Zambian Airways have their pain reduced as much as possible and we can only do this by giving them hope and showing them that it is not the end of the world and they can look for jobs in the same industry with other airlines. We cannot provide magic for companies in this situation. I have given you the figures and for anybody to keep insisting that the Government should take good money after bad money for political purposes is, in my opinion,  a futile argument.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chimbaka (Bahati): Mr Speaker, there are arguments outside there by some circles that are still claiming that the former Minister of MoFNP had the best solution for Zambian Airways. Can the hon. Minister, through this august House, inform the nation whether the contents of that best solution were political, administrative or economic?


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, the principle of other suggestions to the problem of Zambian Airways was that their debt be deferred for five years and eventually that eventually Government had to buy equity in the airline. I think whenever we are making decisions as people accountable to the public, the question should be, what problem are we trying to solve?

Mr Speaker, it is clear to me that Zambians, or anybodyelse, have no problem flying in and out of Zambia, but it is also important that we encourage Zambian participation in this industry. At the same time, as I have stated, Zambia is a member of international organisations that provide the regulations for the aviation sector. One of those requirements in the Chicago Convention is that government cannot positively discriminate from one aircraft operator to the other offering the same services in the aviation sector. When the proposal was brought to us at the ministry, we were very emphatic in saying that even though we acknowledged the problems the airline was going through, there was nothing we could do in terms of deferring the NAC debt of US $2m because this organisation is supposed to provide a service not only to Zambian Airways, but to all the other airlines and all the other airlines were paying. If we deferred the Zambian Airways debt for five years, first of all, the Government does not even have a policy in place on deferring debts of private companies let alone individuals. So, if we deferred the debt for Zambian Airways, and there is Proflight who have been to my office many times to complain about the aviation charges, should we also defer their charges?

Hon. Members: No!

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, British Airways and Kenyan Airways have also been consistently complaining about the charges and the cost of fuel. Should we also defer their charges? So, really we were taking the route that we needed to service everybody equally and there was no special airline in the industry. This is why we felt very strongly that the proposal that was being brought on the table was probably more of a political than a business solution and in that case, we rejected it.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapeya (Mpika Central): Mr Speaker, it appears the hon. Minister is going round the questions that are being raised in this House…


Mr Kapeya: Could the hon. Minister …

Mr Speaker:  May there be order! Can you, continue.

Mr Kapeya: Could the hon. Minister confirm whether it is normal for the Government to grant a trading licence to any intending company without that company making fulfilments on certain requirements?


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, that question is the one which has gone round and round because I do not understand the context or which company he is talking about. I have no idea as to whether he is referring to the aviation sector or is it tuntembas [make-shift stores]. I suggest that he provides me with more specifics and I will be able to provide a proper answer instead of insinuations.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Milupi (Luena): Mr Speaker, this company is obviously heading towards liquidation or receivership and the list of creditors you have given indicates that a number of them would normally be secured, except those that are owned by us, the Zambians, that is NAC and DBZ. By your lack of action whilst you knew that this company was going through severe problems, you are going to cost us US$6 million, at least. Will the hon. Minister hold an inquiry in her ministry to determine who was responsible for allowing this company to operate in a situation where it should not have for this long?

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I am glad that this hon. Member sees the direct link between these Government institutions as being assets of the public and that the money we are talking about here, the US $6 million, is taxpayer’s money. It does not belong to the Ministry of Communications and Transport, but to the twelve million Zambians. Unlike in other countries where people are concerned about their money, I am starting to feel that people here are not and they are only concerned about taking Government money after bad money and placing it in one company.

All the same, I do concede that my ministry, as a regulator, should have actually acted much swifter than we had. Like I said, we were aware of the problems for quite a while, but I also do concede that this is where we must separate politics from business and also avoid creating a situation out there that the Government is out to get certain people or a certain company. If this matter had been dealt with in a business sense much earlier, probably, the results would have been different today.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. K. B. Banda (Chasefu): Mr Speaker, may the hon. Minister clear the air. DBZ is a banking institution. Unlike other banks, they do not give out loans without securities. Can you confirm that DBZ did not obtain security or personal guarantees from the directors of the company concerned and if they did, will measures be taken against the board and management for the inertia?

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I can confirm actually that guarantees were provided by Mr Mutembo Nchito and The Post to DBZ.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Matongo (Pemba): Mr Speaker, IATA is there to monitor the performance of air operators and ensure passengers comfort and safety in the air. International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), on the other hand, is there to monitor the technical ability of an airline to run aircraft. If, in fact, IATA did not qualify this airline as its member or this airline did not apply to IATA, is not the issue because you can run an airline without IATA, it is an association.  However, it is imperative for the civil aviation directorate of this country to be part of ICAO.  For so much money, as Member of Parliament for Luena has stated, to have gone under their nose, what are the core competencies of the hon. Minister’s ministry, technically, in the directorate of aviation and indeed the directorate responsible for aviation in her ministry?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, that is, indeed, a good question. My reference to IATA was obviously in the context of stranded passengers and of course, ICAO is responsible for the safety of these airlines. We have very competent people in the Department of Civil Aviation, who are certified and some of who have even been attached to ICAO. In fact, they brought up a lot of issues about some of the safety concerns on Zambian Airways. In November, we had actually concluded a report about one flight from South Africa where reports were that an unqualified pilot had been allowed to fly it. The Directors in the Department of Civil Aviation were very concerned and provided the report and we had discussions with the Zambian Airways to ensure that we always thought of passengers’ safety. However, I know the question that is really being asked is why was something not done for a long time and what are we going to do about it now? I do concede that we have to find out who was responsible. I know that in my discussions with the officers, they also felt that there was influence coming from somewhere and it was difficult for them to deal with the matter.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Ulula! [Reveal]


Mr Speaker: Order!

Colonel Chanda (Kanyama): Mr Speaker, I would like the hon. Minister to shed some light on whether she is aware that the registration of Zambian Airways was shrouded in controversy. I would also like her to shed some light on the ownership of the Challenger Aircraft which was partly a Government property, and yet, two named brothers claimed some interest in it.

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I will only limit myself to the question about the registration of Mines Air Services trading as Zambian Airways. I have since come to learn, especially from this House, yesterday, that there was a lot of controversy around the registration of this company. I think the question about the Challenger is a new question, I do not think it is one of the aircraft owned by Zambian Airways. So, it is not the subject under discussion today.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Beene (Itezhi-Tezhi): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister just confirm that it is not an obligation of the Government to bail out private companies.


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, this country has seen a lot of private companies go under especially in the banking sector. We all recall Meridian Bank, Capital Bank and others. Right now, there is no policy that guides Government to bail out private companies. That does not mean that in a situation of public interest, in certain circumstances, the Government − through cabinet − would not consider such a situation. In this case, I have clearly stated that if I had $30 million to spend in the ministry, I would recommend that it is used on other issues such as the health sector which, to me, has been a concern of the public for a long time. I would rather that we actually tarred the roads in Chilenje and Kabwata where my dear friend is an hon. Member of Parliament because I suppose …


Ms Siliya: … these have been the concerns of the people in the urban areas against this Government. We have not provided them local services in these high density residential areas, for example, issues of water and drainage. I recently visited Chilenje during a funeral of a relative; I could understand the people’s anger. So, if this Government has money to spend, what problem are we trying to address? Zambians can fly in and out of this country, there is no problem. It is regrettable that in this particular suspension of operations by this company people are uncertain about their jobs. We will do everything possible to see if they can be absorbed by further investment in this sector. However, we must also continue our social responsibility as Government to make sure that the stories of Mahopo in Kabwata are not raised all the time. We can provide water to avoid the cholera situation.

Mr Speaker, those are the choices that Government is faced with. By no means should anybody feel that this Government is insensitive to the plight of Zambian Airways in terms of the investors or the workers or, indeed, the passengers who are stranded. We are not insensitive, but we have to make choices as a Government. Even at an individual level, one has to make a choice whether to buy a suit worth K1 million or K200, 000. So, these are the choices this Government is facing and I, as a Minister responsible, at this point think we have gone through the path of Government being involved in airlines already. In fact, those in business say, “the best way to lose a million dollars is to start an airline business. It is for the brave men and women”, Government has other more pressing responsibilities at this point.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Mr Speaker, my very dear friend, hon. Minister for Transport and Communication stated several times that it is always regrettable when a private company sinks and I share that sentiment with her. However, she made mention of the fact that there are political decisions rather than business decisions that are being made by the airline that we are talking about. Given the fact that shareholders have been mentioned here and also repeated with a pinch of vindictiveness by some, will I find out from the hon. Minister whether the offer to sell shares to Government was a political choice or a business one? Also, for the sake of removing speculation, could she state exactly what she is referring to as political issues and not business issues? Could she please clarify that?

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I did say that the aviation sector evokes a lot of emotions and we all wish we had a national airline. We are all very nostalgic about Zambia Airways and that is why in this particular case of Zambian Airways, which is a 100 per cent private sector company, I can understand the confusion of the public wanting to see Government do something about it sometimes.

Mr Speaker, the talk that Government should buy equity in Zambian Airways, like I informed you, was not viable because we knew that the company was having a lot of financial problems for a while. So, how could it be a business decision to risk public money to go after bad money? It definitely could not be a business decision. That is what I meant exactly at that point when there was pressure for the Government to buy equity in this airline.

Mr Speaker, there is also need to ask why there is only concern about Zambian Airways and not Pro-Flight airline or any other airline and whether there are other solutions on the table. I think that the policy of this Government has been consistent. We will have a private sector driven economy. It is true that sometimes as the Government, even in the strategic industries, we see that they are giving us no dividends at all. The Government has been running companies for a long time, but there are no dividends from companies like Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia, Contract Haulage, NAC, ZAMTEL just to mention a few, and yet, the 12 million Zambians put up these institutions not to just provide jobs, but to also create wealth to be used for the widespread benefit of every Zambian.

 So, we have to be realistic and stop politicking about having a business that we cannot manage. As the Government, we have learnt the hard way and that is why now we have to take very bold decisions over companies like Nitrogen Chemical of Zambia and ZAMTEL. We cannot just fold our arms and say that we are doing something. We are the ones that were elected into public office to make decisions and not to just be staring at the other hon. Members on the other side of this House. So it is a painful decision to allow this private airline to fall.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: It is a very painful decision and I hope that everybody who is listening will truly appreciate that I am very saddened, as the hon. Minister who is actually responsible, that one of the businesses in this sector is going down and there is absolutely no vindictiveness or any other ulterior motive except that I have to make certain choices. At this point I happen to be the hon. Minister of Communication and Transport entrusted by the public to look after this sector, so I have to make a choice.

I need to choose whether to encourage my colleague in the Ministry of Local Government and Housing to provide roads in Chilenje and avoid drainage blockages, my colleague in the Ministry of Health to upgrade UTH or the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives to improve food security in this country or indeed, should we serve the few Zambians and other people that use airlines? Will they not be able to fly if we do not have this airline? Even as painful as it sounds ,and I regret the suspension of operations by Zambian Airways,  we must look at this matter in a very holistic manner and ,like I said, the Government has no public money to chase after bad money. That is lesson number one.

The lesson number two is that, even though this Government encourages Zambians to become businessmen, let us try to run our companies in the best possible manner. Otherwise, we will continue seeing foreigners coming here and running businesses.

Mr Tetamashimba: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: It would be a shame for me to see a foreign company now coming to start up an airline because we want Zambians to do it, but they must provide the right management style, business strategy and so forth. So those are the choices I have to make. I cannot make these choices solely as the hon. Minister of Communication and Transport but as part of the whole Government because we are responsible for all Zambians.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister of Communication and Transport for her statement. I have found out that there is a lot of restraint to reveal much more than what she is telling us.

Hon. UPND Members: Yes!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I find it strange that …

Mr Speaker: Order! What is your question?


Mr Muntanga: Arising from all these political concerns, would the hon. Minister consider instituting a board of enquiry so that all the facts regarding this issue can be clear?

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, there are laws that govern the conduct of shareholders and directors when they are running their businesses. As a regulator, I am concerned with the meeting of requirements as specified by the air service permit. This is why I said that this matter is not just about my ministry as I am working very closely with my colleagues, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning and, of course, the hon. Minister of Justice. However, let me state once more that it is very painful for the Government to see private sector companies, especially Zambian owned ones, going under. It is a lesson we have learnt and maybe in future, as a ministry, we need to provide the right oversight which we did not.

Hon. Opposition Members: Board of enquiry!

Mr Speaker: Order, Order!

Yes, you may continue.

Ms Siliya: I have clearly stated that this matter is being discussed. These are early stages and it is being discussed by the Ministries of Justice, Finance and National Planning and Communication and Transport. At the appropriate time, I am sure that Zambian Airways shareholders themselves will issue a statement on the way forward. I think there is also need for my ministry, as the regulator, to provide a different oversight so that in future we avoid situations like this.

Mr Speaker, I can only state, once more, that this is not about Dora Siliya, my ministry or this Government, but about the Zambian people and making sure that public funds are well looked after, allocated and used in the most efficient way. This is why I will make it very clear that this Government has no intentions of bailing out any aviation operator because we believe that at this point Zambians or anybody else have no problem flying in and out  of Zambia because, if it were so, that would be the problem we would be trying to solve.

However, at this point we believe that is not a problem. What we want to do is to encourage more operators, including Zambian Airways, if they can find a business solution, to continue providing services in this sector. It is regrettable but as the Government, we have to make the painful choices. I want to see the Local Government provide more services for people in high density areas so that they too can, in 2011, vote for this Government.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: The House has devoted a great deal of time to the ministerial statement. As such, I call on the House to be businesslike when we deal with the next item on the Order Paper.




11. Mr Simuusa (Nchanga) asked the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development what measures the Government and the Konkola Copper Mines Plc had taken to protect the residents of Nchanga South Township, who live close to the Nchanga Mine Plant, from the following:

a) noise;
b) air pollution; and
c) ground vibration.

The Minister of Mines and Minerals Developments (Mr Nkhata): Mr Speaker, noise from the Nchanga Mine Plant is within the work place statutory limit of 85 decibels. Beyond this limit, people are required to wear ear plugs. As at 14th January 2009, the following noise levels were recorded in Nchanga South Township, which were all below the Statutory limit:

Location Noise measurements

27 West 1st Street 72.9 decibels
Nchanga South

27 East 1st Street 73 decibels
Nchanga South

29 West 1st Street 74.1 decibels
Nchanga South

37 1st Street 62.4 decibels
Nchanga South

Mr Speaker, as regards air pollution, the Mines Safety Department has ensured that monitoring of air quality is done by conducting measurements both through the stack emissions and ambient air within the mine plant to ensure compliance with the required environmental standards.

The mine is under instruction to comply with the action plan in the Mining Environmental Impact Assessment report where they conduct Local Air Quality Management programmes involving air measurements in the mine plant.

Nchanga Mine has installed air quality monitoring stations in Chingola following the commissioning of the Nchanga Smelter. The Nchanga Smelter unlike the Nkana Smelter, which has since been decommissioned, is designed to capture all sulphur dioxide emission for use in acid production. The process ensures that emissions into the atmosphere are within the statutory limit of 20 parts per million for sulphur dioxide.

In regard measures to control ground vibration, Nchanga Mine applies controlled blasting in their blasting operations. This has been largely achieved due to the availability of modern explosives on the market.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, the number 74 decibels against 85 decibels, that the hon. Minister has given, these residents live less than hundred metres. In fact, it is 10 metres from the source of noise, smoke and pollution, especially the new plant and not blasting. These are realities on the ground. It is only less by 4 decibels from destroying your ears.

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member is debating, ask your question.

Mr Simuusa: Is the Government going to allow this situation to continue to the Nchanga South residents?

The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr Mwale): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for his follow up question. However, I wish to take into account his mathematics that 74.1 decibels as against 85 decibels is close to 11 decibels below the standard, and these are scientifically proven standards.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister stated that when it comes to air pollution, the permissible World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines is 20 micro grams per cubic metres of sulphur dioxide on average of 24 hours. Is the hon. Minister aware that the Zambia Environmental Protection and Pollution Control Act states that the permissible standard in Zambia is hundred twenty-five micro grams per cubic sulphur dioxide in 24 hours average. Is he aware of that figure and not the figure he has just given?

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, I would like to remind the hon. Member not to confuse the units that are used. In our response, we used 20 parts per million and not milligrams.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Katema (Chingola): Mr Speaker, arising from the answer given by the hon. Minister that the smelter built in Nchanga is modern and that it uses sulphur dioxide …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member, please be business like and ask questions directly.

Dr Katema: … can the hon. Minister tell us what measurements of sulphur dioxide are captured in Chingola?

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, from that follow up question, I seem not to follow the argument because we have stated here that mining management in Nchanga has to follow the standards. We also stated that the standard is 20 parts per million for sulphur dioxide and that acid plant has got efficiency close to 97 per cent.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}


12. Mr Chazangwe (Choma) asked the Minister of Education when Masuku High School in Choma, a few metres away from ZESCO power lines, would be electrified.

The Deputy Minister of Education (Mr Sinyinda): Mr Speaker, electrification of Masuku High School is estimated at a total cost of K1.8 billion. As this is a big capital project, the Ministry of Education (MoE) will engage the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) to include the electrification of the school under the Rural Electrification Programme for 2010.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chazangwe: Mr Speaker, Masuku is a boarding school comprising boys and girls. Could the hon. Minister explain how he expects the teaching of mathematics and science to be conducted minus electricity and also how the girl-child who is exposed to a pit latrine can live in such an environment?

The Minister of Education (Professor Lungwangwa): Mr Speaker, the school is not deprived of any power at the moment because it is supplied by solar power which means some of the academic activities in the school are being propelled by the available solar power.

As regards the next question, I am not quite sure what the hon. Member is insinuating because the available sanitation in the school caters for the services that are required by our pupils adequately.

I thank you, Sir.


13. Mr Chimbaka (Bahati) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing:

(a) what caused the delay in  inaugurating the Luapula Water and Sewerage Company in Mansa District;

(b) when the broken-down sewer and water pipes in the Zambia Compound and Senama Townships in Bahati Parliamentary Constituency would be replaced; and

(c) when the collapsed sewer ponds in Mansa town would be rehabilitated.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Musosha): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that the process for the formation of the Water Utility Company for Luapula Province started in March, 2007. This was when councils in the province were directed to develop the road map for the company’s formation after producing a feasibility study document by the BLZ consultancy engaged by the Ministry of Local Government and Housing.

Mr Speaker, in reality, there was no delay in inaugurating the Luapula Water and Sewerage Company in Mansa as the process is on course. In fact, I must clearly state that the process of forming a water utility company is not something that can be done hurriedly judging from past experience.

The Government is, therefore, cautious about forming the utility company so that mistakes that have been observed in some provinces, so far, are avoided.

Mr Speaker, my Government has received financial support from the Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) which is aimed at improving water and sanitation in six towns, namely Mansa, Chililabombwe, Kasama, Kawambwa, Mpika and Mbala. The project will run from 2009 to 2011. Therefore, broken down sewer and water pipes in Zambia Compound and Senama Townships will be repaired using funds from BADEA starting from January, 2010, after the final design and tendering procedures have been done.

Mr Speaker, the rehabilitation of the collapsed sewer ponds in Mansa, using the same funds from BADEA, will commence in January, 2010.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chimbaka: Mr Speaker, now that BADEA is going to take up the rehabilitation of the collapsed sewer pond and replacement of corroded old pipes, how does the ministry intend to address issues of water in distant areas where faecal matter is a threat to drinking water, especially that this Government is saying the provision of clean and safe drinking water is quite important to the people?

Mr Musosha: Mr Speaker, the objective of coming up with a feasibility study by BLZ in 2007 was to look at the time that the water and sewerage systems were constructed when there were fewer housing units in Mansa. Considering that Mansa District has expanded so much, this document looked at areas that should be considered when the construction or rehabilitation programme starts.

I thank you, Sir.


14. Mr Chisala (Chilubi) asked the Minister of Community Development and Social Services why disabled persons in Chilubi District were not receiving assistance from the Social Welfare Department despite being registered with the department.

The Deputy Minister of Community Development and Social Services (Mr Malwa): Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services appreciates the concerns regarding persons with disabilities. The ministry, under the Department of Social Welfare, implements a scheme known as the Public Welfare Assistance Scheme (PWAS) which assists various vulnerable groups, including persons with disabilities. PWAS, in 2008, had an allocation of K4.3 billion against a target of 10 per cent for the most vulnerable and poor groups in the country.

Mr Speaker, Chilubi District, on average, received between K2 million to K3 million per month and last year, K22 million was received which was shared among the vulnerable persons, namely : orphans, vulnerable children, persons with disabilities, elderly persons who are above sixty and chronically ill persons.

Mr Speaker, registration of clients is a routine activity which is ongoing for the Department of Social Welfare. This is important as it helps to keep information on the number of clients requiring assistance. However, due to inadequate resources, the department is not able to assist all the registered clients, which includes those in Chilubi and other parts of the country respectively.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister indicate why Chilubi and Mpulungu have been receiving minimal monthly allocations?

Mr Malwa: Mr Speaker, the ministry allocates funds based on the monthly releases from the Ministry of Finance and National Planning (MoFNP). These are distributed to the districts based on the population of the district and the availability index.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr D. Mwila (Chipili): Mr Speaker, there are disabled people working for the Zambia Association for People with Disabilities (ZAPD) who are owed a lot of money in leave days. I would like to find out when the ministry will clear that debt because it amounts to about K17 billion at the moment.

Mr Malwa: Mr Speaker, the question raised by the hon. Member regarding ZAPD is a new one. However, we are aware about this as a ministry and we are doing something about it.

Thank you, Sir.


15. Mr D. Mwila asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing:

(a) when the ministry would drill boreholes in the following villages in Chipili Parliamentary Constituency:

(i) Mukonshi;
(ii) Mimbulu;
(iii) Musalango;
(iv) Mukunto; and
(v) Mupeta; and

(b) how much money was required to carry out the works at (a) above.

Mr Musosha: Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that the ministry, through the National Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Programme, drilled one borehole for Kalilakokoto and Maipande villages in November, 2008. The other villages, namely Chipili, Mukunto, Chisheta, Kapenda, Chinshinki, Mimbula, Musalango, Mukonshi and Mupeta have been identified as areas that require boreholes and have been prioritised in the 2009 Annual Work Plan. It should also be mentioned that choosing of villages where boreholes should be drilled is done by local authorities to which the hon. Member of Parliament, as a councillor, is a member. I believe he is an active councillor. If he is not, I urge him to attend council meetings …

Hon. PF Members: Aah!

Mr Musosha: … so that he participates in choosing areas where boreholes should be drilled.

As to how much will be required to sink these boreholes, I wish to inform this august House that the ministry will drill about 200 boreholes in Luapula Province across the seven districts. At the time of planning, the total cost of drilling one borehole was pegged at about K30 million and K40 million. However, due to the unstable rate of the Kwacha in relation to other currencies in the last quarter of 2008, the cost of drilling one borehole will be slightly higher. As such, the real cost will only be known after the procurement process has been finalised.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, it is now a year since the Japanese International Co-operation Agency (JICA) made the commitment to drill 200 boreholes. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister when the boreholes will be drilled in Luapula Province.

Mr Musosha: Mr Speaker, I have just said that 200 boreholes will be drilled in 2009.

I thank you, Sir.


16. Mr Malama (Mfuwe) asked the Minister of Works and Supply when the Great North Road would be resurfaced and tarred to reduce road traffic accidents.

The Deputy Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Ndalamei): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the ministry, through the Road Development Agency (RDA), has immediate intentions to improve the existing condition of the Great North Road by firstly ensuring that there is no further deterioration of the road through surface treatment intervention. This will be followed by full maintenance of the road.

In August 2007, a contract was awarded to Messrs China Geo Corporation at a contract sum of K10, 241,654,967 to carry out pothole patching and limited resealing of the section .between Isoka and Nakonde which was badly potholed.

Mr Speaker, in 2008, advertisements for the tender to carry out periodic maintenance of the sections between Serenje-Lukulu, Lukulu-Chinsali and Chinsali-Isoka were placed in the local press. A tender was awarded to China Henan for the section Lukulu-Chinsali at a contract sum of K128 billion. Works for this section will only commence at the end of the rainy season, as the tender was awarded towards the end of 2008.

Mr Speaker, RDA has procured works for the section between Serenje and Lukulu at the contract sum of K68 billion and the contract is yet to be signed with Raubex Construction Zambia Limited. The works covered in the tender include improvement to drainage, drainage structures, limited reconnection and resealing.

A tender for the section between Chinsali and Isoka was awarded to China Geo at a contract sum of K34 billion and the contract is yet to be signed.

Mr Speaker, it should be noted that the contracts for the sections Lukulu-Chinsali and Chinsali-Isoka have not yet been signed due to the restriction in the budget for the sector.

The Great North Road is already tarred though the other part of the question was not covered.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Member: Quality!

Mr Malama: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out what the ministry is doing to avoid traffic accidents between now and the time the contractors move on site.

Hon. Opposition Member: Sense!

The Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Mulongoti): Mr Speaker, road users are aware of the condition of the road. Therefore, it is incumbent upon them to take measures not to over speed and be conscious of the fact that when driving on a road which has potholes, there is a need for caution. As far as the Government is concerned, we are doing everything possible to reduce traffic accidents.

Mr Kambwili: Aah!

Mr Mulongoti: I can hear Hon. Kambwili screaming …


Mr Mulongoti: … like a very irresponsible hon. Member of Parliament.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kapeya (Mpika Central): Mr Speaker, according to the hon. Minister, the patching of the Great North Road was done in 2007. To the contrary, nothing was done. Can the hon. Minister be specific on whether the patching of the road was done in 2007?

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member knows that the Great North Road is a very long stretch with a lot of traffic. Therefore, it does not mean that as the potholes are patched, there will be no new ones developing. I hope he is not saying that once pothole sealing has been done, there can never be new potholes that may emerge. As far as the Government is concerned, the potholes that were there at the time were sealed and new ones have resurfaced because of usage of the road.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisala (Chilubi): Mr Speaker, regarding the poor state of the road network between Mpika and Kasama, I would like to know whether the ministry is considering setting aside some money in this year’s Budget for its rehabilitation.

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, my ministry is looking at roads in the whole country and priorities depend on when the request was submitted for the road to be rehabilitated. It is difficult for me to guarantee attention to this road in this year’s Budget because the resource envelope is not enough to meet all the needs. This means that roads that were assessed and feasibility studies conducted will also be considered. I therefore, cannot guarantee that the Kasama-Mpika Road will be worked on this year. However, it will be considered as we find resources.

I thank you, Sir.


18. Mrs Banda (Chililabombwe) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing when the ministry would build a modern market in Chililabombwe Parliamentary Constituency.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Dr Puma): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that the Government has plans to build markets in all the districts in Zambia, including Chililabombwe.

Mr Speaker, my ministry is currently implementing a programme called Market Rehabilitation and Maintenance whose objective is to repair, rehabilitate and maintain existing markets in all the districts.

Mr Speaker, in recent years, my ministry has expanded this programme to cover small-scale construction of markets in some districts and Chililabombwe is one of the districts which will benefit from this exercise once the council makes a formal request since this is a demand-driven programme.

To this effect, my ministry released K2,515,000,000 to various councils across the country in December, 2007, for the small-scale construction of markets. The ministry has received requests amounting to K385 million from some councils on the Copperbelt to undertake small-scale construction of markets. However, Chililabombwe is not one of the councils that have submitted a request for the funds for a market.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Banda: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out how long it would take to build the market once the council has submitted the request. If the council in Chililabombwe submitted the request this year, is it possible that the market could also be built the same year?

My concern is the Kasumbalesa Border Post where marketeers …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Dr Puma: Mr Speaker, I stated in my response that a number of councils have already submitted requests amounting to K385 million for the construction of markets. Therefore, consideration will be made for those that have already submitted their requests. I cannot assure Chililabombwe or state the time when funds can be given since it has not submitted the request yet. 

I thank you, Sir.


19. Mr Chimbaka (Bahati) asked the Minister of Home Affairs why the Ministry had stopped providing motorcycles and bicycles to the police officers in rural areas to alleviate the transport problems they face.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Bonshe): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that provision of motorcycles and bicycles has not stopped. This is an ongoing programme.

To-date, we have procured twenty motorcycles which have been distributed as follows:

Province Number of motorcycles
Copperbelt 4

Luapula 2

Lusaka Division 5

Lusaka High Court 1

Protective 2

Service Headquarters 2

Western 1

Total 17

Three of the motorcycles are yet to be distributed.

Recently, we procured fifteen bicycles which will be distributed as follows:

Province Number of bicycles

Eastern 5

Southern 5

Central 5

Total 15

One will be on standby at a police garage.

Consideration is being given to procure more motorcycles and bicycles this year once funds are made available.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chimbaka: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister sure that five bicycles will go a long way in alleviating the transport problems the police officers in Bahati are facing?

The Minister of Home Affairs (Dr Mwansa): Mr Speaker, we understand the concern raised by the hon. Member of Parliament for Bahati that the scale of need compared to what is available certainly does not match. However, this is an ongoing programme and when funds are available, we will continue purchasing and distributing as per requirement of every division, nationwide.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, I would like the hon. Minister to confirm, may be I did not get him clearly. Is he saying sixteen bicycles and twenty motorcycles have been purchased for the whole country? If indeed, that is true, is this Government serious about combating crime by buying that number of bicycles and motorcycles for the entire population of 10 million people?

Mr D. Mwila: Hear, hear!

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, for the sake of repeating myself, this is an ongoing exercise.


Dr Mwansa: What we are saying is that, for the time being, this is what we can procure. We have said that for this year, we have a provision to buy more and distribute as funds are made available. This is just the beginning and procurement and distribution will continue.

I thank you, Sir.


20. Mr Malama (Mfuwe) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (MACO) how much money was allocated as monthly financial grants to the following institutions:

(a) Mpika College of Agriculture; and

(b) Monze College of Agriculture.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Mulonga): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that MACO does not give grants to Mpika and Monze colleges of agriculture as these are not grant-aided institutions. The institutions operate on annual budget allocations and funds are released by MoFNP. MoFNP is supposed to release funds to these colleges as well as to MACO on a monthly basis.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 until 1630 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Speaker: Order!

I must call on the Whips to ensure that there is a quorum at all times especially after breaks. I am informed that there is no quorum in the House. This is a waste of very precious time. Ring the bell, again.

Business was suspended from 1631 until 1633 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Mulonga: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was just about to say that funds are not always released every month as expected. This, therefore, implies that the ministry does not allocate funds to these colleges on a monthly basis.

Below is the summary budget performance for 2008 for the two colleges:

 Name of College Annual Budget Allocation Total Released Balance

 Mpika College of
 Agriculture 745,010,799 397,179,783 347,831,016

 Monze College of 
 Agriculture 745,010,799 534,750,489 220,260,310

Amounts in Zambian Kwacha

Mr Malama: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether the ministry intends to increase the annual budget allocation, especially, for Mpika College of Agriculture considering that it has introduced a diploma course.

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, it is clear that the needs of Mpika College of Agriculture will be a bit more. I think in a couple of days, we shall be presenting the Budget to this House for approval and when that happens, you will see that our plans are actually to strengthen our agricultural colleges.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister how he expects the college to function effectively at 50 per cent funding of the Budget.

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, for the benefit of the hon. Member of Parliament, I would like to share with the House that the colleges actually do raise funds. These funds complement what has been released from Government and cushion short falls encountered in the services that are offered by the colleges.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Kapeya (Mpika Central): Mr Speaker, according to the hon. Minister, the college is expecting good funding this year. The fact that the college has been elevated from a certificate to a diploma college, how does he expect it to produce good results if it is poorly funded?

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, Mpika College of Agriculture last year raised from its services and the sale of: beef, eggs, vegetables and maize up to an amount of K123, 611,550.00. The general trend in terms of funding towards the latter part of last year was rather constrained and this explains why you see this reduction in funding to these colleges.

I thank you, Sir.




(Debate resumed)

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, may I start by thanking you for your tolerance last night when we failed to rise to the occasion at around 1800 hours and we were thus, accidentally enabled to watch the Inauguration Ceremony of an African as President of the United States. A historical moment which one can only expect to wait many life times to experience. I promise you that from our side as members of the Patriotic Front (PF), which I control, we will now debate vigorously on Zambian Affairs.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: Sir, I would like to assure you that …

Mr D. Mwila: Bwekeshapo! [Repeat]

Dr Scott: … many people found what happened last night extremely moving and not just black people, but also people who for many years have fought “racialism”, as we used to call it here, now it is called racism. This is the moment of glory if you like, for many of our lives. Those of us, who were observing carefully, noticed that President Obama has appointed as his Vice-President a muzungu [of Caucasian descent]…


Dr Scott: … and we in PF are proud that he has taken a leaf from our books.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: Sir, we feel he should have acknowledged perhaps that he was plagiarising our personal policy.


Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, coming to His Excellency’s Official Opening Speech, I want to, of course, support the Motion since that is customary and we can hardly send it back for the second bite of the apple. I do want to draw attention to some of its deficiencies. I think only if we do that, shall we be able to make progress on this matter.

Sir, the way these types of speeches are composed is by normally asking for contributions from several parts of the Government. The Treasury would have contributed part of this in draft. The Planning Division in the Ministry of Finance and National Planning (MoFNP), the line ministries, for example, the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development, the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Local Government and Housing and State House would have all contributed part inputs to this speech. The danger with such things is that you end up with a salaula speech or salaula document. This means that you get numerous pairs of trousers, but with no trousers of your size.


Dr Scott: Sir, I can just illustrate what I mean by this. Let us take the subject of mining companies and job loses resulting from the reduction in the copper prices. On Page 13 of the Presidential Speech, it says:

“Engaging of mining companies to prevent major job losses and encourage other 
investors to come.”

Sir, this is a little bit worrying to hear that Government is planning to engage mining companies as we expect on this side of the House to be in constant engagement with them. After all, we are all shareholders in Zambia Plc. We were surprised, but maybe not so much, that is why the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MLSS) and the hon. Minister for Copperbelt Province were denied access to the mine by the malonda [Security guard] the other day.


Dr Scott: This is because their identities were not known. As we proceed through this speech, on Page 15, we come to a different strategy which reads:

“However, let me sound this warning note. The global crisis must not be used as 
an excuse to lay off workers in a cynical attempt to cut costs and reduce 

Sir, in two swift pages, we have moved from engaging with the mining companies and discussing in a friendly manner to threats of unspecified action if the mining companies dared to lay anyone off. It is a little bit reminiscent of Shakespeare’s character King Lear who, I am sure hon. Members of the House are aware of, fell out with his children and that they begun to annoy him. He had to threaten them and said, “Will you please stop annoying me.” They also said, “Or else you will do what?” He then said, “I shall do such things I know not yet what they may be, but there shall be the very terror of the earth.”

Sir, these again are threats without substance or specified sanctions and are difficult things to work with. There is no law that can force a mining company or any other company to continue to employ somebody. Where is the sanction? Are they going to have their licences revoked or what? This of course is not the end. From another source, ministry or department comes another policy.

Mr Speaker, page 35 of the President’s Speech says :

“We must ensure that we do not kill the goose that lays the golden egg. There is 
little point in taking in a few million dollars in tax if thousands of jobs are lost as 
a result.”

Therefore, we have moved from talking to them, threatening and warning them, and now to bribing them with tax cuts, again unspecified, that with positive incentives they should not lay off workers.

Mr Speaker, that is not all. On page 37, we have yet another trick up our sleeve to deal with, the mining losses:
 “In addition, a special task force will report back to the Government on the needs  and possible strategies available when closures are imminent.”

Mr Speaker, such inputs in documents like this, of course, we all know that His Excellency does not write them himself, need to be digested into a policy. What is the policy? Are we going to chat with them? Are we going to punish them? Are we going to give them tax incentives or are we going to appoint a task force? There is nothing specific in here. They are a bunch of reproduced ideas produced by different individuals, which is why it resembles an unopened bag of salaula.


Dr Scott: May be if the bag had been opened and individual trousers taken out until one fitted, then we would know what the Government policy is. However, this is not a guide to Government policy.


Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, we need to deal with the subject of what responses the Government will make to the world recession, which is increasing in severity as we speak. Yesterday, in the afternoon, following Barrack Obama’s swearing in, stocks on the Stock Exchange dropped by 3 to 4 per cent. This is a very serious matter indeed. Simply hoping it will go away, which I am afraid could well be the Zambian response, if history is any guide, is not the right way to approach this problem.

Mr Speaker, apart from engaging mining companies in discussions, we learn on page 13 that we are going to diversify the economy. We were very excited when we heard that phrase. We heard that we are going to do it by “enhanced resource allocation to irrigation”.

Mr Speaker, that is a second hand idea, borrowed from the Mwanawasa administration. We even stopped hearing much about it because irrigation, clearly for the sake of growing maize, surely, we will have learnt by now, is not economical. It does not work. It is going to push the price of mealie-meal up to the price of bread because wheat has to be grown under irrigation.

Hon. Opposition Member: Winter maize is better.

Dr Scott: Once you have got the wheat irrigation going, you can use it to kick start a maize crop or a Soya bean crop. However, that is not irrigation as such.

Mr Speaker, concerning the issue of provision of resources to the Citizens Economic Empowerment Fund, I hope this Government realises that with the economic crisis, resources are simply not growing on trees. I hope that this Government realises that these resources have to come from somewhere.

Further, His Excellency talked about the promotion of the development of the Lusaka Multi-Facility Economic Zones (MFEZ)…

Hon. Opposition Member: Aah!

Dr Scott: …and the provision of adequate resources for the completion of the Nansanga Farm and infrastructure development for Kasaba Bay and Livingstone areas as well as to encourage private sector participation and promote and expedite the exploration of the petroleum sector in this country. I thought the petroleum sector had gone dormant, but apparently, we are going to resuscitate that idea again. Elsewhere, in the speech, there are ideas like provision of farm mechanisation for small-scale farmers. That is really going back into the early days of the United National Independence Party (UNIP) administration.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: In the 1960s, there was a very enthusiastic white academic jumping up and down saying that tractors had to be put through out the country and this was a spectacular failure. To hear that it is coming back is salaula indeed. However, instead of being salaula in the modern style, it is salaula in the 19th Century with a funny hat and a feather.


Dr Scott: These are some of my worries that people have just been asked to throw in ideas and a lot of second hand ideas are coming up which are not adequate and up to the job. The job is to defend and cushion Zambia against the effects of this recession or whatever you want to call it. It is a serious matter which requires a lot of thought. It also requires that we identify the source of funds and the source of savings to access those funds.

Mr Speaker, I would like to quote page 14:

“In order to undertake these measures, the Government will re-allocate resources from non-priority areas”.

Can I ask the hon. Ministers that when they wrap up on this motion, they should be able to tell us what the non-priority areas are. We have heard no mention of non-priority areas. Perhaps, if one wished to be generous, where are the non-priority areas where you are removing resources? This recession calls for austerity. It means this country’s national income, revenues and donor funding, no matter what they tell you now, are going to shrink. Those people will not get away with their electorate continuing to fund Africa if their own national incomes are shrinking.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: It will not happen. Therefore, we should be very serious and decide what our austerity areas are. Where the cuts are going to come from? Are the cuts going to come from the National Constitution Conference (NCC)? No! We have been assured in this same document that the NCC will receive full funding to finish its job.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: Is the Cabinet going to be made smaller? No. The Cabinet is going to be made bigger by adding one more ministry, giving Hon. Bradford Machila, my friend, a job. That is not an austerity measure. That is not a non-priority area where cuts are being made. The question is, what is going to be cut? If we do not know what is going to be cut, there is really very little else that we can do or say that is going to add value to the Government’s policy.

Mr Speaker, as is stated in this document, we are still aiming at 5 per cent growth rate. Most European countries are planning between 1 and 3 per cent shrinkage of their Growth Domestic Product (GDP) this year because of the recession. They are hoping to hold it at 1 or 2 per cent.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Dr Scott: Zambia produces about 500,000 tonnes of copper. At a very modest optimistic assumption, the price will be US$4,000 a ton on average this year. That is a reduction in exports and therefore, in GDP of about 15 per cent. Now, are we being asked to believe that this year, by some voodoo or other method, this economy can make up that 15 per cent loss through irrigated maize or subsidised fertiliser, which cannot be delivered to its intended destination, and then put 5 per cent on top of that to make it 20 per cent growth of the non-copper economy. It is not possible!

Mr Speaker, I feel a little offended and insulted that we  …


Dr Scott: …on this side are expected to just swallow that hook, line and sinker that yes, we are still heading for 5 per cent growth. The only country in the world which will grow is Zambia.

Hon. Opposition Member: Come and debate! This is a skeleton.

 Mr Shakafuswa: On a point of order, Sir.

Dr Scott: I have time to gather my wits again.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order. Is the hon. Member of Parliament, who is debating in his usual ‘doggy - doggy’ style …


Mr Shakafuswa: …in order to mislead the nation that with a reduction in copper production of 15 per cent, Zambia cannot realise a positive GDP growth when, if he looks at statistics of 2007, he will find that mining and quarrying activities contributed negatively …

Hon. Member: Aah!

Mr Shakafuswa: Yes! These are statistics. Do not say aah! The overall contribution was negative, but Zambia was still able to get a positive GDP growth. Is the hon. Member for Lusaka Central, therefore, in order to mislead this nation with his ‘doggy- doggy statistics?’ I need your serious ruling.


Mr Speaker: Order! In fact, the hon. Member for Lusaka Central is inviting the Executive to reply to what he is saying in his debate. Therefore, in that point of order, when the hon. Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Vocational Training takes the Floor, he will do well to correct the impression that he thinks is wrong. Meanwhile, the hon. Member for Lusaka Central is free to debate. He may continue.

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, I have always supported your campaign to ensure the correct use of English in this House.

 Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, The phrase I used earlier today was ‘dog eat dog’ which means the roughness of the private sector where people go bankrupt and fail to run their businesses. It is a reference to that of a city jungle.


Dr Scott: ‘Doggy-doggy’ means something else which I would not ...


Dr Scott: … even dare attempt to explain. I am sure that my interlocutor is even more expert than myself on such a thing.


Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, in summary, I think the Executive needs to do more work to bring to us a strategic package of new ideas or old ideas, it does not matter, but it should be a package of ideas that are going to work to protect, especially, the poor people of this country against the impact of this global recession. We are hoping a bit of innovation will take care of it, as they say in Eastern Province, “mulota muzuwa,” which means you are day dreaming. I think that is correct. If Hon. Shakafuswa wants to correct me, he can feel free.

Mr Speaker, with those few words, I thank you again for your indulgence. I would like to urge the House to support this Motion, but not to stop pressurising the people on your right to do something practical instead of repeating these formulas and giving us a big bag of salaula which we can do very little with unless we cut it open and see what is inside.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Katema (Chingola): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for according me this opportunity to debate this Motion on the Floor of the House.

Mr Speaker, this speech reminds me of one book in the Old Testament of the Bible, the Book of Lamentations.


Dr Katema: Mr Speaker, the author of this book from verse one to the last verse, whims, moans and analyses the problem − how and why the problem came and offers no solution.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Katema: Mr Speaker, there is another set of books in the New Testament, the Good News, which is called the Gospel. That is what the Zambian people need.

Mr Speaker, in this set of books, the author says, “Yes, you are downtrodden and there are problems, but there is a way out. There is a solution.” That is what the Zambian people require.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Katema: Mr Speaker, in his speech, the President bemoaned that the MMD Government had been laden with crisis after crisis since its inception. My advice to this is that, it is not the lack of problems that makes a nation great, but rather the ability and the capacity to stand up after a fall and move on. The heavier the fall the sweeter the victory. That is the challenge to this Government.

Mr Speaker, they can take a leaf from the UNIP Government when it came into power in 1964. It found out that it had completely no intelligentsia nor Civil Service of its own. What did Dr Kenneth Kaunda do? He stood up and said, “Comrades, let us build ourselves an intelligentsia.” Using the funds in the foreign reserves which were left by the British, they went on rampant building of schools, trades colleges and teachers’ training colleges. The people of Zambia then contributed even their ten ngwees and chickens so that they could build themselves a University of Zambia (UNZA). That is the kind of leadership that the Zambian people require.

 Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Katema: Mr Speaker, we are told that the Government has devised intervention measures designed to mitigate the adverse impact of the crisis caused by the global recession. Amongst these is engaging mining companies. Alas, that is a lost cause already because day in day out, we are seeing job losses everywhere. With these job losses, we expect ex-miners or workers to go and build themselves private businesses which we expect the Government to encourage. What we are seeing the Government do is, in fact, killing these new entrepreneurs and hounding out the old ones by revising, upwards, the cost of doing business.

Mr Speaker, again, in the Presidential Speech, we hear that the Government is going to enhance resources to irrigation allocation. We have already heard that song before. What stops the owners of the irrigated maize from crushing it and turning it into silage when it is green and the protein levels in the stocks are high? How sure are we that the maize which is grown by irrigation is going to be grain and that it will improve food security?

Mr Speaker, with regards to petroleum, I am reminded of one child psychologist and educationalist who described the intelligence of a child as the ability to adapt and survive in a given environment with the available skills and knowledge. That is what is called intelligence. Therefore, I expect an intelligent government to work and adapt within this environment with the available skills and knowledge and not talking about petroleum which is not there. That is not intelligence.

Mr Mwenya: Ebaume aba! Ebaume!

Mr Shakafuswa: Was that speech written by Lubinda?


Dr Katema: Mr Speaker, when the President acknowledged the fact that there was a big disease burden on our livestock and that the performance of the extension services was poor, I expected him to say – after declaring that agriculture is our mainstay – that we should vaccinate our livestock and build ourselves a cordon line. This way, all our animals could be exported as beef ...

Mr Mwenya: Hear, hear!

Dr Katema: … as an alternative to the falling copper prices.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Katema: However, he just ended by saying that there was a disease burden of livestock and that the extension officers were not working well. Furthermore, he directed the poor hon. Minister of Agriculture …

Mr Lubinda: There are two of them! Which one is it?

Dr Katema: Two of them ...

Hon. PF Members: Four!

Dr Katema: … or rather four of them, to ensure that the extension service started working in 2009, because that was what he expected.

Mr Lubinda: That is lamentation!


Dr Katema: It is not for the Government or anybody else to tell me to diversify into agriculture.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Katema: The onus is on the Government to convince us. For example, the Government has to convince me to sell my truck which ferries copper ore and, instead, buy herds of cattle. They can do this by making the environment very conducive for cattle rearing.

Mr Shakafuswa Interjected.

Mr Mwenya: Iwe Shaka ikala fye! [Shaka, just take your seat]

Dr Katema: At least, I am offering some solutions.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Dr Katema: That is good news ...


Dr Katema: … rather than this book of lamentations.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Katema: Mr Speaker, on health, I wish to state that the act of washing hands, …

Mr Lubinda: Bapundzise mwana! [educate them dear]

Dr Katema: … before eating and after using the toilet, can drastically cut the incidence of diarrhoeal diseases …

Mr Mwenya: Hear, hear!

Dr Katema: … which is one of the main killers of our babies.

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

Dr Katema: This is taught to all Zambians from cradle to grave.

Hon. PF Members: Yes!

Dr Katema: We all know it, but to do that very simple exercise, we need adequate water.

Dr Chishimba: Hear, hear! You are talking!

Mr Kambwili: Bebe! [Tell them]

Dr Katema: The Government needs to assist the water and sewerage companies to facilitate and provide safe and clean water for our people.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Katema: For example, in my constituency, Mulonga Water and Sewerage Company requires only K6 billion to provide clean and safe water to all the people of Chingola District. They are not asking for a grant, but are merely asking this Government to facilitate a soft loan for this water and sewerage company which can be paid back.

Mr Lubinda: Kamba ubapundzise! [Talk and educate them]

Dr Katema: Mr Speaker, yesterday we heard that in Chililabombwe Constituency an organisation called Development Aid for People …

Mr Mwenya: From people to people.


Hon. Government Members: Awe! [No]

Dr Katema: … from People to People (DAPP) has helped the communities in Chililabombwe to build beautiful health centres and clinics.

Mr Mwenya: Hear, hear!

Dr Katema: All they are asking this Government to do is to deploy some health workers there.

Mr Mwenya: Hear, hear!

Dr Katema: The excuse we were given here is that you cannot open a clinic when there is another clinic five kilometres within the vicinity. Mr Speaker, I am sure that policy was put in place merely because of the insufficiency of funds. However, in a case where a well wisher has provided funds, it is imperative that this Government rises to the occasion and provides health services.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Government Member: Finally!

Mr D. Mwila: Shilako abana! [Give a chance to your colleagues to speak as well]

Mr Mwenya: Ba Simbao muleumfwa? [Are you listening, Mr Simbao?]

Dr Katema: Mr Speaker, without solving the manpower problem, it is a fallacy to build health centres and hospitals which we have learnt from the address that will be built in each district. In this book, they are saying that they are going to build clinics and district hospitals, and yet, at the moment, there are existing health centres which are run by security guards …

Mr Kambwili: Hear, hear!

Dr Katema: … and casual workers. Therefore, it is imperative that this Government sorts out the problem of the shortage of manpower.

Mr Kambwili: Not ukulateka fye umwefu ba Mpombo! [Do not just keep a beard]


Dr Katema: Mr Speaker, I am privileged to be on your Committee on Health and we had the privilege to visit most of the health centres in the country. We even visited Western Province which this Government says is a success story on the retention scheme of health workers. Most of the health workers in that province were hearing of this scheme for the first time as we interviewed them and that is what is referred to as a success story according to Government.

Mr Kambwili: Shame!

Dr Katema: Mr Speaker, if that is a success story on the retention of health workers in this country, then I do not know where we are going.

Mr Kambwili: Efyo fine ba Mpombo!

Dr Katema: If this Government continues giving K600,000 as housing allowance to doctors to rent houses, I do not know where you can find a house costing that much because…

Mr Lubinda: In Mapoloto.

Dr Katema: Mr Speaker, not even a servant’s quarter in the neighbourhood of these premises can cost that much, we should forget about the improvement of the quality of health services Zambia. What the few patriotic doctors, who will remain in the country, are going to do is to report to work at UTH and spend only five minutes there then go to the private clinics or hospitals to work just for them to make ends meet.

Mr Speaker, with those very few words, I thank you.

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

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me a chance to contribute to the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the speech by His Excellency, the President.

Mr Speaker, I will begin by making a comment on the ending of his speech. The President said:

 “I will not hesitate to part ways with those not prepared to pull their weight in the crusade to move our country forward.”

Mr Speaker, I think that was a timely warning to the people who work very closely with the President. He opened his speech by explaining the difficulty this country is going through because of the world economic crisis. The President did mention that the MMD 1, MMD 2 and now MMD 3 have similar problems. I would like to state that the speeches presented during such ceremonies are similar all the time. They do not seem to say what is required exactly.

Mr Speaker, I would like to remind the hon. Ministers that a speech of this nature, as presented by the President, needs support from them. We will need them to be able to state clearly what the Government policies are based on what the President has said. When I read the speech by the President, I worry because the President says:

 ‘the global credit crunch and subsequent cost saving measures have resulted in job losses, damaging both our economy and our society’. 

Mr Speaker, this means that he accepts that this global phenomenon causes job losses. Earlier in the debate, the hon. Minister of Communications and Transport did allude to the fact that Government cannot help a private company and that if such a company has problems, it can sink. That is correct, but the President was sounding a warning that the global crisis must not be used as an excuse to lay off workers as they should only be laid off as a cost saving measure. Those two statements need someone from amongst you hon. Ministers to explain properly because they are a contradiction. This means that you hon. Ministers should come up with proper and clear explanations.

You do not accept that people should be laid off, but at the same time, you do accept that the global economic crisis causes these problems.

Mr Speaker, on this side we want to debate, not that we want to work or agree with MMD, offer you solutions and to also make you understand. You can take it or leave it because at the end of the day you will find that will not come back to this house.

Mr Speaker, there were severe food shortages in 1991, just like there are now. People are still experiencing hunger. When we offer you solutions, some of you listen carefully and accept, but there are those who are arrogant because of their ministerial positions who call us names. Nevertheless, I would like to tell you that you are the people given the mandate to rule this country and I urge you to do it properly to serve the people. The President said that if you do not want to take Zambia forward, he will part company with you and we will remind him to do just that.

Mr Speaker, the President accepted that the prices of fertiliser would be high and I would like to testify to that. The Government deliberately causes corruption in agriculture. Here is a very important commodity for the farmers, fertiliser, and you know that there are 1,300,000 farmers, but you choose to only pay K50,000 per bag for 200,000 farmers. For an important input for farming, you have decided as a Government to make it cheap for only a few people meaning. Therefore, this means that you have deliberately enticed people to rush and crush and to fight for that small amount which you have made cheap. You have enticed the marketeers, the people who want to make quick money, to fight for this fertiliser and as such, causing corruption.

Mr Speaker, the Government has deliberately included civil servants to participate. During the campaigns, I was trying to get a tape of one speech, the President bragged of having reduced the price of fertiliser and fuel as part of the achievements of the working Government. When it came to fertiliser, they skipped and did not mention anything to do with its reduction because there was none except for the 200,000 farmers. Do you know what you have caused?

Mr Speaker, if a farmer with K10 million decided to pay for twenty packs, that small pocket co-operative will have twenty packs for one farmer and that person can decide to sell the 180 bags of fertiliser for K250,000 and yet, he had paid K50,000 for each. That is making K200,000 extra per bag which is K32 million profit. This farmer does not even need to farm anymore.

Mr Speaker, you are causing corruption and causing people to stop farming. You have enticed marketeers to make quick money because you have no direction on how to run agriculture and we are now advising you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: I have said this often and I would like to repeat it, if you want to participate, do not go and say this is a vulnerable farmer or ‘what and what’ farmer because the vulnerable farmers are the ones we were budgeting under the Ministry of Community Development. We budgeted for K10 billion and I would like to advise Government to raise the amount to K20 billion or K30 billion for the vulnerable people under one hectare. Let the people go to the Ministry of Community Development and benefit because anything to do with agriculture should not be played around with.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: You should simply subsidise totally and by doing this, you would have done yourselves a good service. You could just have said that the price of fertiliser is a K100,000 and the farmers would have started to look for the money to buy it. No one would start to make money out of this because the price would be standard everywhere. If you do not want to listen, then you are not worthy of being in the Government.

Mr Speaker, you were supposed to generally subsidise fertiliser because immediately you make the price of fertiliser uniform, all these people who are running around taking it  to Malawi and other places will stop as there will be no benefit for one to market fertiliser which is going at a uniform price of K100,000 per bag. Even the idea of firing one extension officer is not ideal. When the President says that he wants to be supported, we want to see a general subsidy and the hon. Minister of MACO must come up with a specific programme on how he is going to achieve this.

Mr Speaker, the President announced that there is going to be 100,000 metric tonnes of maize from irrigation crop. It is true, but it is also true that there is now 90,000 metric tonnes of maize held by the grain marketing of Zambia. This Government decided to import 100,000 metric tonnes of maize to mitigate a shortfall. What are you up to you hon. Members? In April, there is going to be 100,000 metric tonnes of maize from irrigated crop to come into the food reserve. There is already 90,000 metric tonnes which they have not bought from the grain marketing and so why are you importing 100,000 metric tonnes? Somewhere I sense corruption, deceit and theft. Someone amongst you hon. Members, knows that you are about to steal.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, there is no need for this Government to insist on importing maize when they know that there is 90,000 metric tonnes of maize which has not been bought from the grain marketer. These are the same people who participate in buying of maize and they are aware that there is going to be 100,000 metric tonnes of maize coming in April. What do you want to import that 100,000 metric tonnes of maize for? These millers are telling you that they are reducing mealie-meal prices which is just a cover. Why should you sell your maize at $273 per metric tonne when the people of Zambia have not yet benefited from the actual price of mealie-meal? They are telling you that they are reducing the price so that they can steal huge profits from maize. Why are you not listening? Why can you not do the right thing in agriculture once and for all?

Mr Kasongo: They are arrogant.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I hope these people in Government will try to listen. We have been told that they want to support livestock restocking, which we have been battling with, by whatever means. They allocated money to Southern Province which was later on diverted and nothing has been done. The livestock restocking has not been supported properly according to the budget you made. Now, you talk about livestock restocking. I would like the new Minister for Agriculture and Co-operatives (Livestock and Veterinary Services) to come up with a proper statement on what he wants to do. What is your policy and how do you want to achieve it? The President has only indicated a wish.

Mr Speaker: Can the hon. Member address the Chair.

Mr Muntanga: Yes, Mr Speaker.


Mr Muntanga: I want the hon. Minister to be able to come and tell us what his plan is and to marry it with what the President has said. I know there are various veterinary officers in the Department of livestock, so they must be able to come with him. The President has indicated that there is going to be a ministry. Come up with appropriate information for Parliament to create that ministry and then, let us know what you want to do.

Let us have the budget lines. The President said that the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) shall now buy maize from rural areas. We have now changed because FRA was a buyer of last resort. However, according to the President’s Speech, FRA must buy first from rural areas not be the buyer of last resort. Therefore, in your budget hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning – they are not here – you must support the President’s directive.

Hon. Opposition Member: He is tired.

Mr Muntanga: Last year, you allocated K80 billion to FRA which was not enough. Therefore, this year, you must allocate enough money. We want to see what the president has talked about converted into budget returns. If you talk about livestock disease control, you should not allocate K8 billion when we are asking you to allocate K60 billion. If you are only going to talk, like someone told you, talking the talk and not walking the talk, we will not see any development. Let us see action from Government.
Mr Speaker, there is a wish to bring tractors and we acknowledge that the price of fuel is going up. Now, you are going to give small farmers tractors with expensive fuel. What are you up to? Can you now decide that …


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, let me give them free advice. The value of a one little tractor can buy several oxen which you can give the farmers to train and use and then subsidise fertiliser. They will do a better job.

Hon. Government Members: They will die of denkete [Trypanosomiasis].

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, have you heard them? They are saying they will die of denkete. Here is a Government that is talking about improving livestock and others openly say they will die of denkete.  This implies that they are now showing that they are incapable of handling this situation.

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes.

Mr Muntanga: I have animals, but they do not die of denkete because I am a professional farmer. This idea of asking people who are accidental farmers to run the agricultural sector in Government is the result of such statements.

Mr Speaker, we are being told that land will be easier to acquire. Can you go and read the Sakala Commission and you will discover that Southern Province has a problem of land. Read it. There was advice that you can move in the game reserve to reduce pressure because some people were moved from the Gwembe Valley and some were displaced from the plateau. When we told you that in the Sakala Commission there was an allowance for people to move in the game reserves, you came here and said that you would not fear anyone, even big ones. You have no idea, no clue, what it means when someone has nowhere to farm and yet, he relies on farming for his livelihood. Clueless!


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, let these people understand clearly that when we talk about these things, we want the hon. Ministers to respond positively and react. Please, can you put your brains in gear.

Mr Speaker, serve Zambia, let these people for once listen.  Do not import your 100,000, metric tonnes of maize. I know they have already sent out the bids. Stop that! We want those dollars to bring in what we require here.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Go and pay for the local maize which is available and reserve that money to pay for the 100,000 metric tonnes of maize that is coming. We are going to advise these people. This particular document …

Hon. Opposition Member: These are lamentations.

Mr Muntanga: I agree with those that are referring to it as the book of Lamentations. They have no words because the President is crying.

Hon. Government Member: Aah!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, yes, he agrees that there is a problem and it can only be solved when each hon. minister, and I want to challenge them, responds to the policy regarding the President’s Address.

Hon. Opposition Members:  Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: How do you propose to tackle this problem? How do you propose to help take Zambia forward? Let us hear how the honourable cabinet Ministers with their MoFNP respond to this document. If you begin to tell us that funds are insufficient and tomorrow you jump because workers are threatening to throw a few stones at you, then we will have problems with you. I want to urge them that, if they do not have qualified people, we are available to give free advice for the sake of Zambia. I want to urge you not to import maize, but to provide more funds for FRA and subsidise fertiliser without creating corruption that you have caused in MACO.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chota (Lubansenshi): Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me a chance to give thanks to His Excellency the President’s Address.

Mr Speaker, I will debate it from another angle.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Chota: I want to quote what the President said and I will anchor my discussion on this point.

“During my Inaugural Speech on 2nd November, 2008, I called for reconciliation and national unity. I would like to reiterate that this Government, under the MMD leadership, is a Government for all Zambians and not only members of the ruling party. Therefore, I wish to assure the nation that the concerns and issues raised by various political stakeholders, irrespective of party, will be addressed equally.”

The President is saying that there are a number of very intelligent hon. Members from the Opposition who have contributed quite effectively and would like to work with the Ruling Party. However, whenever they have raised issues, there are certain hon. Members of the Ruling Party who have their guns drawn and want to shoot down whatever is said. Whatever is said by the Opposition is regarded as rubbish, jealousy or sour grapes.

Mr Speaker, this must stop. Those who want to rule and follow the directives of reconciliation by the President must listen to advice. If they do not listen to advice, they are going to fail. We should not behave like caterpillars which, when thrown on fire, shake in any direction and even displace logs.


Mr Chota: Leadership starts with the people one works with. Look at the United States of America, President, Barack Obama, was challenged by Hillary Clinton and John McCain.

Mr Kambwili: Hear, hear!

Mr Chota: However, when he was elected President, he gave the job ranked third highest in the country to Hillary Clinton.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chota: Mr Speaker, I am aware that you gave advice on Cabinet appointments. However, I am not talking about that, but about reconciliation.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chota: The people who challenged the current United States President are the ones invited to state functions like we saw yesterday on television during the inauguration.

Mr Ndalamei: Reconcile with the “rebels”.


Mr Chota: Mr Speaker ….

Hon. Opposition Members: Hammer them!

Mr Chota: … I expected such kind of comments. We are saying …

Mr Sichilima: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Sichilima: Mr Speaker, it is a pity I have caught up with my brother at a time when I am not feeling too well.

Hon. Opposition Members interjected.

Mr Sichilima: I rise on a very serious point of order and it is my first one this year. You have guided in this House that we need to be factual when debating issues, especially, the motion which is on the Floor. Is the hon. Member who is debating in order to mislead the nation when he talks about reconciliation by referring to this side of the House when, in fact, it is the Patriotic Front (PF) which has serious reconciliatory problems, a fact he does not want to allude to? I need your serious ruling, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Lubansenshi will resume his debate and reply to the point of order raised by the hon. Deputy Minister in the Office of His Honour the Vice-President as to why, in the opinion of the hon. Deputy Minister, the hon. Member is not making any effort to reconcile Members in his group.

May he continue, please.


Mr Chota: Mr Speaker, I have no problem with anybody in my party.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chota: Mr Speaker, I was talking about reconciliation and I am saying that work will only be done if the hon. Members on your right accommodate wise people on this side. I remember seeing a caption on television – Hon. Mooya may support me on this – where someone went to a bridge and was trying to (stamping his feet) find out if the bridge was strong …


Mr Chota: … by stamping on the bridge.

Mr Speaker: Order!


Mr Speaker: Order! No footwork is allowed in the House.


Mr Speaker: You may debate, please.


Mr Chota: Mr Speaker, I thank you for your guidance. In Ghana, the president of the ruling party told the candidate of his own party to keep quiet and give in because he was losing. This happened in Ghana two weeks ago.

Mr Kambwili: A week ago.

Mr Chota: Yes, a week ago. If it was in this country, the Ruling Party would have stopped the counting of election results indefinitely.


Mr Chota: Please, let us work together. Someone said this speech was a “skeleton” and we needed to put “meat” to it. Surely, how do we do that when hon. Government Members have their guns drawn?


Mr Chota: Anyone who wants to advise them is jealous or when anyone wants to contribute they are considered to be doing so because of sour grapes.

Major Chizhyuka interjected.

Mr Chota: Yet, some people are seen stamping on a bridge to see if it is strong.

Major Chizhyuka: Do not stamp on the ground again.

Hon. PF Members: Engineering.


Mr Chota: Mr Speaker, we will put meat to this skeleton and see if it will stand. I know I talked about the roads. There was an hon. Minister who used to do his job well and went everywhere. He knew what was happening and did not go to stamp on bridges to see if they were weak or not.


Mr Chota: He was a real man.


Mr Chota: Mr Speaker, we need to stop selective treatment of hon. Members of Parliament. Only last week, I received a letter inviting me to a Provincial Development Co-ordinating Committee meeting (PDCC), but I was told that my upkeep would be at my own expense. I drove there and took care of my expenses while members of the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) were accommodated …

Dr Machungwa: And paid.

Hon. PF Members: Shame!

Mr Chota: Some people wrote to the conveners of the meeting to complain, but I personally confronted them and asked them why there was this discrimination.

Hon. Member: Animal farm.

Mr Chota: However, everyone I approached referred me to another person. I ended up forgetting about it. Now, is that reconciliation?

Hon. Opposition Members: No!

Mr Chota: The President was to travel from here to the Northern Province and included on his programme that he was going to check …


Mr Speaker: Order! Order! I cannot hear or understand what is going on around the Chamber. Did I hear a point of order?

Mr Silavwe: Yes, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Silavwe: Mr Speaker, I do not usually rise on points of order, but today I am compelled to rise on a very serious point of order. Is my brother who is debating …


Mr Silavwe: … without being factual in order to mislead this House and the nation at large by alledging that honourable MMD Members of Parliament are accommodated by the Government when they go for PDCC meetings because I am one of those who travelled to Kasama and spent my own K1.2 million? 

Hon. PF Members: Only!

Mr Silavwe: I need your serious ruling.

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Nakonde, in his point of order, is disagreeing with the assertion by the hon. Member for Lubansenshi that the expenses for hon. Members of Parliament who attended the meeting he referred to were taken care of by tax-payers’ money because he himself took care of his expenses. The hon. Member who is on the Floor now should take into account the correction, if he agrees, to the point of order made by the hon. Member for Nakonde.

May you continue, please.

Mr Chota: Mr Speaker, I am surprised because the hon. Member was not even at this meeting.


Mr Chota: Mr Speaker, I was saying that when the President made a programme to inspect the Kasama/Luwingu Road, all of us were happy because this project has been going on for the past ten years. I then informed all the chiefs and their subjects and as a constituency, we awaited the arrival of the President along the road to be inspected.

Mr Speaker, as an hon. Member of Parliament for that area, on one hand, I was happy because the President was going to see what kind of road we had been talking about for the past ten years. On the other hand, I was worried that by the time the President finished his inspection of that road, he would have probably become sick because of the deplorable state the road was in and I did not know which hospital he would have been admitted to.


Mr Chota: Mr Speaker, without telling anyone, the President cancelled the inspection of the Luwingu/Kasama Road and neither the chiefs nor their subjects were informed about this. They waited in the hope that the President would arrive until they decided to disperse at night. The perpetrators of this action are the people I am referring to as lieutenants who have their guns drawn because they told the President not to travel on that road as it was bad and he would fall sick.

Mr Chota: Mr Speaker, instead the President was flown to Kasaba Bay to meet the Zimbabwean investors. What have the people of Luwingu, based that far, done to deserve this? Is this what you call reconciliation?

Hon. PF Members: No!

Mr Chota: I only saw Hon. Felix Mutati when he came to campaign and the other person I saw was this man I talked about who was walking his job.

Hon. PF Members: Mulongoti.


Mr Chota: What have the people of Lubansenshi/Luwingu done? Is it because their hon. Member of Parliament is a PF member?

Mr Speaker, the President talked of creating more jobs, reducing prices of fertiliser thereby, making it easy for farmers to produce food. He also talked of reducing the price of mealie meal, but before this could be done, the price increased two folds from K42,000.00 to K70,000.00 and then further reduced it by K5,000.00.


Mr Chota: That is the price of mealie meal in my constituency. This simply shows that the Government is playing with the people. Is that what you call reconciliation?

Hon. PF Members: Hammer!

Mr Chota: The President also talked about improvement of the road network, especially, in the rural areas, but you stopped him from inspecting the Luwingu/Kasama Road.

Mr Speaker, I am inviting the honourable MMD Ministers, through you, to put meat on this skeleton. It is them who termed it as a skeleton and therefore, they should put meat on it.

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

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mwila (Chipili): Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to debate this motion. I will not waste much of your time.

Mr Speaker, the reason we came to this Parliament to listen to His Excellency the President’s Speech was to know the direction this country was going in 2009. We came here because we knew that there was a government in place. However, having gone through the speech, I have a lot doubts bordering on whether, at all, we have a government in place.

Mr Speaker, the speech the President gave had no substance. It will not take us anywhere at all.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D Mwila: Mr Speaker, if this Government thinks that the speech had substance, it is unfortunate. For instance, if a worker or civil servant works for a government institution for thirty years and it takes three years for him or her to get his or her terminal benefits upon retirement, then we do not have a government or people in leadership.


Mr D. Mwila: This is serious business. It is a shame for a civil servant who served the Government for thirty years to sleep at Kamwala for him or her to get his or her benefits. We have been talking about these issues for more than seven years now. Therefore, we wanted to hear from the President on what he was going to do about these problems. If a teacher does not get his or her housing allowance on time, but gets it after six months, again, this shows that we do not have competent people in leadership.


Mr D Mwila: Mr Speaker, if a teacher cannot be given hardship allowance …

Professor Lungwangwa: On a point of order, Sir!

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious corrective point of order. Is the hon. Member of this House, who is supposed to be aware of the labour relations in this country, in order to misinform the nation that it takes teachers six months to get their housing allowance when this allowance is incorporated in their monthly salaries and basics? Is he in order to misinform the nation in such a manner?

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Chipili will benefit from that informative point of order.

May he continue.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, I want to educate the hon. Minister of Education …

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mwila: … that yes, the union and Government normally sit and come up with collective agreements – maybe he does not know. Once it is agreed, both parties must abide by that agreement.

Hon. PF Member: They do not know.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, he knows that upon retiring, an employee is supposed to get a cheque immediately. Hon. Liato will agree with me. That is what the law says. Now, if it is taking three years …

Professor Lungwangwa interjected.

Mr D. Mwila: I wanted to educate you.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!



Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, I want to talk about the roads. In 2007, I talked about the Mutanda/Chavuma Road. We have been here talking about this road and it is now seven years since they came into Government, but nothing has been done.

Hon. PF Member: New Deal!

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, it is unfortunate that it has taken this Government seven years to complete the works on Kasama/Luwingu Road. It makes one wonder if we have a government when we see Mansa/Nchelenge Road having pot-holes all over. Do we really have a government, I wonder?

Mr Speaker, what I am saying is that it will take this Government more than thirty years to complete the works on those roads which I have talked about. Hon. Siliya is aware that the roads in her constituency are in a bad state and I am happy. Even Hon. Malwa admitted that the Fertiliser Support Programme (FSP) policy must be reviewed and this came out in the newspapers. These are the kind of hon. Ministers we want. Let us talk about the problems which are being encountered by our people. It is unfortunate that one becomes an enemy when they talk about them.

Hon. PF Member: Why?

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, this Government, three or four months ago, bought graders and bulldozers from China. Ask them where that machinery is.


Mr D. Mwila: Some of the graders are parked in the bush without people to guard them. Hon. Kapembwa Simbao will agree with me.


Hon. PF Members: They are at Mpombo’s Farm.

Mr D. Mwila: Where is this machinery because we spent millions of dollars to buy it for it to work on our feeder roads in rural areas? Ask them. We want answers from you, Hon. Ndalamei …

Hon. PF Member: Especially, Ndalamei.

Mr D. Mwila: … because the Government spent a lot of money.

Mr Speaker, the reason I said that we do not have a government is because His Excellency the President, Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda, went to Luanshya and had a meeting with Luanshya Copper Mines management with its union. He was assured that no employee would be retrenched. After three or four days, a circular came out that the 21st, of January, 2009, which is today, would be the last shift and more than 1,500 workers were going to lose employment. You can see that even management has no respect and confidence in this Government. All the workers are gone and the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development has come out openly stating that Government will take over the running of Luanshya Copper Mines. The question is, do we have the capacity to take up such a responsibility? Are they going to run that mine on a temporal or permanent basis? This Government must come out openly to tell the nation which direction we are going. To me, if they have to take over these Mines, they must do so on a temporal basis as they wait for other investors. That is the position we want the hon. Minister to tell us.

Mr Speaker, no Government official has talked about the 2,000 workers who have lost employment at Prosec Amco Limited. No one has talked about it. This Government is aware that Mopani Copper Mines wants to retrench 400 workers and they are also aware that Konkola Copper Mines wants to retrench 600 workers. What are they doing about it?

Mr Mbulakulima: We are aware.

Mr D. Mwila: You are not aware.


Mr D. Mwila: Today, people are losing employment and you are smiling. We want the direction of which way we are going to be stated clearly. Both the hon. Minister of MoFNP and the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development have a document which came from the mining houses. They have proposed to Government on how they can be helped for them to survive because we have to protect our people’s jobs yet, both of them have kept quiet about it. I have the document here. Maybe, they have misplaced theirs.

Hon. PF Members: Show them.

Mr D. Mwila: This is the document (showing it).

Hon. Members: Lay it on the Table.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, this document was written by the Chamber of Mines on 27th November, 2008 and this Government has kept quiet. How do they survive? I will lay it on the Table.

Hon. PF Member: Hear, hear! What does it say?

Mr D. Mwila: It is a big document. Actually, they are proposing that because of the problems which they are going through, you know that the production cost is high and the price of copper is low, these companies want to be helped. That is why some of these hon. Ministers must be educated. I will lay this document on the Table.

Hon. PF Member: Hammer them.


Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, one hon. Minister by the name of Hon. Liato went to Kansanshi and he was denied entry into the mine.


Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, they have no confidence in this Government. That is why management denied him entry.


Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, a lot of workers in this country are members of the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) and we expect NAPSA management to invest in things which are viable and by that I mean, property.

 Mr Speaker, we have heard from the hon. Minister of Communications and Transport that Zambian Airways got US$2 million from NAPSA. Who gave them that authority?


Mr D. Mwila: Yes! Who gave them the authority to give out our money? It is people’s money!

Apart from that, the investment policy of NAPSA must be revised. You will find that they have been investing in things which are not viable, For example, Lotto. That is people’s money!

Mr Speaker, let me address the issue of the fight against corruption. Some of us watched the inauguration of President Rupiah Banda on television and we saw that this Government embraced all the plunderers. They were celebrating together and we were watching you.


Mr D. Mwila: I was left asking which direction we were going in the fight against corruption.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mwila: Which direction are we going?

Hon. Opposition Member: The plunderer’s direction!

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, I was very worried.

Mr Speaker, there were some contractors that were blacklisted by the Government, it has done nothing, but instead it has started clearing some of them like Sable Contractors which normally gives the MMD campaign money.

Hon. MMD Members: Aah!

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, Sable Contractors has done nothing on the Kasama/ Luwingu Road.

Hon. Opposition Member: Yes!

Mr D. Mwila: However, they have continued giving them a lot of money which is not good for this country. There is need for the Government to look at these contractors who have been blacklisted.

Mr Speaker, lastly, allow me to look at the Citizens Economic Empowerment Fund (CEEF). I remember Hon. Lubinda had opposed this proposal by the Government. He had suggested that the Youth and Women Fund be maintained because the money which the Government proposed for the CEEF would not be accessible to people and that is exactly what is happening. It is now one year and the Government has spent a lot of money through salaries yet, they have not given any one any single ngwee.

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

Mr D. Mwila: I challenge this Government to contradict this. This money will only go to people who are already rich and own companies. These are the people accessing money from the CEEF.

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

Mr D. Mwila: The Government, therefore, must re-consider this initiative if we have to move forward.

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

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Member: Go on!

Mr Speaker: I was about to say this debate was lopsided, but, now, I see the hon. Deputy Minister in the Office of His Honour the Vice-President.

The Deputy Minister in the Vice-President’s Office (Mr Sichilima): Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to debate at this point in time.

First and foremost, I want to echo the voice of those that have supported the speech by His Excellency the President as a brilliant one.

Mr Speaker, I was there when this country got its independence and I have been privileged to read some of the speeches from where we are coming from to where we are. The speech presented here by the President, His Excellency Rupiah Bwezani Banda, is one which needs to be highly commended.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichilima: Mr Speaker, the days of “do you know me?” or those of giving orders are no more. It is left upon us and the President touched on many areas. It has been translated into different languages, but, of course, I cannot blame some people who went to different schools.


Mr Sichilima: Mr Speaker, the speech is a guideline and what will follow are policies to support it. I know that some of my colleagues were expecting the President to come and say that, from tonight, 1kg of sugar is going to be so much or, indeed that; I am going to give so many ploughs to such and such a constituency. No! Things have changed. Let us change with time.

Mr Speaker, my job, this time, is to answer a few concerns raised. I must agree with some of the people that have debated in this House that the days of intelligent debaters with zeal are long gone. You will agree with me that there was a time when United Party for National Development (UPND), in that corner, put up very serious debate and offered advice to the Government, but not anymore.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muyanda: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Sichilima: Mr Speaker, people are debating with anger when the speech invited …

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Muntanga: I thought he was sick.

Hon. UPND Member: He is sick.

Mr Muyanda: Mr Speaker, I rarely rise on points of order, but I rise on one …


Mr Muyanda: … on that hon. Minister in the Office of the Vice President, who is unwell.


Mr Muyanda:  I would like to think that it is because he is unwell that he …

Mr Muntanga: He is unable to see us.


Mr Muyanda: Is he in order to state that the UPND no longer exists in this august House when, in fact, we are here? This is the most powerful political party which will rule in 2011 as it is well loaded with wisdom. I need your serious ruling, Sir.


Mr Speaker: My serious ruling is that the hon. Member for Sinazongwe has adequately debated his point of order.


Mr Speaker: May the hon. Deputy Minister continue.


Mr Sichilima: Mr Speaker, what we expect from our colleagues on your left is advice and not for them to debate with anger. This speech was well grafted and a master piece of historic dimensions.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Mr Sichilima: Mr Speaker, I will start with the hon. Member of Parliament for Chikankata’s debate. I would like to educate him a bit on the issue of  relief food that he tackled and the roots that one hon. Member of Parliament paraded for the nation to see.

Mr Speaker, first and foremost, this relief food has guidelines. For instance, 80 per cent should be food for work while only 20 per cent should be given to the vulnerable. I know that hon. Members of Parliament who are bringing these roots are upset, but I wish to correct the impression. They have gone to their constituencies and given the impression that relief food is supposed to be 100 per cent free, which is helping them to come back to this House. However, that is not the correct position.


Mr Sichilima: Mr Speaker, as you can hear from the hecklers, it has even made …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.


Mr Sichilima: Madam Speaker, may I take this opportunity to welcome you back to the House because many of my colleagues have not recognised your coming back since the festive season. Welcome back Madam Deputy Speaker.


Mr Sichilima: Madam Speaker, before business was suspended, I was trying to educate my colleagues on how they need to help the Government, especially, regarding the issue of relief food. Relief is a very simple term which means helping out. That is the reason we need to see people graduating. If we help people in a certain area this year, we should not be expected to take relief food to the same area the following year.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aha!

Mr Sichilima:  Let us move away from thinking that Government is going to be giving handouts perpetually. Madam Speaker, the point I am trying to raise is that, in some areas that I toured, it appeared like …

Mr Chizhyuka: On a point of order, Madam.

Madam Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Chizhyuka: Madam Speaker, is the hon. Deputy Minister in the Office of the Vice-President, who clearly shows lack of compassion, in order to debate having declared that he is insane or sick? We do not know the extent of that insanity or whether it is mental …


Mr Chizhyuka: … and if it is, is he justified to stand on the Floor of this House to start debating without compassion for the suffering Zambians who were affected by the floods. Is this incompassionate hon. Deputy Minister in order to continue debating having declared himself sick and insane? Madam Speaker, I seek your guidance.

Madam Speaker: Order! Probably, the hon. Deputy Minister can clarify the extent of the insanity because he introduced it himself.


Madam Speaker: However, the Chairperson would like to guide that because of the seriousness of the Motion on the Floor of the House, the Chairperson will allow certain kinds of points of order not to sneak in your debates because each one of you is supposed to have time to debate issues of compassion in your understanding of the other hon. Member’s debate. The Chair will allow, when there is need, for a point of order on procedure to be raised so that we come back to what we normally look for.

Hon. Members, the Chair will also allow points of order on factual misrepresentation. Otherwise, the House should move forward. Therefore, the Chair will entertain or allow those points of order so that we can give opportunity to other hon. Members to debate because we have very few days to debate this Motion. I am sure when we have all read the President’s Speech, we will want to debate.

The hon. Deputy Minister may continue and may wish to clarify the insanity that he mentioned, if he so wishes, because this will be referred to many times if he does not.

Mr Sichilima: Madam Speaker, I am sure the public out there will judge who has the mental illness …


Mr Sichilima: … between the one debating and the one who raised the point of order. For his own information, there is no history of mental-illness in my family. It is unfortunate if there is on his side. I was travelling on duty, attending to issues such as disaster, and it is just fatigue that I am referring to when I say I am unwell.  Allow me to continue talking about my factual findings.

Madam Speaker, I was talking about relief food. Let us not misunderstand the point I am trying to clarify. The Government is only supposed to move in areas where there is calamity such as floods. Floods will affect us, probably, for two seasons in terms of food. However, we have seen a situation where it rains overnight and a door of one house collapses being referred to as a disaster. We misunderstand what Disaster Management and Mitigation Unity (DMMU) is for. This House debated the guidelines on these disasters and I once mentioned that it is 80 and 20 per cent respectively.

Madam Speaker, there is also one area which I should take advantage of this opportunity and that is to commend the hon. Member of Parliament for Pemba who asked for two windows of relief in his constituency. That is food for people who could afford to buy and which the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) released. Then he had 80 per cent food meant for work. As I am talking, there is work going on. Of course, at the discretion of the committee in that constituency, 20 per cent went to the vulnerable.

 I am trying to urge my colleagues to move away from the dependency syndrome. If we are not careful, the children born in our constituencies will grow up believing that food can only come from the Government. Some hon. Members of Parliament, according to the news on the ground, have claimed that the food coming from DMMU is not from the Government, but from their individual sourcing.


Mr Sichilima: Madam Speaker, I can prove it.

Madam Speaker, I must also take advantage of this opportunity to correct the misunderstanding surrounding the issue of roots. Hon. Habeenzu, the hon. Member of Parliament for Chikankata, claimed that one hon. Minister agreed to the notion of people eating roots because they had energy. My actual words were that, and I can prove them because they were actually on camera, the rainy season comes with all sorts of wild fruits, including mushrooms. Each of those things like masuku or lusala, if not properly handled, can be poisonous. One sack that was used to carry some of these things that our brothers and sisters pick from the wilderness was an empty bag of fertiliser which was not cleaned properly. If people had to eat things from this sack, they can easily be poisoned.


Mr Sichilima: We have heard of people dying after eating mushrooms. I was in Nega Nega and Mamba areas when those roots were being shown on television.

I asked the people why they were selling those roots when people were dying after eating them and they said they had been eating those roots even before I was born and that was why they were still selling them. They also said that people from as far as Lusaka go there to buy them.


Mr Sichilima: Now, if these roots are poisonous, why are they being sold on the road side? If you go to Soweto, you will find similar…

Mr Muntanga: On a point of order, Madam Speaker.

Madam Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Muntanga: Madam Speaker, is the Deputy Minister, who is in charge of the DMMU and knows too well that any relief comes because of a disaster, in order to begin telling us that they cannot help if a disaster reoccurs in an area and further refer to that as perpetual assistance? Does he know that he is there to help the people affected by disasters?

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! The point of order shows that really, debate should come from both sides because some points of order hinge on interpretation. Therefore, it is very difficult for the Chair to really follow the point that where there is a reoccurrence of disaster, there should be no relief. It is a matter of the way we have understood the point. Therefore, I will allow the hon. Deputy Minister to continue with his debate and those with concerns will raise them in their debates.

Mr Sichilima: Madam Speaker, I have always cherished your guidance. It just confirms that the hon. Member of Parliament is acknowledging that my father, who was his friend, sent me to a fee paying school …


Mr Sichilima: … where they taught me that English was our second language.


Mr Sichilima: Madam Speaker, it would help if this Government worked with the DMMU in the districts in identifying the areas where help is needed and institute corrective measures. Let us not start waiting for disasters to happen for us to move in. If this Government discovered that these disasters have been happening every year and asked the people affected to be relocated, the same people on your left would refuse and allude to the fact of those people having lived in the given areas since time immemorial.

Madam, we are trying to avoid these disasters from happening every year because the need is supposed to come once in a year.  That is why even in our department, we have a resettlement scheme. When a disaster happens, this money is supposed to be used to provide clean water, roads and other social amenities that people would need as they have in other areas. I want to move away from that point and I hope my brothers and sisters have understood.

Madam Speaker, I want to correct the hon. Member of Parliament for Lubansenshi on his misunderstanding and I hope he is listening. The hon. Member misled this House when he said that people do not want to reconcile. He even went as far as accusing the PDCC, which convenes in the province where he is a Member of Parliament, of being selective. His allegation was that the members on your right, who come from Northern Province, were accommodated by the Government.

Madam, when a letter advising all hon. Members of Parliament for that area to find their own means of getting to Kasama, where  the meeting was being held, was written, the only things that were provided for were breakfast and lunch. Therefore, when we talk of a factual debate, it means that we should come to this House with facts because members of the public will misunderstand us. Let us be serious when we debate in this House. 

Madam Speaker, even the issue the hon. Member further raised on the President being advised to cancel the trip to Luwingu, Madam President…


Mr Sichilima: Sooner or later, Madam.


Mr Sichilima: Madam Speaker, in that case, the President is the one who advised the provincial leadership. What had changed for him to see? As we all know, not too long ago, he had campaigned in that area. We had a problem with a contractor, who was blacklisted and stopped work. Thus, when he asked what had changed in the area, of course, as a leader in the province, I may declare interest, we advised that nothing had changed because the contractor had just been cleared and re-contracted to work on the same road.

I can only assure the hon. Member that the Luwingu/Kasama Road is a major project in Northern Province that the President has taken keen interest in seeing completed. Admittedly, it has taken long.

Madam Speaker, as I speak, the contractor is on site …

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichilima: … and has done a lot more now. I passed through and 16 kilometres of the road had been spread with bitumen.

Madam, I hope that I can be protected from the hon. Member for Lubansenshi, who is not listening. I want to educate him, just in case he has not gone there. I passed through his constituency recently on my way to Kaunda, in Lupososhi. I met Hon. Mulonga in his constituency.
Madam Speaker, on Christmas Day, I went as far as Kaunda because those areas were reported to be flooded. I even know the areas where waters of some rivers were overflowing onto the bridges, and instead of him reporting this, I did. We need to be factual when reporting and commend this Government once more.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichilima: Madam Speaker, I would also like to talk about the reconciliation with our President, and indeed, the MMD. I do not see any problem with that. The President came out and said that he was the President for all. I will repeat," the President for all". Even in his inaugural speech, he reiterated this and he means business.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichilima:  He means well for this nation. However, the people who are being talked to about reconciliation have a serious problem in their own house.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichilima: Madam Speaker, some political party presidents who have never been presidents will say that this is the worst speech in their lifetime, when they have never read any presidential speech.


Mr Sichilima: Now I understand why …

Mr Chota: On a point of order, Madam.

Mr Sichilima: … NCC

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

Mr Chota: Madam Speaker, since I came to Parliament, I have never raised a point of order, but when an hon. Minister is telling a lie ...

Hon. MMD Members: Aah!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

That is unparliamentary. Can you put it properly and withdraw the word, ‘lie’.

Mr Chota: Madam Speaker, I withdraw the word. However, it is painful when an hon. Minister economises on facts.

Madam, is he in order to tell a lie …


Mr Chota: … to mislead this House by stating that the accommodation of the MMD members was not paid for by the provincial headquarters when that was done? I need your serious ruling.

Madam Deputy Speaker: The Chair will just remind the two hon. Members that are contradicting one another that this House needs the truth every time. Therefore, if one side is not sure of the facts, they should clearly state so because it may be found that, in fact, the House is being misled by either side. The Chair will just remind the hon. Members that truth is a requirement in this House. Otherwise, you should keep quiet over a matter.

The hon. Member may continue bearing in mind that challenge.

Mr Sichilima: Madam Speaker, Some hon. members have been left out because of not attending the NCC. That is why there is a proposal that there must be a Clause in the Constitution requiring President’s to have a minimum educational qualification so that they are able to understand some issues better.


Mr Sichilima: Madam Speaker, I come from Northern Province and when I speak, I do so, on the basis of facts. I slept at Muchinchi’s Guest House. I even have the receipt. The following day, I was in Mbala. On my way back, I passed through Luwingu. That is why I am up to date with what is going on there and able to inform the hon. Member of Parliament that Luwingu township roads are going to be done after Sable Transport completes its main contract. Therefore, the allegation that the provincial administration paid for me and others is not correct. The Provincial Minister is here. Therefore, he can clarify that, because I have the receipt from Muchinchi’s Guest House where I spent a night.

Madam Speaker, I was talking about reconciliation. Let us not come here to debate this matter when the churches and people from all walks of life in this country have called upon PF to reconcile with their sixteen hon. Members of Parliament, but they have been dodging.

Madam Speaker, they have been in conflict even with the hon. Mr Speaker. They wrote to him commanding him to declare the seats vacant. Shame!


Mr Sichilima: Madam Speaker, the issue of cholera in Lusaka was debated and some hon. Members even insulted one of the members of their party.

Madam, the Lusaka City Council receives a lot of money from service charges and rates. This council is controlled by PF cadres, the councillors.

Madam Speaker, as I speak, heaps of dirt are piling into mountains out there even at the markets. One wonders where they take the money. Instead, they go there and start politicking on small issues. I must commend the District Commissioner, Ministry of Local Government and Housing, the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing and my department for working tirelessly to release some funds to help out that council. Yet, as we speak, the dirt is still there. Surprisingly, you will see the same hon. Members of Parliament and their councillors politicking on every small issue. Some even own pubs where they sell shake-shake. If you went there, you would find piles of empty shake-shake packets and they cannot even dispose of them.

 Hon. Government Members: Shame!

Mr Sichilima: Madam Speaker, we need to move as a team and provide services that befit the Zambian people. Once in a while, people must commend the Government for whatever it is doing.

 I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Chimbaka (Bahati): Madam Speaker, it is a privilege for me to be afforded a chance to contribute to the Motion on the Speech by His Excellency, Rupiah Bwezani Banda, presented at the opening of the Third Session of the Tenth National Assembly.

Hon. PF Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Chimbaka: Madam Speaker, coming from the teaching profession and understanding the intricacies of composition and essay writing, …

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chimbaka: … even as I read the speech, I was able to comprehend certain issues...

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chimbaka: of course, with reference to the Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP) and the Vision 2030.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chimbaka: I noted, Madam Speaker, that the Speech has certain elements of objectivity.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chimbaka: There are several issues that I can dwell on, as at this particular time, I want to dissect, bisect and address issues pertaining …


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chimbaka: … to attitude.


Mr Chimbaka: The President alluded to the fact that he wanted to see a changed Zambian populous. Yes, change we can …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chimbaka: … change attitudinally, perceptionally, functionally …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chimbaka: … and politically.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chimbaka: Madam Speaker, in the new political emancipation and dispensation, gone are the days …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chimbaka: … when people spoke to address effects and left causes unaddressed. I, therefore, would like to urge this learned and gallant  House that now is the time, in the new political dispensation, as members of the Legislature, another wing of Government, apart from the Executive and the Judiciary, to collectively apply our wisdom to resolve the challenges confronting the Zambian populous.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chimbaka: After all, Madam Speaker, as we sit in this august House, we cease to behave like political cadres out there. This is because there are places where we can strategically and politically politick.

Madam Chairperson, as the Legislature, with the new dispensation and having analysed and listened to the speeches delivered by the late, former and first republican presidents, I have come out with one understanding and my school of thought is that, all the insurmountable challenges we have talked about are as a result of one cause; human resource. What do I mean?

A speech, in itself, Madam Speaker, is useless if there is no personnel to dissect comprehend, analyse it and then transform it into practical positive activities.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chimbaka: The Bible could be there, but if there is no religious priest to interpret it and deliver people to Heaven, it is as good as a newspaper thrown on the street.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chimbaka: Until humanity understands that it has a cardinal role to play in the emancipation of Zambia, regardless of political affiliation or religion, then shall this House begin to realise its fuller role of policy formulation and legislation. I want to talk like a fully-fledged legislator.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chimbaka: When I want to politick, I will do it at Chibombwe in Mansa, in my constituency where PF has offices. There I will politick. Just as when I go to church, oh yes, I still feel the glory of the lord.

Hon. Members: Hallelujah, Amen!


Mr Chimbaka: Madam Speaker, the issue I am talking about here, let me confer it first, and quote what Dr F. T. J. Chiluba said on 19th January, 2001, when he delivered his inaugural speech at the Official Opening of the Fifth Session of the Eighth National Assembly. This is the speech I have and I would like to quote from it.

Hon. Member: That was delivered by Levy Mwanawasa.

Mr Chimbaka: Thank you very much for your correction. President Mwanawasa came there after during the course of that year. I now want to quote:

“Mr Speaker, I would like to see more attention paid to local government, the process of strengthening the decentralised system of Government in development and good governance. The establishment of the district administration offices is expected to improve co-ordination of development activities at local levels. Further, in the local administration, the key responsibility of councillors ought to be improved upon.”

Madam Speaker, this is what I mean when I say the challenge facing the development or political and economic emancipation of the country, in my understanding, is a question of human resource. The President gave a directive principle here that what was to be addressed was nothing, but the ability and the capacity of the councillors. Why did he do this? It was because he understood that councillors were the policy formulators in Mansa Municipal Council and, therefore, the role of Chimbaka in that council was to formulate policy to address social issues of the residents of Luapula, Mansa, in particular, Bahati, so that they benefit from the provisions of the services of the council as a local Government. They must be well-capacitated because a councillor must be a person who is able to legislate through the formulation of by-laws. Hence, when President Sata says, ‘my councillors in PF have failed me’, he refers to this because he understands …


Mr Chimbaka: … and appreciates that somewhere, somehow, somebody has not played his or her role to the expected standard. That is why, again, this year, he wrote to all non-rebel hon. Members of Parliament to pull up their socks because they are doing very little.


Mr Chimbaka: Madam Speaker, this is because the president wants to inject life in the hon. Members of Parliament. Instead of talking to the gallery, they should appreciate that in the new emancipation and political dispensation, the collective wisdom of all legislators requires that they give quality directives to approve the Budget and appropriate it. After all, there is no other country for the MMD, PF and UPND. All there is Zambia, for the Zambians, Amen!


Mr Chimbaka: Madam Speaker, I am a Member of PF. I would like to quote again on local Government because that is where my problem is and that is where people misunderstood me yesterday when I spoke about how governors, district administrators and where we, as PF, have failed.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chimbaka: When people misunderstood me, what I meant there was that the President …


Mr Chimbaka: … Sata had given directives. If we do not follow those directives and transform them from paper directives into a practical exercise, we are failing.

Madam Speaker, I know you understand me very well. I am a teacher. I have not come from running tuntemba business. Listen.


Mr Chimbaka: What I used to do as a teacher…

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Chimbaka: … and everybody will agree with me, and I challenge anybody to disagree with me if I am wrong. As the head of an institution, you need to have an annual scheme of work. Thereafter, a weekly forecast and everyday a teacher has to make a lesson note…

Mr Chimbaka: … before he/she teaches. There is an objective, aim and outcome and the teacher is allowed to teach. When I talk, I know that my objective is that we have to deliver to the people of Zambia, whether PF or MMD. The fact is that, if we do not do this, we are doomed.

Madam Speaker, for example, on local governance, let me talk about Lusaka. I have lived in Lusaka longer than people may believe. In 1967, I lived in Chawama and Makeni. There was no Kalingalinga. There were farmers in that area.  During the rainy season, we would cross over water to go to Libala, to see Mutembo Nchito’s father, Joshua Nchito, who is my uncle. He used to live there and used to run a grocery called ‘Kanshimba Grocery’. Those who have lived in Lusaka will agree with me. There were villages, but people still lived there.


Mr Chimbaka: The point I am driving at is that we all knew, and people have said it on the Floor of this House, that Chawama Compound was an illegal settlement. Everybody knows that Kanyama Compound is also an illegal settlement. However, there has never been a resolution by the council stating that they agree that the area is not fit for human habitation because the technocrats had said that the water levels are too low and the land too rocky. Nobody has ever qualified why the settlements should not be there. All they have said is that they are illegal settlements. Instead of coming up with a holistic approach, we want to provide a political solution to a residential problem. That is wrong.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chimbaka: In the new dispensation, a political problem needs a political solution, but a developmental problem requires a vigorous and holistic developmental approach. If I were appointed hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing today, all I would do is tell the councillors to sit down and resolve this matter. Thereafter, we would go to the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning. Yes, we have the right to do that and we can do it. Thereafter, we would go to the people and tell them that this is what the ideologists have said and this is what the Environmental Council of Zambia (ECZ) has decided to do.

Madam Speaker, we would go to our people and ask them to help us find a solution to the problem. We would go to the councillors and ask them to find arable land for the people of Mahopo. We would go to the planners and ask them to connect water and electricity to the area and build markets and schools. Thereafter, we would go to our people and ask them if they were ready to move. What is wrong with that? Does that require money? Does that require politicking? When I say something, I will have thought it over for a long time. I do not speak for the sake of speaking nor do I speak to the gallery. I mean what I say.

Therefore, Madam Speaker, I never meant …

Mr Muntanga: On a point of order, Madam Speaker.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Have you finished?

Mr Chimbaka: No, Madam.

Madam Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Muntanga: Madam Speaker, is the hon. Member speaking in order to allege that Kanyama was an illegal settlement, and yet, New Kanyama was a planned settlement with roads?

Hon. Members: New Kanyama, yes.

Mr Muntanga: Afterwards, people became disorderly and began to build houses on top of drainage systems. Is he in order to allege that it was not a planned settlement when it was?


Madam Deputy Speaker: The point of order may need verification. However, the hon. Member that raised the point of order has mentioned that there are two types of Kanyama. Therefore, the Chair wishes to guide the hon. Member debating if, indeed, there are two Kanyamas, to take into consideration which one is legal and which is not.

The hon. Member may continue.

Mr Chimbaka: Madam Speaker, I thank you for your guidance. I want to quote the late learned President, Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, on local governance:

“ … to show commitment to this understanding, I wish to inform the hon. Members that following the adoption of a National Decentralisation Policy, a decentralisation secretariat has now been established and Cabinet Office is to spearhead the implementation of the policy.”

I do not understand this and somebody must educate me in a divergent school of thought. Does policy implement itself or does it require an agent, who is a human resource? Therefore, it is a human resource issue to me. I can quote the late learned President, Dr Levy Mwanawasa, SC, on local governance again:

“Government is concerned about the lack of rural and urban development…”

Mr Mwenya: On a point of order, Madam.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwenya: Madam Speaker, I rise on a very important point of order and request your serious guidance on this matter. Is the hon. Member, who is speaking so madly, …


Mr Mwenya: … in order to debate the wrong speech by the late President when we have a speech on the Floor? I need your serious guidance because the hon. Member has not attempted to comment on whatever is contained in the current President’s speech.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Let us remember to use acceptable parliamentary terms. The Chair wishes to guide hon. Members that only the Chair can stop a debate that seems to be off track. Hon. Members are not the judges over the issues that one hon. Member chooses to rise. Indeed, we have a guideline which is the speech. However, the speech touches many issues.

The hon. Member may continue.

Mr Chimbaka: Madam Speaker, I am above that. Anyway, that is actually the essence of the emancipation of our problems. Cholera and poverty are human creations. Until leaders in this country begin to realise that they have an obligation to serve Zambians and not their agendas, we shall never change. Hence, the need for change. Yes, we can. Yes, we shall and yes, we will.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani (Mapatizya): Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to make a modest contribution to the debate on the Floor. I have been enticed to stand because of only one paragraph on page 9 of the speech when the President said:

“In my inaugural address last November, I promised the people of Zambia that the main priority of my Government will be to fight poverty.”

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!



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

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1916 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 22nd January, 2009.



17. Mrs M Musokotwane (Katombola) asked the Minister of Works and Supply:

a) what measures the Government had taken to reduce the dust on the Zimba-Livingstone road diversion; and

b) whether the people living along the above road would be compensated since they inhaled huge amounts of dust twenty-four hours each day, which was detrimental to their health.


The Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Mulongoti): Mr Speaker, the Ministry through the Road Development Agency (RDA) has asked the contractor on Zimba- Livingstone road to water diversion three times a day during the dry season.

Mr Speaker, the contract for this road has no provision for compensation. It should be noted that, so far, there have been no claims for compensation due to inhaling dust.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.