Debates- Thursday, 13th March, 2008

Printer Friendly and PDF


Thursday, 13th March, 2008

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






199. Major Chibamba (Shiwang’andu) asked the Minister of Works of Supply when rehabilitation works on the D65 Road from Chinsali to Safwa Pontoon would commence.

The Deputy Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Ndalamei): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the Ministry has immediate plans to upgrade the existing Kasama-Safwa-Chinsali Road to bitumen standard. In the 2008 Annual Work Plan, there is a provision of K300,000,000 for carrying out a feasibility study and preliminary engineering design for the upgrading of the road to the bitumen standard.

In the meantime, the Ministry of Works and Supply, through the Roads Development Agency, has requested the Regional Engineer for Northern Province to carry out the survey of the existing condition of the road and prepare some tender documents for the maintenance of the project road. The Road Development Agency intends to request the National Road Fund Agency to provide funds to carry out the maintenance of the road since the maintenance of the road is included in the 2008 Annual Work Plan.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Kambwili: It is like ta walandile bwangu.


200 Mr Chanda (Kankoyo) asked the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development:

(a) how many mines practiced In Situ Leaching (ISL) or solution mining in the following continents:

(i) Africa;
(ii) North America;
(iii) South America;
(iv) Asia; and 
(v) Europe; and

(b) how many of the mines at (a) above used the ISL mining technique in the following:

(i) old developed mines; and 
(ii) mines where water for domestic use is drawn; and

(c) how safe the mine sites were after using the ISL mining technique.

The Deputy Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr B. M. Mwale): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that from our research, a total of twenty-two mines are currently practicing ISL as follows:

(i) Africa:

Mopani Copper Mines Plc in Zambia
Dominion Reefs Uranium Mine in South Africa

(ii) North America:

There are six mines for uranium. However, it should be reported that in 1994 stop leaching of copper was reported at sixteen mines in the United States of America.

(iii) Australia:

Beverly Uranium Mine
Honeymoon Uranium Mine
Manyinee Uranium Mine

(iv) Asia:


(i) Akdala Mine;
(ii) South Inkai;
(iii) South Inkai;
(iv) Katco; and 
(v) Inkay.


(i) Uchkaduk;
(ii) Zafarabad; and 
(iii) Nurabad


(i) Tengchong Mine
(ii) Yining Mine

Czech Republic:

Straz Uranium Mine

In Situ Leaching was also practiced in German, Bulgaria and Ukraine.

The House may wish to know that in situ mining is normally used on low grade uranium ore, usually the grade ranges from 0.05 per cent to 0.10 per cent. In our case, in situ leaching is applied today in caved out mining areas where the overlying aquifer was dewatered prior to mining. Therefore, the issue of aquifer contamination is minimised.

With regard to part (b) of the question, I wish to inform the House as follows:

(i) Old developed mines

Mr Speaker, the exact number of old developed mines were in situ leaching is practiced may not be known, but in situ leaching is in common practice for recovery of old pillars and low grade ores; and

(ii) Mines where water for domestic use is drawn

Mr Speaker, the House may wish to know that there is no known mine in the world where domestic water is drawn from an in situ leach section. Domestic water can only be extracted from other sections existing parallel with one or more in situ sections as long as these are physically isolated and well managed

In response to part (c) of the question, I wish to inform the House as follows:

If upon completion of in situ leaching mining, it is established that ground water has been contaminated, active restoration methods may be applied to clean the water. The restoration methods fit into the following two categories:

(i) above-ground treatment method:

the contaminated water is removed from the aquifer, treated and either disposed of, used, or re-injected into the aquifer; and

(ii) in situ method:

the addition of chemical or biological agents to remove the contamination.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chanda: Mr Speaker, there have been two serious incidences where drinking water was polluted by the in situ mining method. However, the answer that has been given by the hon. Minister is that there is no known place where this type of mining is done and people draw water from the same mining section. Why are you experimenting on the lives of the people in Mufulira by introducing in situ leaching where people are drawing drinking water?

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, we are not experimenting with drinking water in Mufulira. If the hon. Member listened carefully to my response, I clearly stated that water can be extracted wherever such operations are being carried out in pile.

In the case of Mufulira, if you may allow me to be in a lecture theatre, …

Mr Speaker: No! Order! You may not lecture, but you may answer the question.


Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, I thank you for your guidance. In the case of Mufulira, the drinking water is pumped out from the lower levels, that is, at 1,000 metres below surface. Meanwhile, the in situ leaching mining operations are carried out at a 500 metre level.

Hon Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, these two operations have been carried out in two separate areas.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chongo (Mwense): Mr Speaker, in situ leaching has a tendency of weakening the pillars underground. What measures has the Ministry put in place to ensure that we do not experience another 1970 disaster where an area caved because the pillars were eaten up as it is possible that these areas will cave at some given time. Therefore, what measures has the Ministry put in place to ensure that we do not experience another disaster of that nature?

Mr B. M. Mwale: Mr Speaker, in fact, in asking the question, he answered himself. In Mufulira, the in-situ leaching is carried out in the caved out mining areas. Therefore, that does not arise.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chisala (Chilubi): Mr Speaker, taking into consideration the hon. Minister’s response, can he explain how water was polluted twice?

Mr M. Mwale: Mr Speaker, I am mindful that where the hon. Member comes from, there is a lot of water. The initial contamination of water at Mufulira was in the early stages before the introduction of the plant. The second time, which was a recent one, was due to human negligence where the pumps to pump out the reach solution to the surface were not turned on, and in the end, it overflowed and sipped to the normal drainage system.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, in view of the fact that Mufulira has been polluted twice, what measures is the Mine Safety Department taking to make sure that drinking water is drawn from the Kafue River and not from the ground water?

Mr B. M. Mwale: Mr Speaker, what has to be realised is that this domestic water which was pumped out from underground operations in Mufulira was before the introduction of in-situ leaching method of mining was commenced. However, Luenga Water and Sewerage Company is free to pump water from the Mufulira River rather than get the cheap water from the ground.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


201. Mr Kapeya (Mpika Central) asked the Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources what factors necessitated an increase in the purchase prices of various species of wild animals.

The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources (Ms Tembo): Mr Speaker, economic basics entail that in a competitive market such as ours, where demand outstrips supply, the prices of good goes up. In the case of wild animals, the demand of wildlife has been on the increase, outstripping the number of the available animals. For instance, lions have become scarce while their demand has increased over the years. To bring down the demand for the scarce or few animals, the policy response has been to increase purchase prices of these animals.

Mr Speaker, regional comparison of prices of animals also play a key role. If the prices of animals in the sub-region have generally increased, this acts as an incentive for us also to increase the prices, especially for Safari hunting.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapeya (Mpika): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister confirm that hunting in Zambia is for the rich people since a poor villager, who is a custodian of these wild animals in open management areas cannot afford to pay such high fees?

The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources (Mr Chilembo): Mr Speaker, to the contrary, even the Zambians can hunt. This is not just for the rich people. We do have different fees for foreigners, the people in the local areas and Zambians in general. This is one way in which we are trying to make sure that the prices are affordable for people in different categories and different locations.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): Mr Speaker, in the light of the answer given by the hon. Minister, I would like to find out whether or not crocodiles fall in the category of animals that are on high demand. If that is the case, we all know that crocodiles have devastated a large part of our community. Has our hon. Minister not thought of cropping them or allowing people to just kill them at will so that our people’s lives can be saved?

Mr Chilembo: Mr Speaker, every animal needs protection. It would be reckless for our Ministry to allow people to kill animals anyhow. Crocodiles are no exception. As far as we are concerned, this is one species which also needs protection because it is of very high value. Among us here, someone is putting on crocodile boots.

Hon. Government Members: Even shoes!

Mr Chilembo: Sir, this means that the country is benefiting because we are talking about money. Let us look at animals as a source of income. Let us look at animals beyond the pot.

I thank you, Sir.


Ms Kapata (Mandevu): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister why the same applicants of hunting for the same race are the ones that are permitted to hunt year in and year out.

Mr Chilembo: Mr Speaker, I would require further and proper particulars of this issue because I am not aware of that matter. What I know is that people of different races and backgrounds are allowed to hunt, subject to the usual conditions which have earlier been alluded to.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Malama (Mfuwe): Mr Speaker, realising that there are no expenses incurred in the reproduction of our wild animals, what other justifications can the hon. Minister offer for such exorbitant fees?

Mr Chilembo: Mr Speaker, wild animals are not as wild as some people would think. In certain cases, we have to find medicines to treat some outbreaks of diseases. Therefore, we also need money to cover medical expenses to treat diseases.


Mr Chilembo: Although traditionally, we may think that the animals can survive just like that, it is not the case.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Speaker, arising from what the hon. Deputy Minister has said and also bearing in mind what the hon. Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources said on the Floor of this House about bringing details of the fees for the locals that are separate from what was published, when will the Ministry give this information so that we know that, in fact, the local people can hunt at a fee that they can afford rather than be forced into poaching with its consequences of arrest and incarceration.

Mr Chilembo: Mr Speaker, that information can be provided in the course of next week so as to give us a chance to compile it in a manner that would be easy for everybody to comprehend. Otherwise we do have that information.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr I. Banda (Lumezi): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what deliberate measures the Ministry is putting in place to replant the trees that have been destroyed in national parks by the overpopulated elephants.

Mr Chilembo: Mr Speaker, there are no specific measures which are in place. There has been no serious situation to necessitate an immediate replanting of trees. We have not yet reached a crisis level, but we are always monitoring the situation on the ground.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chitonge (Mwansabombwe): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister when the ban for elephant hunting would be lifted since the population has increased.

Mr Chilembo: Mr Speaker, as a Ministry, we feel that the ban is still necessary and that the increase is not such that we would start encouraging people to kill the animals. These are very important animals and we have to preserve them because they give us foreign exchange.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


202. Mr Lubinda (Kabwata) asked the Minister of Finance and National Planning what the highest annual contribution of the PAYE tax made by the highest paid employee in Zambia was in the following years:

(i) 2003;

(ii) 2004;

(iii) 2005; and

(iv) 2006.  

The Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mr Shakafuswa): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this House that according to the records of the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), the highest contribution of Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) by any one individual during the period 2003 to 2006 is as follows:

 Year        Tax Paid

2003         K223,526,784

2004         K418,222,184

2005         K543,626,284

2006         K410,698,274

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, the figures given by the hon. Minister show that in this country, there are some people who earn extremely high salaries. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether there are any plans whatsoever to ensure that the middle income earners are given bigger relief in PAYE than were awarded this year, and that those who earn extremely large salaries compensate the revenue shortfall.

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, we have to define middle-income earners. As a Ministry, we ensure that our computation is not a way of punishing our citizenry. If we had alternatives to such questions, we would employ them. The reason why we have such tax regimes, as hard on our people as they may be, is the lack of better alternatives.

Mr Speaker, we might have a situation where we give tax relief as envisaged by some church organisations and some hon. Members of Parliament. However, I would like to give one example. If we raised the tax exempt threshold to K1 million, we would have a gap of K415 billion in the revenue of this country, and yet in this House, every hon. Member of Parliament is saying he or she needs more roads and services. The question is how and where to get these revenues. Therefore, as much as we would want to give relief to the people of Zambia, in our computation, we look at how much is expected to be expended on the services to the people of Zambia and we ask where to get the resources.

Mr Speaker, we would be very happy to have a sustainable middle class in the country. However, the issue is that as long as our productivity and revenue are low, we have no alternative, but to tax the people of Zambia.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

_________ {mospagebreak}




The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mr Magande): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now a second time.

Mr Speaker, by the resolution of this House made in 2005, members of the Public Accounts Committee were appointed by this House. One resolution made at the time was to task the Committee to review and make recommendations on all matters relating to the financial year ending 31st December, 2005. Among the recommendations accepted by the House was one concerning the Excess Expenditure in the sum of K83,341,135,177.

Mr Speaker, the object of this Bill, therefore, is to regularise the excess or unconstitutional expenditure incurred during that fiscal year. This subject was exhaustively debated when the House considered the 2005 Financial Report of the Auditor-General’s Report and the Report of the Public Accounts Committee then. Therefore, I do not intend to say much except to seek the support of this House.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Mr Beene (Itezhi-tezhi): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to present the findings of your Committee during their deliberations pertaining to the Excess Expenditure Appropriation (2005) Bill, 2008, NAB 4/2008.

Sir, the Excess Expenditure Appropriation (2005) Bill, 2008 was presented to the House, pursuant to Article 117 (5) of the Constitution. The Bill seeks to confirm the expenditure totaling K83,341,135,177 in excess of the moneys appropriated for the services of the Republic by the Appropriation Act, 2005 and the Supplementary Appropriation (2005) Act. The presentation of the Bill is within the constitutional time limits for presentation of such a Bill. Your Committee note that technically such expenditure cannot be termed unconstitutional due to the fact that the Constitution recognises and envisages it and to this effect, a procedure is provided therein, for its regularisation. It is with this in mind, Sir, that your Committee were surprised that a number of controlling officers continued to refer to the excess expenditure as unconstitutional expenditure. Your Committee call upon the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to ensure that there is awareness among controlling officers that excess expenditure does not constitute unconstitutional expenditure.

Mr Speaker, your Committee are pleased to note the reduction in the total amount of the excess Expenditure as compared to that incurred during the 2004 Financial Year. They are hopeful that the reduction will continue on an annual basis so that the level of expenditures incurred without Parliament’s approval does not become unmanageable. Your Committee also implore the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to ensure that small amounts such as K1 do not continue to appear as excess expenditure.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Beene: Mr Speaker, the above notwithstanding, your Committee are concerned at the continued use of excess expenditure appropriation for regular activities such as personal emoluments, stationery, subscriptions to international organisations and international conferences which should be budgeted for in the normal manner. Your Committee are further of the view that even variations between sub-heads within any Ministry must be within the prescribed procedures and failure to adhere to such procedures should be punishable through the disciplinary procedures existing in the Public Service.

Mr Speaker, the current trend is unsatisfactory because it appears that controlling officers are usurping the power of Parliament to prioritise activities and allocate public funds to meet the public expenditure. Your Committee reiterate that expenditures without parliamentary scrutiny and approval should be strongly discouraged as the possibility of abuse of public funds in such cases is higher. In short, your Committee are of the view that excess expenditure should be the exception rather than the norm.

Sir, your Committee learnt, during their deliberations, that some of the major causes of the recurring excess expenditures include the following:

(i) Low ceilings set at the time of budgeting – the ceilings within which various ministries, provinces and spending agencies had to maintain their budgetary estimates at the time of budgeting were too low to accommodate all operational requirements. As the fiscal year progressed, ministries, provinces and spending agencies were compelled to vary funds from the authorised Budget lines to accommodate pressing needs on other Budget lines, resulting in excess (unauthorised) expenditure on the beneficiary heads;

(ii) Late release of funds – due to the mismatch between the in-flow of revenues and expenditure demands on the Treasury by various Government departments and agencies, funds tended to be released to ministries, provinces and spending agencies towards the end of the year, after the Supplementary Estimates had been approved by the National Assembly. This contributed to the large amounts spent without parliamentary approval;

(iii) Carryover of funds from the previous year – in some cases, funds approved for use in the 2004 Financial Year were carried over and spent in the 2005 Financial Year, resulting in excess expenditure on those heads;

(iv) Failure to process documentation to regularise expenditure – your Committee note that some controlling officers simply failed to process appropriate documentation in time to regularise their expenditures through the Supplementary Estimates. There were also cases where the controlling officers submitted the relevant documentation in time, but the Ministry of Finance and National Planning failed to include the expenditure in the Supplementary Budget.

Mr Speaker, in the light of the aforementioned causes of excess expenditure, your Committee call on all controlling officers in revenue-collecting ministries to prioritise revenue collection activities so that adequate funds are available on a timely basis for implementation of public programmes and projects. They further urge all ministries provinces and spending agencies to ensure that they seriously prioritise their activities at the time of budgeting so as to ensure that critical programmes and activities are catered for under the normal Budget in order to avoid funding routine activities through excess expenditure.

Mr Speaker, in addition, your Committee strongly urge the Secretary to the Treasury to ensure that henceforth, processing of relevant documentation by all controlling officers and the Ministry of Finance and National Planning is done efficiently so as to avert unnecessary incidences of excess expenditure. They also emphasise the need for the Ministry of Finance and National Planning to effectively carry out its monitoring and supervisory role over ministries, provinces and spending agencies expenditures throughout the financial year so that the Ministry offers timely advice or takes corrective action in relation to any ministry which is likely to incur excess expenditure.

Furthermore, your Committee wish to express serious concern over the fact that the Constitution does not provide for a check against the expenditure of public funds without recourse to Parliament in the case of excess expenditure. They call for appropriate amendments to the Constitution in order to enhance parliamentary scrutiny of all public expenditure.

Subject to the observations above, your Committee recommend favourable consideration by the House of the Excess Expenditure of K83,341,135,177 as laid out in the Excess Expenditure Appropriation (2005) Bill, 2008, NAB 4/2008.

Finally, Sir, your Committee wish to pay tribute to all the witnesses who appeared before them and tendered both oral and witness submissions. They also wish to thank you, Mr Speaker, for affording them an opportunity to consider this Bill and convey their appreciation to the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for the Services provided to your Committee throughout their deliberations.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, I wish to thank the Chairperson of this particular Committee for having gone through the Bill and for making valuable recommendations to the Ministry, particularly, to the Controlling Officer, whose function it is to supervise the expenditures that are allocated by this House.

Sir, I heard the Chairperson talk on the issue of late Supplementary Estimates. I wish to state clearly that we would like to move to a situation where Supplementary Estimates become a routine, in terms of varying funds from activity to another, and not where spending institutions ask for large sums of money. As the Committee clearly indicated, this can be avoided by having proper allocation of funds that are released to ministries under the ceilings, to the important activities that require to be done during that particular year.

Mr Speaker, I would like to assure the House that we are going to implement most of these recommendations. I would also wish to inform the House that before we debate the Auditor-General’s Report for 2006, I note that the excess expenditure stands at K8.6 billion as compared to K83 billion in 2005. Therefore, we are doing exactly what the Committee and the general public wants, that is, to ensure that unnecessary expenditures are controlled.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

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

Committed to a committee of the Whole House.

Committee on Friday, 14th March, 2008.


The following Bills were read the third time and passed:

The Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2008

The Customs and Excise (Amendment) Bill, 2008

The Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2008




VOTE 89 – (Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives – K786,652,085,160).

(Consideration resumed)

Mr Syakalima (Siavonga): Madam Chairperson, as many of my colleagues have mentioned, this year’s budget on agriculture was cut by 3 per cent. However, this is worrying because everybody was hoping that there would be a substantial increment in the agriculture sector, since this is the only way we can defeat poverty and hunger in this country. Sir, according to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of 2015, we need to have low levels of poverty in the world. Despite this fact, this Government increased poverty levels by 2 per cent this year, especially in rural areas.

Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!

Mr Syakalima: It was at 78 per cent, but they increased it by 2 per cent. We are now at 80 per cent.

Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!

Mr Syakalima: Increasing poverty!

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Syakalima: How can a Government that is fighting to reduce the levels of poverty increase the percentage of poverty?

Mr Mwiimbu: Yes!

Mr Sichilima: What poverty are you talking about?

Mr Syakalima: Rural poverty.

The majority of our people are in rural areas and one would have reasonably thought that the budget for the agriculture sector would have been increased in this year’s Budget. This is the only sector that can be self-sustaining and make the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) meaningful instead of the mines where money is not realised.

Madam, at the level we are now in this country, we will never see any progressive even in the other sectors. I was very worried when I saw Professor Lungwangwa excited about this year’s budget on education. There is a provision for books where he needed a budget of about K2.2 trillion, but he has only been allocated K2.1. Where is he going to find the other money? Nobody knows!


Mr Syakalima: Sir, for your information, people in the agriculture sector are not asking for anything. They are hard working, and are only asking for inputs and credit of some sort. If this Government had allocated a lot of money to agriculture, this vicious cycle of poverty could have been broken. As of now, this country is in chains.

Sir, you may recall that at one time when there was a bumper harvest in this country, Members of the Opposition reminded this Government to thank God for the good rainfall. However, they boasted that it was due to their Agriculture Policy that there was a bumper harvest. Unfortunately, the following year, there was a terrible drought and hunger. This meant that they should have just thanked God, in the first place, that there was good rainfall.

Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!

Mr Syakalima: They thanked themselves for something that they did not plan for.

Mr Sejani: Instead of thanking God!

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Syakalima: Now we have another calamity. Early last year, the Metrological Department, that lacks equipment, warned this country that there were going to be torrential rains. Unfortunately, this Government failed to plan for that. If this Government had planned, it could have translated the disaster into something else. If the Metrological Department …

Mr Shakafuswa: Like what?

Mr Syakalima: Can you just listen, Jonas Shakafuswa!

The Chairperson: Order!


The Chairperson: Order! Please, allow the debate to flow and do not ask questions to each another.

The hon. Member may continue, please.

Mr Syakalima: I am providing very good advice. Since the Meteorological Department, a Department which you, yourselves, control, had warned you that there were going to be a lot of rains this year, especially in the southern part of the country, you could have prepared yourselves to “harvest” this rain. You could have constructed so many dams so that this water could have been “harvested”.

Mr Hamududu: Yes.

Mr Syakalima: As we speak now, where there was a lot of rain in the Southern Province, it is becoming a drought.

Mr Hamududu: Yes.

Mr Syakalima: If we were planning, you could have constructed a lot of dams so that you tap this rain. In this country, Madam Chairperson, about 60 billion cubic litres of underground water lies unutilised and 90 billion cubic litres of water goes to waste every year. Then you come and say that you have been struck by a drought and yet, the water goes to the Indian Ocean? Does that not remind you of a biblical saying that “in the midst of plenty a fool starves”?


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Syakalima: And in Africa, this is the way we have been behaving. Many African Governments, what can they be called, if in the midst of plenty they starve their own people?

Major Chizhyuka: Such a Government.

Mr Syakalima: Madam Chairperson, this is what you have to have.

The other issue, Madam Chairperson, is still on agriculture. Agriculture cannot flourish for as long as there is infrastructure which is dilapidated in rural areas.

Mr Sejani: Eeh!

Mr Syakalima: You talk of roads. You can never talk about agriculture. This is why you are indicted as a Government and not as individual ministries. We combine you when we talk about the incompetence of a system.

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

Mr Syakalima: This is because even if you had pumped a lot of money into the agriculture sector, but as long as the rural roads remain the way they are, the food even if they harvested, will not reach any market. The crop that would be harvested will not have any market because in any case, you do not provide any market. However, even if you had roads, again, the problem would be where the market is. It is a vicious cycle. Agriculture on its own does not make any sense if the roads in rural areas are as dilapidated as they are. If you have your roads, it does not make any sense if you do not have a market that you, as a Government, do not provide.

Hon. Opposition Members: Eeh!

Mr Syakalima: Madam Chairperson, elsewhere, this is why they provide subsidies in agriculture, but this is not what the Zambians want. What the Zambians know and which we all know very well is that we have very good soils. They are not yet very bad. In most cases, we have very good weather, apart from these intermitted climatic changes. Now, it all calls for planning.

Madam Chairperson, one other issue that we have to consider, hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, if we were disappointed by this Fertiliser Support Programme, you should have changed the way it was administered. Many of the research works on research and development in agriculture have used women as the gender. They have supported women. Instead of giving credit to many male farmers, they have given support to female farmers because, in any case, 80 per cent of our land is worked on by women. This is the truth. Women will always pay back if they have got credit. Women will always utilise the fertiliser and the inputs that they have been given, …

Mr Muntanga: Not all men.


Mr Syakalima: … but the majority of our women.


Mr Syakalima: Madam Chairperson, I will not speak from without. Here is a research by a Parliamentarian. In Kenya, for example, and I quote:

“If women farmers are given the same levels of education, experience and farm inputs as males, they increase yields for maize, beans and cowpeas by 22 per cent”

Mr Hamududu: Correct.

Mr Syakalima: That is what happens elsewhere, where your colleagues plan. When you see that this programme has not worked out for the country, try a different one.

Mr Kasongo: Yes.

Mr Hamududu: Hear, hear!

Mr Syakalima: It is not a long time ago that this idea was implemented. During the Kaunda days, the women who were supported in agriculture used to yield a lot.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Syakalima: Therefore, it is up to you to make it work. Now that this year, you have actually reduced the allocation to the agriculture sector, start planning very well on how to utilise these meagre resources that you have thereto allocated. I hope you understand that, but if you still need some more explanation, you can come to my office …


Mr Mbewe: Which office.

Mr Syakalima: … because this is the only way we are going to help society.

Hon. Members: Where is your office?

Mr Syakalima: Madam Chairperson, this same Parliamentarian states:

“With the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals, Poverty alleviation has climbed to the top of the Global Development Agenda. However, research shows that if the current trends continue, the world will not come close to reaching the target for cutting poverty and hunger in half. But, Parliamentarians, in both development and developing countries have the power to reverse these trends by adopting the essential components of a successful agricultural and rural development policy.”

This is how you are called upon to change the paradigm or shift the paradigm of the way we plan. When one plan does not work out, do not talanta, meaning that do not throw in the towel and say that these things are not workable. There is literally nothing under this earth that is not workable. There is nothing that is not workable. We must reinvigorate ourselves with a little moral energy. This way, I think we can get somewhere. We can reduce this vicious cycle of poverty.

Lastly, Madam Chairperson, I would like to comment on livestock. How can a country which, in most cases, receives adequate rains, be unable to export beef and Botswana, which lies in the middle of the desert does that?

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes. How?

Mr Syakalima: How else do you explain that for the past forty-three years, you cannot eliminate these diseases like denkete, Foot and Mouth disease and the other livestock diseases? The reason why you are unable to do that is that, again, you do not put adequate resources into research. Mind you, research is an important ingredient in every part of the agriculture sector, especially livestock. You will not eradicate these animal diseases if you do not pump a lot of money into research on animal diseases. How can Botswana be proud that they are able to export beef, but you are unable to do so? Zambia in the sun. Zambia in the climate that is, in most cases, favourable!

Mr Hamududu: Namibia, look at them.

Mr Syakalima: All we need, Madam Chairperson, is a nail hole under the boat and we are sunk in this country.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Syakalima: That is what we need. Therefore, let us change the way we think, the way we plan, the way we get advice and not be on the periphery of defence. We are all here, as Parliamentarians, to do a good job.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mr Shakafuswa): Madam Chairperson, I stand to support the Vote under consideration. I would like to thank the people who have raised concern on this Vote. Yes, it is true that Zambia has great potential in agriculture. Actually, most of our arable land has not yet been exploited. This gives us a very big opportunity to actually increase the hectarage or the land that can be cultivated and actually increase food production for the country.

Madam Chairperson, a lot has been said, but suffice to say that we need to also look at what is wrong. It is interesting to note that as hon. Members of Parliament, who represent constituencies, we are always shifting the blame on the Government. With regard to the agriculture input support, the guidelines stipulate that a hon. Member of Parliament has a role to play and …


Mr Shakafuswa: Yes, maybe if you went to your district councils, they would indicate this to you. For example, in my district council, we have been given agriculture input support. The guidelines elaborately show that hon. Members of Parliament have a say on how much input should go to their area and who gets it.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Shakafuswa: Yes, …

The Chairperson: Order! Hon. Minister, can you make your explanation …

Mr Shakafuswa: ... unless we are ignorant of the facts.


Mr Shakafuswa: Madam, the issue at hand here is not that people, especially women, are not getting the inputs. To a large extent, those in the lower echelon of society, those who really deserve the inputs, when they get the inputs, actually put them to good use. As one hon. Member of Parliament rightly said, it is women who actually apply those inputs and do so prudently. The people who are misusing these facilities are not the so-called peasant farmers who would want something to eat. It is some hon. Members of Parliament, including myself, who would take advantage …

Hon. Opposition Members: No!

Mr Shakafuswa: Yes, hon. Members of Parliament like me …

The Chairperson: Order! Order! Hon. Minister, take your seat. The advice of the Chair is that you speak through the Chair. If you start responding to the interjections, I do not know what is going to happen in the House. Those who are heckling you are doing so to derail you and therefore, you should concentrate on the Chair. Be assured that the Chair is listening and they are also listening, otherwise we will end up with noise in the House.

Therefore, hon. Minister, debate through the Chair.

Mr Shakafuswa: Madam, the people who are well to do are the ones who make cartels. They make cartels that channel the fertiliser that is meant for the vulnerable into the hands of commercial farmers and in the corridors of shops in town. Who is to blame for this malpractice? Those of us who have constituencies have to ensure that this commodity reaches the rural areas? We are talking about human beings here.

Likewise the District Agriculture Co-ordinating Officers (DACO) are an extension of the Government, but if they are not responsible to administer agriculture input support, hon. Members of Parliament are also part of the Government and should, therefore, get involved because the programme is actually meant to alleviate poverty. We have to find a way of ensuring that the little that is meant for the people is used effectively. That is the only way that we are going to ensure that the people get something out of the little money which the country allocates to the Fertiliser Support Programme.

Madam Chairperson, we are happy that our Meteorological Department is working and gave us an indication of what the rainy season was going to be like. If the Government can mobilise resources within a year and harvest the rain water, then it is a capable one. However, as we have always said, the amount of resources we have are minimal, unless we say we agree as Parliament to suspend salaries for hon. Members of Parliament for five years so that there are extra resources to go towards alleviating poverty. We can do that, but it will meet a lot of objections. What we need to do is talk. However, I would enjoy talking that brings out suggestions because even this year we …


Mr Shakafuswa: … will still need to tap the water which is there. If we are not able to tap the water, we have to prepare to do so. Under allocations for agriculture, there is money for dam construction. It is upon us, as Zambians, to undertake these projects. However, I do not agree that this should only be left to the Government. People like Hon. Muntanga use their personal money to construct dams. Therefore, the onus is not only on the Government, but on all of us as Zambians to tap the rain water.

How does Hon. Syakalima own cattle and then let it die of denkete and yet this is a manageable disease? Let us say, for example, one decides to plant maize this year. It common knowledge that the maize needs fertiliser and weeding to grow, but if one lets it grow without weeding it, is that farming? What Zambians should know is that even diseases like denkete can be controlled at an individual level. I have gone to a constituency where a dip tank was constructed and people were told that for every kraal dipped they should pay K10,000 so as to raise money to buy medicine for the next dipping. Some people would rather not dip their animals and let the whole herd of animals die. This cannot be blamed on the Government that it is unable to intervene in controlling of animal diseases or lack of information. People have kept animals for a very long time.

Madam, we have to shift from being self-sympathetic to taking the cow by the horns.

Mr Syakalima: Which cow?

Mr Shakafuswa: I mean that the bull by the horns.


Mr Shakafuswa: I have just started keeping animals, but I do not think they will die of denkete because I will manage them properly.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: Therefore, we should not just be a nation of people who are always complaining. Let us teach our people disease management methods. We have to go out there and teach the people how they can keep, for example, ten animals. I know of people who had as much as 1,000 animals, but because of lack of dipping or good management the whole lot has been decimated and they are waiting for the Government to bring medicine. How can one allow 1,000 animals to die, and yet 20 can be sold so as to buy medicine to save the remaining 980 animals? People always want the easy way out of situations. Hon. Members of Parliament must help sensitise the people instead of just saying that the Government is doing nothing.

Let us keep what we have in our areas by looking after it properly. The notion that Zambia is not exporting beef is not true. The fact that this is coming from people who are supposed to be regarded as highly educated raise a lot of concern. Zambeef Company Plc. exports animals to the Democratic Republic of Congo and up to as far as West Africa. Today, in the United Kingdom, a member of the European Union, there is beef from Zambia. However, Zambeef Company Plc is not part of the Government, but is run by an entrepreneur, who is Mr Hakainde Hichilema. The abattoir that he is running might even soon open into other European Union countries markets and other markets. These are individuals who stand on their own.

This is why sometimes when Hon. Magande stands here to speak, some people say that he is presidential material.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Shakafuswa: Other people are not presidential material.

Mr Muntanga: On a point of order, Madam.

Mr Shakafuswa: Madam, what we need are Zambians with entrepreneurship abilities. We need people who do not cherish poverty, but extricate themselves out of the echelons of poverty by creating wealth. In the Southern Province, there are good examples of people who have grown out of the echelons of poverty. There are people who grew up walking bare footed, but today, are driving maybe twenty cars. That is what we should promote as a nation because if what we are going to do is just sit here and blame the Government, we shall not progress. There are people who have not been to school, but we can impart knowledge in them so that they improve their well being.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: Therefore, in terms of livestock, we can become a great nation with minimum support from the Government, but through our own ability, we have to learn how to look after these animals. After all, they are our assets. They are the ones we use when our children get married. They are a symbol of wealth to some of us. Over the years, people who had animals learnt why they needed to keep animals. However, if you think that the onus is on the Government alone, it is neither here nor there.

Madam Chairperson, it is not only the Government that should provide the market. Today, the market is just a matter of entrepreneurship and I am happy about it. I just sold my maize that fetched K48,000 to K50,000 per 50 kilogram bag.

Madam Chairperson, much as we know that the market is there, we should also know how to tap into these markets. The Government can afford part of the market but it also depends on the entrepreneur development. We have grown into a livestock nation, therefore, there will be need for stock feed.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: Madam Chairperson, once we start rearing more chickens, cattle, pigs and other livestock through our efforts, we will create a market for our people to sell at profitable prices. We have to wait for the Government to create a market because of the depressed prices because of lack of demand. We have to work on creating the demand amongst ourselves, and the demand can only become effective if there are people who are putting in money. We have to encourage our people to increase their production. If they are rearing 100 chickens, they should increase the number to 2,000.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: That is the only way we are going to grow the economy of this country. If you think the economy will grow just by complaining, - mind you, you are a Government-in-waiting …

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: … and your ideas are just ideas which will never cross the borders of Southern Province which is Kafue. They will remain there because they are very poor ideas which, in practice, can never work. They are very good on paper, but in practice, they can not work because they are out of this world.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: The practicality of their ideas is impossible because people talk, but they know that they can never …

Mr Muntanga: On a point of order, Madam!

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

Mr Muntanga: Madam Chairperson, is this hon. Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning, who is aware that the Government’s job is to provide services that would make the Zambian people participate economically, in order to continuously belabour and mislead the nation that there is no need for a government, and that people should govern themselves and do things like they are doing in Somalia? On one hand he is praising the Southern Province while on the other hand, he says the ideas cannot work, and yet he knows that we have not taken charge of this country to illustrate how it ought to be done. Is he in order to continuously mislead the people and not tell them why the funding for agriculture has been reduced?

The Chairperson: The point of order is simply a debatable issue and therefore, let the hon. Minister continue.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: Madam Chairperson, we have heard of countries such as America which are driven by entrepreneurship.

Mr Mubika: He does not know.

Mr Shakafuswa: Here in Zambia, we have a problem. If someone is doing fine, you want to pull him down instead of encouraging him to become wealthy. Once people start becoming wealthy, it is the nation that benefits.

If you are saying that the Government is going to have a say in every aspect of life, it will fail. As we stand, as a Zambian Government, at K51.8 trillion Gross Domestic Product, even the next Government would not be able to immediately raise resources to develop this country. If people are cheating themselves, let them continue dreaming. This country needs people who know the real problems and not people who will sit and dream because if we have to increase the capacity of this nation, we should not wait until we are dead. This is the time to do it.

We asked those who have good ideas to help us prepare this Budget, but no one came because they knew that they can only sing in this House for fifteen minutes and not …

The Chairperson: Order. Members of Parliament do not sing here.


Mr Shakafuswa: They can come and talk without offering any solution. We have got experts from the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives and other ministries. Yes, they need managers as well, but if we said let us develop this country together, it can develop today instead of coming here and talking so that you are heard and then make your money. That is wrong. We have to move this nation forward together, give each other ideas, then we will be able to identify the inadequacies. However, if you are waiting for the time when you will be on this side, not on my right hand, we will not develop this country.

I thank you, Madam.


The Chairperson: Order!

The Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Ms Sayifwanda): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for allowing me to wind up the debate on my Ministry.

In the first place, let me thank the hon. Members who have supported the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives budget and requested for more funding to be allocated thereto.

Madam Chairperson, before I go into details, I must say the hon. Members have shown their concern on this budget. Let me also say that the Ministry has budgeted according to the available resources since we have only one basket competing for more needs in the nation.

Having said that, let me also say that as much as we will be talking, if we are not putting anything on the ground, we will not make progress. I am talking about our attitude as a nation. If we, the hon. Members of Parliament, allow the people in our constituencies to be in taverns and bars early in the morning instead of tilling the land, we shall never grow the economy of this nation.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Sayifwanda: We have to make sure that even if we have insufficient resources, we utilise them and encourage the people to work hard. This is how we are going to improve. The great China and Japan were crushed to nothing, but because of their attitudes towards development, they have risen to what they are today. And this is what I am asking you to do for the nation.

Madam Chairperson, through you, I am asking my fellow hon. Members of Parliament to be on the ground to sensitise the people as this is the way we are going to grow the economy.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Sayifwanda: Madam Chairperson, most of the issues raised by the hon. Members namely; Hon. Milupi, Hon. Mbewe, Hon. Dr Guy Scott, Hon. Imasiku and Hon. Syakalima have been taken note of and I will make sure that the officials from the Ministry make a follow up on them and make appropriate recommendations. I thank them for their contributions.

Madam Chairperson, I would like to clarify a few issues that were raised by Hon. Muntanga. One of the issues was the K30 billion, which he said was not in the Budget. When we were preparing the policy statement for the Ministry, we could not consider activity by activity. All the money was lumped together and this information can be captured from the Policy and Planning Department were an amount of K10.5 billion has been allocated. At Veterinary and Livestock Department Headquarters, K13 billion has been allocated while K2 billion has been allocated to Veterinary and Livestock and the balance is at the provincial and district levels.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Sayifwanda: Madam Chairperson, the other issue I would like to clarify is the one raised by Hon. Ngoma on the exports to Mozambique and Malawi. Let me remind this august House that there is also maize that comes into Zambia from other countries for sale, in line with our trade liberalisation policies under the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa. (COMESA). We need to strengthen data capturing on cross border trade. The Ministry does not wish to destroy what it has already put in place.

Madam Chairperson, let me also clarify the issue of policies. If I remember correctly, in the last but one paragraph of the policy statement, I informed this House that during the course of this year, I would bring pieces of legislation for which I would seek the support of the hon. Members of Parliament.

Having said that, Madam Chairperson, let me conclude by saying that, as a Government, we are trying our best and the hon. Members of Parliament are free to come to the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives and sell their ideas for us to make progress.

Madam Chairperson, I thank all the hon. Members who have contributed on this Vote.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: Order!

Vote 89/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 89/03 – (The Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives – Policy and Planning Department – K286,675,254,559).

Mr Muntanga: Madam Chairperson, K286,675,254,559 is the amount for the Planning and Policy Department. I would like to be shown specifically where the amount of K10 billion is for Veterinary and Animal Health Control on this particular vote.

Ms Sayifwanda: Madam Chairperson, I think I explained clearly that I could not cite activity by activity, but that the K10 billion is “spreaded”. It is not just a lump sum. It is “spreaded”.

Hon. Opposition Members: Spreaded?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Sayifwanda: Madam Chairperson, Hon. Muntanga should have got that note. In fact, if he looked at Activity 15 - Kwando-Zambezi, an amount of K21, 678,999,948 has been thereto allocated.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: This Budget is activity-based and under the Policy and Planning Department, there are specific programmes. There is no way that K10 billion which is not specified for Animal Health can go to Animal Disease Control. I cannot see the spreading.

Hon. Opposition Member: “Spreaded”.

Mr Muntanga: If it is not there, let the hon. Minister admit that it is not in this particular vote.

Ms Sayifwanda: Madam Chairperson, much as I follow Hon. Muntanga’s concern, I think I have already answered his question. I said that we have “spreaded” the activities.


Ms Sayifwanda: There are allocations under headquarters, Veterinary and Livestock Development Department and the Agriculture Department. Unless Hon. Muntanga wants something else, I think I have made it clear that he should just follow the activities and he will see what I am talking about.

I thank you, Madam

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Vote 89/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


The Chairperson: Order, hon. Members! We are looking at a very important part of our work here. The Chair simply cannot concentrate with the discussions or consultations that are going on. Can we, please, be part of what is going on?

VOTE 89/03 – (Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives – Agriculture Department – K21,951,431,981).

Mr D. Mwila (Chipili): Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Program 15, Activity 04 – Monitoring and Evaluation of Departmental Activities – K153,200,000. Last year, we had budgeted for K16,650,000 and this year, there is a very big increase of K153,200,000. Why is there such a big increase?

Madam, also on Program 16, Activity 01 – Support to Community Micro Projects - K800,000,000, last year, there was a budget provision of K100,000,000 while this year, it has increased to K800,000,000, showing a 700 per cent increase. Can the hon. Minister explain the sudden increase?

Ms Sayifwanda: Madam Chairperson, Program 15, Activity 04 – Monitoring and Evaluation of Departmental Activities – K153,200,000 will be used for up-scaling of some activities. In fact, the same applies to Program 16, Activity 01 – Support to Community Micro Projects – K800,000,000. Some activities such as support to community micro projects by providing some motor bikes to field and sensitisation of field staff have been up scaled.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Muntanga: Madam Chairperson, I am very interested in seeing the “spreaded” funds ...


Mr Muntanga: … for Animal Health Control.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Muntanga: I have looked at each individual item and I have not seen where Animal Health Control is indicated. I would like to see it so that I can add it to the next vote.

The Chairperson: The hon. Member’s concern will be very difficult to deal with at this point because we are moving subhead by subhead. We do not go back to what we have already looked at. Unfortunately, that should have been tackled a little earlier for the hon. Member to fully understand.

Mr Muntanga indicated.

The Chairperson: Order! I am still speaking.

The point I am making is that, the hon. Minister said that the hon. Member’s concern about the money allocated for the care of animals has been spread out. It is not indicated as one particular activity. I think this is what she has given as policy of what they are doing.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: Now, to start identifying it as we move on may become a little difficult for the House.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Madam Chairperson, the policy of this Government is to have activity based programmes. I accepted the failure to have shown me this activity under Vote 03, then I moved on to Vote 04 so that I am shown the particular spread because I know that there will be a particular activity on Animal Health with a figure indicated.

I would like to be satisfied that the other votes that have been hidden will be explained to me. As far as this particular Yellow Book stands, there is no hiding or spreading of any kind. I insist that the hon. Minister concedes that there was no indication of Animal Health on any one of these votes except on the Veterinary Department.

Ms Sayifwanda: Madam Chairperson, all I can do is lay this document, where these activities have been outlined, on the Table so that it can help Hon. Muntanga to identify what I am talking about.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Sayifwanda laid the document on the Table.

Vote 89/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 89/06 – (Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives – Veterinary and Livestock Development Department – K20,139,001,448).

Mr Muntanga: Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on this Vote because I can see that there is only K20,139,001,448 for Veterinary and Livestock Development as a departmental head total. May I be shown that other than this particular activity, we will be able to tap on any extra money other than the Budget?


The Chairperson: Order! Mr Muntanga, let us face this reality. The policy that that the hon. Minister has brought is that they have spread some of the activities under this Vote to other departments.

Mr Muntanga indicated.

The Chairperson: Order! This is it. If you want to continue asking the question on every Vote, then we will not make progress.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: This has already been stated. Can we move on?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mubika: Long live the Chair!

Mr Muntanga indicated.

The Chairperson: Order! You do not debate with the Chair. This is a matter of policy and no matter how much you argue on this point, you will not succeed because you should have brought an amendment if that is the way you want it. You cannot argue at this point because it is no longer debatable. Can we move on?

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Vote 89/06 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/07 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/08 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/09 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/10 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/11 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/12 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/13 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/14 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/15 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/16 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

The Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.{mospagebreak}

[THE CHAIRPERSON in the Chair]

The Chairperson: Before business was suspended, we were looking at individual heads.

Vote 89/17 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/18 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/19 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/20 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 89/21 – (Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives – Southern Province – District Agriculture Co-ordinating Office – K4,752,601,439).

Dr Scott: Madam Chairperson, I seek clarification from the hon. Minister. This figure, like all the other district figures, is more or less halved. I understand she might have “spread” it somewhere, but it would be nice to have the assurance that actually, the district funding has been maintained.

Ms Sayifwanda: Madam Chairperson, there has been a reduction in allocation to various programmes and activities at provincial, district and research stations for all the departments that are represented at these levels because of the overall reduction in allocation to the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives. This goes for all the provinces. That is the response that I can give the hon. Member.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Mr Muntanga: Madam Chairperson, please, bear with me. I have a very serious problem in agriculture. There is an allocation of K4.7 billion for the Southern Province. The spreading out that I have seen is to move the amount of K30 billion from the provinces without any papers from the Ministry of Finance and National Planning. This Budget has not been altered, we have not moved an amendment, and yet there is a small paper flying around to reduce funding to the provinces. This means that the total will be lower than this.

Madam Chairperson, can the hon. Minister explain when the Government stopped activity-based programmes and started “spreading” them? Can we, please, get this straight because we, in the agriculture sector, are getting totally confused?

The Chairperson: Before I ask the hon. Minister to clarify, the Chair would like to find out if the hon. Member is you referring to the paper that was laid on the Table proposing some kind of amendments.

Mr Muntanga: Madam Chairperson, the issue of “spreading” is in the paper she laid on the Table. She said that a total of K30 billion has been allocated for the control of livestock diseases, and yet it is K21 billion in the Yellow Book. Now the total amount for the districts, for example, Small Holding Livestock Improvement Programme for a province is K200 million will be moved to disease control.

Ms Sayifwanda: Where?

Mr Muntanga: This is exactly what it says.

Madam Chairperson, this paper is not something that we have approved in this House to change this Yellow Book. How can this be? This Yellow Book, as presented by the hon. Minister, shows an activity programme that shows that Veterinary and Livestock Development Department is K20.1 billion. The K10 billion she has added, without any amendment, is this paper of “spreading” within the Ministry. These are the problems in the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, where they start diverting funds. How can this be allowed?

The Chairperson: The Chair will need a little explanation from the hon. Minister because, if I got what Hon. Muntanga said, he said there is an indirect amendment that may affect the figures in the Yellow Book according to the paper that has been laid on the Table. Can we get clarification because if that is so, it is never done and we may have to declare that paper null and void?

Therefore, hon. Minister, can you tell the Committee what is going on?

Ms Sayifwanda: Madam Chairperson, I overheard one hon. Member whispering saying that they want to make me angry, but you will fail. I am always a smiling Minister.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Sayifwanda: Madam Chairperson, the document that I laid on the Table was explaining how the resources have been “spreaded” out …

Hon. Members: “Spreaded”, again?

Ms Sayifwanda: …in the Yellow Book. We have not changed anything. Those figures come straight from the Yellow Book.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

The Chairperson: For the sake of clarity for the entire Committee, from the point where we are on Head 89/21, can the hon. Minister help us by indicating these figures from here. We may not go back because that would be unprocedural, but we are now looking at Head 89/21. Can we be told about the figures? What has happened in this particular Vote? Otherwise, I will ask the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to make more clarification.

Ms Sayifwanda: Madam Chairperson, on this Head if we could go to Programme 16 ─ Livestock Production and Veterinary Services, it is there, as well as …

The Chairperson: What is there?

Ms Sayifwanda: Livestock and Veterinary Services, there is about K31,000 and that is what is indicated in that document which I laid on the Table.

I thank you Madam Chairperson.

The Chairperson: Hon. Muntanga, have you followed what she is saying?

Mr Muntanga: If you look, particularly, on Programme 16, Activity 01 ─ Office Administration ─ K10,000,000, Activity 04 ─ Backstopping and Supervisory Visits ─ K20,396,296 and Activity 19 ─ Livestock Restocking Monitoring ─ K1,000,000, there is no basis to imply that this money has gone to Veterinary Disease Control as this paper alleges.

 I want to remind the hon. Minister that, in her policy address, she did say that there was K30 billion in the Livestock Disease Control Programmes. I challenge that there is only K20.1 billion. She is justifying it when the figures here do not talk about disease control.


The Chairperson: Order! The Chair is also trying to follow in order to guide the House. At the moment, the Chair will need more clarification in the sense that Hon. Muntanga, is raising the point that there is no money on this Programme 16, Activity 01 ─ Office Administration ─ K10,000,000, Activity 04 ─ Backstopping and Supervisory Visits ─ K20,396,296 and Activity 19 ─ Livestock Restocking Monitoring ─ K1,000,000 according to what the hon. Minister has told us. Are we together? Since there is no money, the hon. Minister is saying that the money which was supposed to have been here has been moved.

Mr Muntanga: Madam Chairperson, what she is saying is that the K31 million, and not K31,000, as she said earlier, according to this paper has gone to Animal Disease Control. That is the way they have “spreaded”.


Mr Muntanga: Now, I am saying that there is no way you can move this money with a specific control figure. This is activity-based. It cannot happen. Hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning should clarify this.

The Chairperson: I think the Hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning should help us. What the hon. Member is that you cannot unilaterally move this money which appears under Programme16 to another vote when it appears here. Help us understand because may be it is just a figure which looks the same. It may be something else and not this figure.

Mr Magande: Madam Chairperson, when Hon. Muntanga started asking the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives, I heard him asking about where the K31 billion we are talking about for livestock disease control. The hon. Minister answered that the money is not just under Livestock Veterinary Services Headquarters, it has been spread into other activities. Therefore, when we come to this particular head that we are discussing, the heading says “Livestock Production and Veterinary Services”.

Madam Chairperson, what Hon. Muntanga would like us to do is to change that heading to read “Live Stock Production and Disease Control”. That is all because veterinary services include livestock diseases control…

Hon. Government Members: Yes!

Mr Magande: … and if you add the figures which are on each district, you would find that the figures are there. That is why the hon. Minister wanted to make it easier by producing that table. If you go to that table on Page 1,132, you will find that figure, but what you are saying is that Veterinary Services is not clear enough. It must say “Livestock Production and Disease Control”. When you add all these figures, you will find that all the figures which she mentioned in her policy statement are.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Magande: I hope this is very clear.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: Order! Indeed, this is very clear. If Hon. Muntanga has been looking for change of the wording from veterinary to disease control then, really, it is a matter of semantics, meaning exactly the same because veterinary and disease control, Veterinary Services includes everything. I hope now that is it.

Mr Muntanga: Madam Chairperson, I do not want to take you back. What I am saying is that the Veterinary Department on disease control has a specific vote of K20.1 billion. When this issue came that there was an increase from K20.1 billion to K30 billion, I challenged it here and the hon. Minister said that it was K30 billion and I argued that the K30 billion was for last year. Therefore, to come now and say that the money which is for management is now for monitoring and disease control is wrong.


The Chairperson: Order! No conversation.

Mr Muntanga: Madam Chairperson, this money is for the District Agriculture Coordinator and in District Agriculture Co-ordinator, there is extension, crop management and other things. The veterinary services is different under the District Agriculture Co-ordinator. This is not the same as the particular vote for Disease Control. This is the reason why the hon. Minister has a problem of expenditure of money in agriculture. What I am saying is that let us go to the Vote and specify.

The Chairperson: Order! After listening to the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning and getting that kind of clarification, she has difficulties in trying to sort out this because at the moment what the Chair understands is that the policy in the Ministry has changed. Instead of funding in one place, they have chosen to spread it out including taking it to the districts. That is the policy which should have been done.

Can we move?

Vote 89/21 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/22 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/23 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/24 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote89/25 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/26 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/27 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/28 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/29 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/30 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/31 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/32 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/33 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 51 – (Ministry of Communications and Transport K110,516,850,609).{mospagebreak}

The Minister of Communications and Transport (Ms Siliya): Madam Chairperson, thank very much for giving me this opportunity to present a policy statement and the budget of 2008 for the Ministry of Communications and Transport. My policy statement is in three parts, a brief introduction, an overview of the performance of the Ministry in 2007 and the proposed budget for 2008.

Madam, the Ministry of Communications and Transport is charged with the critical responsibility of formulating and administering policies and programmes in the communications, transport and meteorology sectors.

The development agenda for the Ministry of Communications and Transport is anchored by the ideals of the national vision, where we are resolved to transform Zambia into a prosperous middle-income country by 2030. In this regard, we, in the communications and transport and meteorology sector, aspire to attain a well developed and maintained socio-economic infrastructure as well as attain an information and knowledge-based society by the year 2030.

In the short-term, Madam Chairperson, the Ministry will strive to attain the 2030 Vision, through goals, objectives, policies and programmes as contained in the Fifth National Development (FNDP).

My Ministry’s mission, therefore, is to facilitate sustainable growth and development of the transport and communications sectors in order to ensure the provision of efficient, adequate and quality services for the benefit of the people of Zambia.

Madam Chairperson, through you, I beg the indulgence of the House that I give an overview of the performance of the Ministry in 2007.

As a whole, the communications and transport sector grew by 22.5 per cent as compared to 22.1 per cent in 2006. Robust growth was recorded in all sub-sectors with the exception of the rail sector where negative growth was recorded, mainly on account of a poor state of rail infrastructure.

Madam Chairperson, in particular, the Information Communication Technology (ICT) sector registered a growth of 40.5 per cent in 2007, largely on account of expansion in the mobile phone sub-sector. The growth was a direct response to good policies implemented in 2007, such as the reduction of tax on imported ICT spare parts, which stimulated the private sector to invest more in this sector.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: The major policy development in the sector was the launch of the National Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Policy which marked an important milestone in the sector’s history. The Policy is aimed at providing direction on the development of the sector, use and application of ICTs and also putting in place an effective institutional legal and regulatory framework.

Madam Chairperson, the ICT sector, is one of the fastest growing sectors, not only in Zambia, but globally and both the private and public sectors are increasingly adopting its use in their business transactions in order to improve their productivity, maintain a positive competitive edge and enhance their profitability.

A feasibility study on the creation of an ICT hub in the Multi-Facility Economic Zone (MFEZ) in Lusaka South commenced in 2007 under the auspices of the Triangle of Hope and the Private Sector Development (PSD) programme. Once the studies are completed, it is expected that computer assembly plants will be established in Zambia.

Madam Chairperson, Zambia’s Mobile-Phone Subscriber base expanded by 34.2 per cent to 2,231,283 in 2007 from 1,663,051 in 2006. Accordingly, the national mobile phone tele-density rose to 18.9 per cent in 2007 from 14.0 per cent in 2006. The increase was mainly attributed to the roll-out of the ICT infrastructure by the three players in the mobile phone industry.

In terms of …


The Chairperson: Order! We need silence in the House. The Minister is making a policy statement which we, from both sides of the House, all need to follow.

You may continue, hon. Minister.

Mr Sichilima: Hear, hear! Kambwili!

Ms Siliya: Thank you, Madam.

In terms of area coverage, there was 100 per cent signal coverage of all the seventy-two districts of Zambia by the three main players in the mobile phone segment. However, the challenge that remains is to extend to the outlaying areas beyond the district centres.

Madam Chairperson, in terms of land phones, the Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN) or fixed landlines on the other hand recorded a marginal growth of 0.96 per cent. The slow down in growth was largely on account of lack of investment in product and technological innovation and also stiff competition from mobile cellular phones.

There was a total of 94,330 PSTN, that is fixed landline subscribers in 2007 as compared to just 93,427 in 2006. A total of 14,915,592 call minutes were sent out from Zambia by Zambia Telecommunications (ZAMTEL) through the International Gateway, while 110,970,588 call minutes were received into Zambia.

Madam Chairperson, this increase of phone calls coming into Zambia is attributed to the good economy and the interest that was generated outside Zambia, particularly in the mining, tourism and the construction sectors.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Madam, in 2007, the Internet segment registered a significant growth of 49.6 per cent. There were 17,948 Internet subscribers registered by the thirteen local Internet Services Providers (ISPs) as compared to 11,996 in the year 2006. Of these thirteen ISPs, six provided Internet services while seven were either in Website hosting or Internet Services such as VSAT.

The broad band Internet users sector experienced a 200 per cent growth from just under 2,000 subscribers in 2006 to over 5,000 subscribers in 2007, indicating a significant shift in demand from dial up to broadband Internet service.

However, we do realise that Internet usage was, in fact, higher, especially amongst the youth who frequent Internet cafes, but this data is not captured.

Madam Chairperson, ZAMTEL has commenced the laying of the National Optic Fibre Network, starting with the Lusaka Metropolitan area. The optic fibre is expected to provide cost-effective broadband communication, high speed Internet service, E-commerce, Cable TV, E-Government, E-learning and point-to-point high speech communication. This will result in a reduced cost of communication, improved quality of service and creation of new industries such as local content provision and Internet broadcasting.

The Metropolitan Network in Lusaka is almost complete and will soon be commissioned while the roll-out plan for the rest of the country will continue for the next eighteen months.

Madam Chairperson, I will now talk about the Postal Services. The Postal Services Sub-Sector continued to play a critical role in the movement of parcels locally and internationally.

During the period under review, the Zambia Post Office Services (ZAMPOST) operated 119 fully-fledged post offices, forty-six sub-post offices and fifty-eight postal agencies countrywide. A decline of 15.9 per cent in domestic mail items handled was registered to 4,114,165 in 2007 from 4,894,306 in 2006. This decline could be attributed to the change in preference for electronic mail services. On the international segment, a total of 1,263,562 out-going mail items were handled in 2007 as compared to just 1,183,187 in 2006, representing an increase of 6.8 per cent.

Madam Chairperson, I now move to air transport. The air transport sub-sector continued to register a positive growth at 35.5 per cent in 2007 compared to 26.0 in 2006. This growth was mainly attributed to the rise in passenger traffic volumes at all airports resulting from increased economic activities.

Passenger traffic grew by 19.3 per cent to 1,053,307 in 2007 from 882,944 passengers in 2006. This was attributed to an increase in mining activities, as evidenced by the increase of 55.0 per cent in passenger traffic particularly at the Ndola Airport. In addition, the hosting of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Heads of State Summit in August 2007 and other subsequent SADC meetings in Zambia contributed to the growth in passenger movements in Lusaka. Tourism continued to boom thereby boosting passenger traffic at the Livingstone and Mfuwe airports.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Madam Chairperson, the major infrastructure programme of the year was the completion of the extension of the Livingstone Airport Runway which was extended from 2.3 kilometres to 3.0 kilometres to enable bigger aircrafts such as Boeing 767 and the Airbus 320 to land and take off. This will now facilitate long-haul direct international flights from Europe, Asia and the Americas into Livingstone. Besides the runway, improvements were made to the air/ground handling facilities, fire and rescue services, construction of the aircraft parking apron, car park and the circulation road.

In addition to this, a new airstrip was constructed in Siavonga District in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Siliya: Madam Chairperson, a total of twenty-five air-service permits were granted to airlines flying in Zambia in 2007. This translated into a revenue collection of K1.5 billion.

Let me now talk about the rail transport. The rail sub-sector continued to deteriorate during the year under review.

Total cargo carried by the Rail Systems of Zambia (RSZ) reduced to 862,957 metric tonnes in 2007 from 1,147,580 in the 2006. The Tanzania-Zambia Railways Authority (TAZARA) moved a total of 538,532 metric tonnes of freight during the period under review as compared to 555,291 metric tonnes in 2006. The decline can be mainly attributed to the preference by major exporters to use road transport which was more competitive freight tariffs and quicker turn-around times. The poor state of infrastructure continued to adversely affect the railway performance.

However, there was some remarkable progress registered in the construction of the Chipata-Mchinji Railway Line, where 18 kilometres of the rail has been laid. Project completion covering the entire 27 kilometre rail stretch is expected in 2008.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: The Government is interested in partnering with a private company to recapitalise and run the Mulobezi Railway Line.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Madam Chairperson, during the year under review, the Government continued to engage the Rail Systems of Zambia through negotiations on reviewing the concession agreements and investment plan, with a view to improving passenger and freight train services. The discussion will be pursued with much vigour in 2008.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: As for the road sector, the road transports sub-sector continued to value add at 6.4 per cent, in terms of cargo and passenger transportation and vehicle kilometre coverage. Specifically, the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) registered a total number of just over 44,000 vehicles, bringing the total national vehicle population to 227,950 compared to 183,701 vehicles registered in 2006. An estimated 44,004,600 passengers were ferried countrywide. The RTSA collected K103 billion, surpassing its target of K57.8 billion. This was on account of improved internal controls, publicity and public relations. Madam Chairperson, through you, I wish to assure the House that the computerising of the system will continue this year.

The estimated reported number of road traffic accidents stood at just under 21,000 with 4,650 slight casualties, 3760 serious casualties and fatalities at just over 1,000.

My Ministry produced a Draft Revised Highway Code which was subjected to wide consultations. I intend to bring the Draft Highway Code to this House for consideration and enactment into law later this year. Speed limiters on all long distance Public Service vehicles were also introduced.

Further, Madam Chairperson, in order to reduce the incidences of drunken driving, which has been cited as the major cause of road traffic accidents, breathalysers were introduced through statutory instrument number 66 of 2005. The breathalysers are meant to test the amount of alcohol in a person’s blood system using their breath.

Madam Chairperson, water transport. The Government policy focus in 2007 was on creating accessibility of the waterways by improving the navigability through dredging and this was done in canals in major waterways in the Luapula, Northern and Western provinces.

Hon. Government Members:  Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Out of the budgeted K700 million in 2007, K580 million was disbursed to the following provincial administrations: Luapula, Northern, North-Western, Central and Western provinces for canal rehabilitation and other marine related activities.

Madam Chairperson, with regard to meteorology, the meteorology sector continued to play its role of informing the public of the general climatic and weather conditions of the day to enable the business community, the farmers and individuals make informed decisions. The sector was very key in the early prediction and monitoring of the flood situation that hit several parts of the country, through timely rainfall forecasts and reports.

The Ministry commenced feasibility studies for the opening up of Marine Meteorology Stations at Mpulungu Port and Southdowns Aviation Station in Kitwe.

Further, the Ministry, through the Radio and Internet Programme (RANET) distributed 1,000 solar wind up radios nationwide at a cost of K324 million.

Satellite receivers were also installed at all community radio stations and district co-ordinating offices in the Eastern, Central, Northern and Luapula provinces.

Permit me to turn to the policies and programmes for 2008. Madam Chairperson, the total budget allocation for the Ministry of Communication and Transportation in 2008 is K91,697 billion. This represents an increase of 22 per cent or K18.2 billion from the amount allocated in 2007.

The source of the increase is basically the non-personal emoluments-related expenditures that have increased from K67.672 billion in 2007 to K85.870 billion in 2008, representing an increase of 26.9 per cent.

The bulk of the non-personal emolument resources will be spent on capital projects, such as the rehabilitation of the Kasama and Solwezi Airport infrastructure, construction of the Chipata/Muchinji Railway and procurement of meteorological infrastructure and equipment.

Madam Chairperson, specifically, in the ICT sector, the Government will continue to stimulate the growth of this sector through appropriate policy interventions and incentives. As such, in this year’s budget, we propose to spend K800 million on setting up rural ICT centres and K1 billion on the e-governance programme. The former is meant to improve access to ICTs in rural areas while the latter aims to bring about efficiency, effectiveness, transparency and accountability in the delivery of public services through the use of ICTs.

The Ministry also intends to submit to this House three Bills for consideration in 2008, and these are:

(i) the Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) Bill;

(ii) the Electronic Transacts Bill; and

(iii) the Postal Services Bill.

These Bills are intended to improve the management and usage of ICTs and postal services in the country. In particular, the Electronic Transactions Bill is expected to enhance e-commerce by easing transactions by protecting ICT users from unwarranted hackers. The Ministry will also develop the ICT Implementation Master Plan.

Madam Chairperson, the Ministry of Communications and Transport will continue with its programmes of upgrading post offices, for example in Solwezi, and also construction of post offices such as in Vubwi, Shang’ombo and …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: … other parts of the country in conjunction with the Zambia Postal Services. For this activity, we propose to spend K1 billion.

On air transport, the priority programmes for this year is the rehabilitation and improvement of infrastructure at Solwezi and Kasama Airports, where we are proposing to spend K20 billion for each of these projects. The Ministry will also undertake general maintenance of aerodromes and airports across the country.

In order to enhance the safety of navigation at the Lusaka International Airport, the Ministry plans to repair and upgrade the radar at the Lusaka International Airport and also procure fire-fighting equipment at major airports across the country. We are proposing to spend K950 million on these projects.

Madam Chairperson, permit me to talk about rail transport A total of K10 billion has been allocated for the construction of the Chipata-Mchinji Rail Line. This line will connect Zambia to the Port of Nacala, through an already existing railway line from Mchinji in Malawi to the port in Mozambique.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: The opening of the Nacala route is expected to add to Zambia’s existing trade routes.

Further, the Ministry intends to resume the operations, through private sector participation, of the Njanji Commuter Services which will provide an alternative mass transit transport to the road sector.

The Ministry will continue to collaborate with the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry in further exploring the possibilities of attracting private sector investment opportunities for the development of new railway lines such as the Chingola-Lumwana, Nseluka-Mpulungu, Chipata-TAZARA, Mulobezi-Caprivi and the Lions Den Kafue railway lines.

Madam Chairperson, I wish to reiterate that the Ministry shall reinvigorate its discussions with the Railway Systems of Zambia to improve the operations of the rail line, with a view to finding a lasting solution.

The Ministry will also work very hard towards the revitalisation of the Tanzania-Zambia Railways (TAZARA) through private sector participation. We have proposed an amount of K500 million in this year’s Budget as part of our bilateral contributions towards the operations of TAZARA.

The Ministry will further work towards putting in place an effective legal and regulatory framework by revising the existing Railway Act so that it responds to the changing environment of the railway transport sector.

As regards the road transport sector, Madam Chairperson, I wish to take this opportunity to inform the nation that the proposed road user charges are meant to be part of the reforms in the road sector. The revenues collected from these user charges will be channelled through the Treasury, and thereafter the National Road Fund Agency under the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, with a view to increasing the resources required for maintaining and rehabilitating our roads through the Road Development Agency under the Ministry of Works and Supply.

I therefore wish to reiterate my earlier statement on the introduction of new road user charges that the Ministry will ensure that consultations are extensive and exhaustive before any changes are effected.

Madam Chairperson, however, I just wish to explain one important issue here for the benefit of the House and the public and, that is, the road user charges we are talking about have not been revised since 1997. We have a situation where one pays for a road user licence for about K58,800. This translates into a road user paying K160 or K170 per day. That is even less than the poor marketers, the women at the market, pay because they pay something in the range of K5,000 per day.

Therefore, in the long run, it is not economically sustainable for us to maintain the status quo. Yes, we do realise that it has taken a long time to revise these user fees and it is not the Government’s intention to punish the public. However, for us to continue to offer a good service and ultimately contribute to the road fund, which will maintain the roads that all of us, as hon. Members of Parliament, are particularly interested in, it is important that we adjust these road user fees upwards. As I have maintained, we are doing a lot of consultations before we actually bring these road user charges that we are proposing to effect so that they can continue to contribute to the National Road Fund.

It is, indeed, the Government’s policy to ensure that the road sector is self-sustaining in the long run. As a Government, we shall, therefore, pursue road sector reforms in a cautious and systematic manner by ensuring that in the long term, the national interests always come first.

Madam Chairperson, with regard to water transport, the priority of the Ministry in the maritime and inland waterways will be to continue the rehabilitation and improvement of infrastructure at harbours across the country and also the clearing and maintenance of canals and inland waterways across the country.

We propose to spend K600 million this year on canal rehabilitation in these five provinces: Northern; Luapula; North-Western; Western; and Central Provinces. Another K350 million will be spent on rehabilitation of harbours.

Further, the Ministry intends to service marine technical equipment such as dredgers and procurement of watercrafts to assist in the management of the waterways. Under a rolling three year plan, we propose to procure a dredger for the Western Province this year, another one for the Luapula Province in 2009 …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: … and the last one for the Northern Province in 2010.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: To this effect, we propose a budget of K500 million in our budget for this year. 

In order to strengthen the bargaining power of shippers with major shipping lines, the Zambia National Shippers Council will also be established.

Under meteorology, the Ministry intends to finalise the Draft Meteorology Policy and seek approval of Cabinet. The Meteorology Policy is required by the nation to guide and direct the provision of meteorological services and utilisation of weather and climate information.

The Ministry intends to establish marine meteorological services at Southdowns Airport at a cost of K111.8 million and installation of an automatic marine weather station at Mpulungu at a cost of K1.2 billion.

Further, in order to provide timely climatic and weather information to the farming community, the Government intends to establish new meteorology stations in major farming blocks at Kafulafuta and Mkushi and also continue the implementation of the Radio Internet (RANET) project in rural areas.

Madam Chairperson, I wish to conclude by stating that as part of the overall monitoring and evaluation process, the ministry intends to review the existing Transport Policy, with a view to updating it and repositioning it to meet the new challenges we are facing as a country.

This year, we will also develop a new strategic plan for 2008 to 2013 to act as a blueprint for all our activities in the next five years.

Madam Chairperson, let me also assure the House and the nation that we shall continue to manage our financial resources prudently and in particular, the revenue earned by one of our agencies, which is the Road Traffic and Safety Agency (RTSA).

Madam Chairperson, it is for this reason that I call upon the hon. Members of Parliament to receive the 2008 budget for the Ministry of Communications and Transport with favour.

I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}
Mr Mwenya (Nkana): I thank you, Madam Chairperson, for allowing me to debate this important Vote on the Ministry of Communications and Transport.

Madam Chairperson, I only wish to speak on one important issue. The hon. Minister has highlighted increased growth in our passenger travel and it is a welcome development that needs to be commended.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwenya: However, I assume that above a million passengers frequent our air space everyday and the question that I have for this Government is: How safe are our people? I am aware that the Government has spent colossal amounts of money to rehabilitate the Zambian Airports to international standards. However, if we ask ourselves: Have these airfields reached w level where they can be regarded as safe and up to international standards?

If I may ask: What are the minimum requirements of an airfield to guarantee aircraft separations and other safety standards? Is this Government aware that a radar system at any international airport is a mandatory requisite to enhance safety of aircrafts and its passengers?

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwenya: Does this Government not find it strange and irresponsible to let our so-cherished international airport to operate without a radar system against Road Transport and Safety Agency regulations?

Mr Kambwili: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwenya: Do you not think that it is criminal to expose lives of the traveling public to danger because of your irresponsible conduct and handling of public affairs in our country? You are exposing your own Head of State and yourselves to such danger because you are the people who frequently fly in and out of this country.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwenya: If you remember very well, Hon. Mumbi in this House at one time …

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: On a point of order, Madam!

Madam Chairperson: Order! A point of order is raised.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Madam Chairperson, I rarely rise on points order. Is the hon. Member of Parliament in order to frighten the people in aviation regarding their safety without facts to lay on the Table because the radars are available? The work of the civil aviation in any country is respected by national organisations such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and allows for any airfield to operate under standards and grades. Is he in order to misinform the nation?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: Order! There are too many Chairs offering to make a ruling on this one. On this point of order, the Chair will ask the hon. Member debating to substantiate what he has said and also consider the point that has been raised. If he has no facts, it is important that he refrains from that particular point.

He may continue.

Mr Mwenya: Madam Chairperson, I brought up this matter because on the Floor of this House, Hon. Mumbi had brought a question and the hon. Minister at that time answered and said that the radar at the international airport was non-functional …

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwenya: … and that it had been struck by lightening and they were yet to find funds and that there were no spares to repair the equipment.

Mr D. Mwila: Ebaume, aba!

Mr Mwenya: Madam Chairperson, this is very important. I would like to find out from the Ministry what urgent measures it intends to undertake to quickly address this pressing issue because it is very important. We are not supposed to pretend, already there are so many people who travel in the air and we need to protect their safety.

In this year’s Budget, this very important activity is not budgeted for and there is very little money that has been given to this Ministry. I would like to passionately appeal to this Government to seriously consider allocating funds to this activity as quickly as possible so that we can restore radar systems at all airfields regarded as international landing fields.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwenya: The security of our country and the lives of our travellers have been compromised for a long time and this cannot be allowed to continue any longer.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwenya: Madam Chairperson, with those few words, I thank you.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Madam Chairperson, I will make sure that I only talk about two issues. The first one is the Mulobezi Rail Line and the second one is the Ndola International Airport.

Madam Chairperson, the Mulobezi Rail Line needs very serious attention from this Government. The people who travel between Livingstone and Mulobezi are subjected to a lot of problems. That rail line from Simuunga to Mulobezi has not been worked on for so many years, posing a very serious danger to travellers. There are lots of derailments along that rail line. People who travel to hospitals to seek medical attention are derailed many times by this rail line because it is not user friendly.

From Livingstone to Mulobezi it is only 77 kilometres, but it takes 12 hours, almost a whole day for a person to travel from Livingstone to Ngwezi, which is inhuman.

Secondly, I would like the hon. Minister to travel on this rail line for a kilometer. Probably, she can even walk faster than the speed of the train.


Mr Sing’ombe: Sometimes, that train is derailed by people who would want to do certain activities at the rail station. In this regard, the movement of this train needs to be checked.

Mr Matongo interjected.

Mr Sing’ombe: It is true. Madam Chairperson, I would also like to talk about the building or Departure Lounge at Ndola International Airport. I have not travelled extensively, but from the layman’s view, I think that Departure Lounge needs your attention. That building is like a prison cells. Sometimes I imagine …

Ms Siliya: Where?

Mr Sing’ombe: I said the Ndola International Airport. Sometimes I imagine Immigration and Customs officers working in that building and passengers arriving, and if an aircraft that has just arrived has defective breaks, they would not even stop it because there are no windows. The windows are almost at the roof level, making it very difficult for the officers to escape in case there of an accident.

Madam Chairperson at Ndola International Airport, the Departure, the VIP and officers’ Lounge are between a road and a runway. We have to sit down and rearrange how the building should be built. They should be, at least, far from the runway to prevent possible accidents.

Madam Chairperson, I rest my case and I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo (Bangweulu): Madam Chairperson, I have already congratulated the hon. Minister on her elevation to Minister in charge of the Ministry of Communications and Transport. I would like to remind her that we have rated her highly because she is intelligent as well as educated. However, I would like to caution her that there is no correlation between high performance and one’s academic and professional achievements. I would like to underline this. In this field, you need to be practical. That is what it is and I am happy that she is sitting with her fellow Cabinet Ministers who are practical. That line-up you see is practical. You should learn something from them.

Mr D. Mwila: Except Konga.

Mr Mulyata: You are always controversial, but today you have changed. What has made you change?

Mr Kasongo: You have the hon. Minister of Justice who is practical. Hon. Kabinga Pande and many others who are also practical.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: You are going to achieve a lot in doing so. In other words, it is not how you articulate yourself in the Nsenga English, …


Mr Kasongo: … but how you respond to the demands obtaining in that Ministry. Having said so, I would like to invite you …

Hon. Government Members: Aah! Where?

Mr Kasongo: … first of all, to look at the local problems pertaining to my constituency.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: When your predecessor was in that Ministry, she had an open door policy. We used to see her most of the time and were able to draw her attention to a number of problems pertaining to our respective constituencies, namely; Samfya and Chilubi as well as many other places.

Hon. Government Member: There are crocodiles there.

Mr Kasongo: We would like you to address these issues. The first one relates to the importance of the need to procure a boat for the Bangweulu Water Transport.

Mr Choongo: Ubwato, Ichombo.

Mr Kasongo: We had discussed this issue with the current hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives and the agreement was that the project would be undertaken by the end of this year. You may wish to know that the money to procure the boat was released to your Ministry by the Ministry of Finance and National Planning three years ago, but no action has been taken. We want you to follow-up this issue with minimum delay. That is the first assignment that I have given you, through the Chair.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kasongo: Make a systematic follow-up and implement that agreement that we had entered into with the current hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives.

Mr Choongo: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: Failure to do that, I can assure you that the next time I will be given the Floor, I will be a very different person. I have been very sober today because you are a new arrival.


Mr Kasongo: Secondly, Madam, I would like to emphasise the importance of water transport to those of us who come from areas where there are lakes and rivers. We cannot do without water transport. If we are talking about taking economic activities to our constituencies that are located in places where there is water, water transport is very important. If you are talking about constructing schools and clinics, we have to use water transport to take the building materials from the mainland. If we are constructing a clinic at Chilubi, for example, we have to use water transport to ferry equipment from Samfya to Chilubi Island.

Madam Chairperson, thirdly, we have been informed in your policy statement that you are going to buy dredging machines and that you are going to begin with the Western Province. I have no quarrel with that. These are our brothers and sisters. However, you may wish to know that you have made those changes because someone somewhere in the Ministry has taken advantage of the transfer of Hon. Sayifwanda.

Madam Chairperson, the agreement at that time was that we, as the Luapula Province, were going to be given first priority. Dredging machines for the Western Province were going to be bought in 2009. However, because Hon. Sayifwanda has been transferred, and you are a newcomer, they have twisted everything. We have no quarrel with that. Go ahead and buy that dredging machine for the Western Province first and in 2009 you should show commitment. We will ask you to deliver the dredging machine to our province. I know that cards have been shifted in your Ministry, but we have no quarrel with that.

Mr Kambwili: Mubika, Mubika.

Mr Kasongo: We endorse that kind of arrangement. We are only hoping that should you be transferred, because your positions are transferable, your officials will not, again, change the arrangement. If they do, we are going to speak our mind in a manner that they are not going to be proud of. At the moment, we are going to be polite. We have endorsed those changes. Go on and buy the dredging machine for the Western Province this year, and then consider our province next year.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: Madam Chairperson, we had also agreed with the current hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives that you should change the way you have been disbursing funds for clearing canals. The current arrangement is that you send the money to District Commissioners (DCs) and then they undertake trips to supervise works that are taking place in all the places where we have canals.

Madam Chairperson, we have said that it would be a very good arrangement if the same funds were sent directly to the managers of transport. For example, in Samfya, you could send the money directly to the manager of the Bangweulu Water Transport and not to the DC. The DC should only be allowed to supervise the work from his office by getting reports and not for him to be seen to begin recruiting personnel who will be clearing the canals. That will not work. Your predecessor agreed to review this arrangement and I hope you are not going to change that agreement through your officials.

Having said so, Madam Chairperson, you will recall that some time back, when the idea of concessioning the Zambia Railways, was introduced in this House, I was amongst the first hon. Members of Parliament who spoke against it. I said that what was obtaining at the Zambia Railways was not an institutional problem, but a managerial one and that there was no way you could allow a foreign company to come and run our own company. I gave practical examples of a Zambian former managing director who had run the institution efficiently. I mentioned the current hon. Member of Parliament for Namwala and said that during his time, …

Hon. UPND Members: Mbabala!

Mr Kasongo: Mbabala. Thank you very much for your correction. The current hon. Member of Parliament for Mbabala was given an opportunity to run that organisation in an efficient manner. I wondered why the Government wanted to concession the Zambia Railways and yet what that rail line merely had to resolve the question of management which they could change and polish up. I also referred to our Departed Soul, Anderson Mazoka, who was Managing Director of that institution and made a lot of improvement. I was uncomfortable when this Government introduced the arrangement to concession the Zambia Railways.

Today, I am in this House and able to laugh at them. If they had taken our advice, what is obtaining in that organisation would not have happened. They took it that we were rebels because we were members of the Opposition and our advice was unpopular. They were more focused than we were. Now, you should come back to earth to admit that we were, in fact, right. This institution is not even helping Zambians. We told you and had you heed our advice then, the problems at this organisation would not have been there.
Mr Kambwili: Hear, hear!

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: However, we are going to support you because you have seen, for yourselves, that you had pushed yourselves against the wall. Those people were just there to get our money. They are happy now because they are more comfortable. They have been externalising our resources and that is why they can come back and tell us that they have this problem. For how long are you going to make experiments to enrich foreigners? This is what has happened.

The lesson that we have learnt from Zambia Railways, which you concessioned, should be an eye opener to all of you. Do not make experiments. By the way, white people are very clever because they colonised us. They are able to work on your minds. They are able to see that this is an opportunity for them to steal money from Zambia. They can always create an opening and once you agree, ten years later, they will say no this institution is not making profit and yet they have milked you up to the bone marrow.

Mr Kambwili: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: That is what has happened to Zambia Railways.

Mr Kambwili: Ba Mpobo!

Mr Kasongo: I would like to move on to my next point. You have indicated in your policy statement that you are going to embark on the expansion programme where these mobile phone service providers are going to penetrate rural areas. We would like you to go beyond district centres. At the same time, make your own bedding to move into all these areas where Celtel and other mobile phone service providers cannot conduct business. What is happening to our own institution? Therefore, ZEC can fill up the gap which has been left by Celtel and other private mobile phone service providers. What are you waiting for? This is our baby and we have to take action as quickly as possible.

You may also wish to know that in this House, we have been requesting the Government from time to time to make a clarification whether Zambian Airways will be reintroduced. Can we get a clarification from you, hon. Minister? Are you going to reintroduce our airline or we should just forget about it? You have not come out in the open. We would like to know whether our airline is going to be reintroduced and we have discussed the beauty of having our own airline. Tourists will be coming to our country without being subjected to all these connections where they have to go via South Africa and pay a lot of money. No tourist would like to spend lots money in another country and then connect to Zambia. You are losing business. You are giving a lot of business to our neighbouring countries. If we had our own national airline, we would be able to get a lot of tourists coming directly to Zambia from the United States of America and the United Kingdom.

We have discussed the importance of rehabilitating our airports, but we have failed to mention the importance of airstrips. In Samfya and many other places such as Kaputa, airstrips are very important. If you want to attract tourists, you must have these facilities in place. Otherwise, you will invite tourists, but as long they look at our impassable roads, they will not come to Zambia. If we have airstrips in place, tourists will be able to fly all the way from Lusaka to places in the districts. In that way, we will be able to generate a lot of money.

The other issue that you have to address relates to the Meteorological Department. This is a very important department, but the profile of that department is very low. Hon. Ministers after hon. Ministers have not raised the profile of this department. If you want to know the weather patterns, you have to make sure that you support that department. It is key to our economic performance. If you do not know the weather patterns of this country, you will be making wrong development. Therefore, ensure that this department is assisted financially to enable the well educated and focused managers give correct information about weather changes because that is very important.

Finally, I would like to advise you, in the same way, to reorganise the road transport

The Chairperson: Order! The hon. Members time is over.

Mr Kasongo: I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute on this Vote. To start with, I wish to mention that I support the Vote although I only have three issues to discuss. Like the former debater said, I will also be sober and polite because of the new arrival.

Madam, let me start by making an appeal to the hon. Minister regarding a Bill that has been on the drawing board for a long time. This is a Bill to allow for the establishment of an Engineering Institution of Zambia. In December, last year, the Government told us that it would present this Bill during this Budget Session. We are adjourning next week and I am wondering because this is a very important Bill unlike other Bills that are rushed within a shortest time and passed.

Madam, we are at crossroads as far as the construction industry is concerned because a Bill that would help us to solve some of these problems has not been presented to this House. It is about bringing together all the people in the engineering field so that they are regulated. These are crafts persons, technicians, technologists, engineers, engineering organisations and units. Presently, they are not being regulated under one umbrella. In my opinion, this Bill is so important that it should have been brought here two years ago. Therefore, my appeal is that before we adjourn next week, this Bill should be brought.

The second issue regards the Meteorological Department. The former debater has ably debated this issue, but what I am calling for here is more funding because this touches on so many economic sectors. Last time, I gave an example in the engineering field where the problem of school roofs being blown off could be minimised with the help of the weatherman. This is very important and that is why we need to fund this department adequately. If the Government has no money, why not commercialise it? I note, here, that there is a draft policy document indicating that, last year, it was given K170 million and this year, K220 million. I hope that in this draft document, there is a possibility of commercialising that Meteorological Department because it needs to be more effective.

My third point is about the railway system. I am heart broken to note that the railway sector did not grow last year. It recorded a negative growth according to what I heard from the hon. Minster. What this means is that all the heavy goods are being transported by locals on roads and you know what that means, damage to our roads.

Madam Chairperson, in January, I gave an example of that cool box that was weighing 140 tonnes, which was allowed passage on our roads for a distance of more than a 1,000 kilometres. Repairing or building a new road will not cost K1 billion. Like I said before, if that road had been completely damaged, we would have asked for a compensation of K1 trillion, US$250 million in dollars.

Madam, assuming there was only 25 per cent damage caused, the compensation could have been US$60 million. 10 per cent of the damage was US$25 million and 1 per cent was US$2.5 million. Therefore, as a result of this, how much compensation were we given? We were given US$35,000. I read in the newspapers that after complaining, that figure was slightly pushed up. I would have insisted on a minimum amount of US$60 million as compensation.

Madam Chairperson, the miners are the ones who are damaging our roads. Therefore, why can we not come up with a policy of instructing or asking them to build their own roads? These people are making a lot of money and can afford to have their own roads.


Mr Mooya: Madam, I hear the former Vice-President is really trying very hard looking for money to have this Western Railway Line built, but in one of the newspapers, I read that one of the donors, the Americans, do not want to sign the contract. All I am saying is that these mining firms should build their own roads so that the billions that we are using to repair our roads each year can be invested elsewhere.

Madam Chairperson, finally, the issue of aerodromes or airports has already been debated very well. Year in and year out, I ask the hon. Minister of Communications and Transport to explain why the Lilayi Aerodrome has been laying idle for the past thirty-four years. That aerodrome was started in the early 70s and it is not yet completed. The runway is still solid. It was abandoned in the mid 70s, but the infrastructure is still there. The private sector is willing to take up that project and complete it. Last time I asked about it, I was told that it is was being handled by the hon. Minister of Justice, but really I do not know what is happening to date. Currently, there are a lot of illegal settlements going on there.

Madam Chairperson, it is good that the Solwezi Airport and Kasama Airport are being worked on. In this regard, we also need to work on our Lilayi Airport so that we can decongest the Lusaka International Airport.

Madam Chairperson, I thank you.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): Madam Chairperson, thank you very much for this opportunity to debate on the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the Ministry of Transport and Communications. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate my friend, Hon. Siliya, for being identified as somebody who could make this sector work positively. I would like to say that I support the Vote. In my debate, I would like to confine myself to just a few of the sub-sectors of the Ministry, starting with the Railway Systems of Zambia (RSZ).

Madam Chairperson, it was not long ago in this House when the then hon. Minister of Communications of Transport, Hon. Sayifwanda, stood here and answered questions regarding the concession contract that the Zambian Government entered into with Railway Systems of Zambia. It is very clear by even her own submission that there are many areas of failure in the running of this sector. It is also clear that there has been, maybe for lack of a better term, abrogation or default on the part of the Railway Systems of Zambia in keeping up with the terms and conditions of the contract.

However, I am brought back to hear my friend, the Hon. Siliya, saying that this year, her Ministry is going to invigorate the negotiations with the defaulter. To me, it does quite add up because when you are in default, you are in default. Why should you negotiate with somebody who has abrogated the terms of contract?

Madam, when I asked a question, on the Floor of this House, whether or not the Railway Systems of Zambia had abrogated any contract terms, her predecessor told this House that the Railway Systems of Zambia was trying its best to regularise things. That is not the way things ought to happen. Many have recorded failures because of the Government’s fear to bite the bullet.

Madam Chairperson, through you, I would like the hon. Minister to go back to the contract terms and see which ones have been abrogated and whether they warrant termination or not. As we are moving now, year in and year out, I am itching to hear what the hon. Minister will tell us next. The Head of State was categorical during the hon. Minister’s swearing in ceremony. He told her that he would like her to do what is necessary to this sector. She needs to go back to the Railway Systems of Zambia and find out their origins. I know they are not from here. She should find out if in the country where they are operating, the system is as bad as it is in Zambia.

Madam, I would like to take the words of Hon. Kasongo on investors being treated carefully as my own. I do not want to take racial semantics here, but I take his words as my own. The hon. Minister should find out whether Spoornet South Africa runs the way they are running our outlet here in Zambia. If they are not operating in the same manner, bite the bullet. You should tell your appointing authority that your recommendation is to find a better operator.

Madam Chairperson, our user rates for transportation have been hiked as a result of this inefficiency in this particular area. When I was growing up as a young boy, I used to go to school using the Luangwa Train or the Kafue Express. The trains were run by Zambian Railways and my uncle, Hon. Hachipuka, like somebody else mentioned, was at the helm of that company. We used to leave Livingstone at 2300 hours in the night and at 0600 hours in the morning, we would go to the dinning car and order a full English breakfast. Do you still have that in the Railway Systems of Zambia?

Mr Chongo: Na masuku taba shitisha!

Mr Nkombo: Madam Chairperson, the answer is no.

For your information, hon. Minister, just two Saturdays ago, I was in Lubombo in my constituency and I found passenger wagons without a locomotive. I was worried because I thought somebody was holding a political meeting in my constituency. All the passengers had been offloaded. When I stopped to ask, I was told that those people had been there for more than five hours because the locomotive engine had gone to Kafue to pull a goods train which was on the line off the line in order for those people to continue with their journey to Kitwe.

Madam Chairperson, this means that the signal system has also collapsed. When I asked the then hon. Minister what really needed to happen according to the concessional terms, she indicated that they had only rehabilitated a very marginal number of kilometres, against what they had pledged to rehabilitate at the time of signing that concession. The question is: for how long will you go on wasting your breath talking about default?

Madam Chairperson, the order of the world today is that if I do not pay Multi-Choice, they will not talk to me. They have a switch at their offices which they just turn it off, when I am in default. Now, what is wrong with the Railway Systems of Zambia? I think that we should not play games here. Bite the bullet and without hiring consultants, just go in and ask them what the problem is. You can even ask Hon. Hachipuka how he used to run that company. He will probably give you some free consultancy.

Madam Chairperson, I would like to make a brief comment on the airports. Although I will not put it exactly in the same manner that my colleague, Hon. Musenge, put it, I think that the radar system is vital and we should not underplay and downsize the essence of this system. In this House, almost everyday, the hon. Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources talks about climatic changes. One day, a plane will be coming here and there shall be zero visibility, and it will require instruments to land. What are you going to do? It is important that we take this matter seriously. I will be brief about it because the hon. Minister has told us that they are investing some money in rehabilitating and up rating the radar system. I hope we will see this happening when we congregate next year to look at the 2009 Budget.

Madam Chairperson, I would like to comment on the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA). I wish to ask my colleague, the hon. Minister, to decentralise RTSA. Let them unbundle that outfit. There is too much red tape. People in Lundazi, for instance, have to travel all the way to Chipata to get their fitness certificates. Insurance companies can be partnered in issuing the Road Fitness Certificate because after all, they are the ones who suffer the devastating effects of claims. The insurance companies or brokers can help to certify vehicles. Then there will be no fraudulence. It will actually be gratifying for them to certify all the vehicles that they insure because many accidents that occur on our roads are as a result of road unfit vehicles.

On the public scenario, again, I would like to urge my colleague to ensure that tests for Public Service Drivers are strict. The situation we have is that there are underage people who transporting people. When a person is underage, the faculties sometimes do not work well. One gets excited easily and some drink while driving. As she correctly put it, many accidents have been caused by young drivers.

The truth of the matter is that there is a need to have stringent measures in certifying Public Service Drivers. Any driver, hon. Minister, who will transport the public must wear a PSV Licence on their lapel. It must be displayed at all times. At this stage, you will need your colleagues from the Ministry of Home Affairs to help you police these people. More often than not, after getting the details, you will learn that when accidents occur, the person who was driving was a conductor, who most  probably does not have a PSV driver’s Licence all because the driver was resting. I would like you to take serious note of that. It is critical that you make the licence secure so that people do not forge it.

Madam Chairperson, finally, I would like the hon. Minister to look at the issue of making it law that all public vehicles and buses contain not only the First Aid Kit, but also a litter bin. Many times, we find that passengers on buses become a nuisance because they throw litter anyhow and it distracts other drivers and road users. I would also like to urge the hon. Minister to ensure that a routine check is done on the speed governance because the big buses tamper with the governance.

With those few remarks Madam Chairperson, I thank you.

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Madam Chairperson, these sectors remind me of Wonderland. Wonderland is a place where the logic is very strange, where lobsters dance and playing cards talk. Therefore, perhaps the hon. Minister reminds me of Alice, the little girl who fell down a rabbit hole and found herself in Wonderland.


Dr Scott: Let me give an example of the wonderful logic that she has heard before but is relevant because of the issues that she has raised. If you cross the border of this country in the southerly direction or even across to Malawi, miracles happen. The price of fuel drops by 40 per cent, the price of spare parts drops by 50 per cent and the quality of the roads goes up. There are no potholes. The maintenance is better across the borders than it is here.

Madam Chairperson, I mention this because His Honour the Vice-President once when answering this question said we pay so much for our fuel so that we can maintain the roads. Therefore, the logic is obviously very strange because it is either we have a kind of magic in Zambia or a kind of magic outside Zambia. Whichever way, I do not understand how it works. I have raised this point, but I do not want to debate it because it will come for debate.

However, the question of the road user fees that you wish to accentuate the cost of driving in Zambia are set in fee units. They are not set in Kwacha. They are automatically inflation adjusted as the fee units change its value. Therefore, there is no justification for raising these fees in real terms like is intended and we will oppose it vigorously from, at least my portion of this side of the House …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: …when it comes.

Madam Chairperson, another commodity that changes price, as you cross the border, and miraculously drops is the price of a phone call. Zambia has the most expensive international phone calls in the world, possibly, and certainly in all of Africa. We have four times higher the cost of South Africa …

The Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

[THE CHAIRPERSON in the Chair]

Dr Scott: Madam Chairperson, when you interrupted debate, I had just finished explaining why the fee unit system obviates the need for adjustment unless there is something seriously wrong with the original setting of the fee units because inflation is automatically taken care of as the fee rate is adjusted. That is why the fee units were introduced originally.

Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister made a statement that no adjustments had taken place for seven years. Adjustments take place automatically as the inflation is fed into the fee unit rate. I had assured her that we would oppose any change in the underlying structure of road user charges.

Madam Chairperson, I then went on to say that there is another source of falling prices because if you cross the border out of Zambia in any direction, the cost of telecommunications drops dramatically. An international call in South African costs 25 per cent, one quarter of what it costs here in Zambia.

Mr Kambwili: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: This is true based on the ZAMTEL fixed line system and mobile providers. I do not wish to protect because it seems to me that they enjoy very good profits in Zambia in terms of sponsoring football and other activities outside Zambia, ...

Mr Kambwili: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: … but I would be happier to see them part of the country. Why are the telephone charges so expensive in Zambia despite the Alice in Wonderland mystery of our beloved country? Some people will say it is because the Government Departments and ministries do not pay telephone bills, and therefore, you and I are expected to pay for the defaulters when we make personal phone calls. Other people say that senior Government officials, including hon. Ministers and including the hon. Minister and Lands and everybody above the level of director, get large quantities of free talk time ...

Hon. Government Member: Aah!


Dr Scott: … and that this also has to be paid for by the general user.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Dr Scott: Yet others who are experts - I am quoting what people tell me, Madam Chairperson. I am not making allegations.

Mr Shakafuswa: On a point of order, Madam Chairperson.

Mr Kambwili: Ikala panshi!

Madam Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Shakafuswa: Madam Chairperson, the speaker, who is talking as if he is in the Wonderland is insinuating to the public that the public are paying for free units which directors and above in Government get. Is he in order to bring such misleading information to this House without proof of such misleading information? I need your serious ruling.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: I am sure the hon. Member on the Floor has heard and, in his debates, he will take that point of order into consideration.

He may continue.

Dr Scott: Madam Chairperson, perhaps thing have changed, but when I was a Minister, I had free access to the telephone, to make telephone calls to anywhere in the world. Therefore, if that has been changed, I am interested to hear it. In fact, I was not making an allegation. I was simply saying that there are theories going round of the following type. Yet another theory is that ZAMTEL is required to fund the MMD. I do not have any evidence. I am only telling the House that people have said this to me as the reason we have such high phone charges.

Madam Chairperson, the other day when I was in Mbala, I was unable to use any telephone because the main backbone had broken down and I had to use the voice of the Internet in order to make a telephone call, but I was informed that it was illegal.

Madam Chairperson, do we wish to stay in the stone age of Wonderland where appropriate technology such as those provided by the Internet is actually banned so that ZAMTEL can have a monopoly without even providing the services that it is extensively providing under that monopoly? I think the hon. Minister should take a long heart to look at this. She used to be a Minister in charge of competitiveness. She may be interested to know that in the average country of the world, if you ask businesses what the main impediments to doing business in this country is, less than 10 per cent mainly reply the cost of telecommunications.

Mr Kambwili: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: Madam Chairperson, in Zambia, 33 per cent reply that the cost of telecommunications is a serious impediment to doing business in this country.

Mr Kambwili: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: I think this calls for a cool-headed hard look because we are putting ourselves out of business in this country while the hon. Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning can tell us what entrepreneurs or “entrepreneueres”, depending on whether he uses a Congolese of French accent.


Dr Scott: How can we be entrepreneurs if we cannot afford to call …

The Chairperson: Order! Address the Chair!

Dr Scott: Madam Chairperson, how can we afford to be entrepreneurs if it costs us four times as much as it costs the beginner cattle farmer in South Africa to place a call to order medicines for his dekenkete?


Dr Scott: Madam Chairperson, the other piece of logic that I would like to bring to the attention of House through you, Madam, is that I have never understood if we had two large railway components. We have Zambia Railways running from Livingstone to the Copperbelt and we have TAZARA running from Kapiri Mposhi all the way through to Dar-es-Salaam. Neither of these railways is in good shape as we have heard. We have heard that the Government had trouble running Zambia Railways as Zambia Railways and concessioned it, but that it is having trouble now with the Railways System of Zambia. TAZARA which had much justification when it was originally programmed as a railway relieving us out of the grip of Mr Ian Smith of our southern routes  is actually having a lot of trouble proving itself to be viable.

Madam Chairperson, if you are having trouble running the two rail systems that we have and know because of various factors, including competition from trucks, what will make it viable to run another rail from maybe Chipata into Malawi or Kasama into Mpulungu? Why build more railways when we cannot operate profitably and effectively the ones that we already have? To me, this seems to be a strange bit of logic to run away from the railway that you have to build a railway that you do not have, but from which you will still face a lot of competition from trucks and as much difficulty with management as any other railway. A railway is a railway. There are two strips of metal fixed at a certain distance apart and you run trains up and down them. There is no difference whether it is in Chipata or in Kasama.


Therefore, with those few words, Madam Chairperson, I will ask the hon. Minister to let us know how it is looking now in Wonderland from her point of view.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.{mospagebreak}

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Thank you, Madam Chairperson, for giving me this opportunity to debate on this Vote and I am going to be very brief. Firstly, let me congratulate my sister on being appointed as a Cabinet Minister. We are looking forward to many more women being appointed as Cabinet Ministers. Congratulations!

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Musokotwane: Madam Chairperson, I just would like to add on to what Hon. Sing’ombe said this afternoon about the Mulobezi Train. I have always been moaning about this train from 2002 to-date. I am still crying about Mulobezi. I was very happy when I heard the hon. Minister mention Mulobezi because, to me, even just the mention of Mulobezi from a Government official gives me hope …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Musokotwane: … that may be, for once, the needs of the people of Katombola Constituency in Kazungula District will be addressed. I am sure you are all aware that this is the only means of transport that we have from Livingstone up to Mulobezi.

Mr Mabenga smiled.

Mrs Musokotwane: I can see Hon. Mabenga smiling because I am talking on his behalf as well. After all, when he was campaigning in 2002, he told the people that if they voted for him within three months, the Mulobezi Rail line would be repaired.


Mrs Musokotwane: It is two years now, Madam Chairperson, but there is no sign of that rail line being repaired.


Mrs Musokotwane: Madam Chairperson, on a serious note, let me talk about transport in Katombola Constituency. We are suffering as people of Katombola Constituency because of transport problems. This Mulobezi Rail Line has sunk in the sand in some parts. Too many wagons are being held. Therefore, you find that in the first wagon there will be people, in the second wagon, sand and in the third wagon, animals. It is just like that. That is a train used by people to travel on. They ferry cattle or goats or any animal they bring to Livingstone for selling. However, the rail line has no traffic lights. So, the train just travels as if it is not in Zambia. Staff who work on the train most of the time are drunk and you are not sure whether you are going to reach Livingstone or Mulobezi or the train is going to be derailed because the staffs are always drunk. All these things should be looked into.

The other issue that I would like to discuss very briefly, Madam Chairperson, are the post offices. I heard the hon. Minister, again, mentioning them. You are well aware that from 2002, I have been singing about the Simango Post Office. Each time I asked the then hon. Minister of Transport and Communications, I was promised that the post office would be opened, but to date this post office is not open yet. That was a very good facility around that area as Simango area is an agricultural area and people have money to put in the bank. They used that post office to save their money, but now, they have to travel to Livingstone to deposit their money, which is not correct. Can I implore and, please, request the hon. Minister to look into this matter very seriously so that we re-open this post office? When we reopen this post office, it is not only going to benefit the local community, but also the other people. I am quite sure that the staff that will be sent to run Simango Post Office will not come from the local communities. They will come from elsewhere, which means other people will benefit too.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Thank you very much, Madam Chairperson. I wish to take this opportunity to thank all the Members of the House, who have contributed in the form of debate on the Policy Statement by the Ministry of Communications and Transport. Likewise those who did not say anything. I would like to believe that silence means consent and therefore, they are in support of this Vote.

I specifically would like to thank Hon. Mooya and Hon. Kasongo, who decided that they were going to behave as gentlemen and use soft gloves to debate because they feared that I am new in the Ministry. However, I just would like to assure them that even when there are new appointments or transfers, the Government does not go to sleep.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: We still continue to function. A number of issues were raised and I think most of them were addressed in my policy statement, but I just want to address three issues in particular, so that the House know the public is misinformed. You will recall very well that last year, there was a question about what happened to the weather detecting system at the airport. The House was informed that the weather detecting system that had been donated by the Italians, due to lightening, was not installed and that is why there was no weather detecting system. However, I would like to emphasise that if the airport were not safe, we would not be allowed to operate the landing or take off of aircraft by International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) the international organisation that deals with aviation matters. The fact that we are the international airport here in Lusaka, Ndola, Livingstone and elsewhere, means that we have met the minimum standards required by the international civil aviation body for us to operate.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: I do recognise that having a weather detecting system is an added advantage because currently, our airports are operating with radio to radio communication. We do recognise that having a weather detecting system is an added advantage. This is why you will see that in the budget, we have provided, at least, seed money to pursue the process of purchasing a new weather detecting system, which currently cost somewhere in the range of 10 to 13 million euros. Your concerns are taken note of, but I would like to assure the House and the public, that if the airport in Zambia were not safe, we would not be able to operate any flights landing and taking off because the international civil aviation body would have recommended that we stop operating our airports. Most of you, who have been following activities in the aviation sector, will know that actually, our safety record has improved tremendously in the last two to three years.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Please, be rest assured that we are able to take off and land at the international airport, using radio to radio communication, but a weather detecting system is an added advantage. That is why it is appearing in the Budget this year.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: The second issue, I would like to address is the rail sector in this country. I realised from the comments that you all feel very passionately about the sector that, as a country we all recognise that even if we are landlocked, we can become land linked. We can become land linked to all our neighbours in the region, using not just road infrastructure, but rail infrastructure. His Excellency, the President, using his Chairmanship for the Southern Africa Development Community decided that infrastructure should be the top of the agenda. This is why through the Ministry of Communications and Transport, we are talking about developing feasibility studies for various rail corridors to link us to Mozambique, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Walvis Bay through Namibia and Lobito through to Angola.

Now, some people might be sceptical, but I think we have to think way far ahead. Hon. Guy Dr Scott referred to the lack of logic in Wonderland. I am wondering what logic is because the fact that there might be no demand immediately, does not mean that we should not think in the future. Currently, we are envisaging that Zambia will be transporting over a million tonnes of copper from the Copperbelt. It is using road infrastructure now. This road infrastructure has so much pressure. As a result, sometimes money is taken from activities in our own constituencies. Therefore, we can maintain the economic road from the Southern Province to the Copperbelt Province, to keep moving the goods and services. And yet, we have, alongside that road, rail infrastructure that should be able to provide efficient and cheaper transport. The only issues are that we are discussing with the Rail Systems of Zambia. I know Hon. Gary Nkombo said that there is no time for talking, but again, I would like to be practical as Hon. Kasongo said. I have not even been on that train yet, but I would like to board it. I am even inviting other hon. Members of Parliament because some people who are talking about it have also not even been on that train. Currently, we have a team in Livingstone that is preparing a study for me. They are assessing the rail line from where it starts in Livingstone all the way to the Copperbelt, so that I can have facts in addition to those I will gather when I get on the train before I meet the management of the Railway Systems of Zambia. At the end of the day, it is in the interest of all of us as Zambians. We want an efficient and reliable service so that we can move goods and people between the Copperbelt and Durban, where most of our goods are exported through.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Madam Chairperson, I wish to address one issue and again wish to say I do not understand the logic of the hon. Member of Parliament for Lusaka Central. Yes, we are increasing the road user fees. By law, they are denominated in units and each one of these units is equal to K180. Therefore, if you had a service that was targeted at 500 units for ten or eleven years multiplied by K180, it would not take care of inflation. I have said that for seven years, we have not revised these fees. Yes, we do concede that maybe we have been inefficient, but that does not mean that we must maintain the status quo.

Madam Chairperson, each hon. Member of Parliament is very interested in getting our roads repaired. If RTSA does not collect these fees to be sent to the Ministry of Finance and National Planning and onwards to the Ministry of Works and Supply for the roads to be maintained or rehabilitated, we will only have ourselves to blame. Currently, even the administrative costs of RTSA are not covered by the revenue collected by this Agency because we want to make sure that all of that revenue goes to its intended purpose, which is rehabilitating and maintaining roads. This is why the Ministry gives a grant for administrative purposes to RTSA.

I appreciate all of the comments that were made and think it would be wise for the Ministry to look at many other ways of offering this service, as Hon. Gary Nkombo particularly pointed out, so that the citizens do not suffer as they try to access these services. For example, somebody from Lundazi going all the way to Chipata just to access these services.

However, in the process we are also making sure that we computerise our revenue collection system so that every possible revenue is collected and we can continue to maintain and rehabilitate the roads in this country. This will also enable us to make sure that Zambia in the future truly becomes a hub for air and road transport and all other services, which should ultimately contribute to job and wealth creation.

Madam Chairperson, through you, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of staff in the Ministry of Communications and Transport who worked very hard for us to put this policy paper together.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

VOTE 51/01 ─ (Ministry of Communications and Transport ─ Headquarters ─ K49,453,954,123).

Mr Lubinda: Madam, may I have clarification on page 556, Programme 08, Activity 09 ─ Supervision of Construction of Njanji Commuter Train. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister how the Ministry will supervise the construction of the Njanji Commuter Train, which the Government announced was being concessioned, when the K100 million that was allocated last year, and was utilised for whatever use, has been withdrawn wholly this year. Is the Government saying that it will not supervise the construction of the Njanji Commuter Train line which runs from Chilenje to Matero?

Ms Siliya: Madam Chairperson, the hon. Member of Parliament will note that this year, there is no budget line for the supervision of this particular railway line because this activity is being processed through the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry under the Zambia Development Agency. Obviously the Ministry of Communications and Transport has a general supervisory role, which we will continue for all rail lines in the country. However, in terms of the concessioning of the Njanji Railway Line, it is being done under the Zambia Development Agency and I think there have been media reports to this effect in the newspapers.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Vote 51/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 51/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 51/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 51/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 51/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 51 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

VOTE 64/01 – (Ministry of Works and Supply – K293,871,479,335).

The Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Simbao): Madam Chairperson, I am greatly honoured to rise and give a brief statement on the 2008 Activity Based Budget of the Ministry of Works and Supply to this august House. The Ministry’s mandate is to develop, manage and maintain public infrastructure in Zambia through planning, buildings and roads.

Ministry’s Portfolio Functions

The Ministry also undertakes the following core functions:

(i) provides Government offices and VIP accommodation;

(ii) constructs, rehabilitates and maintains Government buildings and roads;

(iii) provides accommodation through hostels and lodges, Government Printing and catering for Government equipment;

(iv) procures Government vehicles and control of their movements;

(v) regulates the construction industry through the National Council for Construction.

Madam Chairperson, the Road Development Agency was established under the Public Roads Act of 2002, as a board corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal to provide for the care, maintenance and construction of public roads in Zambia, to regulate the maximum works permissible for transmission on roads; and to provide for matters connected with and incidental to the foregoing. The RDA is now fully fledged.

Madam Chairperson, having given the parameters within which the Ministry operates, allow me to state that I have the blessings of my colleague, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to elucidate the approach that we are going to take with regard to construction of roads. I say so because to date, as it should have been noticed by the hon. Members of Parliament, the activities of roads still fall under Head 21, which is under the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, and yet the actual construction of roads is the mandate of the Ministry of Works and Supply.

Madam Chairperson, the key policy development during the period under review was the restructuring of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) policy in providing legal and institutional framework of the procurement and implementation of PPP type projects and services. In addition, Part V of the Public Roads Act No. 12 of 2002 was amended.

The sector performance -the cement and lime crisis

The cement and lime crisis that affected the road construction is rather superfluous. I say so because whenever one or two contractors asked the Ministry to secure cement or lime for them, we did so successfully. Both Hon. Felix Mutati, MP, the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry and Hon. Dr Kalombo Mwansa, MP, the Minster of Mines and Minerals Development were always available to assist us.

Equally, the Chief Executives of both Lafarge Cement and Ndola Lime were very co-operative and willing to assist. Therefore, there was no shortage of cement or lime per se, but obviously one or two slick contractors, even when they have been assisted through the offices I have mentioned, chose to deceive the Zambian people, did nothing, and claimed the shortage of cement was the reason for their inertia.

In one or two cases, those who were not privy to most of this information, supported the contractors, but this was unfortunate. Contractors were made to account properly for all the monies or help given to them.

I am sure Hon. Mutati and Hon. Dr Kalombo when they sat in their offices were wondering what was happening to the help they had been giving the Ministry of Works and Supply.

The Road Sub Sector

Madam Chairperson, during the period under review, the Government continued constructing, rehabilitating and maintaining the road infrastructure network. The 2007 Annual Work Plan targeted rehabilitation and maintenance of paved and unpaved roads. The RDA rehabilitated 168.6 kilometres of the targeted 305 kilometres length of Urban, Trunk, Main and District Roads, and maintained 5,844 kilometres of the targeted 6,741.7 kilometres.

The road sector registered positive performance on rehabilitation of unpaved roads of 2,939.9 kilometres of the targeted 1,712 kilometres. The actual maintenance of 10,934.7 kilometres of unpaved roads was achieved against a target of 17,591.2 kilometres.

There was good progress achieved under the accelerated Urban Roads Rehabilitation Programme on the Copperbelt and Eastern Provinces. This was jointly carried out by the RDA and the appointed road authorities (Municipal and City Councils).

Madam Chairperson, the Output and Performance Based Road Contracts (OPRCs) continued to be implemented in 2007. Eleven packages were successfully implemented in the following provinces:

Package 1 and 4 – Northern Province

Road D19 at Mporokoso-Bulaya-Kaputa-Nkoshya
Road M1 near Senga Hill-Mporokoso-Kawambwa
Road T2 near Nakonde-Road M1 near Mbala
Nakonde to Chire River Malawi Border
Mbala Town Boundeary-Kawimbe Mission to Tanzania Border

Package 2 – Western Province

Road M9 near Katunda-Sitaka-to Lukulu Road D557
Off M8-Kabompo River at Watopa to Lukulu D792

Package 3 – Luapula Province,

Road M3-Road D96 near Mwenya
Road D19 Kawambwa-Mulwe-Junction D36 and D77 at Munuga

Package 5 – the Eastern Province

Road M12 near Chipata-Luambe to Lundazi

Package 6 – LusakaProvince

Kabulonga Boundary-road RD151 Leopards Hill Road
Off Leopards Road to D481 leading to Chiawa
Road T2-Kafue River-Rd R119-Rd RD481 at Chiawa

Package 8 – Copperbelt Province

Road T3-near Kapiri Mposhi-tug Argan
Road M018-Lufwanyama River-Ingwe
Road T3-RoadR114
Off T2 to Road M004

Package 9 – Western Province


Package 10 – Southern Province; and

Off Road T1 Chisekesi-Gwembe-chipepo
Itezhi Tezhi-Namwala
Off T1 near Muzoka-Road D375 at Chisekesi

Package 11 – North Western Province

Mutanda Mision Kabompo-Zambezi
Mwinilunga-Road M8
Off T5-Kansanshi Mine-Congo Border

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Bridge and Pontoon Programmes

Mr Simbao: Madam Chairperson, in 2007, four bridge projects namely; Kanchibiya, Chilubi, Kalimansenga and Nkolemfumu Bridges were completed. However, works on the Nkolemfumu Bridge across the river on the embankment which were not part of the contract will be undertaken this year. The Chembe Bridge construction, connecting Copperbelt and Luapula Provinces through the Democratic Republic of the Congo was at 60 per cent and is expected to be completed by August this year.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Axle Load Control Programme

Mr Simbao: Madam Chairperson, the main target of the Axle Load Control Programme is to reduce the number of overloaded vehicles on the roads. In this regard, the programme of constructing more bridges will continue. Last year, the Kazungula Weigh Bridge was substantially completed and is awaiting installation of VSAT software to link it to the system at RDA headquarters in Lusaka.

Selection of Roads, Provincial Apportionment

Madam Chairperson, the Annual Work Plan for 2008 as distributed to all hon. Members of Parliament gives an idea of the selected roads and the overall apportionment of the cake to all provinces. It is obvious that attempts to attend to the most important projects in each province was made. However, not all projects could be attended to at once, and those projects which were not addressed in the 2008 Annual Works Plan will be addressed in the coming years.

Road Contractor’s Capacity Building

Madam Chairperson, it is a common knowledge that most of our contractors have no capacity to undertake bigger works because they have no funds to purchase equipment. While this statement could qualify in the past, beginning this year and after the Budget has been approved, the statement may not qualify. In this Budget, there is more than K30 billion under the Citizens’ Economic Empowerment Fund which can be accessed by anyone. I am, therefore, asking indigenous Zambian contractors …

Mr Kambwili: Question!

Mr Simbao: … to stand up and be counted by organising themselves and taking a slice of this money to purchase earth moving machinery.

Blacklisting of Forty-Two  Contractors

Madam Chairperson, this Government is serious.


Mr Kambwili: After baiba ati, we have cancelled.

Mr Simbao: The suspension of forty-two contractors from participating in new contracts until investigations are concluded is not meant to punish anyone. This Government wants to clean up this industry which has been riddled with a lot of vices and a lot of people in the industry have been dented. This had resulted in poor quality works in most cases. Most of the money ended up in contractors’ pockets instead of being applied on the road works. That is why some contractors had become very cheeky and vicious because they thought they would earn money and buy everyone, but they got it wrong.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: There are people whom not even money can buy.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: Time has come to clean up this industry. If we all work together, we will get it right.

Road Rehabilitation Unit

Madam Chairperson, the Government has procured road construction equipment from the People’s Republic of China. China National Aero Technology Import and Export Corporation (CATIC) are supplying the equipment.

Mr Kambwili: Aah, twanaka ukumfwa ifyo. That is now a song

Mr Simbao: This equipment will be used for maintenance, rehabilitation and construction of gravel roads in the country. It is a well-known fact that most of the gravel roads, especially feeder roads are in poor condition. This has had a negative impact on various economic activities in rural areas, particularly in sectors of transport, agriculture and tourism. Part of the consignment is docked at the Durban port ready for transportation to Zambia. The heavy equipment will start arriving in Zambia by late April, this year.

Madam Chairperson, the acquisition of this equipment will enhance the Government’s capacity in the rehabilitation, construction and maintenance of rural gravel roads in the country as the number of pieces of equipment for road construction is very limited even among the private sector companies at present. This will enable the Government to timely respond to road repair needs. Recent experiences have shown that rural road conditions are left to deteriorate extensively before any intervention is made. The Government has placed this responsibility on the Buildings Department under a unit called Rural Roads Rehabilitation. The unit will be placed in all the provinces with an initial establishment of forty-seven employees. The Ministry has already taken an assessment exercise of the former Roads Department employees with relevant qualifications and experience to take up some of the positions. The rest will be advertised to the public.

Building Sub-Sector

Madam Chairperson, the strategic focus of the Fifth National Development Plan fully supports the Ministry of Works and Supply portfolio by the heading “Economic Infrastructure and Human Resource Development”. In this regard, the Government will embark on constructing office blocks and staff houses starting in some of the new districts of Mambwe, Kazungula, and Chongwe. The Government will also embark on constructing houses for defence and security wings.

Border Infrastructure

The Government has heavily invested in the improvement of border infrastructure at Chirundu which has turned out to be a modern town.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: Further, infrastructure at Katimamulilo, with similar infrastructure to that of Chirundu, is being developed.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: It is the Government’s plan to also improve infrastructure at other border posts in Nakonde, Kasumbalesa and Mwami. In all these new borders, the one-stop border concept and system shall be introduced to remove time wasting procedures.

Public Private Partnership Policy

Madam Chairperson, the Ministry has been spearheading the development of the public-private partnership policy with other stakeholder institutions in line with the Government policy of engaging the private sector to do business in infrastructure development and service delivery. The draft policy is before Cabinet for consideration. The policy once approved will provide for the development of modern infrastructure and efficient service delivery and value for tax payers’ money.

Madam Chairperson, the Ministry has on two occasions invited hon. Members of this august House to PPP sensitisation workshops starting with last year at the Holiday Inn and recently, within the grounds of the Parliament Buildings. I am grateful that all hon. Members of Parliament who attended the two sensitisation meetings gave their support.

Madam Chairperson, in order to provide an enabling environment for PPP, the Ministry has engaged a consultant to draft a Bill which will come to this august House after the approval of the policy by Cabinet. I seek the hon. Members’ support.

National Council for Construction

Madam Chairperson, the National Council for Construction was established under the Act No. 13 of 2003, to provide for the regulation, promotion and development, registration of contractors, affiliation to the Council of professional bodies or organisations whose members are engaged in the construction industry, establishment of the construction school, training of persons engaged in construction or activities related to construction and to provide for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing.

Madam Chairperson, a construction school has been conducting training workshops in provinces in the following modules, among others:

 (i) construction as a business;

 (ii) tendering procedures;

 (iii) work programming and productivities;

 (iv) work quantities and measurements;

 (vi) pricing; and

 (vii) contract documentation.

It is envisaged that training will enhance the performance of contractors and subsequently have a multiplier effect on the economy as well as the well being of the citizens.

Madam Chairperson, this year, the school will engage school leavers to train in road construction methods for a period of three months. Other courses envisaged are grader operator and building inspectors’ courses.

Government Printing Equipment

Madam Chairperson, the Government Printing Department has a function of producing, among other Government documents, production of annual reports and budgets, gazettes, finance strong-room jobs, statutory instruments, Acts of Parliament and other related legislative forms and documents.

The Ministry is in the process of acquiring supplementary machine components that will enable the Department to print colour portraits for ballot papers as required by the Electoral Commission of Zambia.

2008 Outlook

Madam Chairperson, prospects for the construction sector in 2008 are bright, premised on economic activities in the mining, manufacturing and public and private housing development. Growth will further be increased through sports infrastructure development, hospitality industry, communications and transport as well as public infrastructure at border posts.

Madam Chairperson, like I earlier stated in this august House, the procurement of earth moving equipment will further enhance road sector activities in rural and urban areas.

Mr Sichilima: Order, Kambwili!

Mr Simbao: The Government is resuming the construction of the banquet and conference halls at the New Government Complex with the assistance of the Chinese funding.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: The Chembe Bridge, Chirundu and Katimamulilo border infrastructure, including the first President’s residential house, will be among the projects that will be completed and commissioned in 2008.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

In conclusion, I would like to thank all the corporating partners who have continued to assist the Ministry of Works and Supply through provision of finances and technical assistance. These include the European Union (EU), the World Bank, Japan, Africa Development Bank (ADB), China, Denmark, Development Bank of Africa (BADEA) Oil Producing and Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Kuwait Fund.

Madam Chairperson, I thank you.{mospagebreak}

Mr Mwansa (Chifunabuli): Madam Chairperson, I would like to thank you for giving me this opportunity and privilege to make a few comments on the Ministry of Works and Supply. Firstly, I would like to state that I support the Motion on the Floor and especially the Vote of the Ministry that we are debating now.

Madam, the importance of the Ministry of Works and Supply cannot be over emphasised because quite, frankly, in terms of development, this Ministry must be a torch bearer, particularly in the road infrastructure, but also in the maintenance of Government institutions and structures.

Madam Chairperson, allow me to begin my debate with the road infrastructure which is of great concern to me and I can seen the hon. Minister is already smiling, knowing fully well that I have a great concern for this particular matter.

Madam, without roads, there can be no development and if the road infrastructure is in a deplorable condition, talking about development would be a big joke. We have to be serious in the way we handle this industry. Firstly, we are trying to make new roads while the old ones are already rundown.

You will notice that you will be very comfortable when you drive on trunk roads in Lusaka. The roads that go to Kalingalinga from town or the one that leads to Chawama from town, but dare not divert from these roads, or you are in serious trouble. I know that the answer that is usually given is that, this is the job of the local authorities, but we all know that local authorities cannot do much because most of the money is with the Central Government.

Madam Chairperson, allow me to begin with the road that goes to my home from Serenje to the Luapula Province.

Mr D. Mwila: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: The land that is endowed with lakes and rivers

Mr D. Mwila: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: Little must we talk about its meaning of potential which is known and yet nothing much is happening.

Madam, as you travel along a very smooth road from Kapiri-Mposhi to Serenje, you veer into the Tuta Road, but do not try to cross the bridge or you are in serious trouble. The smoothness of the road ends at the bridge. It is as if there is a deliberate ploy by the Government to cut off the Luapula Province from the rest of this country.

Mr D. Mwila: Bwekeshapo apopene!

Mr Mwansa: Madam Chairperson, the Tuta Road is in serious need of repair and I can guarantee that if no serious and major repairs are done on that road this year, it will become a hell run. I am happy I am talking to the hon. Minister who has travelled fairly well in the country and knows that it is no exaggeration that the road which is a heritage for us from the Chinese Government, whom this MMD Government quotes a lot, is bound to become a serious obstacle to travelling to the Luapula Province.

Madam, it boggles my mind to imagine that we can embark on new roads and leave the ones we have already created go to waste. I do not understand what the logic is, but I will assume that the Government has some meaning to this kind of planning. I would have thought that the first thing you would do was to ensure that which you have is in good working order before you start looking for new things. However, we seem to imagine that once you have created something, you should forget managing it and start looking for other things. The end result is that we spread our money so much and so wide that we, in the end, do not do much.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: Madam Chairperson, I would like to say that my experience in the country is that we seem to have pride in starting new things while the old things are going to waste. I do not believe that that is the way we should go. I think that we have an hon. Minister who knows what should be done. What I do not know is what the problems are that are making it impossible for him to do what he knows he ought to do. I do not know whether the problem is structural or political, but certainly, we cannot go on this way.

Madam, we have been talking about the road from Mansa to Luwingu. It is unbelievable that we can take more than ten years working on a road which should have been finished long ago. At the moment, there is no guarantee that this road is going to be completed before the MMD Government moves out of office.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: Madam, my worry is, what is the rational behind this? How do we structure the programmes of development in the country? When you use the road from Mansa to Kasama, you are catching the distance a lot in terms of getting into Mporokoso or going to Kaputa. Somehow, we have this tendency of doing things piecemeal. We are putting a bridge over the Luapula River, but the road that connects the Copperbelt to Mansa is in dire need. I am asking myself that after the bridge is done, does it ease our travelling or have we just solved part of the problem and left the rest? That is the same road that comes from Mufulira into Mansa, Luwingu, Kasama and even up to Mbala. That would get us to the great lakes region in a very short while, but that is not the way we plan. Somehow, since those are old programmes, the MMD Government feels that we should start the new projects first and deal with the old ones later.

Madam Chairperson, I come to the issue of keep Zambia clean. When I look at the Government buildings in every district of our country, I find that they are the dirtiest buildings in the country. The hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing who is looking elsewhere always tells us to keep Zambia clean, but the dirtiest are the Government buildings.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: Sir, we all know that if we want to see a dirty building, we do not have to be told where it belongs. We definitely know that it is a Government building. I wonder what impact the hon. Minister, who is talking about cleanliness, has on her peers and workers. I go further to wonder whether they do not just listen to her and laugh it off. Surely, a coat of paint would go a long way on a lot of Government infrastructure in Lusaka. I can see that the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting is very happy because one of the victim institutions is his own.


Mr Mwansa: Madam Chairperson, it is the job of the Ministry of Works and Supply to look after Government infrastructure. Hon. Magande is smiling at me when he knows that …


Mr Mwansa: …what I am saying is just to help him make right what is wrong.


Mr Mwansa: Madam Chairperson, we cannot afford to be so callous about institutions or infrastructure upon which the nation has spent so much money. The hon. Minister of Works and Supply knows what to do. I just do not know why he is not doing it. I know that the money is inadequate, but, hon. Minister, you can tell your friend to assist in that area so that we can see the Government infrastructure cleaned up. We would be very happy to look at clean buildings and rest assured that this is a Government that wants a clean Zambia. It cannot be a clean Zambia if the institutions talking about cleanliness are worse off in keeping their infrastructure clean. There is a contradiction.

Madam Chairperson, there is also something which is of serious concern to me. It concerns road infrastructure, which I almost missed. Madam, forty-three years after independence, if you want to travel from Livingstone to Chipata, you have to come to Lusaka. You cannot travel straight to Chipata because there is no road. From what I hear, there are no plans by the MMD Government to build a road connecting Livingstone and Chipata.


Mr Mwansa: Madam Chairperson, if the Bottom Road could be extended, we would be solving a lot of problems for Zambians in the Southern Province. However, somehow, that is not the way we plan.


Mr Mwansa: It is not only about connecting the Southern Province to the Eastern Province. You have to look at the tragedy of connecting from Isoka into Chasefu, where Hon. Chifumu Banda, comes from. The road to Chama is in a total state of disrepair.

Madam Chairperson, dare not go that way unless you want to risk a tyre puncture or stay in the escarpment for a number of years.


Mr Mwansa: I know that this Government has a way of planning, but I do not know what they mean to achieve. I know for a fact that the hon. Minister is capable. The question that still remains is what is stopping him. Is someone telling the hon. Minister of Works and Supply to prioritise political roads as opposed to most important roads in the country? The hon. Minister knows the answers to that question. Obviously, he will not tell us publicly, but he knows what I am talking about. There is a way in which politics play a major role in the way we prioritise development in our country and the end result, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo: On a point of order, Madam.

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Dr Chituwo: Madam Chairperson, is the hon. Member for Chifunabuli in order to swing from one end to the other? On one hand, he talks about the need to maintain what we have and on the other hand, he is asking about a new structure that we are supposed to be working on. We need to put his thought process in place. Is he in order to completely confuse the hon. Minister of Works and Supply and I? We are not sure about what he wants to say.

The Chairperson: Order! The Chair has guided this House on this particular issue so many times. The concern of the hon. Minister is that the hon. Member debating is swinging from one point to the other opposite point. The Chair has said that she is unaware of the policy of the hon. Member debating and therefore, hon. Members of the Backbench are at liberty to shift positions here and there.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: However, this does not mean that it is appreciated, but it cannot be stopped. That is to say, the Members of the Frontbench are guided by their policy. I think he is in order to swing if that is what you think.


Mr Mwansa: Madam Chairperson, the issue is just one way of planning and I was saying to the hon. Minister that firstly, he should handle old roads properly and that as they plan, take into account the fact that it is absolutely essential to continue connecting provincial headquarters directly as opposed to going through Lusaka. This is a matter of planning. Do not leave what you have started for new projects.

Madam Chairperson, it is a disaster that more then forty years down the line, we still cannot go directly from one province to the other without coming to Lusaka. That is an issue of planning. I know that the hon. Minister of Works and Supply is a capable Minister and can do it.

Madam Chairperson, the last point is that the hon. Minister should look at the shortest route to Luwingu. I am talking about the road that starts from Serenje and goes through my constituency (Chifunabuli) Lubwe, Kasaba into Luwingu. You would cut out more than 270 kilometers if you put a bridge at Kasaba Lagoon. If you put an embankment there, you will have opened travel from Luwingu into Luapula to the Copperbelt and Lusaka. It is a very short route and it will not cost you too much money.

Madam Chairperson, as I said, some of our planning is difficult. I will stop there.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Major Chizhyuka (Namwala): Madam Chairperson, I will provide a very mild debate.


Major Chizhyuka: Madam Chairperson, before I do so I had promised this House that I would lay on the Table a document I had instructed Hon. Katuka. Member of Parliament for Mwinilunga East. I would like to use the privilege I have of being on the Floor to lay this document on the Table.

Madam Chairperson, as a reminder …

The Chairperson:  Order! Hon. Major Chizhyuka, the Chair is wondering which debating you are bringing in. We are now considering the Vote for the Ministry of Works and Supply. Unfortunately, we do not have a provision for you to raise yesterday’s issues and exhaust them. As far as this House is concerned, that is finished work. Therefore, debate the Ministry of Works and Supply.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: Madam Chairperson, I was hoping that I could just lay the document on the Table because it is a very important document. I hope that I will find a gap somewhere …


The Chairperson: Order! Order! Our procedure is watertight. You will not find a gap.


The Chairperson: You debate today’s Vote.

Major Chizhyuka: Thank you, Madam Chairperson. I was saying that I was going to debate mildly because I think over the last one year, together with the hon. Minister Works and Supply, we had protracted a programme to put meets together to the issues associated with our very bad roads. I have information before me which clearly shows that from April, the Monze/Nico Road, Choma/Namwala Road, Chikankanta Road and Bottom Road will be underway in a manner that leaves us with a lot of satisfaction. However, it is important for me to remind the hon. Minister of Works and Supply that this year 2008, has seen an unprecedented act of God in the life history of all of us assembled in this House. The floods that have engulfed this country in the Southern Province, in particular, have been unprecedented. It was difficult to use the Monze/Nico Road prior to the floods. During the rainy season, the Monze/Nico Road which serves by far the largest economic area in the country, of course, at the indigenous level …


Major Chizhyuka: … was turned from a road to a river. We saw the Monze/Nico River on television. It was captured in the newspapers and other media. It is my hope that the Ministry of Works and Supply, through the Road Development Agency, will, as quickly as possible, in April move in to repair this road. I have explained that in the history of the number of years that I have stayed on the surface of this earth, there has not been a time when it has been absolutely impossible to use the Choma/Namwala Road, albeit its bad condition. However, this year, it has not been possible to travel on the Choma/Namwala Road for close to a month and half, during the rainy season. I know that the hon. Minister has been to all those roads before, but I also know that probably, he has not been there to see the devastation, due to the vast amount of work that he has to deal with. The buses are still hard pushed to use those roads. What used to be depressions have turned into gullies. What used to be little allies have turned into streams. There are trenches even the biggest canon which an Israeli tank can fire into Lebanon …


Major Chizhyuka: … cannot give the kind of trench work that is on the Choma/Namwala Road.


Major Chizhyuka: Madam Chairperson, I, therefore, am asking the Ministry of Works and Supply to repair this road as quickly as possible. It is important to speed up the repair of this road because in other parts of the country, they buy a 3,000 mm bottle of cooking oil, at K5,000. In Namwala, they buy it at K10,000 or K15,000. Obviously, it is because of transport. In other parts of the country, they buy a bucket, …

Mrs Masebo was talking.

Major Chizhyuka: Hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing, Hon. Masebo. … of maize, including Chongwe at K12,000 or K13,000, but in Namwala, a bucket is fetching between K25,000 and K30,000 on account that the poor state of roads impede movement of people and goods. It is for that reason, and including many others, that I ask the hon. Minister of Works and Supply to speed up work on those roads as planned so that those of us in Namwala can also feel as much Zambian as everyone else.

The problem that is there is the issue of the 42 companies that have been blacklisted. According to my experience, what has protracted the issue of the roads is that it takes a very long time for the engineers to do bills of quantities. If the blacklisting of those 42 companies continues being protracted for seven months, I can see no work being done on those roads.

Madam Chairperson, there is need to strike a balance. Is there a way that we can prosecute those companies without retarding the work that needs to be done? In any case, as you know I look through the numbers in most of these things, even when you look at the companies that have been left out of the 42 companies that were blacklisted, the remaining few, which may be less than a quarter of the total number of contractors, do not have the capacity to do the work of the roads for the monies that we have approved in this House. The implication is that we shall be approving more money which again will not be used and will be returned to the Treasury like the K900 billion in last year’s Budget.

It is my ardent wish, given that I have the biggest road problem in the country, …

Mr Hamududu laughed.

Major Chizhyuka: … that the companies that have been allowed to work on the Choma-Namwala and Monze-Niko roads …

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: … should start the works. If those companies faltered, I would ask the hon. Minister to ensure that they are prosecuted …

Mr Hamududu: And arrested.

Major Chizhyuka: … and dealt with while the works, for which they were contracted to perform, are carried out as quickly as possible.

Mr Hamududu: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: That way, we will be alleviating the level of suffering of the people of Namwala. As I said the other day, we do not think that 44 years after independence, we should continue to suffer to the extent that we are suffering. What is happening to our contribution to the struggle for the independence of this country?

Mr Hamududu: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: I think that we should move quickly on the issue of roads in this area. I was privileged to sit down with His Excellency the President and the hon. Ministers of Works and Supply and Finance and National Planning and there is a presidential instruction over the work of those roads. For the first time, I am going to see whether hon. Ministers can disobey the President.

Mr Syakalima laughed.

Major Chizhyuka: Madam Chairperson, my debate is a mild one. I am grateful to the hon. Ministers of Finance and National Planning and Works and Supply that there is going to be work on those roads. However, I am also grateful to His Excellency that he has made a definite instruction concerning this work.

Mr Hamududu: Hear, hear!


Major Chizhyuka: This instruction by the President to his hon. Minister is like the instructions we receive from the generals in the Zambia Army …


Major Chizhyuka: … that work on those loads must be commenced and completed within a specific timeframe.

Madam Chairperson, in the absence of my laying that document on the Table, this is the end of my debate.

I thank you, Madam.


Major Chibamba (Shiwang’andu): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the many who have spoken before me.

First and foremost, I would like to say that I fully support the budget for the Ministry of Works and Supply. I say so on behalf of the people of Shiwang’andu, Chinsali and Northern Province in general ...

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chibamba: … so that the Government can proceed to give us the necessary support that we have never had in the past.

Madam Chairperson, I would like to say that of course, except for the Ministry of Local Government and Housing that the hon. Minister of Works and Supply is, indeed, capable of doing what he says, but what stops him is what I also do not understand.

Mr Kambwili: Magande!

Major Chibamba: I am saying so because today, the hon. Minister, and I think for the first time, has brought out some important facts. These are that the Government went out of its way to assist some companies by securing procurement of cement and lime and wondered why those companies could not perform. These, I believe, are facts.

However, I have some problems in some areas. The first one is that we do not seem to understand how a contract is packaged. A contract consists of three parties. In this particular case, I am referring to a Government contract. There is the Government itself or the officials from the ministries concerned, in this case the Ministry of Works and Supply. There are also the consultants and in the absence of the consultant, the Ministry officials will act as consultants and lastly, the contractor. All these parties are obligated to fulfill certain requirements. If one of them does not fulfill those requirements as per the clauses of the contract itself, any project that may be put there is bound to fail.

Therefore, I shudder to hear about shoddy works. Shoddy works where? Where you have officials who are paid by the Government to closely monitor, supervise and evaluate the works that are taking place? How can a contractor …

The  Chairperson: Order!

(Debate adjourned)



[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress reported)


The House adjourned at 1956 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 14th March, 2008