Debates- Wednesday, 12th November, 2008

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Wednesday, 12th November, 2008

The House met at 1430 hours







386. Mr Chongo (Mwense) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives:

(a) how many agricultural extension officers were in Mwense District;

(b) how many agricultural camps were in each of the three Parliamentary Constituencies in the District and how the officers at (a) above were distributed, constituency by constituency; and

(c) what mode of transport the officers at Mwense used and whether it was adequate.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Kalenga): Mr Speaker, there were twenty agricultural extension officers in Mwense District.

The agricultural camps and officers are distributed by constituencies as follows:

Constituency  Number of Camps Number of Officers
Mambilima   07   06
Chipili    10   08
Mwense Central   07   06
Total    24   20

The field staff have twenty bicycles in Mwense, and each agricultural extension officer has a bicycle. Fifteen motor bikes were allocated to Luapula Province. Each district was allocated two motor bikes. There are seven districts in the province and one bicycle was allocated to the Mbereshi Farm Training Centre. In Mwense District, one bicycle was allocated to an agricultural block and the rest to each district centre for use by the specialist officer.

There are two project vehicles in the district; one under the Programme for Luapula Agricultural Rural Development (PLARD) and an old vehicle from the Food and Agriculture Programme (FAO) oil pump project.

The Ministry appreciates the critical shortage of transport. Therefore, there are plans to procure more motor bikes and other modes of transport for all the provinces and districts.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chongo: Madam Speaker, given the vastness of the area, the current number of twenty officers is not adequate. How does the Ministry expect to increase the number of officers to provide adequate extension services?

Mr Kalenga: Madam Speaker, the province is waiting for more staff to be deployed to districts. This will be done when we have requested for more staff to be sent to Mwense District.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chimbaka (Bahati): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister, in his answer …

Mr Matongo: On a point of order, Madam.

Madam Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Matongo: Madam Speaker, is this just Government of the people which is also a Government of continuity, which, I have no doubt, we would like to support, in order to have an inordinate distribution of fertiliser and seed? This is November and there is a critical problem of prices of mealie-meal, and I have no doubt that there shall be another crisis of fuel, and yet the Government is not briefing this House on what they are doing to ensure that food and fuel supplies, as well as the planting season are not disturbed.

Madam Speaker, I would like to the Government to give us a statement on these issues.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Speaker: Order!

The point of order raised by the hon. Member for Pemba is a very serious one, …

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker: … as it hinges on the prices of fuel, mealie-meal and the distribution of fertiliser. The Chair would like to ask the Government, through the various ministries concerned, to come up with comprehensive ministerial statements, not tomorrow, but within this week and next week to brief the nation and this august House.

The hon. Member for Bahati may continue, please.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chimbaka: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister, in his answer to hon. Chongo’s question, has confirmed to this House and the nation that the Department of Agriculture in Mwense and probably in many other districts, has no transport of their own. Last time I asked when the Government would provide transport to the Department of Agriculture. I would like to find out whether the Government has no intentions of providing transport to officers in this department to enhance agricultural production?

The Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Kapita): Madam Speaker, regarding transport for the agricultural officers in Mwense, I would like to emphatically confirm that the Government is committed to providing transport, not only for the agricultural officers in Mwense District, but also for all the districts in this country.

You will recall that up until 2006, when Zambia attained the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Completion Point, it was very difficult to procure transport and many other assets because of the conditionalities under which we were as country. Therefore, the purchase of new vehicles for all the agricultural officers in the country only began after attaining the HIPC Completion Point and the first Budget under which we began buying vehicles was that for 2007.

Madam, I am happy to say that quite a number of districts have received vehicles. The Eastern Province probably benefitted the most, because of the programme under the African Development Bank. However, every district will receive transport as funds become available. It is an ongoing programme and we are setting aside some money for that purpose in the 2009 Budget.
I thank you, Madam Speaker.


387. Mr C. Mulenga (Chinsali) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing:

(a) how many traffic lights were supposed to be on the streets of the City of Lusaka;

(b) how many traffic lights the City had currently; and

(c) of the traffic lights at (b) above, how many were operational.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Dr Kazonga): Madam Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the streets of the City of Lusaka are supposed to have about seventy traffic lights. Currently, Lusaka City has only twenty-two traffic lights and out of these, only twenty-one are operational.

Mr Kambwili: Question!

Dr Kazonga: The one that is not operational was vandalised by some unruly residents when they were protesting against the power outages in January, this year.

Hon. MMD Members: PF!

Dr Kazonga: Madam Speaker, it should be noted that some of the working junctions have obsolete traffic controller lights which need to be replaced with modern controllers for easy operation and maintenance. In some cases, smooth operation of traffic lights is hindered by the following:

 (i) frequent power outages in some areas;

 (ii) damage due to road accidents;

 (iii) short circuits, especially during the rainy season;

 (iv) obsolete traffic controllers with no readily available spares; and

 (v) vandalism.

Madam Speaker, in light of the problems that I have stated, the Government is considering replacing the existing installations with modern types such as Light Emitting Diodes (LED), which do not require frequent bulb replacement and whose spares are readily available.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr C. Mulenga: Madam Speaker, lately, it has become very difficult to drive in the City of Lusaka simply because there is an influx of motor vehicles from Japan and other places, resulting in a lot of traffic …


Madam Speaker: Order! Ask your question.

Mr C. Mulenga: I believe that traffic lights at all the strategic points can reduce traffic and accidents. When will the Government finish the project of installing the seventy traffic lights they are talking about?

Hon. PF Member: Ebaume aba!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Dr Kazonga: Madam Speaker, as I always indicate, the first step towards solving a problem is to acknowledge that there is a problem. This Government has acknowledged this problem. The next step after acknowledging the problem is to plan. Therefore, this Government, through the Lusaka City Council, has been working on what is known as an Integrated Development Plan for the City of Lusaka that includes all these aspects of traffic lights and many other facilities without restricting ourselves to traffic lights.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kazonga: After the plan has been made, this Government will then look at its implementation. When funds are made available, the plan will be implemented.

I thank you, Madam.


Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out whether the Ministry has made deliberate arrangements to increase the time allowance for traffic lights, especially those that are within a distance of under a kilometre between each other and syncronise them in such a way that the traffic jam does not happen on one set of lights that is green and on another that is red.

Dr Kazonga: Madam Speaker, that is a very important question. Once these problems have been identified, it is the duty of the technocrats, who are the engineers, to syncronise them.  I am sure our engineers will be able to do this, particularly bearing in mind the observation made by the hon. Member of Parliament for Mazabuka. There are so many factors that these engineers need to take into consideration, but definitely, our technocrats will be able to look at that particular angle of the problem

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Madam Speaker, …

Mr Shakafuswa: On a point of order, Madam.

Madam Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Shakafuswa: Madam Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order. Is the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing in order to answer questions on traffic lights which are the responsibility of a local council which the Patriotic Front (PF) is in charge of and has lamentably failed to put up the traffic lights?


Mr Shakafuswa: Is he in order to answer on behalf of PF who have failed to run the City of Lusaka? I need your serious ruling.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Kambwili: That is the type of Government we have.

Madam Deputy Speaker: It is not in order for the hon. Minister to raise a point of order on another hon. Minister.


Madam Deputy Speaker: The hon. Member for Kantanshi may continue, please.

Mr Mukanga: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has stated that a set of traffic lights was damaged in January and that to date, it has not been repaired. I would like to find out what has been the major reason for this because people are paying taxes and there is a lot of money. Repairing traffic lights can only take a day. I want to find out what the reason is.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Dr Kazonga: Madam Speaker, the mutual problem that we have encountered is the lack of financial resources. However, this Government is committed to solving it. The other problem is that all these issues should be extensively dealt with at the local level. This includes the Lusaka City Council …


Dr Kazonga: … which has counsellors who are also in this House? Once this is done at the local level, our role would be to focus on the policy and looking for finances for these issues to be resolved.

With regard to the issue of vandalism that I talked about earlier, as Members of Parliament, it is incumbent upon us to educate the members of the community not to vandalise common utilities because it is very difficult to replace them. That is my message in response to that particular question.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Tetamashimba: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out what the set standard interval is for inspection and maintenance of traffic lights in the city or the whole country.

Dr Kazonga: Madam Speaker, the intervals depend on the situation. The inspections can be carried out any time. It can be everyday or every week, depending on the condition of the traffic lights. Once they have been inspected, some problem areas are identified and a decision is made on what needs to be done.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Beene (Itezhi-tezhi): Madam Speaker, could the hon. Minister confirm that he is misleading this House by stating that there is not enough money when this Government has reserves of more than US $1.5 billion in the Bank of Zambia account. The Ministry of Local Government and Housing has failed the people of Zambia by endangering their lives, as they have failed to repair the traffic lights on the streets of Lusaka.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kazonga: Madam Speaker, I wish to totally disagree with the statement that implies that the Ministry has failed. It is actually the opposite. The Ministry is, …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kazonga: … on behalf of the overall Government, is doing well. This Ministry is doing a lot to improve the quality of lives of our people. We cannot just look at one small area and generalise that the Ministry has failed.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kazonga: A lot of boreholes have been sunk. There are a lot of works that are being done in our cities and councils to rehabilitate the roads.


Dr Kazonga: All these are aimed at improving the quality of lives for our people. This Ministry is moving in the right direction with the general support from the Ministry of Finance and National Planning which is releasing the necessary resources. Therefore, I totally disagree with the allegation that this Ministry has failed the people of Zambia, because the opposite is what is obtaining on the ground. The Ministry is doing everything possible to ensure that the services are delivered through the local authorities throughout the country.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs J. M. Phiri (Munali): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister if he is aware that the Lusaka City Council has not received money from the Central Government for this year. If so, how does he expect the Lusaka City Council to operate without money?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kazonga: Madam Speaker, I am not aware that the Lusaka City Council has not received any money, unless the hon. Member could be more specific. As far as I am concerned, the Government has been releasing grants for different purposes as they become available to all the local authorities in order to provide the services to our communities.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

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


388. Mr Mwangala (Nalolo) asked the Minister of Health:

(a) when Nangoma Rural Health Centre in Nalolo, which was washed away by floods in 2006, would be rebuilt;

(b) whether there were any plans to provide water boats for use as ambulances during the floods at Nangoma and other rural health centres in the Western Province; and

(c) whether there were any plans to send a nurse to Nangoma Rural Health Centre following the death of the nurse who was there in 2007.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Dr Puma): Madam Speaker, in response to part (a) of the question, I wish to inform the House that Nangoma Health Rural Health Centre, in 2006, was temporarily closed due to floods. However, all services were shifted to Muoyo Health Centre. During 2006, the health centre was renovated, that is, one staff house was built and the other house was renovated to be used as the health centre block. The health centre was opened in September, 2006, immediately the water in the plains subsided.

With regard to part (b) of the question, Senanga District dose not have a water boat stationed at the District Office. However, when patients need evacuation from Nalolo during the flood season, the District Health Office borrows a water boat from the Shang’ombo District Office stationed within Senanga Boma. Consideration will be made to procure a boat for the district in the near future.

In response to part (c) of the question, currently, Nangoma Rural Health Centre is manned by a retired Environmental Health Technician who has been contracted. Other qualified staff will be sent to the health centre in due course.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


389. Mr Tembo (Nyimba) asked the Minister of Justice when construction of the flowing local courts in Nyimba Parliamentary Constituency would commence:

(i) Nyalugwe Local Court; and 
(ii) Luembe Local Court.

The Minister of Justice (Mr Kunda, SC.): Madam Speaker, the Government is aware of the need to construct and rehabilitate local courts countrywide. In fact, the construction and rehabilitation of local courts is an ongoing and continuous programme which is being addressed through annual budgetary allocations.

However, due to budgetary constraints, it is not possible to accommodate the construction and rehabilitation of all the local courts countrywide in one year.

As for the construction of Nyalugwe and Luembe local courts in Nyimba Parliamentary Constituency, these will be considered for inclusion in future budgets, as and when funds become available. Thus, I am unable to say exactly when the construction would commence.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Tembo: Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that the Government is losing a lot of revenue due to lack of infrastructure in the two chiefdoms?

Mr Kunda, SC.: Madam Speaker, of course, it is follows that if there are no activities that attract revenue then we will lose revenue. However, as I said, this particular problem is of priority to us and we will be attending to it.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has just stated that Nyalugwe and Luembe local courts will be included in the budget when funds are made available, I would like to know whether there is no chance for this Government to include this particular project in the budget even when money is made available knowing that we make budgets and money becomes available later. Is he now saying that these courts can only be included when money is available without putting them in the estimates?

Mr Kunda, SC.: Madam Speaker, every year, we budget for the construction of local courts. Even in the 2009 Budget, there will be a list of courts to be attended to.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Malama (Mfuwe): Madam Speaker, in places where the court buildings are incomplete, what other alternatives has the hon. Minister put in place to ensure that court sessions are not disturbed by the rain?

Mr Kunda, SC.: Madam Speaker, of course various initiatives are employed. I can assure you that we are able to dispense justice even under difficult circumstances.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


390. Dr Machungwa (Luapula) asked the Minister of Health what the staffing position at the following health centres in Luapula Parliamentary Constituency were:

i) Kalimankonde;

ii) Kasomalunga;

iii) Nsamba; and

iv) Bwalyamponda.

Dr Puma: Madam Speaker, there is one classified daily employee at Kalimankonde, an Environmental Health Technologist at Kasomalunga, a classified daily employee at Nsamba and an Environmental Health Technologist at Bwalyamponda.

Madam, the Ministry of Health has taken note of the need to increase the staffing levels and health centres not only in Luapula Province but also across the country. To this effect, a deliberate policy has been developed to send qualified staff the most hit health facilities.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Dr Machungwa: Madam Speaker, the answer by the hon. Minister clearly shows the lack of care for the people in that area by employing classified daily employees to serve the people. I have brought this matter to the attention of the hon. Minister for the last two to three years and he has not been able to do anything about it. What does he expect people in that area to do to get any service at all from the Ministry?

The Minister of Health (Dr Chituwo): Madam Speaker, it is true that the hon. Member of Parliament has raised this issue before and we have discussed it. Unfortunately, the situation is such that we are operating at a 50 per cent establishment with regard to health workers. Steps have been taken by this caring Government …


Dr Chituwo: …to ensure that we as per our mission statement provide quality health services to our people.

Hon. Shikapwasha: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo: Madam, it takes three years to train a registered nurse and another year for mid-wifery. Through this House, we announced that as far as the Ministry was concerned, we have undertaken measures to do the following:

(i) reopen some of the nursing schools that were closed; and

(ii) ensure that there is an increase of up to 70 per cent of these nursing schools.

Madam Speaker, we need mid-wives. Therefore, we have introduced new programmes in our Ministry to ensure that we can produce a mid-wife through a direct entry programme within two years.

Madam, just last year, we recruited 1,984 health workers. This has increased the number of entrants and those recruited to over 32,000 from 26,000. We were able to send to Luapula fifty-five health workers. Clearly, I think what is important is that there is a need to fill these places and efforts are being made to ensure that we provide some health services where required. This year, we have planned to recruit another 1,805 health workers to ensure that we fill the vacancies in the health centres where there is no qualified health personnel. We are aiming to have, at least, one qualified person per rural health centre and subsequently fill these as per establishment.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Mwansa (Chifunabuli): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has informed this House that classified daily employees who are actually sweepers are manning rural health centres. In other words, they dispense drugs although they have not been trained to do so. Can the hon. Minister assure this House that qualified personnel will be sent to areas where there are classified daily employees as we await the filling of the vacancies with qualified personnel at health centres in the whole country? Otherwise, we risk the danger of misdiagnosis and overdose.

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, indeed, this situation is not as was planned. In order to provide some first aid in these areas, sweepers undergo some induction to the level of community health worker so that they are able to provide first aid. I have said many times and even in my previous answer that, indeed, we are making every effort to ensure that each health centre or health facility has, at least, a qualified member of staff to ensure that quality health services are provided. I have said this many times and it is evident in the effort we are making to put in place all these measures that I have shared with the House.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Kasongo (Bangweulu): Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that in most cases the classified daily employees are sent to Samfya for training and they over stay for even one month. During this period, the people who need medical attention are not attended to. What measures is the hon. Minister going to put in place to ensure that there is continuity in the provision of services for the ministry to achieve its vision of increasing the life expectancy by 2015?

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, in fact, in the past, we used to experience these absences because of our desire to increase the knowledge and skills of our workers. In the past, we tried, as much as possible, to get the trainers where these services were required; namely the training maids, to ensure that there was continuity. In some instances, it has proved difficult to provide health services and at the same time upgrade the knowledge and skills of health workers. We will do everything possible to ensure that instead of all the health workers leaving their stations to go to the district level for further training, we cluster them when conducting training to ensure that the outreach programmes cover the population in the absence of the resident staff.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr L. J. Mulenga (Kwacha): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out, in view of the shortage of staff, what measures this Government is taking to ensure that the Zambian people do not get sick.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! In this House, there is nobody with the capacity to answer that question.


Dr Katema (Chingola): Madam Speaker, some health centres are run by Classified Daily Employees (CDEs) with minimal training …

Hon. MMD Members: Question!


The Deputy Speaker: Order! Ask your question.

Dr Katema: Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister who keeps the keys to the cupboards containing dangerous drugs in these centres being manned by CDEs. I would also like to find out who administers these dangerous drugs, which are not supposed to be handled by any other person apart from qualified health personnel.

The Deputy Speaker: Order! You have asked your question.

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, I am really surprised by that question. The hon. Member of Parliament is supposed to know better. However, in case he has forgotten …


Dr Chituwo: …there are various levels of health care.

Madam Speaker, drugs governed by the Dangerous Drugs Act are not kept at the facilities that we have been discussing. Therefore, the question of keeping the keys does not arise because these drugs are not in these facilities.

I thank you, Madam.


391. Mr Mukanga asked the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development:

(a) what measures had been taken to minimise pollution of the environment at the Kabwe Lead Plant; and

(b) whether there were any plans to compensate the Kabwe residents whose health had been adversely affected by lead pollution.


The Deputy Speaker: Order! We are consulting a little too loudly. Can we pay attention to what is going on. Otherwise, we risk asking the same questions many times over.

The Deputy Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr M. B. Mwale): Madam Speaker, the Government, through the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines ─ Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH) has taken the following public health and environmental and pollution control measures:

(a) clearing of all defunct structures at the mine plant in line with the requirements of the Environmental Protection and Pollution Act;

(b) providing a vegetative cover on waste dumps to minimise dust emissions and prevent waste erosion by storm runoff, which is ongoing;

(c) sinking of boreholes and erection of taps to improve water supply for domestic use in affected communities. The improvement in water supply will assist in establishing a vegetative cover …


The Deputy Speaker: Order!

Can we please have some kind of order in the House because the Chair would like to follow the debate. It is not an easy task to try and listen over your …I do not want to call it noise, but that is what it is.


The Deputy Speaker: Could the hon. Minister continue, please.

Mr M. B.  Mwale: Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Madam Speaker, The improvement in water supply will assist in establishing a vegetative cover in the affected communities to minimise dust emission;

(d) sensitisation of communities in the affected areas through meetings on the dangers of lead. In this regard, three environmental public information centres have been established to provide information on lead and other cross-cutting issues to the public;

(e) introduction of the passive surveillance of blood in antenatal mothers in six health centres. The passive monitoring system provides a continuous picture of lead levels in the blood across all communities and key target populations, which is children and women;

(f) distribution of food supplements to clients in an effort to reduce the level of lead in children ;

(g) construction of eleven community play parks to assist in limiting the time spent by children in areas likely to contain lead; and

(h) dissemination of a series of health and behaviour change messages through posters and brochures in English and local languages.

Madam Speaker, there are no immediate plans to compensate the residents of Kabwe because no problem has been defined. However, the Government, through ZCCM-IH, has put in place a comprehensive and effective programme covering public health on the one hand and environmental protection and control on the other, as indicated in our response for part (a) of the question.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mukanga: Madam Speaker, I would like to find out what specific measures have been put in place by this Government to improve the future of the children who are mentally retarded as a result of the lead pollution in Kabwe.

The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Dr Mwansa): Madam Speaker, first of all, I would like to commend the hon. Member for Kantanshi for his enthusiasm to raise issues affecting the mining industry, away from his constituency.


Dr Mwansa: We commend your enthusiasm.

Madam Speaker, the question of compensation can only arise if and when there are proven cases of injury to limb or mind of the people affected. However, so far, we have had no report at all of such injuries. If we receive any report and verifiable information that, in fact, as a result of the pollution in Kabwe, certain individuals have suffered loss of their mind or limb, some measures will be taken to compensate them.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Madam Speaker, we are aware that the unit in ZCCM-IH that has been charged with the responsibility of looking after these issues of environmental effects of lead in Kabwe is going to be disbanded. I wish the hon. Minister to tell this House how the Government plans to continue managing the effects of pollution of the environment in Kabwe if that unit in ZCCM-IH is scheduled for disbanding.

Dr Mwansa: Madam Speaker, ZCCM-IH is mandated to clear all outstanding obligations either in terms of pollution or otherwise. As long as the pollution problem continues, there is no way we are going to disband that particular department. There is no information, indication or intention whatsoever on our part to disband that section.

I thank you, Madam.

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Madam Speaker, it is remarkable that Kabwe has been classified as one of the ten most polluted places on earth, and yet the hon. Minister seems to be suggesting that no one has actually suffered any effects of this pollution. Could he confirm that he is actually denying that there is a pollution problem in Kabwe as far as human health is concerned?

Dr Mwansa: Madam Speaker, we have heard views of Kabwe being one of the dirtiest cities in the world, but there is no report by any leading writer in the area to confirm that.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Mwansa: In fact, there is no evidence whatsoever to confirm that Kabwe is dirtier than Ndola.


Dr Mwansa: Madam, these are reports made by people who come to our country as visitors and they have no qualification whatsoever to write reports that are credible for us to work on.

 I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


392. Mr D. Mwila (Chipili) asked the Minister of Education:

(a) when he Government would repair the motor vehicle at Chipili High School in Chipili Parliamentary Constituency; and

(b) when the above vehicle was procured.

The Deputy Minister of Education (Mr Sinyinda): Madam Speaker, I would like to inform the House that the vehicle in question, a Toyota Hilux registration number GRZ 1783 BL, which was generously donated by the then Member of Parliament and former hon. Deputy Minister of Education Mr J. C. Mfula and has been experiencing some mechanical problems. However, the engine was taken to Kitwe for reconditioning and so far only the radiator needs to be attended to.

 I thank you, Madam Speaker.


393. Mr Kambwili (Roan) asked the Minister of Works and Supply:

(a) what the total number of G. R. Z. vehicles currently was ; and

(b) how many of the vehicles at (a) above were insured with each of the following insurance companies:

(i) Zambian State Insurance Corporation Limited;

(ii) Professional Insurance Corporation Zambia Limited;

(iii) Madison Insurance Company Zambia Limited; and

(iv) Other insurance companies operating in Zambia.

The Deputy Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Ndalamei): Madam Speaker, I would like to inform the House that the total number of motor vehicles currently stands at 6,252

The total number of motor vehicles that are insured is 2,044 broken down as follows:

 (i) Zambian State Insurance Corporation 1,063;
(ii) Professional Insurance Corporation    322;
(iii) Madison Insurance Corporation  201;
(iv) NICO Insurance Corporation  153;
(v) Grand Insurance Corporation  197; and
(vi) Cavmont Insurance Corporation  108.

Madam, the total number of vehicles insured is 2,044.

Madam Speaker, each ministry has the responsibility of insuring its vehicles. The Ministry of Works and Supply has no overall responsibility to compel ministries to insure their fleet of vehicles.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kambwili: Madam Speaker, in view of the number of accidents involving Government vehicles, does the hon. Minister not think that it is imperative to insure the vehicles so that they can have indemnity from the insurance companies in case of an accident.

Mr Ndalamei: Madam Speaker, it is important to insure vehicles. This is the reason we are appealing to each ministry to insure their vehicles.

 I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Madam Speaker, surely, someone must be responsible for not to making sure that 4,000 are insured. This Government cannot continue saying that it is the responsibility of each ministry to insure vehicles. We cannot continue having national assets…

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! The hon. Member is debating. Ask your supplementary question, please.

Mr Hachipuka: Madam, why is this Government continuing to keep 4,000 vehicles uninsured?

The Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Simbao): Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Member of Parliament for Mbabala for that concern.

Madam, maybe, we could come later with a good answer to the reason the Government vehicles are not insured. We do insist that when we register a new vehicle, it must be insured, but we do not know why this is not happening. This is the reason we probably have to come back with a good answer at a later date.

 I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mukanga: Madam Speaker, I would like to find out why it is not mandatory for a Government vehicle to be insured before licensing it while it is mandatory for a private vehicle.

Mr Simbao: Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Member for that informative question.

Madam Speaker, the truth is that Government vehicles are not licensed.

 I thank you, Madam Speaker.{mospagebreak}


394. Mr Malama (Mfuwe) asked the Minister of community Development and Social Service whether the Programme for `Urban Self Help (PUSH) conducted any projects in Mfuwe Parliamentary Constituency and if so, how much has been spent on the aged in the Constituency from 2005 to-date.

The Deputy Minister of Community Development and Social Services (Mr Chinyanta): Madam Speaker, PUSH has not done any work from 2005 to-date in Mfuwe Parliamentary Constituency, as PUSH Programmes are currently being implemented in the following provinces only:

(i) Lusaka;

(ii) Central;

(iii) Western;

(iv) North-Western;

(v) Southern; and

(vi) Copperbelt.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Chisala (Chilubi): Madam Speaker, what is the main reason for the PUSH Programmes to concentrate on urban areas and marginalising the rural communities.

The Minister of Community Development and Social Services (Ms Namugala): Madam Speaker, PUSH was created as a result of the vulnerability levels arising from the privatisation process. Initially, it was on the Copperbelt and Lusaka Provinces. This House called on the hon. Minister of Community Development and Social Services to insure that the peri-urban self help project rolled out to the rural areas.

Madam Speaker, with regard to the Northern Province, I would like to report to this House that an assessment has been made and in due course, funding permitting, PUSH will be rolled out to the Northern and Luapula Provinces.

 I thank you, Madam Speaker.


395. Mr Ntundu (Gwembe) asked the Minister of Finance and National Planning:

(a) what the composition of the Board of the Pensions and Insurance Authority was;

(b) what the conditions of service and the board members were;

(c) what the term of office of the board members was; and

(d) how much money insured clients had claimed from insurance companies from 2002 to-date.

The Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mr Shakafuswa): Madam Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that the composition of the Board of the Pensions and Insurance Authority, as stipulated by Section 6(2) of the Pensions Scheme Regulation Act, as amended in 2005, which Hon. Ntundu was part of, is as follows:

(i) a representative of the ministry responsible for Finance;

(ii) a representative from the ministry of Labour and Social Security;

(iii) a representative of the Bank of Zambia;

(iv) a representative of the Zambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry;

(v) a representative of the Attorney-General;

(vi) a representative of the Zambia Institute of Certified Accountants;

(vii) a representative of the Zambia Federation of Employers;

(viii) a representative of a Trade Union representing workers in the insurance and pension industry; and

(ix) one other person who shall have expertise in the administration of pension funds, insurance or actuarial matters.

The conditions of service for the Board members are that, Board members are entitled to sitting allowances in accordance with the Pension Scheme Regulation Act (as amended in 2005) as follows:

Board Meeting Sittings Allowance

Chairperson - K2,000,000.00 net of taxation
Board Members - K1,500,000.00 net of taxation

Board Committee Meetings Sitting Allowance

Chairperson - K800,000 net of taxation
Other Board Members - K700,000 net of taxation.

Madam Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that the term of office of Board members is three years from the time of appointment and may be reappointed for only one further term of three years.

Madam, I wish to inform this august House that the total value of claims incurred by insured clients of insurance companies from 2002 to 2007 amounts to K616,608,000, 000.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Ntundu: Madam Speaker, I thank you …

Mr Ntundu coughed and cleared his throat.

Mr Ntundu: Sorry!

Mr Ntundu drank some water.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ntundu: Sorry about that.
Madam Speaker, if we were debating ourselves I was going to ask the Hon. Minister to compare his answer to our Bill.

Madam Deputy Speaker: You are not!

Mr Ntundu: Now the question is, …


Mr Ntundu: … I would like to find out from the Hon. Minister whether the allegation is true that this Board favours itself in terms of allowances compared to the claimants that are supposed to get their claims from this Board. Can the Hon. Minister confirm this allegation, please?

Mr Shakafuswa stood up and drank some water.


Hon. Members: Lelo ni lelo!


Mr Shakafuswa: Madam Speaker, if we were allowed to debate ourselves, I could have said that …

Madam Deputy Speaker: You are not! Just answer the question, please.


Mr Shakafuswa: Madam, the board Members sit once every three months. This is regulated by the Registrar of Insurance and Pensions. The board Members do not receive or take any insurance claims. Therefore, that allegation has no basis.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Madam Speaker, since the Board members get such huge amounts of money per sitting, what are they doing about the pensioners who get very little money, to ensure that they also get their dues as quickly as possible? This is because the Board members meet and get so much money that at the end of it all, pensioners stay for three to ten years without getting paid.

Hon. UPND Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: Madam Speaker, there is one important issue we should look at. There is a saying that goes, “If you pay peanuts then you get monkeys”, and this is the reason people out there think that we, as Members of Parliament, are not supposed to get more money than we are supposed to. However, my advice is that let us pay people with qualifications the right amount of money so that this country retains quality people and “qualitable” Members of Parliament.


Hon. Members: What is “Qualitable”?


Mr Shakafuswa: Madam, on the question of pension arrears, if the Member of Parliament was attentive …


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Shakafuswa: … enough to listen to the Budget presentation, he could have seen that the Ministry of Finance and National Planning has put enough money aside to clear, to almost nil, the pension arrears. We are going in that direction. Starting next year, we have put enough money in the budget and are committed to ensuring that people who have worked and put in their best are happy and better remunerated and are given their money when it is due. However, at the moment, I cannot give the position off hand, but I can safely say that we have paid most of the pension arrears resulted from a lack of funds at the Ministry of Finance and National Planning.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr D. Mwila: Madam Speaker, can the hon. Minister confirm whether after the three-year-term of office, Board members are paid any other allowance besides what they get?

Mr Shakafuswa: Madam Speaker, these officers only get sitting allowances and have no gratuity whatsoever.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Matongo (Pemba): Madam Speaker, according to the hon. Minister, the Board members represent institutions they come from. What measures has his Ministry taken to ensure that the Members are of a high quality or does the hon. Minister have Board members who are paid peanuts because they are not of  a high quality?

Mr Muntanga: Monkeys!


Mr Matongo: Could the hon. Minister, please, qualify who these people are because they are paid peanuts?


Madam Deputy Speaker: The Chair is reluctant to have that answer repeated because in the original answer, the composition stated who the Board members are and which institutions they come from.

Hon. Government Member: Quality!

Mr Kasongo: Madam Speaker, in answering a supplementary question, the Hon. Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Finance and National Planning informed this House that the Government’s indebtedness to the pensioners will be cleared next year, and yet in the Budget Speech the Hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning informed this House that all the arrears were going to be discharged by December this year. Can he reconcile the two statements?

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: Madam Speaker, in my response, I said that this year, this House has provided enough resources to clear the arrears and that if there will be any outstanding payments, they would be cleared next year although the commitment is that this year, most of the money has to be paid. By next year, we shall be up to date with pension payments.

I thank you, Madam.


396. Mr Imenda (Lukulu East) asked the Minister of Finance and National Planning what factors prevent the Bank of Zambia from influencing commercial banks to reduce lending rates commensurate with the national inflationary figures as provided by the Central Statistical Office.

Mr Shakafuswa: Madam Speaker, I wish to inform the august House that historically, during the 1970s and 1980s, Zambia pursued a policy of fixing interest rates for long periods and at relatively low levels, with the ostensible purpose of promoting growth. However, these administrative actions introduced economic distortions into the financial structure of the economy including the following:

(i) the hindrance to economic growth arising from the inefficiency in the allocation of resources with credit controls and distorted price indicators. As a result, controls resulted in low levels of domestically-generated savings and investment, thereby reducing the economy’s growth rates;

(ii) the financial system remained generally under developed with inefficient lending patterns that failed to achieve their distributional goals. With interest rates set at low levels, financial repression curtailed domestic resource mobilisation thus making the economy dependent on foreign savings as reflected in the accumulation of huge external debt;

(iii) providing an incentive for fiscal indiscipline as the Government obtained almost zero interest denominated resources to finance its deficit. Among the state-owned banks, poor lending decisions were often politically influenced and low repayment rates ultimately led to large budgetary bailouts; and

(iv) in the face of high inflation rates and fixed nominal interest rates, real interest rates remained negative for the larger part of the period, leading to low domestic savings and capital flight.

Madam Speaker, a growing awareness of these economic costs led to financial liberalisation as the dominant policy paradigm in the world today. Thus in recent years, many countries have allowed market forces to play a greater role in their economies.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Shakafuswa:  In the financial sector, this greater role has meant liberalising financial prices, including interest rates and exchange rates so that they are set by the market and developing financial markets so that credit can be allocated more efficiently.

Indeed, Zambia embraced the financial sector liberalisation policy regime and embarked on a fairly ambitious economic reform programme since 1992. This programme entailed a variety of measures, including the liberalisation of interest rates; the establishing of the freedom and procedures from entry into and orderly exit from the financial sector; the reduction of commercial banks reserves and liquidity requirements; the elimination of credit allocation directives; the elimination of preferential credit allocation directives; the elimination of preferential credit at concessionary interest rates; the liberalisation of the exchange rate; and the removal of controls on the current and capital accounts of the balance of payments system.

Hon. Kambwili …


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order, Hon. Minister!


Mr Shakafuswa: To this end, changes in interest rates have been left to market forces to avoid unnecessary distortions in the financial market and economic policy reversal. Nevertheless, measures can be recommended to ensure that low and stable interest rates are achieved and sustained in Zambia and these include:

(i) continued implementation of appropriate monetary policy whose principle objective is attainment and maintenance of sustained low and stable inflation, which is a key determinant of the level of interest rates;

(ii) prudent fiscal policy management, which is vital in achieving reasonable interest rates as experienced by several countries in the region such as Uganda, Botswana and Tanzania.

(iii) establishment of a credit bureau. Recently a credit bureau reference was licensed and started operation in 2007. An effective credit reference bureau will serve as a database which will give initial clearance to intending borrowers about their creditworthiness to the lending institutions. This would contribute to the reduction of default risk or loan delinquency which is perceived to be high by commercial banks, and hence partly explaining the high lending rates; and

(iv) continued moral situations by the Bank of Zambia with a view to influencing commercial banks to reduce the high interest rates.

Given the history of the credit delinquency by the public, hon. Members, including the Hon. Member for Roan (Mr Kambwili), can also play an important role of encouraging borrowers in their constituencies to develop a culture of repaying their loans. This would help reduce the risks and, therefore, the premiums charged by commercial banks to the private sector.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): Madam Speaker, according to the hon. Minister that the determination of interest rates in Zambia will be left to market forces. I would like to find out from him why he is insisting on leaving this important price of interest rates to market forces, when developed countries such as America, Europe and Asia are intervening in the market, following the financial crunch that has hit the world. Why is the Zambian Government and the Central Bank in Zambia insisting that this should be left to market forces when all over the world, governments and central banks are intervening in the interest rates market?

Mr Shakafuswa: Madam Speaker, I know that global markets and what is happening at the moment are cardinal. What is happening in America has not had an effect on Zambia. The financial situation in America is as a result of mortgages swelling and banks that had given more money to customers are failing to meet their obligations and are almost going under. As a result, banks are holding on to money and are failing to lend their money out. Therefore, the bureau plan by the American, Asian and European markets is to influence the banks to start lending to the people.

The situation in Zambia is different in that the high interest rates are determined by the cost of the money. When the bank is lending you money, it does not mean that the money is coming from within, but from other savers and other banks. There is what is called inter-bank lending. Therefore, it depends on the rate the bank is getting its money at.

The other factor which has to be looked at and which has made our money very expensive is the insurance. It depends on who is borrowing the money.

Today, you find other customers are getting their money at as low as 8 per cent if you get money in dollars. You can get even 10 per cent or 12 per cent in kwacha depending on your credit worthiness and the bank thinks you will repay the money. If you are a delinquent like my brothers are, ….

The Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Shakafuswa: … you will find that they will have to insure that money so that if you default, at least the insurance company is able to pay that money back. So, when you are determining the rates of interest, there are several factors of which inflation is one of them, the cost of money is the other and also delinquency of which this country has been renowned for. That is why even us Members of Parliament, should not just borrow for prestige, but for projects so that we can increase our Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munaile (Malole): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister if the Government is able to intervene why banks complain when the statutory reserve ratio was reduced from 14 per cent to 8 per cent. Why, in the same vein, can the Government not interfere in the interest rates?

Mr Milupi: Quality!

Mr Shakafuswa: Madam Speaker, if the hon. Member of Parliament is credit worthy, he will get his money very cheaply. The Government’s intervention is limited to monetary policy or fiscal policy. We have minimised borrowing from the domestic markets to about 1.2 per cent of GDP, thereby releasing resources. What used to happen is that a lot people used to put their money in treasury bills and other Government securities. As a Government, we are now limiting our borrowing so that instead of the banks giving credit to the Government, we release resources which can be given to other people. I think people will appreciate, today, that banks are actually prowling people they consider credit worthy to lend their money to. They have a lot of money which they want to give. That is why they are coming up with sorts of schemes for people to borrow their money. If you just wake up and you have no project proposal which is feasible and go to the bank to ask for a loan and from your appearance the bank thinks it will not get its money back, it will be very expensive for you to borrow so that, at least, we need to improve the credit culture of this country.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Munaile: You have not answered the question.

Mr Matongo: Madam Speaker, I share some of the views of the Deputy Minister, but the basic question here is, how do people who borrow money, on payment, relate to the inflationary rate? We had 9 per cent inflation a few months ago, but the borrowing rate from the banks was around 23 per cent. I think what we would like to understand is that without direct intervention, what is it that one can do to bring down the rate or influence the rate of borrowing nearer to inflation. You have done very well in certain reserves, corporate tax and treasury bills. Why can you not get the bank to reduce that money so that we can borrow and do business? That is all we are asking for hon. Minister.

Mr Shakafuswa: Madam Speaker, the banks will put an indicative rate. They will say the base rate is 23 per cent. It is indicative, but if you go to the banks, they have certain parameters or services they offer to certain customers. For instance, I walk into my bank and am able to negotiate a rate. I have borrowed and negotiated a rate which is not 23 per cent. So, you will find that they can give a base rate which is just indicative. Let us also note that we cannot directly tell the Government what to do the same way we cannot go directly to a bank and tell them what to do. With any other business this might be possible. For instance, we have done this with the millers when the mealie-meal is expensive and have told them we can import cheaper mealie-meal.

Some of our co-operating partners have also noticed that the cost of borrowing is very expensive and they are giving us money at concessionary terms which we shall give to the Citizen’s Economic Empowerment Commission to administer at very minimum rates. We are also looking at banks. Through co-operation with the African Development Bank and World Bank, we are now discussing how, maybe, the banks can come and pay the insurance on the money that is intended to boost or stimulate growth so that if the donor pays the insurance which sometimes goes to as high as 8 to 10 per cent then we can be assured that the banks will not charge the insurance and the credit is going to be cheaper. However, the bottom line is we just have to improve our credit culture.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: Madam Speaker, in the papers this morning, the hon. Minister alluded to the headlines which are that the milling companies are being threatened and accused of effectively hoarding and forming a cartel. Why is he being so protective of the banking industry which just moves money instead of maize and is also in a cartel of hoarding money and lending it to Government projects? Why is there a distinction between the way of handling the milling companies and the way of handling the money milling companies?


Mr Shakafuswa: Madam Speaker, I had the understanding that Dr Scott is a doctor in economics.

Members: No, no.

Mr Shakafuswa: Madam Speaker, if you hoard money, you do not make any profit and you cannot be in business. So, the banks cannot hoard money because they make profits from giving out money through.  Therefore, they are not hoarding any money and this is different from the example which is given. Let him sit down and first think before he asks the question.

Thank you very much, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Deputy Speaker: Order!{mospagebreak}


397. Mr Kasongo asked the Minister of Education:

(a) how many high schools for disabled children are in the country; and

(b) whether the Government has plans to build high schools for disable children in all districts.

Mr Sinyinda: Madam Speaker, there are six high school units for children with disabilities in the country and these are:

(i) Munali High School;
(ii) Mumbwa High School;
(iii) St Mary’s High School;
(iv) Sefula High School;
(v) Magweru High School;
(vi) Kabulonga High School.

The Government has no immediate plans to build high schools for disabled children in all districts.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mrs J. M. Phiri: Madam Speaker, as much as we appreciate what the Government is doing specifically for the disabled children, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether there are any plans to buy a power generator for Munali Girls’ High School specifically who really need power for their communication? These students are deaf and dumb and with the power outages, they are unable to communicate, hence we are experiencing a lot of fights when there is no electricity because they use sign language.

The Minister of Education (Professor Lungwangwa): Madam Speaker, it is gratifying to note that the hon. Member for Munali is acknowledging the good works being implemented in the education sector by the Government.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: She, however, fell short of saying that we have a centre of excellence for special education in Munali Constituency itself …

Mr Kambwili: Question!

Professor Lungwangwa: … and we would like her to be talking about that too.

Madam Speaker, we have not received any such reports and therefore, it would not be prudent for us to comment on speculation.

I thank you, Madam.

398. Mr Kambwili asked the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry:

(a) what the turnover recorded by the Copperbelt Energy Company Plc   from 2001 to 2007, year by year was;

(b) how much net profit was recorded by the Company during the period above; and

(c) out of the recorded turnover, how much was spent on personal emoluments, year by year.

The Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Mr Mutati): Madam Speaker, the answer is as follows:

         $,000          $,000          $,000          $,000          $,000          $,000          $,000 

Year              2001           2002           2003           2004           2005           2006           2007

Sales turnover    106,720      112,604      114,874      120,348      122,164    127,280     131,746

Net profit         8,547          15,012        10,069        11,842        8,241        7,915         7,251

Total labour cost  4,463         4,268          4,635          5,906          6,331       10,260        9,943

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Madam Speaker, the Copperbelt Energy Company Plc (CEC) buys power from the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO). Therefore, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister how CEC manages to make huge profits, and yet ZESCO fails to do so.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati: Madam Speaker, the two companies have similar objectives which are commercial viability and increasing shareholders’ value through profitability. However, the points of departure between the two companies are four key factors which are as follows:

Firstly, the delayed power rehabilitation programme of US$400 million that has taken sometime has had the consequence of reducing the productive capacity particularly of generation from the installed capacity of 18,000 megawatts to around 1,200 megawatts. So, that reduction in production has an obvious negative impact on the turnover.

The second point of departure is the fact that ZESCO has to necessarily incur social investment expenditure such as extending power to places such as schools, hospitals and clinics, which CEC does not do.

Madam Speaker, thirdly, is the fact that the tariff that ZESCO has been able to charge over the years has not been cost reflective, particularly as it is associated with the distribution business of ZESCO and therefore, ZESCO is not able to raise sufficient revenue.

Lastly, is the increase in replacement costs. So these four points of departure would necessarily mean that ZESCO is not on the same platform as CEC in terms of commercial viability.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Members: Quality! Hear, hear!

399. Mr Katuka (Mwinilunga East) asked the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development:

(a) what the current management at Kansanshi Mine Plc was; and

(b) how many of the managers at (a) above were Zambians.

The Deputy Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr Nkhata): Madam Speaker, the current Kansanshi Mining Plc management consists of twelve managers, as follows:

(i) General manager;

(ii) Plant manager;

(iii) Commercial manager;

(iv) Engineering manager;

(v) Finance manager;

(vi) Mine manager;

(vii) Public relations manager;

(viii) High pressure leach manager;

(ix) Acid plant manager;

(x) Resource optimisation manager;

(xi) Environmental manager; and

(xii) Projects manager.

Madam Speaker, as regards part (b) of the question, the House may wish to know that from a total of twelve managers, only three are Zambians and these are the public relations manager, acid plant manager and environmental manager while nine are non-Zambians.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

400. Mr Mukanga asked the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development:

(a) what the minimum permissible distance between a mining production plant and a residential area was; and

(b) whether the erecting of fences between the mining production areas and the residential areas was an alternative to the permissible distance at (a) above.

Mr M. B. Mwale: Madam Speaker, the Mining Amendment Regulations of 1973 provides for the protection of infrastructure around a mine. Regulation 602 (i) states that:

“No holder or manager shall mine or permit mining on or under any land where the intersection on the surface of the line of break due to substance from such mining operations will lie within the horizontal distance of 100 metres from any building, road, railway, river, water right, tailings dam, lake or any other object or surface feature requiring protection except with a written permission of the Director of Mines Safety and subject to conditions as he may prescribe”



This means that the minimum distance is 100 metres, but can be varied with a written permission of the Director of the Mines Safety Department.

As regards (b) of the question, the original fences between the mining production areas and the residential areas is not an alternative to the permissible distance at (a) above. The fences merely save as additional, physical and security barriers to prevent unauthorised access into the plant areas.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Mukanga: Madam Speaker, from what the hon. Minister said, the permissible distance is 100 metres. Why has this Government allowed Mopani to be carrying out plant operations within fifty metres from residential areas, and also number two, portal area is just about sixty metres from the residential areas. Why have they allowed this, putting the lives of the people at risk?

Mr M. B. Mwale: Madam Speaker, if he carefully listened to the response, we talked of a minimum of 100 metres from an area of substance and in this case, the portal is not an area where the substance takes place. It is actually in the foot wall of the mining operations, therefore, it is safe.

Madam Speaker, according to the Workman’s Compensation Act, these mining operation plants can be even five metres away, but we are referring to 100 metres where substance takes place.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mwila: Madam Speaker, at the Nchanga Open Pit, there are houses that are within 100 metres and the people living there have not been going for pneumoconiosis examination. I do not know what the Ministry is doing about the houses which are within 100 metres …

Mr Sichilima: It is your President!

Mr D. Mwila: Iwe chikabwalala wa ma vote.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!


Mr D. Mwila: I am sorry Madam Speaker.

Madam Deputy Speaker: The temptation to speak across the Floor can land some of you in trouble because your speech across the Floor has no protection whatsoever.

May the hon. Minister, please, continue.

Mr M. B. Mwale: Madam Speaker, if the hon. Member is honest, he should be able to state that the houses in question are the ones which the mines wanted to demolish, but the people opted to occupy them. Those houses are the ones which, we, as a Government, have no control of owing to the fact that individuals wanted to continue occupying them.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that in Mufulira, at the portal where houses are about sixty metres away from the mining operations, houses are cracking and windows are breaking as a result of the mining operations. Is that not a risk to the people who occupy those houses?

Mr M. B. Mwale: Madam Speaker, as a Government, we are fully aware of the situation obtaining in Mufulira. However, what we have to understand is that it is not every blasting act that may cause a crack. There have to be certain studies conducted to ascertain whether the cracks are due to blasting.

Madam Speaker, with regard to the those cracks in Mufulira, if the hon. Member is aware, there were large blasts which used to take place before Mufulira West closed. He should be aware of that. I would also like to state to the hon. Member that the current mining operation in Mufulira West is one of the residual of ore body that is taking place out of an oxide ore which we are trying to recover, and there is minimal blasting that is taking place.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Chongo (Mwense): Madam Speaker, the pregnant liquid solutions gathering in leach ponds in Mufulira have a very serious effect on the community. What is the Ministry doing to ensure that these people are protected or compensated?

Mr M. B. Mwale: Madam Speaker, the only appeal I could make is that the hon. Member should be making better statements. We have no statistics at the moment of what has been taking place in …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hour until 1630 hours.


Mr M. B. Mwale: Madam Speaker, before business was suspended, I was explaining the issue regarding pregnant leach solutions at North West.

I would like to categorically state that operations are quite safe as they are on surface. We do not have any statistics pertaining to adverse effects on the human population in Mufulira West. However, if the hon. Member is referring to North East where the pregnant solution inadvertently deposited into the drinking water system, I would like to state that my able hon. Minister gave a ministerial statement on that issue and the hon. Member is fully aware of the measures that Mopani Mines Plc have taken to ensure that drinking water is safe.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Nkombo: Madam Speaker, I would like to request Dr Mwansa to answer this question and not his Deputy Minister.

Madam Speaker, I have learnt, today, that the minimum permissible distance between mining production plant and residential area is only 100 metres. Could the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development, Dr Mwansa, tell me why the Ministry supported the idea that Albidon Mine takes 1,600 hectares of land thereby displacing people who have been living there for more than thirty-five years purporting that it is dangerous for them to remain there.

Madam Deputy Speaker: The Chair, in allowing that questions, will not be a determinant or rather the one to physically answer will not be determined by the questioner, but by the hon. Minister.

Dr Mwansa: Madam Speaker, I thank you for that question. Certainly, it is a new one and unrelated to the one we are considering. However, we have, on several occasions made reference to the situation in Mazabuka regarding Albidon’s operations. The cardinal point here is that Albidon Mine went out of their way to procure a piece of land at a great cost and resettled individuals who were in the area surrounding the operations of the mine. Not only did they relocate individuals, but also provided better housing and most clearly, facilities for the individuals concerned. They also provided farming implements for one season, they ploughed for the individuals concerned and provided the inputs.

The accommodation that has been provided is of a high quality, and Albidon is an example to all mining companies. We want all mining companies to follow them in terms of resettling people affected by mining operations.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr P. Chanda (Kankoyo): Madam Speaker, responding to a similar question that was asked earlier this year on the Mufulira situation, the hon. Minister if Mines and Minerals Development  promised to bring a report within three months. I wonder when he is going to bring that report, as he keeps dodging the questions.

Dr Mwansa: Madam Speaker, that is more of a comment than a question.

I thank you, madam.

Mr Simuusa: Madam Speaker, I wish the hon. Minister could clarify the situation in Nchanga where houses have been allowed to remain within a hundred metres of mine operations. In case of any eventuality, who will carry the liability? Is it the Government, the residents or Konkola Copper Mines Plc?

Secondly, in Nchanga, the new smelter and the current tank houses are within ten or twenty metres to the residences and there is a lot of noise and smoke pollution. As a result, there has been a serious outcry from the residents. Can the hon. Minister give guidance because he says even within five metres, plants can be allowed? Can he give guidance and comment on that situation?

Dr Mwansa: Madam Speaker, the question of compensation cannot be dealt with until you have determined the cause or causes of cracks in the houses concerned. It was earlier pointed out that there are houses that have cracked in areas where there are no mining operations. Therefore, cracking cannot necessarily be attributed to mining. It could be due to structural construction defects or mining operations. However, as soon as we have discovered the cause then adequate measures can be taken. Discovery of the cause also determines the one responsible for putting things right. If it is the mining company concerned then they would have to compensate. For now, we do not know what the cause is.

I thank you, Madam.

Major Chizhyuka (Namwala): Madam Speaker, I find it a little awkward to ask the hon. Minister this question because he always answers our questions clearly and directly. However, today, he has deliberately and lamentably failed …


Major Chizhyuka: … to answer the question. Can the hon. Minister answer why it was necessary for this Government to sanction Albidon 1600 hectares of extra land which led to the displacement of a thousand people when the only requirement, as we have learnt today, was 100 metres? Can we get a clear and concise answer?

Mr M. B.  Mwale: Madam Speaker, mining operations are in a number of stages. There are mining operations underground and surface operations. Those surface operations which involve crushing and concentrating of the ore need telings dumps. In that case, you need a vast area to accommodate the issues that I have talked about. The issue of Albidon does not relate to the 100 metre distance. They had to site the plant, the telings dump and the offices. Therefore, the need for land was more than what the hon. Member is talking about.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.




Mr Kasongo (Bangweulu): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the second report of the Committee on Legal Affairs, Governance, Human Rights and Gender Matters for the Second Session of the Tenth National Assembly led on the Table of the House on the 15th of October, 2008.

I thank you, Madam.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Is the motion seconded?

Mrs Sampa-Bredt (Chawama): I beg to second the motion, madam.

I thank you, Madam

Mr Kasongo: Madam Chairperson, in accordance with their terms of reference as set out in the Standing Orders, your Committee undertook a detailed study of the following topical issues:

(i) corporate governance and corporate social responsibility in Zambia; and

(ii) rights of children in Zambia, with special emphasis on vulnerable children in orphanages;

Your Committee also undertook tours to various institutions within and outside the country.

Madam Speaker, I trust that the hon. Members have had an opportunity to read the report. I, therefore, only highlight a few salient issues.

Madam, it ought to be underscored that good corporate governance is a pre-requisite for national economic development. Without efficiently-managed companies, no meaningful wealth and employment opportunities or investment will be created.

Similarly, without investment, business entities will stagnate and eventually close down. There will, therefore, be no revenue for the treasury to meet the Government obligation towards the social sector.

Furthermore, Your Committee believe that Zambia needs well governed business entities that will attract investment and create job opportunities and wealth for its people.

Madam Speaker, in this regard, your Committee sought to establish the following:

(i). whether or not in its current form the Companies Act, Cap. 388 of the Laws of Zambia and any other statutes adequately provide for the promotion of good corporate governance;

(ii) the extent to which corporate entities were involved in corporate social responsibilities; and

(iii) whether or not there were any incentives for those corporate entities involved in substantial social responsibility.

Madam Speaker, your Committee were disappointed that issues of corporate governance and social responsibility have had very little appreciation in Zambia. The Companies Act which is the starting point for good corporate governance is itself inadequate. For instance, whereas it provides for among others the appointment and duties of directors and secretaries of companies, it does not expressly provide for the qualifications of a company secretary, a position very critical in the promotion of good corporate governance.

In addition, the Companies Act does not specify the fiduciary duties of directors towards the companies they direct. The fiduciary duties are invoked only as part of common law. This situation makes the directors of companies go scotch free despite their contributions towards the insolvency of companies.

Madam, it was also found out by your Committee that corporate social responsibility was being taken to be synonymous with donations to charitable institutions. Issues of environment and labour were rarely taken on board. In fact, certain companies engage themselves in activities that appear to be their social responsibility toward communities in which they operate, yet those activities are merely marketing strategies.

Therefore, your Committee urge the Government together with the private sector, to initiate a consultative stakeholders’ conference to strategise on how issues of corporate governance and social responsibility can be promoted beyond the current levels.

Madam, your Committee also studied the issue of rights of children, especially those in orphanages or children care homes.

Madam Speaker, your Committee were concerned about the abuse of children in general, and those in orphanages, in particular. Going by press reports, many vulnerable children have fallen prey to various vices perpetrated, in most cases, by the very people who purport to look after them. Therefore, your Committee were desirous to investigate the effectiveness of statutes dealing with the rights of orphans and vulnerable children.

Madam Speaker, your Committee found out that the words ‘orphan’ and ‘vulnerable child’ were not defined by any statute. They were thus subject to various interpretations by different people. For example, where as Government understands an orphan to be a child whose parents were dead, the Islamic Faith understands an orphan as one who is below the age of sixteen and has lost, through death, a father only, and not a mother. Thus, a child who has lost a mother according to Islamic Faith is not an orphan. The General Secretary of the Islamic Council of Zambia informed your Committee that the rationale for such a definition was that a child who had lost a father was more vulnerable, as he or she would have lost a breadwinner.

Madam Speaker, clearly, these differences in the definition of orphan are detrimental to the development of orphaned children. Your Committee, therefore, implore the Government to ensure harmony in the definition of an orphan and vulnerable child.

Besides, your Committee learnt that there were Government guidelines on the operations of orphanages. It was, however, disappointing that these guidelines were merely administrative and had no legal effect at all. As such, these guidelines were easily breached while the Government watched. No wonder, there are numerous reports of child abuse in orphanages. Inspections and enforcements of these guidelines were rarely carried out.

Madam Speaker, your Committee recommend that the Government takes a leading role in protecting the rights of children, especially the vulnerable ones. Specifically, your Committee urge the Government to urgently attend to the short-comings in the juveniles Act, Cap. 53 of the Laws of Zambia by doing the following:

(a) creating an independent regulatory organ to ensure the proper management of orphanages; and

(b) incorporating the administrative guidelines in the appropriate statute.

Madam Speaker, in conclusion, allow me to thank the various chief executive officers who appeared before your Committee for their input and co-operation during our deliberations. I also commend the office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for the advice rendered during the deliberations.

Finally, your Committee wish to put on record their indebtedness to you, Madam Speaker, for the guidance given to them during their work.

Madam Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Members: Hear, Hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Does the seconder wish to speak now or later.

Mrs Sampa-Bredt: Madam Speaker, now.

Madam Speaker, in seconding the motion, allow me to thank the Chairperson for the excellent manner in which he has moved the motion.

Madam, the Chairperson has already touched on the most pertinent aspects of your Committee’s findings on corporate governance, social responsibility and children’s rights in Zambia. I will, therefore, as a matter of emphasis, touch only on a few of them.

The first issue relates to the corporate governance and corporate social responsibility. Due to the importance of these concepts, your Committee undertook a study tour of the Republic of Ghana.

Madam Speaker, these concepts have taken root in Ghana. The private sector, in partnership with various stakeholders, has even developed a business code. This business has reached a level where for a company to do business in Ghana, it must not only be a member of the private enterprise foundation, but also show that the company adheres to the business code. It is very difficult for a company to do business in Ghana in the absence of the stipulated code. It is largely due to this adherence to the code that Ghana has been witnessing huge international investments. Madam, where there are good corporate practices, investors are rest assured that their investment will pay off, as issues of corruption, and creative accountability are easily identified and dealt with within reasonable time.

Madam Speaker, it is in this vein that I reiterate the Chairperson’s remarks to the effect that the Government and the Zambia Business Forum should initiate the process of engaging stakeholders so that a business code that applies to all business entities is developed, unlike the current situation where public listed companies have one business code, banks and financial institutions have their own and small and medium-size enterprises also have their own.

The second issue relates to children’s rights, especially the children in orphanages. The Government must realise that it has a responsibility to protect and preserve the rights of every citizen. Children in orphanages have had their basic rights abused and the Government does not seem to be bothered at all. Incidents in Kafue, Mkushi and other places where children have been abused, can largely be blamed on the Government. The inspection mechanisms in these places are very weak.

Your Committee were privileged to tour orphanages in Lusaka, Central, Copperbelt and North Western provinces. In most of these orphanages, the children had limited medical, educational and other needs necessary for their development. It is time the Government took steps to ensure that basic rights of the children are preserved.

Madam Speaker, in Ghana, the Government has not left the problem of orphanages to non-governmental organisations alone. The Ghanaian Government, in fact, runs a children’s home. Maybe, the Zambian Government should take a leaf from their Ghanaian counterparts and act on these issues immediately.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Kasongo: Madam Speaker, I would like to acknowledge the over whelming support that your Committee’s report has received.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: I thank you very much.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to.{mospagebreak}


Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that the House to adopt the Report of the Committee on Economic Affairs and Labour for the Second Session of the Tenth National Assembly laid on the Table of the House on Wednesday, 5th November, 2008.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Is the motion seconded?

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Yes, Madam Speaker.

Mr Hamududu: Madam, your Committee are guided by the terms of reference as set out in the National Assembly Standing Orders. Going by their terms of reference, your Committee considered the following topical issues:

1. The macroeconomic stability and its benefits to the ordinary Zambians;

2. Debt management in Zambia; and

3. Role of the Multi-facility Economic Zones (MFEZ) in enhancing the competitiveness of Zambia’s industries.

Madam, in addition to the above, your Committee undertook tours to the mining companies at the invitation of the Chamber of Mines of Zambia. Your Committee also considered the Zambia European Community Country Strategy Paper.

Madam Speaker, in order to adequately appreciate the extent to which these topical issues affect the economy, your Committee invited various stakeholders who included the Zambia Business Forum (ZBF), the Economics Association of Zambia (EAZ), the Bankers Association of Zambia (BAZ), the Bank of Zambia (BOZ), the University of Zambia (UNZA), the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA), the Citizens’ Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC), the Zambia National Farmers’ Union (ZNFU) and the Ministry of Finance and National Planning.

Your Committee also invited the following civil society organisations. The Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR), Caritas Zambia and the Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR).

Madam Speaker, I wish to state that my speech is restricted to three topical issues. My colleague, the seconder of the motion will focus on the findings arising from the tours and the Zambia European Community Country Strategy Paper. I will now proceed to highlight some of the findings of your Committee.

Madam, at the beginning of this year, your Committee were informed that Zambia’s economy performed well in 2007 and that a single digit inflation rate was achieved for the second year running. In addition, the GDP growth rate was at 6.2 per cent at the end of the year and was projected at 7 per cent in 2008. The exchange rate, thought high, was fairly stable.

Madam Speaker, your Committee commend the Government for maintaining macroeconomic stability. They are aware, though, that macroeconomic stability is a necessary condition, but not sufficient for the improvement of the welfare of the people.

In this regard, your Committee observe that despite these positive fundamentals in the economy, the benefits were not trickling down to the ordinary Zambians and that rural poverty was still high. Further, your Committee observe that the current gains in the economy could be eroded if the looming hydropower shortage in the country and the unstable supply of petroleum products and the anticipated increase in the international oil prices are not adequately addressed.

Your committee, therefore, recommend that the Government implements pro-poor policies that will ensure that ordinary people benefit from the current economic gains. Your Committee further observe that at the time of their deliberations, the inflation rate had fallen considerably while lending rates were still very high, thereby discouraging ordinary Zambians from accessing credit from financial institutions. At the same time, interest rates on savings were very low, thereby discouraging savings. Your Committee are aware that banks and non-banking institutions consider various factors in setting interest rates. They are, nonetheless, aware that more can be done to persuade financial institutions to reduce interest rates to acceptable levels.

Madam, they, therefore, urge the Government, through the Bank of Zambia, to intervene in the financial market by instituting measures that would effectively reduce interest rates.

Madam, your Committee observe that power shortages and unstable supply of petroleum products negatively affect the macroeconomic stability. They, therefore, urge the Government to invest in new hydropower stations and upgrade the existing ones.

Your Committee also observe that the price of fuel is generally high in Zambia. They are aware of factors that affect the cost of fuel in Zambia, such as procurement and transportation costs of feedstock, processing costs at the Indeni refinery and distribution costs by the Oil Marketing Companies. Notwithstanding all these costs, your Committee note that taxes on petroleum products are very high and form a major component of the cost. They, therefore, urge the Government to review the taxes on petroleum products with a view to reducing them to affordable levels.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: Madam Speaker, regarding the management of debt, your Committee observe that after reaching the HIPC Completion Point, Zambia’s debt was substantially reduced. However, they observe, with concern, that the debt has been increasing thereafter. They are aware that one of the reasons for this problem is the lack of adequate legislation to manage the contraction of debt. They, therefore, urge the Government to bring the Public Debt Bill to Parliament for enactment. This law, among other things, will compel the Ministry of Finance and National Planning to seek parliamentary approval before contracting Government debt.

Major Chizhyuka: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: Madam, on the role of the Multi-Facility Economic Zone (MFEZ) enhancing the competitiveness of Zambia’s Industries, your Committee observe that the operationalisation of the Multi-Facility Economic Zones across the country is not an easy task. It requires vast amount of resources, land and infrastructure.

Your Committee also observe that the industries operating in the MFEZ can potentially affect the companies that are operating outside the MFEZ because of the huge incentives. Your Committee, therefore, recommend that activities in the MFEZ should not disadvantage firms that are operating outside the zone.

Madam, your Committee observe that the incentives to operate in MDEZ, as provided for in the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) Act are very generous. They note that in the past, companies which were given such incentives relocated to other countries when the tax holiday came to an end. Your Committee urge the Government to avoid a repeat of such unfortunate situations.

Your Committee believe that the MFEZ is an important initiative that will improve the competitiveness of Zambia’s industries. They know that there are no other companies that have applied to operate in the MFEZ apart from those of Chinese origin. They therefore, recommend that other companies, particularly citizen influenced and Citizen Empowerment companies, be allowed to participate freely, especially, in the Chambishi MFEZ area.

Madam, in conclusion, we wish to record our indebtedness and gratitude to you, Madam Speaker, for affording us the opportunity to serve on this important Committee.

Madam Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

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

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Now, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker, in seconding the Motion which has been ably moved, I wish to touch on just a few areas which were not highlighted by the mover.

Indeed, Madam, your Committee received various submissions on the European Community-Zambia Country Strategy Paper. In addition, your committee also undertook a tour to the mining companies.

Madam Speaker, after studying the Zambia-European Community Country Strategy Paper, your Committee observed that the document is very important and its preparation requires the input of various stakeholders including, hon. Members of Parliament and Civil Society. However, your Committee observe, with concern, that such consultations were not undertaken. They, therefore, recommend that in future, consultations should be extended to all major stakeholders, including hon. Members of Parliament through the Committee on Economic Affairs and Labour.

Madam Speaker, your Committee were privileged to tour the mining companies. They note that there is massive investment taking place by the mining companies. The Greenfield Investment in Lumwana is one such major investment. They observe that a new township is being constructed with decent accommodation. Many local people are trained and employed.

Madam Speaker, Your Committee were informed that much of their financing to the project at Lumwana was a loan from various financiers. They observe that despite all these investments, at the time of the visit, the company had not started to produce copper. Your Committee, therefore, recommend that flexibility be exercised by the Government by giving the company incentives for it to complete major projects and be able to pay back its loans.

Your Committee also observe that at the time of the visit, the price of copper was high and mining companies were making huge profits. In this regard, your Committee wish to commend the Government for the move to introduce windfall taxes. They urge the Government to continue with the new tax regime and that this be applied fairly across all companies, particularly those that are already in production.

Madam speaker, your Committee observe that in some mines, specialised skills are genuinely missing and that this adversely affects production. Your Committee recommend that a system be put in place to promote skills transfer from expatriates to the local Zambians for a stipulated period of time. Further, the Government should rise to the challenge by promoting skills in public universities that reflect the emerging needs of the mining industries.

Madam Speaker, in conclusion, allow me to thank my fellow members of the Committee for affording me an opportunity to second the Motion.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Hamududu: Madam Speaker, allow me to thank the seconder of the report, Hon. Musokotwane, Member of Parliament for Katombola, for the able manner in which she has seconded the motion. I would also like to thank the whole House for the thunderous support.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to.


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

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1710 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 13th November, 2008.