Debates - Tuesday, 22nd September, 2009

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Tuesday, 22nd September, 2009

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, in the absence of His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice, who is attending to other national duties, Hon. Dr Kalombo T. Mwansa, MP, Minister of Defence, will act as Leader of Government Business in the House from Tuesday, 22nd September to Friday, 2nd October, 2009.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: In accordance with the provisions of Standing Order No. 150, the following Hon. Members shall constitute the Standing Orders Committee for the Fourth Session of the Tenth National Assembly:

(i) The Hon. Mr Speaker (Chairperson);
(ii) The Hon. G. Kunda, MP, the Vice-President and Minister of Justice; 
(iii) The Hon. S. Musokotwane, MP, Minister of Finance and National Planning;
(iv) The Hon. V. J. Mwaanga, MP, Chief Whip;
(v) The Hon. H. I. Mwanza, MP;
(vi) The Hon. E. M. Imbwae, MP;
(vii) The Hon. D Matongo, MP; and 
(viii) The Hon. A. C. K. Mwamba, MP.

I thank you.


The Minister of Defence (Dr Mwansa): Mr Speaker, I rise to give the House some idea of the business it will consider this week.

Sir, as indicated on the Order Paper, the Business of the House, today, will be restricted to the Motion of Thanks to His Excellency the President’s Address, which he delivered to this House, on Friday, 18th September, 2009.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, 23rd September, 2009, the Business of the House will start with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by consideration of Private Member’s Motions, if there will be any. The House will then continue with the debate on the Motion of Thanks to His Excellency the President’s Address.

Mr Speaker, on Thursday, 24th September, 2009, the Business of the House will commence with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by debate on the Motion of Thanks to His Excellency the President’s Address.

Sir, on Friday, 25th September, 2009, the Business of the House will begin with questions, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will continue with the debate on the Motion of Thanks to His Excellency the President’s Address.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.




Mr Mwapela (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the thanks of this Assembly be recorded for the exposition of public policy contained in His Excellency the President’s Address.

Mr Speaker: Is the motion seconded?

Ms Mwape (Mufulira): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the motion.

Mr Mwapela: Sir, let me begin by thanking you for according me the honour and privilege to move the Motion of Thanks to the speech by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda, on the occasion of the official opening of the Fourth Session of the Tenth National Assembly on Friday, 18th September, 2009.

Mr Speaker, the President deserves commendation for delivering an all-encompassing and inspiring speech, which, I feel, was well researched and articulated.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwapela: Mr Speaker, in his speech, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia outlined the crisis the country is going through as well as the policy responses the Government is implementing to counter the negative effects of the crisis.

The President’s Speech covered many sectors of our economy. However, in my discussion, I will not necessarily touch on all the issues His Excellency Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda raised, but will rather highlight only the salient features.

Sir, regarding Parliamentary affairs, I note that the President not only recognised the efficient and impartial manner in which you have discharged your duties, but  also went further to extend his congratulations to the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff on the hard work and excellent services they rendered to the House. I have no doubt, Sir, that you shall continue to uphold the high standards you have set in the institution. 

Mr Speaker, similarly, His Excellency the President outlined the successes made as a result of the on-going Parliamentary Reforms which are intended to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the operations of Parliament and make it more representative and accessible. Some of the notable achievements are the expansion of Parliament Radio coverage to Kasama, Mansa, Solwezi and the construction of constituency offices in Rufunsa, Mwembeshi and Chasefu. Suffice to note that more areas will be covered by the radio and that construction of constituency offices is an on-going project.

Mr Speaker, with regard to Bills tabled in the House, His Excellency, Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda, reminded the hon. Members that among the Bills that the House passed in the last session, was the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill, 2009 which gave effect to the realignment of the Budget Cycle. The passage of the Budget before the financial year starts will certainly give the Government ample time to execute developmental projects.

Mr Speaker, this is no mean achievement and the Government deserves to be congratulated by all hon. Members of this august House, …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwapela: …especially those from the Opposition, who are quick to point at Government’s shortcomings with regard to the Budget execution process.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwapela: Mr Speaker, with regard to Governance, His Excellency the President reiterated his Government’s commitment to the fight against corruption. To this effect, the President informed the House that the Government recently launched the Anti-Corruption Policy, whose aim is to address several challenges at the institutional, social and legal levels. Subsequently, various measures to strengthen the fight against corruption were instituted. These included the establishment of a Frauds Unit under the strengthened Anti-Corruption Commission and an independent Financial Intelligence Unit to monitor suspicious financial transactions. Those who doubt the President’s commitment against the fight against corruption should take these measures seriously, as the battle is real and those who are found wanting, will be taken to task.

Sir, in the same vein, let me congratulate His Excellency the President and the Government of the Republic of Zambia on successfully inaugurating the National Governing Council of the African Peer Review Mechanism which will, no doubt, contribute to the enhancement of democracy and good governance.

Mr Speaker, I and agree with the President that while the National Constitutional Conference (NCC) has made progress, the slow pace at which the deliberations are going is rather worrying. I can only urge all the stakeholders to expedite the deliberations so that all the outstanding work is completed within the remaining timeframe.

Sir, I would like to echo the President’s sentiments that 2009 has been a very difficult year, mainly as a result of the current global economic recession that has negatively affected the key sectors of our economy such as mining, manufacturing and tourism. However, our economy is likely to record a positive growth due to the sound socio-economic policies which the Government is pursuing under the able leadership of His Excellency the President, Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda. Notable exceptional performances in the economy have been recorded in the financial sector where no bank has collapsed, contrary to experiences in other countries and in the area of debt management whose indicators show that Zambia’s debt is sustainable despite the economic crunch.

I therefore, commend this Government, in particular, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning and other stakeholders who have contributed to this success.

Mr Speaker, with regard to the agriculture sector, allow me to congratulate our farmers who managed to produce enough food both for domestic consumption and export despite the adverse conditions experienced  in the last farming season. It is, therefore, fair to state that farmers should benefit from their hard work. It is against this background that His Excellency the President directed the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) to intensify crop marketing. I am pleased to note that FRA has increased the number of satellite deposits compared to last year, especially in rural areas, from which farmers can sell their crops.

Mr Speaker, all well-meaning Zambians should support the President’s directive to the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing to stop levies being charged by councils on produce transported across district boundaries, as this disadvantages farmers who already have difficulties in accessing alternative markets.

Furthermore, Mr Speaker, this Government has worked tirelessly by putting on board inputs from other stakeholders to revise the Fertiliser Support Programme (FSP). The revised programme will not only benefit more small scale farmers but also the distribution and monitoring mechanism will be streamlined to target principal beneficiaries.

Similarly, Mr Speaker, I wish to commend the President for creating the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries. I also wish to commend all the Hon. Members of Parliament who supported the Bill that led to the creation of this ministry. This will not only enhance food security but also streamline disease control programmes.

Mr Speaker, the President also outlined the contributions the mining sector has continued to make to this country despite the operational problems facing the mines. The President referred to the positive developments in the sector such as the resumption of operations at Luanshya Copper Mines and Maamba Collieries. This is likely to reverse the downward trend which was recorded in the year 2008 to 2009 in this sector.

His Excellency the President also informed the House that the Government has advertised blocs in the Western, North-Western and Eastern provinces for oil and gas exploration, with intentions of extending explorations to other parts of the country. All these efforts are an indication that the Government is committed to diversifying the economy.

Sir, the Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources sector has been extensively and passionately debated in this House due to its potential to immensely contribute to the development of this country. This potential can only be realised with the provision of good infrastructure and a sustainable marketing strategy. It is, therefore, gratifying that His Excellency, Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda, informed this august House that the Government had already contracted out the construction of the Mbala-Kasaba Bay Road and the Lufubu River Bridge, including the rehabilitation and extension of the Kasaba Bay Airport runway. However, it is imperative that all major roads, communication facilities and services in tourist areas are given the attention they deserve.

Mr Speaker, the Government is aware that development programmes that the Government is implementing have the potential of increasing environmental degradation. In this regard, His Excellency the President stated that the Government, this year, launched the National Policy on Environment as a framework to ensure that socio-economic development programmes are implemented without compromising the quality of the environment.

Sir, other complimentary efforts that the Government is undertaking is the revision of the forest legislation with the view to strengthening the legal framework in which the forest sector operates.

Mr Speaker, the President further announced to this House that he had constituted a team of eminent persons to spearhead a tree planting programme under the able leadership of the First Republican President, Dr Kenneth Kaunda, and that the Government would bring before this House the new Wildlife Bill for consideration in order to conserve wildlife as a resource for tourism.

Mr Speaker, I urge all hon. Members to put aside their political affiliations and support this Bill when it comes to Parliament.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwapela: It is a well-intended Bill aimed at empowering all Zambians and I congratulate our President on this well-timed initiative.

Mr Speaker, I concur with the President for his observation that there are disparities in the distribution of health facilities between the rural and urban areas in which the latter is favoured. The Government is addressing this disparity through investing in infrastructure development and the provision of medical equipment countrywide, in addition to increased budgetary allocations to this sector.

Sir, I wish to state that I have followed, with a keen interest, the positive developments in the health sector. Reading through the Zambia Demographic Health Survey Report of 2007, I am delighted to report that Zambia has scored tremendous progress in the health sector as evidenced by the improvement in some health indicators.

Allow me, Sir, to outline a few key performance indicators in the health sector. The infant mortality rate has decreased from 95 per cent in 2001/2002 to 74 per cent in 2007. The under-five mortality rate has also decreased from 168 deaths per 1,000 live births recorded in 2001/2002 to 110 in 2007. Similarly, the maternity mortality rate has declined from 729 per 1,000 live births in 2001/2002 to 591 in 2007.

Mr Speaker, another improvement, though not significant is the HIV prevalence rate which fell from about 16 per cent in 2001/2002 to about 14 per cent in 2007. This achievement, as the President observed in his speech, has been supplemented by the provision of free Anti-Retroviral (ARV) treatment. In addition, Zambia has recorded a substantial decline in the number of malaria cases.

Mr Speaker, allow me, therefore, at this juncture, to encourage my fellow Parliamentarians to research thoroughly and be well-informed on issues pertaining to policy and Government interventions across all sectors for them to be more relevant to this House.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwapela: Mr Speaker, on education, the President clearly stated the efforts his Government is making to ensure the attainment of universal basic education and improve the quality of and access to education. Some of the measures include the recruitment of teachers and construction of new schools. Another measure has been the opening up of the education sector to allow other players to supplement the Government’s efforts. This move is welcome, but as the President observed, learners must be protected by ensuring that providers of education meet the basic standards that have been set.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwapela: Mr Speaker, I would like to conclude by thanking the Zambian people for their resilience in the midst of the global economic crunch and for the peace we have continued to enjoy. I would also like to thank our co-operating partners for their support in helping our country overcome its challenges.

Finally, Mr Speaker, His Excellency the President, Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda, in his speech last Friday, outlined the Government’s commitment to moving this country forward. I, therefore, urge all hon. Members to work together in trying to resolve the problems that the people of Zambia are facing. This is the time to put politics aside because the people want to see progress.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Does the seconder wish to speak now or later?

Ms Mwape (Mufulira): Now, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker, I want to thank you most sincerely for giving me this rare opportunity to second the Motion of Thanks for the exposition of public policy contained in His Excellency, the President’s Speech during the official opening of the Fourth Session of the Tenth National Assembly on Friday, 18th September, 2009.

Mr Speaker, may I also thank the President of the Republic of Zambia, His Excellency, Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda, for the speech which raised a number of policy issues which will provide the basis for debate in the House for the next three weeks.

Mr Speaker, the President’s Address is a very important one, as it accords the House the privilege and opportunity to critique, admonish or encourage the Government, where need arises, on behalf of the Zambians.

Mr Speaker, I also wish to thank the mover of the motion, who has ably done so.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Question!

Ms Mwape: Mr Speaker, a parent who is always praising a child at every turn of life, does not help the child, but spoils the child, as he starts believing that he or she is infallible. On the other hand, a parent who is constantly castigating a child does not correct the child, but erodes the child’s self-esteem and confidence. A balance between the two is what is best.

Mr Speaker, I would be failing in my duty of seconding this motion if I did not critique and encourage this Government, but only concentrated on one thing.

Mr Speaker, let me start by agreeing with the President that, indeed, 2010 will be a historical year in which the implementation of the budget will commence on 1st January. However, it is my considered view that while starting the implementation of the budget at the beginning of the year is good, the change will be futile if funds are not released on time by the Treasury.

Mr Speaker, budget ceilings on Government departments and ministries are another source of concern. While controls are good, extremes do not help, as we always end up with a huge supplementary budget which Parliament approves after expenditure has already incurred. This is not helpful for oversight purposes. One good budget from the onset could save the day.

Mr Speaker, Zambia has been badly affected by the global economic crisis because of its production and export structure which is mainly dominated by copper mining. The President stated that the impact of the global economic crisis was mitigated by the measures that the Government put in place. Other than the fiscal policy, I am not too sure whether it is the Government’s measures that helped or just the knock-on-effects from developed countries such as the United States of America, where the crush started, which is now coming out of the recession. Furthermore, the President stated that no bank in Zambia collapsed as a result of the global economic crisis as did banks in other countries, particularly in developed countries. While indeed, the Bank of Zambia did a perfect job in supervising banks. Zambian commercial banks survive not only because of this, but because of their high lending rates by …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mwape: … which meant that the issue of credit did not come in, as credit is inaccessible to most Zambians.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mwape: Mr Speaker, an example of this is the credit card which is an unknown phenomenon to most Zambians. Some banks in the west went under because of their liberal lending policies. What we need in Zambia is a balance between these extremes so that the indigenous people can have access to credit and be able to take part in driving the economy through capital investments.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mwape: Mr Speaker, the current global economic crisis has provided us, as a country, the opportunity to rethink our production and export structure. This is because depending on one export commodity has condemned most African economies, including Zambia, to low economic growth as well as vulnerability to external shocks emanating from the volatility of external commodity markets, exchange rates, fluctuations, high interest rates and protectionism or lack of it.

Mr Speaker, diversification and strengthening of the agriculture sector may be the best option. Internationally, there are examples of countries that Zambia can learn from which have used their natural wealth to secure long-lasting industrial development and improvement in the socio-economic standards for their people. 

Mr Speaker, Mauritius is a good example. The country is surrounded by water with no single mineral resource coupled with a very limited land resource, but has done very well in their sugar industry. Their Government’s deliberate policy to offer compulsory education to its citizenry has been a great boost to the economy.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mwape: Mr Speaker, it is encouraging to note that the mining sector has begun to recover from the effects of the global economic crisis. According to the President, this recovery is attributed to the policies introduced by the Government in the 2009 National Budget and the rise in copper prices. I, hereby, wish to mention that whilst I appreciate the fact that we are still able to raise funds to service our budget, we have lost out on the windfall taxes …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 Ms Mwape: … which are triggered by the price of minerals.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mwape: This is worsened by the withdrawal of donor support due to the mismanagement of funds at the Ministry of Health.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mwape: We do not know in which other places funds are being mismanaged. It is only at the Ministry of Health where there was some exposure.

Mr Speaker, it is unfortunate that this exposure did not come about as a result of our audit system, but some disgruntled girlfriends.


Ms Mwape: This means that we need to strengthen our own control mechanisms.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mwape: I urge this Government to reconsider this option – I mean the windfall tax regime.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mwape: Sir, it is my hope that the Multi-Facility Economic Zones (MFEZ) that are being constructed in Chambishi and Lusaka will be user friendly to the indigenous Zambians, that they will be closely linked to the already existing firms and that they will not exist as islands without any connection to local enterprises.

In light of the above, I wish to urge the Citizens’ Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) to give special consideration to Zambians involved in the MFEZ so that they can partner with foreign investors and form clusters.

Mr Speaker, it is also important to speed up the decentralisation of the activities of the CEEC so that the people can benefit from the technical support in terms of the formulation of business proposals for them to access the funds. This will enhance the small and medium-size enterprises.

Mr Speaker, on regional trade, the President stated that Zambia will participate in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Customs Union which will provide a larger market for Zambian goods and services.  This is good for a country that is not very industrialised and reproducing at a large scale because the local market is saturated with local products, even when you are not producing at a large scale.  The President was talking about goods and services when actually our manufacturing industry is dead.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mwape: I fear that Zambia will only be turned into a market for other countries’ products. I want to urge the Government, through the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, to put in place deliberate policies that will bring back companies that have left the country and also resuscitate the dead ones. I am talking about companies such as Colgate Palmolive, Dunlop, Johnson and Johnson, Furncoz and many others too numerous to mention.

As for exporting human resources, we cannot afford this anymore if we are going to grow and sustain our economy.

Mr Speaker, the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) is a good programme, but the question is: what are we offering our counterparts? Is it sustainable? It is actually commendable that the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry did not hurriedly sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union because we would be in a worse situation than we are now.

Mr Speaker, regarding the Fertiliser Support Programme (FSP), I am glad to note the positive steps the Government has taken to improve the programme which, includes the implementation of the programme through camp agricultural committees, provision of support services to programme beneficiaries and the early distribution of inputs. I also welcome the scrapping of crop levies that were imposed by councils. I hope this will help in the marketing of farm produce across districts.

I am, however, saddened by the decision to reduce the size of food security packs from the current eight bags of fertiliser and twenty kilogrammes of maize seed to four bags of fertiliser and ten kilogrammes of seed respectively. This decision will not really help the peasant farmers to move out of poverty.

Mr Speaker, I was privileged to be a member of your Committee on Labour and Economic Affairs that visited Chieftainess Chiawa and the surrounding areas to assess the implementation of the FSPP. I saw how the programme is benefiting the underprivileged people. Therefore, reducing the size of the packs will be very retrogressive. I would rather the control mechanisms were strengthened, instead of punishing the culprits along with the innocent. It is unfortunate that some quarters of our communities abused the facility.

Sir, I welcome the President’s directive that our councils should start fulfilling their statutory obligations as planning authorities. Statutory obligations include the maintenance of road infrastructure. Currently, the councils only go as far as planning while the grading, gravelling and tarring of the roads is left to the Road Development Agency (RDA). Introducing a system were the local authorities grade and tar the roads will enhance control and ownership.

Mr Speaker, as a result of no proper road network, drainage, water and sanitation system in most areas, political cadres find it easy to take control of such land, as the councils offer nothing else other than demarcating the land. How much the local authorities invest will determine the amount of power and control over a particular piece of land. Some of the funds for investing in land can be raised from service charges among other sources.

Mr Speaker, I would like the Government to critically look at the cost of construction in the country. I am particularly concerned about the price of cement because it is not helping the small-scale constructors. Whilst the mines are able to continue with their businesses because of good Government incentives, the small-scale constructors are not being assisted at all. 

Mr Speaker, I would like to commend the President for his commitment to the principle of affirmative action in order to improve women’s participation in decision-making. Given the current small proportion of women in Parliament, which stands at about 14 per cent, it is disappointing to note that only one woman was nominated to replace two that were removed. It would have been fine if we had a 50-50 situation.

Hon. Male Members: Aah!


Ms Mwape: Yes, Mr Speaker.

Sir, I would like to commend the Government for increasing the budgetary allocation to the health sector. However, strict control measures should be put in place to prevent pilferage and abuse.

Mr Speaker, let me also thank the Government for its continued commitment to the fight against HIV and AIDS. It is encouraging to note that it has scaled up the provision of Anti-Retroviral drugs (ARVs) to 64 per cent of the total number of people in need of such drugs. I hope that we will quickly get to 100 per cent, saving the lives of our citizens, who will, in turn, contribute to productivity and, in turn, achieve economic growth for our country.

Mr Chimbaka: Hear, hear!

Ms Mwape: Sir, I am happy to note that the President made mention of the mobile health services provided by the Government such as the Zambia Flying Doctors Service, dental and eye clinics, counselling and testing clinics and Anti-Retroviral Therapy clinics. However, he did not mention the new state-of-the-art mobile hospitals, probably, because of the politics that surrounded them.


Ms Mwape: I wish to mention, here, that these hospitals, in themselves, are not bad, but the related challenges of maintaining them in a country like ours, which has poor road infrastructure, particularly in the rural areas, where these are most needed, is a matter of concern. I am urging this Government to urgently work on the poor rural road infrastructure before these vehicles are distributed, especially now that the earth-moving machinery is available. It is apparent that these vehicles will not go away. So we might as well make the most of them under the circumstances or otherwise improve the circumstances. Permanent infrastructure remains the best option while strengthening the already existing mobile services such as the Zambia Flying Doctors Service.

In the education sector, the Government should be commended for the progress it has recorded so far in the construction of classroom blocks. However, this should be matched with building corresponding teachers’ houses or accommodation facilities. The 280 houses under construction, countrywide, are a drop in the ocean.

Sir, allow me to talk about the Electoral Reforms. As you may be aware, from the 1996 General Elections to the recent Presidential By-elections that took place last year, all the Presidential election results have been disputed by the Opposition. It is important for this Government, through the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ), to do everything possible to build voter confidence among all the stakeholders so that Zambia continues to enjoy the precious peace that exists in the land. Continuous voter registration is a good exercise and should be encouraged.

Mr Speaker, I will end my speech on a sad note. I want to remind the House that this Tenth National Assembly has, through death, been robbed of five of its gallant Members, namely Hon. Henry Mtonga, MP; Hon. Dr Chosani Njobvu, MP; Hon. Albert Kanyanyamina, MP; Hon. Hamid Hamir, MP; and Hon. Benny Tetamashimba, MP. May the souls of these gallant men rest in peace. Unfortunate as it may be, it reminds us of our mortality and the need to make the most of our lives as individuals as well as representatives of the people.

On the Floor of this House, some people have boasted about 2011 and have not seen the light of it. We must be mindful of how we relate to one another, whether in the Opposition or otherwise. We must be mindful of how we relate to our constituencies because life is not in our hands.

Mr Speaker, with these few words, I beg to second the motion.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear! Continue!

Mr Muyanda (Sinazongwe): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you for giving me an opportunity to be one of the first debaters, …

Mrs Musokotwane: Are you sure you are the first?

Mr Muyanda: Yes, I am the first from the backbench and I thank you, Sir, for this opportunity.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! Hammer!

Mr Muyanda: Mr Speaker, I would be failing in my duties, as Member of Parliament for Sinazongwe, not to point out that the speech by His Excellency the President was flat.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mwila: Bwekeshapo!

Mr Muyanda: Sir, it was flat in the sense that I represent the people of Sinazongwe …

Mr Muntanga: Yes, it was flat!

Mr Muyanda: … where over 500 men and women have not been paid by Maamba Collieries for the past five months. It is not four months but five months.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: The privatisation exercise by this Government started in 1991.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! Hammer, Muyanda!

Mr Muyanda: In 1991, this Government undertook the responsibility of privatising parastatal companies. However, why has it not privatised Maamba Collieries? We need to know. Tell us!

Mr Speaker, the President talked about other issues instead of agonising over the unpaid employees of Maamba Collieries.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: Sir, in such a scenario, I wish to point out that a wise-thinking Member of Parliament would not commend the President on his speech but would ask him to do something about it.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: He would say, “Pay my people”.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: I am a legitimate and sworn-in Member of Parliament for Sinazongwe and would wish to pose a serious question to the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development who, unfortunately, is not in the House. What has happened to the US$5 million which the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines-Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH) released for the rehabilitation of Maamba Collieries?

Mrs Musokotwane: Where is the money?

Mr Muyanda: The money has disappeared into thin air.

Mr Muntanga: As usual!

Hon. Government Members interjected.

Mr Muyanda: Yes, it has disappeared. Where is the money? Why has the contractor, Oriental Quarries, not been paid? Everything has come to a stand still because somebody is ‘kapokoing’ money for Maamba Collieries.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear! Kapoko! Kapoko!


Mr Speaker: Order!

That word is not known in the English Language.


Mr Speaker: Can you use another word which the rest of the Members can understand?

Mr Muyanda: Sir, I withdraw the word “kapokoing” and substitute it with the word “defrauding” the Government of the Republic of Zambia.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: US$5 million.

Mrs Musokotwane: Amutwambile!

Mr Muyanda: Mining is a hard job and is not like any pen-pushing business. It is a very demanding job. Therefore, once a miner has concluded his job, he ought to be paid. Why does this Government not want to privatise Maamba Collieries? May we know why? Is it not a question of tribalism since it is in the Southern Province?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: After all, southerners voted for this Government.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: Why not reward them by opening the mine?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: Give the mine to a legitimate contractor, an absolute buyer and not contracting business. There are a lot of buyers on the international market who are clean. Mind you, we are also in contact with the international society. We know that they have been bidding to buy Maamba Collieries, but you have deliberately been playing hide and seek in order to facilitate the blue-eyed people to take over that mine.

From 1991 to date, the whole mine has ground to a halt, and yet this country has a critical shortage of coal.

Mrs Musokotwane: Bulela!

Mr Muyanda: You have allowed the consumers of coal to import coal from Hwange, generating employment in Zimbabwe, but you do not want to create employment in Zambia. Where is your justification in improving your own industries?

Mrs Musokotwane: None!

Mr Muyanda: Tell us! It is basic common sense. The Government has come to a stand still. No wonder the pact is very active.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: It is very active to see to it that justice in Zambia’s industries is there. There is no good reason for not privatising Maamba Collieries. Why have you brought paramilitary officers to Maamba? This is because you want to silence the poor unpaid mine workers at Maamba Mine. What are the paramilitary police officers doing there?

Sir, I am appealing to the Government, through you, to withdraw the paramilitary police officers who are harassing, slapping and beating innocent people for complaining about unpaid wages for the past five months, and yet they legitimately worked for it. That should not be the case in this era and time.

Mr Muntanga: Bauze!


Mr Muyanda: Mr Speaker, the three past Presidents promised this nation that they would privatise Maamba Collieries, but why are you developing cold feet? One hon. Minister comes and says they will do it. Another hon. Minister comes and says they are about to do it, or it is now in the process. There was a contractor called Benicon who walked away with over US $50 million. He walked into Maamba Collieries with nothing. He did not even have a shovel to mine that coal. He used the equipment he found at Maamba to dig the coal and remitted the money he raised to South Africa. Those are the investors you embrace. This gentleman walked away with millions. This Government promised to prosecute the contractor, but to date, nothing has happened.

Mrs Musokotwane: Shame!

Mr Muyanda: Mr Speaker, what type of governance is this? We are talking of principles of good governance, and not individualising issues here. There is no good governance at all. There is no way I can say the President said good things for this country. No, Sir.



Mr Muyanda: Mr Speaker, hold on. I only raise points and do not waffle about and so listen very carefully.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: You should listen very carefully because we are the seniors in this august House.


Mr Muyanda: Mr Speaker, 52,000 metric tonnes of coal has been hauled out of that pit and, thereafter, everything has come to a stand still. Oriental Quarries, who you contracted, have also stopped working. Workers are not paid. Why are you subjecting even a good contractor, who has shown that Maamba Collieries has the potential to produce good grade coal such as the one from Hwange, to this? Malawi needs coal to dry their tobacco. Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) need the coal. Why are you, as a Government, failing to get that coal and sell it to DRC, Burundi and Malawi where the market is big? Why are you not able to entice Chilanga Cement, Konkola Copper Mines Plc and the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia, who are all coal users, to buy our coal with a view to optimising production and creating employment in our motherland, Zambia?

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: This is simple and straightforward. Why are the 52,000 metric tonnes of coal lying about in Maamba, Sinazongwe? Give us an answer. I know you will not give us an answer because there is financial anarchy. There is a well-organised fraudulent system to keep siphoning money from that mine at the expense of the poor miners. We should be proud to be Zambian whether the coal mine is in Chipata, Kaputa, Luangwa, especially Mulobezi.


Mr Muyanda: Mr Speaker, I am appealing to this Government, for once, to stop appointing financial anarchists. These financial anarchists are schemers who do not even know how to run a mine. I am an ex-miner and there is another hon. Member here who is a professional miner like myself and is skilled to haul coal. You cannot operate from Lusaka and then call yourself a managing director. You cannot do that because you have to be at the pit. You have to have your pit manager, shift bosses and the equipment. All these have to be checked by the managing director. You cannot have a situation like the one prevailing in Maamba. You should change that management because it is chaos organised by defrauders. That management should be changed for the betterment of the institution and the country as a whole and also for the miners who have not been paid.

Mr Speaker, with these few words, as a senior debater, I thank you. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources (Mr Mwangala): Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Motion of Thanks on the speech delivered to the House by His Excellency the President,  Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda, on Friday, 18th September, 2009.

Mr Speaker, on tourism development, I would like to commend the Government for ranking the tourism sector high on our development agenda, as it holds great potential in the diversification of our economy with particular emphasis on the Kasaba Bay and Livingstone areas. To encourage investors, the Government has to provide more investment incentives, some of which include:

(i) accommodation in medium, large and top class hotels and value-added tax, zero rating of tour packages for Zambia;

(ii) constitutional protection against nationalisation of one’s investments;

(iii) ease access to land;

(iv) liberalisation of policies that promote access to land within Zambia;

(v) co-management of national parks;

(vi) immigration issues aimed at facilitating speedy clearance of tourists at ports of entry;

(vii) allocation of land for development to tourism sites;

(viii) planning permission issues and resource mobilisation;

(ix) provision of power supply to tourism sites;

(x) labour laws as they affect the sector;

(xi) airstrips, electricity, telecommunication, water and other factors which vigorously promote private sector investment in Zambia; and

(xii) marketing of the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area activities and the Liuwa Plains National Park, rated second to the Serengeti of Tanzania in Africa for annual animal migration to Angola.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwangala: Mr Speaker, on land, the Government’s plans to bring to this House the Urban and Regional Planning Bill, whose purpose will be to strengthen the town and country planning legislative regime, is highly commended and I hope it will be warmly supported by the hon. Members of this House since land is essential to Zambia’s prosperity. It is for this reason that the Government has continued to encourage our people to put land to productive use.

Mr Speaker, further, the decision by the Government to continue providing financial support to local authorities through the Land Development Fund to facilitate the opening up of more land for development by councils, particularly in the rural areas, is progressive and will assist our people greatly.

Mr Speaker, on mines and minerals development, there are plans to turn to hydro-carbon exploration, as the Government has advertised blocks in the Western, North-Western and Eastern provinces for oil and gas exploration which is expected to start soon. There is also the intention to extend gas and oil exploration to other parts of the country as a way of diversifying the economy. This is a programme warmly welcomed by the people of Western Province for the first time since independence.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker, on infrastructure development, I wish to thank the Government for the rehabilitation and maintenance of roads countrywide.

Hon. Opposition Members: Where?

Mr Mwangala: Mr Speaker, among the roads under rehabilitation are the Zimba/Livingstone, …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwangala: … Senanga/Sesheke, …

Hon. Members:  Hear, hear!

Mr Mwangala: … and Kasempa/Mumbwa.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwangala: Mr Speaker, in addition, …

Hon. Opposition Member: Bottom Road.

Mr Mwangala: Awe.


Mr Mwangala: … it is worth noting that the Government will, this year, complete the long awaited redesigning of the bridges on the Mongu/Kalabo Road …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwangala: … in readiness for the commencement of works, next year, which include the Mulobezi/Namibia Railway Line.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwangala: Mr Speaker, the people of Western Province, in particular, where road infrastructure has been a source of great concern since independence, have appreciated these investments.

Hon. Opposition Member interjected.

Mr Mwangala: The people of the region have also highly appreciated the Government’s action which has come at the right time.

With these few words, Mr Speaker, …


Mr Mwangala: … I thank you.


Mr Speaker: I hope that those who are laughing loudly will courageously indicate to debate, today, instead of laughing while seated.


Mr Mwenya (Nkana): Mr Speaker, I thank you most sincerely for giving me this opportunity to debate the President’s Address to this House.

Mr Speaker, first and foremost, allow me to join the President in expressing the sorrow over the loss of two hon. Members of Parliament, Hon. Tetamashimba and Hon. Hamir. These two were very close colleagues of mine. Hon. Tetamashimba and I used to call each other mlamu whilst Hon. Hamir regarded me as a subject because my mother comes from Chitambo Constituency.

Mr Speaker, allow me to express my disappointment with the President’s Speech …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwenya: … and especially when you look at the euphoria that goes with the presentation of this speech, the tax payer’s money that is spent to prepare such an expensive function or gathering. I expected His Excellency the President to have brought hope to the retrenchees and retirees, particularly those in the Civil Service, the ex-miners, the United Bus Company of Zambia (UBZ) employees who have stayed for so many years without being paid. Therefore, it is on that basis that I agree with the last speaker that this speech did not bring any hope at all to the Zambian majority.

Mr Speaker, I want to comment on mining. I appreciate that His Excellency the President acknowledged that mining remains a key sector of the national economy and contributes about 70 per cent of foreign exchange earnings and 8.4 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). However, there is literally nothing that the President said to the Zambian masses about how the people in the mining communities are benefiting from what is being realised from the mines.

The President talked about 58,000 direct jobs in the mining sector, but the question is, what is the quality of these jobs that he talked about? This is because the majority of our people who work in the mining sector are employed under slave conditions. I expected the President to highlight this in his speech. It is disheartening when you visit mining companies, especially on the Copperbelt between 0600 hours and 1000 hours when thousands of unemployed youths gather at the entrances of gates seeking employment. In the meantime, you see Indians and Chinese walking in and out. At the moment, there are more Indians and Chinese nationals working in the mining companies than Zambians. This literally means that there is no future for the youths who are graduating from schools and colleges because, at the moment, even bricklayers, helpers and boilermakers are imported from India and China.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwenya: Mr Speaker, what is even more painful is that most of the Chinese and Indian casual workers do not have valid work permits. I challenge the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development, if the Government is disputing this, to dispatch some officers to carry out a survey. I know that, at the end of the day, most of the Chinese and Indians will be rounded up because they will have no employment permits.

Mr Speaker, we have many youths in the country. We have people who have been retrenched and, recently, some miners were retrenched and their monies were withheld by the banks. This means that people on the Copperbelt are literally suffering. They have been turned destitute. I anticipated that, probably, the President was going to make a position on how we are going to help our brothers, sisters and mothers on the Copperbelt. Despite the President indicating that the price of copper had improved on the world market, there has not been an improvement in the living standards of people on the Copperbelt. Therefore, it is painful to see the youths in living a life of destitution and hopelessness.

Mr Speaker, I am personally disappointed that the President focused on the increased production of minerals in the mining sector. However, my question is, what is the use of increasing production from 319 tonnes to 276,000 tonnes if communities hosting the mines are not benefiting? It is shameful to see the state of infrastructure such as roads, recreation facilities, lighting and so on and so forth on the Copperbelt. When you visit the Copperbelt, it looks like a place that has just come out of a war and this is very disheartening.

Mr Speaker, the Government has deliberately let infrastructure to deteriorate because the hon. Minister of Mines and Mineral Development, Mr M. B. Mwale, and the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, have ignored implementation of Section 136 of the Mines and Minerals Development Act of 2008. This House, last year, approved Section 136 of the Mines and Minerals Development Act to provide for sharing of mineral royalty tax between the Government and host communities. The two hon. Ministers were supposed to come up with a sharing mechanism. However, to date, nothing has been done.

Mr Speaker, there is no logic in this august House spending billions of kwacha deliberating and enacting laws which hon. Ministers deliberately choose not to implement. His Excellency the President has already spoken about the Government’s intention to bring a Bill to this House to amend the Mines and Mineral Development Act of 2009. Where is the logic of moving such amendments if we cannot implement the already existing provisions?

Mr Speaker, the main problem with this Government is that it likes appeasing foreigners and not the people who elected the hon. Members to occupy the seats on your right.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Katema: Bebe mudala.

Mr Mwenya: When a Chinese or Indian coughs, windfall tax has to be withdrawn or the Government introduces licensing reforms in the mining sector. However, when Zambians demand for what is due to them, through the mineral royalty tax, the Government tells them to go to hell.


Mr Speaker: Order!

That word is unacceptable in this House.


Mr Mwenya: Mr Speaker, I withdraw the word, and thank you for that guidance.

The unfortunate part is that when the Zambian people plead with the Government, which is no longer planning for development in places such as the Copperbelt to implement these laws and give people what is due to them so that the money can be used to develop their communities, it is not responsive to such calls.

Mr Speaker, there is the issue of ex-miners on the Copperbelt. Over the last few months, I have appeared in the media in support of the ex-miners who were retrenched, with regard to the loans they had obtained from banks when they were working. The retrenchment packages that they received from their previous employers have been taken away by the banks. This is an unprecedented matter and the Government should have shown concern. We are talking of over 4,000 ex-miners being affected. This was not expected and, therefore, these people have been left in limbo.

We appreciate the fact that these people have obligations to meet with the banks. However, if their entire retrenchment packages are taken away, how will they survive? I expected the President to state the Government’s position in assisting these people because none of them have been reemployed despite the President indicating that copper prices have improved and that even all the mining investors who were about to close their mines have changed their minds. This means that the situation is extremely sad on the ground.

Mr Speaker, I would also like to talk about constituency offices. The President was trying to create an impression that these offices are operating within constituencies.

Mr Speaker: Order! Order!

Take your seat.

I have ruled before, that the matter of Parliamentary Reforms is for this House to deal with and if the Head of State makes reference to the Parliamentary Reforms, it is by way of lending his support to that effort. If the office in your constituency is not operating, you cannot blame anybody, but yourself.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Therefore, if you have nothing good to say about your own reforms, move on to the next point.

You may continue, please.

Mr Mwenya: Mr Speaker, thank you for that guidance.

I would also like to comment on the issue of infrastructure development as highlighted by the President in his speech. The President only mentioned nine roads that are being worked on in the whole country. However, we have many roads. In terms of percentage, less than 0.5 per cent of the entire road network in this country is being worked on. This is not something to be proud of. For example, I have noticed that the Kasama/Luwingu Road has been under maintenance for over ten years now. How can we be working on roads in such a manner? Why should it take over ten years to complete a road like the Kasama/Luwingu Road? What impression are we giving to the Zambian people? We are not giving the Zambian people hope as regards the development of infrastructure in the country, according to the Fifth National Development Plan.

Mr Speaker, I have also noticed that there are no roads on the Copperbelt to talk about, and yet we have a critical road in this province that links Zambia to Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo. This is a road that is used by member countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), especially that Zambia is part of these regional groupings. This road is almost impassable. In fact, it goes through my constituency. Recently, the residents of the area threatened to close this road because they cannot stand the amount of dust pollution. This should not be taken as a mere threat at all. If the Government, through the Road Development Agency (RDA), does not come up with measures to tar that road, we will definitely go ahead and close it.

Mr Speaker, lastly, I would like to mention that there is a need for the hon. Minister of Mines and Mineral Development to visit the Copperbelt for him to see how the people are languishing, more especially that they are no longer in employment. The picture that was portrayed by the President is not a true reflection of what is prevailing on the ground.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: Let me guide the House. Those of you who may have travelled around the world, and there are many of you, may have noticed that there are Zambian investors or professionals wherever they have travelled, for instance, in the SADC Region, East and West Africa. There are Zambian investors or professionals in Western Europe and the United States. You will be further surprised to find Zambian investors or professionals in India and China, and yet you will not hear the Parliamentarians in those countries denouncing the Zambian investors and professionals. They have embraced them and promoted their efforts.

Therefore, bear in mind that when you denounce investors from certain quarters of the world, you may be doing a disservice to your fellow nationals investing in the countries of origin of the investors you are denouncing.

This House is part of the efforts of the Zambian diplomatic activities. In diplomacy, there is what is known as the “principle of reciprocity”. If you attack someone in a particular country, they are free to attack you back and that is called retaliation. They will retaliate. Therefore, be very careful the way you publicly refer to certain nationals in this House.

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Mr Speaker, I rise to contribute to the debate on the Motion of Thanks to His Excellency the President’s statement.

In supporting the motion on the Floor, I would like to first commend His Excellency the President for his statement. Obviously, this gives us an opportunity to make our comments.

Mr Speaker, I would like to comment on the abolition of the crop levy which the President talked about in his speech. I would like, from the onset, to say that the decision by His Excellency the President to scrap the crop levy will, definitely, have an adverse effect on all the local authorities, especially the rural local authorities that depend mainly on crop levies as one of their major sources of revenue.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, the levies imposed by the local authorities countrywide are a traditional source of revenue for councils and have been there since time immemorial. They are a form of tax and are used to provide services, pay salaries and so on and so forth.

Once the Government removes a major source of income such as this one from a local authority, it means it has killed that local authority unless there is a substitute for the ban. In other words, a grant should be given in addition to the other grants which the Government gives to local authorities. However, if an announcement is made in the absence of a grant and without announcing that the revenue, which the councils have lost, will not be recovered, you are killing the institutions. These are the institutions that are helping the Central Government provide basic services at the local level.

Mr Speaker, it is very sad to note that for a long time now, successful governments have tended to take away the only sources of revenue from the local authorities without giving them alternative sources of revenue.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: For instance 30 per cent of the budget for the Chongwe District Council is financed by crop levies. Immediately that announcement was made, the commercial farmers in the district and some of the agriculture associations issued a directive to the farmers to stop giving any form of levies to the Chongwe District Council. Unfortunately, there is a misunderstanding because, in some cases, for example in Chongwe, they tended to extend that to bird levy which is levied in areas where there are bird and fish levies, depending on what resource the district has. Therefore, the ban has been extended to other types of levies.

I would like to urge the Government to quickly intervene in this situation. Otherwise, what you have done is put the last nail in the coffin and we can forget about local government.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: I know that every statement has beneficiaries and losers. In this case, the farmer associations are happy because their costs are going to be reduced and this is good for them. However, we must not only look at one side of the coin because it is important that when we make decisions, we also look at the other side of the coin. In this case, what I would have expected the Government to do is abolish the levies and replace them with grants to the councils.

Mr Speaker, a number of councils, today, have been having difficulties in paying salaries, and Chongwe Council is one council that has never had this problem, at least, in the last four years because they have improved their revenue base. Now, with this announcement, I can bet you, this same month, they will not be able to pay salaries. They will join the councils that are struggling or that are unable to pay salaries. I do not think that it is the intention of the Government to protect one child and kill the other. There must be a balance when we make decisions so that we ensure that consultation is not just one sided. You do not consult only one stakeholder, but both so that you look at both sides of the coin and come up with a good policy.

I think that not all is lost. It is not too late. After all, this is just a statement which will be backed by the budget. My hope is that in the 2010 Budget, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning will ensure that councils are given enough grants because even for 2009, the little that they approved has not reached the councils yet.

Mr Msichili: CDF!

Mrs Masebo: Constituency Development Fund (CDF) is one of the main grants, but the councils have not received it yet. Instead of helping the councils, you are taking away the little they have.

I would like the Leader Government Business in the House and Cabinet in general to look at this matter critically because, even for hon. Members of Parliament, the only organ that is working at the local level is the council. Therefore, if the council is not doing anything, we might as well forget about development. We will come here and make policies and do everything required, but when we go back to our constituencies, we will not able to implement anything. We have problems, Sir.

The road network in this country is almost non existent. I have always said that we shall not achieve much in the area of road network unless the Road Development Agency (RDA) under the Ministry of Works and Supply and the Ministry of Local Government and Housing with its councils put their house in order. Nothing has changed and nothing will change. We shall celebrate the official opening of a road for instance, the Zimba/Livingstone Road because the donors have funded it, then, next year, we will be in Northmead or Longarces because we will have graded the road. However, looking at the entire road network in the country, we are not going to make any progress.

At the moment, in almost every constituency, people are complaining about the state of the roads.

Hon. Member: Point of order!

Mrs Masebo: What point of order?


Mr Speaker: Order!

The hon. Member for Chongwe may continue, please.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, on a very serious note, the situation on the ground in terms of the road network in this country is pathetic, to say the least.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

The hon. Member for Chongwe may continue, please.

Mrs Masebo: Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker, on a very serious note, the situation on the ground in terms of the road network in this country is pathetic to, say the least.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: In the past, Mr Speaker, even with all the difficulties we had in the road network, we had a situation where, at least, as a Member of Parliament, councillor or ordinary citizen, one could go to the council and get a grader for use on roads. However, at the moment, it is almost impossible to do this because everything has been left for RDA. There has been no proper decentralisation of this function although we know that the local authorities are responsible for roads. There is no budget line for the so-called road authorities to work on roads at a minimal level. For example, a community in Shang’ombo can go to its council if there is a problem, but if anybody goes to the authority, at the moment, they are asked to go to RDA. These are serious issues which require serious leadership. Unless the Government listens to what the people are saying, we will not get anywhere.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: I hope that the hon. Minister of Works and Supply and the acting hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing can do something about this problem of road works. Yes, we have equipment, but I indicated on the Floor of this House, last time, that the 2008 CDF for my constituency was used on the road works in the constituency. We have had equipment without money and the people want the roads to be worked on. If such a situation prevails, what can one do? I feel helpless. One cannot enjoy being Member of Parliament anymore because there are no solutions to problems. If you go to any council, they will tell you there is no money. Even after we approve next year’s Budget, no money will be released. Let us be serious for a change and listen to each other when we talk about these issues. These are real issues obtaining on the ground.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Only one hon. Member is on the Floor. The rest must listen.

The hon. Member for Chongwe may continue, please.

Mrs Masebo: Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Let me, also, say that the workmanship on some of the few roads that have been outsourced to contractors is poor. Just this morning, I was checking the Chalimbana Road which the Government outsourced to some Chinese contractor through the Ministry of Works and Supply. The road has not been properly worked on, but money has been paid. I have made representation to the hon. Minister of Works and Supply because I know that this road is under RDA, but nothing is being done.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: How many people have access to the hon. Minister or Chief Executive?  Can we implement the Decentralisation Policy? His Excellency the President talked about local government banning crop levies, but there was no mention of decentralisation.

You will recall, Mr Speaker, that in January, His Excellency the President talked about the Decentralisation Implementation Strategy being before Cabinet and that it was going to be adopted. It was in this House, also, where the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, when he was presenting the 2009 Budget, that he talked about pushing the implementation of the Decentralisation Policy, but nothing was said in the president’s Speech to this effect. There should be strategies under the Decentralisation Implementation Plan. Of course, there is what is called financial decentralisation and we shall see how the money is going to be used. However, we should not go back to where we started when local government began. We must ensure that the Government begins building by using grants from the council. We must be consistent in the manner we deal with these matters and advise properly rather than just appeasing sections of people. Let us please everybody and balance matters?

Mrs Musokotwane: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, I know it is not possible to please everybody, but it is the Government’s duty to please the people who vote for it.

Mr Muntanga: That is true.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, in his speech, His Excellency the President talked about valuable tax from the mines. He said that whilst we would have wanted to bring the windfall taxes, it was not possible because of the complaints and also that we would try and get some money from the valuable tax. I will be waiting to hear from the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning how much we have received so far, considering that we are told that the prices have improved at the moment.

Hon. Opposition Member: They have improved.

Mrs Masebo: Whether there is an improvement or not, we are told the copper prices were  at US$3,000 per metric tonne, but now they are at over US$6,000 per metric tonne. It means that is an improvement.

Hon. Opposition Member: 7,000.


Mrs Masebo:  Somebody is saying US$7,000 per metric tonne.

Mr Speaker, even as we talk about diversification, we do not see many of those diversification programmes because we concentrate a lot on the mines as the mainstay of our economy. We all agree that the mines are one of the major industries that we need to get money from, but we already have a bad deal because we scrapped the windfall tax. I do not have to be a good economist, but a bush economist to know that it is easier to collect money using the other method than the one that we have adopted.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: One does not have to be a genius to know this, but the Government, obviously, had to provide an enabling environment. Now we want to see the results of this enabling environment because the poverty levels among the people in our constituencies are getting worse. Unfortunately, we are not getting any better. Today, it is becoming increasingly difficult to be a leader in this country unless you are a leader who has no conscience …

Mrs Musokotwane: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: … or are one of those leaders who will say this today, and two days later, say it to the contrary.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: If you are a leader who has a true heart for the people, you cannot have a free conscience. That is why some of us do not have much to say because we feel guilty, in a way, but obviously we are part of the good and bad things and all we can do is try and remind our colleagues who are in the driving seats to be consistent and do what we said last year. This does not mean that we can achieve everything, but the citizens are able to see that this leader is trying and he or she is failing because things are difficult. However, with the way things are now, one can tell that it is not about things being difficult, but there is a lot of insincerity even among the leadership.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, on agriculture, I commend the Government, through the Ministry of Agriculture, on the review of the Fertiliser Support Programme (FSP). I am aware that we have come up with committees, but it is important that the ministry checks these committees because the formation of FSP has been decentralised. If, for example, a constituency has ten wards and services teachers, headmen and so on and so forth, the composition, in some cases, is only from one ward. This means that the people in that particular ward are going to be the beneficiaries because these committees do not know about other people such as farmers in other wards. I would like to urge the hon. Minister to ensure that the composition is extended across the wards and not just in one section of the ward or constituency because the programme will fail if this is not done. I know that there is a problem. What happens is that when people go to rural areas, they just go to some satellite kind of Boma or centre of a particular ward and just pick whoever they see. They do not go into the corners of a particular ward or constituency and so when the actual identification begins, there is bias in the manner that the selection is done.

Generally, I would like to state that if I was to grade the speech delivered by His Excellency the President, I would not call it hollow. It is has substance. The issue is implementation and where the resources are going to go to at the end of the day.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: The other issue is consistency. One must not say this today and say something else tomorrow. If this is done, then you do not make progress. Even where you have benefited, you are losing. You will not be making progress. I think consistency and monitoring some of these programmes are very important.

Lastly, I would like to talk about the constituency offices. I want to say that it is good that we have these constituency offices because when you look at our timetable, it has been difficult in the last two sittings with the National Constitutional Conference (NCC). We were not able to effectively go round our constituencies.

We could only visit our respective wards. We did not have enough time to visit far- flung areas because we had to come to Parliament too. Nonetheless, now that we have constituency offices, at least, our parliamentary assistants are helping us reach out through the offices.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Therefore, I would like to commend Parliament for assisting us with parliamentary offices because without them, we would be as good as dead Members of Parliament.

Mr Speaker, lastly, let me ask the Government that even after this speech has been delivered, can we try and diversify in the areas of agriculture and tourism so that we create another sector which can, in turn, create genuine employment. I do not consider as employment that which is created by the mines. When you see most of the people who work in the mines, they look sickly because their conditions of service and salaries are poor. They are as good as labourers. You cannot consider that as the only form of employment that is going to drive this country. Therefore, let us invest more in agriculture where each citizen, whether educated or not, can own a small farm.

 Let us invest in tourism to create meaningful employment. The mines are not creating meaningful employment. I have seen a mine in Chongwe and how the miners look. I have also heard how much they get. You can see that although there is money generated from this sector, there are no benefits to attest to the presence of the mines.

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

Ms Changwe: Are those few remarks?

Mr Nsanda (Chimwemwe): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on this Budget speech.

Hon. MMD Members: Budget Speech?

Mr Nsanda: I mean the speech which was read by His Excellency the President of this country. The speech was well read.


Hon. MMD Members: Well read!

Mr Nsanda: It was well presented, but lacked implementation from the Government.

MMD Members: Implementation?


Mr Nsanda: Mr Speaker, for two terms now, I have heard many budget speeches from this Government.

Hon. Member: President’s speeches.

Mr Nsanda: President’s speeches.


Hon. MMD Member: Quality!

Mr Nsanda: Mr Speaker, this particular speech did not move us because what was said will not be implemented.

Mr Speaker, the road network in this country shows that the Road Development Agency (RDA) has not performed well. There is no money going to our councils. I speak on behalf of the Kitwe City Council which I am a member of. RDA promised to give us money for the rehabilitation of roads in Kitwe. However, not a single ngwee has been disbursed for this purpose. Contractors, who already started work, have not been paid.

Mr Speaker, the road network on the Copperbelt and Kitwe in particular, is a source of income for the spare parts business. This is because vehicles are damaged on a daily basis. Zambia is the only country where 4 x 4 vehicles are imported in large quantities. The importation of this type of vehicles into Zambia surpasses that of other African countries. As a result, it is expensive to drive a car in this country.

Mr Speaker, we pay fuel levy on a daily basis, and yet nobody knows where this money goes. This Government needs to tell the nation where the money from the fuel levy goes.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nsanda: This year …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Nsanda: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I dwelt on RDA and its failure to implement programmes using money donated by Zambians through the fuel levy.

Mr Speaker, I would now like to talk about the destruction of industries in Zambia and the lack of policy to revive them in order to create employment for the Zambian people.

Sir, in the United National Independence Party (UNIP) era, when we had a President with no degree, we had the LENCO Bus Assembly and the Livingstone Motor Assembly which assembled buses and fiat vehicles respectively.

Zambians did not even appreciate fiat vehicles. Today, when Zambians watch the formula one car race, they can see that fiat manufacturers have manufactured the best formula one vehicle. Had we left that industry running, today, Zambia could have been driving Lamborghini which is the most expensive vehicle in the world. Unfortunately, we decided to sell the Livingstone Motor Assembly.

Sir, we had Rover Zambia which created employment in the country and this too was sold. Zambia was very proud to make its own tyres through Dunlop Zambia which also created employment for Zambians. We managed to keep our hard-earned foreign exchange in the Bank of Zambia but, today, all the tyres are imported.

Mr Speaker, we had Liver Brothers of Zambia which manufactured tooth paste, bathing soap and washing soap. Today, if you go to Shoprite, most brands are imported using the little foreign exchange earned by the mines. Zambia made its own exide batteries for all motor cars. The equipment was sold by this Government and it is now in Kenya. We are now importing batteries into this country. There was also Yuka Battery in Mansa which was another source of foreign exchange for this country but, today, Zambia is importing batteries. We had the Kapiri Mposhi Glass Factory in Kapiri Mposhi that made glass and glass products. Today, not a single glass is made in Zambia. This is another loss of foreign exchange.

Sir, we used to make soft drinks in this country but we do not do that anymore. If the equipment for pineapples, mangoes and other fruit cannery was not disposed off, farmers could still have somewhere to sell their produce. The canning industry in Mwinilunga is non existent and the pineapple farmers have all dispersed. We had the Zambia Forestry and Forest Industries Corporation (ZAFFICO) that produced timber. This Government …

Hon. Government Members: Which Government?

Mr Nsanda: The MMD Government …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nsanda: …sold ZAFFICO to foreign investors and, today, we are importing timber. We cannot even make desks in Zambia. All the desks for schools are imported using foreign exchange.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nsanda: Sir, we had the Metal Fabricators of Zambia (ZAMEFA) …

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, I rarely rise on a point of order, but I could not resist raising one. Is the hon. Member of Parliament in order to misinform the nation that there are no desks that are made in Zambia, when, for example, the Mupepetwe Military Establishment have made more than forty thousand desks and I saw them with my own eyes.


Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, some local companies are making desks for schools.

Mr Speaker, I need your serious ruling.

Mr Speaker: The hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, through that point of order, is reminding the hon. Member for Chimwemwe to avoid generalisations in his debate. Some of the things he is saying may be true, but when you generalise, you run into trouble. That is the essence of the point of order. In particular, the Executive are advised to take note as the hon. Members are debating so that they may correct, where necessary, the misconceptions or inaccuracies that may be made by hon. Members who are debating. You will have a chance to participate towards the winding up this motion.

In addition, the Chair would like to provide this guidance to hon. Members. The standard ruling I have made, so did my predecessors, when the matter concerning hon. Members who were in the Executive, but are now speaking as backbenchers or as Members of the Opposition, is that they are free to criticise even some of the decisions they were a party to in the past. However, in doing so, it is the issue of morality and conscience that should deal with them. Unfortunately, if you were a party to the decisions you are denouncing, your conscience and morality will have to do something about that.

The hon. Member for Chimwemwe may continue, please.


Mr Nsanda: I think the hon. Minister did not get me clearly. I was talking about saving foreign exchange for this country. I did not mean that what I am saying is not happening completely. I meant the service of foreign exchange in large amounts. We had a company called Serials which made suits. These were the best suits in the continent and we used to export them but, today, we are buying clothes from outside the country. We never guarded this industry jealously.

Sir, on the transport sector, we lost the United Bus of Zambia which served all parts of Zambia, regardless of the distance. We had Zambia Airways that went to all rural areas using their ATR aircrafts. These companies are no longer in existence and we hope that the Government resuscitates them. We even sold all the council houses. This has made it practically impossible for councils raise revenue. 

Mr Speaker, I believe that if a president retires from active politics, he does not engage in them again. However, I wonder what is happening at the moment.

Mrs Phiri: Hear, hear!

Mr Nsanda: Today, retired presidents are engaging in politics by taking workers to various political arenas.

Mrs Phiri: Dr Kaunda was denied money.  

Mr Nsanda: Mr Speaker, we have a good example of our father, Dr Kenneth Kaunda, who talks about the prevention of HIV/AIDS so that Zambians protect themselves against the disease.  Today, however, some former Heads of State …

Mrs Phiri: Immunity!

Mr Nsanda: …are moving from province to province …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nsanda: …taking Government workers in their entourage, using Government vehicles and fuel to go and support some political parties.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nsanda: Mr Speaker, I believe that a former president should cease to be paid …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nsanda: …when he gets back into the political arena.

Mr Speaker, we need to follow the law so that some of them stop getting paid.

Mr Mbewe: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Kambwili: Aka kamwana kamu incubator!


Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker is the hon. Member who is debating so fluently, not realising that he is shooting himself in the foot with whatever he is saying. Is he in order to denounce a former President …

Hon. Opposition Members: Which one?

Mr Mbewe: A former President.


Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, whichever former President he is talking about, …


Mr Mbewe: …whose name he has not mentioned.

Is he in order to mention that a former President is supporting a certain political party while, in fact, in the previous regime, it is the same former President who was supporting the party he represents?

Hon. Opposition Members: Who?


Mr Mbewe: Is he in order to make such an allegation?

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Chimwemwe may continue, please.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nsanda: Mr Speaker, I would like to talk about economic empowerment. Not too long ago, we had a seminar on the Citizens’ Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC). People have actively applied for money from this fund. It was stated that the money is for the disadvantaged, handicapped and illiterate people, and the people living with HIV/AIDS. To our surprise, this money is not mentioned anywhere in the speech because the K90 billion which was released ended up in hands which were not supposed to have it.


Mr Nsanda: The poor people who applied, especially those from my constituency, were told to bring collateral. This is not what was stated when the fund was introduced. The poor, disadvantaged and illiterate people in Kamatipa Compound in my constituency have no title deeds for their small shanty houses. How do they get this money? We must have laws and practice what we preach. We were told by His Honour the Vice-President, on television, that this money would be given to the poor people without collateral. He said that an amount of up to K50 million would be given to the some applicants.

Mr Speaker, today, most people on the list of the beneficiaries are well-to-do. We must ensure that the disadvantaged people get hold of this money. We must help the Zambians to improve their living standards.  

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

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Kwacha.

Mr L. J. Mulenga who had indicated to speak earlier had left the House.


Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Kwacha is no longer interested.

Mrs Phiri (Munali): Mr Speaker, firstly, I would like to thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate the President’s Address to this august House.

Mr Speaker, before I go further, I would also like to convey my heartfelt condolences to the families of the two hon. Members of Parliament who passed away. I hope that the MMD Government will continue to support and look after the two families, especially that those hon. Members have left young children. I say this because it makes me sad to see how some hon. Members of Parliament, both in the Opposition and Ruling parties have turned against the Mwanawasa family after having promised to look after it.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Phiri: It makes me sad. As you said earlier, Sir, people should have a conscience. Whatever we do, we will be judged by others. Are they really looking after the late President’s family? I would not want this to extend to Hon. Tetamashimba’s children because he fought for the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) to be where it is now.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Phiri: I will continue to remind them to, at least, have morals and support the children of the late hon. Members.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Phiri: Mr Speaker, I will start my debate by talking about the Ministry of Local Government and Housing. I will continue from where the hon. Member for Chongwe ended. It makes me sad to see hon. Ministers, in particular, the hon. Minister of Works and Supply, go into our constituencies and tell the people that a grant has been given to the Lusaka City Council. We all know that this is not true and we should not pretend. No grant has been given to the council for the execution of its duties.  At the moment, even the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) has not yet been released.

Mr Speaker, it makes me sad when the Government, knowing that it has not given us any money, starts pretending that it has and even goes into our constituencies to tell the people that road works are supposed to be done by the local authorities. At the same time, the Government even goes to the local authority and gets K2.1billion from its account without any council resolution. If it thinks that it is punishing the people of Lusaka or hon. Members of Parliament in Lusaka because they are in the Opposition, it must think again. I want to remind it that days are gone when such tricks could be used to win votes.

People are enlightened and they are able to see for themselves what is happening. For me, as hon. Member of Parliament of a constituency in Lusaka, when any hon. Minister does this, I’ll take the people of Munali to see the roads in question and give them a proper explanation because everything is in black and white. I will indicate that RDA is responsible for the roads. We have not been given grants so, please, let us help each other and not damage each other.

Mr Speaker, on the issue of gender, I was very disappointed when the President just said that he would appoint women to decision-making positions on merit without stating specific plans. I agree that it should be on merit.  We have a lot of qualified women. I am sure that people can tell that some of us can perform when put in decision-making positions. We do not have to rely on any president to appoint us. We should be appointed according to our abilities. I can give an example of those who are in Cabinet. Are you telling me that some of the men in Cabinet are better than the women in the Back Bench?

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Phiri: I do not agree. I want to appeal to the women in Cabinet to support each other and speak for other women. You have capable women behind you. Let them come and join you in the Front Bench. This way, we will go very far. Do not let these men think that we ride on their backs. We are qualified and are able to work.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Phiri:  Mr Speaker, I hope and pray that this year’s Budget is going to address the plight of the people who were retrenched in 2004 at the University of Zambia (UNZA). There are over 400 people who were retrenched in 2004 at UNZA. 2004 to-date is really a long time, and yet these people have not been paid. The University of Zambia is an institution that relies on grants from the Government.


Mrs Phiri: I know what I am talking about

Mr Speaker: Order!

 The hon. Member will address the Chair. Ignore the hecklers.


Mr Phiri: Mr Speaker, these people worked for this country. An audit was carried out at UNZA and we even know how money was misused at the institution, and yet everybody is quiet about it. Please, can you pay what is due to these people? It is not that they want to steal from the Government or need financial support. These people worked for that money. I have never been part of the MMD, not even at the section level. Therefore, when I am debating, my conscience is very clear. I do not support any wrong doing. Please, let us pay our retirees because they are suffering and those who have since died have left behind orphans. If you have a human heart and you see the way they live, you would not even say, “aah!”. If you look at the way they live, you would feel for them. Remember that one day, you may die and leave your children suffering because your benefits have not been given to them.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Phiri: Mr Speaker, both UNZA and the Copperbelt University (CBU) are given insufficient funding. This is the reason we are having demonstrations every now and then. Lecturers go on strike because the money they are given is not enough. We already know that. Lecturers are saying that they are going to petition their case because they feel they are misrepresented in this House. The hon. minister gave wrong figures in this House and said that they were paid K15 million per month, and yet that is not true. Let us pay the lecturers well so that our children can be educated within the country. I do not want to have a situation where I have to send my son who is less than twenty years old outside the country for his studies. I would love him to grow up having morals and knowing the Zambian culture.

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Phiri: When he goes outside, he should just pursue a PhD. Please, let us pay our lecturers well. I am, therefore, pleading with the hon. Minister of Education to address such issues, especially that she is a woman. She should speak to the President. I know that being a mother, she has a heart, especially for those expelled CBU students. I know that she will be able to help them. The expelled CBU students are our children. When they are re-instated, it will be a relief because we cannot have a situation where children are expelled when they have only two months to complete their studies.

Hon. Members and hon. Deputy Ministers, you should listen to what I am saying because I will mention the names of those who are not paying attention. I am sure the people in your constituencies will be very happy to know what you are doing in the House.


Mrs Phiri: The programme of constructing hostels, which the Government has embarked on, is going well. However, someone needs to explain to the nation the progress being made because students are anxiously waiting to move to the new hostels so that they can decongest the current hostels. Currently, there can be six students sharing one room. Such a situation is not good because they cannot even study properly. Can someone say something about this? The library is nothing to talk about.

Mr Speaker, let me now come to the health sector.

Sir, the Chainama School of Health Sciences has been re-opened with only a K400 million grant. Surely, how do you expect to improve the health sector with such an amount? This is an institution which trains health personnel. That is why lectures there go on strike. When they do that, you start firing them. Therefore, let us have a heart and put more money in these institutions because these are the key sectors in our quest to develop this country. If we have a sick population due to lack of treatment, our country will not develop.

Sir, let me talk about tourism. At the moment, tourism is one sector which can earn revenue for this country. The earnings from the mining sector are reducing. We are trying very hard to develop tourism. It makes me sad when I look at what is happening in the aviation industry. The standard of the aviation industry has gone down. We do not have aeroplanes in this country which we can boast of, but those in Government are still not doing anything serious about the situation. We have about seven unregistered aeroplanes. I saw such an aeroplane two months ago. Most aeroplanes are not registered because of the conditionalities which are somewhat harsh. Can the hon. Minister of Communications and Transport do something to improve the aviation industry? The Aviation Department in the Ministry of Communications and Transport should be put on its toes so that it can be doing things the right way.

Sir, it makes me sad when I travel outside this country, especially to countries like South Africa. I find a lot of trained Zambian pilots and engineers in most countries I have been to. They got their licences from this country. If the Aviation Department was run properly, it would have been earning a lot of money for this country. Most of the aeroplanes for private companies are registered in other countries. The same countries where the aeroplanes are registered are the ones that are making money off these companies. Can you please put in place measures to improve the aviation industry? Do you not feel ashamed to get on an aeroplane belonging to Air India because one of the captains working for that airline is a Zambian?

Sir, let me take this opportunity to congratulate the hon. Minister of Communications and Transport on working on the radar at the Lusaka International Airport which is now working. Everybody is happy with that development.

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

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!     

Mr Speaker: Order!

I have two names on my request list.


Is the hon. Member for Chipili ready?

Mr Chota indicated.

Mr Speaker: Is the hon. Member for Lubansenshi ready to speak?

Mr Chota: Sir, I would like to thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate regarding the President’s Speech.

Mr Speaker, I will be brief and to the point because I will only talk about energy and mining.

Sir, I remember, some time back, I stood here and said that the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (Zesco) was uprooting the poles that it had put up in Ipusukilo and promised to bring them back. The poles have not yet been brought back.

Sir, I would like to quote what His Excellency the President said regarding energy in his speech. He said:

“In the electricity sub-sector, the focus of the Government continues to be to increase generation capacity to meet the ever-growing demand.”

Sir, at the time the President was saying this, some generators had been damaged. At that time, three quarters of Lusaka had no power and people could not even listen to the President’s Speech. In my constituency, on 18th and 19th September, 2009, there was no electricity the whole day. Therefore, people could not even listen to the President’s Speech.

Mr Speaker, some time back, your Committee on Energy, Environment and Tourism travelled to Ghana and visited an electricity-generating plant. We were all asking how load shedding was carried out and they were surprised as they did not know what we were talking about because they did not know what that phrase meant. In that country, that phrase did not exist. At the moment, every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday, there is no electricity in Zambia.

The situation might even be worse if you have a population of above 1 billion people. They would not mind if ten or 100 people were lost because they were running away when the President was speaking. The generators were popping like popcorns and the people were running away and forgot about putting out the fire.

The hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development openly said that he did not like the work culture of our Chinese counterparts because they were cannibalising the generators, making matters worse.

Mr Mushili: Hammer!

Mr Chota: For this reason, I would urge this Government to do something about electricity and energy in general.

 Sir, I wish to take this opportunity to remind the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development that the poles that were scheduled to electrify Ipusukilo Mission have not yet been delivered.

Mr Speaker, let me now talk about the windfall tax and I will, again, refer to the President’s Speech. The President said:

“May I also reiterate the Government’s position that the removal of the windfall tax will not lead to a loss of Government revenue as the variable tax still captures any windfall gain that may arise in the mining sector.”

Sir, I am concerned about this statement because I do not know what formula and variables are going to be used. How are you going to capture this?

I know that in the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, we have qualified economists, but have you ever heard of any qualified metal sales accountants? How are you going to follow and capture the metal sales in the world when you cannot even capture the metals that are being stolen in Zambia?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mushili: Imagine!

Major Chizhyuka: Hear, hear!

Mr Chota: There are some Chinese who pile these metals in their houses and when they are taken to court, they run away. How are you going to capture this? What formula are you going to use in this variable tax when copper is being sold out there?

People asked about the Kabundi cathode. I wish to inform them that, in the world, it is only mined in Chingola.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chota: Some people were asking how the Kabundi cathode found its way to Hong Kong.


Mr Chota: This is because you do not add value to your copper. You produce copper anodes and cathodes which can be found anywhere. It just shows how ignorant people are. How is this going to be captured?  The Chinese investors have accountants …

Hon. Member: Money!

Mr Chota: … who are so clever that they hide even the production figures. It is very difficult for you to know the production figures. Sir, I would like them to show me how this variable tax will capture the windfall tax.

Sir, we all know that the price of copper has gone up and it is about $6,000 per metric tonne on the London Metal Exchange. However, if you go to future markets or contracts, it is far above that. How are you going to capture these contracts? I want someone to tell me how you are going to capture these contracts.

Mr Kambwili: Shikapwasha!

Mr Chota: Mr Speaker, we would like the Government to tell us how our people are going to gain from this variable tax they are talking about.

Sir, I now wish to talk about Maamba Collieries. I recall that at the time I worked there as a consultant, I found my good comrade, Hon. Simuusa …


Mr Chota: … who managed to turn Maamba Collieries round. He turned it from a company which was not producing to a productive and profit-making company.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chota: He managed to convince Chilanga Cement to pay salaries to workers for three months at Maamba Collieries.

Mr Simuusa: Hear, hear!

Hon. Government Members: How?

Mr Chota: At that time, there was a consortium called Lupusuko Consortium that was supposed to buy Maamba Collieries, but politics came in. It consisted of Zambians and South Africans who were nearly concluding that deal, but instead, it died a natural death.


Mr Chota: However, Hon. Simuusa was removed, probably because he was so intelligent that he could repair the machinery and produce coal.

Mr Simuusa: Hear, hear!

Mr Chota: That was about two or three years ago when Maamba Collieries was productive. This was because of one man who knew his job. Within a month of being sent there, he turned things round. However, today, we are still talking about Maamba Collieries. What is happening? Why can we not sell Maamba Collieries? At the moment, there are general managers who left fifteen years ago who are still on the payroll.

Mr Mushili: Imagine!


Mr Chota: When we talk to people in the Government, they are busy laughing, and yet these are serious issues.


Mr Chota: They should listen and try to change a few things round. If they continue laughing when we are telling them important issues, generators and transformers will be popping like popcorn, like I said.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate the President’s Speech and the exposition of public policy to this House.

Sir, I would like to take the debate of the hon. Member for Chongwe, Hon. Masebo, as my own …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: … and, maybe, just emphasise some of the points.

Sir, whilst appreciating the efforts that the Government is making in most of the policies which were exposed by the President, I feel that there is a lot that needs to be done. We have to remove invisible hands in most of these works.

Mr Speaker, as Hon. Masebo said, we are happy that the Government has bought construction equipment which, if the policy is implemented well, is going to open up the rural areas, which are growth areas, to increase our Gross Domestic Product (GDP). If the productive areas are not opened up, we will not be able to market our produce and ourselves.

Sir, I would like to caution the hon. Members that we should not have invisible hands in the way we use the equipment for opening up the rural areas. I will be very honest. We have local authorities in the provinces where schedules are made as to where the equipment would go and how it was going to be used. The other day, I travelled to Mumbwa to find out when the equipment would come to my constituency, Katuba. I was told that it was scheduled to come in June. However, to date, the equipment has not come because it was withdrawn. I was told that the equipment we saw going to Serenje District was not the same equipment which was supposed to go to Katuba and that it was just the colour which was the same.


Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, while I appreciate the work that was done in Serenje District and the effort made in Chitambo, I would like to say that the people of Katuba are still waiting for their share. If the people of Chitambo are happy, then the people of Katuba are crying, hence they are putting pressure on me because of a bad decision that was made by somebody who thought in a very good manner.


Mr Shakafuswa: Sir, we have been waiting for the equipment since June. Whilst other people are laughing and decisions were made in their favour, my people are not happy with that. Let us treat all people equally. Let us treat all people as Zambians.

Mr Speaker, on the same point, I understand that there are some roads that were funded by the European Union (EU) in my constituency. There are also some roads which have been funded and money released to local government in my constituency and we want those roads to be worked on. If people are trying to use the Government’s resources for political gain, I wish to tell them that that game is over. I think it is only unreasonable people who would like to use general resources for political gain.

Mr Kambwili: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: Just do the work correctly and convince the people that you are doing the best, then the people will give you a vote, but do not play games with the Government’s resources – we even have people here who claim that they have Government instruments. This should not be the case because we all have Government instruments since we are all part of the Government. When we sit here as part of the legislature, we are part of the Government, but we should not allow some people to think that they own the resources which belong to the people of Zambia. We should make them believe that they only own resources for their families. The resources which belong to the people of Zambia are supposed to be shared by the people of Zambia equally, irrespective of whether you like Shakafuswa or not. As long as Shakafuswa is a Member of Parliament and there are people who voted for him, let him speak on behalf of the people and he should also be able to take resources there and this should also be the case for the dislikeable Hon. Kambwili.

Mr Kambwili: Question!



Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, I wish to echo Hon. Masebo’s sentiments. Yes, we can substitute windfall tax with variable tax. I would like some accountants to come and tell me what variable tax is. I was of the idea that variable tax is determined by the loss and profit at the end of the year. The loss and profit is determined when somebody comes and shows his costs and proceeds from sales. However, we are aware that in Zambia today, the only reason Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane is having sleepless nights is that he does not have enough revenue coming into the coffers.

The reason for less revenue coming into the coffers is that a lot of companies are avoiding taxes and by avoiding taxes, they are denying us, and the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, revenue to distribute to the spending agencies in the country for the needs of our people. If we leave it to the people in the mining sector to come and show us their profits, definitely, instead of them coming to show the profits, they will say that they are re-investing and they will be re-investing for the next five years and, eventually, they will not show you the profits. As such, that tax will not be collected. You cannot even determine the tax you will get whereas for windfall tax, you could determine that. We are not the only country because the Scandinavian countries are getting that tax from the exploitation of their resources and from the taxes they collect, they are even able to come and help Zambians. Some of the taxes are as high as 70 per cent. Now, here we are saying that the highest we could go was 47 per cent and I remember people from the mining companies saying it was above that. We then asked them what they were putting in their books to convince them.

Mr Speaker, it could be a good idea for investors to come into Zambia, but they should not just leave holes in our country. We need to sit down and ask ourselves whilst we are still in administration what we have got from the people who are making money in our country to make their countries rich at the expense of the poor in our country. At the moment, even the money which was estimated in the National Budget has not uplifted the lives of the people in the country. We should find a way of finding extra money to uplift the lives of the Zambians and not money which will be used to buy an expensive tender. This money can be used to improve roads, schools and health facilities and then the Government will be worth being in Government.

Mr Speaker, the windfall tax may have been deemed to be bad. I would like somebody to come and tell me how variable tax is better than windfall tax. We have explained what windfall tax is and someone should tell us how variable tax works better than windfall tax.

Mr Speaker, I would like to commend the President and the Government for putting in K471 billion for the purchase of crops. I shudder to ask myself this question several times and even when I was in Government, I kept asking this question and we should look at it critically. I can also say that I am happy with the Speech by the President where he says, “forensic systems shall be developed and procurement audit shall be undertaken in all major spending ministries, provinces and agencies”. K471 billion to the Food Reserve Agency should be a capital base. People are saying that the money is for food security but when there is a crisis, the Office of the Vice-President is also given money to buy food for emergencies. Are you sure we are not double spending? Year in and year out, we give K500 billion to FRA for food procurement. Why should they not run like a business entity? Why should we hear that so many tonnes of maize have been soaked and cannot be used? Why should we be told that tarpaulins which were bought are porous and that despite the amounts spent, we hear of maize being soaked and eventually destroyed?

Mr Speaker, why should we have maize from places like Petauke coming in rotten and sold to FRA? We need forensic audits to determine where the money for the people is going and the situation must be controlled. The money which should be given out is money coming from profits. We want to start selling to Kenya and if this is done, next year, FRA should not appear in our National Budget and, instead, the money should go to the Fertiliser Support Programme. The Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives is double accounting and we should find a way of determining where our money is going and the system in the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, especially in the Department of Planning, should cater for that.

Mr Speaker, the other thing we should look at is the cost at which the Government does business. Most of the money lost year in and year out is due to the expenses we incur in buying our services. Why should services be very expensive? I am happy that the President is saying that there is going to be a forensic audit and all procurement is going to be looked at, but I note that there is also a danger if we make single sourcing a habit because with this system, we will run the risk of losing a lot of money. There are incidences where single sourcing is allowed, but you find a situation where a company in Denmark knows about single sourcing whereas a company in Zambia would not know about it. We should be careful with that because this can be described as corruption.

It will be of help if we just do public procurement in a transparent and open manner. This will eventually bring change to the country. Change should bring a road on the Mungule/Chilo Road and should give the people of Katuba a road on the 15 miles Chembela Road. Change should give the people of Katuba the high school they need in Muchenge and elsewhere in constituencies where services are needed instead of these services being creamed somewhere in accounts.

Mr Speaker, I also want to reiterate the President’s praise for our men in uniform. The peace and security, which the Zambian people are experiencing, is not by luck, but because Zambia is a peace-loving country. I will not point at anyone, but would like to say that we, as politicians, should give the people of Zambia a pat on the back because there are times when politicians have gone to the borders and created an impression like there is a war coming to Zambia. What creates this impression is where some people feel they are better animals than others, irrespective of their capacity to deliver.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: Some of those who are incapable of having the capacity to even rule the Opposition, who are the opponents, want to use intimidation tactics.

Mr Muntanga: Aah!

Mr Shakafuswa: I think that is wrong ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: … and I say this to all political parties. The hour of bullying is long gone.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: The hour now is that of persuasion. If I do not agree with you, persuade me to look at things from your perspective, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: … but do not come and tell me, just because I do not see the sense in what you are saying, that I am not sensible enough to give you a different opinion from yours.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: This cuts across the board in all political parities. All political parties should treat politicians as adults, people who reason and have confidence from the people. For people to vote for you to come to this House, it means that they have confidence in you, which cannot be over looked by a few people who are at the top and others who just want to be there because they have nothing else to depend on …


Mr Shakafuswa: … and they have to cross a particular line to survive. This is to make sure that everyone else should feel oppressed because they are at the top. Things come and go.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: Politics come and go. Today, you can shine on the seat which is borrowed from the people of Zambia, but it will not be yours forever.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: You can use that seat only to make other people feel like they are not Zambians, but it will not be yours forever ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: … and the time when you will realise that, you might discover that it is too late.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate the Presidential Speech.  I want to join all my fellow colleagues who have paid condolences to our two departed friends who past on recently. I used to call Hon. Hamir, Haamir because it sounded Tongaish. As such, I used to tell him that he was a Tonga man. As for Hon. Tetamashimba, we temporarily exported him to the MMD and he did everything to show what he was made of …

Mr Kambwili: He made a President.

Mr Muntanga: … and he made a President. May their two souls rest in peace.

Mr Speaker, I have no quarrel with the speech of the President because I know that His Excellency the President had to open this Parliament in January and, again, in September, which made it twice in a year. I put myself in his shoes and imagined what was going on in his mind when preparing this speech because when he was preparing the speech of the Fourth Session of the Tenth National Assembly, he had to tell the people of this country the performance of this Government for that year ...

Hon. Members: Yes.

Mr Muntanga: … and we are in the third quarter of the same year.

Hon. Opposition Member: Yes.

Mr Muntanga: I could see that he called various Permanent Secretaries requesting for information so that he could give directives for next year. Unfortunately, the response must have been, “Sorry, Sir, we cannot give you this information because we are in the third quarter.” I think the President had a problem as regards collection of information. However, as a Government, we have done a commendable job to change the Budget cycle.

Major Chizhyuka: Balanced debate.

Mr Muntanga: I have read this speech and the best that could have been done was to repeat his previous speech for January. He talked about things that were promised for 2009. However, we are all aware that there was an allocation in the budget this year for Parliament to build offices for all Parliamentarians. I am not privy to the fact whether these offices mentioned have been built at all. However, I am happy with my office because I opened it before these pilot offices. I am happy that the Government took over my expenses of maintaining that office. On that one, I thank the Government.

Further, let me suggest that instead of us waiting for the completion of one office because of budget constraints, perhaps, Mr Speaker, the Government could entice hon. Members of Parliament, through the CDF, to build offices. Using CDF, the Government can allow hon. Members of Parliament to have local bids to build offices. This way, the offices in all constituencies can be built simultaneously in a single year. This would entail that, if CDF was increased from K650 million to K1 billion then the K400 million difference would be used to build offices for that given year.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, all that I am saying …

Major Chizhyuka: It is a suggestion, you can make one.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, they will suggest based on their thinking.

Mr Kambwili: It is a good suggestion.

Mr Muntanga: It is not a matter of someone sitting and saying “no”, and yet you cannot speak on the Floor. My point of view is that there is no point in taking ten years to build three offices when we have a reform that is important. We are very happy with the new offices that are being built. Hon. Members of Parliament, take time to go and see the new offices that are being built in the constituencies. One can appreciate that Parliament is doing a good thing just by the appearance of the offices. Therefore, I see it as a development in the right direction.

Mr Speaker, the President talked about mining. The point I want to stress about mining is what is going on on the Copperbelt and I would like those who come from there to comment. With this background, I just want to comment on Albidon Mine where we have a new investor. The people who were initially employed are not being engaged now. The people who were laid off and those who were put on care and maintenance are not being re-employed by this new company. Why should it be this way? If we are looking forward to the reopening of the mine, then we want the workers who were engaged but lost their jobs to be re-engaged.  We want them to be given their jobs back. I do not mind the new owners coming with the expert workers they trust for whatever reason, but we want them to ensure that our brothers and sisters, who were employed there, get their jobs back. That way, we shall be satisfied with what is going on at Albidon mine.

Mr Speaker, for Maamba Collieries, my brother explained what is happening there at length. There are over 52,000 metric tonnes of coal which have not been bought.

Hon. Member interjected.

Mr Muntanga: Oriental Mine has mined the coal, but it has problems of who to buy it, and yet we allow coal to be imported from our neighbours when our coal cannot be bought. The Government must play its cards well. We should be able to support all these industries so that they benefit the people.

Mr Speaker, again, I am concerned that, maybe, the President was not informed properly when it came to agriculture. I really worry because we have said that people want the numbers of beneficiaries of the Fertiliser Support Programme (FSP) to be increased. The basis of the regular regional plan of the FSP of 2003 was that someone be enabled to cultivate a hectare plot. What we have been saying all along is that the number of fertiliser beneficiaries be increased so that the number of farmers who are able to work per hectare also increases.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Some farmers were complaining about the amount of land they were expected to work on. Therefore, we are saying that, please, increase the amount of land or hectares given to the farmer.

Mr D. Mwila: Bebe mudala.

Mr Muntanga: What we have done now is to reduce to half the hectares farmers are to cultivate. If you have children you are feeding and are crying for more food and you say, “since we are all crying and we are too many, I will give you half of the portion you are entitled to,” so that the food can feed the large number …

Major Chizhyuka: Then you create more children.

Mr Muntanga: … what you are doing is to impoverish the ones that were getting the little initially. We have been talking about farmers improving. How do they improve when a hectare is not enough to support an average family of ten members? For such a family to feed and get enough money, that one hectare is not enough.

The Government is now urging farmers to only grow half a hectare when their families are still the same size. Why does the Government want to do things this way? We have tried to persuade the hon. Members on your right to end FSP if they have failed to administer it.  This programme is too selective and the creation of small committees in wards to give fertiliser to half-hectare farmers has not achieved anything.

Major Chizhyuka: They are just full of Kamuchekas.

Mr Muntanga: We need to look at the bigger picture if we are to improve the agriculture sector. The President, in his speech, said that the number of maize satellite depots had been increased. We need to note that in the previous years, when the late President was in office, the number of these depots was increased to ten per district. However, last year, the Government reduced the number of depots to two per district. This year, the number has been raised to seven depots in each district. Therefore, I do not see how the Government can claim that it has increased the number of depots in the country and dance around. This Government keeps moving up and down like something I do not want to mention.

Hon. Opposition Members: Like a yoyo.

Mr Muntanga: Yes, like a yoyo.


Mr Muntanga:  At first it was two, then ten and now seven depots per district and the Government says there is an increase. The hon. Members on your right must be serious for them to do things correctly. We should have moved from ten to twenty depots per district if there had been an increase. I will be the first one to congratulate the Government if this happens. I cannot start praising the Government when bags of maize are lying on road sides in villages because people are trying to sell their produce. Our people are suffering.

The Food Reserve Agency (FRA) has pegged the floor price at K65,000 per 50 kilogramme bag of maize, but all the millers that have Government support are offering K40,000 per bag. The Government does not listen to the poor people in this country, and hence the people of Zambia are suffering. The Zambian workers have pleaded with the Government for a reduction in income tax, but nobody has listened.

It is unfortunate that a few business people and some milling companies, who are friends of hon. Members on your right, are cheating our farmers. They have been told to pay levies whenever they buy maize in Kalomo so as to sustain the district council.  However, they have complained to Government officials that they do not want to pay levies …

Mr D. Mwila: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: … and right away the levies to councils have been abolished. How does the Government expect councils to survive? Who is buying the maize it is trying to protect? What is the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) up to? Is the Government not tired of crookedness all the time? How is buying the maize from this …

Mr Speaker: Order!

That word ‘crookedness’ is unparliamentary.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I withdraw the word “crookedness” and replace it with deceit or shrewdness …

Mr Speaker: Withdraw “deceit”.

Mr Muntanga: I replace it with “unfair treatment”. This is what I call the highest level of dishonesty. We have abolished various levies that were paid to councils. Councils used to sell vehicle licences, but we withdrew this. They had various charges on dog licences, but we withdrew this too. Even the houses from which they were collecting rent were turned into a political issue. Through gimmicks engineered by the MMD, the houses were sold for only K10 000. The councils now have no revenue base. How can a dependent district council such Kalomo that is dependent on agriculture operate when maize levies are removed by the President’s decree? I would like to know where councils such as Petauke, Chipata and Kalomo will get operational funds when such levies are removed.

Dr Kalumba: Just crossover to us.

Mr Muntanga: I cannot crossover to people who do not listen …


Mr Muntanga: … and are totally confused. I do not need them. I want to associate with someone who listens once told and does the right thing.

Hon. Oppositions Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Why should we point out what is wrong with our agriculture sector to the Government every year?

Major Chizhyuka: They are even laughing. It means that they cannot get any sense from what is said.

Mr Muntanga: When their mothers starve to death, they will realise that one can dress well every day, but without food, a person is dead. The Government should not have the habit of asking farmers to supplement its failures. Asking farmers to cultivate half hectares will not help the agriculture sector grow and even lending institutions cannot support such farmers.

With what the President said in his speech on agriculture, I am waiting to see the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning’s response in terms of next year’s Budget allocation to this sector. When the hon. Minister does that, we will then make further comments. Thereafter, various hon. Ministers should tell us what they are going to do in response to the President’s Speech. The President has made a harmless speech. He has simply told us what the Government has done and what it is doing. He has told us what we already know. We are looking forward to what the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning is going to tell us in his Budget Speech.

The President talked about energy and, therefore, I am waiting for the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development to come and tell us, in this House, what happened in Siavonga because we heard that there was a disaster. I got so scared because when I heard that something had blown up, I thought the turbines of the power plant had been damaged. I have now been told that the new investors in the area blew up something and some people died, but the full extent of the damage caused is not clear. We need to know the truth. We are under the impression that Zesco is carrying out energy development works. We need assurance that that we will not have any more people being blown up in certain areas. This House needs a proper explanation so that we stop listening to hearsay.

Mr Speaker, this speech (holding up a copy of the President’s Speech) talked about funds and farming. I know the President could not tell us more regarding this matter. However, I was waiting for him to say that the Government is now going to improve roads in all agriculture areas. I was going to smile if he had talked about tarring feeder roads going to farm lands. I know that he talked about areas where some works have started such as the Zimba/Livingstone road which has become a song. Yes, if the wife becomes pregnant, the husband must praise himself as being a real man. However, one cannot claim to be a father before the child is born.

Hon. MMD Members: Aah!

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: We want to know …


Mr Muntanga: … when the rehabilitation of this road is going to be completed. We congratulate the Government on working on the Zimba/Livingstone road, but we are not using it yet.  We have difficulty travelling between Zimba and Livingstone. The Government can only praise itself when this road is in good condition. Even the former President, Dr Chiluba, said that he would be a proud leader if he managed to tar a kilometre of one road. However, he tarred 80 kilometres of the Namwala/Chitongo Road. I can praise him for this because President Kaunda, for twenty-seven years in power, failed to do this. The late President promised to join that road to Choma. I am happy that those in Government now have pledged to maintain his legacy and, therefore, this road will be worked on. I hope that the funds for this project will not be diverted …

Mr Kambwili: To Chitambo.

Mr Muntanga: … if the hon. Members on your right are worth anything at all.


Mr Muntanga: One is not praised for impregnating someone’s child, but the praise comes after the baby is born. Even the ones who were insulting the culprit start praising him and say “mwabeleka tata .”

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Therefore, we will praise the Government once the roads we are complaining about, such as the Bottom Road, are worked on. We cannot congratulate this Government on encouraging farmers to cultivate half hectares only. That is negative development. We cannot praise the Government when, after spending so much money on the Mongu/Kalabo Road, it suspends the project and claims it is because the bridges on this road are being redesigned.  Why should it take two years to redesign bridges? We are not praising the hon. Members on your right when they have failed to repair the Livingstone/Mulobezi Railway Line. It is a death trap.  The Government wants to assure us that it is going to make a link to Namibia when it is unable to rehabilitate the road between Livingstone and Mulobezi. How can this be possible?

The road from Livingstone to Mulobezi is a death trap as it poses a danger to the public. I wonder what will happen if the Ngweze Bridge collapses while the train is crossing this bridge. We do not want a disastrous situation to happen on this railway line.

We will praise you when you do things that are of a positive nature.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr L. J. Mulenga (Kwacha): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the speech of the Republican President to this august House.

Mr Speaker, I took time to attentively listen to the President’s Speech. At the same time, I have taken time to read through the speech of the President. Out of all the areas that the President touched, the areas that has taken my attention is the area of agriculture and that is the area I will focus on.

Mr Speaker, from time immemorial or the time that I was born and all my school days, we were taught that a mineral is a wasting asset. Therefore, we must focus more on agriculture as an alternative to our economic development.

Mr Speaker, this song has been sung from the First, Second, Third and this Republic and there is no deliberate policy from any of these governments to try and bring this dream into reality. It is just a song. When His Excellency the President presented his speech, I expected him to talk more on agriculture. When we look at the population of this nation, we are talking of about 13 million people. The formal sector has about 500,000 plus people, meaning the rest of the people are in the informal sector. The only sector that can absorb many people and give them a chance and hope to survive is agriculture.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr L. J. Mulenga: At the moment, to get a small piece of land is a nightmare, and yet Zambia has so much land which is just idling. There are many hon. Members of Parliament seated in this House who do not even have one hectare of land, and I wonder what they will be doing once they leave this House.

Mr Speaker, many of our peasant farmers that we are supporting through the FSP farm on pieces of land that have no title deeds. They cannot use these pieces of land as collateral to get loans to improve on their farming methods. This means that we have locked our people in perpetual poverty.

We are striving to develop as a nation, and yet we have three quarters of people dependent on one quarter of the population in terms of tax support to the treasurer. How do we move the country together? We shall forever complain about the road infrastructure, clinics, hospitals and many other things, but if there is no deliberate policy by the Government to encourage people to be productive and economically viable, we are not getting anywhere.

When you look at the previous pack of eighty bags of fertiliser and 20 kilogrammes of seed, which makes one hectare and from one hectare, a family of six would require, maybe, about twelve bags if they are thrift for the rest of the year, but where are they going to get money to send their children to school? Nowhere, meaning we are creating a nation of uneducated people. The few people who are here who were educated on tax payer’s money, once they are gone, very uneducated people will remain in the country, which is dangerous for our nation.

Therefore, we need to be focused so that our people are economically viable and are able to upgrade their livelihood. Today, it is forty-four years after independence and you still have a person living in a mud-thatched house that looks like it is meant for goats or cows. How can we have a country like that?

Hon. Opposition Members: Harmer!

Mr L. J. Mulenga: We need to be more focused. For instance, in 2008, there was windfall tax that was introduced and a special account was opened at the Bank of Zambia. I would like to find out how that money was utilised and why we are not thinking of how best we can try and channel that money into agriculture which will capture many people for them to develop.

Let us create blocks and pieces of land so that it becomes easy for every Zambian to be productive. At the moment, every Zambian is interested in having a piece of land to grow food for themselves. If we are able to grow enough food, these millers will be forced to reduce the prices of mealie meal because we will produce our own food. That is the only way to teach them a lesson. For as long as we are dependent on them, they will keep exploiting us.

It is up to that the Government to come up with an initiative to counteract these capitalists who want to squeeze every ngwee out of various bodies.

Mr Speaker, when we look at the social sector, for instance, the provision of health facilities and education, you will note that 500,000 plus are employed in the formal sector and are able to send their children and themselves to private schools, clinics and hospitals. This means that out of what they contribute to the Treasury, nothing really gets down to them. This is why it is frustrating and sometimes, they would like to evade tax. Look at the many people out there who do not contribute anything to the Treasury, they are the ones who queue at these places. Of course, the Government has an obligation to look after them, but not to look after them forever and ever. We must get them onto their feet for them to look after themselves. That is what a responsible Government. There is a saying that goes, “you are better off teaching someone how to catch fish than giving them fish all the time” because when you are not there, there will have no fish.

We need to understand that the Government has a responsibility to look at a sector that can absorb its citizens and become viable. They would like to live in good houses and also enjoy good facilities so that they begin to see that they are part of this country, not the way things are.

You go into Roma Township, across there is a compound where people live in squalor and that is how we have known these problems. All I am saying is that the Government must have a deliberate policy in place by looking for land for those who are interested in farming and come up with some form of fund which they can borrow from. The agriculture system in the country, today, is in shambles, starting from distribution of inputs, marketing, up to the time of delivery to where it is supposed to be safe. A lot of maize has been sold and purchased, but it has ended up being destroyed. What carelessness!

I also would like to echo the words of Hon. Shakafuswa. FRA is given money every year. I have had difficulties personally understanding what happens with FRA. I want to believe that if you give someone K200 million to purchase maize this year, they will sell at a profit. Why do we give FRA money every year, and yet they sell maize at a profit? What happens to the money they make? We need answers so that we know what is happening with the money. Where is it going? Why do we fund FRA every year? One would understand if there are shortfalls, but not the way it is.

We have, for example, the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia which the Government cannot even fund, but we would rather import fertiliser through these dubious dealers who just want to make a profit a the expense of our farmers. How do we develop as a country? I think we need to sit down and talk about what is good for our country and how best we can move forward together.  I believe that the Government has listened and will do something about it.

With these few remarks, I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the President’s Address.

Mr Speaker, I would like to begin by making a comment on the crop levy that has been mentioned by my colleagues on the Floor of this House. I just want to alert the Government that the beneficiaries from the waiver of this crop levy are traders and not farmers. They must be protected. It is not good for traders who do not even know how to hold a plough to benefit from this.

The crop levy, Mr Speaker, is charged by the councils for the crops produced in their respective areas so that roads are maintained. This relief is not to the farmers. In case we are not very sure, I want to correct this statement. The farmers will not get any relief if the crop levy is removed and so I call upon the Government to maintain this levy. In fact, it is not an incentive to the farmers because there is no money now to maintain rural roads. I urge the Government to reconsider this because it is a mistake.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: You have only listened to the traders who are making more money than the farmers who are toiling. You are killing the people who produce. This is a mistake. This must be reversed. Please, advise accordingly. I hope the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning will reverse the decision.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: It is a mistake which was made for political expediency. This was done in Chipata towards the 2006 General Elections. The Government removed the bicycle levy when the Chipata Municipal Council was doing very well. In fact, most of the councils started learning from it, but deprived them of a very good initiative. Most of the districts wanted to introduce the same levy. We must not do things for political expediency. This was a mistake. It must be reversed.

Mr Speaker, the second issue is about the agriculture sector. We need to start thinking outside the box when it comes to the agriculture sector. For a very long time, we have been talking about food security. I am a farmer who lives with the constituents and so I know how hard it is to grow crops. The Government, for political expediency, is looking at food security. When we are farming, we look for two factors. The first one is to make a profit and the second one is food security. These two objectives are met.

For a long time, we have wanted the price of mealie meal to be maintained. There are many ways to maintain affordable mealie meal prices. One way is to subsidise. Do not kill the agriculture sector by only emphasising the national food security. Think outside the box. The agriculture sector can only grow if we have a very strong export drive. Where have you seen an economy that grows by selling and recycling within itself? This is myopic. There are big markets. I would like to borrow the words of the former First Lady who said Zambia must not be referred to as a landlocked country, but as a land linked country. There are eight markets and most of these need our crops.

Mr Speaker, I am very grateful that, through the Committee on Estimates, we visited some borders and leant a lot. We visited the Kipushi Border which is 160 kilometres from Solwezi. On the Zambian side, it is like a political rally. People buy goats, maize, cassava and so on and so forth. The Congolese just buy because they have the dollar. This is the only border where we found that the Immigration Office makes more money than the Zambia Revenue Authority. There are many people who cross the border and pay US$50 each. It is such a big market. However, all we need to do is facilitate export. If we do not export, the Zambian agriculture sector will remain traditional and very small. The Government must open it up. The markets are waiting for our crops. I would like the hon. minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources and Agriculture to take more of this to Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo not China. The primary markets where Zambia can access money are just around the corner. We want more trade missions in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola and Luena in Zambia. The Government should open new roads because that is where the money is. Once this is done, this sector will grow. 

In the seventeen years that the MMD has ruled this country, this sector has not been opened up to growth. You can only grow an economy if you export. Botswana, for example, has become rich through export. However, the Government, here, is encouraging people to buy maize so that mealie meal can be cheap. Cheap mealie meal can destroy the economy. You can set aside money specifically to subsidise mealie meal. Yes, people in town need cheap mealie meal. You can budget for that, but do not destroy the sector. Please, open up the borders. We want farming to be attractive and profitable. You are saying you are running a liberalised economy, but you have closed the borders. The borders should be opened up so that maize can be sold. If there is no maize, go and import and feed the people. As long as the farmer gets a good profit, that is good enough and farming becomes sustainable. That is what is important. Do not store maize in sheds. No. That is for a short term. We want long-term sustainability of the sector. Let the farmers become strong and viable. If, for example, maize finishes this year, they will even grow more next year. If this sector expands, we will have a lot of maize and this country will feed the whole southern region.

Mr Speaker, I was shocked to learn that a small country such as Malawi exports maize to South Africa and Zimbabwe. This country is smaller than the Southern Province, but we are failing with this big land simply because you have locked this sector.

Open it up. Let crops flow out of the country and there will be enough maize to secure cheaper mealie meal. Let us not just think of cheaper mealie meal and destroy the farmer because eventually, we will pay dearly for this. When farmers become bankrupt, we will be importing maize year in and year out. In the long term, this is a very expensive route. So please, open it up.

Mr Speaker, the Solwezi/Kipushi Road must be tarred so that people can access the big Congolese market. We are ready to sacrifice resources to open up the routes to markets in the region.

Hon. Ministers, we want to see you take our farmers on trade missions to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Rwanda and Kenya instead of flying to China to bring fake goods. Do it at home first.

Mr Speaker, still on the agriculture sector, the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) is basically for food reserve. We need a crop marketing company in this country.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: FRA looks at issues of food security. We need another statutory crop marketing body that will market a range of our crops from maize, rice, beans and sweet potatoes to cassava. Let us be holistic. I have heard people talk only of grain marketing. I am from a grain area, but I also want beans, cassava and an array crops to be marketed. We want a body that will explore markets and help to build standards that meet international ones so that we can export our crops.

Mr Speaker, Zambia’s advantage is in agriculture. Sixty per cent of our people are in the agriculture sector and, therefore, the budget must reflect that by putting more money in agriculture. Let me give an example of the Fertiliser Support Programme (FSP) for this year.  You have financed 500,000 farmers to the exclusion of others, and yet they will face the same price. That is agricultural apartheid. You are promoting economic apartheid in the country.


Mr Hamududu: The farmers are selling at the same price, and yet they have different cost structures. One is buying fertiliser at K200, 000 and the other at K50, 000, but they are expected to sell at the same price. That is illogical. What we need to do is subsidise all farmers. It is possible and we can do it. Reduce the Cabinet and save money. That template of the Yellow Book must be changed.


Mr Hamududu: Oh yes! You cannot have sixty-six Ministers. We have a lot of work to do. Yes, this country can run on fifteen Cabinet Ministers and fifteen deputies.

Hon. Government Member: It is debatable.

Mr Hamududu: You will remain hon. Members of Parliament. What will you miss? Yes, join us, it is very enjoyable.


Mr Hamududu: I enjoy being an hon. Member of Parliament. I am always in my constituency. I was there even today. We are very popular because we are available. Some of you will even lose elections because you have no time to visit your constituencies. Just agree in your caucuses to reduce the size of the Cabinet so that you can unlock the money to these issues. FSP must cover all the 1.2 million farmers so that there is fairness in the agriculture sector. You are killing some farmers. Tell me, are you offering a different price to those who were buying fertiliser? That is illogical. Can you, please, save money from wasteful lines and put more money in FSP. Give these farmers a proper injection of resources for the next three years and they will be viable. Eventually, they might not need to be subsidised. This unfairness is unacceptable. If possible, bring a supplementary budget so that we can give the farmers equal amounts of inputs because they face the same price.


Hon. Government. Members: Ignorance!

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, still on FSP, the administration of the programme will always remain chaotic. There is a scam surrounding the programme. I am disappointed with the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives because the ministry has continued using farmers’ associations and co-operatives. What we heard would be implemented was the voucher system where each farmer would be registered and given a document in order to pick the fertiliser. It is as simple as that. This current system will not solve problems.

Mr Speaker, we can form a co-operative in my village, for instance, and include marketeers as members. The administrators of FSP have no capacity to remove them, hence the fertiliser is found in markets.

Last year, this Government failed to arrest people who were selling fertiliser in markets. We told them to arrest them. We asked that security agents mop up the markets and arrest any marketeers who were found with FSP fertiliser. Maybe some people were involved.


Mr Hamududu: Do not argue. I went to the markets and saw the bags of fertiliser and we asked for the police to come.

Mr Speaker, most of the members of the co-operatives are marketeers. What we need to do is give each farmer a voucher for identification that will assist in the distribution of fertiliser. The job of a co-operative is to facilitate the access of cheaper fertiliser for farmers by sharing costs of transportation to their villages.  Co-operative is a business model. It is not to be used to distribute fertiliser.

Mr Muntanga: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: Use the voucher system to register the farmers so that we know where a particular farmer is farming. Most bogus farmers are hiding in the co-operatives and farmers’ associations. We do not want this.

I want to warn the Hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives that you are going to be embarrassed, once again, if you go the co-operative way because you will have not listened to the people.

Mr Speaker, I want to say that there is a need for Zambians to access land. In Namibia, there is a very important piece of legislation called the “Land Appropriation Act”. If we need the Galaun Farms in national interest, for example, we can appropriate it with full compensation.

Hon. UPND Member: Hammer there!

Mr Hamududu: This town is choking, and yet we have one man playing with horses on the land. Plots in Zambia are so expensive. How can you buy a plot in Zambia which is a flat land for K400 million? We need to buy off all these farms using compulsory acquisition with full compensation.

Major Chizhyuka: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: The people in town cannot buy plots. This country is a flat land. There is no justification whatsoever to buy a plot at K400 million. These people who have been outgrown by the town must be bought off. We need money for land appropriation in the budget so that we move in as a matter of law. It is happening in Namibia in national interest. Go and learn from Namibia. The middle class who are working in Lusaka cannot build houses. Civil servants and bankers cannot buy houses because they cannot afford to buy plots. That is why they are stealing.

Hon. Member: Yes!

Mr Hamududu: Please, make land accessible by buying off the nearby farms. Let us bring a law to that effect. You can make a proposal at the National Constitutional conference (NCC) or we can create an Act of Parliament to appropriate land in national interest and pay full compensation and not the Zimbabwean style. There is a smooth way of doing this.

Hon. Member: That is the way.

Major Chizhyuka: Those are new ideas.

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, we need to seriously diversify. The diversification drive can only be answered if we get money from trading and mining into agriculture.

Mr Speaker, when you drive from Chingola to Solwezi, you see the Acacia tree and wonder what is wrong with us. What is wrong with this country and its leaders? We, the political leaders of this country, have failed the Zambian people. We are failures …

Hon. MMD Member: You!

Mr Hamududu: … and need to redeem ourselves.

Major Chizhyuka: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: We have all the land in this country, and yet we call ourselves a poor country. What is there in Botswana and Namibia? We are the wealthiest country in this region. We just need proper leadership. We want a budget that is radical.  That template you have been using year in and year out is wrong. Go and collapse those lines and put the money in necessary areas.

Hon Opposition Member: We need a small yellow book.

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, I want to conclude by talking about the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). The problem with CDF is that you want to give a lump sum. You can break it up.  Waiting for the lump sum will always take a long time. By now, you should have given us one half of CDF for us to start working and then the other half later. The problem is that we wait until …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended I was talking about Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

Sir, may I be forgiven if I was too emotional. I am very passionate about national issues. Therefore, I want to conclude by saying that CDF was an election promise by the current Head of State. He mentioned that it would be increased to K1 billion per constituency. That promise must come to fruition in the new budget. I am very sure that the Ministry of Finance and National Planning will heed to the Presidential directive that CDF be raised to K1billion so that we can sort out some of the problems we face in our constituencies.

Mr Speaker, finally, let me mention that the problem we have with CDF is that the Ministry of Finance and National Planning wants to release the money all at once. That is not the way funds are supposed to be released. The money can be released in chunks. It can be in two installments so that the projects are on going. At the moment, most projects have stalled because there is no cement and other materials. I think we can come up with a formula where part of the money can be released and the rest is released later. If we wait for the full amount, we will always receive CDF at the end of the year, which is not good, as far as implementation of projects is concerned.

Sir, I hope the Ministry of Finance and National Planning will release the K1 billion in two phases. The first K500 million can be released just at the beginning of the year and the other in the middle of the year. We know that it is difficult to get the money from taxes. At the moment, I do not see any reason CDF cannot be released because this can be done in installments. Therefore, we want this money released so that we begin to work on clinics, schools and road in our constituencies.

Sir, with these few words, I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!



The Minister of Defence (Dr Mwansa): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1834 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 23rd September, 2009.