Debates- Friday, 14th November, 2008

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Friday, 14th November, 2008

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]





The Minister of Defence (Mr Mpombo): Mr Speaker, I rise to give the House some idea of the Business it will transact next week.

On Tuesday, 18th November, 2008, the Business of the House will begin with questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will consider two motions to adopt the following committee reports.

(i) Committee on National Security and Foreign Affairs; and
(ii) Committee on Health, Community Development and Social Welfare.

On Wednesday, 19th November, 2008, the Business of the House will begin with questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. After that, the House will consider Private Members’ Motions, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will consider one motion to adopt the committee report of the Committee on Sport, Youth and Child Affairs.

On Thursday, 20th November, 2008, the Business of the House will begin with questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will consider two motions to adopt the following committee reports:

(i) Committee on Education, Science and Technology; and
(ii) Committee on Estimates.

Mr Speaker, on Friday, 21st November, 2008, the Business of the House will begin with questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. The House will then consider two motions to adopt the following committee reports:

(i) Committee on Communications, Transport, Works and Supply; and 
(ii) the first Report of the Committee on Government Assurances.

Thereafter, the House may consider any other business that might have been presented to it earlier in the week.

I thank you, Sir.




416. Mr Malama (Mfuwe) asked the Vice-President:

(a) how much money the Government spent on relief food for the people of Mfuwe Parliamentary Constituency from 2001 to-date;

(b) what the causes of hunger in the constituency were; and

(c) what measures the Government had taken to address the problem at (b) above.

The Deputy Minister in the Vice-President’s Office (Mr Malwa): Mr Speaker, in response to the question raised by Hon. Malama, allow me to remind the House that the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) does not consign relief food to parliamentary constituencies per se, but rather to district administrative centres for distribution to target food insecure wards.

The needs of communities are assessed by the Vulnerability Assessment Committee (VAC) in my office through Rapid or In-depth Vulnerability and Needs Assessment utilising local structures such as the district and Satellite Management Committees. Based upon the assessed needs, resources are mobilised to facilitate the procurement, transportation and subsequent distribution of the food needs to target areas.

In the particular, case of Mfuwe Constituency in Mambwe District, I wish to inform the august House that this is one of the districts in which the Vulnerability Assessment Committee undertook a food insecurity assessment and established that in the years 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004, the scale of food insecurity and did not warranty any major relief programme.

However, from 2005 to 2008, Mambwe District required relief food which cost the amounts shown below in terms of procurement, transportation and distribution of the relief supplies.

Year                        Amount Spent on Procurement of Relief Supplies
2005                          K999,642,800.00
2006                          K1,198,622,600.00
2007                          K195,241,000.00
2008                          K 225,699,000.00

Mr Speaker in response to part (b) of the question, I wish to state that the major causes of hunger is Chief Nabwalya’s area are threefold, namely adverse weather particularly flash floods and drought, and the destruction of crops by wild animals especially for communities the live in game management areas.

In response to part (c) of the question, the Government is implementing a range of mitigating measures to address the three constraints above including the following:

(i) promotion of small-scale irrigation schemes to enable farmers all year-round crop production;

(ii) promotion of crops that are drought tolerant;

(iii) promotion of improved agricultural practices such as conservation farming to improve production and the promotion and supply of specific varieties of seed and cuttings of suitable varieties including maize MWV 400, Pools 6, GV 412, SC 403 and ZM 421; Sorghum-Kuyuma variety, Cassava-Nalumino, Bangweulu and Kapumba, Sweet Potato-Chingomva, Zambezi and Luangwa. These are drought tolerant corps;

(iv) the provision on the Rood Security Pack to vulnerable, but viable farmers in years when funding has been adequate. This pack includes agricultural inputs;

(v) the Fertiliser Support Programme where fertiliser and maize seed are provided at subsidised prices. However, the demand in Chief Nabwalya’s area for this is low, as the farmers believe the soils there are rich enough and the major crop sorghum, does not need fertilisers; and

(vi) promotion of co-operatives to enhance farmers ability to market their produce as well as have access to agricultural inputs.

By implementing these measures, the Government is committed to addressing hunger in all food-insecure districts, including Mambwe District. However, the complete solution lies in the collaborative effort among the communities themselves.

Sir, the hon. Members of Parliament and Government sitting together and finding a lasting solution would include possible relocation of the communities in disaster prone areas including communities living in Game Management Areas, where human-animal conflict, in terms of food destruction by animals is frequent.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Malama (Mfuwe): Mr Speaker, firstly, I wish to correct the hon. Minister that Mfuwe is not in Mambwe District but in Mpika District and is in Northern Province.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Malama: Mr Speaker, I am happy that the hon. Minister in his answering of the question mentioned that one of the causes of hunger in Mfuwe Constituency is animal destruction. I would like to find out whether the Government intends to put community farms in the constituency which the Government can protect in order to prevent animals from destroying crops.

The Minister of Defence (Mr Mpombo): Mr Speaker, setting up farms in the Game Reserve Areas would be ‘totally a very lackadaisical’ approach. 


Mr Mpombo: Sir, what we need to do is to sit down with the communities so that this issue can be looked at in a wider dimension.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Zulu (Bwana Mkubwa): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that the causes of hunger in Mfuwe are floods and drought. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether they can take advantage of misfortune to create an opportunity. What is the Government doing to dam the water which we have during the floods so that we can use it when there is a drought?

Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, I want to state that the areas the hon. Minister did indicate are prone to adverse weather conditions and the Government has no control over the vagaries of the weather.


Mr Mpombo: Sir, regarding the issue of damming the area, the Government is, indeed, approachable. We are open to everyone and we would want to invite the hon. Member of Parliament for the area to sit down with us and see how we can approach this issue in a very professional manner.

I thank you, Sir.

Colonel Chanda (Kanyama): Mr Speaker, if I may remind the hon. Minister…

Mr Speaker: Order! You ask the question.

Colonel Chanda: Mr Speaker, We had unprecedented flooding in Kanyama early this year. What plans has the hon. Minister put in place so that we do not experience a similar calamity this time around.

Mr Speaker: Order! The hon. Member’s question is out of range.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


417. Mr Malama asked the Minister of Communications and Transport when reliable public transport would be introduced between Chief Nabwalya’s area and the Mfuwe Business Centre in order to reduce transport problems.

The Deputy Minister of Communications and Transport (Mr Mubika): Mr Speaker, following the approval of the Transport Policy in 2002 and the liberalisation of the transport sector in the country, the responsibility of providing public transport services is being provided by the private sector.

Sir, the demand for public transport services exists because of the presence of the people living in Chief Nabwalya’s area and the surrounding areas. What is required is the dissemination of business information from the area on the demand of transport services that will motivate private sector providers of public transport to take advantage of the business opportunities prevailing.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Malama: Mr Speaker, when will the Government introduce Government transport like it used to be in United National Independence Party (UNIP) period to carter for remote areas which cannot attract private transport investors?

The Minister of Communications and Transport (Ms Siliya): Mr Speaker, the whole purpose of liberalising the transport sector by the Government was to ensure that the Government does not continue to crowd out the private sector in terms of participation in the transport sector, with the purpose of creating wealth and jobs for the citizens of this country. I think evidence is very clear that since the liberalisation of the transport sector, many Zambians with entrepreneurship spirit have continued to participate and gain incomes from participation in the transport sector.

Mr Speaker, it is true that in certain areas in the country, because of lack of economic activity, the private sector is not attracted to provide transport services. I think what is important is for us, as the Government, and these are part of our plans, is to ensure that we encourage economic activities in those areas by providing the right infrastructure and capacity for enterprise development so that the private sector can actually participate in the transport sector in those areas.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, when is the Government going to implement what the hon. Minister has been saying?

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, this Government has laid plans very clearly in the short term in the Fifth National Development Plan and in the long term in Vision 2030. The whole idea is to ensure that we provide relevant infrastructure, particularly, in the transport sector and make Zambia a hub of the transport sector in terms of air transport, road transport, water transport and rail transport. We are on course. We have a short-term plan and a long-term plan. This is why I am very sure that come 2011, when we continue implementing our plan, we will still be on this side (right) of the House…


Ms Siliya: … and you will be on that side (left) of the House.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda (Sinazongwe): Mr Speaker, arising from the explanation given by the hon. Minister of Communications and Transport, may I find out how much Government money has been generated by wheelbarrows which are being pushed in towns and everywhere and creating organised chaos.


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I do agree that one of the biggest challenges we continue to face is to try to formalise the informal sector in this country so that every business activity pays due taxes to the Government and so that it can continue to meet its visions and provide other services to the rest of the country.

I believe that this time, obviously, wheelbarrows are part of the informal sector. My challenge, as Minister of Communications and Transport, is to try and provide opportunities for these young men and women that are using wheelbarrows to try and sustain themselves so that they do not start chanting very unpopular slogans for some parties in this House.


Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Mr Speaker, may I have an elaborate response from the hon. Minister on when the Government plans to move the equipment stationed in Kasama to Mfuwe so that the roads which we are talking about can actually be maintained. When will that be done?

Mr Siliya: Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for the question from the gentlemen.


Ms Siliya: I am sorry, from the hon. Member of Parliament.

Mr Speaker, I am not sure which equipment he is talking about. As a direct response to the problem of feeder roads in rural areas, this Government, with the support of the Chinese Government, brought equipment into the country to work on roads all over the country. I also know that there is equipment stationed in Mpika. However, if the hon. Member of Parliament would like further information, he can contact my colleague in the Ministry of Works and Supply.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, the original question from the hon. Member of Parliament for Mfuwe was arising from his concern of smoothening transport facilitation in his constituency. I also believe that the same exists in areas like Shang’ombo and Sinjembela, where this Government has often got into trouble for failing to move ballot papers on time to a counting centre. Are there no exceptions to the rule where these critical areas require to be facilitated by the Government in form of providing Government transport?

Ms Siliya:   Mr Speaker, I know that we have very short memories and we seem to have forgotten the problems that Government-provided transport had years back. This is why when the MMD Government came into power, we decided that it was important to liberalise the transport sector to provide opportunities to private citizens.

As I said earlier, it is true that there are some areas in this country, where, because of lack of economic activity, the private sector has no incentive to provide transport. The responsibility for the Government, therefore, is to ensure that we provide road and energy infrastructure in those areas. My hon. Colleague from the Ministry of Energy and Water Development has continuously told this House that we have a plan for rural electrification so that we can provide the economic infrastructure that will make it possible for private sector activity to begin in those areas. Once these activities begin, there will be a natural pull for people to be in the transport sector.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


418. Mr Katuka (Mwinilunga East) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing when Mumbezhi would be granted district status considering that the huge investment at Lumwana is in that area.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Dr Kazonga): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this House that the Government has no immediate plans to grant district status to Mumbezhi area. The policy of the Government, at present, is not to upgrade or establish any new districts anyhow, unless they are deemed necessary. This is to allow the Government to develop the newly upgraded districts by providing them with necessary infrastructure and resources. It would be undesirable for the Government to upgrade sub-bomas to districts when most of the newly created or up-graded councils do not have infrastructure and resources that they require.

Currently, the Government is preparing an Integrated Development Plan (IDP) for Lumwana, being the area between Maheba and Lumwana East River, in order to control illegal developments taking place due to the development of Lumwana Copper Mine. Most illegal settlements are taking place around Maheba and Manyama areas in Lumwana.

Mr Speaker, there is also a possibility of creating Lumwana District, according to the council’s resolutions, as well as the desires of the local chiefs and provincial administration. However, in future, the Government may consider granting Mumbezhi area a district status depending on the economic activities and the development of infrastructure, considering that most of the mining activities are in that area. I, however, want to state that we have received many requests from various parts of the country to grant district status to a number of sub-bomas in the country. This, at the moment, is not possible because of what I stated earlier.

I thank you, Sir.

Major Chizhyuka (Namwala): Mr Speaker, arising from this veiled and jargoned answer …


Major Chizhyuka: …from the hon. Minister, who, in one statement is busy contradicting himself, saying he is not going to upgrade Mumbezhi into a district and later changes his mind,  is this Government not able to understand that the economic fundamentals of Lumwana are such that they will superimpose any other economic fundamentals in North-Western Province and in most of the districts in this country? Furthermore, given the existing economic fundamentals on the ground in Mumbezhi, should it not be a priority for the Government to turn it into a district status immediately?

Dr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, my response was not contradictory. The first part indicated the Government’s policy as far as establishment of new districts is concerned. However, the current policy is not to create any more before those that were created are attended to in terms of ensuring that adequate infrastructure is available. In short, what we are saying is that we have enough food to chew. Why should we have some more?

Mr Speaker, to every rule there is an exception. If the activities in Lumwana will demand that a district be created, we have to move in that direction. My response has indicated how that process is supposed to begin. It will be according to the council’s resolutions, the desires of the local chiefs and provincial administration agreeing to upgrade Mumbezhi into district status. 
Therefore, depending on the level of economic activities in that area, there is a possibility of creating a district there. For now, we cannot just do it by decree. We are seeing potential for these activities, but let us see these economic activities and then, if people are interested in district status there, they must use the process that I have articulated in my response.

 I thank I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, we have known that the ministry has the mouth full and there is not enough space for chewing. Now there is an exception to the rule. How possible is it that this year the district will be attended to and the mouth will be able to chew?

 Dr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, the mouth will be able to chew because it will have considered all the important ingredients together with those that have just been created. Cardinal issues are those of infrastructure and human resource. When we talk about infrastructure, whenever you have a Boma, you need a council there, administrative offices for different Government departments such as Education, Agriculture, Health and so on. Therefore, if the demand has really been in such a way that a district needs to be created there, we shall tackle it as it comes.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

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


419. Mr Katuka asked the Minister of Education:
(a) how much money the ministry had so far distributed country-wide to clear teachers’ outstanding housing allowances; and

(b) how much money was outstanding and when the rest of the arrears would be paid.

The Deputy Minister of Education (Mr Sinyinda): Mr Speaker, I would like to inform the House that the Government has just released K8 billion towards the outstanding arrears. The outstanding arrears are K2,432,160,000 which will be paid as money is made available.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chisala (Chilubi): Mr Speaker, with a view to alleviating this problem of outstanding housing allowances which has been affecting our teachers for a long period now, what immediate plans has the Government put in place?

The Minister of Education (Professor Lungwangwa): Mr Speaker, to address the problem of housing allowances for teachers, the Government has included housing allowance as part of the salary of the teachers since June this year.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


420. Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma) asked the Minister of Works and Supply when feeder roads in Nangoma Parliamentary Constituency would be graded.

The Deputy Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Ndalamei):  Mr Speaker, I would like to inform the House that the ministry, through Road Development Agency, is carrying out routine maintenance on some feeder roads in the constituency that were improved upon through the Danish Road Sector Programme Support in 2006/2007 which includes the Nangoma – Chiseke Road. The Mumbwa District Council has been appointed as a road authority for feeder roads in the district. The proposed lists of feeder roads in he district, as identified and surveyed by the district council in liaison with the Regional Engineer for Central Province, is still being awaited by Road Development Agency Headquarters.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.




Mr Speaker: Is there an Acting Chairperson?

Mrs Mwamba (Lukashya):  Mr Speaker, Hon. Matongo went to collect the speech from Committee Office.

Mr Speaker: Order! We shall defer this and move on to the next Motion.


Dr Kalumba (Chienge): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Local Governance, Housing and Chiefs’ Affairs for the Second Session of the Tenth National Assembly laid on the Table of the House on Friday, 7th November, 2008.

Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded.

Mr Kasoko (Mwembeshi): Mr Speaker, I beg to second.

Dr Kalumba: Mr Speaker, in keeping with the terms of reference, as set out in he Standing Orders, your Committee considered the report of the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing for 2008 on the summarised audited accounts of local authorities. They also considered the Action-Taken Report on the Committee’s Report for 2007 and policy matters arising therefrom.

Your Committee also received a submission from the ministry of Local Government and Housing on various policy matters. Further, your Committee received a brief from eh acting Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Lands on the Challenges being faced in processing certificates of the Title for council properties. Your Committee’s report is therefore in three parts.

 The first part relates to matters arising from the report of the Minister of Local Government and Housing on Audited Accounts of Local Authorities for 2008. The second part concerns consideration of submission on various policy issues while part three is on the Action-Taken Report on the Committee Report for 2007.

Sir, I believe that hon. Members have had an opportunity to acquaint themselves with eh contents of your Committee’s Report. I will, therefore, only highlight a few pertinent issues from your Committee’s Report.

Sir, let me start by commenting on matters raised in the hon. Minister’s report on the summarised audited accounts of Local authorities for 2008. Your Committee, like all your previous committees, are concerned that despite several recommendations and appeals made by your Committee and auditors for principal officers in local authorities to abide by the requirements of financial regulations in the management of public funds, little change has been recorded.

The current report by the hon. Minister reveals serious accountability failures. For example, although local authorities are required by financial regulations to prepare timely annual accounts, most local authorities mentioned in the report are not doing so. The report also reveals rampant failure by councils to maintain a range of accounting documents such as general and subsidiary ledgers, stores registers and fixed assets registers, to mention but few. Your Committee also note that guidelines pertaining to the retirement to imprest and the utilisation of the Constituency Development Fund have continued to be overlooked.

Your Committee are of the view that without strong and good leadership, the current accounting failures in local authorities will continue and our shared ambitions and aspirations for accountability of public funds in all public institutions across the country will not be realised. They, therefore, strongly urge the Ministry of Local Government and Housing to closely monitor local authorities to ensure that guidelines and financial regulations are followed. Your Committee also urge the ministry to deal firmly with councils which fail to comply with the Committee’s recommendations.

Sir, your Committee attach enormous importance to local authorities as a cornerstone of the country’s democratic system of governance and delivery of service as well as other public goods.

Allow me, therefore, to comment briefly on the Decentralisation Policy. Your Committee are disappointed that despite the decentralisation policy being an initiative of the Government, there has not been enough political will to implement it. Your Committee are of the view that if the Government has difficulties implementing the Decentralisation Policy, they should provide another policy direction instead of leaving the local government system in its current state.

Sir, your Committee are alive to the fact that the decentralisation process, in seeking to democratise and transfer powers, often threatens many actors who are reluctant to implement it. They request the Government to provide leadership on the matter and come up with a clear stand on the way forward.

Mr Speaker, may I also say something about the importance of employing quality staff in local authorities. It is the belief of your Committee that without dedicated professional staff that also have a sense of vision, local authorities cannot achieve anything. They, however, note that local authorities in Zambia lack adequate resources for them to recruit and retain qualified staff in order to deliver decent services to the people.

They note, therefore, that the proposed establishment of the Local Government Service Commission, though welcome, will not have any meaningful impact on the performance of the councils in the absence of adequate resources to attract and retain qualified staff.

Your Committee, therefore, urge the Government to take a holistic approach to challenges facing councils by implementing the Decentralisation Policy which, in their view, will increase resources available for development and service delivery at local government level. It is only when this happens that qualified staff will be attracted to work for councils.

Sir, in conclusion, allow me to thank all town clerks, council secretaries and officials form the Ministry of Local Government and Housing for the co-operation rendered during the consideration of the report of the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing on audited accounts. The Committee further thanks the offices of the Auditor-General and the Clerk of the National Assembly for the advice rendered during the deliberations.

Finally, your Committee wish to record their indebtedness to you, Mr Speaker, for the guidance given during the session.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

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

Mr Kasoko: Now, Sir.

Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion that this House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Local Governance, Housing and Chiefs’ Affairs for the Second Session of the Tenth National Assembly.

Sir, the mover of this Motion has ably highlighted the main issues contained in your Committee’s report. I will, therefore, only comment on a few issues that came before your Committee.

Mr Speaker, let me start by adding my voice to the disappointment expressed by the mover of the Motion on the delay by the Government to approve the Decentralisation Implementation Plan. Your Committee are disappointed because they view the implementation of the Decentralisation Policy as a remedy to most problems which the local authorities are facing. Sir, by empowering local authorities we are going to ensure that local authorities deliver a decent service to the people. We are going to ensure that councils have enough money to deliver service and to attract and retain qualified staff. The Zambian people have waited for too long to have functioning councils. It is for this reason that your Committee want the Government to come with a clear position on the Decentralisation Policy.

Sir, let also comment on the difficulties faced by councils in obtaining title deeds for their properties. Your Committee are of the view that the widespread delays experienced by councils in obtaining title deeds for their properties is a negative development which should urgently be addressed. They observe that the delays in processing title deeds for the councils has been partly due to structural capacity problems in the councils as a result of which sub-standard documents have been forwarded to the Ministry of Lands for processing.

Your Committee, therefore, recommend that the Ministry of Lands and the Ministry of Local Government and Housing should urgently work out measures to empower authorities on how to prepare papers for processing of title deeds.

Further, your Committee are of the view that local authorities, as Government agencies deserve to be given special treatment by the Ministry of Lands so that they can be assisted to process their title deeds in a timely manner.

Sir, let me finish by commenting on the implementation of the Markets and Bus Stations Act. Your Committee note that a lot still needs to be done for the law to come into effect. Your Committee are not satisfied with the sensitisation activities being undertaken by councils. They observe that there are no funds specifically earmarked for the exercise despite the fact that most council are cash strapped. Your Committee, therefore, urge the Ministry of Local Government and Housing to take leadership and spearhead the sensitisation activities and help councils in undertaking initial activities in the implementation of the Act. Failure to do this will result in the Act not being implemented.

Sir, allow me to thank the mover of this Motion for the able manner in which he chaired your Committee meetings.

Mr Speaker, I urge the House to support this non-controversial Motion.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Dr Kazonga): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Motion.

Mr Speaker, having gone through the report of your Committee, I want to comment on a few issues that were raised in that report that are key to the smooth operation of the local government system in the country. I will concentrate my debate particularly on part two of your Committee’s report.

The first part that I capture is the issue of capacity being interpreted from different angles, in terms of human, financial and so on. The Ministry of Local Government and Housing, at the moment, is developing capacities in these local authorities to ensure that they are able to perform these functions that they are supposed to perform.

Mr Speaker, as an illustration, we are currently working on capacities in local authorities to put up documentation. This is, indeed, basic. If they are not able to do documents for title deeds, then what more with other functions that they are supposed to perform? So, Sir, at policy level the Ministry of Lands and the Ministry of Local Government and Housing usually sit for consultative meetings and so we have a role to play and we shall do our best in order to address this gap of capacity.

Mr Speaker, in terms of the other capacities, dealing basically with issues of financial management, being unable to account for the resources that they receive, we, as Government through the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, have been conducting workshops that will ensure that these people are also enlightened on the cardinal issues that surround financial management in our local authorities.

Mr Speaker, last year, we were able to develop audit and financial manuals so that accounting staff and other chief officers can make use of them as part of building capacity because, as rightly pointed out by the Chairperson of your Committee in the report, most of these can be addressed through the implementation of the Decentralisation Policy. Now if the capacities are not there, then the implementation will not take place. Therefore, as far as the Government is concerned, we shall continue to develop capacities in our local authorities particularly in the issues dealing with financial management.

Mr Speaker, it was really sad to read the report on some of the problems that are being experienced in some of the local authorities where a payment is made without supporting documentation. If there are very basic problems like the absence of a fixed assets register, what are you there for? Mr Speaker, I wish to state that these are correct observations that this Government will be addressing continuously. Now, the other commitment that this Government has is that if you look at the funding to the ministry and in turn to the local authorities, in 2007 which was last year, we experienced an increase of 95 per cent in terms of financial resources to the sector and this year we experienced an increase of 11 per cent to the sector and that partly shows the determination of the Government and commitment to ensuring that we do what is supposed to be done.

Mr Speaker, there is also a portion on the issue of decentralisation. Mr Speaker, if we go backwards into history, the French and the British had difficulties as they were preparing countries for independence and that was partly the birth of decentralisation. It is a concept that we have to be cautious in the way we manage it. For now we have said we shall continue to sensitise the local authorities …


Mr Speaker: Order! This presentation needs to be dear to all hon. Members of Parliament because you are councillors but the House is not paying attention. Please, pay attention to the comments by the hon. Minister. Will the hon. Minister continue, please?

Dr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, I was emphasising, in terms of the importance of decentralisation and what we are doing about it. For now we are emphasising sensitisation. Once the Decentralisation Implementation Plan has been adopted and approved by Cabinet, we shall implement other areas. Now the implementation has partly started. If you look at just this year, the Ministry of Local Government and Housing acquired 150 utility vehicles for our local authorities within the overall context of Make Zambia Clean and other health programmes.

Mr Speaker, if you check the functions of local authorities, those will be addressed through the use of those vehicles, for instance keeping the places clean, reinforcement of by-laws and also monitoring and evaluation of different projects, even those that are within the CDF context. It is, indeed a very important policy that this Government is committed to implementing, except that some of the portions are already being implemented.

Mr Speaker, the ministry has acquired tractors and some boats in some of the local authorities in order for them to deliver on what they are supposed to deliver and one of the major objectives of our ministry is to develop and manage human and institutional capacity building in all the local authorities and at various levels of Government for effective implementation of this particular policy. So, if the Government already has this objective, we are already committed that we should achieve our objective.

Mr Speaker, let me also make a comment on the Markets and Bus Stations Act. Your Committee indicated that they are aware of the sensitisation programmes that are taking place except that they may not be adequate but they are requesting for the intervention of the ministry. Indeed, this ministry has already started the implementation process of the Markets and Bus Stations Act. A Statutory Instrument on the implementation of the Act was already done last year in October and another Statutory Instrument was issued to open up the Markets Fund which is contained in the Markets and Bus Stations Act. As part of the implementation, the next level is the one on sensitisation. We need to continuously sensitise our communities, even if some market associations were trying to resist it, but through these sensitisation programmes, we hope we can move together in the same direction. We have already started and, in terms of the legal framework, the Statutory Instrument for the implementation was done, and the Statutory Instrument for opening of the Markets Fund is also already done.

Mr Speaker, we shall, therefore, continue to implement the Markets and Bus Stations Act in order to meet the objectives that it was meant to achieve. Mr Speaker, the performance of the local government system in the country really relies on decentralisation.

Mr Speaker, I saw one comment that was made by your Committee that the introduction of the Local Government Service Commission may appear to be contradictory to the principles of decentralisation. I wish to state that decentralisation, if we use the route of devolution, it will not be all the functions that will be devolved to the local authorities or lower organs. If we look at devolution as a form of decentralisation, some of the functions will still be the responsibility of the Central Government. Therefore, I do not see any contradiction at all. The Local Government Service Commission will be able to address the chief officers while lower staff will still be recruited by the local authorities. There is no contradiction at all.

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

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalumba: Mr Speaker, I think the august House …

Dr Scott: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised on the mover which is very strange.

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, I am raising my point of order on the Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing not the one who has just been on the Floor, but the other one, Hon. Tetamashimba, who in this morning’s The Post is quoted as saying the following in contradiction to your ruling.

Mr F. R. Tembo: It is The Post again.

Dr Scott: I quote:
“I am very surprised that Copperbelt Police Commanding Officer has given the Patriotic Front (PF) a permit to demonstrate because as a Commanding Officer, he should have refused,” he said. “How do you give a permit for people to demonstrate when the President has not yet put a Cabinet in place?”

 Now, Mr Speaker, on Tuesday, I raised a point of order regarding the status of this Cabinet and other sectors in this House and you were very emphatic in your ruling that this is a fully legitimate and fully functional Cabinet that we are dealing with here. Is the hon. Deputy Minister in order to contradict your ruling? Sir, I seek your serious guidance.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order! The hon. Member for Lusaka Central wants to know essentially whether the hon. Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Local Government and Housing has contradicted my earlier ruling on the matter he referred to. The answer is my ruling is beyond contradiction …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: … and it stands correct. I cannot, however, vouch for the accuracy of what other people say …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: … or write. That has nothing to do with the Chair. Hon. Member for Chienge may continue.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalumba: Mr Speaker, I wish to thank this august House for the resounding, but silent approval of the report of the Committee and, singularly, I thank the hon. Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing for his spirited faith in the local government system in the future.

Thank you, Sir.

Question put and agreed to.{mospagebreak}


Mr Matongo (Pemba): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the Report of the Parliamentary Reforms and Modernisation Committee, for the Second Session of the Tenth National Assembly, laid on the Table of the House on 13th November, 2008.

Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mrs A. Mwamba raised her hand.


Mr Speaker: Order! When will this House learn that when the presiding officer on his or her feet there should be complete silence? This is in accordance with your rules.

Mr Matongo: Mr Speaker, under their terms of reference, your Committee are charged with the responsibility of examining and proposing reforms to the powers, procedures, practices, organisation and facilities of the National Assembly, provided that, in proposing such reforms, the Committee shall bear in mind the balance of power between the respective Constitutional responsibilities and roles of the National Assembly and the Government, and the duties of other House-keeping Committees. Allow me to highlight some of the activities that your Committee undertook during the year.

Progress on the Parliamentary Reform Programme Phase Three (PRPIII)

Mr Speaker, planning for PRPIII commenced at the end of 2006 and culminated in a bankable programme document. Subsequently, a number of co-operating partners were persuaded with the proposition of providing support for the programme. Sir, four co-operating partners took up the challenge and agreed to support the programme and these are as follows:

(i) The European Commission (EC);
(ii) the Republic of Ireland, through Irish Aid;
(iii) the United Kingdom, through the Department for International Development (DFID); and 
(iv) the United Nations system through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

These co-operating partners expressed interest in supporting activities that would enhance the capacity of Members of Parliament and staff in executing their respective roles. In this regard, Sir, your Committee identified areas of capacity building under PRPIII which could be supported by the co-operating partners. The areas of capacity building under PRPIII were condensed to form a project called the Capacity Building Component of PRPIII. In this regard, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the National Assembly and the four co-operating partners on 30th May 2008. A total of $6,501,000 has been pledged by the co-operating partners under this Memorandum of Understanding in support of the said project.

Mr Speaker, the capacity building component is a project which will be implemented as a distinct component of PRPIII. The project is aimed at enhancing the institutional, human and operational capacities of hon. Members of Parliament and staff. The project will be implemented to enhance the capacities of hon. Members and staff in order to achieve the following outputs:

(i) Improved hon. Member-constituent relations;

(ii) Increased autonomy and transparency of Parliament as the Legislature, including its capacities in bill drafting, budgeting and legislative oversight and foresight.

(iii) Increased effectiveness of oversight of Parliament through an improved committee system; and

(iv) Enhanced efficiency and effectiveness of the National Assembly and support services to Parliament and its hon. Members.

The project will be implemented from 2008 to 2011 with an estimated budget of US$6,501,000 to be provided by the said co-operating partners. Funding for activities on the work plan for 2008/9 has been released and implementation has already commenced.

 Construction of new Committee rooms

Mr Speaker, Parliamentary reforms have gained ground in opening up Parliament and making it more accessible by the public. This success has led to an increase in the number of visitors to Parliament who wish to observe the proceedings of the House, get more information on Parliament, or participate in Committee proceedings. This increase in the number of people wishing to participate or observe Committee proceedings has highlighted the need to increase the ability of Parliament buildings to cope with the larger numbers that visit the National Assembly. The Committee rooms, in their current state, can only accommodate a small number of members of the public at a time. Consequently, the need to increase the capacity of Committee rooms to conform to the increased interest on the part of the public was recognised.

Mr Speaker, I wish to report that construction of the new Committee rooms commenced on 1st April, 2008. The construction is being undertaken by Hua Jiang Investments Limited and is funded by the co-operating partners under the Public Expenditure Management and Financial Accountability (PEMFA) Reform Programme. The works include construction of five new Committee rooms, with a capacity of up to 50 persons and 32 offices. The works are projected to be completed by October, 2009.

Mr Speaker, once the construction of the new Committee rooms is completed; more people will be given the opportunity to participate in Committee proceedings.

 Construction of Constituency offices

Mr Speaker, it was earlier recognised that it is not sustainable for the National Assembly to continue renting office accommodation for constituency offices in the 150 constituencies. In this regard, a model constituency office was designed by the Buildings Department in the Ministry of Works and Supply.

Mr Speaker, I now wish to report that your Committee decided that construction of constituency offices would commence in 2008. To this end, the National Housing Authority was engaged to provide technical expertise at all stages of the construction from the tendering process to supervision of the works.

Mr Speaker, your Committee further decided that an initial nine offices would be constructed, one in each province. Your Committee also decided to select the constituencies to benefit from this construction on the basis of party representation in the House, prioritising rural constituencies and preference for constituencies with female hon. Members of Parliament. To this end, it was decided that of the nine offices to be constructed, five would be in constituencies that had female hon. Members and those that were in rural areas. Consequently, your Committee resolved to construct offices in the following constituencies:

(i) Chasefu;

(ii) Katombola;

(iii) Luapula;

(iv) Lukashya;

(v) Lukulu West;

(vi) Masaiti;

(vii) Mwembeshi;

(viii) Rufunsa;

(ix) Zambezi East.

Mr Speaker, contractors have already been identified and the construction will commence very soon indeed.

4. Visitors’/Media Centre

Sir, a visitors’/media centre was designed under the Parliamentary Reform Project Phase Two, but the project did not provide for its construction. Your Committee wish to report that the Government of the People’s Republic of China has shown interest in constructing the centre on behalf of the National Assembly. To this end, experts were sent from China to inspect the proposed site of the construction. We expect the construction works to start when the Chinese Government is ready in this regard. May I further add that, in fact, the land has been identified on the other side of Parliament Buildings and therefore, we are ready.

5. Expansion of Parliament Radio

Mr Speaker, with the continued and valued support of the Government of Denmark, we have continued to expand the coverage of Parliament Radio. As you are aware, Parliament Radio currently broadcasts live Parliamentary debates to all towns on the line of rail. I am pleased to report that the Danish Government has committed itself to supporting further expansion of the coverage of Parliament Radio to the provincial headquarters that are not on the line of rail. These are:

(i) Chipata;

(ii) Kasama;

(iii) Mansa;

(iv) Mongu; and

(v) Solwezi.

Sir, the expansion process has already commenced. The equipment has been mobilised and is being installed at the said sites. It is expected that all five sites will be commissioned by the end of February, 2009.

In conclusion, Mr Speaker, allow me to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to all co-operating partners for their invaluable support and contributions to the Parliamentary Reform Programme. In particular, I wish to thank the Department for International Development, the European Union, the Irish Aid and the United Nations Development Programme.

Sir, may I also thank my colleagues who have served on your Committee for their outstanding commitment and dedication to duty and the support they rendered to me as their Chair.

Sir, may I also express my gratitude to the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for the invaluable assistance rendered to the Committee and to all her staff, including the Office Orderlies that have kept the committee rooms clean and provided coffee, tea and water. They are often not thanked. However, I am thanking them on behalf of your Committee.

Sir, last but not least, I wish to thank you personally for the inspiration and wise guidance you gave to your Committee throughout the year and for giving us the opportunity to serve on your Committee.

Finally, I wish to thank all hon. Members of Parliament who have been very patient in waiting for this programme to take place. It takes a bit of time, but we are there.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

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

Mrs Mwamba: Now, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker, in seconding this Motion, I wish to thank the mover for the articulate manner in which he has moved the Motion. In addition, allow me to thank him as the Chair of your Committee for ably steering and presiding over the deliberations of the often intricate and difficult issues considered by your Committee.

Mr Speaker, it is not my intention to repeat what the Chairman has stated. He has already ably stated so many things as he moved the Motion. Nor is it my intention to reproduce the Committee’s report in my debate.

However, allow me to underscore some of the salient points covered by your Committee and contained in the report.

Mr Speaker, allow me to comment on the sustainability of the Parliamentary Reforms in general, and constituency offices in particular. As the Chairperson has already stated, your Committee are in process of constructing nine constituency offices, making one office per province. The Chair has covered this aspect adequately. However, I just want to thank the Government for making this possible, hoping that in next year’s budget, we can increase the number of constituencies to be constructed in each province to, at least, three. This would mean that in 2009, we can construct twenty-seven more constituency offices.

Mr Speaker, this can be done. We shall also impress on the National Housing Authority to reduce the cost of building by using local materials as far as possible. The impact of the constituency offices cannot be over emphasised.

Mr Speaker, still on the constituency offices, allow me to request you, Sir, that all hon. Members of Parliament should have workshops on constituency offices and be familiarised on the work of constituency offices and their staff.

Sir, in addition to adequate funding, another critical ingredient to the sustainability of the constituency offices is that of Members of Parliament themselves. These offices are intended to be a meeting place between Members of Parliament and their constituents. If the Member is never seen at the office, then the constituency will lose interest, thereby negating the purpose of the office. I, therefore, wish to urge my fellow hon. Members to take time from their busy schedules from time to time to spend some time in these offices and meet their constituents.

Mr Speaker, allow me, also, to comment on the expansion of Parliament Radio. I only hope that the expansion will be completed before the next session of Parliament to enable a larger audience listen to the Budget debates. Sir, I join the Chair in thanking Danish International Development Aid for facilitating this expansion.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I wish to appeal to the Member’s of this august House to come up with suggestions on reforms to your Committee. Your Committee are not just restricted to the seventy-three adopted reform recommendations. The reforms are intended to assist Parliament to positively adapt to the ever changing environment. The reforms that Parliament has embarked upon are, therefore, indeed, for the good of everyone. It is the desire of your Committee to carry all stakeholders on board in this reform process.

Mr Speaker, I beg to second.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, this is your report containing, altogether, seventy-three projects, some of which are being implemented by yourselves. This is one occasion when you may take advantage of what you do so that even though the rule says we should not address visitors, but the fact is the visitors are listening in. You have a very large listenership of live debates on Parliament Radio and the people are listening and they want to hear, through this report, what you are doing and hope to do. You can make your assurances here and answer them. In the end, the majority of your recommendations and activities do not even go to the Executive for action to be taken because you are the action takers. Therefore, you are answerable for what is in this report. Do not accuse anybody else if you fail. Take part and do.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Mr Speaker, in supporting the report of the Reforms and Modernisation Committee, I wish to state that it is gratifying that we have taken steps to build offices. We are hoping that the building of offices will be undertaken throughout the country.

Mr Speaker, gone are the days when Members of Parliament were more or less like street adults with no fixed abode in their own constituencies. Nowadays, hon. Members of Parliament are able to be identified or met through these established offices.

Mr Speaker, it is these offices which have made it easier for our constituents to get in touch with us. I wish, however, to state that although the jobs will be done by the Members of Parliament, there is need to give more funding to these offices. Sir, other than the funding that is given for salaries for staff, nothing else is given. There is a drain on the individual Member of Parliament because once one is in that office, people take it that one can provide the extras that they need.

There is a bigger demand that the office should be able to entertain various needs of the constituents, one of which is the use of the phones. In my office, for instance, you have even connected us to the internet. If constituents come into the office, they believe that they should use the phone and this results into high telephone bills. How, then, do you approach that?

Mr Speaker, we know that there is scarcity of funds. However, you cannot say to a constituent that you cannot provide the communication service by using the phone. You will bear with us, Mr Speaker, that once our constituents come to the offices, they want to talk to their relatives because someone is sick in Lusaka or the Copperbelt or some people must be informed about some funeral. The hon. Member becomes a contact point of all these activities.

Further to that, is the problem of vehicles. Yes, there were vehicles through the Ministry of Local Government and Housing to keep Zambia clean. However, these vehicles are kept by the district councils and the district commissioners are using these vehicles as they please, such that these vehicles do not stay at the constituency offices to do jobs for the constituency.

I remember nearly quarrelling at one time with my neighbour because his vehicle was busy taking some dirt within town and not doing it in his constituency.

Mr Muntanga  looked  at Hon. Sejani.
Mr Muntanga: Yes, he is about to answer. It is the hon. Member for Mapatizya. The vehicles were busy cleaning up the town in Kalomo and he asked why these vehicles were not going to Mapatizya which is outside Kalomo. There is no such provision.

We would like these particular vehicles go to the constituencies in which they are designated to work. We still think, also, that the actual offices should be provided with vehicles. Often, we have to provide our own vehicles. A hon. Member’s vehicle is both a hearse to carry the dead and an ambulance to carry the sick. It is a busy vehicle. Now, with the existence of these offices, there is need to have a vehicle stationed there. Otherwise, the demands on the hon. Members of Parliament have become even more extreme. We are saying that although there is no responsibility allowance that is given, we are responsible enough to undertake those jobs that are required to be done by an hon. Member of Parliament.

Sir, you will appreciate that the terms of reference for an hon. Member of Parliament is very wide because this office handles matters to do with all ministries. A Member of Parliament does not have any excuse for not answering on behalf of any ministry.

Mr Speaker, I have also looked at the approved offices which include those for hon. Members of Parliament who may be hon. Ministers. It is very rare that you will have enough time to stay in that office. I was of the opinion that you must have first started building offices for the back benchers who have more time to be in their constituencies.

Perhaps, some of us are not aware that the Professional Assistants actually keep itineraries for hon. Members of Parliament who report in the offices. They are able to go with you wherever you attend a meeting in the constituency as they are expected to produce a report that is handed to the Clerk’s Office and it is these reports that will determine how many times an hon. Member of Parliament has been to his constituency office.

Through the Visitors’ Book which is given to the offices, we are able to follow what is going on.

Mr Speaker, in supporting this modernisation programme for Parliament, we would rather say it continues, but we will ask the Treasury to increase funding to these offices so that the performance of these offices is actually supported.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, allow me to acknowledge the opening of an office in my constituency that has greatly improved my relationship with the constituents.

Mr Speaker, for a very long time, my car was my office, but now, I am able to sit with the Professional Assistant and take notes. I want to say that the people of Bweengwa are very excited and look forward to a very ceremonial official opening of the office.

Mr Speaker, in line with what the previous speaker has said, there is one issue that we should consider and that is the administration of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). I want to take this opportunity to suggest whether it will make sense to transfer the administration of this fund from the councils to the constituency office for various reasons.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: The councils are locked in a heap of problems that are affecting the administration of the CDF. Mr Speaker, we have heard, many times, that some councils have actually used the CDF to pay salaries of their workers. Some councils have got serious salary arrears and they are tempted to go into the coffers of the CDF.

With this progressive idea in modernisation, I wonder whether it makes sense for us to consider …

Hon. Member: It does.

Mr Hamududu: … moving the administration of the CDF from the councils to the constituency offices. I want to say that some of the councils have very low capacity. In some areas, the constituency offices have better capacity than the councils.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: We have a Professional Assistant, a secretary, two security guards and we have facilities that some councils do not even have, such as computers. They cannot even type minutes of CDF deliberations. Sometimes, minutes of the CDF Committee in the councils are not available because they do not have a computer. However, the constituency offices have these facilities. With the problems that councils are facing at the moment, I am persuaded to believe that it makes more sense to take the administration of the CDF to the constituency offices.

Major Chizhyuka: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: That is what is being done in countries like Kenya. The constituency vehicles for the Keep Zambia Clean Campaign that the previous speaker alluded to are all marooned at the councils and being abused and yet some of our constituencies are not benefiting from these vehicles. The vehicles and the CDF, perhaps, must go to the constituency office.

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

Mr Ngoma (Sinda): Mr Speaker, I support the report of the Committee on Reforms and Modernisation and thank the Chairperson for a well presented report.

Mr Speaker, in talking about reforms, I remember coming to Parliament in 2001 and it was sad to see hon. Members of Parliament operating from their bedrooms and their motor vehicles.

After much debate and talk, the Government and the donor community came in and started to help us. Today, we are talking of 150 physical constituency offices across the country. That is a job well done and we need to continue in that regard to fully modernise the operations of the offices of Members of Parliament because this has really brought us closer to the people.

Mr Speaker, I would like to take cognisance of the fact that you have been very helpful. Probably, past leadership could have tried that to have reforms. I would like to put it on record that, probably in the history of Parliament, as far as reforms are concerned, you have done a very commendable job and that ought to continue. This is because each leadership should leave something as a legacy for someone to point a finger at. I am a proud Member of Parliament that I will be able to say that, probably, Speaker Mwanamwambwa was very open to reforms and we commend you for that.

Mr Speaker, my hon. Colleagues have already alluded to the issue of these constituency offices vis-à-vis the keep Zambia Clean Campaign. I regret that in my constituency, Sinda Parliamentary Constituency in Eastern Province, we got about K10 million from the Constituency Development Fund to top up on those vehicles, that we should be able to use them.

However, I am a very sad Member of Parliament and regret that those vehicles are based in Katete and our constituency is about 50 kilometres from the district. It is not a bad an idea to have these vehicles based at constituency offices. I would like to believe that capacity has been developed and is continuously being developed as has already been said. Even in the Phase III of the Parliamentary Reforms, we are talking of capacity building of Members of Parliament and their constituency staff, including staff at Parliament.

Sir, when we talk about capacity being increased, we should also match that increase in capacity with resources and materials. Therefore, we need these vehicles at constituency offices. I know that there has been a debate for some time now that because of the political nature of Members of Parliament, we do not need to empower them so much, but we should move away from that paradigm shift to be modern and realise that these constituency offices will be there for centuries to come. That is why we need to empower them. We need these vehicles because not only are they going to help in the keeping of Zambia clean, but they are also going to help in a number of activities in the constituency. For instance, if there are construction projects, I am mindful that we have bought trucks in constituencies which can help in the ferrying of materials to various sites and thereby, reducing on the costs that are associated with certain projects. Therefore, it is not a bad idea to bring these vehicles at constituency level more so, as I have said, that there is increased capacity and I think we need to do that.

Mr Speaker, I also realise that there is a serious resource drain especially that we are talking about four constituency staff by 150 which is about 600 members of staff which the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly, probably, did not anticipate. Therefore, there might be need, as we are looking at these reforms, to find a way of enhancing the capacity of the department to deal with constituency offices in the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly.

Sir, with those few words, I wish to submit.

The Minister of Community Development and Social Services (Ms Namugala): Mr Speaker, I thank you …

Mr Speaker: Order!


Business was suspended from 1045 hour until 1100 hours.{mospagebreak}


Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, before my debate was unceremoniously curtailed, …


Ms Namugala: … I was about to express my support for the Report on the Parliamentary Reforms and Modernisation Committee.

Mr Speaker, in supporting this report, allow me to express my gratitude to the National Assembly for providing my constituency with a constituency office.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: This office has even been provided with the relevant staff, but I would like to express my sadness that as professional as the staff may be, they are squatting in a near ramshackle. There is just no infrastructure for them to do their job.

Sir, on lack of infrastructure, I note that the report of the Committee has discussed the issue of seeking support towards the budget of US$68 million. On Page 4 of the report, you will note that as they were discussing with co-operating partners that they identified, they indicate that the co-operating partners were not in a position to support the development of infrastructure.

This, indeed, makes very sad reading because we are aware, as a nation, that constituency offices are very important. This is because constituency offices are the only points at which the people in the constituency can connect with the National Assembly through their Members of Parliament. Therefore, I would like to appeal to the Committee to do whatever they can to ensure that they reach-out to more corporating partners so that they can contribute to the required amount of money for us to have the necessary infrastructure developed.

Mr Speaker, the issue of capacity building is important. However, after the capacity has been built, there is need for Members of Parliament to have somewhere to operate from. I notice a tendency for co-operating partners to want to build capacity. This seems to be the case wherever you go. They are more interested in capacity building …

Hon. UPND Members: And workshops!

Ms Namugala: … and workshops. While we appreciate that, indeed, we need to have the capacity, I think a priority for us as Members of Parliament is to have the necessary infrastructure for us to be met by the people who put us in office.

Therefore, through this House, I would like to appeal to the co-operating partners that as much as they are supporting non-governmental organisations, many of whom are not doing well…

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala:…or doing justice with the money that they give them, they must support this project because this goes down to the people. We are aware of the kind of money that they give to the non-governmental organisations, most of whom are questionable. I call upon them to assist us, as community leaders and as hon. Members of Parliament, to get the necessary infrastructure.

Mr Speaker, the lack of sufficient resource allocation to this office is beginning to hurt us as hon. Members of Parliament. I heard the hon. Member of Parliament for Kalomo encouraging us to go to our offices in the constituencies. One of the reasons hon. Members of Parliament do not go there is that they do not have anything to give to the people when they are asked for the money.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: Sir, they just do not have the money. As you will agree with me, we are not well remunerated as hon. Members of Parliament.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, we appeal that these offices must be provided with sufficient resources so that the immediate needs can be met.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, while on this point of remuneration, I know that I will not have any other opportunity to discuss this point.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: Sir, as hon. Members of Parliament and community leaders, we need to be properly remunerated. We just cannot meet the demands that are put on us by the people who put us in office.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, we are coming from and election and the campaigns were very expensive. Many of us here, I can tell you, have come out very poor.

Mr Speaker, having said so, let me also talk about lack of transport.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! You are actually disturbing her. Please, if you are in support, listen and let her make her point. Continue.


Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, these offices are in serious need of transport. Yes, we appreciate that the officers are there and that once in a while, the hon. Member of Parliament will provide the necessary transport. For a constituency office in Muyombe, in Isoka East Constituency, there is just nothing they can do without transport. There is need for motor vehicles to be placed at these offices so that when there is need,…

Mr Mwangala: They do not even have uniforms for the Kapasos.

Ms Namugala:...the officers, the Professional Assistants, can reach the remotest part of the constituency.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: Sir, otherwise, even the officers that are there, they really cannot do much to assist the people in the constituency.

Mr Speaker, while the provision of offices to hon. Members of Parliament in areas that are connected to the national grid is very welcome, for those of us in rural areas, where we are not connected to the national electricity grid, it is really hard. We have no power and computers. I hear some of my colleagues talk about being connected to the internet. That, for us, remains a dream. We wish to call upon your Committee and the managers of this project to ensure that for areas that are in need of solar power, they quickly provide that.

Sir, we may underrate the importance of these offices. In my constituency, the people go to that office even to just read a paper which is three months old because there is no other way for them to get information. Therefore, I call upon the managers to ensure that they do what they can within their powers to get more support to go towards the improvement and modernisation of constituency offices.

With these remarks, I wish to support the report.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka (Namwala): Mr Speaker, I support the hon. Minister of Community Development and Social Services and I want to take her words as my own.


Mr Mulyata: She is somebody’s wife!


Major Chizhyuka: Mr Speaker, I wish that a few of her Cabinet colleagues could come out strong on matters of this nature instead of hiding in the sand.


Major Chizhyuka: Sir, I want to put in context an item which I call positive discrimination. During this last campaign, apart from my area, I had an opportunity to operate in an urban constituency.  I came to realise that a hon. Member of Parliament with an urban constituency can actually manage to use K100,000 and finish touring the constituency. If your constituency is Muyombe or Mfuwe, for you to reach Chief Nabwalya’s areas, you would really need a lot of money. I wanted to ask the hon. Minister of Communications and Transport, when she was answering questions, if she had been to Chief Nabwalya’s area. There are constituencies like Sinjembela, Katombola, Itezhi-tezhi and Namwala which are districts on their own. For the hon. Member of Parliament to get to such areas, a minimum of K1.8 million is required.  You will find that the allocation with regards to funding allowances is almost similar to those in town.

Mr Speaker, how do you expect the hon. Member of Parliament whose constituency stretches a cross sectional distance of 100 km to 200 km in some cases like Siavonga…

Mr Muntanga: And Kalomo!

Major Chizhyuka:…to work? There are other constituencies that are far-flung areas and are also whole districts. Therefore, the constituency funds should be differentiated unless your Committee takes this aspect in the context that all the 150 constituencies are equal. With regard to allowances and other moneys allocated to constituencies, consideration should be positively discriminated so that there is more for the other hon. Members of Parliament who are in rural constituencies than the one who just needs a K50,000 to go round his constituency and finish all his responsibilities.

Sir, I would also like to put another aspect in context.  Mr Speaker, I can see a smile on your face.


Major Chizhyuka: Sir, I realise that you have a cosmic mind alliance in this matter.


Major Chizhyuka: Mr Speaker, there is the issue of car loans. We have given various examples of what is happening around the continent and beyond. It is clear that the system associated with the car loan regime for the hon. Members in this Parliament is counter productive to their efficient operation and, indeed, the constituency. Sir, I know that on such matters, we do not debate ourselves. However, we have given ourselves the opportunity to deal with this matter.

Hon. Members: Hammer!

Major Chizhyuka:  Sir, can I just put one item in context as I deal with this matter.

Sometime last year, there was an outbreak of Bubonic and Pneumonic plague. I had to travel to a place called Chikwato in Chiwinze in Namwala. I arrived there ahead of Government systems. I carried television crews so that I could show the nation the extent and magnitude of the Bubonic plague. My average costs were in excess of K7 million. Since I did not have money on me, I arranged with some Ila people to give me K7million for some of my cattle …


Major Chizhyuka: …in order to perform that Government business. If I had not done that, the people who expect so much from me, would have thought that I thought less of them.

Mr Speaker, where we have to use our own vehicles and money to function, as hon. Members of Parliament, it is a serious matter. I do realise that it is possible for some of us to do some of these things, but how about our colleagues who do not have similar attributes?

Mr Muntanga: Who have no cattle.

Major Chizhyuka: Mr Speaker, matters associated with cars and car loans should be dealt with in the manner that we have proposed. This will be of great assistance to the hon. Members.  When hon. Members of Parliament go to constituencies, they go there to deal with issues of dams, boreholes, water reticulation and clearing canals, like in the case of Hon Machungwa. They deal with Government business. However, it is quite appropriate for an hon. Minister to use Government transport to perform the exact tasks when he is going round the constituencies. Hon. Lungwangwa will use his predisposed vehicle when he goes to visit schools around the country and, indeed, when he goes to his constituency. I think that the issue of car loans should be dealt with in the manner we have proposed.

Mr Speaker, fuel has become an issue now. To fill a tank to go to a rural constituency like Nakonde costs millions. How possible is it that a Member of Parliament can visit Nakonde, Chavuma, Kabompo and so on at least twice in a month to meet the aspirations of his people if fuel is so expensive? These are real issues. This is why, at times, when we have these donor driven objections, we have to be very careful. We have to perform specific tasks enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia. These items, regarding cars, fuel and allowances, minor as they may be, when associated, make it absolutely impossible for hon. Members of Parliament to perform efficiently.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: Mr Speaker, I have also looked at the issue of constituency offices before. While I accept that constituency offices are very important in that they add value to the operations of the hon. Members of Parliament, I think that the Kenyan situation where hon. Members also have offices in the Capital – Nairobi - is friendlier to the Members of Parliament.

Sir, hon. Members of Parliament are in Lusaka from January to April. If they are engaged in Committees, they are here for another one month. Before long, it would be time for the next sitting, which is in July. In July, also, there are other oversight functions. It is quite possible that the period hon. Members of Parliament will be in Lusaka rather than their constituency is seven months. When you look holistically at the period hon. Members are in Lusaka compared to the amount of time that they are in their constituencies, I tend to think, because I am a manager of time and resources, that an office in Lusaka would serve the hon. Members better.

Mr Speaker, the alternative would be to provide free laptops to hon. Members of Parliament. Once this has been done, an hon. Member can interface the laptop with the computer in the constituency office and would deal with matters of the constituency full time online.

Sir, the kind of staff we employ in our constituency offices is important. I take a lot time to do my research before I stand up to speak in this House. However, often I find myself inadequate in certain matters. I do realise that if I had an office here with a qualified Personal Assistant who has the qualification of BA in Development Studies or who is a lawyer, it would be possible for hon. Members to use those professionals in order improve their debates and the way they articulate issues on the Floor, for the interest of this country. The hon. Members would research their debates and speak from informed positions. Last month, I was privileged to go to a foreign country, which I will not name. All the Members of Parliament were reading when debating. I thought there was something wrong with them because in this Parliament we do not read. 


Major Chizhyuka: Mr Speaker, it is clear that because of various capacity encumbrances, certain things are done for them.

Mr Speaker, these are the few items that I thought I should mention. One of the options available, if hon. Members who do not have offices in Lusaka cannot be given laptops, then allowances should be increased to that effect so that they access those laptops.

The aim is to make the hon. Member of Parliament efficient so that he is researched in his debates. He must have access to information and the internet so that when he is making a comparative appraisal with respect to items that he must discuss, he should never be found inadequate.

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


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! I want to call upon Hon. Munkombwe to speak, but someone is saying that I should not pick on Hon. Munkombwe to debate. I am the Chair. Therefore, do not disturb.


The Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural resources (Mr Kaingu): I would like to adopt what Hon. Namugala said and a bid of what Hon.  Major Chizhyuka has said.

 Sir, I am also very grateful that today we have an opportunity to talk about ourselves. Therefore, I would urge all of us to try and say something about ourselves…

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! For record purposes, it should be clear. Really, we are not debating ourselves. We are debating the report. I just wanted to make that clarification. Could the hon. Minister continue.

Mr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, I do not want to stay for a long time. Talking about hon. Members of Parliament and the offices in their constituencies, I would want to urge hon. Members of Parliament to start working as a team.

Sir, when we had the Bill for salaries….

 Hon. Members: hear, hear!

Mr Kaingu: ….there were some hon. Members of Parliament who were eating with both hands. They knew very well that with the numbers that we have on your right, the Bill could go through, but they decided to walk away. Because of that, the Executive was blamed that it was very selfish and greedy because of ourselves here. Therefore, as we discuss matters concerning this Bill, we must be aware that we are a team and we are also part of the governance system. There is no need for hon. Members of Parliament to stand up and start blaming the Government because the Government has got three arms and this House belongs to governance.

 Mr Speaker, I would want to allude to the parliamentary vehicle. It is true that the vehicle does not belong to the hon. Member of Parliament. Actually, it belongs to this institution. Therefore, I find it a bit difficult for a Member of Parliament to pay in installments on that vehicle.

Mr Speaker, it is my personal opinion that the vehicle must be sold to the hon. Member of Parliament after the end of term.

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

 Mr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, with those few words, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, in supporting this report, I want to take the hon. Members of Parliament back to the grass roots.

Sir, in my opinion, I think it should be this Committee that must ask the question because there are number of things we inherited from the British. Therefore, we have assumed that a Member of Parliament is still of relevance to the aspirations of the Zambian people. Do the Zambian people understand the role of a Member of Parliament? This Committee and, indeed, Parliament must undertake a study to basically revisit our people to find out if they understand the relevance of voting, relevance of having a councillor and a Member of Parliament when they are voting.

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: Mr Speaker, at the moment, I find two very opposing views. Those of us who are hon. Members of Parliament from the rural sector – rural sections of our community - are highly respected. Those who have migrated into town and think that they are educated are insulting us everyday. We are least respected by the NGOs and everybody else in town.

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: They think that we are not relevant to their advancements and development. This Committee, together with the National Assembly and, indeed, the other arms of Government must re-visit this issue and find out the importance of the three arms of Government and put them in proper perspective so that society is once again reminded and re-confirm our relevance.

Mr Speaker, one of the problems that we are having as alluded to by my hon. Colleague - the hon. Minister of Tourism, Environment and natural Resources – I want to tell you that the reason we are quarrelling about salaries, conditions of service and facilities, take for example myself, from Mbabala, is that you do not make it possible for me to go to Mbabala because you sold a car to me. You have taken time off. I had to leave my business to come here. I was earning a living and supporting my family at a specific level and you brought me here and you want to maintain me at a lower level. Yet, I am being insulted everyday…


Major Hachipuka:…that I am just a cheap Member of Parliament. Who am I? Why am I being paid what? 

Mr Hachipuka: I used to drive before I came here. I used to have eggs and omelettes every breakfast.


Mr Hachipuka: If I did not have other investments, I was not going to afford an omelette with what you are paying me. Therefore, we need to go back to our people and check whether we are still relevant and find out. I want to subscribe to our people that there are many people who are sitting outside this House for fear that they will lose their omelettes if they become hon. Member of Parliament. Therefore, they want to become clever and insult us.

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: They are sitting and getting K20 million, K30 million or even K40 million a month. Yet, they are insulting us and saying, who are these Members of Parliament? They have no respect for your voter who has voted me into this job. A Member of Parliament like Hachipuka with ACCA and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Certified Accountants is being insulted. I had to give up that to come here to serve my people. I am not asking to be rich. All I am asking of this Committee, National Assembly and the Government at large is to enable me to do that job.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Hachipuka: Nothing else. Enable me to go to Mapanza. By the way, I have a house in Mbabala. I am not a poor man.

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: When I get there, I want you to give me enough money to visit my corners and not on a bicycle, but using my car.


Mr Hachipuka: At the moment, you do not give me enough money to be able to go round. I have to sell my cows to be able to go and visit the whole constituency. Therefore, my point is that we need to reinvigorate and re-investigate, undertake a study, do some publicity and pay well so that those who think that they are cleaver can also come here. We need to find out what our role here is. We need to publicise our duty and redefine it. Apart from ourselves who know what our job is, how about the man in the street?

These cadres you saw running around beating people have no clue about what a Member of Parliament is.


Mr Hachipuka: We use them.

Mr Hamududu: Ng’wang’wazi!

Mr Hachipuka: We use these ng’wang’wazi.


Mr Hachipuka: And they can kill a person.

Mr Hamududu: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: In today’s The Post, you will see that ng’wang’wazis are running around and they have no clue of what they are running around for. They were overturning cars and have no clue what governance is all about.

Mr Hamududu: And no education!

Mr Hachipuka: We need to help ourselves. Basically, we need to redefine the law on this.

There is an assumption in this country that all of you sitting here are respected. There is an assumption that everybody knows who you are. There is an assumption that a person at the village understands what he or she is voting for. I think we need a special exercise on this.

Parliament should not be a secret society. Parliament should be a public institution and should continuously educate the young and the old to understand what Parliament’s role is and what it is intended for.

At the moment, we have a problem. The existing Constitution gives power to the Executive. There is no balanced power between the Judiciary, the Executive and this House.

Mr Nkombo: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I am thankful to you for allowing me raise this point of order which I believe is very serious. Is Hon. Hachipuka in order not to indicate that society has even gone as far as pouring opaque beer on Members of Parliament?


Mr Nkombo: I need your serious ruling.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! The hon. Member for Mazabuka …


The Deputy Chairperson: … has a clever way of debating through a point of order.


The Deputy Chairperson: However, the hon. Member of Parliament for Mbabala can take that point into account as he debates.


Hon. Members: Emphasise!

Mr Hachipuka: Mr Speaker, the point I am making is that we should not presume that we are either respected or understood. We should not presume that society understands what our role is. It must be incumbent upon the National Assembly itself to work out a mechanism. I appreciate the opening up of offices to the public in trying to take Parliament to the villages and constituencies, but there is need beyond that because of the way our Constitution is built. It is built in such a manner that, and I have said this before, the Government on the Executive side, ministers are least respected but the Civil Service is highly respected. That is the order of things now.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: The order of things now is that the Civil Service, as far as society is concerned, because it holds the key to either bank accounts or cash, is considered powerful.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: An hon. Minister is just a political animal but he is elected by the people. I am glad that most of you have asked for a vote before. And the people who gave you a vote assume that you will advance their livelihood.

Hon. Opposition Member: It is true!

Mr Hachipuka: How can you advance their livelihood when you have no authority? Authority goes hand in hand with resources.

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

Mr Hachipuka: If you can only speak but you are not a bank signatory, then you have no authority. Anybody who has a signature to a bank account of any resource is important. For example, if you want me to show you the level of my authority, I can tell Hon. Cecil Holmes to go to my farm today and I will just phone them and give them an instruction and they will give him a cow. That is authority.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: However, if you ask anybody else to phone my farm and give an instruction, they will not give him a cow. I cannot go to a minister and ask for anything. That is why you will never see me in your offices because when I talk to some of you, you have to find a Permanent Secretary who is amenable to you. And the Permanent Secretary will call you ‘Sir’. I do not like people who call me Sir for nothing.


Mr Hachipuka: I have observed that this country spends more time on saying “Sir, Sir” which has no meaning.


Mr Hachipuka: The point I am making is that there is need to reconcile people’s perceptions. People perceive that elections will produce a person who will advance their livelihood and yet that is not the case. If we cannot sort it out under the Constitution, there is need to mount a public relations exercise here through this Committee, to either research and find out. I know I am repeating myself, but this is only for emphasis. We need to actually carry out a public relations exercise so that people are re-sensitised and know the meaning and intentions of their vote, and the animal they are creating in a Member of Parliament as to what he is intended for.

Having said, so, I want to thank you for the opportunity given.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: I can see that we have quite a number of Members who want to speak. I think that we have to move because we have one more issue to discuss. I will allow one more person to debate.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Southern Province (Mr Munkombwe): Mr Speaker, thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to join my colleagues who have expressed gratitude for the job that was done by this Committee.

Sir, this is the only chance I can say what I am going to say. You will recall that in this House, there were some figures released for revision of the allowances due to Members of this Honourable House, and some people in here had to walk out to join a group of anarchists …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Munkombwe: … who were shouting from outside …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Order!


Mr Munkombwe: Sorry! Sorry!


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! I know that you hold strong views on that issue and you would want to talk about it but I want the hon. Deputy Minister to relate his views to the report.


The Deputy Chairperson: Let us not make that as a separate issue. Can you relate what you want to say to the report?

Mr Munkombwe: Sir, we only have 150 seats for Members of this Honourable House and yet there are hundreds of people who would want to get to this House. And those are the people who are ganging up against us. None of us should make an attempt to join those people that do not belong to this House and yet they want to come here. That is the worry that I have. When we come to this House, we are like a co-operative and so, we must research as Hon. Hachipuka has said.

During our time, when a minister flew a flag anywhere, people stood and respected him. That was during those years.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munkombwe: This time …

Hon. Government Member: They insult!

Mr Munkombwe: … they insult you.


Mr Munkombwe: They insult you and have nothing to do with what we are doing here. Therefore, it is us in here that must make ourselves respectable.

Sir, never at any time have I said that I am either a rich man or was a rich man, but I am an extremely comfortable person. I am comfortable that I can buy a car at any time I want.

Hon. Government Member: Yes!

Mr Munkombwe: However, you will find that nowadays a managing director of a parastatal company gets over K60 million, but whenever there is an indication of review of our allowance, this same managing director will use people to scorn us or insult us.


Mr Munkombwe: Some of us will pretend and join them and yet manifestly we like that money. That is having double standards.


Mr Munkombwe: It is that double standard we should fight. And I want to urge those people who want to belong to a system, the word which you have refused me to use.


Mr Munkombwe: To system that is unpopular.

Members of Parliament are slaves. During their five-year tenure of office in Parliament unlike the twenty years I did, they have to spend. A Member of Parliament has got to mourn people, attend weddings and funerals. However, the allowance that we get is no longer attractive or enough to assist and lead people. You cannot lead them in a vacuum.

Hon. Members: Aah!

Mr Munkombwe: You cannot lead them out of nothing. Therefore, this Committee must go beyond what it has done.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munkombwe: Next time, it must research. In fact we can even plead on their behalf that they go and visit some neighbouring countries. We are an embarrassment!

Hon. Member: We were there!

Mr Munkombwe: You were there but you should visit even more countries so that you make comparisons. Except here we get intimidated so easily when some people cough from outside and are assisted by some churches which are political parties. We will, in future, ask those churches to tell us, for instance, if we have four people standing, who they want to win those elections. That is why you have their pastors, reverends or fathers or whatever they are called arrested for agitating people because they are full time party organisers, except they cannot come here.


Mr Munkombwe: Mr Speaker, I have the capacity, if for instance, I retain my position in this House, I do not think we will allow that type of attitude because I belong to church organisations myself and I am a decent church goer …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Munkombwe: They must know.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order, hon. Minister! The Chair has been trying to see how the hon. Deputy Minister is trying to understand the report, but I am getting a little lost. So, hon. Minister, can you continue, please.

Mr Munkombwe: Mr Speaker, the agents of genocide must hear it and hear it more loudly now than ever before. We do not love genocide. Those who pretend that they can use the pulpit or the Church to destroy this country, let them go. There is a phrase used in the Bible, ‘let them go to that area where the unchristian will be dumped into’. If I had my way I would say, ‘let them go to hell’. But I know that is unparliamentary and so I withdraw it.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Order! I am afraid hon. Minister that you do not have your way and so you will not be allowed to continue with that. Can you continue, please?

Mr Munkombwe: Mr Speaker, can we have value for this House and when we are asked to confirm that value, none of us should descend but we must be unanimous in supporting things. These agents of whatever …


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Matongo: Mr Speaker, it remains for me to thank the nine hon. Members who have contributed to the debate on this Motion and to also thank the Seconder of the Motion.

Mr Speaker, the sum total of the debate from the first speaker to the ninth one is simply to state that there is need for a good look at what could support an elected Member of Parliament or councillor in order to deliver their functions with some amount of distinction. That is the sum total of the debate. It is a function of budgeting to find resources towards meeting these expenses. Therefore, it remains for the unity between the Executive and the National Assembly to start thinking of allocating a specific percentage of the National Budget to Parliament and to the Judiciary. That way, there shall be equitable distribution of the funds for utilisation to meet your aspirations.

I want to tell you this that having interacted with the management of Parliament, they are as determined to achieve some of the aspirations you are looking for as the elected Members of Parliament. That I can assure you, but the difficulty is in unlocking, constitutionally, the budgeting system. People must be paid for the job done and it is in this light that the donors and management of Parliament and the Committee have been nibbling at wanting to improve the situation by starting it this way. It is only the beginning and if we are all united in the tenacity or purpose to achieve the objective, it will be achieved. All I am saying is and I have listened very carefully to Hon. Muntanga, Hon. Hamududu, Hon. Levy Ngoma, Hon. Namugala, - excellent resume of our problems and this also goes for Hon. Chizhyuka, Hon. Hachipuka and Hon. Munkombwe. I wanted to make Hon. Kaingu last because I was going to make a special comment but I will avoid it now.

What Hon. Kaingu is saying are actually the same things, and the vehicle to achieving what I have heard is the reforms and the assistance by the co-operating partners is the initial start so that we can attract our own national resources to come to the aid of this National Assembly.

Finally, I want to state that until this country sits down to refocus issues or conditions of service by actually appointing a commission to look at the salary structuring of the three wings of Government on a sustainable basis based on five-year plans, people will start negotiating for salaries with the Chief Executive Officer of the country. You know that some Government Departments like the Judiciary have done that, but Parliament has been decent and they have not done that. This is the way to do it and I urge all hon. Members to support this.

I thank you for the support and may God Bless You as you proceed for Christmas and New Year.

I thank you, Sir.

Question put and agreed to.{mospagebreak}


(Debate Resumed)

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Mr Chairperson, when we adjourned yesterday, I was mentioning the factors that may contribute to the spread of the cattle diseases.

(iii) The lack of local abattoirs means ineffective disease traceability mechanisms and also increased disease transmission by encouraging transportation of live animals to markets.

(iv) The non-functioning of the veterinary surgeons board, which is supposed to oversee and regulate the operations of veterinarians, means that the approach to disease controls has been prone to abuse through unethical conduct by veterinarians at the expense of farmers. An example of one unethical practice that has been going on among veterinary officers is that a disease out-break is perceived to be a chance of making money through allowances. The requirement to conduct a vaccination campaign for foot and mouth disease is that 80 per cent of the animals in a targeted area are vaccinated. Often, this has not been happening, so that the disease is not controlled in order for the officers to continue drawing allowances.

Mr Speaker, your Committee were informed that the current Government policy on disease control is weak and not sustainable as it is more targeted at control rather than prevention. Further, the bureaucracy involved in the implementation of the action plans in the event of an outbreak is lengthy, thereby rendering the whole exercise ineffective.

Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives is not, in its current form, capable of controlling cattle diseases in the country. For example, the ministry has engaged a private entity as an agent for the supply of vaccines to the ministry instead of the ministry itself collaborating directly with manufacturers in Botswana. Little flexibility and responsiveness can be achieved by engaging middlemen. This alone shows the lack of commitment towards disease control by the ministry.

Mr Speaker, your Committee reiterate the fact that the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives needs to be restructured so that it responds to the occurrence of diseases in the country in a manner that will change the general perception that agriculture means crops. Whereas the ministry is comfortable to have in place the food reserve agency for handling crop marketing, there is no body in place to handle livestock marketing.

Sir, it is for the above reasons that the treasury allocates more money to crops activities than to livestock activities. Our neighbouring country, Botswana, allocates 25 per cent of the national budget to agriculture, of which 40 per cent goes to the livestock sector. Presently, the Government of Botswana has invested about the equivalent of K105 billion, in animal identification as part of disease control through tracing back the origin of an animal, using an electronic gadget that is in planted through a bolus into the stomach of the animal. In addition, the country has been demarcated in zones using physical barriers and fences. The Government is spending about equivalent of K530 million per year to maintain the fences. When an outbreak of a disease occurs, veterinary officers are on the ground taking corrective measures to arrest the disease within 24 hours. This is achieved by involving all stakeholders, including the chiefs and the police.

Mr Speaker, in view of the foregoing, your Committee recommend, among other things, the following:

(i) The Government should create a ministry of livestock and fisheries so that adequate attention can be paid to this sub-sector;

(ii) there is need to scale up local production of vaccines which are, in essence, specific to the local strains of disease, rather than the current trend of importing;

(iii) there is need to zone the country according to the disease status and also brand all the animals in order to effectively monitor animal movements;

(iv) there is need to recruit enough veterinary assistants who will be on the ground providing surveillance on diseases; and

(v) the Government should establish a livestock marketing authority with a presence in all the districts in order to curb the illegal movement of cattle from one area to another.

In conclusion, I wish to register my appreciation to all the members of your Committee for their co-operation and dedication to the work of the committee. I also thank all the witnesses, including the farmers, who spared there valuable time to submit to your committee.

Finally, Sir, your Committee wish to express their appreciation to you, Mr Speaker, for your guidance and to the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for the invaluable and tireless assistance rendered throughout their deliberations.

Thank you, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: Does the Seconder wish to speak now or later?

Mrs Mwamba (Lukashya): Now, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker, in seconding this Motion, I wish to thank the mover for the able manner that he has highlighted the salient issues of the report to this august House.

Mr Speaker, the Chairperson has already covered enough ground on the key issues of the report, so I will simply underscore some aspects of the report so as to emphasise the areas where the fight against disease control has been lost.

Mr Speaker, this country can today boast of being the only country in the SADC region with a school of veterinary medicine; and yet it is the very country that is being tormented by livestock diseases. If I may ask, how are these graduates employed if indeed 40 per cent of the needy areas are not manned? It means, therefore, that the structure of the department of veterinary and livestock development is top heavy.

Sir, allow me here to inform this august House that our friends in Botswana have a total of 400 veterinary officers, out of which only five officers are at the headquarters, while the rest are deployed in the field. In this country, everybody wants to be at headquarters, a practice that has resulted in this situation we are now in. We need to learn from past mistakes and take corrective actions if we are to make progress.

Mr Speaker, let me just quickly touch on the issue of compliance.

Your Committee were informed that livestock movement bans were not enforced effectively and fairly, whereby it was common to see commercial farmers transporting animals from point A to B during periods of bans. It was also stated that there were categories of people in our society who do not want to be subjected to inspections at livestock checkpoints mounted by the veterinary officers. This behaviour frustrates the work of the officers.

Sir, your Committee urge all Zambians regardless of their status to respect the laws of the land if at all we are going to win this war of controlling cattle diseases.

Our friends in Botswana are able to respond to a disease out break within 24 hours because they have created strong linkages between the ministry, the commercial farmers, the police, the chiefs, the small-scale farmers and ordinary citizens and therefore, to them compliance is strictly applied and the system is working perfectly well.

With these few words, I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chazangwe (Choma Central): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to say something on the motion on the Report of the Committee on Agriculture and Lands. First of all, when you look at the name of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, there are words attached after the word ‘agriculture’. I think this makes the ministry very weak. Why do we not just call it the Ministry of Agriculture, like the Ministry of Education, instead of adding the word ‘co-operatives’ at the end? This clearly shows that the Government does not respect agriculture.

Major Chizhyuka: Hear, hear!

Mr Chazangwe: It is surprising that we sometimes talk about inflations reducing to about 9 per cent and yet the people are starving. There is no food in the country.  How are we supposed to be convinced that inflation is down to a single digit?

Mr Chairperson, the diseases that are killing our animal are nine in number. There is one which is commonly known as denkete and I think this word is now common all over Zambia. Animals are dying is Eastern, Western and Southern Provinces.

Mr Chairperson, what is a cow? A cow does a lot of things for a human being. It gives milk and the Minister of Health will agree with me that milk is medicine. In Western Province, there are a lot of intellectuals that are doctors because of fish. In Luapula Province there are a lot of intellectuals who are doctors because they eat fish. Fish has protein which is very important for human health. However, in Southern Province we have no water bodies but because of the beef that we eat, we are able to pass an examination …


Mr Chazangwe: … in mathematics.  I want to tell the Government to be extra careful.

Sir, on your left, we are more than these people on your right because here we have more presidents while they only have one.


Mr Chazangwe: Let me tell you (pointing at hon. Government Members), these little things that you are not doing for our people, come 2011, you will not be there.


Mr Chazangwe: I am telling you. I know that you are, maybe, trying to use the trick of dividing us in order to rule. You are going to fail. You see, sometimes, when we are here, we tend to quarrel. Why do we do that? It is because we are trying to find a way in which …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Hon. Member for Choma, you have been …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! You have been doing very well so far because you were addressing them through the Chair but now you have changed and you are addressing them directly. So, address them through the Chair.

You may continue.

Mr Chazangwe: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for guidance. Let me now come to the main topic. The diseases that are finishing our animals in this country are only nine, according to the report from the able chairman. Half of these diseases can be stamped out or eradicated through dipping the animals regularly. Dipping an animal like a cow is washing out the ticks, which is very simple indeed. You do not even need a lot of imported chemicals for a dip tank. Other diseases can be eradicated or stamped out through vaccinations. However, the Government is not doing that. The Government is very silent and giving us young men as veterinary officers who are not fully trained and are instead exploiting the people in rural areas. I will give an example. When there is an outbreak of anthrax or black leg and the treatment required is to vaccinate the animals. The vaccine only costs K15,000 to vaccinate about 50 animals. However, what are these boys doing? They go to a village that is affected and then begin charging the poor people in the rural areas K5,000 per animal. So you can see the difference and the exploitation which is there. This clearly shows that the Government has no political will for agriculture in this country.

Mr Hamududu: Hear, hear!

Mr Chazangwe: We are not going to allow them to continue for another five years.  When we go for the next general election, they are not going to retain their seats. A man who is hungry is an angry man. We are angry because right now in my constituency, people have no food and are eating roots from the bush. This is because of poor management by the Government. Even now, the fertiliser that has been distributed is not enough. A bag of fertiliser for basal dressing is now going at K260,000. How does the Government expect the people in rural areas to take their children to school and hospitals, with a bag of fertiliser costing K260,000?

Mr Chairperson, this is a sick Government. The Government is sick because it cannot look after the people.

Mr Malwa: On a point of order, Sir.


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

Mr Chazangwe left his microphone on.

The Deputy Chairperson: Switch off your microphone.

Mr Malwa: Mr Chairperson, I rise on a very serious point of order. Is the hon. Member on the Floor in order to indicate that the Government is not focused on agriculture and yet fertiliser has been subsidised by 75 per cent …

Hon. Opposition Members: Where?

Mr Malwa: … and …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Malwa: … there is food relief distribution which has been going on in Choma and other parts of Southern Province? Hon. Members on your left have to appreciate what the Government is doing. I need your serious ruling.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! The Chair’s serious ruling is that the hon. Member for Choma is advising the Government on what to do except that he is doing it in an – for lack of a better term – unfriendly manner.

So, can you continue.

Mr Chazangwe: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for your protection. Perhaps, let me lower my voice so that I can really …

Hon. UNPD Members: No!

Mr Chazangwe: … come ‘down to earth’ and try to ask the Government to be very serious.

Mr Chairperson, when you look at agriculture, there are no activities because when we talk about agriculture, we are not only talking about the growing of maize but many other crops. For example, recently in North-Western Province there was an outbreak of swine fever disease. The people in North-Western Province are suffering and instead of this Government going there to control the disease, they instead do what the fire brigade does. The fire brigade will be there waiting for the house to catch fire and when it does, the fire brigade goes there.

Major Chizhyuka: Fire brigade government.

Mr Chazangwe: Mr Chairperson, I do not want, therefore, this Government to be acting like the fire brigade. I want them to be going to situations, to areas where there are outbreaks of diseases and work hard. They can even use chiefs and local policemen to arrest the situation. Now, if this Government could be doing that, we would not be saying anything but alas, this is not the case. I am now happy that there are two hon. Ministers of Agriculture and Cooperatives. They are actually four if you include the hon. Deputy Ministers and to me that is very right because the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives is very important in this country.

Sir, sometimes hon. Members do not realise how hard life is for people in rural areas minus food. We eat every time and even now we had gone out to take some tea. Therefore, we need to think of the people that voted for us but are now starving. I want to tell the hon. Members on your right that in three years time, we shall make sure - right now, as the Opposition, we are even thinking of forming a pact …

Hon. Oppositions Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chazangwe: …. to get rid of this Government.

I do agree that I am about ten or fifteen years older than my President, Hakainde Hichilema, (HH) but, for the reason that, that man has got extra intelligence, his manifesto in terms of agriculture and even the number of animals that he has, I respect him very much.

Coming to agriculture, as a Government, I know that you can attach more importance on agriculture and since you have subsidised fertiliser, let us look at the figures, figuratively. A bag of fertiliser which was going at K250,000, you have reduced it to K50,000. Is it economical or you are only economical simply because you want a vote?


Mr Chazangwe: Is it for everybody or it is for a number of people who are selected to be given?

Mr Shakafuswa: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Shakafuswa: Sir, I rise on a very serious point of order. Is the hon. Member who is debating very badly in order to mislead this House and the nation that it is not economical to subsidise fertiliser when this Government has paid K400 billion to people who are organising co-operatives as Fertiliser Support Programme to help reduce poverty and help farmers access fertiliser so that we can have, at least, subsistence for our people? Is he in order to belittle the effort this Government has done?

The Deputy Chairperson: Quickly, the Chair wants to see the opportunity to advise all of us here that, the Chair’s understanding is that when we want to advise each other, we should do so in a manner whereby people being advised can listen. However, if we do it in a confrontational manner, you will make the position of other people hard. Therefore, as you debate, please, bear that in mind. May you continue.

Mr Chazangwe: Sir, if you look at this subsidy that we are talking about, it is a drop in the ocean.

Mr Speaker, if, for instance, you keep hungry dogs and then you give them a very small lump of nshima, the dogs will definitely fight. This is what is happening with fertiliser. You are giving it to almost 700 hundred farmers and about 150 are left without fertiliser, therefore, what are doing?

Major Chizhyuka: They are giving 135.

Mr Chazangwe: About 135 are given and the rest are left without fertiliser. Since you want to subsidise fertiliser to the farmers, you should do so throughout the country so that everyone can benefit because we are all farmers.

Coming to the issue of animals - I was talking about presidents here, and one of the presidents on your left has got a symbol for his party, a symbol of a cow because a cow is very important in Southern Province. For instance, since our culture in Southern Province is to rear cattle, it is these same animals that we slaughter when a headman dies. However, we are unable to do so nowadays because of this uncaring Government that has disturbed our culture by not taking care of our animals. We cannot go on mourning for days because there are no cattle to slaughter for us to feed mourners.


Mr Chazangwe: I am trying to stress the point that …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!
Mr Chazangwe: … in terms of transport in both Southern and Eastern provinces, we use cows to do a lot of work. We have managed to build schools and clinics using cattle. For instance, if you go round Choma now, you will find stones and river sand heaped by scotch carts, using cows. Surprisingly, you people, do not respect a cow. You allow a disease that can be stumped out like what they are doing in Botswana.

At one time, the late minister, Chitandika Kamanga said if others did it, why can we not ‘did’ it?


Mr Chazangwe: If Botswana is able to stamp out this denkete, why can we not do it here in Zambia?


Mr Chazangwe: Transport is cardinal everywhere. You have seen a lot of schools mushrooming, especially community schools, because with cattle, we are able to do self-help. In Choma District, for example, we have got a lot of schools from self-help, including high schools, which we are building ourselves because of cattle.

Mr Speaker, all we are saying is that let this Government, please, must change its attitude towards the controlling of animal diseases.

Mr Kaingu: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Member for Choma in order to refer only to cows without referring to the intimacy our people in Southern Province have with chickens also? I need your serious ruling, Sir.


The Deputy Chairperson: Can the hon. Member continue, taking this point of order into account.

Mr Chazangwe: Mr Speaker, I want to thank you for affording me this opportunity and I think, I have said something. I will be looking forward to seeing some change.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kasongo (Bangweulu): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to, first of all, congratulate the hon. Chair of this Committee and the Seconder of the Motion for having presented the views of Zambians through the same important Committee. Let me also commend my neighbour, the hon. Member of Parliament for Choma (Mr Chazangwe), who ably articulated the views of a villager like me in terms of the importance of agriculture.

Sir, in summary what we are saying is that through agriculture, the Government is able to empower Zambians economically as this is the direct route of inspiring Zambians. The moment you allow Zambians to have many animals or a lot of fish in their lakes, then you will be able to empower them economically and this is the cheapest way of empowering Zambians.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: Sometimes, we do not take these things seriously. You become excited about those institutions that they create which end up in empowering foreigners economically. Animals are dying in Southern Province, but no action is being taken. Fish is depleting in Lake Bangweulu and you have chosen to be spectators.

Mr Mulyata: And Western Province.

Mr Kasongo: Western Province has no fish and you are spectators, and when they talk about investors coming from Europe to come and invest in mining in Mazabuka displacing local people, they get excited. They even issue licences within a day.

Mr Nkombo: Kaumwaambila basa!

Mr Kasongo: And when we ask them to restock fish in Lake Bangweulu since it is depleting, they will be talking about action being taken, and nobody knows when that action will be taken.

Mr Speaker, it is very scary seeing an investor in this country having no difficulties with people at the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources who want to invest in the Lower Zambezi. Papers will be trekking to that office within a day and this is what we call double standards. Let us empower Zambians first before we empower foreigners because by doing so, it will be their security because these are the people who vote for you. Therefore, why are you so excited about empowering foreigners who will create problems for you?

Hon. Member: So that they get kickbacks.

Mr Kasongo: They are the same people who financed the people who attack you. When are you going to learn a lesson? The same investors will team up to raise a lot of money and empower the people who want to get rid of you. When are you going to learn a lesson? When a poor Zambian in Samfya is asking for restocking of fish, you are saying let us postpone this programme. When a farmer in Namwala who voted for you is looking for his animals to be attended to, you say we are going to postpone the restocking. Why are you so proud of empowering foreigners to the exclusion of Zambians, you people?

Hon. Member: Tell them!

Mr Kasongo: Things must change now that you have been given a mandate to be there for three years. Can you change this perception by empowering Zambians economically through agriculture development? It is a very simple activity. For how long have we been pleading for the restocking of fish in our lake? For how long have we been standing in this House to tell you that animals are dying and people have become destitute in their own country? Yet you are just smiling. A foreigner comes and says I want to take cell phones to Namwala and you run after him and attend his functions.

Mr Speaker, sometimes, when I am invited by hon. Ministers to meet these so-called investors, I do not attend those functions because it is folly on my part as a Member of Parliament, representing the people of Bangweulu Constituency who are suffering because they have no fish to attend these functions. The people of Namwala have no animals, yet they want me to go and attend a function for a poor foreigner who is going to bring one ngwee in my area and get away with a lot of money. Can you change your attitude hon. Ministers? Time has come for you to respect your fellow Zambians. This is a very simple message. Hon. Chairperson, Zambians can be empowered economically through agricultural development and not through those mansions that you have put up which you are calling the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission. Who are you empowering through those institutions?

Mr Mukanga: Themselves!

Mr Kasongo: Only foreigners.

Major Chizhyuka: Hear, hear!

Hon. Member: That is the type of debate we want here.

Mr Kasongo: Please, hon. Ministers, can you change your attitude. We love you and that is why we give you this free advice. However, you become so excited with foreigners. You go to the mining building. Look at the number of foreigners who are there. The hon. Ministers are even smiling. A poor Zambian who is looking for restocking of fish and another in Shang’ombo who is losing his animals and has become a destitute in his own country will not even be attended to. What kind of leaders are you? That is short-term leadership. To be a Cabinet Minister means that you show strong leadership on behalf of Zambians and not foreigners.

Major Chizhyuka: Hear, hear!

Hon. Opposition Members: Tell them mudala!

Mr Kasongo: Why is it that some of us love Mugabe, for example? It is because he has shown leadership.

Major Chizhyuka: That’s right!

Mr Kasongo: Mugabe can sacrifice for Zimbabweans. You are supposed to die for Zambians.

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

Mr Kasongo: Die for Zambians. Restock fish in Bangweulu. Attend to animals that are dying. That is the best and cheapest way of empowering Zambians economically. We have talked about the question of land several times, for example. Can you decentralise the issuance of – I know my wife is inviting me somewhere there, that is why she has put on red –( referring to Hon. Siliya) I am now addressing the Chair.

Sir, we have said in this House, several times, that can you decentralise the issuance of title deeds. Nobody is listening. What is so difficult about the question of decentralising the issuance of title deeds? The problem is that you leaders who have been given an opportunity to serve Zambians as Government ministers take pleasure in seeing your fellow Zambians suffering. You expect a person to come all the way from Shang’ombo to come and line up at the Ministry of Lands to be given that document? It may take about one month for that person to go back. You do not even care where that person is having lunch.  As long you have your tea in your offices, you take it that things are okay. Can you decentralise the issuance of this document to district centres?

Mr Speaker, you are also aware that before His Excellency, Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, died, may his soul rest in peace, he made this issue very clear. He disclosed that the Ministry of Lands was the most corrupt ministry in our country and measures were taken to stamp out corruption from that ministry. One may ask a very simple question - has that been achieved? No! Our Zambians are still subjected to long queues just to submit the applications and get the title deed.

Why does it take years to consider and process applications for a piece of land? Meanwhile, the Government wastes a lot of money on a foreigner who comes to tell them what to do. Remember we even offered our services, as professionals and politicians, to provide free services to reorganise that ministry. I suggested it. It is a very simple activity. However, they enlisted the services of a foreigner, but what happened? They have not even achieved the intended objective. Nothing has changed. Find out how many applications have not been attended to in the ministry. Find out who is benefiting from those activities. It is the foreigners. Why do you value foreigners at the expense of Zambians?

Hon. MMD Member: They have no capacity

Mr Kasongo: It is not that they have no capacity. There must be something wrong.


Hon. Members: Where?

Mr Kasongo: The majority of us in this House are elected Members of Parliament who are closer to the electorate - the people who suffer a lot in our respective constituencies- but when we become Ministers we pretend that all is well. You do not even want to empower your own people who voted for you, first of all, as a hon. Member of Parliament and secondly as a person who had been given the opportunity to be appointed a Cabinet Minister. When are you going to pay back that debt?

Major Chizhyuka: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: You should think of the many competitors who are looking for the same parliamentary office. You have been given an opportunity of being elected by the same poor people and subsequently you have been able to catch the eye of the appointing authority and become Cabinet Minister, but you forget the same poor people who put you in that position of comfort. They ask for their animals to be attended to or their fish to be restocked, but you ask them to forget because you are here to attend to the problems that will be given to you by foreigners.

Things must change. As my hon. Colleague has put it. You have only three years, hon. Ministers, to change your attitude. Zambians are watching. The same mandate that has been given to you may be squandered within a short time. These are the death campaigners. They can useless the system within a short time. However, you have the chance to make sure that you use this opportunity to respond to the aspirations of our people within the shortest possible time.

Mr Speaker, there must be political will, as my neighbour put it. Attend to those animals that are dying. Restock fish as you put right the question of issuing title deeds. What is the problem? We trust you to provide strong leadership. Read the signs on the wall. Think of the percentage that you recorded as winners. It was so narrow. It is an indication that if you are not going to change your attitudes to reflect on your weaknesses, as Ministers, then I can foresee your biggest exist in 2011.

The Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mr Shakafuswa): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute on this Motion. First of all, I would like to thank the mover and the seconder of this very important report.

Sir, let me begin by saying that the presentation is well received and the contributions that have been made by hon. Members have also been well received. I think people should realise that we are also Members of Parliament and face the same problems which they have raised in our constituencies. As a Government, yes, we have tried, but maybe not enough to the satisfactory of the people as they are saying.

Mr Speaker, I laugh when people tend to reduce reasonable thinking to general thinking. I say this because at the rate we are moving, no one will cheat that they can create wealth without productivity in Zambia. At the moment, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of this country is about K45 trillion. That is how much this country produces.

For example, last year our economy grew by 5.7 per cent. In real terms, it was less than K200 billion. It means our economy grew by less than K200 billion. At a growth of less than 6 per cent or less than K200 billion, we cannot raise enough resources to be able to tackle the problems which we are facing in this nation. We can only do so if we increase our productivity and the rate of growth becomes higher than the rate of population growth. Then, we can be able to do that.

Mr Speaker, I would like to give an example, …

Hon. UPND Members: Only through agriculture!

Mr Shakafuswa: Yes, agriculture is very important, and so are health and education. What happens is that, when all these aggregate, there are factors which, maybe because people have not been in Government, they do not know how money is allocated. You cannot spend above what your economy is able to produce as goods and services. We can overcome all these huddles by saying, lets increase our budget from K13 trillion to K30 trillion. We can do that. We can say lets give all these cattle farmers all the necessary medicines.

For example, in my constituency there are dip tanks. A farmer will sell his animals to buy a Land Cruiser or a Canter. However, it would be difficult for him to go and buy medicine which is about K2 million to dip his animals so that he does not lose the whole herd of cattle. He ignores it because it must come from the Government. In the meantime, animals are dying. Most of these people in Southern Province have got herds of more than 5,000 cattle. How much would it cost them, before the Government comes in, to sell just a few animals to be able buy medicine and save 4,800 animals?

Mr Speaker, even if the so-called brilliant, intelligent Hakainde was to come into power, he would not be able to create the wealth which he has got as personal wealth. He would only create national wealth if we produce nickel in Mazabuka and add value to it; if copper deposits and ore in the Western Province are developed and if the land in Zambia is cultivated to a level where we add value to the resources we have. However, if you are talking about printing money and using the reserve as the Chairperson of one of the financial committees was saying, I would agree. We have got about K1.2 …

Major Chizhyuka: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Major Chizhyuka: Mr Speaker, I just want to raise a point of order on the level of debate that we are getting from the hon. Minister. Is the hon. Deputy Minister, who today is representing the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning of the country in order to continue debating in that manner without making a correlation to the vibrancy of the livestock sector in Botswana as given by a comparative study by the Committee Report? Is he in order to give us the jargon of GDP in the pocket which his voter in his constituency does not understand? I beg your guidance, Mr Speaker.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! The Deputy Minister is in order because what he is talking about does affect us in agriculture in one form or another.

Can he continue, please.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, this is why this country cannot move forward. I am saying so because we have got people who think they are intelligent when their intelligence level is very questionable.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Shakafuswa: Sir, the problem is that there are people who think that in this country, we can bring easy solutions to complex problems. We have got people who will come to you and say, if you give me K2 million, I am going to make you a multi-millionaire, but if you look at that person, he has got a torn shoe and poor children. Why should you not apply the same remedy to your children so that they become rich? Cheap remedies cannot work.

Sir, in agriculture, we have to talk about irrigation and so many things. If we were to sort out the whole problem today, we have to look for a K5 trillion budget which will just go to agriculture.


Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, how do we get that money at the level of productivity this country has? Productivity level in other countries is very high and they are able to carter for everything.


Mr Shakafuswa: Sir, I could have loved the so-called simple minded parties to have won. They should have found themselves in a very difficult position because they would have found their simple minds handling complex problems. Some of you are just talking because you are excited because you are here and you are driving bigger cars. You should give us alternatives to what we are doing.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: Sir, while you stand there, tell us how to create wealth and we will do it. After all, we are all Zambians and if we stand and do things together, we will not have to wait for 2011. In 2011, I will still be a Zambian. Whether I will be that side (left) or this side (right), I will still be a Zambian. As Zambians, if we say we put all our heads together and not selfishly wait for you to come this side (right), you will find that there is no difference between that side and this side.

Sir, as Zambians, if you have got ideas on how we can increase our productivity and how we can make Zambia become valuable, we are available. You should not be smart for nothing. We are looking for Zambians who can put political issues aside and move this country forward.

Mr Speaker, the other thing which I will say is that we appreciate the values that animals like cattle have to a human being. I know that other people sleep with animals in the same house…


Mr Shakafuswa: …but there are values we can also get in terms of food. We need to move together with our people. Some of the diseases we are talking about are out of lack of management.

I think that we should re-define the role of our extension officers. In the next budget, we should allocate more money to the Veterinary Department so that the officers are mobile. They need to reach people and teach them how they can, with minimum resources, be able to look after the animals. That way, we would be moving in the right direction. This has to be a partnership. Rearing animals is no different from running a business. If I am running a filling station, I will not ask for help from anyone. Farming is a business. We have to move from an era where we used to look at farming as a culture. Farming is a business.

Mr Speaker, I also keep animals. However, I look at it as a business. You will find that there are costs associated with the business which you have to incur in order to ensure that the business runs smoothly. You have to find a point where you break even when you are running a business.  Therefore, once we start teaching our people that farming is a business, we will come up with high values from our people and we will be helping them. We will not be able to help and alleviate all these problems overnight. However, we have an obligation to our people and we have to tell them the truth. If we can solve this problem today, we will be the happiest people. There is no Government which would want to make its people suffer when it can help. Which Government? Ask Hon Machungwa. He was in Government for over ten years. How come they had this problem, which we inherited?

Dr Machungwa: Point of Order, Sir.


Mr Shakafuswa:  They were not able to.

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


The Deputy Chairman: The Point of Order has been overtaken by events.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Chairman, thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate the report, ably moved by Hon. Muntanga and seconded by Hon. Mwamba.

Sir, I wish to state from the onset that we say these things in the manner that we see them. I beg the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives, who is here, together with his two deputies, and I wish the other hon. Minister was here to listen very carefully to my comments. The difficulty that we have is that the ministry as Hon. Kasongo said in his remarks requires a complete overhaul, where the department of livestock requires to be given its own line of management in the ministry. If possible, there should be an establishment of the ministry of livestock, which should be fully funded and supported by the Government.

Sir, I would like to address myself to the issue of cattle re-stocking, which this Government normally brags about as being a successful programme. What we see in the Southern Province is that a community of, for instance, ten to fifteen families on average, will be given one cow to see if it can bear more cows. Year in year out, these families have been looking at the belly of the cow to see if it is pregnant or not in order for them to share the one calf that will be born per year.

The gestation cycle of a cow is similar to that of a human being. It can only drop one cow in a year. The President of this Republic in his inaugural speech said one of the biggest tasks that he wants to deal with is poverty in this country. Now, if fifteen families are going share one cow per year, surely, that does not amount to reducing poverty at a pace that is desirable to achieve this purpose. The hon. Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning indicated that it not an easy task to create wealth.

I want to demonstrate because he said this before this House that he would invite some brilliant ideas as to how wealth can be created.

Sir, Hon. Kasongo also indicated that the issue of title issuance must be decentralised. I want to state that once the issue of title deed is decentralised, a title deed may seem to be just an ordinary piece of paper once presented to a bank or a lending institution. I want to be as simple as possible. Once it is presented to a bank or a lending institution, it will seem just like a piece of paper. It is insufficient if you want to borrow money without necessarily coming to the Government to ask for the Fertiliser Support Programme.

Sir, in Botswana as the report said, they have continued to make progress at livestock level where they are not only looking at their own internal market. They are looking at the European Market. Why is it so? It is like this because they have put efforts ii developing that line of the business of livestock. They do not have tuntembas like Mwanamainda where they slaughter two cows in a day. They slaughter 800 cows in a day for export. They have processing plants for meat. I do not think that the processing plant for meat is beyond the capability of this Government. I do not think so. I, therefore, think that the Executive seem to say that it is a mammoth task to establish a canning plant for beef. I do agree with that.

Sir, the way the ministry has been run has been quite hazardous. Before Hon. Kapita was taken ill, we were talking over the issue of the CBPP disease and it was me who said on the Floor of this House and asked why we cannot get each district to produce their own brands for you to be able to police the movements of these cows and contain the disease.

Sir, Hon. Kapita said that we were going to import these brands because there are securitised. To this date, I think it is eleven months later, I have not seen this being achieved. To me, that is the piloting that the hon. Member of Namwala was speaking about. These brands have not been produced and yet, money was allocated to import them.

Having said that, I think the Veterinary Department has put in its own efforts although it is insufficient to try and combat the disease in Southern Province. We still have a situation where suddenly, because there is an outcry, they will say okay we have lifted the ban on cattle movement. It is principally because the people of Southern Province depend on their animals to take their children to schools.

Sir, the people of Southern Province depend on their cows and on the sales of their cows to be able to live normally and have three meals in a day. What we see now is that ever since the closure of the Cold Storage Board of Zambia which was into private business such as ZAMBEEF and others, there is a situation where our small-scale farmers have been short-changed in that these fellows have gone to established abattoirs to butcher these animals, put them in cold rooms and transport them to Lusaka and sell them at more than two and half times the price – money which ought to have been in the pocket of the people who have suffered to raise   these cows for seven years before they are ready to sell. Yet, the Government is saying that it is a bit difficult for us to correct such an anomaly.

Mr Speaker, our people require protection. Therefore, in this way, it becomes easy to turn to what one tends to preach about - like one politician -  that there will be more money in your pocket. That is one sure way of having Zambians having money in their pockets if they are allowed to sell their produce at a commercial level.

Mr Speaker, we have also been told in the report that 80 per cent of the beef producers constitute these small-scale farmers and 20 per cent constitutes the commercial farmers.

The Deputy Chairman: Order!

(Debate adjourned)

The House adjourned at 1255 hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday, 18th November, 2008.