Debates- Friday, 8th August, 2008

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Friday, 8th August, 2008

The House met at 0900 hours






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

On Tuesday, 12th August, 2008, the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will consider the Motion to adopt the Report of the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs, Governance, Human Rights and Gender Matters.

On Wednesday, 13th August, 2008, the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will consider a Private Member’s Motion to be moved by the Hon. Member for Roan Parliamentary Constituency, Mr C. Kambwili, MP, namely amendment of the Local Government Act.

Madam Speaker, on Thursday, 14th August, 2008, the business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will consider the Motion to adopt the Report of the Parliamentary Select Committee appointed to scrutinise the appointment of Madam Justice Florence Ndepele Mwachande Mumba as Chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Zambia.

On Friday, 15th August, 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. Then, the House will consider any other business that may not have been concluded on Thursday, 14th August, 2008.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.



The Minister of Health (Dr Chituwo): Madam Speaker, I thank you for this opportunity to address this august House on a non-partisan issue; an issue of great national importance.

The information I have for you, today, is on the health of the President of the Republic of Zambia, His Excellency Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC.

Madam Speaker, His Excellency Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, as this House is aware, is ill and lies in Percy Military Hospital in Paris, France. Of great importance, however, is that the Republican President is still alive.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, I wish to submit to this august House that sickness and disease may afflict anyone. I wish to sincerely commend all the people of Zambia, and I must submit that the first family shares my views as well, for uniting in prayer to wish this gallant son of our motherland full restoration of health. In such difficult times, it is extremely important to exhibit unity and oneness in the nation, and on this score, I am proud to report that we, Zambians, have shown the world how united we can be. It is our hope as leaders in the Government that this all-encompassing atmosphere of goodwill will, indeed, continue and be sustained.

Madam Speaker, allow me now to briefly outline in chronological order, the events surrounding the ill health of the Republican President.

In April, 2006, you will recall that His Excellency, Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, suffered a mild stroke during that time. This was the very first stroke that the Republican President suffered. Using medical language, it was classified as mild, meaning that his life was not threatened, but indeed, following his evacuation to and eventual treatment in London, England, he recovered fully from this affliction. Prior to this development, His Excellency, Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, as we all know, suffered from hypertensive.

On 29th June, 2008, while on national duty and as Chairman of the Southern Development Community (SADC), His Excellency suffered another stroke. The hardworking man that our Republican President was, in fact, at the time, was at work. This was on the eve of the African Unity (AU) Summit whilst holding preliminary and consultative meetings in Sharm El-Sheik, Egypt. Whilst meeting the Angolan Prime Minister, His Excellency, Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, suddenly felt sharp chest pains and collapsed, but remained conscious. The meeting was immediately brought to a halt and everyone in the room was touched and emphatic. He was then quickly taken to the Sharm El-Sheik Hospital for urgent medical attention. His condition was stabilised at this hospital, following an operation which was urgently performed to deal with the complications of the stroke.

On 30th June, 2008, as Minister of Health, I was honoured and privileged to have been authorised to travel to Sharm El-Sheik to be part of the team that was with the President.

On 1st July, 2008, the doctors at the Sharm El-Sheik classified the stroke as moderate to severe. In view of this, a decision was made by the attending doctors that he be further evacuated for specialist treatment in France. It was then that His Excellency, Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, was evacuated to a specialised hospital, Percy Military Hospital, in Paris, France for further emergency specialised treatment.

Madam Speaker, to date, the President of the Republic of Zambia, Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, remains admitted to this hospital’s Intensive Care Unit. Let the House be informed and assured that he is receiving the best medical attention possible. He is responding to treatment and the care plan, which the team of specialised doctors have recommended for him and his condition continues to improve gradually.

On 2nd July, 2008, having arrived in France, a series of tests were carried out at the Percy Military Hospital and following this, a decision was made that the operation conducted at the Sharm El-Sheik in Egypt had been adequate and there was no need for another operation.

On 7th July, 2008, the team of specialised doctors in addition to the daily routine, reviewed His Excellency and a minor operation was decided upon in order to further improve his breathing. This operation was successful and enabled the Republican President to breath better thereafter.

On the same day that the Republican President was operated on to improve his breathing, there were rumours that he had died. Further, the rumours were given some credence when what was said to be confirmation of his death was attributed to Zambian Foreign Missions in Pretoria, South Africa, Geneva, Switzerland and Paris. A named radio station in South Africa and Reuters, a global news media organisation with a branch in the same country, broke the news that Zambia’s third President and SADC Chairman, His Excellency Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC had died in a French hospital following a stroke. Further, the BBC broke the same news and so did Sky News that morning.

Madam Speaker, as the country now knows, all these reports were, indeed, false. His Excellency Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC was still alive and to date, he is still alive.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, this misleading, destabilising and sad experience must serve as a very important lesson to all of us, the people of Zambia, that not all that we hear from the foreign media is gospel truth. As a people and parliamentarians, proud to have our own sovereign Government, we must learn to pay attention at all times to what the Government says and based on these statements, trust our own Government.

Madam Speaker, the updates by His Honour the Vice-President were always arrived at after regular briefings from the attending doctors in Paris. They, therefore, reflected the prevailing health status of the President. There is no gain whatsoever in not telling the truth.

Madam Speaker, following the spread of these rumours whose origins remain unclear, the Government sought to guide the nation by telling the truth. This was done in separate statements by myself while in Paris and the Chief Government Spokesperson, Hon. Mike Mulongoti, MP whose statement was broadcast live on the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation and the named local private radio station at midday of 7th July, 2008. Both our statements conveyed the true message that the Republican President’s condition was serious but stable and that he was still receiving the necessary required treatment and care. In fact, later that day, His Honour the Vice-President informed the nation that His Excellency, Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC had undergone another successful operation meant to improve his breathing.

On 17th July, 2008, at the Percy Military Hospital in France, a comprehensive briefing was made by the specialist doctors attending to the Republican President. The briefing was made to the First Lady, the President’s Physician, Dr Lumbwe and myself that the physicians themselves were happy with the progress of the Republican President so far and advised that to fully assess his medical condition, the treatment and care plan that they had put in place needed to be continued and this process called for patience on the part of everyone concerned.

Madam Speaker, the team of specialised doctors further advised that it would only be possible to issue a thorough interim medical report after the treatment and care plan that they had put in place had been implemented for a considerable period of time. However, they did intimate that regular updates based on the reviews would continue to be given.

Madam Speaker, it is my appeal and that of the Government that we allow the President to continue to receive medical treatment that is presently being accorded to him. So far, the treatment and care plan is working, as evidenced by the gradual and continued improvement in his health. During this period, we have no option but to remain prayerful, strong and optimistic.

As the medical doctors in Paris, France endeavour to restore our President’s health, let us remain focused on the noble task that we have at hand, that, as “One Zambia One Nation”, we continue to engage in social and economic developmental programmes for this country. His Excellency Dr Mwanawasa, SC, confidently left His Honour the Vice-President, Mr Rupiah Banda, MP, to continue providing the requisite leadership to our country. There is no doubt that this is what His Excellency the President would be happy to see when he returns.

Madam Speaker, sickness and disease are not selective and may come to any one of us any day. Such conditions, when they befall one of the members of the Zambian family, must move us to urgently and decisively act to their correction. Let the illness of one Zambian fill all of us with the concern and empathy and remind all of us of the need for unity, strength and goodwill as key factors for national success.

Madam Speaker, the President of the Republic of Zambia is indisputably not only a servant of the people of Zambia, but also a family man and, therefore, deserving any other individual human rights, the right of treatment, care, love, respect and dignity.

Madam Speaker, on behalf of the Zambian Government and, indeed, on my own behalf, I wish to express our sincere heartfelt gratitude for all the forms of support that have been given by everyone and the prayers that have come from every Zambian and non-Zambian wishing His Excellency, Dr levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC quick recovery. This show of solidarity is not only touching and humbling but comforting and also strengthening to everyone concerned and also inspires all of us to continue loving one another as a necessary pre-condition for both national and global development.

Madam Speaker, I wish to implore this august House, if so decided, to clearly send its own message of goodwill to the President of the Republic of Zambia, His Excellency Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa. Let the loud unanimity of this House on wishing the Republican President a quick recovery, reverberate in the walk ways and wards of Percy Military Hospital in Paris. Let this House firmly undertake to strengthen the first family and relatives, the attending medical personnel in particular and all the peace loving and hard working people of this great Republic of Zambia in general. Let us all clearly remember that by the nature of our President’s illness, the healing process may be long.

Madam Speaker, in conclusion, I wish to state that when all is said and done, I take particular note, once again, of the prayers of all the Zambians from all walks of life for the Almighty God to answer our prayers for the full restoration of the health of the Republican President, His Excellency Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC.

Madam Speaker, the Government, the people of Zambia and the first family wish to sincerely thank the Egyptian Government and His Excellency President Mubarak himself who not only called for his team of specialised doctors from Cairo, but personally stayed with the first family and our Ministers in Sharma El-Sheik for over two hours and further thank the Heads of State who visited our President. Our profound thanks and appreciation also go to the President of France, His Excellency Sarchozy and his Government for offering specialised care to the Republican President to date.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the statement given by the hon. Minister of Health.

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Madam Speaker, I would like to know if there has been any apology from the people who spread the false rumours.

Dr Chituwo:  Madam Speaker, as far as I am aware, there was an apology. The BBC and Sky News also retracted the news items that I mentioned. I also recall that CNN corrected the wrong news bulletins that they had earlier broadcast to the world.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mrs Kapata (Mandevu): Madam Speaker, Mandevu Constituency joins the country in wishing the President a quick recovery. The nation has been told that the President had a minor operation to correct his breathing. We need to know what type of operation it was, as all operations have names. Was it a tracheotomy or what was it?

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, since the hon. Member of Parliament for Mandevu is a nurse by profession and was a member of my team, I was just wondering weather it really is necessary to share that information. However, since she has asked, the answer is that to improve his breathing, the minor operation that was done under local anesthesia was a tracheotomy.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Colonel Chanda (Kanyama): Madam Speaker, I wish to take this opportunity to thank the hon. Minister of Health for a very comprehensive report on the health of our President. I also wish to thank him for taking the trouble to make the trip to see the President on our behalf. My question is, was there any special message that was delivered to the people of Zambia through the hon. Minister of Health as he went there to see him?

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, I do not understand the question clearly. However, if the question is whether attending physicians, the family and the Government representatives there sent any message to inform the nation, then the answer is yes. We felt obliged that since the Republican President was the property of the people, they had to be informed about what was going on. In my view, we rightly executed that duty through the updates that His Honor the Vice-President shared with the nation. Further, we continued to request for the prayers of the Zambian people in order to strengthen all of us who were with the President.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr C. K. Banda, SC. (Chasefu): Madam Speaker, bearing in mind that all of us are deeply concerned about the condition of our beloved President, will this Government, from now onwards, make regular briefings to keep the Zambians informed on the President’s health, as very few Zambians are able to access the State House Web Site.?

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, that is a very valid point from the hon. Member of Parliament for Chasefu. We have, in addition to the web site, the national radio and print media. I have taken note of the hon. Member’s suggestion, and since the Government spokesperson is here, he will do everything possible to keep the people of Zambia informed. The second issue is with regard to the regularity of the briefings. Indeed, we realised out there in Paris that it was important to keep our people informed and I would like to believe that this is being done.

Madam Speaker, let me caution the House that when one has a serious illness, improvement is at the level were it is detected only by physicians. We, therefore, have to balance between that which is very encouraging at the medical level and that which perhaps, might not be appreciated at the lay level. This, Madam Speaker, is the balance that we have to walk so that this information is as accurate and informative as possible.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mrs Sinyangwe (Matero): Madam Speaker, I also join the people who are wishing the President a quick recovery. We need him for guidance of the country. Hon. Minister, considering that eventually, our President will come back to this country, I would like to find out whether we are putting any measures in place to ensure that we have the doctors who will attend to him and give him the necessary help.

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, the short answer to that question is, yes. The preparations that this Government has been making are generally for any Zambian to access specialised medical treatment. This House was so understanding that it allocated K19 billion in this year’s Budget for the purchase of specialised medical equipment in general. Plans are underway to prepare for the eventual return of our President.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Thank you Madam Speaker. As a medical doctor, and realising that our President has suffered two strokes in a period of two years, what assurance is there that he will survive and come and perform his duty.

Mr Mulyata: Aah! Mukazifunsako vintu vamushe.

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, that is a very difficult question. In the first place, I do not see how a human being can predict whether any patient would recover to any particular extent. I am not in that position and neither are the specialised doctors in Paris able to forecast or prophesy the outcome of our President’s illness. However, as doctors, we do everything possible though now I do not think I am a doctor, but a politician, …


Dr Chituwo: … or perhaps a combination of the two. Doctors do their best and their best is to have their patients’ health fully restored.

Mr D. Mwila: Hear, hear!

Dr Katema (Chingola): Madam Speaker, the President underwent operations on the brain. This is a trauma on the brain. I would like to find out his level of consciousness by way of a Glasgow Coma Scale. This is the criteria we use to find out the improvement of a patient who has had trauma on the brain.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, if it where in a ward round then certainly, the hon. Member of Parliament for Chingola would discuss the significance of the Glasgow Coma Scale, but for our nation, suffice it to say that our President is heavily sedated. Therefore, the application of the Glasgow Coma Scale does not come in place.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Madam Speaker, the people of Kabwata are with the rest of the nation in prayer for the President’s health the same way as the PF has been. I would like to thank the hon. Minister for presenting that statement on the health of the President. However, could the hon. Minister explain to this House why the President, after being taken ill in Egypt was flown to France rather than to London where he had been attended to when he had his first stroke in April, 2006?

Secondly, while the hon. Minister is asking for calm and unity in Zambia, could he state, on behalf of his Government, that the Government Ministers, themselves, will not issue statements that tend to give an impression that there is division in the Government and tension in the country?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, the decision to have our President flown to France rather than London was arrived at after consultations with the physicians in London. Percy Military Hospital is renowned for this kind of management. Therefore, it was after these consultations and consideration that the hospital had attended to patients with a similar condition in the past that the decision was arrived at. The primary objective was for the President to have the best care possible, and hence the decision to fly him to Paris instead of London.

Madam Speaker, as regards the second part of the question, I think that can only be answered by the Government spokesperson or, indeed, the acting President. As far as I can see, I have not heard of these alleged statements that indicate division within Cabinet or the Government.

Mr Lubinda: R. B. Company.

Dr Chituwo: I am very confident that, as can be seen, we have continued to serve the people of Zambia as President Mwanawasa would have loved to.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs J. M. Phiri (Munali): Madam Speaker, on behalf of the people of Munali, I would also like to add my voice in wishing His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC a quick recovery.

Madam Speaker, at the same time, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Health the condition in which the President was in when he was taken both to the Egyptian Hospital and Percy Military Hospital in France. Was he conscious or unconscious?

Madam Deputy Speaker: I think the statement indicated that.

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


The Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Simbao): Madam Speaker, I rise with gratitude to make a ministerial statement and inform this august House about the status of Dr Kaunda, our first Republican President’s house and subsequently those of our second and third presidents’ residences.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: Madam Speaker,

The estate the first Republican President’s residence comprises the following structures:

(a) main residence comprising six bedrooms of which four are self-contained;
(b) three staff houses with three bedrooms each;
(c) laundry building; and 
(d) electric fence and guard house.

The residence is situation in the State Lodge area on a plot approximately twenty-five hectares. The contract was awarded to Met-weld Fabrication in June, 2004 at a cost of K4, 787,951,335 with a contract period of thirty-six weeks to be completed in December, 2005.

The disbursements of funds to the project in 2004, 2005 and 2006 were unreliable and inadequate which led to several work stoppages and extended construction time by another two years and almost doubling the costs.

However, funding improved tremendously in 2007 and 2008 which enabled us to finish most works and prepare for the handover which is now scheduled for September due to the need to complete specialist works which are being done by subcontractors, including a limited CCTV.

The final cost of the project is estimated at K7,478,084,880.78.

Madam Speaker, the Government is over joyous and proud that we have finally managed to build a House for former first President Dr Kenneth Kaunda.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: It is our hope and joy that Dr Kaunda will now enjoy his retirement in his own home. It is also our hope that Dr Kaunda will enjoy the comfort and peace of his new home.

The Government completed the designs of the second Republican President’s residence which the second Republican President was availed for scrutiny. This project is on hold because we are looking for land on which to build former President Dr F. T. J. Chiluba a home.

Madam Speaker, initially, a plot was identified near Baobab School along Kafue Road and was shown to Dr Chiluba. He accepted it but it could not be allocated to him as it was later discovered to be on title to some other people. The Government is currently looking for an alternative location which Dr Chiluba may approve of.

Madam Speaker, the Government has only done sketch designs for the third Republican President’s residence which need the President’s consideration before any further design works can be done. Land to build the house has been found and approved by His Excellency, Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, for the project. We hope to start working on his house once he returns to the country, an occurrence which we remain prayerful for.

Madam Speaker, at this juncture, I would like to thank the hon. Members of Parliament for the support they have given my Ministry by way of guidance and positive criticism on this issue. I would also like to encourage the House to show the same interest in the building of the second and third Presidents’ houses.

Madam Speaker, I would also like to encourage all the hon. Members of Parliament to take interest in the many other projects the Government is carrying out. As you know, this year’s Budget is a massive K13 trillion and it would do well if, at the end of the year, both the Opposition and the Government can point to on-going projects and completed ones.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Speaker, in conclusion, may take this opportunity to invite the appropriate Parliamentary Committee to go and see the first President’s home, possibly this afternoon or at their convenient time.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapeya (Mpika Central): Madam Speaker, could the hon. Minister inform this House where the third President’s house is located.

Mr Simbao: Madam Speaker, the location of the third President’s residence is along the Great East Road between Silverest School and Barn Motel.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the Hon. Minister what will happen to the property of the second Republican President once he is convicted of any crime.


Madam Deputy Speaker: The question is not referring to the house.


Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hard working hon. Minister of Works and Supply …

Hon. Member: Hard working Government.

Mr Hamududu: …and Government why it has taken seventeen years, which is a very long time, to build a house for the founding president of our country, Dr Kenneth David Kaunda.

Mr Simbao: Madam Speaker, as the hon. Member for Bweengwa knows, during Dr Kaunda’s time, there were no plans to build a house for the president. However, when Dr Chiluba came into power, a plot was found for him, which, unfortunately, was taken away due to other problems. However, Dr Mwanawasa, SC, decided to give him another plot and we have completed the construction of the residence.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka (Namwala): Madam Speaker, I appreciate the construction of stately houses for the former presidents of this country. I would like to find out from the collective wisdom of this Government whether, in choosing to build houses as a condition of service for the three presidents, it is not being selective in applying those conditions of service. I am asking this because in their exercise of duties as Heads of State, they have, under them Vice-Presidents, Speakers of the National Assembly and, indeed, other colleagues who worked with them in the development of this country, but who have been totally left out in the provision of housing. Is the collective wisdom of this Government appropriate in being so selective to only one individual at the top, leaving those who worked under him?


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Simbao:  Madam Speaker, I must say that we are a Government of laws and we are doing what the law requires us to do. The law, as it stands today, only caters for the presidents and not anyone else. The law was made in this House and if it needs to be changed, it will have to be changed by this House.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Madam Speaker, the first President chose his preferred land and this land is believed to be on title by Legas Holdings who are going to build houses for resale. Why can the Government not buy off the portion of land from Legas Holdings for the second Republican President so that he can get the land that he prefers?

Mr Simbao: Madam Speaker, may it be clarified once and for all that the land belongs to someone and the Government has no jurisdiction over that land. Therefore, if the owner of the land does not want to give it up, it does not matter whether you offer K30 trillion. There is nothing that the Government can do.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi (Luena): Madam Speaker, the extent of property described by the hon. Minister is fairly extensive, costing over K7 billion.  The maintenance of that property will cost a lot of money. What arrangement is the Government making to ensure that the property maintenance costs, rates and insurance are taken care of, taking into account that those sorts of costs cannot be met in the presidential pension, which at the moment, is meager.

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

Madam Speaker, the maintenance of these houses will be catered for by the Government because even though there are handed over to the beneficiaries, they are still considered Government property. Therefore, the houses will be taken care of by the Government until probably the Government decides to stop taking care of the former presidents.

 I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister of Works and Supply is aware that the current Act on Retirement of Presidency provides that a house is built for a retired president. In view of the fact that the Government wants to build a house for the third President who is in office, when is the Government going to bring a bill to this House to amend that Act because what we are trying to do now is illegal.

Could the hon. Minister also comment on the rumours going round to the effect that through the Ministry of Works and Supply, the Government offered the second Republican President a plot and discussed it with the officials at your Ministry and yourself, but then you have taken it away from him and are trying to create an impasse so that you will not build him a house that he is entitled to.

Mr Simbao: Madam Speaker, I will start with the second question that the hon. Member for Luapula has asked.

Madam Speaker, I do not know what his source of information is about any one planning not to build Dr Chiluba a house. If he needs to know, Dr Chiluba has the plans for his house which he has he is not going to review until he approves the land on which it must be built.

As we have explained, land in his area of priority is not available. Therefore, we are looking for land which he can accept before approving the drawings. Therefore, we are unable to move because he has not approved the drawings and we have not yet found land of his choice. Therefore, there is no one who is denying Dr Chiluba a house. Please, whoever is the source of information, the hon. Member should go back to him or her and tell him or her that he or she is not telling the truth. The Government regards the former President as a beneficiary under the law that takes care of the President’s homes. So, we are building him a house according to the law.

 I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Works and Supply whether the Ministry has started working on President Mwanawasa’s house because I think it is not fair to shove a former Head of State into a small house in Kabulonga for three, four to five years even seventeen years after leaving State House while the Government is making plans for them. Now that we know that come 2011, President Mwanawasa will leave office, what is the Government doing so that when he leaves State House, he goes into a house of his plan built on land of his choice so that he does not suffer the inconvenience of being squeezed into a  tiny houses in Kabulonga.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Member for Katombola for her concern. That is how it is supposed to be.

Madam Speaker, I have already mentioned that we have already provided the third President the drawings. What happens is that we make the drawings and the President makes changes so that, at least, the house has some attachment of their own input. Therefore, we do depend on them. We gave these drawings almost three, four or five months ago to the third President to which he wants to make changes. I also said that we were waiting for his return. That is when we shall go back to him, again. We showed him the land and I explained that he accepted it. Therefore, for him, there is no problem. The problem is on the second President because we are still looking for land which he can accept.

According to the law, after six months of leaving office, we should provide a former President a home or a rented home. As you know, we do not want these people to live in rented houses, hence the reason we have also decided to start working on the third President’s house so that he does not go into a rented house.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mooya: Madam Speaker, the surrounding and the building should blend in well. I would like to know if there has been any landscaping done because the last time I went there, towards the end of last year, the surrounding was not suitable for a former president. Therefore, I would like to know if the landscaping has also been worked on.

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

Madam, yes, landscaping is being attended to. In fact, I would like to report to the House that at the moment, the actual construction of the house was completed about a month ago and it has been locked up. No one goes in there any more. It is just waiting for the family to move in. What is still going on is landscaping and though most of it, about 75 per cent, has been done. We hope to complete the landscaping by 15th of August, 2008.

This afternoon, you are invited to go and see what is there and you are going to see that a lot has been done on landscaping.

 I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!




264. Mr D. Mwila (Chipili) asked the Minister of Communications and Transport:

(a) what the composition of the Zambia Telecommunications Company Limited (ZAMTEL) Board was;

(b) when the current board was constituted; and

(c) when a new board would be constituted.

The Deputy Minister of Communications and Transport (Mr Mubika): Madam Speaker, I would like to inform the House that the board members include members from the University of Zambia, Tourist Department, Ministry of Communications and Transport, two financial institutions, the private sector, NGOs, the bank and the union.

Madam Speaker, the current board was constituted on 7th January, 2008. The tenure of office is three years. Therefore, the new board will be constituted in 2011.

 I thank you, Madam Speaker.


265. Mr Kambwili (Roan) asked the Minister of Communications and Transport:

(a) what the total number of motor vehicles in Zambia was from 2004 to 2007, year by year;

(b) how many of the motor vehicles above were insured by insurance companies operating in Zambia; and

(c) whether the Government had any plans to introduce minimum smoke output/emission regulations for motor vehicles before they are certified roadworthy in order to mitigate environmental pollution and global warming

Mr Mubika: Madam Speaker, the total number of private motor vehicles which were registered from 2004 to 2007 is as follows:

 Year      Number of Registered Motor Vehicles

 2004            111,460
 2005            140,255
 2006            183,701
 2007            230,232

The number of motor vehicles insured by insurance companies operating in Zambia is as follows:

 Year     Number of Motor Vehicles Insured

 2004              55,730
 2005              70,128
 2006            110,221
 2007            200,339

Madam Speaker, the Government has plans to introduce minimum control of motor vehicle emissions in line with the United Nations guidelines.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kambwili: Madam Speaker, insuring motor vehicles in Zambia is a mandatory requirement. From the figures that we have been given, it shows that most of the vehicles are not insured. What is the Government doing to make sure that it compels all motor vehicle owners to insure their vehicles?

The Minister of Communications and Transport (Ms Siliya): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member of Parliament for that question. I think what is important to note is that first of all, even if you say that in 2004, 111,460 vehicles were brought into the country but only 55,730 vehicles were deemed to be insured in that year, he must understand that some vehicles go off the road because of accidents and others just do not become road worthy. However, I do agree that it is important that vehicles are insured. Firstly, this is the responsibility of the individuals who buy these vehicles. They must ensure that the vehicles are insured because it is for their own safety.

As Ministry of Communications and Transport under Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA), we realise that this is a mammoth task. We have to do everything possible to try and put up a big campaign to try and get Zambian drivers to understand the importance of driving insured vehicles. Insurance still seems to be something we are grappling with in this country. People do not even have life assurance let alone motor vehicle insurance. We are working under RTSA, but also working with the enforcement agencies such as the police to ensure that vehicles that are not insured should be impounded. However, we have to put up a big campaign and appreciate the hon. Member’s question.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Madam Speaker, when Parliament passed a law to introduce RTSA, in effect, it declared the Road Traffic Commission redundant. Can the hon. Minister state why, to date, there are still some officers operating under the old commission and thereby competing for space with officers of RTSA? If she may also wish to take time to confirm or deny the fact that those 5,000 booklets containing receipts for change of registration of motor vehicles where found to have been sent through the system without them being accounted for by the Accountant General. If she confirms, can she also state what RTSA is doing to ensure that those books are withdrawn because we are losing revenue as result of those books?

Madam Deputy Speaker: The hon. Minister may wish to respond to that question if she has the answers.

Ms Siliya: Madam Speaker, the Government’s vision in terms of introducing RTSA under the Road Maintenance Initiative, was to try and offer, in an effort to harmonise the services that are offered to the public, a better service because we realised that the public pays user fees for these services that are being offered under RTSA. Now, RTSA was just recently constituted and we realise that we have teething problems. We do have some staff there who are operating outside the RTSA framework. In fact some of them are now being deployed to the Ministry of Communications and Transport. We are still awaiting others to be redeployed elsewhere. However, even at RTSA itself, we need to get some officers who still have not been absorbed by RTSA to be absorbed because RTSA still has some vacancies. They still need a lot of people to work all around the country.

Therefore, these are teething problems, as we moved from one programme to another. I think the public should just bear with us as we are doing everything possible to ensure that RTSA becomes fully operational.

As regards the second question, again we are having teething problems in the sense that we are trying to automate RTSA processes. Currently, almost all the centres around the country are automated. However, the change over from manual to fully automation has not taken place. There are still some processes that are being handled manually. That is where you are finding these gaps.

I am not aware of the exact details of what the hon. Member of Parliament is talking about with regard to the 5,000 booklets, but if this has happened, I am sure that we are going to do everything possible to rectify the situation.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


266. Mr Kambwili asked the Minister of Communications and Transport why the rates charged by mobile phone operators in Zambia were higher than those in neighbouring countries.

Mr Mubika: Madam Speaker, the cost of telecommunications, especially mobile communications is dependent on many factors such as mode of transmission, population, demography, penetration rates and subscriber levels. In Zambia, the transmission mode is still through satellite communication is which still an expensive way of communication.. Countries such as Kenya, South Africa and those in East and North Africa transmit their communications through fibre optic cables which is much cheaper and brings the cost of telecommunications down significantly. Further, the economies of scale in Zambia as regards subscriber levels are still low. As such, mobile service providers have to charge higher rates in order to recoup their investment in expensive infrastructure. Once ZAMTEL completes laying the fibre optic cable, the tariffs for mobile phone services are likely to significantly come down.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.{mospagebreak}


267. Mr Imenda (Lukulu East) asked the Minister of Lands:

(a) how the K500 million meant for surveying land in Lukulu Boma had been utilised;

(b) what percentage of land had so far been surveyed; and

(c) whether there was any Council land that had not been surveyed and, if so, why.

The Minister of Lands (Mr Machila): Madam Speaker, the Lukulu District Council had applied for the sum of K1.5 billion to undertake the development of Kashitu Township in 2004. Following the consideration of the application, the Land Development Committee approved the sum of K500,000,000.00 for the following works: road network, water and sanitation and the surveying of the area earmarked for development. The Council, however, wrote to the Ministry requesting to use the funds for the preparation of layout plans as well as the surveying and beaconing of 830 plots. In addition, the Council was supposed to open up roads in the area earmarked for development according to their implementation plan. Madam Speaker, to date the Council has surveyed and beaconed 555 plots. However, a total of 275 plots have not been surveyed, as the plots are situated on a portion of land disputed by the local community and the matter is before the Barotse Royal Establishment for a decision based on a Gazette Notice Statutory Instrument No. 74 of 1984 which specifies the area as State land.

Madam Speaker, 830 plots were supposed to be surveyed and out of these 555 have been surveyed, accounting for approximately 67 percent of the total work. The remaining work constitutes 275 plots which are on the disputed piece of land I alluded to earlier. This accounts for 33 percent of work yet to be undertaken.

In response to part (c) of the Question, as stated earlier, 275 plots are situated on a portion of land under dispute and have not yet been surveyed. Progress in this regard will only be registered once the Barotse Royal Establishment has made a decision as mentioned earlier.

I thank you, Madam.


268. Mr Kambwili asked the Minister of Communications and Transport:

(a) what the recorded turnover for the following companies was from 2001 to 2007, year by year:

(i) Celtel Zambia Limited;
(ii) Cell Z; and
(iii) MTN.

(b) how much net profit each company above earned during the same period;

(c) how much was invested in local communities by the companies above under their corporate social responsibility programmes; and

(d) which sporting activities were sponsored by the companies at (a) above.

Ms Siliya: Madam Speaker, the turnover recorded by ZAMTEL from 2001 to 2007 was as follows:

Year   Amount (K)
2001 251,139
2002 290,270
2003 339,232
2004 324,592
2005 341,685
2006 365,783
2007 354,178

Madam Speaker, you will notice that there was a continuous increase in the turnover over the years. In terms of net profits, between 2001 and 2007, ZAMTEL registered the following profit year by year:

Year   Amount (K)
2001 10,813
2002 5,869
2003 25,836
2004 14,679
2005 14,404
2006 61,000
2007 125,836 Loss

Madam Speaker, I do not have the actual figures for MTN and CELTEL in terms of their turnover or profits, but, obviously from the re-investments we are seeing from the two companies, they must be doing well in terms of turnover and profits.

Madam Speaker, in reply to part (c) of the Question, I am aware, as much everyone else, that the three companies, namely ZAMTEL, MTN and CELTEL are investing substantial amounts of money in terms of corporate responsibility. ZAMTEL, in the last five years, spent close to K2 billion, particularly in terms of supporting sport such as football. Madam Speaker, if the hon. Member wants further details about the corporate responsibilities of these companies, I suggest that he visits their corporate managers to find out the details.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Kambwili: Madam Speaker, companies are regulated by the Government and as such, I would like the hon. Minister to assure us that she will go out and collect the information that we asked so that this House can be correctly informed. It is not my duty to go to ZAMTEL. I have asked a question in Parliament and I want her to assure us that she will come back and give us the figures.

Ms Siliya: Madam Speaker, the hon. Member is correct in saying that the Government regulates companies, but we do not run them. .The Government is not the public relations officer for CELTEL or MTN and if the hon. Member is interested in finding out how much money CELTEL spends on sponsoring various activities in the community, he as a responsibility citizen and as a leader, is welcome to go and find out this information.

I thank you, Madam.


269. Mr Chisala (Chilubi) asked the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services:

(a) how many diploma holder journalists had been recruited since the commencement of the Restructuring Programme in 2005; and

(b) how many districts had staff who were diploma holders, particularly at the district information officer level.

The Deputy Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services (Mr D. Phiri): Madam Speaker, the Ministry undertook partial restructuring in 2005 where only the Ministry Headquarters and the Zambia National Information Services (ZANIS) Department were restructured. Under this phase, fifteen diploma holder journalists have been recruited at ZANIS.

Currently, under the old structure, there are thirty-five districts with information officers who are diploma holders.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Chisala: Madam Speaker, I would like to learn from the hon. Minister why his Ministry has lamentably failed to send a district information officer to Chilubi which has remained without an information officer since 1995.

Mr D. Phiri: Madam Speaker, it is not only Chilubi that currently does not have an information officer. We are currently restructuring and it is through this process of restructuring that we will fill the vacancies at the district level. We are working very closely with the Public Service Management Division (PSMD) who have now authorised us to employ information officers in the districts. We hope that all things being equal, we should have information officers in place in most of these districts by the end of this year.

I thank you, Madam.


270. Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives:

(a) what the staff establishment of the Zambia Institute of Animal Health in Mazabuka was from 2001 to 2007, year by year;

(b) what the enrolments for first year students were in the period at (a) above; and

(c) what the budgetary allocations and actual releases to the institute were in the period above, year by year.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Mulonga): Madam Speaker, the staff establishment for the Zambia Institute of Animal Health is forty-five civil servants and twenty-eight support staff. Currently, there are nineteen civil servants and sixteen classified daily employees. The following is the staff establishment from 2001 to 2007:

 Year   No. of Staff 
2001   23
2002   23
2003   23
2004   23
2005   25
2006   33
200  7 33

 Madam Speaker, as for part (b) of the Question, the enrolment for the first year students in the period above were:

Year    Enrolment
2001   Nil
2002   45
2003   Nil
2004   61
2005   54
2006   68
2007   Nil 

Madam Speaker, with regard to part (c) of the Question, the budgetary allocations and actual releases to the institute during the period above were as follows:

For 2001 and 2002, I may ask the House just to forgive us, we are still compiling the data and we will come back to the House to give the figures for the two years, but for the rest of the years the figures are as follows:

Year  Actual Releases

2003    121,395,552.00 
2004      71,411,464.00
2005    257,105,821.00
2006    325,557,347.00
2007    453,257,907.45
Total          1,228,728,091.45

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Nkombo: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has not given me the actual amount disbursed to this college for the period that I desired to know. However, my question is, how much importance the Government is attaching to this college, considering that we have serious challenges in the province regarding the animal diseases such as Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) as well as Contagious Bovine Plural Pneumonia (CBPP).

Mr Mulonga: Madam Speaker, as a Government, we attach very serious importance to the district health institution. That is why, despite enrolling students for the college every after two years, we have realised, as a Ministry, that we have a problem in the Southern Province and in Zambia as a whole with regard to animal disease and had to increase the emoluments in 2004, 2005 and 2006 so that we enrol yearly to increase the number of workers in the field to help in the management of the disease.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Major Chizhyuka (Namwala): Madam Speaker, the Chitongo vaccine, which is a vaccine associated with corridor disease which devastated the livestock of this country, was produced at this institution. Unfortunately, this vaccine is now being produced in Malawi and not by the originator. Are there any plans by the Ministry to start producing the Chitongo vaccine in this country so that we save the livestock? Can we resume the production of the Chitongo vaccine in Mazabuka to save the country from corridor disease?

Mr Mulonga: Madam Speaker, what the hon. Member of Parliament has alluded to is true, and as Government, we are taking serious consideration, when resources are available, to resume production of the vaccine in the country so that it is cheaper to procure. However, I cannot assure the House whether this will be done today or tomorrow, but when resources will be made available.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


271. Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola) asked the Minister of Energy and Water Development:

(a) what harvesting excess rain water meant;

(b) what the advantages of harvesting excess rain water were;

(c) how many countries in the SADC region were involved in harvesting excess rain water; and

(d) when a national policy on harvesting excess rain water to be utilised in times of drought and also boost irrigation farming country-wide would be formulated.

The Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Development (Ms Lundwe): Madam Speaker, rain water harvesting means gathering, capturing or accumulating and storing rain water in surface or underground reservoirs for future use which can provide drinking water, water for domestic use, water for livestock, irrigation and also provide a way to replenish ground water levels.

Rain water falling from roof tops or roof gutters is collected using buckets, drums as storage tanks.

As for part (b) of the Question, the advantages of rain water harvesting are as follows:

(i) water is captured in times of abundance and used in times of scarcity;
(ii) where a storage tank is used, water is readily available for household use;
(iii) in places were water is scarce, this technology makes water available for irrigation of small gardens and for animals to drink; and
(iv) rain water harvesting technologies are simple to install and operate.

With regard to part (c) of the Question, all the countries in the SADC Region are involved in rain water harvesting.

As for part (d) of the Question, the Government has seen rain water harvesting as a way to complimenting rain-fed agriculture. Strategies of how to implement this technology have already been provided for in the National Water and the Irrigation Policies.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mrs Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister how much rain was saved in the last two years that we had floods in Zambia.

The Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Konga): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that question, except that I find it difficult to know how much rain has been saved. The question really is how much rain has been saved. I believe she intended to ask how much of the rain water was harvested because you do not save rain.


Mr Konga: Well, as the hon. Deputy Minister has indicated, the Government has put in place measures to harvest all or most of the rain water that falls on this country. I cannot just specify how much water was saved this year after the floods of last year, but all the dams in the Southern Province and all the other catchment areas throughout the country were filled up. Whereas at an appropriate time, may be, we will come and give the volumes of the water saved.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.{mospagebreak}


272. Mr I. Banda (Lumezi) asked the Minister of Energy and water Development:

(a) how many chiefs in Lumezi parliamentary Constituency had benefited from the Electrification Exercise using solar power; and

(b) when the Electrification Exercise at (a) above will be extended to the other chiefs in the constituency.

The Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Sichilima): Madam Speaker, the following chiefs have benefited from the Electrification Exercise using the Solar Energy Programme being implemented by the Rural Electrification Authority:

(i) Zumwanda;
(ii) Kazembe;
(iii) Chitungulu;
(iv) Mwanya;
(v) Chikomeni; and 
(vi) Mwasemphangwe.

Madam Speaker, the second part of the question has been answered since all the chiefs in the constituency have benefited.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr I. Banda: Madam Speaker, is the supply of solar power to these chiefs part of the Rural Electrification Programme or the Government will still consider them when this programme starts?

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, the Rural Electrification Master Plan will consider various options of providing electricity to the citizens of this country.

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, the Rural Electrification Master Plan will consider various options of providing electricity to the citizens of this country. The options of providing electricity are the conventional hydro-power. As I indicated in my ministerial statement on Tuesday, other options will also be considered, among which will be solar power, grid extension, biomass and any other forms of energy. Therefore, where it will be considered appropriate to improve on the existing forms of energy, that will be done. In areas where it will be considered that the form of providing energy is adequate then the status quo would obtain. For the moment, the chiefs have solar power which they use at their palaces and in future, where grid extension will be required, such energy will be provided to the other rural growth centres.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Dr Kalumba (Chienge): Madam Speaker, the answer by the hon. Minister suggests a commitment to improve the living conditions of our chiefs. Is there a policy commitment that considers the provision of electricity energy to palaces in the context of improving the palaces themselves?

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that question. Though, first of all, there is no specific policy commitment by the Government to target chiefs, specifically to improve their quality of life by way of providing them with energy from the Ministry of Energy and Water Development’s point of view, I think that is being done by the Ministry of Local Government and Housing.

Needless to say, the mere fact that the Government has made available to their royal highnesses energy either in the form of solar power, solar hob systems or indeed connecting to the existing grid, is evidence itself of improving the quality of life for their royal highnesses. Prior to this, the palaces of their royal highnesses were in darkness. By providing them with either solar hob systems or electricity by connecting to the national grid, this tremendously improves the quality of life for their royal highnesses and I hope this gesture is appreciated as such.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether the Rural Electrification Programme is temporarily on hold or has been slowed down for supposedly obvious reasons.

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, once again, I will play like a broken record and request hon. Members to be attentive when the Executive is giving ministerial statements because I had hoped that this had been extensively covered by my ministerial statement. First of all, I do not understand what is implied by ‘slowdown or hold’ because I indicated in the ministerial statement that the Government had identified, throughout the country and in all the constituencies, 1217 growth centres which will be connected and used as a vehicle for stimulating economic development in these parts of the country.

Following questions by some hon. Members yesterday, I also indicated that there are packages throughout the country, grouped by province, which will act as a vehicle for implementing these projects. I think I mentioned one such growth centre in the Southern Province which will come on board in 2026. There are other growth centres which are coming on board this year and others will come on board next year.

The intention of the master plan is such that we provide electricity, not in one year, but as is contained in the Vision 2030 from 2008 to 2030. So based on the classification that has been made which is also based on the economic rate of return for the growth centres, that is when the various growth centres in the country will be electrified. I hope this puts the matter to rest.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Before I ask the next hon. Member to speak, I would like to urge you hon. Members to lower your voices as you continue to consult with each other.

Major Chizhyuka: Madam Speaker, in as much as we understand the criteria used to determine the growth centres with regard to the provision of rural electricity, what criteria is being used to determine which areas in the country should come first and which should come last. I understand that some areas must come on board in 2026.

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that question. There are various criteria that are taken into account in determining which growth centre takes first position and which takes any other position, and these were highlighted yesterday in the ministerial statement. I, however, can clarify once again. The critical issue is the internal rate of return and the economic rate of return. The purpose of this project on rural electrification is to stimulate economic growth in the rural areas. That is the primary objective. Therefore, to stimulate economic activity, there are economic indicators that determine which area has higher potential and might have a spill-over effect to the neighbouring areas. This, and also factors like proximity to existing infrastructure which can quickly prompt connectivity, determines classification of the various growth centres.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.


273. Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma) asked the Minister of Communications and Transport whether the Njanji Commuter Train that used to operate between Chilenje and Matero would be resuscitated and, if so, when.

Mr Mubika: Madam Speaker, the process to resuscitate the Njanji Commuter Passenger Train started in 2007. The Zambia Development Agency advertised for the rehabilitation and operation of the Njanji Commuter Train in 2007. The bids were evaluated and a preferred bidder has since been identified. The Zambia Development Agency has constituted a team which will commence negotiations with the successful bidder. Thereafter, the successful bidder will be expected to commence the rehabilitation of the line.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Lubinda: Madam Speaker, the resuscitation of the Commuter Railway Line was subject of various motions of debate in this House, including the one which was moved by the hon. Member of Parliament for Matero, two years ago. We are now told that some progress that has been made to this effect. Could the hon. Minister kindly use this House to inform the nation at large the preferred bidder who was selected so that we can hold them accountable for not working on the commuter railway line rather than keeping that name in secrecy. Could the hon. Minister, please, disclose who that bidder is.

Ms Siliya: Madam Speaker, I appreciate the concerns by the hon. Member of Parliament for Kabwata in the delay in beginning the operations of the Njanji Commuter Train. A bidder has not yet been selected and the only reasons we delayed in announcing the bidder and discussions with the bidder is that at the point that these discussions were about to begin, the Chairman then was appointed to the Bench, Judge Wood. Therefore, he had to be replaced by another Chairperson to the technical team. After the negotiations, a new Chairperson was appointed for the negotiating process with the bidder. Once this process is through, we will be very happy to make the announcement to the nation about the company that was chosen as the preferred bidder.

I thank you, Madam.


274. Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi) asked the Minister of Communications and Transport:

 (a) when the Chipata-Muchinji Railway Line would be completed and become fully operational; and
(b) what the estimated cost of the project at completion was.

Mr Mubika: Madam Speaker, the Chipata-Muchinji Railway Line will be completed and become fully operational before the end of 2008. The estimated cost of the Chipata-Muchinji Railway Line project is K25 billion.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Mukanga: Madam Speaker, looking at the viability of this project, I am wondering why the Government decided to use old slippers which are over 100 years old from the Luanshya-Ndola Railway Line to be put on this Mchinji project.

Ms Siliya: Madam Speaker, if the hon. Member of Parliament has been following the reports in the media, one of the reasons there has been a delay in the completion of this project is that it is a part of the K3 trillion Budget for this year because we are using concrete slippers. Therefore, when there was a shortage of cement, we had to halt the works. Please, be assured that we are using concrete slippers for this project.

I thank you, Madam.

Business was suspended from 1045 hours until 1100 hours.



275. Mr Mukanga asked the Minister of Communications and Transport:

(a) how much revenue was collected from the following mobile phone service providers for erecting communication tower masts countrywide in 2007.

(i) Celtel Zambia Limited;
(ii) MTN; and
(iii) Cell Z under the Zambia Telecommunications Communications Company Limited;

(b) how much revenue was raised by the mobile phone service providers at (a) in  2006 and 2007; and

(c) how much money was spent by each mobile phone service provider at (a) on community social support in the same period.

Mr Mubika: Madam Speaker, the response is as follows:

(a) Service Provider  K’ million 2006  K’ million 2007
 Celtel Zambia Limited 685,286,000,000  1,004,091,000,000
 MTN Zambia Limited    26,794,573,440     210,006,750,000
 ZAMTEL   365,783,000,000     354,178,000,000
 Total            1,077,863,573,440  1,568,275,750,000

(b) Service Provider  K’ million 2006  K’ million 2007
 Celtel Zambia Limited  17,062    1,483
 MTN Zambia Limited   -    -
 ZAMTEL        247      228

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Mukanga: Madam Speaker, I would like to find out what the Government is doing to ensure that it protects its residents from the high tower masts that are erected country wide because in other countries, people are provided with window sheets to protect them from the rays. What is the Government doing to protect the residents from this?

Ms Siliya: Madam Speaker, we appreciate the concerns by the hon. Member of Parliament. The Communications Authority of Zambia, which is a regulatory body that works with the mobile phone operators when giving them licences and also with the Ministry of Communications and Transport in the Department of Civil Aviation, has experts who determine where these masts should be located.

I do not have the technical answer at the moment on what should be done, but it is something that we intend to follow up and ensure that our citizens are not at any risk. However, I am sure that we have competent people in the Aviation Department as well as the Communications Authority of Zambia who have allowed the mobile phone operators to put up over 300 masts nationwide so that they can provide a service to the citizens.

I thank you, Madam.


276. Mr Mukanga asked the Minister of Communications and Transport:

(a) when the current learner drivers’ curriculum and the Highway Code were last revised; and

(b) whether there were any plans to revise the learner drivers’ curriculum and the Highway Code to include the needs of the disabled.

Mr Mubika: Madam Speaker, Zambia has had no learner curriculum since independence and, therefore, there was no curriculum to revise. However, the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RATSA), in collaboration with key stakeholders, embarked on developing the learner drivers’ curriculum and the revision of the Highway Code in 2007. The result in learner curriculum was approved by the Technical Education Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Authority (TEVETA). RATSA, in collaboration with TEVETA, is currently in the process of orienting driving schools on the new curriculum and plans are underway to roll it out in the third quarter of 2007.

As regards part (b) of the Question, the revised Highway Code has taken into account special needs, such as those for the disabled.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Mukanga: Madam Speaker, why has it taken the Government this time to consider the disabled when they have been living with us ever since creation?

Ms Siliya: Madam Speaker, we do concede that it has taken quite a while and something should be done about this, but we are already in the process of revising this. Very soon, we will be launching the new revised curriculum and we are working very closely with our partner, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training under the TEVETA programme so that we can have a curriculum that can meet the needs of the country at this point in time.

Thank you, Madam.


277. Mr D. Mwila asked the Minister of Communications and Transport:

(a) whether the Zambia Telecommunications Company Limited (ZAMTEL) had any plans to retrench some of its workers and if so, how many workers were earmarked for retrenchment; and

(b) how much money would be spent on the retrenchment exercise.

Mr Mubika: Madam Speaker, the workforce of the Zambia Telecommunications Company Limited stood at 2,780 by 31st May, 2008. This figure has been steadily declining over the years having peaked at 3,100 in 2001. Separation through natural causes and the decision to freeze recruitment in 2007 have contributed significantly towards the downward trend. However, the size and distribution of the workforce has not been commensurate with the company’s volumes in terms of connectivity, hence the call for organisational restructuring and process re-engineering. This process will be driven by the result of the work being done by the technical team as reported by the hon. Minister yesterday.

With regard to part (b) of the Question, the amount of financial resources to be applied towards this exercise cannot be established at this point in time on account of the fact that the number of employees who will be affected by the right sizing process has not yet been defined.

Thank you, Madam.

Mr D. Mwila: Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether the union has been involved in this process before deciding on the number of people who are supposed to go.

Mr Mubika: Madam Speaker, the answer is, yes.

Thank you, Madam.


278. Mr D. Mwila asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs what the Government position was on the proposal to establish the United States of Africa.

The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs (Professor Phiri): Madam Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that this question appeared during the last sitting. However, here is the answer, again.


Professor Phiri: At the 9th Ordinary Session of the African Assembly of Heads of States and Governments which took place in Accra, Ghana from 1st to 3rd July, 2007, this issue was extensively debated which culminated in the issue of the Accra Declaration on the African Union Government.

Madam Speaker, among the main issues deliberated on, the declaration:

(i) acknowledged the need to accelerate the economic and political integration of the African continent, including the formulation of a Union Government of Africa;
(ii) stated that the ultimate objective of the African Union was to create the United States of Africa; and

(iii) agreed further on the commissioning of studies on the concept of the Union Government, its relations with national governments, its domains of competence, the impact of its establishment on the sovereignty of Member States, its relationship with the regional economic communities, a road map and a time frame for its establishment and the identification of additional measures of financing its activities.

Madam Speaker, the outcome of studies shall be submitted to the African Union (AU) Executive Council to be held during the course of this year. Zambia supports the need for the economic and political integration of Africa. In this regard, the Zambian Government has adopted and supports the Southern African Development Community (SADC) position on the Union Government, that is, the gradual and incremental approach to the establishment of the Union Government which will eventually lead to the United States of Africa.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr D. Mwila: Madam Speaker, assuming that AU Member States agree to form the United States of Africa, what will be the Government’s position? Will you accept going by the collective decision?

The Minister of Foreign Affairs (Mr Pande): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for raising that question. Firstly, let me say that we will cross the bridge when we get there. However, as it is currently, there is no consensus as yet and I am sure at the time when the AU will decide, we would have, as a country, also agreed to move in that direction.

I thank you, Madam.


279. Mr Lubinda asked the Minister of Lands:

(a) which Government agencies gave out land to members of the public between July and October, 2006 and in which locations; and

 (b) under what conditions the land at (a) above was given out.

Mr Machila: Madam Speaker, only one Government agency gave out land between July and October, 2006. This agency is the Office of the Commissioner of Lands. However, other institutions made recommendations to the Commissioner of Lands for land to be allocated. These institutions are the councils, Ministry of Works and Supply and the Department of Resettlement.

In terms of locations, all city councils (Lusaka, Ndola, Kitwe, Livingstone) and  all municipal and district councils in the country recommended applicants for farms, small holdings and stands (residential, commercial and industrial areas)  in their respective jurisdictions.

The Ministry of Works and Supply also recommended civil servants and public service workers who were sitting tenants in some Government pool houses. The details of the properties offered between July and October 2006 are as follows:



CHIBOMBO 11 20  2 1
KABWE 1 41 6  29
KAPIRI   12  
MKUSHI 3  3 1 38
MUMBWA   1  19
SERENJE    2 26

CHINGOLA 3  77  24
KALULUSHI 1 1  2 52
KITWE 26 5 19  218
LUANSHYA 1 33  6 24
MASAITI 4 7  33 28
MUFURILA 1 2 10 1 1
NDOLA 22 67 7 8 169

CHIPATA 30  5 1 30
KATETE   4  3
LUNDAZI    3 18
NYIMBA     9
PETAUKE 2  1  28

KAWAMBWA  1 2  2
MANSA 2  2  158
MWENSE  2 2  
SANFYA 1  2  3


CHONGWE 5 9  27 19
KAFUE 6 25 1 1 35
LUSAKA 153 40 44  556

KABOMPO 1 1 1  
SOLWEZI 1 13 2  128
ZAMBEZI   4  5


ISOKA   1  1
KASAMA 2  1  18
LUWINGU 1  2  
MBALA 1  1  6
MPIKA  1 1  14


CHOMA 1  1  4
GWEMBE   1  
KALOMO 1  1  1
MAZABUKA  41 2  5
MONZE     20
NAMWALA  3   12

KALABO     2
KAOMA  1 1  13
MONGU   3  14
SENANGA   1  12
SESHEKE 1  3  3

Regarding question (b), the land was given under the following conditions:

(i) land that falls under councils was offered to those who qualified under section 3 of the Lands Act, 1995;

(ii) for land in resettlement schemes, the Department recommended applicants who were unemployed, retired or about to retire and those serving under contracts, all of whom must be Zambian citizens and no one is allowed to own more than one plot in a scheme.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Lubinda: Madam Speaker, I wish to thank the hon. Minister for that very elaborate answer. Regarding part (b) of the Question, the hon. Minister indicated the conditions under which land was parceled. He mentioned retirees and those about to retire. I would like to find out whether his Government has any intention of following the establishment in the Government to identify all about to retire employees so that they are given land way before they retire and so that they do not have to  move around searching for land after retirement.

Mr Machila: Madam Speaker, there is no policy to provide land for those who are about to retire. Those who are working, are at liberty to apply for land as and when they are able to develop it. The short answer to the hon. Member’s question is, no.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.



ZAMBIA POLICE (Amendment) BILL, 2008

The Minister of Justice (Mr Kunda, SC.): Madam Speaker, I beg to present a Bill entitled the Zambia Police (Amendment) Bill, 2008. The object of this Bill is to rationalise the powers of the Police Public Complaints Authority in relation to those of the Police and Prisons Service Commission regarding the discipline of police officers and to remove the power of the Police Public Complaints Authority to direct the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Inspector-General of Police, the Anti-Corruption Commission or any other relevant body or authority and to take specified action against a police officer and substitute it with a power to make recommendations and provide for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing.

Madam Deputy Speaker: The Bill stands referred to the Committee on National Security and Foreign Affairs. The Committee is required to submit its report on the Bill to the House by Tuesday, 26th August, 2008. Hon. Members who wish to make submissions or amendments to the Bill are free to do so within the programme of work of the Committee.

Thank you.

LOCAL COURTS (Amendment) BILL, 2008

Mr Kunda, SC.: Madam Speaker, I beg to present a Bill entitled the Local Courts (Amendment) Bill, 2008. The object of this Bill is to amend the Local Courts Act so as to:

(a) provide for the establishment of the local courts by the Chief Justice in accordance with the doctrine of separation of powers; and

(b) revise the nomenclature of local courts justices to bring it in line with international standards.

Madam Deputy Speaker: The Bill stands referred to the Committee on Legal Affairs, Governance, Human Rights and Gender Matters. The Committee is required to submit its report on the Bill to the House by Tuesday, 26th August, 2008. Hon. Members who wish to make submissions or amendments to the Bill are free to do so within the programme of work of the Committee.

Thank you.

JUDICIAL (Code of Conduct) (Amendment) BILL, 2008

Mr Kunda, SC.: Madam Speaker, I beg to present a Bill entitled the Judicial (Code of Conduct) (Amendment) Bill, 2008. The object of this Bill is to amend the Judicial Code of Conduct Act so as to revise the provisions relating to the remuneration of the Members of the Judicial Complaints Authority.

Madam Deputy Speaker: The Bill stands referred to the Committee on Legal Affairs, Governance, Human Rights and Gender Matters. The Committee is required to submit its report on the Bill to the House by Tuesday, 26th August, 2008. Hon. Members who wish to make submissions or amendments to the Bill are free to do so within the programme of work of the Committee.

Thank you.




The Minister of Defence (Mr Mpombo): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now resolve into Committee of Supply. I am a bearer of three messages from the Acting President recommending this Motion for consideration by this august House. I now lay the recommendations on the Table of the House.

Madam Speaker, I rise to present three bills for the favourable consideration of the House namely:

(a) the Presidential Emoluments (Amendment) Bill, 2008;

(b) the Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices Emolument (Amendment) Bill, 2008; and

(c) the Constitutional Office Emolument (Amendment) Bill, 2008.

Madam Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to.





The Minister of Defence (Mr Mpombo): Mr Chairperson, I beg to move that it is expedient to amend the Presidential (Emoluments) Act so as to increase the salary and gratuity payable to the President and that a Bill to give effect to this be introduced accordingly.

Madam Speaker, hon. Members of this House will recall that the salary of the Head of State was last reviewed in 2007. In view of the recent general salary increase awarded to workers in the Public Service, it is opportune and fair that the Republican President also be considered, accordingly.

Madam Speaker, I beg to move.

Question put and agreed to.


Mr Mpombo: Mr Chairperson, I beg to move that it is expedient to amend the Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices (Emoluments) Acts, so as to increase the salaries payable to the Vice-President, the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Ministers, Hon. Deputy Ministers, Leader of the Opposition and hon. Members of Parliament and that a Bill to give effect to this be introduced accordingly.

Mr Chairperson, the reasons for moving this Motion are clear to all hon. Members. In any case, these reasons have been discussed fully in the appropriate Committee of this House.

Mr Chairperson, I beg to move.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to.


Mr Mpombo: Mr Chairperson, I beg to move that it is expedient to amend the Constitutional Offices (Emoluments) Act, so as to increase salaries payable to holders of Constitutional Offices and that a Bill to give effect to this be introduced accordingly.

Mr Chairperson, the Constitutional Office holders have heavy responsibilities in society which should be commensurate with the remuneration paid to them.  The adjustment that has been made to other Public Service Office holders requires that we do the same for the Constitutional Office holders.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to. 


[MADAM SPEAKER in the Chair]

Resolutions reported.

Report adopted.

Question put and agreed to and Madam Speaker appointed the Acting Leader of Government Business to be a committee of one to bring in the necessary Bills to give effect to the resolutions of the Committee of Ways and Means.




The following Bills were read the first time:

The Presidential Emoluments (Amendment) Bill, 2008.

The Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices (Emoluments) (Amendment) Bill, 2008.

The Constitutional Offices (Emoluments) (Amendment) Bill, 2008.

Seconding Readings on Tuesday, 12th August, 2008.




Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that the House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Energy, Environment and Tourism on the familiarisation tour of the Kafue Gorge and Kariba North Bank Power Station for the Second Session of the Tenth National Assembly appointed on the 17th January, 2008 and laid of the House on 29th May, 2008.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mrs Sinyangwe (Matero): Madam Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Mr Nkombo: Madam, I wish to report that your Committee undertook a familiarisation tour of the Kafue Gorge and Kariba North Bank Power Stations from 8th to 10 March, 2008.

Madam Speaker, the fact that Zambia has had a looming energy deficit for a number of years is very well known. Furthermore, on 19th January, 2008, the country was plunged into total darkness due a nationwide power outage. Subsequently, the country experienced two more outages on 21st and 22nd of January, 2008.

Madam Speaker, in the light of the outages outlined above, the Ministry of Energy and Water Development, in conjunction with the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation Limited (ZESCO), took the opportunity to familiarise your Committee with the Power Rehabilitation Project (PRP) that is undertaken by ZESCO.

Madam, your Committee were informed that ZESCO’s electricity system was more than four decades old and lacked the desirable levels of maintenance and investment. Technical audits of the big hydro-power plants revealed that major rehabilitation works would be needed to bring them to the design operation levels and to extend their economic life.

Madam Speaker, your Committee were informed that under PRP, the country’s two major power stations, namely Kafue Gorge and Kariba North Bank were undergoing rehabilitation and up-rating works.

Madam, it was also brought to the attention of your Committee that although PRP was scheduled to be completed by December, 2008, a number of reasons, including delays in release of funds by donors has meant that works will continue until June, 2009. Your Committee were, however, assured that ZESCO would endeavour to accelerate the remaining works under PRP so that all power plants are fully functional in the shortest period of time. Your Committee strongly urge the Ministry to ensure continuity of the project through steady flow of funds. It is their hope that there will be no more delays so that the Power Rehabilitation Project is completed on time next year.

Madam Speaker, your Committee were also informed that by March, 2008, the total demand for electricity in the country stood at 1605MW while ZESCO had an installed capacity of 1632MW. It was also anticipated that an extra generation capacity of 210MW would be gained from the on-going rehabilitation and up-rating works which should bring the total installed capacity to 1842MW after the completion of PRP.

It is however worth noting that the extra 210MW will not suffice in meeting the rising demand for electricity in the country. Your Committee, therefore, strongly urge the Ministry of Energy and Water Development to ensure that the planned investments in new hydro-electricity power stations in the country come to fruition.

Madam Speaker, allow me to comment on the issue of electricity tariffs. Your Committee were informed that one major challenge ZESCO was facing in the maintenance and upgrading of existing power generation infrastructure was the issue of low tariffs which makes it difficult for ZESCO to re-invest in existing infrastructure. These low tariffs also attract little or no interest for private sector participation.

Your Committee note that although ZESCO’s electricity tariffs are among the lowest in the world, the introduction of cost reflective tariffs should be carefully done so as to take into account the living standards of the Zambian people.

Madam, the Committee, while commending the Ministry of Energy and Water Development ZESCO on the efforts that are being made under the Power Rehabilitation Project, are of the strong opinion that the issue of the aging electricity infrastructure and a looming energy deficit are as a result of a serious lack of foresight by the Government. I will repeat that, Madam.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: The opinion of the Committee is that the issue of the aging electricity infrastructure and a looming energy deficit is as a result of lack of seriousness and foresight by the Government. They, therefore, implore the Government to ensure that more concerted effort is put into finding investors to develop new generation capacity in the form of new power plants, before the current crisis degenerates further. It is worth noting that a shortage of electricity impacts negatively on both the daily lives of Zambians and the economic development of the country.

The Committee wish to express their gratitude to the Ministry of Energy and Water Development and the Board and management of ZESCO for facilitating the tour. It was a very welcome eye opener.

Madam Speaker, in conclusion, I wish, on behalf of the Committee, and indeed my own behalf, to express our gratitude for you appointing us to serve on this important Committee. The Committee also wish to thank the Office of the Clerk for the support rendered to them during the tour.

Madam, the Committee have no doubt that the observations and recommendations contained in this report will go a long way in helping the House and the entire nation to appreciate the current electricity crisis that the nation is facing, while also shedding some light on the way forward as regards the electricity sector.

Madam Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

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

Mrs Sinyangwe: Now, Madam Speaker.

Madam, in seconding the Motion to adopt the Report on the Committee on Energy, Environment and Tourism on the familiarisation tour of the Kafue Gorge and Kariba North Bank Power Stations, laid on the Table of the House on 29th May, 2008 allow me firstly, to thank the Chairperson for having ably moved the Motion.

Madam, the Chairperson has already pointed out the salient issues that caught the attention of the Committee during their tour. Therefore, I will only touch on some of them.

The Committee heard certain measures that had been put in place under ZESCO’s Power Rehabilitation Project as a means of demand size management, in order to balance the demand and supply of electricity. One such measure was load shedding.

Madam Speaker, the Committee wish to pay tribute to the people of Zambia for the patience that they have exhibited during the past few months that the load shedding exercise has been going on. The Committee are aware of the fact that this exercise has been a major inconvenience to both individual households and industries. They, therefore, urge the Government to ensure that rehabilitation and upgrading works under the Power Rehabilitation Project are completed in the shortest possible time so as to put to an end this disruptive exercise.

Allow me to now turn to an issue that has already been touched on by the mover of this Motion. Madam, the issue of investing in new generation capacity cannot be overemphasised. The Committee are of the view that inadequate investment in electricity infrastructure over the last twenty to thirty years has led to the current crisis that the country is facing. However, what has been done has been done and it is now time to look to the future. Therefore, the Committee wish to urge the Government to ensure planned that investments at the Kafue Gorge lower, Itezhi Tezhi and Kariba North Bank extension are developed in the shortest possible time.

Madam Speaker, a point worth noting is that the electricity crisis that the country is experiencing should serve as a timely warning to other service providers, in particular to utilities in the water and communications industries. These service providers should ensure that there is not only continuous maintenance of their infrastructure, but also new investments so as to avert any crises in service provision in the future, as has been the case with electricity.

Finally, Madam Speaker, I wish to pay tribute to the Committee for the manner in which they conducted their tour. They did so in the spirit and manner that helped them make recommendations, which are in their view, in the best interest of the people of Zambia.

Madam Speaker, I beg to second.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr E. C. Mwansa (Chifunabuli): Madam Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to support the Report of the Committee on Energy, Environment and Tourism.

Madam, I have only two points to contribute which I hope the Hon. Minister of Energy, Environment and Tourism will take note of. Particularly looking at the current situation in our country, the load shedding, has clearly taught us a lesson that if we do not plan for the future, no one will. This is a lesson we must take even as we look at the power supply in our country.
There are two suggestions, Madam Speaker, that I would like to make for the hon. Minister’s consideration.

Firstly, I believe and have said this before that Zambians are capable of raising a lot of money towards power generation. However, it must be the Ministry’s responsibility to put in place the right mechanism to do so. One of those which I had suggested earlier is that, the responsible minister, in collaboration with ZESCO, for example, can float yet another public company, particularly for raising the money to invest in power generation. There is nothing that stops us from doing so.

I had said it before, that Zambians built the University of Zambia using their own local resources, I do not see why that cannot be possible, today, if a public company was floated and Zambians were asked to buy shares in that company. Surely, even the banks can be coaxed into doing that. The mines would be interested in putting their money into such a venture and companies would be more than willing to do that because they know that the supply and generation of electricity is absolutely important for their own businesses. In my conviction, the Ministry must spear heard this kind of project and there must be a backing from the Government. There must be Government will to ensure that we deal with this problem once and for all if we can.
Madam Speaker, we know that we have uranium in this country and we also know that the process of getting permission to use this resource for electricity generation is a sensitive one. This is the time to engage the relevant world organisations to begin to talk about generating electricity from nuclear resources and nothing stops us from doing that. We have the required mineral which is uranium and we have a large country. Surely, we can find a place where that can be put in place, but the engagement of the world energy bodies is of critical importance if we are going to convince the world that we need this power not for military purposes, but more for our economic needs.

Madam Speaker, I think that they will listen to us if we present our position right. We should not be looking to donors all the time to give us money or to private investment who have to come into the country. Let us begin to look at ourselves and our own abilities to do things for ourselves. Short of that, we are undermining those we train in power generation and our own abilities to develop our country. No one will develop this country but ourselves. We should look at those who come into our country to invest as adding on to our own ability to invest and to develop our country. Short of that, Madam Speaker, we would be looking to others to do what we can do for ourselves. My plea to the hon. Minister is that the time is now and the conditions are right and ripe for us to begin looking at possibilities of ourselves developing some of these power-generation projects. Why should we leave it to others to do it for us and why give the surveyed projects to other people when we can give it to ourselves in the first place?

Madam Speaker, these are the two points that are extremely important for the hon. Minister to take consideration of.

I thank you, Madam.

Major Chizhyuka (Namwala): Madam Speaker, I thank you and the Committee on Energy, Environment and Tourism who made it possible for me, the Chairman of the Committee on Information and Broadcasting to accompany that committee together with my co-chairman to undertake a tour of the Kafue Gorge as well as Kariba North Bank Power Stations.

Madam Speaker, I was visiting the Kariba North Bank and Kafue Gorge Power Stations for the second time. The first time ZESCO invited me and a few of my colleagues in the Indigenous People’s Rights Association …


Major Chizhyuka: … to conduct exactly the same tour as the Committee of Energy Environment and Tourism this time around. Madam Speaker, I was visiting these two specific institutions mindful of the fact that first and foremost, I am a nationalist, my politics are not capitalist but nationalist.

Madam Speaker, I was going as a Member of this Committee, to see what position Parliament should be able to take with respect to the infrastructure that this country has built painstakingly at very high prices to the taxpayer of this country.

Madam Speaker, I am also mindful that as a soldier, we lobbied so many bombs into Rhodesia at that time, but there was a common understanding for us military commanders in the field between the white Zimbabweans and ourselves that we would leave infrastructure such as the Kariba North Bank Power Station. We never lobbied bombs there because that infrastructure was important for the development of both countries. We knew that even when Zimbabwe, across, got its independence and ourselves, we would still need the infrastructure at the Kariba North Bank Power Station. Madam Speaker, I am referring to them because I am a nationalist, a soldier by background and because I am a Member of Parliament riding on the platform of the indigenous people.

The first thing that comes to mind, Madam Speaker, is the level of infrastructure development and the amount of investment that this country put into the creation of the two power stations, Kafue Gorge and Kariba North Bank. Immediately you get to understand that given the amount of the taxpayer’s money that went into the creation of the Kafue Gorge and Kariba North Bank Power Stations, you will begin to understand and question why it is that there are some of our fellow Zambians who are agitating for the privatisation of ZESCO. Madam Speaker, for me, the impression that I create is that ZESCO must be left in its current form and that all talk about its privatisation should cease.

Madam Speaker, there is so much talk about ZESCO not having advanced. You may recall, and most hon. Members will recall, that when the other Government that came before this Government said in the privatisation ogre that they had that there would be no sacred lamb, in other words, ZESCO, ZAMTEL and all the infrastructure that are important for the defence and security of this country had to go, do you think that it was possible for ZESCO to start planning infrastructure development if the following day they were going to be privatised?

Madam Speaker, the reason we have these power outages and are unable to deal with them is that other Government - some of them are now on this side of the House.


Major Chizhyuka: Madam Speaker, there was no room for strategic planning. In Ndola, today, there are many fumes in the air of white smoke emitted by the Ndola Lime Company, and if you ask these Zambians professionals who are doing very well why they cannot bring in the latest kilns that will minimise the amount of air pollution, they say they could not do anything because the following day they were to be privatised.

Madam Speaker, now that they have been given the mandate that they should go ahead, they are in bringing state-of-the-art-equipment so that all that pollution that is in Ndola can be brought to the lowest level ever possible. This is the situation which ZESCO found itself in. Madam Speaker, ZESCO has 1.6 megawatt capacity. Do you know the capacity for the South African Electricity Body which is almost ten times the size of ZESCO, but it is still one body and has not been privatised. Look at what happens when you embark on wholesale privatisation. You understand what happened to Russia, immediately capitalist thoughts merged, the Russian economy imploded. They left the super power stage and imploded inwardly, the kind of implosion that we saw happen to the Zambian economy when we privatised everything that we hoped would be the basis and the framework for the development of this country.

Madam Speaker, I am saying we must not privatise ZESCO. I shall be included among those that are saying ZESCO must be left in the current form. ZESCO must be assisted ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: … to prosper. However, I have a feeling that with the kind of men that I see in that company, ZESCO will prosper.

UPND Member: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: ZESCO is going to provide the kind of electricity that we need for this country. What else am I expecting of ZESCO. I am expecting ZESCO to have what I call corporate social responsibility. I do realise that for ZESCO, at the Kariba North Bank Power Station, to have a dam, they were people living on the basins of the Zambezi, who had to vacate in order to allow for the waters of the Zambezi to form a dam which electricity was going to be generated from in order that the mines and industry of Zambia could prosper. Today, because of those people, some of whom lost their lives and shed blood, the entire country, Zambia, has been light. You go anywhere in your house, you just place a button by the side of the door and you will have electricity because some of our people sacrificed their lives.

UNPD Member: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: They fought a war and threw spears. The white man used the masking gun to kill some of those people for industry in Zambia to prosper, today. I am saying that ZESCO should exhibit corporate social responsibility. ZESCO should be able to bring in programmes which should more benefiting. This issue of saying the whole country must benefit from ZESCO is a fallacy. ZESCO can create bigger dams, big agricultural projects and support the cultural preoccupations of the people in much greater depths so that they can benefit for the sacrifices that they made in giving up their land so that Zambia can be lit. ZESCO has that capacity.

Madam Speaker, at the time that we had floods, I wrote a letter to the Managing Director of ZESCO and mentioned that the Ila people were an endangered species because we exist at the wings of ZESCO. On the Western side, there is the Itezhi-tezhi Dam and on the other side we have the Kafue Gorge Dam. If the Kafue Flats flooded, that would be the end of Ila life and culture and the end of our cattle and the whole of who we are. When the flats are flooded, everyone from Shibuyunji, here in the Central Province in Mumbwa, will be under water. This has happened in other countries, and it could happen here.

Madam Speaker, in that light, I have always said that ZESCO, as a national institution which must never be privatised, should understand that we also need programmes in line with the Kafue Gorge that spread the corporate social responsibility by understanding the implications of why the people on the Kafue Basin need some form of relief.

Madam Speaker, you may wish to know that our people were actually paying money to ZESCO for the Itezhi-tezhi Dam to be introduced. If you go to Namwala, you will find certificates of monies that were paid in order to have the Itezhi-tezhi Dam. It is in the light of these issues that ZESCO must understand that they have prosperity on the spines of other people. That these things did not just come up, but they were decisions that were made and it on the basis of those decisions that ZESCO should understand. This is why I was not so happy to hear that there was a consideration for rural electrification in 2026. In the master plan of your nation, the people that suffered so much are going to be considered for electrification in 2026. Can you imagine; that is an insult? After the things that we did in the interest of the country, we can only be considered in the year of our Lord 2026. Who is going to be a cabinet minister here in 2026? How many of you will be here in 2026?


Hon. Opposition Member: Tell them.

Major Chizhyuka: There is a need for ZESCO to understand that others people’s lives are at steak. In the consideration for the rural electrification, these parameters must be taken into account. In the absence of this, we might wish to say a few more things and do other things that ensure that we are considered as a priority. In the choice of the criteria, those that suffered more for these institutions to be created should be the first in line. I am not saying that the others should not benefit, but all I am saying is that, those that sacrificed their lives; those that paid money for us to have the dams and institutions, are the first on the line. Others must come second. That is the way it is. You cannot marry someone’s daughter when you have not even contributed a single cow.


Major Chizhyuka: Others suggest you can marry someone’s daughter having contributed one or two chickens …

Hon. Member: No.

Major Chizhyuka: … or may be a few sets of sugar cane. We have done our bit to contribute to the electrification and lighting of this country and we have shed our blood for this. These are emotive issues. We expect that in the rural electrification that ZESCO is going to undertake, those who contributed more than the others must benefit first. This is my submission.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Chongo (Mwense): Thank you, Madam Speaker. To start with, I wish to commend the Ministry of Energy and Water Development and ZESCO for the effort that they are making to rehabilitate power throughout the country.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chongo: Madam Speaker, I also happen to be one of those that toured the Kafue Power and Kariba Dam North Power Stations. As Chairperson of the Government Assurance Committee, indeed, I saw the effort that is being made by ZESCO and the Ministry of Energy and Water Development.

Madam Speaker, I would like to say that there is one province that lacks such facilities. This is the Luapula Province.  As hon. Members of Parliament in here may know, the Luapula Province depends on hydro-electricity from the Chishimba Hydro-Power Plant in the Northern Province which does not actually generate enough power for the Northern Province itself. Apart from that, there are also problems related to the transmission of the same power, considering the stretch between the Northern to Luapula Provinces.

Indeed, early this week, the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development gave a ministerial statement in which he indicated that the Chishimba Falls was also under the programme for rehabilitation. He actually said that this project in the Northern Province will be completed by 2015. However, we should take a moment to just ask ourselves what will become of the Luapula Province in 2015 which only depends on power from other provinces that do not also have sufficient power.

Madam Speaker, the Luapula Province is endowed with vast natural resources and is actually earmarked for an economic boom. However, how do we start to develop the province if we do not have electrical power? Most of the economic areas that we want to embark on in developing this province depend on power. This, therefore, means that the Luapula Province will remain in that state until 2015.

Madam Speaker, we have a power facility in  Mwense in the Luapula Province called the Musonda Hydro-Power Station which is currently only producing two megawatts though it has the capacity to produce fifteen megawatts.  Experts are saying that the fifteen megawatts would, at least, cater for half of the total electricity demand in the province. Why don’t we, as a nation, and the Ministry, consider working on this hydro-power station in the interim so that we do not have to wait until 2015 before the Chishimba Hydro-Power Station is fully rehabilitated?

Madam Speaker, it is my humble appeal to the Ministry of Energy and Water Development and ZESCO to, at least, in the interim, work on this power station. I do not think we need so much money to upgrade this facility.

Madam Speaker, a lot has been said about people sacrificing in certain parts of the nation and so on and so forth. Indeed, people sacrificed not only in the Southern Province, for instance, where these facilities are found, but also throughout the country. A lot of resources that were generated from other areas, including the Copperbelt Province were actually utilised to put up this infrastructure. Therefore, people from other parts of the country also contributed in a way and would like the benefits of this infrastructure to be extended to other parts of the country. There should be some form of pay back even to people in the Copperbelt Province. The Copperbelt is a province that is well developed compared to many of the other provinces, but we have people that are living on the outskirts, many of who had contributed to the creation of the wealth that subsequently was used to put up the infrastructure in the Southern Province.

Madam Speaker, I, therefore, would like to humbly ask the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development to consider working on the Musonda Hydro-Power Station before 2015. We really want to develop as a province, but we cannot do so because of the inadequacies in power. This is, therefore, my humble submission.

I thank you, Madam.

Dr Kalumba (Chienge): Madam Speaker, I am getting concerned that this debate might degenerate into regionalism, which is very dangerous. I think power is a national resource and we should simply consider the equation of equity where possibility exists. The limitations of capacity must be considered by the Ministry so that over time, I am sure every other part of our country would be covered. I think that debates that border on ethnic regional questions are not good for Zambia.

Madam Speaker, the benefits of the Government’s policy of incentives to business aimed at improving the supply of power by subsidising or removing duty on power generating equipment seems not to be filtering to the ordinary citizens in Zambia. I am very concerned that this well intended Government policy, which is supposed to supplement the limits of ZESCO, is not paying back very well. It is much cheaper to import a generator from Malawi than to buy one in Zambia despite this very good policy that the Government has put in place to remove duty on imported power generating equipment. Something is wrong and the hon. Ministers of Energy and Water Development and Finance and National Planning must clearly look at this issue. The hon. Minister of Commence, Trade and Industry should also get involved so that together, they can see to what extent the incentives that have been provided are actually translated into benefits by reducing the price of power generating equipment such as generator sets, solar panels and so on and so forth.

Madam Speaker, I noticed that the ‘indigenous’ hon. Member has debated very forcefully on the need to keep ZESCO within the public sphere. I would partly support this, but would also like to suggest within the context of his consideration for security, that the Government considers a public-private sector partnership in order to improve capacity to recapitalize ZESCO. I think what we are looking at is the failure of our ability as a public treasury to be fully responsible for financing ZESCO to meet the national demand. While considering the security points raised by the ‘indigenous’ hon. Member of Parliament, which are very valid, it is equally important to consider the issue of the sustainability of ZESCO over the long haul to be adequately capitalised to meet the national demand.

It is true that Zambia faces a serious energy crisis and it will be there for a long time unless we are creative enough in terms of how we help ZESCO to stay live. There is a danger that ZESCO can collapse under the weight of the national demand for energy. Therefore, it is important to balance our nationalist sentiments, and they are quite appropriate, with the contingencies for financing that are required by calling for private sector participation in the capitalisation of ZESCO. I think it is a good idea.

I also applaud the hon. Member for Chifunabuli’s call for nuclear energy generation. I think it is about time we began to think long term and look at the possibility of this particular form of energy being tapped into. There are risks and concerns, but they can be addressed over the long haul by engaging international agencies responsible for this particular sector. We do not need to feel that if we start raising these questions, we will be considered members of Al Qaeda. We are not. Therefore, it is a long term solution to the problem of energy world over and Zambia has the possibility of tapping this energy over the long haul, and the time to start thinking about it and planning is now.

Madam Speaker, there is a critical political kind of urgency attached to the energy question. I believe that the hon. Minister in charge of this sector, whom I admire so much, has so much energy in him, needs to be on top of the question of energy supply in Zambia. Too much dependence on bureaucracy, hon. Minister, giving you direction, will get you lost. You have to be on top of this sector. I want to give your colleague the hon. Minister of Communications and Transport credit here. She knows what she is talking about all the time and she knows the details.

Hon. Minister, you are an intelligent person, get out of your offices and know what is happening in this sector whether it relates to fuel or electricity. Go to the dams and be on top of the issues. Otherwise, Zambians will think that you are letting your Government down. You are an intelligent, learned gentleman who is quite capable of thrusting all the issues in this sector.

I want to implore you to be out there on top of the situation. Otherwise, there is a sense of hopelessness building up in the country regarding the energy sector. We need to see that the Government’s policy responses are going to create hope. I know that the President would like you to achieve great results in this sector. He gave you a very good chance to become a minister of a powerful sector, and I think that you will not let him down.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Matongo (Pemba): Madam Speaker, the energy sector is development in that if there is no energy, you cannot hope to meet some of the ambitious programmes we have taken as a nation to be a middle-income Zambia, come 2030.

Madam Chair, we are all yearning for some form of light as opposed to darkness. We need electricity without any doubt. However, some amount of realism in the quest for light must be thrown across. It is not enough to cry for what the hon. Minister and his Government have not done or are supposed to do. I would like to, at the expense of risking the feeling that I am insensitive to certain issues, come out very clear from a local or domestic situation and be regional and international on this matter.

It is so well to think local, but please, we are fast becoming a global village. I agree that should act domestically, but perhaps think and plan regionally for us to be ahead of certain exhibitions that will or cause a crisis such as the one we have. It is all about investment whether by the Government through nationalisation, investment within the context of working with business partnerships or indeed, local communities running mini-hydro power schemes.

Madam Chair, I share the views expressed by most people, but this Government and indeed, most of the regional governments over a period of twenty-five years have not paid much attention to invest in energy. This is a fact. The total capacity of electricity energy in the ASAPP group is 55,000 megawatts and all that investment was made over twenty years ago. We are at 47,000 megawatts and I think it is a fact, hon. Minister. The gap is being grappled with and the reason for the lack of investment is simply that governments had other priorities like clinics and hospitals as opposed to electricity. I think, if I can get back to my colleagues and challenge them by asking them to go back to their constituencies in rural areas and ask whether people would want an electricity line costing billions of kwacha as opposed to a clinic, hospital, school and a road, the general answer would be, perhaps, roads. We need to balance investment and give priority where it is due. The Government did not have the money to invest and at the same time held on to the fashion of the sixties of nationalisation. It is time we have a mental change attitude. While nationalisation was not a dirty word, equally, liberalisation and privatisation should not be looked at as dirty words. It is a mix of the two that we need to move.

Speaking as somebody informed on matters of the economy, I want to state that there is no way and there will not be any government, come 2030, that would deliver electricity to the remotest parts of this country without private sector participation. Therefore, it is total incompetence on economic management to think that any government in this country will bring that electricity. What we need is to make this country an attractive investment destination in all sectors of our economy.

We must accept it is time ZESCO, while it remains under the heavy hand of the Government, distribution, generation and supply must be separated to improve the scales of efficiency. We said that for the Zambia State Insurance Company in 1991. Separate life from general insurance and re-insurance. Nobody listened. To date, that is what is happening. It is a delayed decision. We are now saying commercialise ZESCO. Separate the distribution, supply and generation, but have control. Only then can we be able to adequately deal with this situation. It is a regional problem that should not be the answer. Let us look at the structure of ZESCO. I have a lot of respect for the management of ZESCO. I have no doubt that they know what they are doing. What they are lacking is simply money and the Government does not have that money at the expense of a clinic in Shang’ombo. Therefore, we need people from outside with money to come and work with us. That must be very clear to everybody who wants electricity in this country.

Now, let us not be populists about winning elections. The tariffs that we pay in terms of water, those of you privileged with water and electricity, are below economic levels. How do you expect an institution to pay when users do not pay for their bills and when users leave electricity lights on over night?

Just drive by the Government offices this evening and literally all of them will have lights on. This maybe for security reasons, but that is a cost in itself. Walk around some homes and you will find that those who earn more money leave electricity on all night.

 However, do not forget that if that electricity was saved, from an economic point of view, it would go into investment and help stop load shedding. I can speak about water too. How many taps do we leave running? There must be personal responsibility in dealing with these things. Switch off your lights and turn off your taps. We do this because electricity is cheap. I do not need to worry about loss of a vote. People in Pemba understand this kind of thing. I do not have to advocate for cheap electricity and water. The people in Pemba know that nothing comes out of lack of investment. Do not complain, but try to get things going.

 I share the view of my brother from Chifunabuli. South Africa has said clearly that it is going nuclear. We have uranium in Zambia, surely, we can find a half way medium to transfer some of their electricity and sell our uranium to them and start thinking uranium for energy soon.

Mr Hachipuka: I share your view.

Mr Matongo: That is constructive thinking and criticism. I want to state clearly that we may, as two governments in the region work together, try to achieve some of the challenges in the energy sector. I also wish to say that in Zambia, we tend to take one step forward and two steps backwards on clear issues of national concern. I am saying, hon. Minister, that if you can attract investment in consultation with your colleagues in the Ministries of Commerce, Trade and Industry and Finance and National Planning, do so because on your own you will be talking of putting up machinery in Itezhi-tezhi to generate electricity as well as Kafue Lower Gorge and the expansion of the Kariba and nothing will be fulfilled. The answer is in inviting investors.

Madam Speaker, in summary, I need to refer to the following:

SADC Governments knew about the impending shortages of electricity, and yet set other priorities. It is time to change. I know about your meetings in Cape Town and Kinshasa and think that is the way to go forward.

We need infrastructure in small areas where we need to establish mini-hydro schemes. Instead of investing in massive houses and buses, which is the only investment we have, we should go into mini-hydro schemes in the rural areas. We need strong oversight here instead of complaints. We should give alternatives and solutions to problems as parliamentarians like I am doing. We need a little more of this kind of talk.

Hon. UPND Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Matongo: We need solar power and not only hydro or nuclear power. Let us think of wind-driven power, particularly in the flat areas. I have already stated the question of a hydro. There is no need of having these giant complexes. We could have smaller ones and only invest in the Ingas of this world for regional consumption. Surely, we do not need the Inga Hydroelectric Facility to put electricity in Habayula, for instance. We do not need big hydropower stations to bring electricity to villages or anywhere in Mumbwa, Ndola rural or Masaiti. What we need are these smaller alternatives. The Government will not have the money to do that. Do not pretend. What you need to do is invite investors, while you are investing in this kind of thing.

Madam Speaker, a crisis is exacerbated by what I have stated, the lack of personal responsibility. I would like to state that, hon. Minister, I am not praising you, but encouraging you. If the regional plans I have accessed and the vision you have circulated could be backed by some financial resources by getting Hon. Magande to get these financial resources. We should not be known for borrowing. We must borrow in order to invest at the national level. We are aware of being trapped in debt. However, we have learnt our lesson, but it is not right to say we should not borrow in order to develop. When the hon. Minister says there is one billion at this time, we yawn and claim from this side while the Government side is very quiet as if they know what is going on. It is not right. Let us encourage the hon. Minister of Finance to judiciously borrow for us to develop many hydro schemes and lend money to business people in that regard.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

The Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Konga): Madam Speaker, first of all, I would like to express my Government’s great appreciation to the Chairman of the Committee on Energy, Environment and Tourism and his members for the tours they undertook to some of this energy infrastructure.

I am glad that after a long period of time, this Committee visited the infrastructure, saw with their eyes and had their say. First and foremost, I would like to assure the House that the Government is very much in charge of the energy sector. My Ministry is on top of what is happening, especially in the electricity sub sector. Therefore, there must be no illusions at all by anybody that things are happening haphazardly. I am glad that this tour from 8th to 10th March by the Committee on Energy, Environment and Tourism actually brought to light …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

(Debate adjourned)


The House adjourned at 1254 hour until 1430 hours on Tuesday, 12th August, 2008.