Debates- Tuesday, 9th September, 2008

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Tuesday, 9th September, 2008

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]





The following Member took and subscribed the oath of allegiance:

Mr Simon Alick Kachimba



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

Today, 9th September, 2008, the Business of the House will begin with questions for Oral Answer. This will be followed by the Motion I intend to move on the untimely death of His Excellency Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, President of the Republic of Zambia who passed away on Tuesday, 19th August, 2008. After that, the House will consider the Second Reading stage of the Supplementary Appropriation (2006) Bill, 2008 and the Public Procurement Bill, 2008. Thereafter, the House will consider the Committee Stage of the Industrial and Labour Relations (Amendment) Bill, 2008.

On Wednesday, 10th September, 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 the Second Reading stages of the following Bills:

The Anti-Human Trafficking Bill, 2008;

 The Small Claims Court (Amendment) Bill, 2008; and

 The Zambia Police (Amendment) Bill, 2008.

Mr Speaker, on Thursday, 11th September, 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 the Second Reading stages of the following Bills:

 The Accountants Bill, 2008;

The Judicial (Code of Conduct) (Amendment) Bill, 2008; and

 The Local Courts (Amendment) Bill, 2008

On Friday, 12th September, 2008, the Business of the House will commence 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 the Second Reading stage of the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Bill, 2008 and other stages of the Bills already presented.
Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, it is my intention, on this day, to move a Motion to suspend the relevant Standing Orders to enable the House to complete all business on the Order Paper and all matters arising therefrom and thereafter enable the House to adjourn sine die.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker, I thank you.




341. Mr Mwangala (Nalolo) asked the Minister of Energy and Water Development whether there were any plans to construct dams for energy use in Shekela and Kataba in Nalolo Parliamentary Constituency.

The Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Sichilima): Mr Speaker, I would like to inform the House that currently, my ministry is carrying out a countrywide survey to establish and identify suitable sites for hydro-power development. The suitability of sites in Shekela and Kataba will also be determined once preliminary feasibility studies are done. This will enable us be in a better position to determine the potential, if any, of the two sites.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


342. Mr D. Mwila (Chipili) asked the Minister of Energy and Water Development when the Government would implement the Rural Electrification Master Plan countrywide.

Mr Sichilima: Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the rural Electrification Master Plan covers the period 2008 to 2030 in line with the Vision 2030. The rural electrification projects being implemented currently have been integrated in the overall Rural Electrification Master Plan. However, since the plan was finalised in December, 2007, well after the 2008 Budget was prepared, it is intended that the full implementation of this plan shall start in 2009.

Sir, the challenge will be raising resources to fully implement the plan. These are estimated at about US $50 million (K160 billion) annually. The Government is, therefore, vigorously working with all the stakeholders, including Zambia’s co-operating partners, to raise the required funds to enable full implementation of the plan. I, therefore, appeal to hon. Members of this august House to also get fully involved in the process. As for the implementation of each project, this will be as prioritised in the plan for each province.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, how much money will the Government contribute to this programme and how much is coming from the donors?

The Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Konga): Mr Speaker, as you have heard, the total amount of money to be spent annually is US$50 million which is about K160 billion annually. Most of this money will come from Government resources. I cannot give the exact figures, but I know that we will get money from the Parliamentary appropriation itself, the Rural Electrification Fund and other sources. We are going to get this money and I will come with the exact figure. However, we shall ask our co-operating partners to help us with the shortfall.
I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether the Government has come up with alternative sources of energy in view of the fact that the country is trying to avoid deforestation. Since the plan will go up to 2030, during this period, is there any other source of energy in order to avoid deforestation?

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, the Rural Electrification Master Plan envisages the utilisation of all the available sources of energy in the country. This includes the conventional source of energy from hydro-power using thermal generation as well alternatives in the form of renewable energy, like solar and wind as well as the utilisation of bio-mass.

In areas that are far away from the national grid, other forms of energy will be considered. Where it is feasible, a mini hydro-power station can be constructed. Where there is no such potential, we shall consider the utilisation of solar energy. Where it is also feasible, we shall consider the utilisation of bio-mass. All these attempts to utilise different sources of energy are aimed at mitigating the environmental degradation to which deforestation is part of.

Mr Speaker, that is how the Government intends to approach this issue.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Munaile (Malole): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister in a position to give us a programme like the Ministry of Education has done …

Ms Chitika: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

 I hope the point of order is procedural because that is interfering with the business of the House.

Ms Chitika: Yes, it is very procedural, Sir.

Mr Speaker, I rise on a very important, if not, serious point of order. Communication between individuals, communities and, indeed, nations is crucial and cannot be over-emphasised. Without proper communication, there can be serious misunderstandings in households, communities and, indeed, amongst nations.

Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister of Communications and Transport in order to remain silent and pretend everything is alright when there is a serious or complete blackout on the international gateway facility?

Sir, it is getting into months since the Zambia Telecommunications Corporation (ZAMTEL) experienced technical challenges with its only international gateway switch. This is the only switch that allows telephone channels connecting Zambia to and from the outside world. As a result of this, all phone users wanting to communicate to the outside world have serious difficulties. They cannot make any international calls to some parts of the world.

Is the Government in order not to allow other phone operators to use their own international gateways to service the Zambians in the interim while the Zambia Telecommunication Corporation is carrying out a technical audit of its only switch? The current situation is serious and compromises the country’s security. I need your serious ruling on why the hon. Minister of Communications and Transport cannot give the nation updates on what the Zambia Telecommunications Corporation is doing to address this serious problem.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: May the hon. Minister of Communications and Transport come tomorrow and clarify this matter which has been raised by the hon. Member for Kawambwa (Ms Chitika) concerning why the only gateway for ZAMTEL is not operational.

The matter may not be procedural, but since this House also relies for external communication on the facility mentioned, this House is interested to know …


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: … what is going on. I emphasise that this matter should be clarified tomorrow because the point of order has been raised timely for the hon. Minister to begin working on a statement on this matter.

The hon. Member for Malole was in the process of raising a supplementary question.

Mr Munaile: Mr Speaker, before I was interrupted, I wanted to find out from the hon. Minister whether the ministry will give a programme for rural electrification. We appreciate that there is a master plan, but there is need for a programme on how this plan will be implemented so that we appreciate which areas will be electrified at what time and where they will be doing their work.

Hon. PF Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, it is true that we are talking about a plan whose time lines have not been made available to hon. Members of the House. As you heard in our reply, once the plan has been launched, it will indicate all the areas and the expected dates of implementation of various programmes based on the economic rate of return (ERR) and the internal rate of return (IRR). These are the two factors that are going to determine which areas will be electrified first. Therefore, the dates are going to vary, but the plan will be made available soon after that has been done.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Mr Speaker, I would like the hon. Minister to clarify the position of the implementation of this Rural Electrification Master Plan. The time Hon. Mpombo was Minister of Energy and Water Development, he told us of a master plan to be implemented some three years back. Again, the time when Hon. Mutati was Minister of Energy and Water Development, this master plan was talked about and all hon. Members received copies of which places work would be embarked on. This time, we are being told that the master plan will be implemented in 2009.

Mr Speaker, I would, therefore, like to know whether the Ministry of Energy and Water Development knows what they are supposed to do as regards the Rural Electrification Programme.

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that very important question. It is true that the Rural Electrification Master Plan has been talked about for the last few years. What was happening then was just the process of gathering information for all the rural growth centres and what the hon. Member is referring to was what was given to all hon. Members of the House last year. This is the document which was supposed to provide the Rural Electrification Authority with information submitted by various Members of this House on which areas in their constituencies should be the rural growth centres.

Mr Speaker, we had wanted hon. Members of the House to make an input by indicating which areas in their constituencies should be made rural growth centres. That information has subsequently been compiled and the report is now ready.

Mr Speaker, as we heard in the response by the hon. Deputy Minister, the Rural Electrification Master Plan was completed in December, 2007. Therefore, it was difficult, given the time frame, to include it in the Budget for this financial year. Therefore, we are making a serious commitment, as a Government, that the programme will resume in 2009 because the component of financing, which one of the hon. Members asked about earlier, would have been taken into account. This is because you cannot talk about a plan for which the Government does not provide financial resources. Once the Budget is approved by this House in 2009, the project will take effect.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC (Chasefu): Mr Speaker, may the hon. Minister tell the House whether this well-intended programme will be implemented first in constituencies which have no access to electricity in order to ensure that they also benefit from the national cake.

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, as I indicated in my earlier response, the determination of which area will be connected first and which one will be connected later will primarily be determined by the economic rate of return and the internal rate of return of those rural growth centres. Therefore, as implied by the term rural electrification, areas which are already connected with electricity will not be done. Only those areas which have not yet been connected will be connected and, as I said, this will be determined by the economic and internal rate of return.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order! I would like to guide the hon. Minister that he has three times referred to the term internal rate of return, IRR. What is this in Zambia?

Mr Konga: The IRR, internal rate of return, and the ERR, economic rate of return, are economic terms which determine the viability …


Mr Konga: Please, listen. I have just been asked by the hon. Mr Speaker to clarify this.

Mr Speaker, these are economic terms which are used to determine the potential of some areas using various variables to come up with the potential of making that area economically viable. I do not know whether I am explaining it well.


Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, there are various factors that will determine, for instance, the economic rate of return. If an area is connected to electricity, how quickly will that area be able to pay back the investment that has been put into such a connection.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, such are the factors that will determine which area will be connected first and which areas can be connected later.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Speaker, on the use of renewable energy such as solar, wind and even biomass energy, what is the Government doing in the area of research, especially in the use of solar power, to make it possible to provide solar energy in these areas considering that it will take a very long time to put the entire country on the national grid? Are they just providing lip-service to the use of solar power and wind energy which we do not see? Instead, the Government activity is to just purchase a few solar panels and install them in the houses of chiefs during elections as happened in 2006.

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, the utilisation of solar power as an alternative source of energy is an issue that this Government has taken very seriously. Notwithstanding the installation of solar panels in chiefs’ palaces, the Government has actually already undertaken programmes where parts of some districts in this country have actually been connected to solar panels using what is termed as solar home systems. This has been implemented in districts like Nyimba. The pilot project which was undertaken has proved to be successful and, as such, it will be replicated in areas where conventional forms of energy will not be possible.

The only draw back that has hindered the quick implementation of this, as we have said, is the resources. We do not want to do this project in a haphazard manner. Following the completion of the Rural Electrification Master Plan, areas which have already been identified as areas for connection with solar energy will be connected with solar energy. We are not going to do any further research or trials because studies have already been undertaken in places like Nyimba and these have proved to be successful.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}


343. Mr Chisala (Chilubi) asked the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services why the ministry had not posted a district information officer to Chilubi District for over eight years.

The Deputy Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services (Mr D. Phiri): Mr Speaker, it was only recently, through the restructuring process, that Chilubi District was provided with the position of District Information Officer and other support staff such as campaign van operator, driver and office orderly.

The restructuring exercise which is now in progress is being implemented this year. During this process, Chilubi District will benefit as recruitment has now commenced.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, we all know how important the office in question is because it helps disseminate information from the Zambian people to the Government. The office in question has remained closed since 7th December, 2007, when the Permanent Secretary for Northern Province slapped a suspension on the campaign van operator who used to run that office. What corrective measures has the hon. Minister put in place?

Mr D. Phiri: Mr Speaker, my explanation was quite clear. Even if the officer in question was suspended, what we have done as a ministry is to service Chilubi District from Kasama. Up to now, the Provincial Information Officer goes to Chilubi from time to time and if you listen to the radio, there is quite a lot of news that does flow from Chilubi.

I thank you, Sir.


344. Mr Katuka (Mwinilunga East) asked the Vice-President when accounting services would be provided to the office of the District Commissioner to facilitate prudent management of public funds.

The Deputy Minister in the Vice-President’s Office (Mr Malwa): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that the Government is committed to providing qualified accountants to support the office of the DC in all districts in line with the establishments.

The House may wish to know that the office of the District Administrator (DA) as formerly known, now called office of the DC, was established by central Government with the establishment of seventy-two accountants to manage the accounting functions under each district.

However, due to insufficient funding to the office of the DCs, most of the accountants deployed to service the office of the DC decided to leave employment, as they felt that they were being underutilised because at that time, funding to the office of the DC for operations was minimal between K500,000 and K1 million. The remaining accountants were deployed elsewhere in the Government circles.

Mr Speaker, further information will be in the Decentralisation Policy Paper which is still under discussion which is not yet being implemented. There is currently debate as to who should control the funds between the DC and the council secretary’s office which has an establishment already under the councils.

Mr Speaker, currently, the office of the DC falls under the provincial administration structure countrywide. The Permanent Secretaries at the provincial level are responsible for all resources released, including accountability of the DC’s office.

Therefore, Mr Speaker, the Decentralisation Policy establishment aspect is still under consideration and it has not yet been fully finalised by Cabinet Office.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I would like the hon. Minister to be forthright in his answer. He has put us in a situation to believe something is being done by the Government to send accountants to the DC’s offices. The question is who is responsible for accounts between the councils and DC’s office. He tells us they will be under the provincial control. Can we understand clearly who will control the finances of the DC? Is it the councils or province and will we continue having no-one at the DC’s office?

Mr Malwa: Mr Speaker, I clearly indicated that the DC’s offices are being controlled and funded by the Permanent Secretaries in the provincial headquarters countrywide who are also responsible for their accountability.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, I hope and trust I got the hon. Minister correctly when he said that when they established the offices of the DC, they did send seventy-two qualified accountants there. He went on to say that the funding to the DC was only between K500,000 and K1 million. Surely, was it prudent for the Government or was it not misuse of manpower to send a qualified accountant to monitor K500,000?

Mr Malwa: Mr Speaker, actually, I was a DC myself and the K500,000 and K1 million respectively which was being sent was really inadequate. This is why I said the accountants were underutilised and withdrawn and deployed in other Government departments. Because the funding to the DCs office was minimal, some people left for greener pastures.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


345. Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing whether the Government had any plans to demolish squatter compounds in Lusaka, such as Chibolya, which were too close to the city centre in order to pave way for the expansion of the city by constructing modern shopping malls.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Dr Kazonga): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this August House that there are no immediate plans to demolish Chibolya settlement. I must state here that most unplanned settlements in Lusaka are recognised except for Chibolya, Mazyopa, parts of old Kanyama Compound and Grips Compound in Chamba Valley. Mississi and John Laing Compounds are currently being proposed for recognition with the exception of a defined business zone which is 300 metres on both sides of Kafue Road between Kafue roundabout and Makeni turn-off, which is currently being reclaimed.

Mr Speaker, it should be noted here that Zambia passed a piece of legislation in 1974 known as the Housing (Statutory and Improvement Areas) Act Cap. 194 of the Laws of Zambia. This Act was passed out of the realisation that informal settlements are an integral part of city development and, indeed, the housing stock in the country. Under the law that I have just referred to, most unplanned settlements in Zambia have been given legal status to exist.

My ministry is currently undertaking a project to revise spatial planning legislation which includes the Housing (Statutory and Improvement Areas) Act as well as the Town and Country Planning Act. This is so as to make them responsive to current developmental challenges and harmonise their operations in order to meet people’s needs pertaining to shelter in both formal and informal areas. So far, countrywide consultations have been made and a draft Bill will soon be presented to this House to amend these pieces of legislation.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Ntundu (Gwembe): Mr Speaker, now that the question by the hon. Member for Nangoma has helped to clear the air concerning allegations that the Government wants to demolish these unplanned compounds, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what plans the Government has to improve the living standards of the people in these compounds.

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mrs Masebo): Mr Speaker, hon. Members will recall that His Excellency, the late President, Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, directed us to ensure that all cities identified unplanned areas which they wanted to legalise and a circular was sent to all the local authorities in the country. My ministry has since received a list of unplanned compounds which each local authority would like us to upgrade. In this regard, we are working with the Ministry of Finance and National Planning to ensure that resources are put forward in the Budget for 2009 to assist in upgrading some of the unplanned settlements.

Mr Speaker, you will, however, note that this was taken on board in the 2008 Budget. Although the resources are not enough, they are going to be distributed to the councils or local authorities that have since identified areas for upgrading. For example, I have in mind Siavonga and Kitwe district councils and Ndola and Lusaka city councils which have already responded and given us lists of unplanned settlements within their jurisdictions which require upgrading. In this regard, upgrading shall include opening up roads, putting up water points and other basic necessities.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister will recall that months ago the president of my party was sailing in a canoe in Chibolya.


Dr Scott: She will also recall that at that time we were told that K16 billion had been allocated to the Vice-President’s Office to be jointly administered by that office and the Lusaka City Council. As the hon. Member of Parliament for Lusaka Central I am asking where the money is and when it is going to be spent or do we have to buy another canoe?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, I think that question should be directed to the Office of the Vice-President because those funds are under disaster management.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): Mr Speaker, going by the answer that the hon. Minister gave regarding the upgrading of Chibolya Compound, I would like to find out whether the ‘Chibolya stock exchange’, where livestock is being sold under pylons, is also going to remain there because it poses a great danger to human beings.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, I want to say that illegalities in whatever form are not supposed to be supported. I think the local authorities are aware of their functions and one of them is not to allow the selling of animals in undesignated places.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Kapeya (Mpika): Mr Speaker, apart from the improvement of shanty compounds in Lusaka, there are other facilities that need to be looked at by the Lusaka City Council. In this case, I am referring to the Kafue roundabout, which has become an eyesore. What is the Lusaka City Council doing about this situation?

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, one of the activities under the Make Zambia Clean and Healthy Programme is to work with the private sector. In this regard, the Lusaka City Council is working with financial institutions within Lusaka to adopt some of the open areas, in particular the Kafue roundabout. With time, a number of these islands will be taken over by corporate institutions so as to assist the local authorities to keep our surroundings clean. So, I take note of that observation. I know that there are a number of areas that still look ugly and I would like to appeal to hon. Members of Parliament to support their various local authorities in the Make Zambia Clean and Healthy Programme.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Mr Speaker, the K16 billion that was spoken about by the hon. Member for Lusaka Central was, indeed, in the Office of the Vice-President to be managed by the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit through a task force whose membership was to be drawn also from the Ministry of Local Government and Housing.

Sir, given that the K16 billion has not been released and the rains are around the corner, can the hon. Minister make an undertaking to find information regarding these funds and present it to this House so that the people who are affected by annual floods in Chibolya, Kanyama, Kamwala and Mississi compounds can have relief this year? The K16 billion was squarely put on the desk of the Office of the Vice-President.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, I will liaise with the Office of the Vice-President and bring a response to this House.

I thank you, Sir.



The Minister of Defence (Mr Mpombo): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House do place on record its profound regret at the untimely death of His Excellency, Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, President of the Republic of Zambia, together with its appreciation of his distinguished and patriotic service to this country and the people of Zambia and that the deepest sympathies and condolences of the National Assembly be conveyed to his family.

Mr Speaker, I am deeply humbled that I have been the one tasked to move this important Motion.

Mr Speaker, in moving this unprecedented and sorrowful Motion in this House on this sad historical occasion, I wish to record for posterity our heartfelt regret and anguish over the untimely passing on of His Excellency, Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, President of the Republic of Zambia, who died on Tuesday, 19th August, 2008 at Percy Military Hospital in Paris, France.

 The President was taken ill on 29th June, 2008, when he suffered a stroke while in Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt attending an African Union Heads of States Summit. After receiving initial treatment there, he was, on the advice of doctors, evacuated to Paris, France, on the 2nd of July, 2008, for specialist treatment.

Mr Speaker, allow me to use this very sad occasion to say a few words about our late beloved President whose death is too big a loss not only to this nation, but to the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region, the African continent, the Commonwealth of nations and, indeed, the global community at large. The loss of the President has already reverberated beyond our borders and even beyond the borders of the African continent.

Sir, the late Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, was born on the 3rd September, 1948, in Mufulira in the Copperbelt Province. He did his primary education in Mufulira and Luanshya and later proceeded to Chiwala Secondary School in Ndola where he completed his secondary school education and obtained a school certificate. He then proceeded to the University of Zambia in 1970 where he studied law and graduated with a merit in 1973. The late Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, then enrolled at the Law Practice Institute in 1974 and successfully completed the course in June in 1975.

Mr Speaker, in terms of employment history, the late Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, first rendered his services to the Republic of Zambia in 1970 when upon completion of his secondary school education he joined the Office of the Town Clerk at Ndola City Council. At the council, he excelled in his studies so well that the council decided to sponsor him to study law at a university of his choice. He chose the University of Zambia. In 1974, while studying at the Law Practice Institute, he was attached to a law firm called Jacques and Partners and on completion of the programme in June, 1975, he was taken on permanently as a legal assistant and was thereafter transferred to the firm’s Ndola office.

Dr Mwanawasa practised law at Jacques and Partners until 1977. He left the firm to start his own practice in 1978 under the business name of Mwanawasa and Company. He was a senior partner in this law firm until March, 1992, when he retired following his appointment as Vice-president of the Republic of Zambia in November, 1991.

During his career as a lawyer, Dr Mwanawasa was appointed as Solicitor-General by the then Republican President, Dr Kenneth David Kaunda, in 1985 until 1986 when he went back to private law practice. In recognition of his achievements as a distinguished lawyer, Dr Mwanawasa, was elected First Vice-Chairman of the Law Association of Zambia, a position he held from 1982 to 1983.

With regard to his political and parliamentary career, the late Dr Mwanawasa appeared on the political scene in 1990 when he joined the fray along with many Zambians who were calling for the reintroduction of multi-party politics in Zambia. In the same year, he was elected in absentia as Chairman of the Legal Committee of the Interim Committee of the Movement for Multi-party Democracy during the epoch-making Garden House Hotel Conference. When the Movement was transformed into a political party and subsequently registered as such, Dr Mwanawasa was elected Vice-president of the new Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) party in February, 1991.

Following the general elections of October, 1991 in which the MMD emerged victorious, the late Dr Mwanawasa, SC, was  elected Member of Parliament for Chifubu Parliamentary Constituency and was later appointed Vice-President of the Republic of Zambia by the then President of the Republic of Zambia, Dr Fredrick Titus Jacob Chiluba.

The late Dr Mwanawasa, SC, served diligently as Republican Vice-president from 1991 until July, 1994, when he resigned his Government position. He, however, remained the Vice-President of the MMD and Member of Parliament for Chifubu Parliamentary Constituency.

At the party convention held in December, 1995, the late Dr Mwanawasa, SC, contested the top most position of the party hierarchy against the then incumbent party president, Dr Chiluba, but lost. He then withdrew from active politics, but remained a party member and went back to his private law practice.

In August, 2001, the National Executive Committee of the MMD elected Dr Mwanawasa, SC, as the party’s presidential candidate in the general elections of December, 2001. Dr Mwanawasa won the elections and on 2nd January, 2002, he was inaugurated the Third President of the Republic of Zambia.

In 2006, he again contested the general elections and won a second term as President of the Republic of Zambia and was preparing to step down at the end of his second term in 2011 as stipulated by the Constitution.

Mr Speaker, let me now turn to the parliamentary career of the late President of the Republic of Zambia. As I stated earlier, Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, was a Member of this House in three distinct instances. First, as a Member of Parliament for Chifubu Parliamentary Constituency, he was a back-bencher and served on two Parliamentary Committees of the House, namely, the Committee on Absences of Members from Sittings of the House and Sessional Committees and the House Committee. The two Committees are the forerunners of the Committee on Privileges, Absences and Support Services, as it is now called.

As Vice-President of the Republic of Zambia, the late Dr Mwanawasa was Leader of Government Business in the House and consequently, he also sat on the Standing orders Committee.

As President of the Republic of Zambia, he was responsible for the summoning and officiating at the official opening of Parliament at the beginning of every session. Furthermore, Sir, the House interacted with him when every piece of legislation passed by the House was submitted to him as Head of State for his assent before it could be published as law.

As Head of State, the late Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, was a firm supporter of the Parliamentary Reforms which the National Assembly had embarked upon in order to bring Parliament closer to the people. The Parliamentary Reforms process would not have been successful without his personal endorsement of this initiative. The House may further wish to know that even before Dr Mwanawasa, SC, became Chairperson of the SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government last year, he, in 2003, became the first Head of State in the SADC region to openly support the initiative by parliamentarians in the SADC region to establish a regional Parliament for SADC with full legislative powers. It is an initiative he was prepared to pursue and bring to fruition during his tenure as SADC Chairperson had he lived longer.

During his short, but illustrious political career, Dr Mwanawasa, SC, contributed immensely to the development of parliamentary democracy by his various contributions during debates in the House and on Committees where he served. He accepted criticism as one of the pillars of democracy and acknowledged and respected the wishes of the people he worked with.

Mr Speaker, so much has been said about our beloved President and so much will be said about the legacy he has left behind for generations to come. Yes, Zambians will remember him from the lessons he taught us and the ideals he stood for. He taught us that we can use our careers and education to promote change in society. He demonstrated to us that the presidency and State House are not for personal ambitions and amassing wealth, but can be used to benefit the poor who are in the majority in our country. He taught us that the presidency is not about making eloquent speeches and taking crowd-delighting swipes at political foes, but the institution can be used to bring together political opponents into Government in order to build a strong and respectful society in which Zambians, regardless of their political affiliation or tribe, can live in harmony. Above all, His Excellency the President, Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, taught us that it is not a question of having a compelling biography that makes a good leader, but what you actually do to improve the living standards of the disadvantaged majority of the people, which, at times, makes you a subject of scorn and ridicule when you are alive, but a luminary and icon in death.

Mr Speaker, no doubt, His Excellency the President, Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, was not only humble, simple, approachable and hardworking, but also tough in terms of observance of the rule of law. He dedicated his life to the service of the people of Zambia. He shall be greatly missed, not only by this House, but also by the entire nation, the SADC region, the continent of Africa, the Commonwealth of Nations and, indeed, the international community as a whole. He leaves behind a legacy which is probably unmatched in Africa.

The late President of the Republic of Zambia is survived by a wife and six children.

On the 3rd of September, 2008, you, Mr Speaker, and the hon. Members of this House, joined a multitude of local and foreign dignitaries and common people that put to rest this fallen hero at the Embassy Park, here in Lusaka. This is as it should be.

I wish to thank the House and all the people of Zambia for this noble gesture and may his soul rest in eternal peace.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to whole-heartedly and unreservedly support this Motion. I am sure that I speak, at the same time, on behalf of all the members of the Patriotic Front (PF). This is one matter where there are no rebels or dissidents.


Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, His Excellency, Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, was a great man and I am sure other speakers will draw attention to all the different aspects of his greatness. I, however, wish to highlight only two which are of particular concern to us.

Mr Speaker, the first one was his fight against corruption. This is not time for picking small holes in matters of detail. His fight against corruption has proceeded to a point where it is now a non-partisan issue. There is no political party in this country, which, taking over the Government in any election, would stop the fight against corruption.

Hon Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: It has to continue and any political party in the country, be it the United Party for National Development (UPND), the PF and, I am sure, the MMD, however modified, will continue this fight.


Dr Scott: I think we have no choice any longer in this matter.

The other more particular and personal issue to me, and to us in the PF, was His Excellency’s big and warm-hearted intervention on behalf of Mr Michael Sata, when he got critically ill some months ago, to ensure that he received prompt and very effective treatment to the point where there was no physical damage to his heart given the speed at which the intervention was made. 

Mr Mukanga: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: Following that magnanimity, again, was Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa’s preparedness to reconcile, on a personal level, with Mr Sata. As we all know, personal animosity had been there for some time and this was a personal reconciliation. I think some people thought there was some sort of political reconciliation. I remember Mr Sata joking when we met the late President at State House that in 2011 he would be standing and he said, “ You, Levy, will be supporting me,” and Levy reminded him that, “ No, I will be supporting the MMD candidate and campaigning for him or her and you will be supporting yourself.”

I think it is a great step forward for multi-party democracy that we are beginning to learn that there is such a thing as a loyal and friendly opposition, but an opposition politically and realistically, nonetheless.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: I think that forms part of his legacy to this nation and is one of the reasons he deserves to be remembered and this Motion unanimously passed.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe (Matero): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for giving me the Floor. In Bemba we have a saying that goes, “Uwakwensho bushiku, bamutashelyo bwacha.”

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Member: Translate.

Mrs Sinyangwe: This literally means that when you walk with somebody in difficulty, you will only realise how useful and valuable that person was after the problems or if you walk in darkness, only after the light comes, will you  appreciate the person who walked you through that.

I would like to start by thanking God who allowed us time to be with our leader for the time that he led this nation. He led the nation focused, determined and dedicated despite the pressures that he had to go through. I am sure the nation will remember him for this.

Mr Speaker, I only have a few things to say.  Firstly, I would like to thank him for giving the Zambians an opportunity to come up with a Constitution which will govern this country for many years to come.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: He put aside his personal interests and agreed to the suggestions of the Zambia Centre for Inter-party Dialogue (ZCID) that we should have a National Constitutional Conference (NCC). The people of Zambia had for many years cried for a Constitution and it is here at last. We shall remember and honour him by forging ahead with the process and coming up with a new Constitution which will stand the test of time.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: Secondly, I will always appreciate the late President, His Excellency, Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, for recognising the role of hon. Members of Parliament. I remember at one time all of us received letters from him requesting us to go to our constituencies to monitor projects. He brought us closer to the Executive. As a result, we have worked very closely.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: We are going to thank and remember him for that.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe:  I come to my own constituency. The President came to Matero Constituency as if to say goodbye. This is the time he came to launch the water project. He came as a father and embraced all of us. There are many political parties in my constituency, but he come as a national President. He came to give the people of Matero Constituency water which they had cried for, for many years. The people of Matero Constituency told me that they had been going around with buckets on their heads in search of water for twelve years. I appreciate him for that because he thought of us. He did not think that Matero Constituency was being headed by an Opposition Member of Parliament, but he looked at the suffering of the people in the constituency.

Therefore, on behalf of the people of Matero Constituency, I would like to put on record our thanks to the late President for the gesture that he showed us. Further, I would like to remind whichever president that will takeover that the late President promised a number of things that he was going to give to the people of Matero Constituency. I pray that there will be continuity so that our projects can be completed.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe:  Sir, finally, I would like to say that I admired our late President. Firstly, for the most part, he was a God fearing person. Why do I say so? Because he realised that one of the commandments that God gave says, ‘Thou shall not kill,’ he never signed any death warrant.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe:  We never heard that somebody had disappeared because of politics or otherwise. For that, we deserve to thank him and the Lord who gave him such a heart. I would like to say that we can only honour our late President by following his footsteps. I know that the country has been mourning and everybody applauded him. This means that there were quite a number of things that we liked about him. We can only honour and remember him well if we follow the programmes that he left so that we can accomplish his wishes. I pray to the Almighty God that the next President will be cool headed, avoid all sorts of destruction and steer this nation to greater heights.

May the good Lord guide and keep him in his hands. May his soul rest in eternal peace.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Syakalima (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to join other hon. Members in contributing to the Motion on the Floor.

Sir, as every Zambian has said, Dr Mwanawasa was a great man. I would like to thank most sincerely, many of the Zambians who mourned our late President in the most dignified manner.

Sir, let me take this opportunity as well to thank the Zambia Army, Zambia Air Force, Zambia National Service and Zambia Police Service for allowing this country to mourn their late President in that most dignified manner.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!
Mr Syakalima: Obviously, there were a few mishaps like at any other funeral, but I would like to place on record that I am personally grateful to the men and women in uniform who made us mourn our late President in a dignified manner. This is as it should be. I have realised how much Zambians can come together in times of difficulty. However, there is only one thing remaining now.

Sir, the Zambia Army, Zambia Air Force and Zambia National Service have played their role, but we have not yet finished mourning President Mwanawasa. We have done one part. The remaining part is how we are going to mourn the President during the process of our elections. There is one institution that is now remaining to complete the mourning together with the Zambians the way the men and women in uniform helped us. That is the Electoral Commission of Zambia.

Mr D. Mwila: Hear, hear!

Mr Syakalima: Mr Speaker, there is also another institution. This is the Zambia State Intelligence Services which is usually accused of not meeting people’s expectations. It also needs to escort us in mourning our late President. The rest of the Zambians, including the men and women in uniform, have done their part. Sometimes, when you are the only remaining institution, you remain on trial. The Electoral Commission of Zambia is on trial now to complete the other part of mourning our late President. If we do not do that, all the greatness about Mwanawasa will never be great.

Hon. Opposition Members: Tell them!

Mr Syakalima: He is dead and we all believe that we have given him a send-off worthy of a dignified man. This makes or breaks a country, in the current circumstances, if we are not very careful. We have seen situations where electoral commissions elsewhere have not conducted elections well, not after a president has died, but a general election. They end up causing chaos and anarchy in a nation. The memories of our brothers and sisters in Kenya are still very fresh. We are talking about 1,500,000 people feared dead and 600,000 displaced because of the conduct of an election. In our case, it is not a general election, but an election as a result of the demise of a loved brother.

My appeal to the Zambia State Intelligence Services as well as the Electoral Commission of Zambia is that we conduct our elections in a manner that befits President Mwanawasa’s wishes. I know many people may want to find out who told me that he had this and that wish. Usually, every normal human being has wishes.

Major Chizhyuka: Hear, hear!

Mr Syakalima: Sir, whether you follow them or not, is up to you. I verily believe that President Mwanawasa would have liked this country to continue with dignified peace. Therefore, I appeal to the rest of the Zambians that no matter how much they are provoked, it is very important that we follow the right channel because we will be judged differently. These are two institutions and we, the Zambians, are ingredients. In this regard, each one of us must know how to conduct ourselves during the elections. In that way, we shall conclude that we buried President Mwanawasa in a dignified manner. That is the only way we shall be able to say that he was a great man. There is no way you can start adulating a person for their greatness when you do not want to believe in what they believed in.

Hon. UNDP Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Syakalima: If you do that, then there is no greatness. The Bible says not everybody who calls me Lord will inherit the kingdom of God. Therefore, not everyone who called him Mwanawasa or His Excellency and knelt down profusely loved him.


Mr Syakalima: Sir, we shall pronounce him a great man if our own actions prove that he was a great man. Your words must match your actions. That is the way we mourn people we think are dignified. You cannot say one thing in one breath and tomorrow do the opposite.

Mr Speaker, I, therefore, appeal to each one of us, especially those of us in leadership, to be extremely careful about what we say and what our actions convey. This is not the time for us to start quarrelling. I have heard people mention the word, ‘legacy.’ Where is the legacy? What I am seeing now is the legacy being buried with President Mwanawasa. It is up to us to get the patches and start sticking them together so that his legacy truly remains. If we are not going to be very careful, even the little that he had done will mean nothing. I realise he had many problems. He talked a lot about corruption and by the time he was finishing his race, his followers were left far behind. They were not near him. This is why, year in year out, we see so many glaring anomalies in the Auditor-General’s Report.  This means that the man at the helm had no helpers.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Syakalima: Sir, this is not a threat but a historical fact and reminder.  We should start picking the patches and putting them together so that anyone who follows us must speak the same language. The President was overburdened with a lot of encumbrances. He spoke his own language and other people spoke their own different language but in unison they chorused with him. These are very great lessons.  As for my family and I, the President has not died in vain. He has helped us. His death is of great help to me as an individual. It shows me how much everybody can be near you when you are alive. 

Sir, these are great personal lessons. I have learnt this on both a personal and national level. Therefore, lets us speak the same language. If we do not come out of our jackets in the time of defeat, this legacy will slip through our hands. I will know that one day, this dust of shame shall rise and rain amongst the people of this country.

If God allowed us to mourn President Mwanawasa in the dignified manner that we did, this great country shall never slip into anarchy or any shameful state like some nations. It will also depend on how much the institutions that we have created and ourselves will move on the path that dignifies this name. God has got his own way of doing certain things. Maybe, he said to President Mwanawasa, “your time is up.” If he said that and we believe in that, we must learn lessons. In Tonga we say, “Mwami tajayi kakwiina kuchenjezya pe”. This means that God does not take his own without making you learn lessons. I have learnt mine.

May the good Lord be with the Mwanawasa family.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}

Mr Sikota (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, I stand to support this very solemn Motion. I do so not only on my own behalf but on behalf of my party, the United Liberal Party (ULP), my constituency and the people of Livingstone. My constituency has, during this trying period, been in constant touch with me. I have never, during my two terms as hon. Member of Parliament, received so much communication from my constituency as I have done over the past three or so weeks.

Sir, never have I received communication from my constituency which is all unified and one in its message. The expression of sorrow and grief and the expression of admiration for our late President coming from my constituency has really been a mark that he touched many lives and will continue to touch the lives of many. The main thing that I wish to state today is that we would like to convey our condolences to the widow of our late President, his family, the Movement for Multi-party Democracy and the people of Zambia in general. I think that all of us have suffered a loss. This can be seen in the manner in which Zambians of all walks of life, political persuasions, ages, races, tribes and regions have mourned him with great dignity and true compassion. This has been an unprecedented period for the people of Zambia. It has, as a test, shown us that we are truly a great people. We are a land of people who should be proud of themselves. The dignity with which we conducted ourselves is something which is highly commendable. It is something which a good number of people did not expect. However, we have shown that the Zambian character is one of strength, unity, oneness and true greatness.

Mr Speaker, the man that we are giving these eulogies for was a man of strong conviction, candidness, forthrightness and innovation. Quite often, he was a man who was ahead of his fellow leaders and nationals. Therefore, because of sometimes being slightly ahead of the rest of us, he was often misunderstood. It is only later when we caught up with what his true thoughts were that we started to appreciate. He was a person for whom you had to get an acquired taste. At first taste, he could have tasted a little bit bitter, but as you savoured the texture, you then realised that this was truly something unique. He grew on you like a mellowing and maturing wine. That is why the first taste was not the one that lingered with you, but the after taste, which was the best taste of our late President.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota: Mr Speaker, our late President was a firm believer in true reconciliation. His early attempts may have seemed clumsy to some. I am referring to his first term when he attempted to bring into his Government people from the Opposition. Quite clearly, that did not go down too well with some people. However, in later years, it is something which people started to appreciate and testimony to the fact that he was always slightly ahead of the rest of us.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota: Mr Speaker, as time went on, the late President became better at reconciliation. He became smoother and more accomplished at it. I was subject to what was termed reconciliation with our late President. He did it in such a disarming manner and without any pretence of being the superior talking to the lower. In fact, he did it in such a disarming fashion that it embarrassed me, in that, he was brave enough to publicly say that he was wrong in the manner he had been conducting affairs between himself and I. That is what he said to the cameras. I was embarrassed and I am still embarrassed because what he stated was not as it should have been. We were both wrong, but I did not have the strength of character and bravery to say what he said. I was not the man that the late Mwanawasa was. Very few people would have been able to do what he did. To be president of a nation and stand before a country to admit a wrong is a mark of a great man.

Mr Speaker, he also showed that he was somebody willing to admit when there was a need for him to change his beliefs. There was the issue of the Constitution where, at first, he appeared to be at odds with the Zambian people. He shocked many, including his greatest detractors, when at the meeting of the summit of presidents under the Zambia Centre for Inter-party Dialogue, he brought about a solution which cut the deliberations very short because it left very few areas of dispute. Every single political leader in that meeting, without exception, praised what he had done. If you are able to get such unanimous praise even when you are alive, it shows that, indeed, there is something special about you.

Thereafter, he again shocked many when he reconciled with someone who was considered to be his greatest enemy. I do not believe that he really had enemies. I am talking about what people perceived. People perceived that he and the president of the Patriot Front could never see eye to eye. However, in spite of everything that had been thrown at him regarding that relationship, he was able to sit down and reconcile with what people considered to be his mortal foe. Again, this is a true sign of greatness of a human being.

He grew on the world stage. In the beginning, people said that Zambia had lost its voice on the world stage and that we were no longer the leaders that we once were. However, towards the end of his rule and towards the end of his life, it became apparent that when you talk about this region, there was no greater opinion leader than our president. Whether on issues of Zimbabwe or integration in Africa, there was no person leading the opinion of the leaders in this region and continent like President Mwanawasa was.

What is also great about Dr Mwanawasa is that he did not pretend to know it all. He was somebody who was humble enough to always listen to what people had to say. In spite of his degrees, he listened to people in the realm of law and whatever spheres. This is something that, as leaders, we should do. We should never tell people that we are the best at anything. You are not the best if you are not able to admit that you need to learn from others. You can never be the best. Dr Mwanawasa realised that he had to listen to other people. This is the reason he excelled even in areas where he had no formal training.

One of the successes of Dr Mwanawasa is said to be in the sphere of the economics of our country. He was not an economist. He was not trained in economics. However, he probably did much better than the self-styled economists with degrees would have done for this nation. It is for the Zambians to look at and realise that it is not the degrees you have, but whether you are a team player and able to get people together to work. Many times, we have seen people who are said to be economists fail to correct things in the economy. Take for instance, Gordon Brown, in the United Kingdom. Zambians should take note of that. I am told that happens even in Zambia.

Mr Speaker, in our history, centuries from now, Dr Mwanawasa will not be anonymous. A good number of Presidents of this country will be anonymous, but President Mwanawasa shall always be remembered and have a permanent place in the hearts of all Zambians.

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota: Mr Speaker, he was not lustful for power. He was somebody who came into politics to serve. For him, the be all and end all was not having that or this position. If anything, he showed that his love for the country was so large that he was even wiling to give up the second highest position in the country because of his love for the country. For him it was not an unending lust for power and position. He knew there was a time for everything. Because of his patience, the right time arrived and years later after stepping down and forgoing that position, he became President of Zambia. If he had shown unbridled lust for power, he would not have become president of this nation.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota: This, again, is a lesson that leaders of this country must learn. They must keep in mind that for everything, there is a season. There is no need to rush for power just for the sake of power.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota: Mr Speaker, even in his death, Dr Mwanawasa has managed to bring the people of Zambia together. It is for that reason that there is serenity, peace and harmony in the land. Let us not waste it. Let us not forget that Zambia is what must be first. Let us make sure we take a leaf from the life of Dr Mwanawasa to always put Zambia first and not self or self ambition. That way, we will be fulfilling the legacy of the great man.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ngoma (Sinda): Mr Speaker, I rise on this solemn occasion to support this solemn Motion.

Mr Speaker, when rumour first broke out that the President, Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, had died, I was filled with great grief, shock, pain and anguish. I immediately called my family together, including my mother, with tears running down my face and we prayed to Jehovah God that this should not be. To our great relief, the Government corrected the impression by dismissing that horrible news.

 Mr Speaker, a few weeks down the line, on Tuesday, 19th August, 2008, the Government announced the passing on of our late President, Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa. This was extremely sad. Today, the whole nation is mourning the demise of our late President. What a great loss.

Sir, even though I was not in constant physical touch with the late President, I was touched daily by his love, sacrifice, hard work and selfless service for mother Zambia. Not many people can achieve the strides achieved by this distinguished son of Zambia.

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

Mr Ngoma: Mr Speaker, when business was suspended, I was saying that the service of our late President to this country was meticulous. When Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, emerged on the political front in 2001, most of us in the country called him all sorts of derogatory names. It was believed he would be a stooge and was inadequate for this country. To the contrary, Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, proved his critics wrong. He was, indeed, a man of his own.

Mr Speaker, I remember that the late President, Dr Mwanawasa, SC, summoned a Special Session of Parliament to remove the Presidential immunity of the former President, Dr Chiluba. This move has been unprecedented in the history of the Commonwealth. The removal of immunity of the former Head State sent a clear message to the whole nation that, indeed, there was no one above the law and that there are no sacred cows.

Sir, a lot of former leaders who have conducted themselves dubiously were followed and brought before the courts of law to account for their actions. This is admirable. The fight against corruption has born tremendous positive results. Today, public officials are not only cautious, but also scared to dip into State coffers.

Mr Speaker, in mourning the late President, Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, we, as a country, should solidly embrace and continue the fight against corruption because corruption is a cancer that breeds hunger and disease. Therefore, we have to fight this evil. That is the best way to mourn our departed President.

Mr Speaker, another admirable thing which has to be recorded as part of the appreciation is the constitutional reforms that were embarked on by our dear late President, Dr Mwanawasa.

From 1964 to only a few years ago, this country had never had a constitution which one would call people-driven. During the reign of the First Republican President, Dr Kenneth Kaunda, much as there were a lot of constitutional review commissions using the Inquiries Act, at the end of the day, what came out was not really the wish of the Zambian people because it ended up in a White Paper. Cabinet agreed to whatever they wanted to be put in the Constitution, which was wrong.

During President Chiluba’s reign, we continued with the same issue of a White Paper where a few colleagues in Government would sit, reject and accept whatever they wished and, at the end of the day, we had a Constitution which did not represent the true wishes of the Zambian people.

However, this distinguished son of Africa, a distinguished son of Zambia, President Mwanawasa, brought a change to all that. True to his word, he was a man who led his country not through men but through the rule of law.

Recently, the Zambian people demanded a constituent assembly. The name might be different, but what is obtaining at the National Constitutional Conference is something similar to a constituent assembly, meaning, if we go by that route, Mr Speaker, for the first time in the history of this country, we are going to produce a people-driven Constitution. A Constitution that is not anchored on a few colleagues in Cabinet. That ought to continue.

Sir, on the issue of development across the nation, I might not have been to many parts of the country, but I wish to speak for my constituency. When I took over as hon. Member of Parliament, Sinda Constituency, which has a population of over 70,000 people, had only three clinics. However, today, I am a proud Member of Parliament because we now have eight clinics in Sinda, a thing which never happened before. Imagine that from 1964 to 2001 we only had three clinics, but from 2001 to-date, five new clinics have been built. 
Previously, we had thirty-five basic schools in Sinda Constituency, but, today, as I speak, we have over forty-two basic schools. That is no mean achievement. This achievement is across the country and we really have to thank President Mwanawasa for what he did for this great country.

Mr Speaker, reconciliation is so easily uttered, but very difficult to implement, but Dr Levy Mwanawasa brought reconciliation to the fore practically. He was a man with a great heart!

I remember when the Second Republican President, Dr Chiluba, got very ill and President Mwanawasa rushed to his home and ensured that measures were taken for him to be flown to South Africa. Probably President Chiluba is alive today as a result of that big heart.

Mrs Masebo: Hear, hear!

Mr Ngoma: President Michael Sata of the Patriotic Front, as my colleagues have said, probably would have been no more, but because of the love and big heart that President Mwanawasa had, today, he is still jostling nicely in the political arena.

Hon. Member: Sata!

Mr Ngoma: That is what this country has been taught.  Practical reconciliation ought to continue.

Above all, Mr Speaker, as I appreciate President Mwanawasa, I want to thank God that he has left a benchmark for leadership. When you have a leader, you should be able to compare them to another. Today, I am a proud Zambian that even as President Mwanawasa’s body is lying at Embassy Park, there is a benchmark of leadership which we Zambians are going to use. Thus, a leadership that fails to perform within five years should be voted out of office because we have something to compare with.

Mr Speaker, as I conclude, Dr Levy Mwanawasa was, indeed, a great man. For us to mourn with dignity we have to continue doing what he said in his will.

 Sir, allow me to quote The Post newspaper of 5th September, 2008. This was President Mwanawasa in his will to the nation speaking as though he is from the graveyard.

“I am grateful to all of you for giving me the opportunity during my part of life to serve you as President. It was a privilege which I cherished up to my death. I did all my best to improve the standard of living of you my people. I strove to attain to the production of sufficient food for domestic consumption and for export. I worked hard to encourage investment both local and foreign so as to create jobs, so as to enhance the growth of our country.”

Mr Speaker, even what would have been crocodile tears, at this juncture, become real tears. In my language, we say, “Muzimu wa Mwanawasa uluse mumutendele”. This means may the spirit of the late Levy Patrick Mwanawasa rest in eternal peace. Above all, the best way to worship and love God is to take care of the widows and orphans.

With those few words, I take my seat.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mrs Masebo): Mr Speaker, I wish to join in this solemn Motion in remembering our dear President, Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa. We want to thank God for the life of Dr Mwanawasa here on earth and the works that he did for mother Zambia and the world at large.

Sir, ever since his death, in fact, even before he died, I keep saying to myself that I wished His Excellency was alive to see how much the Zambian people appreciated him. I recall that one day as we flew to Mansa on an inspection tour of the Chembe Bridge, he said to me on the plane, “Why do the people of Zambia hate me? I do all my best for the people of this country, but I feel they do not appreciate me,” and I replied to him, “Your Excellency, it is not true. The people of Zambia do love you. These are just politics.” He said this because of articles that were appearing in the newspaper concerning the naming of the bridge after him.

When he fell sick and I saw how many Zambians were writing letters of condolences, I wished that he had returned even in a wheel chair to see how much the Zambian people cared and loved him and how much they appreciated.

Mr D. Mwila: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, this is a lesson to many of us in this country that it is important to appreciate one another when we are alive …

Mr D. Mwila: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: … than when we are gone.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Misapa: That is a point!

Mrs Masebo: Many a time, we do not appreciate one another as a people. This is a lesson to each one of us that if your brother, sister or neighbour is doing well today, even if he or she is in a different political party, it is important to appreciate them and criticise only when it is necessary.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Now you can see how many messages of good will are coming in for the President, and yet he is not there to hear and appreciate them. How I wish he was there to see and hear how much his people appreciated his works.

Mr Speaker, the late President, Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, was, indeed, a great man. I think he was an angel. When a dead man comes back in form of a recorded message to thank all those who mourned him, it tells you that he was not an ordinary person.


Mrs Masebo: There must be something special from God about this man, especially when you look at all the works that he did for this country and even for his perceived enemies. The late President was a man who had no hatred for any person. I recall when he reconciled with President Sata, he said to some of us that, “I know that some of you are not happy, but I have reconciled with Mr Sata and I want you to know that I am doing this for the good of the country and so that we can develop this country.”

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: He was prepared to give himself for the good of mankind.

Mr Speaker, this is a man who even when he knew that fifty people were saying, ‘Yes’ and he was the fifty-first, would say, ‘No’ if he thought it was no. He did not mind how many people said, ‘No’ if he really believed that it was right, he would stand for it. Even if he knew that he was in the minority and the majority were stronger than him, he still put his views across and stood firm for what he believed in.

Mr Speaker, this is a man who died working for mother Zambia, Africa and the whole world. This is a man who even when he knew that his health was failing him, continued working very hard. He was very committed to public service and was a workaholic. That is one lesson some of us have learnt from him.

Mr Speaker, this is a man who taught us to work hard for this country. Some of the things I wish Zambians could learn from him are hard work, commitment, honesty and truthfulness, especially in public office.

Mr Speaker, the late President, Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, died for many things in this country and. My prayer is that the people of Zambia will not allow his death to be in vain, but will ensure that his death is worthwhile and will not let him down in his death and that those who will remain running this country will ensure that the fight against corruption is continued.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, even in his last message after his burial, one of the issues which came out prominently was the issue of fighting corruption and that he was not against anybody, but truly believed that it was necessary to stop corruption. This is because if we are really interested in developing this country, corruption should be fought to the fullest. He asked those who would take over from him to ensure that the fight continues.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: I would like to urge the people of Zambia to continue with the fight against corruption, if, indeed, we are to honour His Excellency the late President, Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC.

Mr Speaker, I have learnt something from the death of our late President Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, and I also heard one of the hon. Members of Parliament who contributed to the debate say that, as an individual, he had learnt something.

Mr Speaker, what I have learnt is to continuously work hard when you are in public office. Secondly, not to abuse your office. Thirdly, to be committed and truthful and lastly not to mind even if the majority are saying yes when you know it is no. It is better to stand by what you believe in and only time will tell.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, the late President will not only be remembered by the people of Zambia, but by the whole world, especially those in Africa because of the role he played in the world, especially in Africa.

Mr Speaker, the late President, His Excellency Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, died a great man. You will recall that it was whilst on duty in Egypt that he suffered a stroke and I recall that all the heads of state in Africa were meeting at the African Union meeting there.

When the news of his death came, again heads of state were meeting in Istanbul in Turkey at a Turkey Africa Co-operation meeting and I was one of the people representing Zambia at that conference. When the message that His Excellency had passed away came to our desk, I recall that the Chairman of the African Union and the President of Turkey announced the news of the death to the African Heads of State that were meeting. At that point most of the African representatives who came to give their condolences to us in our room at the hotel said, ‘the man was great because he fell ill when the African Heads of State were meeting and died when they were meeting in Istanbul Turkey.” This shows that this man was not just an ordinary person. I would like to thank the Zambian people, especially the ordinary Zambians, who have truly mourned him.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: May God be with them for standing up and for the support that they have shown even in his death.

I also want to commend the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation for the good work they have done in trying to show the life of the late President. They have really done a commendable job in bringing the great works of the late President live showing that he died working for his people.

I want to thank the Zambians, generally, for standing united during these trying moments. I just hope that his death will not be in vain and that all of us in this country learnt something from this great man who died serving his people. I also hope that those of us who have the privilege to be in leadership at various levels be it in Non-Governmental organisations (NGOs) or the Church have learnt something from this great man. This is that it is important to be honest, truthful, have integrity and always put our trust in God.

Mr Speaker, if you listen to his last speech in Church, you can tell that this was a man of God. As for me, I have learnt a lot and I thank God for this. I will try wholeheartedly to lead my life in the manner that His Excellency the late President, Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, led his, especially when it comes to serving in public office.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, a Motion such as this one is never wound up. So, I shall not call the Acting Leader of Government Business in the House to wind up the Motion. Such a Motion is also never put. I, therefore, do not put the question to the House. The House may also recall that we have already observed a minute of silence in memory of the late President His Excellency, Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC. We did so on the day of his passing.

Motion carried nemine contradicente.





The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mr Magande): Mr Speaker, as hon. Members may recall, I was appointed a Committee of one to bring up the Supplementary Appropriation Bill later at an appropriate date in accordance with the Motion of Supply adopted by this House. This is a result of my presentation of the Supplementary Estimates No. 1 of 2006 which was approved by this august House. The Bill, therefore, is intended to account for the supplementary expenditure of moneys appropriated for the services of the Republic as provided for under Article 117 (4)(b) of the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia.

Mr Speaker, it is in compliance with the above resolution that I tendered the Bill before the House for consideration and approval.

Sir, I need to mention that the matter before us was exhaustively discussed when this House considered and approved the Supplementary Estimates No. 1 of 2006. Further, the relevant Committee has covered most of the issues through discussions with the concerned institutions.

Mr Speaker, I, therefore, seek the support of this august House in approving this Bill.

Sir, I beg to move.
Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Beene (Itezhi-tezhi): Mr Speaker, your Committee were mandated to consider the Supplementary Appropriation (2006) Bill, 2008 in line with Article 117 (4) of the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia. This mandate is in line with the functions of your Committee, which are laid out in Standing Order No. 156.

In considering the Bill, your Committee requested controlling officers whose ministries and institutions had applied for and received supplementary provisions during the financial year under review to provide explanatory memoranda as regards what necessitated the expenditures and to reconfirm the amounts quoted in the Bill. Your Committee also met the Secretary to the Treasury to clarify issues of a policy nature with regard to the supplementary expenditure.

Sir, your Committee noted that the objective of this Bill is to confirm the expenditure from the general revenues of the Republic of moneys spent for the services of the Republic during the financial year ended 31st December, 2006, in excess of the money appropriated for the services of the Republic by the Appropriation Act, 2006. The amount spent as supplementary expenditure in the financial year ending 31st December, 2006, was a total amount of K331,143,234,891.

 Your Committee also observed that constitutionally, the duty of the National Assembly, in relation to the Bill, is to confirm the supplementary appropriation as the figure was already presented to and approved by the National Assembly during the financial year in question.

Mr Speaker, allow me to inform the House that in simple terms, supplementary expenditure is additional funding provided to cover legally unavoidable expenditure overruns beyond the originally voted allocation in the Budget. Supplementary expenditure has been a permanent feature of the budget process in Zambia and instances of such expenditure abound. This illustrates the problem of planning that characterises public expenditure management and budget execution in Zambia.

 The House will note that supplementary expenditure is recognised in the Constitution in Article 117 (4) of the Constitution. This provision allows the Executive to adjust or modify the Appropriation Act as it sees fit, as long as a report in the form of a supplementary estimate is tabled before the National Assembly within the prescribed period. Additionally, the hon. Minister responsible for finance has up to 15 months after the end of the fiscal year to table before the National Assembly a Supplementary Appropriation Bill in relation to that year.

I must hasten to add, however, that the execution of the Budget is not without interference from the Legislature. As is common knowledge, the Legislature has the power to monitor the manner in which the Executive implements budget decisions. Through its oversight function, Parliament must approve any changes to the voted budget limits on all heads and this is done through the Supplementary Appropriation Bill. Thus, the Bill under consideration is in respect of the supplementary expenditure over and above the expenditure limits set under the Appropriation Act for the 2006 Budget. This Bill has, therefore, been laid before this House in accordance with Article 117 (4) of the Constitution of Zambia. The passing of this Bill by the House would, accordingly, fulfill the constitutional requirements aforestated.

Mr Speaker, from their deliberations, your Committee have made some observations, of which the pertinent ones I now wish to highlight briefly.

Sir, your Committee are very seriously concerned that supplementary appropriations are often so large that they surpass the original budget estimates. In fact, your Committee note that on a number of sub-heads, the supplementary provisions were well above 100 per cent of the original provisions in the Budget during the financial year in question. For example, under the Ministry of Justice, Attorney General’s Chambers ─ Legal Consultancy Programme, an amount of K1 billion was provided in the 2006 Budget but the Vote received supplementary funding of K30,627,647,956, amounting to over 3000 per cent of the initial provision. Similarly, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Paris Mission had K716,581,394 as budgetary estimates for office administration but received K13,237,374,659, which is over 1,800 per cent of the initial provision, as supplementary provision to finance the procurement of a residence. Another example was the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives which had a budgetary provision of K50 billion to be remitted as a grant to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) under the Agri-business and Marketing Department but received K76,262,394,482 as supplementary funding, which amounted to over 150 per cent of the original estimate.

Mr Speaker, this situation, where the actual budget outturn significantly deviates from the original estimates, is indicative of a very serious problem in the planning and budgeting system and renders the entire budgeting process redundant. Notwithstanding this, your Committee note that there is a reduction in the total amount of  the Supplementary Budget for 2006 which was K331,143,234,891 as compared to that incurred in 2005 which was K453,584,031,243. Nevertheless, the amount is still unacceptably high.

Sir, let me also inform the House that controlling officers from various ministries, provinces and other spending agencies who appeared before the Committee repeatedly cited the low ceilings imposed by the Ministry of Finance and National Planning at the time of budgeting as the major cause of the problem of under budgeting for some of the routine activities. Some of the ceilings are reported to be so low that they are inadequate to meet even some of the day-to-day operations of the institutions.

Your Committee observed that one of the reasons for this is poor forecasting of revenues by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning who, in fact, ends up financing these activities through supplementary funding before the end of the year. In light of the foregoing, your Committee recommend that a limit be set on the amount of expenditure that can be incurred under any specific head of expenditure in any given financial year to encourage more careful planning by all spending agencies as well as better revenue forecasting by the Ministry of Finance and National Planning.

While your Committee realise that it is sometimes unavoidable to have such disparities, they strongly believe that this should be in exceptional cases and circumstances which cannot be foreseen at the time of budgeting. Routine activities can and must be properly planned and accurately budgeted for. Corollary to this, your Committee call on the Ministry of Finance and National Planning to set realistic ceilings for the spending agencies during the budgeting process. For their part, spending agencies are strongly advised to prioritise their activities very carefully in view of the paucity of resources at the nation’s disposal.

Further, Sir, as the situation stands, because of inconsistencies in the legal framework, supplementary expenditure occurs before Parliament’s approval. This undermines democratic accountability and Parliament’s role in the budget process. The supplementary budget may be perceived to be a method of financing activities over and above what Parliament has approved, thereby derogating from the power of Parliament to deliberate on and approve all public expenditures. In effect, the supplementary budget dilutes the legal authority of Parliament in the performance of its oversight functions over the budget implementation activities. Needless to say, this is outside the spirit of the provisions of the Constitution of Zambia at Article 117(4).

 Your Committee call for the urgent reform of the public expenditure management system in the country in such a way that supplementary expenditures should be strictly controlled in a bid to enable the Legislature play its oversight role with regard to public financial management effectively. Ideally, therefore, the Supplementary Appropriation Bill should be passed before actual spending takes place.

Mr Speaker, your Committee wish to reiterate the concern they expressed during consideration of the Supplementary Appropriation (2006) Bill, 2007, that a number of controlling officers do not appear to have an in depth understanding and appreciation of the financial provisions in the Constitution as well as the financial regulations. This was evident through the poor quality of presentations before your Committee both in writing and orally. They note that as long as the controlling officers are not conversant with the regulatory framework, the management of public finances is seriously compromised.

Further, Mr Speaker, your Committee are disappointed with complaints from controlling officers that they were not aware that the Supplementary Appropriation Bill had been presented to the National Assembly and that they were expected to make presentations to your Committee, thus, they were unprepared for the meeting with your Committee. Your Committee wish to state in no uncertain terms that once a Government Bill has been presented to the House, it is assumed that all necessary consultations have been undertaken with all relevant stakeholders, including all affected Government ministries and institutions.

Mr Speaker, your Committee wish to stress that there is need for all controlling officers to be conversant with the important legal and regulatory instruments which are meant to govern their operations so as to enhance prudent financial management in the public sector. It falls to the office of the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, through the Secretary to the Treasury, to ensure that this is done without undue delay.

Your Committee also wish to strongly urge all controlling officers to be aware of the parliamentary calendar and agenda and be prepared to play their part in the legislative process once called upon to do so by the House or its Committees. They wish to emphasise that they will not accept a laissez-faire attitude from some controlling officers who do not appear to be concerned about issues affecting their operations such as the need to regularise supplementary or excess expenditures which they themselves applied for, received and expended. This is a routine exercise which all controlling officers are aware of and should anticipate on the other hand.

 Your Committee implore the Ministry of Finance and National Planning to undertake full consultations with concerned stakeholders such as ministries, provinces and spending agencies (MPSAs) prior to presentation of Bills before the House to avoid unnecessary delays in your Committee’s work.

Mr Speaker, your Committee further recommend that the House favourably considers the Supplementary Appropriation (2006) Bill, 2008, so as to confirm the supplementary expenditure of K331,143,234,891 incurred during the 2006 financial year.

Lastly, Mr Speaker, your Committee wish to record their sincere thanks to all the witnesses who appeared before them and tendered both oral and written submissions. They further wish to pay gratitude to you for affording them an opportunity to consider this Bill and for your guidance throughout their deliberations. In addition, your Committee wish to thank the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for their unfailing assistance and advice to your Committee during their deliberations.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, I wish to thank the Chairman of the Committee for the comments that they made on this particular Bill. Let me say that we have taken note of the observations. However, I have some minor comments on some of the proposals.

Mr Speaker, it is proposed that it would better if prior approval of the National Assembly is sought before ministries, provinces and spending agencies can go ahead and spend. This will be very difficult because we receive requests from spending institutions on, perhaps, a daily or weekly basis. Therefore, to be able to call Parliament or, indeed, the Committee to approve this might not be practical. That is why we plead that we consolidate the requests from various institutions and bring them before the Committee and Parliament at the end of the year.

Sometimes, Mr Speaker, the supplementary is to regularise money that we receive in grants from our co-operating partners. By the time Parliament has approved the estimates, we have not got that money and when we receive it during the year, we come here to indicate that we did receive this money and, therefore, we want Parliament to accept it as part of what was received in revenue and, therefore, accounted for in terms of expenditures. We do also acknowledge the observation made by the Committee that, in some instances, the amounts of supplementary are much higher than what the Committee would have approved.

Mr Speaker, until recently, the procedure of this House in budgeting was that if the spending institution was not sure of how much they would spend during the year, they would only provide K1 against that particular activity. I am sure that now we do provide some amounts on these activities. This is an improvement from the system where we would reflect K1 for an activity in the Yellow Book.

The issues that have been noted by the Committee on the Ministry of Justice with K30 billion and also K13 billion on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in particular, were difficult issues that we had to handle as quickly as possible. In the case of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we had paid a deposit for the purchase of a new building at our mission in Paris and because we had delayed in paying the next installment, the estate agent indicated that if we did not pay the total amount by a certain period, we were going to lose the interest and would have to resume negotiations for the purchase of this building. It was, therefore, felt that it was prudent for us to conclude that arrangement instead of losing money unnecessarily.

Mr Speaker, on the FRA, again, this was due to the demands brought about by the bumper crop harvested. We had to assist the FRA to buy most of the produce that the small-scale farmers were ready to sell for them to raise additional money and for us to safeguard the crop which was in their hands.

Mr Speaker, we do accept that sometimes our ceilings are very limited, but as it happens, we also work on estimates of revenue and not on a cash basis where we have the money in an account. Therefore, at the time we are estimating revenue, we take into account a lot of economic parameters, assumptions and even exogenous factors. For example, this time, we are in the process of framing the Budget for next year. Clearly, in view of the elections which are pending, some of the donors might not be in position to give us specific figures on what they want to give us in terms of our projects. We, therefore, will have to take that into account and estimate a lower revenue figure. That is what we will indicate to the ministries as they prepare their Budgets for next year, an exercise which has already started.

We, therefore, seek the understanding of institutions that when we give them a Budget ceiling, they must work within that Budget ceiling. Should we, indeed, end up with additional revenue, then we will be able to assist them.

Mr Speaker, we do accept that sometimes, coordination with so many controlling officers in terms of what is happening in Parliament might not be adequate. However, we want to promise that we will be reminding all the controlling officers whenever information or documentation is before the Estimates Committee so that they get ready to come and appear before the Committee.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Question put and agreed to and the Bill read the second time.

Committed to a committee of the Whole House.

Committee on Wednesday, 10th September, 2008.


Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.

Mr Speaker, the introduction of the Public Procurement Bill, 2008, is intended to repeal and replace the Zambia National Tender Board Act of 1982, Cap. 3 of the Laws of Zambia, in order to include provisions that will strengthen enforcement mechanisms and bring them in line with international best practice as well as encourage Zambian citizens to participate in the procurement process.

Sir, the proposed Bill further seeks to do the following:

(i) continue the existence of the Zambia National Tender Board and rename it as the Zambia Public Procurement Authority;

(ii) revise the law relating to procurement so as to ensure transparency and accountability in public procurement;

(iii) regulate and control practices relating to public procurement in order to promote the integrity of, fairness and public confidence in the procurement process;

(iv)    repeal and replace the Zambia National Tender Board Act, 1982; and

(v) provide for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing.

Mr Speaker, the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) had identified poor governance as one of the causes of worsening poverty trends and that the issue must be addressed at all levels of Government operations. One of the components of good governance is the promotion of accountability combined with the introduction of an efficient and effective public expenditure management system and a greater transparency in public procurement and contracting procedures. The aim, therefore, of this Bill, is to improve the utilisation of the limited public financial resources and get value for money.

Mr Speaker, Zambia embraced the concept of public procurement reform in the mid-1990s with the adoption of the Procurement Action Plan. This plan was developed as part of the Public Sector Reform Programme (PSRP) under the Financial and Legal Reform Programme financed by the World Bank. The objectives of the plan were threefold as follows:

(i) to implement a plan to decentralise procurement to line ministries;

(ii) to establish a professional procurement cadre and development of a capacity building plan; and

(iii) to enforce audit and oversight operations.

Mr Speaker, the Country Procurement Assessment Review (CPAR) of 2002, had identified a number of areas within the overall procurement system of Government which required strengthening as part of the procurement reform. These were in the following areas:

(i)  legal and regulatory framework;

(ii) purchasing procedures and practices;

(iii) procurement management;

(iv) Budget allocation and release of funds; and

(v) procurement capacity.

Sir, in order to support procurement reform, the Zambia National Tender Board also developed a strategic plan to assist the board with implementation of the reform programme up to the year, 2006. The assignment related to the strengthening of the legal and regulatory framework and is a vital first step in the implementation of the Zambia National Tender Board Strategic Plan.

Mr Speaker, the hon. Members of this august House may wish to know that the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) Heads of State and Government in March, 2003, in Khartoum, Sudan, signed the COMESA Directive on Public Procurement which requires member states to reform their procurement systems in accordance with the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) model on procurement of goods, construction and services.

Mr Speaker, the proposed Bill is, therefore, a result of the weaknesses identified in the current Act and also the need to comply with the COMESA directives. The Zambia National Tender Board Act of 1982 does not have provisions for monitoring and gathering statistics on public procurement, developing procurement capacities and the capabilities and the implementation of public procurement reforms.

Sir, the Bill, among other issues, provides for the setting up of an inspectorate unit with the mandate to monitor the procurement performance of all procurement entities. It also makes provision for penalties for general offences under the control of individuals involved in procurement.

Mr Speaker, there is also need to harmonise the public procurement legislation with laws which have been passed recently relating to citizens empowerment since preferential procurement for citizens is a critical area of empowerment and wealth creation for our country.

The Bill will promote Zambian companies, small and medium-scale enterprises, to participate in the procurement of goods and services as well as enhance transparency, accountability and efficiency in the Government tendering system.

Mr Speaker, it is in this regard that I wish to urge the hon. Members of this august House to support the Bill.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala) (on behalf of Mr Milupi (Luena)): Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to enable me to comment on the Public Procurement Bill that is before the House.

The Public Accounts Committee was accorded the privilege of scrutinising the Bill in detail. I wish to state that the stakeholders whom your Committee invited to make submissions on the Bill support it. The support comes against the background that a significant portion of public resources are utilised on the acquisition of goods, services and works.

In 2007, total Government expenditure was K10,720.1 billion. Of this amount, K1,926 billion or 19 per cent was used on capital projects. Failure to complete capital projects was indicative of weaknesses and loopholes in the procurement chain, evidence of proliferation of corruption and embezzlement of funds. The Bill must, therefore, seek to correct these ills. Stakeholders identified a number of areas that may need improving upon. Most concerns were on objects (b) and (c) which seek to promote transparency, accountability, integrity, fairness and public confidence in the procurement process.

Mr Speaker, as the House may be aware, after liberalisation of the economy in the early 1990s, the private sector started playing a significant role in the economic activities of the nation.

The desire of the majority of Zambians is to have a fair balance of business opportunities to be made available to both local and foreign businesses and not a situation where the scale is tilted towards any of the two categories of investors. A wholesome preference for foreign investors creates discontent in the public.

Sir, the Government is the biggest client any business aspires to have here in Zambia. Therefore, affording Zambians opportunities to provide works, goods and services to the Government will undoubtedly uplift the living standards of the people. What this means is that the provisions of the Bill that aim at promoting fairness should strictly be adhered to. This is why some stakeholders proposed that there should be a 10 per cent preference factor for local businesses.

Mr Speaker, public procurement involves the use of public funds. The immediate questions that come to mind are: Are the works, goods and services so procured the right quality? Have they been provided at the right cost and within the desired timeframe? These questions can only be answered if procurement processes are transparent and if procurement committees and units are made to account for their actions. The Ministry of Finance and National Planning should not relent on this concern as there are numerous examples of projects that are still incomplete despite colossal sums of public money having been spent on them.

Mr Speaker, your Committee would like the following to be seriously taken into account as the Bill progresses:

(a) the new institution, the Public Procurement Authority, should be empowered to monitor the procurement process from invitation of tenders to commissioning of projects and conducting of post commissioning evaluations to ensure that the objectives which a specific procurement was intended to achieve are realised. This has been one of the major weaknesses of the Zambia National Tender Board. The authority should also be given adequate power to sanction procurement committees that will not perform according to the requirements of the new legislation, not just downgrading them;

(b) for the purpose of accountability and transparency, the composition of the board of the Public Procurement Authority, Central Tender Committee and Procurement Committee should be reconsidered with respect to involvement of the public. Let me dwell on this matter further.

Mr Speaker, the proposed board of the Public Procurement Authority will comprise thirteen members with only two persons from the private sector. Of these thirteen, five members will be ministers. We do not feel that this is right. There is need for a reasonable balance between members from the public and private sectors.

A comparison with other two equally important public bodies, the Zambia Revenue Authority and the Bank of Zambia reveals the following:

(i) the board of the Zambia Revenue Authority has a provision for nine board members with at least four of them from the private sector;

(ii) the board of the Bank of Zambia has a provision for eight members with six of them potentially from the private sector. This shows that the board of the Public Procurement Authority is heavily dominated by public officers. The same, unfortunately, applies to the Central Tender Committee, though in transition, and Procurement Committees. The Central Tender Committee has a provision for thirteen members, all of them from the public sector. The Procurement Committees have a provision of up to ten members with only two from the private sector. This is not healthy for transparency and accountability;

(c) stakeholders have raised a number of valid suggestions to improve the Bill which the hon. Minister should take time to consider. It will also be ideal if the hon. Minister can issue the regulations in the shortest possible time, which will undoubtedly address some of the concerns of the stakeholders;

(d) the hon. Minister should implement the provisions of the new legislation. Non-implementation will render the new arrangement as ineffective as the old one.

Mr Speaker, this is a progressive Bill and on behalf of your Committee, I wish to urge that the Bill be favourably considered

Sir, let me end by thanking the House for having referred the Bill to the Public Accounts Committee. It is our hope that we have delivered what was expected. I, further, wish to thank all stakeholders that made submissions on the Bill.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.
Mr Mooya (Moomba): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to comment on this Bill.

Sir, to start with, I wholeheartedly support the Bill, especially that it has to do with the improvement of the utilisation of public resources. I think this is where we have lost a lot of money because some goods have been over priced. There is need to look into that so that the money that we save can be utilised elsewhere.

Sir, let me make a few comments on the recommendations and observations made by your Committee. With regard to the composition, I agree 100 per cent that we need people from the private sector too. I heard the mover say that out of the thirteen members on the board; only two are from the private sector. I think we should learn from the example he has given regarding the Bank of Zambia. In my opinion, it should have been the other way round.  Two should have been from the public sector and the rest from the private sector.

Sir, on the pieces of legislation, I do agree that we must harmonise the Acts so that there is no conflict. For example, as spotted in the Report, there is some conflict with the National Council for Construction (NCC) Act of 2003. Therefore, there is need to revise the NCC Act of 2003 so that it is in line with this Bill.

Mr Speaker, the same should apply to the Citizens Economic Empowerment Act and the proposed Bill on the Public Private Partnership. I think there is need to revisit those. There is also the proposed Engineering Institution of Zambia Bill which I think will come shortly. All I am saying is that there should be no contradictions or variances.

Sir, let me come to issue number three which is the appeals mechanism. This is very important. Any aggrieved players, especially in the construction industry, must be given a chance to appeal. Some of the tenders given to some contractors are too high. Normally, the lowest bidder is supposed to be given the tender, but, in many cases, you will find that even the highest bidder is given. Therefore, the appeals mechanism, as stated in the Report, should also be factored in this Bill.

Mr Speaker, the inspectorate unit is very welcome, but I also want this to go beyond post commissioning. I think this is where we have lost a lot of money. In addition to the inspectorate unit, I propose that we have a research unit to look at the bid rates that are given. I feel that most of the bid rates are too high and exaggerated.

For example, we are told that to put up a new road, we need K1 billion per kilometre. I have a feeling that if this is analysed properly, we can reduce that rate of K1 billion per kilometer. That is also applicable to bridges. It is about US$2,000 per square metre per deck plan. I have a feeling that if we had a research unit there, we could reduce that figure. With regard to buildings, the highest cost is over US$500 per square metre. If we had a research unit to challenge the people who are bidding, I am sure we could save a lot of money.

Sir, I support the idea of imposing sanctions. Any sanctions on the members of the authorities must be applied without fear or favour.

 Therefore, in summary, I can say that there is no doubt that this Bill will minimise corruption, especially in the construction sector and also arrest sub-standard construction.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Mr Kasongo (Bangweulu): Mr Speaker, I have no quarrel with the Bill, especially that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has incorporated the aspect of monitoring. This is key if the Bill is going to achieve its intended objective.

Sir, we are aware that a lot of funds are kept for a long time either at provincial or district level for no reason at all. In most cases, what comes out is the fact that a number of people at provincial and district level hold on to the money for a long period of time for the purposes of stealing it.

Sir, I have always said in this House and elsewhere that most Zambians who hold on to the money are in the habit of stealing it even when the project is at foundation level. That is why you have seen a lot of uncompleted projects. It is important that when the members of the authority settle down, they prepare guidelines which will stipulate that once funds are released to provincial or district centres, they should be spent within that time frame failure to which sanctions must be taken as quickly as possible.

Mr Speaker, you may wish to know that in my own constituency, the hon. Minister of Education released funds to rehabilitate the infrastructure that we have done in February and March this year. The officers kept the money for no apparent reason up to July when I went to confront them because I had that information. The excuse that they gave was that the Tender Board Committee could not sit, and yet members of the Tender Board Committee in districts are very rich.  In this regard, these meetings do not take place simply because some of these officials have developed a culture of stealing that money or allowing the money to accrue interest which they use for personal purposes.

Mr Speaker, you may wish to know that all of us, as elected hon. Members of Parliament, may have examples to give in our respective constituencies about the buildings which have been constructed by all these officials. Even junior officers in the buildings department have put up mansions which they cannot account for. When you compare their pay slips to the mansions that they have put up in our respective districts or constituencies, you wonder whether the monitoring person has been effective or not.

Sir, I would like to implore the hon. Minister to ensure that the authority puts in place mechanisms which will stipulate the time frame within which funds are supposed to be spent. Once funds are not spent, then disciplinary action must be taken. This is the weapon that they use to steal money.

I have said before that however hard working a Government may be, if  there is no control of finances, accountability and integrity on the part of those that have been given the responsibility of disbursing the funds, the nation cannot develop economically. As the Government of the day, as long as funds are ending up in the hands of a few individuals, the country will never move forward.

Mr Speaker, I wonder what role is being played by the Integrity Committee. The committee was put in place by His Excellency, the late President Mwanawasa, SC, last year. However, there is nothing that they are doing. A lot of projects have not been completed, and yet, the Integrity Committee, which is looking at the same projects, is in existence.

 This is why I share the sentiments expressed by my colleagues that in praise of our late Head of State, you ended up overworking him. How can you explain a committee appointed to monitor the performance of those given the responsibility of implementing Government programmes and ensuring that disbursed funds are utilised as quickly as possible failing to monitor the performance and calling themselves an Integrity Committee? The best that one can do is to disband that committee because it has not done anything at all.

Mr Speaker, I support the Bill and I expect the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to ensure that funds, once released to provinces and districts, are spent within the shortest possible time.

 I thank you, Sir.

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, I am indebted to the hon. Members of Parliament who have commented on this Bill. I am also grateful to the Committee which went through this Bill and I hope that they give it their total support. I would like to say that we had information on the presentations by the stakeholders and as we come to the next stage, there are some amendments which we propose to make.

Mr Speaker, on the question of the composition, we did not consider that the board should be constituted as proposed by the Chairman of the Committee. This is because under Clauses 14, 15 and 16, we provide for procurement units in the various institutions. In these clauses, it is clearly indicated that some of the members of these committees shall not be public officers or employees of parastatals. We expect, therefore, that these committees shall invite outsiders who technically know what that parastatal is doing so that they can make an input when we are putting up these tenders. However, we thought that controlling officers in the various ministries as well as the Bank of Zambia and Zambia Revenue Authority, who will give an input on whether taxes are being paid by an entity applying for a very big contract, should continue to constitute the main committee.

Mr Speaker, I would like to thank Hon. Kasongo for clearly reminding us that sometimes funds are released for a project and then held in an account which, perhaps, the Ministry of Finance and National Planning has no control over. We have instituted an arrangement that will ensure that funds for most capital projects will only be released when there is a signed certificate that a particular programme has reached a certain level. Otherwise, we would prefer to keep the money under the Ministry of Finance and National Planning guard until the project has been done.

Therefore, I would like to assure Hon. Kasongo that he will be seeing less of these liquid funds in these commercial banks, not because we do not trust our officers, but because we just believe that this money, sometimes, is used by the commercial banks to make business out of Government money, which is not our role as Government.

Sir, I would like to refer Hon. Kasongo to Section 75, where we have provided a number of offences for deviation from what we are proposing in this Act. Hopefully, as we supervise the projects, as earlier alluded to by Hon. Sinyangwe, as hon. Members of Parliament, if we do find anything that looks suspicious, let us be keepers of these public funds by reporting to any one of the organisations responsible for law and order.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Question put and agreed to and the Bill read a second time.

Committed to a committee of the Whole House.

Committee on Wednesday, 10th September, 2008.





Clause 1 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

CLAUSE 2 ─ (Amendment of section 3)

Mr Mukuma: Madam Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment in Clause 2, on page 3:

(a) in lines 24 and 25 by the deletion of the words “of opinion” after the word “matter” and the substitution therefor of the words “pertaining to employment relationship.”

Amendment agreed to. Clause amended accordingly.

Clause 2, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Clauses 3, 4, 5 and 6 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

CLAUSE 7 – (Amendment of  section 12)

Mr Mukuma: Madam Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment on page 6, in lines 20 to 22 by the deletion of Clause 7.

Question that Clause 7 be deleted agreed to.

Clause accordingly deleted.

Clauses 8 and 9 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

CLAUSE 10 – (Amendment of  section 18)

Mr Mukuma: Madam Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment in Clause 10, on page 7 in lines 6 to 12 by the deletion of paragraph (h) and the substitution therefor of the following new paragraph:

(h) is an officer of a trade union or trade union secretariat who is not employed outside the trade union or trade union secretariat.

Amendment agreed to. Clause amended accordingly.

Clause 10, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

CLAUSE 11 – (Amendment of  section 21)

Mr Mukuma: Madam Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment in Clause 11 on page 7, in lines 36 to 39 by the deletion of paragraph (a) and the substitution therefor of the following paragraph:

“(a) recommend the suspension of a trade union member of executive board, as the case may be, to the Tripartite Consultative Council constituted under section seventy-nine;”

(b) On page 8, in lines 14 to 16 by the deletion of the words “the Commissioner shall dissolve the executive board of the trade union and request the membership to elect a new executive board” and the substitution therefor of the words “the Commissioner shall recommend the removal of a trade union member dissolution of the Board, as the case may be, to the Tripartite Consultative Labour Council constituted under section seventy-nine”;

Amendment agreed to. Clause amended accordingly.

Clause 11, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 12 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

CLAUSE 13 – (Amendment of  section 46)

Mr Mukuma: Madam Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment on page 8, in lines 24 to 26 by the deletion of Clause 13.

Question that Clause 13 be deleted agreed to.

Clause accordingly deleted.

Clauses 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

CLAUSE 24 – (Amendment of  section 107)

Mr Mukuma: Madam Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment on page 11, in lines 23 to 27 by the deletion of Clause 24.

Question that Clause 24 be deleted agreed to.

Clause accordingly deleted.


Mr Mukuma: Madam Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment on pages 6 to 11 …


Mr Mukuma: Do you understand?


Mr Mukuma: … by the renumbering of clauses 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23 as clauses 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, and 21 respectively.

Amendment agreed to. Clause amended accordingly.

Pages 6 to 11, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Title agreed to.

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.



[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

The following Bill was reported to the House as having passed through Committee with amendments:

The Industrial and Labour Relations (Amendment) Bill, 2008

Report Stage on Wednesday, 10th September, 2008.




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

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1831 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 10th August, 2008.