Debates- Tuesday, 11th March, 2008

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Tuesday, 11th March, 2008

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






Mr Speaker:  Hon. Members, today, Tuesday, 11th March, 2008, saw the conclusion of the Commemoration of the Commonwealth Day Activities I had referred to in this House on Friday, 7th March, 2008. Participants from all the nine provinces took part in various activities which culminated in a quiz about Parliament and the environment.  On your behalf and, indeed, on my own behalf, I have congratulated the winners and have encouraged others to do better next time.

Hon. Members, this afternoon, in the Speaker’s Gallery, are the participants who were guests of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Zambia Branch during the Commonwealth Day Celebrations. We welcome them to Parliament.

I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!




195. Mr Kapeya (Mpika Central) asked the Minister of Justice:
(a) what academic and professional qualifications were required for one to be engaged as a local court justice;

(b) what type of cases were handled by the local courts;

(c) what form of training or orientation was provided for the attainment of the qualifications at (a) above; and

(d) whether there was any further training that was given to the local court justices in Zambia.

The Minister of Justice (Mr Kunda, SC.): Mr Speaker, the following is the answer:

(a) the minimum academic qualification for the post of local court justice is a standard six or form two certificate. Professionally, the applicant must be a retired professional person from a recognised institution such as the Civil Service. The minimum age requirement is forty five;

(b) local courts hear matrimonial and inheritance cases and land disputes based on the African Customary Law. Others are minor cases of tort, contract, cases under the provisions of the Local Government Act and some minor criminal law cases under any written law as approved under section 13 of the Local Court Act, Cap. 29 as read with schedule (paragraph 2) of the same Act;

(c) newly recruited local court justices work under the tutorship of experienced local court justices. They are also offered orientation courses in the topics that I have just explained above; and

(d)  apart from the orientation courses, there is no other formal training for local court justices.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kapeya: Mr Speaker, apart from the adjudication of customary cases, local courts also handle criminal cases as stipulated under Section 13 of Cap. 29 of the Laws of Zambia. Can the hon. Minister explain why Police prosecutors are not present in local courts when criminal cases are heard?
Mr Kunda: Mr Speaker, as far as I know, whoever takes a case to the local court should prosecute that case. Therefore, police officers who are persecutors should be present to prosecute such cases.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr C. K. Banda, SC. (Chasefu): Mr Speaker, is the knowledge of the local customs and tradition one of the preconditions for one to be appointed local court justice, apart from the qualifications of Form II or Standard VI?

Mr Kunda, SC.: Mr Speaker, according to their jurisdiction, local courts deal with cases concerning African Customary Law. Local courts were formally called native courts. Therefore, knowledge of customary law is a prerequisite.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Banda (Chililabombwe): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister why the Ministry has not allocated any funds for capacity building for local courts in this year’s Budget?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda, SC.: Mr Speaker, I cannot confirm that we have not allocated money for capacity building for local courts, but you could have asked this question when we were considering the budget provision for the Ministry of Justice.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister, who, under the Local Court Act is supposed to be compensated. Is it the one who sues for divorce or the one who is sued?

Mr Munaile: Mu local court fila pilibuka.


Mr Speaker: The hon. Minister of Justice may offer free legal advice.


Mr Kunda, SC.: Mr Speaker, I think issues of maintenance depend on the means of the parties. Even if you are the one who takes the case to court, if you have more money than the other, you can still be ordered. Even in the High Court, if one of the parties is divorcing and the other person has more money or can look after the other, the courts can make appropriate orders. After all, these unions are supposed to be for life.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): Mr Speaker, I would like to learn from the hon. Minister of Justice why appeals from the local courts take long and when they mature, they are considered as new cases?

Mr Kunda, Sc.: Mr Speaker, I cannot confirm that cases take too long to be processed where there is an appeal from the local courts to the magistrate’s courts. As I said during one of the sittings here, hearing of an appeal from the local court to the magistrate’s court is by way of a rehearing. It is started de novo. You start the case again. In fact, the local court record is not a record as such and you have to rehear the case. I do not see why cases should be delayed.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Speaker, I believe qualifications to become a local court justice were determined a long time ago. The last class of Standard VI in this country was forty-three years ago, in 1965. Form II is equivalent to Grade 9 and a Grade 9, these days, will probably not get a job in an office, anywhere. When is the hon. Minister or Government thinking of reviewing these qualifications so that we are in keeping with what is happening in the rest of the country and worldwide?

Mr Kunda, Sc.: Mr Speaker, we are talking about minimum qualifications and the issue of knowledge of customary law. I think only people as old as Hon. Machungwa would know customary law.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether the Government has any plans of formalising the training for people who work in local courts.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda, Sc.: Mr Speaker, the training is formalised.

I thank you, Sir.



196. Ms Kapata (Mandevu) asked the Minister of Home Affairs what kind of assistance the Ministry gives to community police stations.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Ms Njapau): Mr Speaker, I wish to state that the Government releases funds to the Zambia Police Service that filter to community police posts through the Provincial Police Command also known as Divisional Headquarters. There is no other fund apart from this form of allocation of funding through Recurrent Departmental Charges (RDC).

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that electricity and water bills are sent to the overburdened communities that have already contributed by building a police post? Is it not prudent for the Ministry to settle these bills on behalf of the communities?

The Minister of Home Affairs (Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha): Mr Speaker, the work of the Ministry is to provide resources to the command of the Zambia Police Service. The Zambia Police Service distributes these resources as they see them fit. If the hon. Member of Parliament has seen a situation where the community posts are having difficulty settling electricity bills, it is better to approach the local command for resources to be given.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs J. C. M. Phiri (Munali): Mr Speaker, there are some cases that have been reported to the Headquarters, particularly relating to Kalikili Police Post. Police officers are drinking contaminated water and this has since been reported. I would like to get some advice from the hon. Minister on what should be done since the matter has already been reported.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, all reports to the Police Command are compiled to ensure that as soon as the budget is passed, we look at the areas of priority, including the Kalikili Police Post where there are problems of water. I am sure we will attend to that issue by drilling some boreholes for them.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that RDCs in his Ministry do not go to the districts. Therefore, it is very difficult for officers at the district level to pay such bills.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, we are aware of the enormous bills that are being generated in ensuring that the country is secure. We are also aware that the resources that are given will validate where the money has been sent to. Most likely, in his area, the money has not reached yet, but it will get there.

I thank you, Sir.


197. Mr D. Mwila (Chipili) asked the Vice-President how much money was spent on celebrations of the following national days from 2002 to 2007, year by year.

(a) Africa Freedom Day; and

(b) Independence Day.

The Deputy Minister in the Vice-President’s Office (Mr Malwa): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this House that a total of K2,612,290,327 was spent on the Africa Freedom Day celebrations whilst K7,737,661,146 was spent on Independence Day celebrations for the period 2002 to 2007, respectively.

Mr Speaker, broken down, year by year, from 2002 to 2007, is as follows:

Year                             Africa Freedom Day                                Independence Day

2002                             K256,354,187                                           K510,678,938
2003                             K299,140,880                                           K902,522,340

2004                             K336,562,306                                            K1,164,637,881

2005                             K403,872,367                                            K1,661,394,028

2006                             K487,091,087                                            K1,818,542,922

2007                             K829,269,500                                            K1,679,885,037

Total                              K2,612,290,327                                         K7,737,661,146

Sir, the overall total for both Africa Freedom Day and Independence Day celebrations is K10,349,951,473.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, I am concerned about the money spent on Independence Day celebrations. From 2002 to 2006, in terms of expenditure, the figures have been increasing by 100 per cent every year. Therefore, I would like to know from His Honour the Vice-President whether the Government is looking at reducing that expenditure because it has been going up.

The Vice-President (Mr R. Banda): Mr Speaker, it is true that the figures have been going up, but not by 100 per cent as you can tell from the figures. I think the main question should be the reason these figures have been increasing. The Independence Day and Africa Freedom Day celebrations are much bigger celebrations in this country and in certain cases, even foreign guests are invited.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


198. Mr Mwangala (Nalolo) asked the Minister of Education:

(a) whether the Government had any plans to address the poor state of the infrastructure and lack of furniture in most schools in Senanga District; and

(b) when Muoyo High School in Nalolo Parliamentary Constituency would be turned into a boarding school to accommodate the many pupils who travel long distances as day scholars.

The Deputy Minister of Education (Mr Sinyinda): Mr Speaker, the Government has plans to address the state of infrastructure and lack of furniture in Senanga District. This year, the Government intends to construct twenty-one classrooms and two staff houses. Additionally, the Government also intends to rehabilitate and maintain existing infrastructure. The Government recently supplied 180 desks to eight newly opened schools in the district. The breakdown is as follows:

School                                         Number of Desks Supplied            Constituency

Malombe Middle Basic                      22 double seater                       Nalolo

Kashitu Middle Basic                        22 double seater                       Nalolo

Sikuyu Middle Basic                          22 double seater                      Senanga Central

Mbondwe Middle Basic                     23 double seater                      Senanga Central

Siyombo Middle Basic                       23 double seater                       Senanga Central

Lwehumba Middle Basic                   22 double seater                      Senanga Central

Mashubu Middle Basic                       23 double seater                      Senanga Central

N’gala Middle Basic                             22 double seater                      Senanga Central

Mr Speaker, at the moment, there are no plans to turn Muoyo High School into a boarding school, but there are plans to increase the number of existing classrooms in order to increase access.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.




The Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2008

The Customs and Excise (Amendment) Bill, 2008

The Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2008

Reports adopted.

Third Readings on Thursday, 13th March, 2008.





VOTE 80/01 ─ (The Ministry of Education ─ Headquarters ─ K407,759,428,639).

(Consideration resumed)

Mr Chota (Lubansenshi): Mr Chairperson, when business was suspended on Friday, I was saying that the policy statement by the hon. Minister was quite comprehensive and that I would only talk about two issues briefly.

Mr Chairperson, David Kaunda in Lusaka and Hillcrest in Livingstone, are the only Technical Schools that accommodate the best students in this country. Through you, Sir, I would like to inform the hon. Minister that the infrastructure of these schools, which were built to excellence, is falling. The laboratories and sports facilities have all been run down.

Mr Chairperson, the boys’ dormitories at Hillcrest Secondary School are in a bad state. They look exactly like chicken runs. Luckily for the girls, that is not the case. This infrastructure has been run down because we have not made any effort to replace it. Hon. Minister, you have started very well, and personally, I appreciate this. I think you should leave a legacy of deliberately developing a policy of looking after school infrastructure. I remember very well that when I was at university, there were excellent sporting facilities because at one time, I was the chairman of the Athletics Club until I graduated.  We had the late Dr Ngalama Kalaluka, who, unfortunately, had to go away, probably because the facilities were going down. 

Therefore, hon. Minister, I am begging you …

Mr Chairperson: Order! Can you address the hon. Minister through the Chair?

Mr Chota: Mr Chairperson, through you, I am begging the hon. Minister to look into this issue.


Mr Chota: When one concentrates only on studies without participating in activities such as sports, they may end up snapping and washing their books.


Mr Chota: Mr Chairperson, these technical schools are where the best pupils in a particular year are sent to. I know that the hon. Minister has gone through issues of purchase of chemicals and laboratory equipment in this House for other schools. However, I have not seen this done for technical schools.

Mr Chairperson, I know that when the World Bank started building schools, most of them were built on sporting grounds. I also know that some sports fields have been turned into maize fields. Through you, Mr Chairperson, I would like to appeal to the hon. Minister to look at the management of these schools.  I think that the hon. Minister has worked so hard at the Ministry of Education Headquarters, but I think this should be extended to schools.

Only the other day, I was looking at a document that was with the hon. Member of Parliament for Bahati. I asked him how I could get hold of the document and he told me that I could actually obtain one from the Ministry of Education in the Directorate of Planning Department. He did not tell me to go to the hon. Minister of Education for the document. That is excellent because it shows that the hon. Minister is working and things have been put in place. It means that I can walk into the office of the Director of Planning and get the information that I need. 

Hon. Minister, …

Hon. Member: Speak through the Chair.

Mr Chota: …through the Chair, if that kind of management is extended to all schools, you will go a long way in leaving a system that will be accepted by everybody.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Mrs C. J. M. Phiri (Munali): Mr Chairperson, I would like to hank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this debate.

Mr Chairperson, I stand here mourning due to the falling standards of our education system.

Mr Chairperson, I am only going to talk about two things.

Hon. Government Members: Are you mourning?

Mr C. J. M. Phiri:  Yes I am mourning, especially when I look at the falling standards in our schools in this country. I am sure many hon. Members of Parliament can bear me witness from what we experienced yesterday. Pupils were failing to answer questions in Civics on things that learnt about in Grade 6. It is really sad.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to start my debate by talking about the looming strike at the University of Zambia. Last year, when the Budget was presented, the University of Zambia Lecturers and Researchers Union (UNZALARU) was promised an increment of salary in this year’s Budget the hon. Minister, but unfortunately, nothing has been done about this to date. UNZALARA has been trying to meet the hon. Minister, but to no avail. Through the Chair, I am begging the hon. Minister of Education to, please, make an effort to meet the UNZALARU members so that when the students return to the university in April, they will be able to learn in peace. It is not fair to keep blaming the students when they start striking and throwing stones, yet this caring Government is doing nothing about the cause of the disorder.

The infrastructure at the University of Zambia is dilapidated. It is a shame to see female students being reduced to nothing by bathing outside.

 Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr C. J. M. Phiri: It is shame and that is a fact. As leaders, you should take time to visit the university rather than just sitting in your offices. Wake up at 0500 hours and go to the University, you will find female students bathing outside. Even in my, people do not bath outside is if they are wild animals. Even if there are no proper bathrooms, they erect bathrooms using poles and thatch them. Are we not ashamed of calling ourselves leaders when we are reducing adults to this level?

Sir, the infrastructure being put up at the University of Zambia is a sorry sight and I have lamented about this many times. The new hostels at the University of Zambia are being built at a time when our President, who is a Doctor and State counsel and is a former student of the same University, is in office. However, the people who are building the infrastructure are paid peanuts; K150,000 per month. I have spoken about this and I do not know how long it will take this Government to resolve this issue. It is sad if you as a Government in power continue promoting investors who are exploiting our brothers and sisters and you are proud about this. As area Member of Parliament, I do not want to be a party to this.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs C. J. M. Phiri: Mr Chairperson, the sad part is that when the new infrastructure collapses, it will reflect badly on the President and the hon. Minister who is a professor. That is why, as area Member of Parliament, I am speaking about it now.

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs C. J. M. Phiri: Sir, if the structures collapse and some students are killed, people who are brave will put us to task for not supervising the work properly.

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs C. J. M. Phiri: Mr Chairperson, at the moment, students are in a dilemma because the University of Zambia has said that they are going ahead to increase the fees whether at 50 or 25 per cent Government Bursary. The students have to pay the fees in full. How are the parents going to manage to pay the fees, especially those who earn K251,000 like the case is at Chambeshi Metal Smelter. The Government is even supporting the investors. I feel sad. What is going to happen to the offices we occupy when we are old and eventually die? They will be vacant. However, our children have to take over? If we have a future generation that is uneducated, what is this country going to be?

Mr Chairperson, I would like my children to go to the University of Zambia just like many other parents would like their children to. Pupils are completing school at a tender age and I would not risk taking my sixteen-year old child to Australia or Namibia to learn other cultures when we have a very good University that has produced a President. Do something about it.

Mr Chairperson, the infrastructure at Munali High School, the only proper high school in my constituency, is poor. The set up at the school is confusing there is Munali Girls’ High School that also caters for disabled pupils who are boys and the budget for Munali Girls’ High School. I have lamented about this many times, but nothing has been done about it.

Mr Chairperson, at the moment, there are only two boreholes working at this school and some scrupulous people have allocated themselves land where the boreholes are located. What is happening? I am surprised that everybody is quiet about this.

Sir, teachers wanted that land to be allocated to them and it was made clear to them that the land was for the school. Who allocated this land to these people? This is going to come up very soon. I am very sure that the hard working hon. Minister of Lands is gong to investigate and the truth will be known. What do you want to do with our children who are at Munali Girls’ High School which houses both boys and girls? The school does not have any toilets. What they are using as bathrooms is where they used to do their laundry from some time back. I do not know how much they get as their budget allocation.

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

Mrs C. J. M. Phiri: The toilets are blocked. People from the Environmental Health Department have been there, but nothing has been done about this. Can this Government not put up proper and decent sanitation facilities for the pupils to use? So far, we only have two high schools in this country that cater for pupils with disabilities.

 Sir, I remember one time Hon. Lubinda said on the Floor of the House that we had the potential to have children with disabilities, and it is true  I worry for my children because they are still young. They might go to that school. Let us do things properly when we are in office.

 Mr Chairperson, this is such a big school, but it has no laboratory facilities. How do we expect the girls to learn when we are saying that we want 50 per cent female representation at SADC? That is a joke. Let us be serious when we make pronouncements so that when people follow them up, they can see that we are doing something in this direction.

 Mr Chairperson, I hope and pray that the hon. Minister of Education has listened very carefully and he is going to do something about this issue.

 I thank you, Sir.

Dr Chishya (Pambashe): Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank you for this opportunity to debate.

Mr Chairperson, I declare interest in this matter due to my affiliation with the University of Zambia. I would like to look at this motion from the point of view of the University of Zambia.

Mr Chairperson, last year, the University of Zambian was allocated K74 billion. This year, it has been allocated K74 billion and a further K37 billion for outstanding bills.
Mr Chairperson, let me just say t something about the universities in general. My focus will be on the academic and research infrastructure.

Mr Chairperson, we know that universities play a key role in development, particularly in industries, general infrastructure and services by way of providing solutions to pertinent problems and even opening up of new opportunities for optimum, sustainable and environmentally friendly exploitation of the available natural resources for the production not only of goods and services, but also an aggregate of fundamental needs of the nation such as food, clothing, shelter and health.

Mr Chairperson, I can give you a scenario of the current situation regarding the financial support to the University of Zambia. There are outstanding bills of K265 billion as at December 2007, but the University has been given K37 billion. Compared to the December 2006 budget, the outstanding bills were K210 billion. This shows that outstanding bills are increasing each year and are expected to increase even further. Therefore, the K37 billion budget will not take the University of Zambia anywhere.

The University of Zambia’s investment budget needs about K28 billion. However, no support has been rendered by the Government on capital investment. Sir, the investment budget is needed to maintain the quality education that is expected from this institution. Without this support, it will result in falling standards at the university.

Mr Chairperson, research on academic infrastructure for the School of Natural Sciences shows that yearly intake is increasing, hence the inadequate space. Actually, it is at this university where you find students sitting on the floor whilst attending lectures. They literally sit on the floor because there is not enough furniture.

The equipment is almost obsolete. The latest state of the art equipment is not in existence. Therefore, without this equipment, no meaningful research can take place.

Mr Chairperson, you may wish to know that a lecturer’s promotion is determined by the publications he or she makes. Further, publication can only come with research. Without research and equipment, there can be no research, publication or promotion. This is frustrating for the lecturers.

To illustrate the need for state of the art equipment, the basic laboratory equipment, ultra violet equipment, infra red equipment, atomic absorption spectrophotometer equipment, magnetic resonance equipment and so on and so forth are gathering dust because they are obsolete and are not functional. For a long time, the Ministry cannot say so much was allocated in a particular year for research. That will be a fallacy.

The present Minister of Education was once Director of Research at this institution before he became Deputy Vice Chancellor. I do not know if there is any record that shows that he supported the provision or sourcing for funds for research at this university. Since he is aware of all these problems, what are his plans in support of research at this institution?

Mr Chairperson, the other problem I wish to talk about relates to staff. The School of Natural Sciences and other schools are operating at a 50 per cent capacity because most of the staff have left. I believe that something can be done about this.

In 1991 or 1992, you may recall that the Government lifted import tax on minibuses. This worked well and we still have a lot of mini buses operating. As a result, there are no more transport problems. If we extrapolated this approach to the situation obtaining at the university, by providing tax free salaries to academic and research staff for a defined period of time, starting now, there can be a lot of changes. This has worked very well in countries such as Tanzania.

In Zambia, programmes like the Fertiliser Support Programme (FSP) have worked very well and I am sure that if the hon. Minister emulated this very seriously, it would also work for the University of Zambia. For example, if he considered retaining Pay As You Earn (PAYE), I believe that it would still not assist run this institution in full. Therefore, if we have to raise the standards at the University of Zambia, all these problems must be considered.

Mr Chairperson, building of new hostels entails that the number of students will increase. However, as I have mentioned before, the issue of academic and research infrastructure and staff levels need to be addressed. Otherwise, the university will look like a secondary school.

Mr Sichilima: Fyafula!

Dr Chishya: There are quite a lot of issues. There are quite a lot!

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! Hammer!

Dr Chishya: Mr Chairperson, the other issue I wish to mention relates to the state of the lecture rooms. Laboratory roofs are leaking. Lecture theatres do not have a provision for storing sensitive equipment such as computers, if at all it is there. All the buildings have a lot of cracks, hence dropping the standards at the University.

However, the Government took long to repair the infrastructure whose state is bound to worsen. For example, if the Government has difficulty solving these problems, it should dialogue with the lecturers and researchers at this university to find a solution. Without dialogue amongst the Ministry, management, lecturers and researchers, no solution will ever be found. Therefore, I urge the hon. Minister to find some time to meet the management, researchers and lecturers at the University of Zambia. They should discuss and probably come up with some solutions to these problems.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Thank you, Mr Chairperson, for giving me this opportunity to debate this Vote. I am going to be very brief.

Mr Chairperson, the last time I debated on education, I castigated the Ministry for their inefficiency by returning more than K2 billion to the Treasury. The information before me is that they did not return this money to the Treasury, but left it in the bank. However, I think they are still inefficient. Even if the money is still in the bank, the fact that they did not use the money for the intended purposes, means that they are inefficient.

Hon. Opposition Member: Correct.

Mrs Musokotwane: Pupils, Mr Chairperson, in schools, sit on the floor and they have no text books. Therefore, it is not an excuse at all to leave the money in the bank. They should have sent it back to the Treasury so that we demand it for other programmes. I would like to state to the hon. Minister of Education that, next year, we do not want to hear that some of the money we are going to allocate to his Ministry this year, is in the bank. We are not going to take this kindly. This is a timely warning to the hon. Minister of Education.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Musokotwane: Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank the hon. Minister of Education for building a high school in my constituency.


Mrs Musokotwane: I have said before and I will say it now, that one high school is not enough, but, at least, is the beginning. I want to believe that the Ministry will continue building. For that, I thank them.

Mr Chairperson, let me now talk about my observation on the high school. The number of ablution blocks for girls are the same as that for boys. That is not practical. That is a high school, meaning most of the girls, if not all, who go to this school are young girls; teenagers. You know what I mean by this. The girls need more ablution blocks than boys. I do not want to go into details because all of you know what I am talking about.

Hon. Members: Aah!

Mrs Musokotwane: If the hon. Minister is not sure, I can whisper to him when we are only the two of us.


Mrs Musokotwane: Apparently, this is the trend of the Ministry of Education. It is not only at Katombola High School, but also most of the schools, where there is the same number of toilets for girls as there are for boys. I do not know why this is so, probably because most of the officers are male.

Hon. Members: Gender balance.

Mrs Musokotwane: Gender balance, yes, but biologically, we do not do things the same way.


Mrs Musokotwane: Therefore, that must be put into consideration as well. I have said this time and again, but it seems the hon. Minister of Education is not taking this as a very serious issue.

Hon. Opposition Member: He is listening.

Mrs Musokotwane: I know he is listening. I also would also like to request the Ministry of Education to send a female headteacher to the school when the school is ready.

Hon. Members: Aaah!

Mrs Musokotwane: Mr Chairperson, I am requesting for a female headteacher because you know very well that Katombola has had no high school or secondary school except for basic schools. Consequently, the girls in that constituency have no models or mentors except their only Member of Parliament. If a female headteacher was sent to that high school, the girls are going to have a mentor. Therefore, they are going to work hard so that they become headteachers of high schools as well.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Musokotwane: So, I just want to …

Mr Kasongo: And other professions.

Mrs Musokotwane: say that - and other professions- thank you very much, Hon. Kasongo. That will be the beginning of encouraging girls to go to school. This is because they will see that their Member of Parliament is a female and so is the headteacher of their school.

Can I also request the Ministry to ensure that the District Education Board Secretary and …

Hon. Members: Aah!

Mrs Musokotwane: … senior teachers are female.


Mrs Musokotwane: We want to encourage girls to go to school.


Mrs Musokotwane: Mr Chairperson, 2015 is around the corner. I do not think the Ministry of Education would have achieved the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Musokotwane: Mr Chairperson, if we did that, we might move a little nearer to achieving the MDGs. Katombola Constituency is very far behind where education is concerned, especially for girls. That is why I am requesting for these things so that we also come nearer to the other constituencies in the country. We are backward, so we need to move a little faster than the other constituencies for us to reach the MDGs. One of the ways we can move a little faster is by deploying more female teachers to our schools to encourage girls to go to school. However, female teachers should not only be sent to Katombola High School, I want to believe this is what the school will be called, but also all the schools in Katombola. We need more female staff than male staff to encourage the girls in the rural areas to go to school.

Mr Chairperson, this simply means that we need to improve the conditions of service for teachers in the rural areas so that we retain the female teachers we sent there. At the moment, I do not know how many teachers have been sent to my constituency. You did not send us any hon. Minister. I remember we requested for some last time. We want more female teachers who are going to be retained in the constituency. We do not want female teachers who will be transferred to Lusaka, Choma and Livingstone after producing fake marriage certificates after two years. We need to work out a mechanism that will keep female teachers in the rural areas because really, we also need education. We need more girls in our schools. We need more teachers promoted in our schools.

If it is possible, Mr Chairperson, can we reintroduce the careers guidance programme at Katombola High School. We need it very much. Hon. Members are aware that my constituency has not had facilities of a high school. As a result, as I have always said, those who go to Livingstone to pursue their education, especially the girls, have nowhere to stay. They rent houses in Malota Compound. You can imagine a female pupil renting a house on her own. That is very dangerous. Some of the girls who live with relatives are not happy because they are mistreated. Therefore, once we have our own high school, the pupils of Katombola High School should also be introduced to career guidance so that they are well informed with regard to choosing their careers. I hope the hon. Minister will take this seriously because to me, this is the key issue for the children of Katombola Constituency.

I would also like to request the hon. Minister that when the school is opened priority should be given to the children of Katombola Constituency because I know that since this will be a boarding school, parents from Lusaka will rush to take their children to Katombola High School.

Mr Muntanga: But it is a Zambian school.

Mrs Musokotwane: We will not accept that. You mean that when our children are not in boarding schools in your constituencies we are not Zambians?

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Address the Chair and ignore the heckler.

Mrs Musokotwane: We are going to give priority to the children of that constituency. When we have exhausted our plans, then we will open the school to the rest of the country. We do not want to have a situation where children in Katombola Constituency have no places at our high school, but there are children from Lundazi, Lusaka, Mongu and all these other places at the school. As the people of Katombola Constituency, in Kazungula, we will not accept that. Priority will be given to our children.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mabenga (Mulobezi): Mr Chairperson, early this year, I asked the hon. Minister of Education when the roof of Sinjembela Middle Basic School would be rehabilitated. The hon. Minister indicated that something was being done. I actually had to ask another question to reinforce the earlier one. I asked the hon. Minister whether he was sure that something would be done to ensure that the school was rehabilitated. He brought out a long list of the different amounts of money that was allocated to provinces and said that actually, that particular day, provincial education officers were collecting cheques for this work to be done.

I am glad that he kept his word, which is actually documented.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabenga: Those from this side of the House who read …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabenga: … what they get in their pigeon-holes, have already discovered that what the hon. Minister said is actually documented here.

Major Chizhyuka: Where?

Mr Mabenga: Here, in this publication called Education Sector Infrastructure Operational Plan 2008. All names of the schools in this country that had their roofs blown off, staff houses damaged and so on and so forth are here and we have a lot of money that has been approved for these schools. Apart from Sinjembela Middle Basic School, whose infrastructure is going to be worked on, I have also found that Kalobololwa Middle Basic School, which is far up in the inter-lands, …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! We are consulting loudly. Can we do so quietly.

Mr Mabenga: Mr Chairperson, they are excited. I would like to read what we have already read privately, again. The hon. Members now want to know whether what we are saying …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


The Deputy Chairperson: Okey, you may continue.

Mr Mabenga: Mr Chairperson, this Government keeps its word. It does not talk and end there, but it talks and thereafter, acts.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabenga: This has been exhibited by what has been produced by the Ministry of Education.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabenga: Mr Chairperson, when you read this document, you will find that in almost every constituency in this country, there is construction of basic schools, additional classrooms and staff houses, completion of classrooms, rehabilitation and maintenance of various infrastructure and so on and so forth.

Sir, the list does not end here. If hon. Members on the left had cared to look in their pigeon holes, if they have not looked in them, they would find more literature that they should read.

Mr Muntanga interjected.

Mr Mabenga: This is what Hon. Muntanga should read.

Mr Muntanga: On a point of order, Sir.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Hon. Muntanga, I heard you provoke the hon. Member into making that statement. Therefore, I will not grant you that point of order.

You may continue, please.

Mr Mabenga: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for your protection. What I am saying here is that the population of this country has grown and every sector and part of this country would like to see development coming to its door steps. We know very well that almost every section of this country wants to have a school within, maybe, a radius of five kilometres and that people actually ask the Government to build temporary structures. However, it is good that what have been temporary structures are now going to be turned into permanent structures. This is good. Therefore, I would like to commend the Ministry of Education for …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabenga: … this wonderful job.

Mr Chairperson, with regard to conditions of service for teachers, the labour laws of this country allow workers to speak about or complain about what they feel is not right for them. In any case, the labour leaders are always given an opportunity, just before the end of the year, to propose what they think would be best for their members. The leaders of these unions also include those from the Basic Education Teachers’ Union of Zambia (BETUZ), the Zambia National Union of Teachers (ZNUT) and the Primary Education Teachers’ Union of Zambia (PETUZ).

When one hon. Member said on the Floor of this House that teachers are not well remunerated, I think that is not fair because the leaders of the unions understand the economic status of this country such that when they are at the negotiating table, a consensus is reached on the remuneration for their members.

Mr Chairperson, we need to give enough support to this Ministry so that it works very hard. I particularly want to urge my brother, the hon. Minister of Education and his brother, the hon. Deputy Minister, Permanent Secretary, Directors, Provincial Education Officers and District Education Board Secretaries (DEBS) to work very hard so that they continue to do a good job together.

Mr Chairperson, what the hon. Members on the other side do sometimes is surprising because they will stand here and say all kinds of things to try to discredit this Government, particularly this Ministry, but then afterwards, they quietly ask for favours. That must stop.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabenga: They must say the truth here.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Mabenga: Mr Chairperson …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Order! I can see that the statement by Mr Mabenga has attracted a lot of attention from the people on my Left.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! The hon. Member on the Floor is saying the people on my left do everything to condemn the Government, but secretly go back to the Government. This really shows that they are trying to persuade the Government to assist them that is why they go to the Government. So I do not think hon. Members on my left should take issue with that because we are speaking the same language.

Can you continue, please.


Major Chizhyuka: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: Are you raising a point of order on the Chair, Major Chizhyuka, because I just made a ruling?

Mr Mabenga, you may continue.

Mr Mabenga: Mr Chairman, I was emphasising the fact that it is important to give credit where it is due and never …

Major Chizhyuka: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Muntanga: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: There are two of you standing. Let me give the Floor to Major Chizhyuka.

Major Chizhyuka: Mr Chairperson, I rise on a very serious point of order. Is the speaker on the Floor, …

Mr Muntanga: The MMD Presidential Candidate.

Major Chizhyuka: … in order to suggest that after the ten million Zambian people have paid their due tax to this country through this Government, and we get into the ministries to request for development of the constituencies for those Zambians who paid tax …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! The Chair had made a ruling earlier that you were in order to pursue the Government to do certain things and Mr Mabenga confirmed by the fact that sometimes you go to see them in their offices. Therefore, I ruled that you were in order and that we were speaking about almost the same thing. Let us not go on about that issue.

 The hon. Member speaking may continue, please.

Mr Mabenga: I thank you, Mr Chairman, for your protection. I know this is raising concern. However, that is okey …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Do not qualify the Chair’s ruling. Just make your point.

You may continue, please.


Mr Mabenga: Thank you Mr Chairman. I was emphasising the fact that infrastructure is being developed as promised. This Ministry has developed infrastructure and is putting the resources that are voted to the Ministry to good use. I was saying that it is, therefore, important that we support and persuade the Ministry officials, from the hon. Minister to the lowest person in the ranks to continue doing this good work so that the Ministry can produce good results.

Mr Chairperson, Sichili, the Girls’ Boarding School, is almost complete. I was there a week or two ago and very soon the girls will be sleeping in a very good atmosphere.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank you, once again, for giving me this opportunity to commend this Ministry for a job well done.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! It is very clear from what you and I can see that if those indicating were all to speak, we will be dealing with this head for the next three days.

In view of that observation, I will only allow one person to speak and that is Mrs Sinyangwe the educationalist.

Mrs Sinyangwe (Matero): I thank you, Mr Chairperson, for giving me this opportunity to debate. Let me join the earlier speakers in congratulating the hon. Minister of Education for a good policy statement. However, I must hasten to say that a policy on paper should only be considered good enough if it is implemented.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: Mr Chairperson, like Mrs Musokotwane, I would also like to thank the Ministry and the hon. Minister in particular, for giving me two high schools in Matero Constituency.

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

Mrs Sinyangwe: Thank you very much. It is high time we had the schools. I must say that education is an investment. We should invest in education heavily. Quality education is not cheap. Therefore, while I support the Vote on the Ministry of Education, I would like to see that we give it more money in the next Budget.

Mr Chairperson, there are so many disparities when it comes to enrolment. When we look at the Ministry of Education Statistics for 2006, I would like to find out whether the Ministry knows how many students are catered for, considering the population in the provinces in relevance to enrolment.  Looking at the provincial profiles, the statistics in this book, on pages 41 and 42, show a lot of disparities. I do not know whether this is due to the size of the population, a lack of willingness to go to school or customs. I would urge the Ministry to go further and find out what is happening because we are getting concerned, as children must be in school.

Mr Chairperson, when we look in the document “Educating our Future”, moral uprightness has been one of the subjects that have been emphasised. I would like to find out what the Ministry of Education is doing to uphold this vision given the number of children that are getting pregnant in schools and also the cases of HIV infection.

Mr Chairperson, while it is appreciated that Religious Education is taught as a subject in schools, moral education should be a way of life. Let us look at the statistics of re-admission since we passed a policy that girls who got pregnant should be re-admitted in schools. I was part of that policy when I was in the Ministry of Education. However, when you look at the statistics, there are more pregnancies in the rural areas than there are in urban areas.

Mr Muntanga: Why?

Mrs Sinyangwe:  There are more pregnancies among Grades 1 to 9 pupils than there are among Grades 10 to 12. There is a need to find out why, how effective the programmes are, what the measures put in place that are meant to save the young people are, how effective we are in implementing this, what the impact of HIV/AIDS programmes, especially in the primary schools is and what measures have been put in place to counter this?

Mr Chairperson, the girls could be getting pregnant due to a lack of knowledge. Another question we should ask ourselves are whether we came up with this policy to promote immorality, whether this is the way things should be or whether pregnancies  should reduce if we say girls who fall pregnant should go back to school later? I think these are issues that we should research on and find out where we are going, because it is not good to implement a policy and forget about it. We need to go further and research whether it is helping us or not.

Mr Chairperson, with regard to sport, what are we doing in our institutions of learning? It is a pity that the school grounds are now residential areas. It seems we have forgotten about sport.  How are we going to rejuvenate the youth? The reason the youth are mischievous is that they have nothing to keep them meaningfully engaged. I am sure sport can them look forward to going to school to do some extra curricula activities.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: I love community schools. That is why I talk about them. Community schools were started because people were desperate for schools. I would like to commend the hon. Minister for saying that he was going to start building small schools that are a shorter distances apart. I think that is what we need because young children cannot walk a distance of ten kilometres to get to school. Again, when you look at the population in the rural areas, it is scattered all over. Therefore, small schools that are shorter distances apart will help solve the problem of distance to school.

However, community schools lack resources and good infrastructure. I would like the hon. Minister of Education to look into the issue of community schools with regard to resources and infrastructure. You do not expect education to be provided in an environment that lacks resources and infrastructure. Sometimes pupils sit on the floor and they get soaked when it is raining. If we want to promote community schools, we must be able to support them by giving them enough money.

I would also like to comment on the issue relating to the welfare of teachers. I would like to find out what incentives can be given to teachers if learning has to take place. We know that teachers play a very important role in the development of this country. Have we given them appropriate learning and teaching materials? What is the pupil/book ratio? In the past, twenty pupils shared one textbook. We need a situation where we are going to have one book per pupil because it is difficult for pupils to study after hours if they have to share one book. This is the reason teachers are forced to lock the books away. However, I do not think this is the better way of learning.

Teachers also need training opportunities. We have a lot of teachers who were trained a long time ago and are certificates holders. Hon. Minister, while I appreciate that you are converting Nkrumah Teachers’ Training College and the Copperbelt Secondary Teachers Training College (COSECO) into universities, you should also consider other colleges because we have seen that certificates are not appreciated. You will notice that in all job advertisements, the prerequisite is a diploma or degree. Why should we continue training people for certificates? It would be prudent that while we are offering certificates, degrees in education can also be offered.

The issue of placing a teacher on the pay role should not be one for discussion. We should not discuss and get scores for it, it should be automatic. When teachers graduate from colleges, they must start teaching immediately. They should stay at home for two years before they are taken on board. I know that there are many teachers who have not been employed because there was a backlog in the past, but I am sure we can fight hard to ensure that all the teachers are taken on. After all, we still do not have enough teachers in ours schools.

Mr Chairperson, the other issue I have always lamented on is the home ownership scheme for teachers. I think it is high time we had a revolving fund in place from which teachers can get loans to build houses. In countries such as Botswana, even if there houses at the institutions of learning, teachers do not occupy the houses. The houses can remain vacant for three or four years because teachers want to be empowered and own houses. I am sure if there is a revolving fund in place, more teachers would be borrowing money to build houses. Let us empower our teachers so that they do not become destitute after they retire.

Sir, we must do something about bonding our teachers whom we train at a very high cost. Some of them graduate from university and get employed by the banks and that is the end. They do not work for the Government. I think they should be bonded for two years in the areas where we send them. I am saying this because when you send teachers to the rural areas, they do not stay there. They run away, but if they are bonded, they could teach for three years before they think of transferring to other places.

The other issue that I would like to dwell on is the curriculum. I am always sad when I see the budget allocation for curriculum development. What are we developing? We are saying we want to see an innovative child. How are we going to give the right skills to this child if we do not have a proper curriculum? I believe that the curriculum must be localised. We should reform the curriculum. I know it is going to be expensive, but I think that is the only way we can train a child who is going to appreciate education. At the rate we are going, it is not possible that we are going to employ all these children in Zambia.

Mr Malama: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Malama: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this chance to raise a very serious point order. Is the hon. Member on the Floor in order, knowing that she is the last person to debate this Vote and only has three more minutes to debate, to continuously speak without considering, …


Mr Malama: … why teachers in rural areas are not being transferred and are becoming headmen, in her debate?

The Deputy Chairperson: Order, order!


The Deputy Chairperson: I must give you credit …


The Deputy Chairperson: …for being very sharp …


The Deputy Chairperson: … in the sense that the Chair ruled that she is the last speaker and you want to find a way of …


The Deputy Chairperson: … debating. No, that point of order is disallowed.

Can you, continue, please.


Mrs Sinyangwe: Mr Chairperson, I thank you very much.

Another issue that I would like to comment on is the rural hardship allowance for teachers. When you say you are giving them rural hardship allowance, it should be something that they should appreciate. It should be paid every month end. They should not just talk about it.

Sir, I was saying that if we are going to have a curriculum that is localised, the people of Luapula Province, for instance, must have fishing in their curriculum.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: The people in the North-Western Province must have beekeeping in their curriculum so that at the end of the day, people have a means of earning a living. That is very important.

Mr Chairperson, I would also like to talk about the Afternoon Production Unit classes (APU). APU is not something that we should hold onto forever. That was just a stopgap measure. I am glad that the Ministry said that they were going to build many schools. The Ministry should ensure that infrastructure development is accelerated by building more high schools, especially in the rural areas.

Decentralisation should also be reinforced. I was part of the team that started the decentralisation programme in the Ministry, but I think it is not working as well as it should. We should revisit it and see to it that powers are given to the people rather than giving with the right hand and getting back with the left.

I would also like to thank the Ministry establishing the Mulungushi University. By so doing, you have increased the number of public universities.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: However, you should not be complaisant. We need more public universities, especially in the rural areas. That is why I am insisting that the colleges in the rural areas should be turned into universities because what happens is that the privileged people grab all the places in universities while those in rural areas are not catered for. Therefore, I would like the hon. Minister who has a soft spot for universities to do that because if he does not, I do not know who else is going to do it.

Finally, I would like to say that the information that our children in urban areas are privileged to should also be extended to the rural areas. There should be equity at all levels. There should be equal distribution of books, desks, learning materials and teachers. We must see to it that children, regardless of where they are, be it in the remotest parts of Zambia, acquire the education that they need. All in all, I would say we are on the right track, and hence the need to work hard and realise the many things that we need.

Hon Minister, you have a big challenge and I hope that you will face it and provide the education that the country needs.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Education (Professor Lungwangwa): Mr Chairperson, thank you for this opportunity. Through you, I would like to thank my colleagues, the hon. Members of the House, those who have debated and contributed to the debate on the Vote for the Ministry of Education. The comments have been supportive of the Ministry’s Budget. I will, therefore, briefly go through the comments that have been made by those who have debated.

Mr Chairperson, Hon. Hamududu raised a number of issues that related to academic excellence at the University of Zambia in particular, the Estate Development Plan at the university and the bursaries that should cut across other institutions other than the public universities we have at the moment, including the issue of a master plan that should comprehensively address infrastructure development within the education sector.

Sir, I would like to assure the hon. Member that the University of Zambia has a comprehensive Estate Development Plan that was put in place in 2005 and was approved by the University Council whose goal is to promote public/private partnership in the infrastructure development of the university. This embraces a number of areas, namely academic facilities, business plans, business complexes, staff housing, student hostels, sports facilities and so on and so forth. This plan is currently being implemented by the university.

Mr Chairperson, I would also like to assure the hon. Member that the land of the university has not been encroached upon. It is intact and the university is on guard to ensure that none of the land of the university is taken away from it.

I would equally assure the hon. Member that the issue of academic excellence in the university, through such strategies like staff retention, research and so on and so forth is actively being addressed by the academic management of the university. This includes the issue of attracting students from other countries to the university.

Sir, at the moment, the university is following the Southern African Development Community (SADC) protocol on education that stipulates that about 5 per cent of the admission places in the universities within the member States of SADC should be reserved for other member countries. This has been addressed by the university here.

With regard to the bursaries issue, it is important that support goes beyond public universities. It is important that we put in place other student support mechanisms, especially student loans through private sector financing in the micro-finance and banks so that students, wherever they are, can access the loans from the market. That is important.

Sir, we have the Alumni Association at the University of Zambia and I would like to request all the hon. Members who passed through that institution, to contact the Alumni Association Office so that they can make the contributions that they can afford in support of the institution. Our Infrastructure Development Plan, which is now in the pigeon holes of all the hon. Members, has indicated that we are embarking on a comprehensive master plan programme for the education sector and we hope that we shall be able to succeed in this process.

Mr Chairperson, Hon. Chota also touched on the issue of academic excellence as it relates to technical secondary schools or technical high schools. We are, indeed, aware of this and we are going to address the issues that have been raised, especially as they relate to infrastructure, quality enhancement as well as the development of sport in our schools. These are issues we are aware of. Rehabilitation and maintenance programmes of the schools are currently actively looked into at the Ministry.

Sir, Hon. Phiri did of course allude to the problems of fallen standards in the education sector although, again, at some point, she commended us for very high standards at the university, which means of course that …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours to 1630 hours.

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Chairperson, before business was suspended, I was replying to Hon. Phiri’s contribution. Clearly, we have not received reports of female students taking their bath outside their respective hostels. I would like to assure her that if that incident came to our notice, we would quickly take steps to ensure that such a thing does not happen. The matters of unions in the university are between the University Council/Management and the unions. When matters have been resolved or not resolved, that is when the Ministry comes in. Therefore, I would like to assure her that we are in dialogue with the management and University Council.

Sir, Hon. Chishya touched on the issues of outstanding bills for the university that we are aware of. Strategic options to address the problem are being put in place. Clearly, the issues of research and effective teaching in the university are matters that we are aware of. The Ministry has been allocating resources to promote research in the university. From what I can remember, since 2005, 2006 and even last year, we have been aware of the need to enhance academic excellence in the university through teaching, research and publications by staff.

Mr Chairperson, Hon. Musokotwane touched on the issues of infrastructure development. We are happy that she has taken note of what the Ministry is doing in her area, just like the hon. Member for Dundumwenzi is very happy that the construction of Jonathan Sim Chikanta High School has been completed.

Mr Sing’ombe: Kuya kwile!


Professor Lungwangwa: The ministry is very serious about creating opportunities for high school education. We shall ensure that the role models are created for our girls in the schools.  We shall also address the issues of the imbalance between urban and rural areas in terms of education provision.

Sir, Hon. Mabenga of course, made reference to our Infrastructure Development Plan for this year and the need for all of us to take note of that. I would like to request all the hon. Members of the House to read the Infrastructure Development Plan carefully because a lot of questions have been answered in this plan.

Secondly, Sir, I would also like to request all the hon. Members to work very closely with our district education staff because the information that is in this document comes from the district officers after consultations with the communities. After the Budget has been approved, my staff will work to prepare the plan for next year. Therefore, I would like to request all the hon. Members of the House to, again, work very closely with the District Education Board Secretary because that is where all the information on the sites of new schools, additional classrooms and schools to be rehabilitated, will come from.  Therefore, do not come to the Ministry and ask the hon. Minister about a school. Go to the Directorate of Planning because they are the ones who are working on that.

Hon. Sinyangwe raised a number of issues. She touched on the curriculum, issues of research, community schools and so on and so forth. I would like to thank her for raising all these issues. These are current issues in education and we are continuously addressing them.

Mr Chairperson, in the pigeon holes, we have a document entitled “Operational Guidelines for Community Schools”. This document gives guidelines to community schools and the relationship that the Ministry will have with the community schools. This is the document that we have been talking about since last year. It is now out, and I would like to request the hon. Members to go through this document thoroughly.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank all the hon. Members of the House who have debated this Vote. They have raised a number of issues, that, of course, as a Ministry, we shall pay very close attention to in order to ensure that we strive continuously to create opportunities for quality accessible education to all children, from the lower levels all the way up to the higher levels of the education sector in the interest of the development of our country. I would also like to request all the hon. Members to favourably consider the budget so that we can get on with the task of creating opportunities for educational development for our children.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Vote 80/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/06 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/08 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/09 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/10 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/11 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/12 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/13 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/14 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/15 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/16 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/17 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/18 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/19 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/20 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/21 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/22 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/23 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/24 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/25 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/26 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/27 ordered to stand part of the Estimates

VOTE 80/28 – (Ministry of Education – Regional Headquarters – Eastern Province – K15,662,761,377).

Dr. Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 7, Activity 03 – HIV/AIDS (17) – K7,031,565, that has been reduced from K21,020,229. Can we have an explanation for this drastic drop in that allocation.

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Chairperson, indeed, HIV/AIDS is a major problem. There was a lot of procurement of educational materials, but we are now going to concentrate on sensitisation. This has acc1`counted for the drop in the amount of resources for this year.

 I thank you, Sir.

Vote 80/28 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/29 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/30 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/31 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

V0TE 80/32 – (Ministry of Education - Regional Headquarters – Luapula Province – K22,025,441,111).

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 7, Activity 04 – Support to OVCs – Nil. Could the hon. Minister explain why there is no allocation this year.

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Chairperson, we will continue to cater for all these activities through the provision for the Headquarters.

 I thank you, Sir.

Vote 80/32 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/33 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/34 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/35 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/36 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/37 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/38 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/39 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Votes 80/40 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/41 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/42 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/43 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 87 – (Anti-Corruption Commission – K30,596,406,330)

The Vice-President (Mr R. Banda): Mr Chairperson, it is an honour and privilege to present to this august House the budget for the Anti-Corruption Commission for the fiscal year 1st January, 2008, ending 31st December, 2008.

Sir, the citizens of this country have continued calling on the Government and all stakeholders in the private sector to urgently work on eradicating corruption in our midst. This call is in order for the Government of Zambia to provide the much-needed health services, higher education standards, good road infrastructure, tackle poverty and improve the general standard of living for all.

However, the realisation of this call has, for a long time, been botched by the greediness and selfishness of a few individuals, among those appointed and elected to serve the majority. It is these corrupt few individuals who have stolen or misappropriated funds meant to alleviate the suffering of the majority of Zambians.

Each year, the Auditor-General’s report reflects glaring revelations of the rampant fraud, theft and abuse of authority or office with impunity by public officials in conjunction with the private sector.

2007 shows numerous challenges in tackling corruption but also, several milestones were achieved and a number of success stories were registered. The Anti-Corruption Commission managed to execute most programmes lined up for the year. Significant corruption prevention exercises and community educational programmes were conducted in various parts of the country, with various ministries, departments and agencies. Thirty-two members of eight pilot integrity committees were sworn in at the start of the year and began to execute their function for purposes of institutionalising the prevention of corruption.

Mr Chairperson, a number of people, including prominent Zambians and some senior civil servants were arrested and are now facing charges of corruption in the courts of law. It is gratifying in this regard to note that the Commission has registered a rise in the number of convictions of offenders in the courts of law. The jail terms range from one year to five years’ imprisonment with hard labour.

I am also glad to mention here that Zambia has finally acceded to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption. The necessary instruments of the Convention were deposited at the United Nations Headquarters in New York in December, 2007.

Sir, last year, the Commission received a total of 2,008 reports. Out of these, 416 cases were authorised for investigations. The balance of these cases not authorised for investigations were either referred to the relevant authorities for administrative action or closed as they were not pursuable.

Again, out of the 2,008 reports, 1,128 were non-corruption related complaints. These cases were also either referred to the relevant authorities for them to take action on or the clients were given advice on their complaints on how to proceed with them. The Commission further successfully recovered and forfeited to the State US $8,315, (K31,230,000), two firearms (pistols), thirty-seven rounds of ammunition and two motor vehicles.

A total of eighteen prosecution cases were registered in 2007. The Commission secured a total of twenty convictions while nine acquittals were recorded, nine criminal appeals have been lodged in the High Court and fifty-three prosecution cases have been carried forward to 2008. Over twenty community education programmes were undertaken last year and over fifteen corruption prevention programmes were also conducted throughout the country.

Mr Chairperson, for the Anti-Corruption Commission to carry out its mandate, the Government has, this fiscal year, allocated a total of K30,596,406,330 compared to last year’s allocation of K32,089,234,394. The Government wishes to increase funding to the Commission to enable it perform its function more effectively and efficiently to ensure the creation of a corruption-free environment. This is what the people of Zambia are demanding. This simply means that the Commission has to double up its efforts if it has to win the confidence of the Zambian people in working together to rid the country of this vice.

Mr Chairperson, I am thankful to the hon. Members of this august House who have continued to give support to the anti-corruption crusade, particularly so to the hon. Members of the African Parliamentarian Network Against Corruption (APNAC), Zambia Chapter.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: May I also extend my gratitude to all co-operating partners who assist the Government and the Commission with financial, technical and materials support in a bid to strengthen good governance in Zambia.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Any further debate?

None of the Members of Parliament indicated to debate.

The Deputy Chairperson: Since there is no one indicating to speak, His Honour the Vice-President may wind up debate.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah! No!

The Deputy Chairperson: I asked whether there was any further debate and nobody stood up.


Hon. Opposition Members: It is not fair!

Mr Lubinda indicated to debate.

The Deputy Chairperson: Please, it is not right to say that. You must listen and you cannot do that.


The Deputy Chairperson: I will use my discretion and power to allow Mr Lubinda to debate.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Mr Chairperson, I am greatly indebted to you. It ought to be appreciated that, indeed, when you called for further debate, I did not rise. I thank you very much for using your discretion.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: Sir, let me start by saluting the men and women employed by the Anti-Corruption Commission for the work they are doing under very difficult circumstances.

As His Honour the Vice-President has reported to this House, during the 2007, the Anti-Corruption Commission received only 880 corruption related cases. This is because the balance of that, like the Vice President said, was not corruption-related. Of these, it is pleasing to hear that 416 cases were authorised for investigation. I would like to ask the Vice-President to clarify which authority it is that authorises the Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate. Who do they seek authority from before they investigate? Based on the assumption that the Head of State has a say in which amongst his appointed officers are investigated, I would like to salute the President for a clear demonstration of the fact that he means well when he talks about the fight against corruption because over the last one year, we saw that the ACC was liberated to investigate matters of corruption affecting members of the MMD Government. I hope that the President shall continue to allow the ACC to investigate, even people who sit closest to him. Unless the people who are close to the President are investigated, we shall be frustrating the efforts of the ACC and of those many Zambians who would like to participate in the fight against corruption.

Mr Kasongo: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: Mr Chairperson, in saying this, I would also like to lament the condemnation that the ACC suffered last year. Several Government leaders made scathing attacks against the ACC. They called them names and accused them of being incompetent, and yet their role is actually to fulfil the mandate that is given to them by this House. For those who wish to mention the people who condemned the ACC, I would like them, Mr Chairperson, to be honest with themselves and not tempt me to start naming people here. This is because they are aware of the fact that within the Cabinet, damaging statements have been issued against the ACC. That is not right.


Mr Lubinda: Mr Chairperson, I would like to commend the ACC and all their partners for coming up with a National Anti-Corruption Forum. I hope that His Honour the Vice-President, the hon. Minister of Justice who is not in the House now and the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services will be in the forefront supporting the existence of the National Anti-Corruption Forum. Worldwide, it is known that government agencies such as the ACC can only be as effective as the non-government players in the fight against corruption. If we leave the fight only to the ACC without engaging Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO), we are half way lost.

I would, therefore, like to recommend to the Government that the ACC must be supported for them to hold together the National Anti-Corruption Forum. I would also like to lament the fact that the launch of the National Anti-Corruption Forum failed on the basis …

Major Chizhyuka: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Major Chizhyuka: Mr Chairperson, is the hon. Member who is on the Floor debating the Vote for the Anti-Corruption Commission in order to mollify honourable men of the Anti-Corruption Commission, while, only towards the end of the last sitting, he was so eager to push through a Bill that tended to want them to account for their activities, albeit for an account of the illness which we all know about. Should he now mollify them as honourable people, and yet, on the contrary, only last year, this was not the position.

I beg your guidance, Sir.

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

The Deputy Chairperson: Well, from what I can hear of Hon. Lubinda’s debate, all I can do is ask him to take that point of order into account as he debates.

Can you continue, please.

Mr Lubinda: Thank you, Mr Chairperson. Having talked about the National Anti-Corruption Forum, I would like to appeal to His Honour the Vice-President to ensure that the National Anti-Corruption Policy, which the ACC worked on for more than ten years and is now gathering dust at Cabinet Office, should be approved. This is because this policy is the one that is going to guide and inform all of us who are keen in the fight against corruption. That policy was presented to the Cabinet for approval somewhere in May or June, 2007, but to-date, it has not received the approval of Cabinet. What is the reason for delaying the approval of such an important policy? We know that the MMD Government keeps harping the music of anti-corruption and zero tolerance to corruption. The ACC went around the whole country, soliciting input in the policy that is now just gathering dust. When will that policy be approved so that the intention of the ACC and all those who participated in coming up with that policy is achieved.

Further, Mr Chairperson, much as His Honour the Vice-President said the United Nations Conventions Against Corruption was acceded in December, I would like to ask him why there has been so much contradiction on the part of the Government. It might be recalled that the very first time this statement was made was on 7th January, 2007. The then Minister of Foreign Affairs reported to this country that on that day, this Government had acceded to the UN Convention Against Corruption, and yet it took one full year before they actually did so. What is worse is that even if the UN Convention Against Corruption has been acceded to, there is no movement on the part of the Government to domesticate the provisions of the UN Convention Against Corruption. What is the reason for that?

Mr Chairperson, I want to propose reasons this has not been done. In so doing, I will be bearing in mind the point of order that was raised. The UN Convention Against Corruption and the National Anti-Corruption Prevention Policy proposed by the ACC, both have provisions for the laws that I attempted to amend. Therefore, at that time, I was not at all fighting the ACC because those were laws that they themselves support as was provided for in their policy.

Secondly, my presupposition as to the reason the Government is not moving neither on the UN  Conventions Against Corruption nor on the Anti-Corruption Policy is the provision of those assets’ disclosure laws. Why do I say this, Mr Chairperson? I say this because last year, the experience of the Zambians through the Bills that I presented, is that there are some in this House and some in the Cabinet, who are not willing to fight corruption.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: Why do I say this, again, Mr Chairperson? It will be remembered that when I moved those Motions and amendments, I received support from people in the Opposition as well as some people in the Cabinet.

Nonetheless, there were others who fought tooth and nail to ensure that those Bills were stopped. I would have liked the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services to be in the House today because he has, on several occasions and without provocation, made insulting reference to me over those Bills. Let me state that those who get pleasure from the illness of others, are only less, by an inch, than devils …


Mr Lubinda: … because those who take pleasure …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! You shall veer off that line of debate, Mr Lubinda.


The Deputy Chairperson: Can you make your main point.

You may continue, please.

Mr Lubinda: Sir, I thank you for your guidance and I will veer off that line of debate and say that none of us in here is capable of determining when they become indisposed. I also want to state that this institution has records of my being indisposed at that time. Secondly, I also want to state that several colleagues of mine in this House are privy to the fact that some of the people sitting on your right went to …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Hon Members on my left, please, can you consult quietly.

You may continue, please.

Mr Lubinda: Sir, I was saying that some of the hon. Members on your right went to all lengths to ensure that those Bills were destroyed. Two hon. Members of Parliament in this House and myself were detained from 20:00 hours until 01:00 hours in the morning by people who had a meeting with some hon. Members of the Cabinet who stated, as they reported to the Committee on Legal Affairs, that if those Bills were allowed, then there would be a constitutional crisis in Zambia.

Dr Katema: Shame!

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Lubinda: Sir, for the sake of those who do not read these documents, I would like to refer them to the submission by the learned hon. Minster of Justice to the Committee on Delegated Legislation, on page 14, where it states:

“The hon. Minister replied that he was only informed about the Commonwealth practice and wondered whether in the countries cited, declarations by judicial officers and civil servants are a matter of public scrutiny and he noted that if these amendments were allowed, they run the risk of having a constitutional crisis because some members of the Judiciary had threatened to resign.”

Now, how can the learned hon. Minister of Justice, on one hand, say that the Government has ratified the United Nations Convention which has disclosure laws and then come to a committee of Parliament and say that if we proceed by amending the law, we shall create a constitutional crisis? The truth of the matter is that the Anti-Corruption Commission is not receiving sufficient support because there are people around President Mwanawasa who are not informing him adequately. These are people who are against any laws that are meant to fight corruption. It is also a known fact that some of those who fear disclosure laws are people who are actually custodians of ill-gotten money and know that once this Parliament passes such laws, those laws will catch up with them. That is the only reason they fought those laws.

Therefore, to stand here and argue that those laws are draconian, and yet they are provided for even in the draft Constitution of the Mung’omba Constitutional Review Commission, gives wonder to whether, indeed, those people who are against those laws …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! What is happening? My colleagues on the left, please let us not debate when there is somebody on the Floor.

Can you continue, please.

Mr Lubinda: Sir, I would like to state that those bills did one thing that is very important to the Zambian people. They exposed those who are against the fight against corruption.

Mr Ngoma: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Ngoma: Mr Chairperson, I rise on a very serious point of order. The hon. Member on the Floor is blaming the learned hon. Minister of Justice for being an impediment to the enactment of those laws whilst, in fact, it was him who was an impediment …

Hon. UNPD Members: Yes!

Mr Ngoma: … by getting sick. Is it in order for him to debate …


Mr Ngoma: … in this manner?


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Well, you see, it becomes very difficult for the Chair to make a ruling on that in view of the fact that, yes, he was not around that day but he has given us reasons for his absence which was due to natural causes. Therefore, you cannot really question that. So I think let him continue debating.

Can you continue, please.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: Sir, thank you very much for your protection. Let me state, for the sake of the record, that only one Bill lapsed because of my being indisposed and that the other two Bills, the Judicial Code of Conduct and Anti-Corruption Commission Bills, did not lapse. I was forced to withdraw them for circumstances that I am explaining. Let no person try to tell half truths over this matter.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Lubinda: I also did state …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Order! You see, you are getting yourself embroiled in something else because if you were persuaded to do what you did and then you are now telling the House that you were forced, …

Hon. Members: Yes!

The Deputy Chairperson: … the best is that you …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Order! I am saying that we had discussed the issue at that time and I think that you should just zero in on what we are discussing and not tell us what happened because we know that you had discussed and agreed on whatever happened.

So, can you continue, please.

Hon. MMD Members: He was paid.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for your guidance. Like it happened last year, it is happening again. I would like to conclude by saying that it has been stated here that the Anti-Corruption Commission has been vilified by me for not having a code of conduct. As a matter of fact, I have a very beautiful code of conduct that all institutions of governance must copy. In addition, I want to state that unless we come up with laws that fight corruption not only in political office and the Judiciary, but also in the Civil Service, the fight against corruption is already lost. Therefore, it is no use to continue funding the Anti-Corruption Commission without giving it the sufficient laws for it to ensure that we win the fight against corruption.

Sir, I would also like to state that whistle blower laws that are provided for in the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) and in the Anti-Corruption Policy are very important, matters concerning the Freedom of Information Act are very cardinal in the fight against corruption. Those are not matters to do with only the media.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mooya (Moomba): I thank you, Mr Chairman, for giving me this chance to debate the Vote on the Floor. To start with, I would like to say that I support the Vote and I will be very brief in doing so.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to wish the Anti-Corruption Commission good luck as they investigate the forty-two contractors that were blacklisted.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Mooya: I am wishing them good luck because this issue is technical in nature. I am praying hard that they will handle it very well. There is invisible corruption here which is technical in nature. I say so because, although the blame has been heaped on the contractors, I feel that it is not only the contractors who should take the blame. There are other powerful people who are using the contractors. I am, therefore, encouraging the ACC not to leave any stone unturned. If it means catching the biggest fish, let them do so. I feel that the problem has to do with the other players and not the contractors. Though the contractors are also to blame, I think that on a larger scale, it is the other players, namely the Government, in this case, and the consultants.

There was an article in yesterday’s Times of Zambia from the National Council for Construction (NCC). I stamp that message which was given in the newspaper. It is technical in nature. I note also that there was an article sometime last year in which the NCC pointed out that during the scrutiny of bids at the National Tender Board, there are some members of the ACC present, but you find that corruption still goes on in their presence, and yet they do not see it because it is technical in nature. In this vein, I am wishing them good luck as they handle this issue. Please, if they cannot handle it because of its technical nature, I ask them to partner with other technical and professional bodies such as the Engineering Institution of Zambia and The Zambia Institute of Architects because those can see what the ACC cannot see.

Mr Chairperson, for example, we could blame the contractor on the poor workmanship, and yet that could have been caused by a consultant because the design and the specification are done by a consultant. A contractor merely implements what comes from the designer.

Mr Chairperson, briefly, I am saying that this is a very interesting case. I do not blame the contractor entirely, but as they say, the devil is in the detail. I would like them to partner with other professional bodies if they cannot handle this matter. Only then will we be able to minimise corruption in the construction sector.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisala (Chilubi): Mr Chairperson, I rise to support the Vote on the Floor of this House. To begin with, I would like to say that the ACC, today, seems to be facing a lot of challenges in their operations. The reason is that the funding to the ACC is very minimal. What then do we need to do? The best we can do if we want the ACC to be effective in this country is to allocate it more money in this year’s Budget so much so that they can start to operate to the expectation of the Zambian community.

Mr Chairperson, one other issue I would like to talk about is that of transport. As a result of inadequate funding to the ACC, the commission has lamentably failed to touch the rural areas of this country. The best example I can give is that of Chilubi in the Northern Province. The operations of the ACC in the Northern Province are nothing to write home about. The situation needs to be improved. For a long time, the whistle blowers have been travelling all the way from Chilubi to lodge complaints in Kasama. However, our colleagues in the ACC are lamentably failing to travel to Chilubi to follow up the reported cases.

Mr Chairperson, some senior Government officials have brought total discredit to the Government of the day. They have been involved in scandals that embarrass the Government. However, when people travel to report these cases, nothing is forthcoming. It is important that we equip the Commission with transport.

Mr Chairperson, in the same vein, I would like to suggest, in very strong terms, that the transfer the operations of the ACC from the Kasama Office to Mansa which is closer to Chilubi. This is because a person who wants to lodge a complaint to the ACC in Kasama has to travel for eleven to twelve hours, whilst if that office was located in Mansa, one would only travel for two to three hours to have their complaint lodged.

Mr Chairperson, there are a number of complaints that we have lodged before that office, but to date, no follow up has been made. I am, therefore, making an earnest appeal to the Government to provide both water and land transport to the ACC.

Mr Chairperson, the other point I would like to belabour is that of staffing. Staffing is an eyesore in as far as the operations of the ACC are concerned. The Northern Province is a vast province. However, the only town where there are ACC officers is Kasama. How do we expect the officers to operate effectively if they have to cater for Luwingu, Mporokoso, Isoka, Nakonde and many other places? Unless recruitment takes place and the officers are posted to various districts, the effectiveness of the ACC will not be seen. As the situation stands, it will be extremely difficult for us to see the fruits of the operations of the ACC.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chisala: Mr Chairperson, lastly, I would like to talk about the protection of the whistle blowers. This is a very worrying factor. The whistle blowers in this country are not protected. Why can we not come up with a deliberate policy to protect these people? Currently, even the speaker on the Floor of this House is afraid …

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Chisala: … of reporting to the ACC and what is happening because he knows that after he reports, he shall have no protection. Therefore, it is important for the Government to help the situation and come up with a deliberate policy that sees to the protection of the whistle blowers.

With these words, I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Mr Kasongo (Bangweulu): Mr Chairperson, I rise to support the Vote and echo the sentiments expressed by my colleagues that it is important to look after the Anti-Corruption Commission properly. That is the only way the Commission can perform its functions sufficiently and effectively.

Let us look at the deficiencies that have impaired the operations of this Commission. Mobility is one of them. Each time they would like to undertake any kind of investigation, they are inhibited by the lack of transport. At the same time, the establishment that we have created is so limited that there are few officers to conduct investigations. Whereas the population of our country is growing, the establishment of the Anti-Corruption Commission has not matched this growth. This is something that should be addressed by His Honour the Vice-President. He must ensure that the establishment for the Anti-Corruption Commission is expanded so that they are be able to undertake investigations within a short time.

The other issues relate to conditions of service. We are aware that each time one goes to the Anti-Corruption Commission, he or she will find different faces. A lot of people are resigning. That must be seen as a challenge on the part of the Government. Why are the officers resigning? It means that we are not able to look after them properly. Let us improve their conditions of service. It is important to retain those with experience so that they are able to pass on the same knowledge and skills to those who are showing interest in joining the Anti-Corruption Commission. This is very important.

Additionally, the issue that has been recorded by Hon Chisala should be given special attention. This is the question of protecting whistle blowers. This is a security institution. You cannot expect the Anti-Corruption Commission to succeed in their performance if they are not able, for lack of a better word, to buy some information. There is a lot of information that they can buy from a lot of people who may be perceived as whistle blowers.

Mr Chisala: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: In the absence of a fund that will enable the Anti-Corruption Commission to buy that information, their work will be impaired. Therefore, we have to ensure that we fund them sufficiently so that they are able to buy some information from a lot of people and, at the same time, protect the whistle blowers.

Sir, I know that it is unusual, sometimes, when colleagues debate, to make insinuations, but I think it is important to correct some records.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: Hon. Members of Parliament are on record, even in their respective constituencies, for supporting the idea of fighting corruption.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: We know the negative implications of corruption. All of us have reported corrupt activities in one way or another. I have done that several times at the provincial level and even at the national level. For example, for one to create the impression that this House is not in favour of the role that has been played by our colleagues to make sure that we address corruption once and for all, is something that is very unusual. In fact, at our level, we are in the forefront of speaking against corruption. Personally, I even say it when I address public meetings. Mind you, in my constituency, I preside over heads of department and Government workers; I have always been emulated on the same issue.

For example, one should understand the context in which some of us decided to speak against those bills.


Mr Kasongo: I would like to single out myself because I spoke my mind.

First of all, we should understand our limits as hon. Members of Parliament.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: The moment you fail to understand your limits, as a Member of Parliament, you make a lot of mistakes.

Major Chizhyuka: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: First of all, you should understand the concept of Separation of Powers.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: Who are we, as hon. Members of Parliament, to prepare a code of conduct for those who are working for the Anti-Corruption Commission? Who are we?


Mr Kasongo: You try to answer this simple question. Who are we? They are answerable to the Government machinery. It is up to the Government machinery to say, for instance, “You are not conducting yourselves well. You put in place certain measures gauge your conduct.” It is not for us, as ordinary hon. Members of Parliament to do this. Who are we? Let us ask ourselves that question because there are some hon. Members of Parliament who pretend that they are in Government.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: We have to know the demarcation.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: The moment you know your limits, you will not even go wrong.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Kasongo: Who are we, as hon. Members of Parliament …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order, order, Mr Kasongo!


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! I just want to make a clarification because you said that there are some hon. Members of Parliament who think that they are in Government. That is true. There are some hon. Members of Parliament who are in Government. May be you wanted to say something different, but in a better way. I just wanted to correct that.

Continue, hon. Member, please.

Mr Kasongo: Sir, I value your advice.

As ordinary hon. Members of Parliament, our role is not to determine the conditions of service for civil servants.


Mr Kasongo: It is not our role to determine the conditions of service for the Judiciary. If there are some ordinary hon. Members of Parliament who would like to assume those powers, that is illegal.


Mr Kasongo: They can even be challenged in the courts of law.


Mr Kasongo: We do not control civil servants, no. Our role is to speak on their behalf. We demand for their improved conditions of service. If they conduct themselves well, we advise the Government to act. It is not for us to come up with a law or a Bill to regulate their performance. Not in the Commonwealth. I have been in this House for a long time.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: You may wish to know that I am the oldest serving hon. Member of Parliament in this House. Who can challenge me?

Hon. Opposition Members: You were Minister of State!


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


Mr Kasongo: I think we have …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! You are disturbing the oldest serving hon. Member of Parliament.


The Deputy Chairperson: Let us give him a hearing.

Can you, continue, please.

Hon. Opposition Members: Minister of State!

Mr Kasongo: I have a combination of skills. I was also Permanent Secretary.

Mr Muntanga: And Minister of State!

Mr Kasongo: Yes, in strategic ministries for that matter. I was in the Ministries of Home Affairs, Energy and Water Development and Tourism until I resigned to represent the people of Bangweulu Constituency.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: All my colleagues will bear me witness, I have a clean record. I ran those ministries with clean hands.

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

Mr Kasongo: For any transaction that I made at a personal level, I paid for it and I have a file.

Major Chizhyuka: That is why the people of Bangweulu Constituency voted for you.

Mr Kasongo: Someone can even come and look at the file. I have nothing to fear.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: I support the Anti-Corruption Commission, but when a person wants to assume artificial powers illegally and say …


Mr Kasongo: … he or she is going to make noise against the Judiciary, the Civil Service and others, I will stand up and correct that wrong impression and say, “legally, you do not have such powers”.

Hon. Government Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kasongo: Therefore, I would like to assure the House that all hon. Members of Parliament, who are here, support the Anti-Corruption Commission.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: Mr Chairperson, we speak about the ACC even in our respective constituencies. Our voices are louder on this issue. I, personally, will not sink so low to subscribe to any intention that is going to give me artificial powers that I do not have.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: Sir, I am not in the Cabinet and I will not pretend that I am in the Cabinet. I have been consistent. I do not want to praise myself because I know that some insinuations where boarding on my debate.

Mr Chairperson, I was the only independent hon. Member of Parliament and I have fought many battles in this House. Most of those who were present will bear me witness. I was able to speak my mind on corruption and what was happening at the provincial level.

Sir, in a nutshell, we are saying that we are going to support the Anti-Corruption Commission. We have been supportive of it and we will continue supporting it. You should improve their conditions of service. Make sure that you attend to the question of why officers resign most of the time. You should enable them make protect whistle blowers.

I thank you, Sir.

The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources (Mr Chilembo): Mr Chairperson, I will be very brief. I thought my standing up also signified that the fight against corruption is for all of us. We will not just leave it to the Cabinet and the Vice-President. All of us seated here on your right, I can confirm, are together in the fight against corruption. I also want to believe that my colleagues on your left also support the fight against corruption.

Sir, what worries me is that when they stand on the other side, we have some of their leaders who advocate that if one day they came to power, they would release so and so or they would not allow so and so to be prosecuted. When we start hearing such messages, we start doubting whether we are together in this fight.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chilembo: Sir, are we really together in this fight against corruption when we say, I am not this and that, therefore, I cannot fight against corruption?

Mr Sing’ombe: Katumbi!

Mr Chilembo: I would like to say that all members of the public, whether they have a rank, are a peasant or business man, should join us in this fight against corruption. Do not just leave it to the Cabinet or the Government.

Mr Chairperson, at this juncture, I wish to commend the Anti-Corruption Commission for the various works that they have done, especially in supporting Parliamentary Committees. I had a privilege of sitting with some of the select committees where the Anti-Corruption Commission gave very useful information which helped even this House to come up with good decisions to ratify various appointments.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Mr Chairperson, I thank you and through you, I would like to thank all the hon. Members for the obvious support that they have given to this request by the Anti-Corruption Commission for support in their funding. I would like to thank all hon. Members who have spoken.

Sir, I thank Hon. Lubinda, Hon. Ngoma, Hon. Kasongo, Hon. Mooya and those I have omitted and say that the message I got, other than from Hon. Lubinda, was that you all support this Vote. Unfortunately, Hon. Lubinda, says he supports it, but when we try to give the support, he turns round and attacks all of us who are trying to support the Vote.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Therefore, Sir, I would like to thank, those hon. Members who have drawn the attention of others, particularly Hon. Lubinda. It is nice to attack others, but when he is attacked, he loses his temper so quickly that he cannot take it.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Mr Chairperson, you can see that he is not even here to listen to what others have to say. We appear that we are all together. We must always advise each other. I am very happy to notice that the hon. Members have gladly given the advice that while we are critical of one another, we must not go to the extent of making ourselves appear as if we do not make any mistakes.

Sir, there are a number of pertinent questions which I want to answer to very quickly. One of them is that we should open an Anti-Corruption Commission office in Mansa. I am, therefore, glad to report that we have a fully fledged office in Mansa. In fact, we have nine offices in all the nine provinces. The Government and the Anti-Corruption Commission intend to extend these offices to the district level if funds allow.

Mr Chairperson, there is a question which vexed Hon. Lubinda so much. He wanted to know why the United Nations and Commonwealth have passed the Anti-Corruption resolutions and why we have not. I just wanted to remind him that we are in a sovereign State and that the people of Zambia expect us to look at these laws that are passed in the various organisations to which we belong and study them. When we are ready, we can decide to support them. That is the reason. It is not that we are against them, but such issues take time. We have a lot of issues to attend to and the issue of the Anti-Corruption Commission is one of the agencies that this Government is really concerned about.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to assure hon. Members that we appreciate the support that we get. Some of the hon. Members even went to the extent of saying we are not giving them enough support and I agree with them. I hope that in our future budgets and if funds allow, we will be able to give them more support.

Sir, may I take this opportunity to, once again, thank all hon. Members for the support that they have given to this Vote and hope that we can quickly fund the Commission so that they can continue with their work. I really enjoy listening to the debates in this House because I feel that we are all very fair in what we try to do. Those who try to go to extremes should be treated likewise.


The Vice-President: They should be exposed and told that they are just trying to seek glory for themselves.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Sir, it has nothing to do with what we are collectively looking for rather than that we earn ourselves names that Mr so and so is Mr Anti-Corruption.

I thank you, Sir.


Vote 87/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

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

The Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mrs Sayifwanda):  Mr Chairperson, I thank you for according me this opportunity to address this august House on the issues pertaining to the 2008 Estimates of Expenditure for the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives.

Mr Chairperson, my Ministry recognises the important role that the agricultural sector plays in the economic development of our country, Zambia. More than 60 per cent of the Zambian population depends on agriculture for their livelihood. Agriculture is so important to the welfare of both the rural and urban people that achievement of broad- based poverty reduction may not be attainable without significant growth in agricultural output and productivity.

Mr Chairperson and hon. Members of this august House, the Mission Statement for the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives is:

“To promote the development of an efficient, competitive and sustainable agricultural sector that assures food security and increased incomes”.

Mr Chairperson, having said that, I would like to state the Ministry recognises the enormous potential and the need to exploit that potential to strengthen and expand the emerging opportunities and deal with the challenges facing the agricultural sector.

Mr Chairperson, allow me, therefore, to highlight some important programmes that the Ministry undertook in 2007. With an increase in the budgetary allocation to the Ministry from 6 per cent in 2006 to 8.8 per cent of the total National Budget in 2007, the Ministry was able to implement priority programmes such as infrastructure development, research and extension and veterinary and livestock development among others.

During the 2006 and 2007 Farming Season, the country recorded an overall food surplus of 628,399 metric tonnes compared to 413,064 metric tonnes in the previous year. This is really a merit. A total of K205 billion was allocated for the purchase of strategic food reserves by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) in 2007.

Mr Chairperson, the Ministry was also able to support 125,000 small-scale farmers with farming inputs during the 2007 and 2008 Farming Season under the Fertiliser Support Programme at a subsidy level of 60 per cent.

Mr Chairperson and hon. Members, during 2007, the livestock sector experienced a number of livestock diseases such as the Contagious Bovine Pleural Pneumonia (CBPP) or cattle lung disease, foot and mouth disease and the African swine fever among others. Measures that were taken to control the livestock diseases included immunisation of cows against east coast fever, testing and slaughtering of sick animals and the imposition of a ban on livestock movement.

Mr Chairperson, with the K13.1 billion released to the Ministry for irrigation in 2007, a number of irrigation activities were undertaken. These included the construction of irrigation schemes and canals in Ikeleng’i in Mwinilunga, Chafukuma in Solwezi, Milumbi in Milenge and Chinenke in Mbala and so on and so forth. A total of K1.4 billion was spent on these schemes. In addition, the rehabilitation of Ndoji Dam in Pemba, Southern Province, was undertaken at a cost of K300 million. Mr Chairperson, K1 billion was also released for peri-urban irrigation under the Micro Bankers Trust and benefited fifty-five male and twenty-four female farmers around Kabwe, Lusaka and Kapiri-Mposhi. A total of 100 hectares of land was brought under irrigation due to these activities.

Mr Chairperson, the fisheries sub-sector was also allocated K26 billion in 2007. Using part of these resources, several Government fish farms such as Fiongoli in Mansa, Mweenda in Kawambwa, Kaoma in Kaoma, Chalata in Mkushi, Serenje in Serenje and Chilanga in Lusaka were rehabilitated.  I am sure that the hon. Member of Parliament for Katete will be very happy to learn that Katete Farm Training Centre in Katete was also worked on. The Ministry was able to procure various fisheries equipment, including twenty boats, forty marine engines, twenty motor vehicles and thirty motor cycles. The vehicles and motor cycles were sent to all the provinces for fisheries activities while the boats and engines were sent to all major fisheries water bodies in the country. In order to ensure that fingerlings are available to farmers involved in fish farming, a fish breeding programme was established at the National Aqua-culture Research and Development Centre at Mwekela in Kitwe.

Mr Chairperson, having highlighted that background, I would now like to come to the focus of the budget in 2008. The Government is actively promoting increased investment in agriculture so that the sector can significantly contribute to improved food security, thereby reducing hunger and extreme poverty. Investing in irrigation farm machinery, livestock, fisheries, agri-business and agriculture infrastructure among others, will improve the food security and the Gross Domestic Product of our country.

Mr Chairperson, the Government, through my Ministry, is also committed to agricultural diversification through promoting production, marketing and value addition of primary agriculture commodities, which include high value crops such as tobacco, cotton, coffee, paprika, soya beans, pineapples, cashew nuts and fresh vegetables. 
Mr Chairperson, my Ministry, with the support of FAO, intends to increase the number of farmers growing cassava for food security and income generation.

On a lighter note, I know that my traditional cousins in the Southern Province are now happy because the North-Western is now feeding on cassava.


Mrs Sayifwanda: Sir, intensification of cassava processing and multiplication is on going in the Southern, Central and Luapula provinces. The Multiplication of improved varieties of sweet potatoes and beans is also being done in Siavonga, Sinazongwe and Mazabuka in the Southern Province.

Mr Chairperson, allow me to move to the area of irrigation.

Sir, an amount of K10 billion has been allocated for irrigation activities in the 2008 Budget. However, there is no allocation to the irrigation evolvement fund, as this has been shifted to the Citizens’ Economic Empowerment Commission. My Ministry will provide techniques and experts. However, the K10 billion will be used for the rehabilitation of dams and wells and to support small holder irrigation schemes located in various parts of the country.

Mr Chairperson, let me now talk about infrastructure. It is a well known factor that inadequate and poor agricultural infrastructure such as roads, storage facilities, camps and block houses, farm training centres and farm institutes have slowed the progress in the agricultural sector in the past years. However, the Government, through my Ministry, has made some funds available to increase investment in infrastructure in this year’s Budget.

Mr Chairperson, in this year’s Budget, an amount of K20.8 billion has been allocated to agricultural infrastructure and land development. Part of these funds will also go towards the rehabilitation of agriculture institutions, skills and research staff houses and K5.8 billion is for the rehabilitation and construction of camp houses. I know that some people were asking that we are not providing accommodation to our staff. Therefore, this money is meant for that.

Mrs Sayifwanda drank some water.

Mr Chairperson, K3 billion in this year’s Budget is for the Zambia/Agriculture Research Institute in Chilanga and K2 billion is for the Natural Resources Development College.

Mr Chairperson, to support land development and management, K10 billion has been allocated for this in the year’s Budget. Of this mount, K6.2 billion will support infrastructure development at Nansanga Farming Block, K500 million is for sustaining land management in the Central, Northern, North-Western and Luapula provinces on a pilot basis while K25 billion has been allocated for general land use and management in old institutes.

Mr Chairperson, let me move to the area of livestock which is a cry for my traditional cousins in the Southern Province.

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

Mrs Sayifwanda: The livestock sector has had some incidents of livestock diseases for sometimes now. Instances of livestock diseases are as a result of several factors and these include the increase in movement of livestock on account of trade liberalisation, poor animal husbandry services and a lack of preparedness in terms of early warning.

Mr Chairperson, despite these constraints, the Government, through my Ministry, has made great strides in helping to combat the main livestock diseases. K30 billion has been allocated to livestock development in this year’s Budget.

 Mr Muntanga: Only!

Mrs Sayifwanda: This allocation is for combating livestock diseases such as CBPP, foot and mount disease, east coast fever, corridor disease and African swine fever as well as implementing livestock production programmes.

 Mr Chairperson, out of the 30 billion allocated to the livestock programme, K11 billion will go toward the control of tsetse flies and trypanosomiasis …


Mrs Sayifwanda: …under the Kwando/Zambezi Region Project.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sayifwanda: Mr Chairperson, some of these terminologies are not all that familiar.


Mrs Sayifwanda: Mr Chairperson, my Ministry, through the Zambia Agriculture Research Institute will conduct farmer demand-driven research service in cells and crops plants protection and farming systems. This programme has been allocated K5.5 billion.

Mr Chairperson, let me now move on to fisheries.

The Ministry will facilitate the availability of fish through conservation measures and promoting appropriate fishing gear technology in all fisheries areas, particularly Kariba, Mweru, Luapula, Tanganyika, Kafue, Upper Zambia among others.  In addition, participatory community fisheries management and training nutrition in fishing process techniques will be supported in the above fisheries areas. Efforts will be directed towards promoting fish farming in the Eastern, Copperbelt, Central and North-Western provinces. Some Government fish farms in Mwekera, Chinsali, Isoka and other areas will be rehabilitated during the year. A total of K19.4 billion has been allocated to the fisheries programme.


Mrs Sayifwanda: I have not finished.

Mr Chairperson, let me now come to the controversial programme; the Fertilizer Support Programme.

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sayifwanda: Sir, people have been asking questions about this.

Mr Chairperson, the Government tends to continue with the Fertilizer Support Programme in the 2008/09 Farming Season. For this reason, this programme has been allocated K185 billion.  However, the available funds only amount to K117.6 billion after offsetting bills amounting to K67.4 billion. This amount was incurred during the years 2006/07 and 2008 agricultural season for inputs by suppliers and transporters. The available funds are only sufficient to procure about 30 thousand metric tonnes of fertilizer to benefit about 75,000 farmers.

Mr Chairperson, in this year’s Budget, my Ministry has been allocated K4 billion for the promotion of research in production and utilisation of good quality…

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

Ms Sayifwanda: Mr Chairperson, before business was suspended, I was talking about the Fertiliser Support Programme and that the Government, through my Ministry, has already delivered fertiliser to the respective areas. Therefore, the issue of fertiliser is no longer a controversial one.

Mr Chairperson, coming to the co-operatives sector, my Ministry is committed to spearheading agricultural development through co-operatives development. In this year’s Budget K4 billion has been allocated to co-operatives. This will be for training activities for both macro staff and co-operators and the provision of transport so as to ensure that co-operatives are transformed into business ventures that should operate on sound management practices.

Mr Chairperson, let me come to the National Agricultural Information Services (NAIS). The Ministry, through the National Agricultural Information Services, has, over the years, implemented an industrious multimedia information and extension service for the farming community and stakeholders in the agricultural sector. In this year’s Budget, the NAIS has been allocated a total of K2,700,000,000. The Ministry will continue to produce radio and television programmes as well as numerous news and printed products during the year. The information products assist the farming community to make informed decisions and to be abreast with the new developments in the agricultural sector.

Mr Chairperson and hon. Members, adequate provision of extension services to our farmers, especially those in rural areas is one of my Ministry’s priorities in 2008. In the recent past, our camps were not staffed because of the low staffing levels in the Ministry. However, I am glad to report that towards the end of 2007, the Ministry recruited over 1700 officers, mostly agricultural extension officers. These newly recruited officers will be posted to various farming camps sites located in the rural areas of the country during the course of this year.

Mr Chairperson, the Ministry has allocated K15 billion for agricultural training in this year’s Budget. This allocation will enable agricultural colleges continue playing their role of providing trained manpower for the agricultural sector.

Mr Chairperson, a total amount of K277.3 billion has been allocated for agricultural development programmes and projects. These programmes and projects are financed by both the Government and donors. Of the total amount allocated, K261 billion is donor funding, while K16.2 billion represents Government counterpart funding.

Mr Chairperson, allow me to inform hon. Members of the House that my Ministry intends to bring to this august House a number of pieces of legislation in the course of this year. These include; enactment of the Agriculture Marketing Act, the amendment of the Agriculture Credit Act, the Co-operatives Act and the Cotton Act among others.

Mr Chairperson, I promised not to be long on the Floor. In conclusion, allow me to appeal to all hon. Members of this august House to support the budget estimates for my Ministry in order to continue with the work that the New Deal Administration started in 2002. This includes commercialisation of the 1.3 million small-scale farmers so as to ensure national and household food security, reduce poverty, reverse rural/urban drift, increase the volume and earnings of the agricultural exports and to exploit the enormous agriculture potential that the country has.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi (Luena): Thank you, Mr Chairperson, for this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the estimates for the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives.

Mr Chairperson, agriculture is central to the development of any nation and the human race. In the Zambian context, agriculture has the potential to significantly contribute to wealth creation, employment creation and, indeed, to move us towards a cherished goal, which is Vision 2030. I stand here, first of all, to say that if I had my wish, I would reject the proposed Votes for the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives on account of the fact that the money allocated in this year’s Budget of somewhere in the order of K787 billion is far too little.

Mr Singombe: Exactly.

Mr Milupi: It does not correspond with the importance of this Ministry.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi: From that, Mr Chairperson, you will understand that I totally support this Ministry. If properly funded and supported, the Ministry can contribute significantly to this country.

Mr Singombe: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi: Mr Chairperson, in supporting the Ministry, let me also say that the Zambian people have invested a lot and they expect a return on their investment. This is probably the only Ministry in this country that has two Permanent Secretaries, two Deputy Ministers and two Cabinet Ministers.


Mr Milupi: Mr Chairperson, when we look at the overall budget for this country, from K12 trillion to K13 trillion, we had an increase of 8 per cent. If we look at the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, from K1.073 trillion to K787 billion, we have a drop of 27 per cent. I cannot understand why this critical Ministry at this critical time must suffer this reduction. Having said that, I understand the sentiments expressed by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, that over the past years the resources allocated to the Ministry have not yielded the required results. The resources allocated to the Ministry over the past years have not made significant improvement in the quality of agriculture in this country. However, the way to tackle these issues is not to cut the allocation as has happened in this particular case. Not only has the Ministry suffered an overall reduction from 8.8 per cent in last year’s Budget to 5.8 per cent in this year’s Budget, but in real terms, we have also suffered a significant drop to the extent of 27 per cent.

If you look at the Western Province, where I come from as hon. Member of Parliament, allocations have also suffered a significant drop from K6.4 billion to K4.4 billion, and yet being a rural province, the people there depend almost entirely on agriculture. If you look at the province, again, which also depends on fisheries, allocations on fisheries have also suffered a reduction from K199 million to K88 million. The Western Province is still by far the largest cattle keeping area, followed by the Southern Province.

Major Chizhyuka: Aah!

Mr Milupi: The hon. Member of Parliament for Namwala should know that those are the statistics from the Government and they cannot be changed. However, the livestock development and veterinary services in the province has suffered another reduction from K193 million to K46.9 million.

Mr Sing’ombe: Bo Mufalali mu utwile.

Mr Milupi: Crop production in the province has suffered a reduction from K226 million to K63 million. These reductions are not small, but substantial. Therefore, one wonders whether we merely pay lip service to the statements that we make. Going back into history from the First Republic, …

Mr Sing’ombe: Bulela wena.

Mr Milupi: … we heard about the Agrarian Revolution. In the Second Republic, emphasis, in words, was placed on agriculture and, indeed, even now, we still, time and again, place emphasis on agriculture in terms of our speeches. However, the substance of the figures that we put in budgets belies our words.

Mr Chairperson, agriculture in rural areas is not only critical, but in most cases, involvement in this field is the only source of food for the people.

Mr Sing’ombe: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi: In most cases, it is also the only source of employment for those who reside in rural areas. It is also a source of wealth and money to buy other requisites. However, over the years, we appear to have lost capacity in the rural areas. In the past, people who used to be able to grow ten acres of crops have now reduced to limas. The animal drought power that used to enable them plough large hectares of their land is now low because the animals have diminished in number as a result of the various diseases. These have not been replaced by tractors or other implements.

Therefore, Mr Chairperson, it is important that even as we continue to pay lip service to agriculture that, maybe, the Ministry can look at restructuring the agricultural extension services that are provided, especially in rural areas by changing their mode of operation from being merely advisory to maybe include equipment hire. We can approach our co-operating partners and tell them that instead of focusing on the provision of relief food, they can help by improving the productive capacity by providing us with equipment that we can then give to the extension officers and from these extension officers, poor farmers in rural areas can go and hire that equipment.

Mr Sing’ombe: Quality.

Mr Milupi: This is a mere suggestion.

Mr Chairperson, the Western Province remains the poorest province in the country and again, this is according to the statistics of the Government, …

Mr Sing’ombe: Because of Mufalali.

Mr Milupi: … and yet, the Western Province can be made rich because it has potential in keeping of cattle. The cattle have been decimated over the years from a population of 1.5 million, when our grandfathers were in charge of things, to 500,000 herds of cattle now. CBPP, anthrax and foot and mouth disease are now prevalent every year. At the moment, there is an outbreak of foot and mouth disease. Just this morning, someone called me from the remote corners of south-western Kalabo District. He has travelled all the way to Mongu to look for drugs or vaccines for foot and mouth disease. Little does he realise that foot and mouth is termed as a disease of national economic importance and therefore, it is entirely the responsibility of the Government to provide all the vaccines. He cannot, even with the little money that he has, protect his animals from the disease.
Mr Chairperson, we can de better in agriculture, and particularly in animal husbandry. We need to put in place measures to eliminate animal. Diseases .Our cattle must be disease free and we must increase the herds in the country. We must also improve the breeds so that, ultimately, we have access to outside markets in the European Union, China, Middle East and the rest of the world. When we do that, like Botswana has, we will also be a major beef exporting country.

Mr Sing’ombe: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi: One other area that I want to look at is that of rice growing. The Western, Luapula, North-Western and parts of the Northern provinces have the capacity to produce enough rice …

Mr Sing’ombe: Tell them.

Mr Milupi: … to feed the whole of Africa. According the available statistics, 45 per cent of the rice consumed in Africa is grown outside of the continent. Therefore, in terms of market potential, it is there in Africa. We need the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives to look at this potential. In fact, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning was talking about unlocking resources and these are the areas where resources have to be unlocked.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi: The potential is there and in engineering we call it latent or hidden.

Mr Chairperson, finally, let me talk a little about fisheries and fish farming. Again, in my constituency, Luena, there is vast potential for fisheries and fish farming. This, again, is an area that is continuously neglected. In fact, neglected to the extent that last year, we suffered, for the first time ever in the history of the province, a fish disease and the causes were given to this House, but we the people who come from that province are not satisfied with those reasons. Some people think it was witchcraft from the Southern Province.


Mr Sing’ombe: It was Hon. Mufalali.

Mr Milupi: Mr Chairperson, finally, on the Fertilizer Support Programme, let me say that when things do not work, let us not continue with them. The Fertilizer Support Programme, in 2006, attracted a budget line of K195 billion …

Mr Sing’ombe: Campaign strategy.

Mr Milupi: … and in 2007 was reduced to K150 billion and in this years Budget, as we all know, it is K50 billion. This shows diminishing returns. In any case, it is not working because it is too little and does not cover the vast majority of our people.

Mr Sing’ombe: Kalenga, how do you campaign like that?

Mr Milupi: Who should benefit from this scheme? The Government must rethink on how to improve this if it has to be sustained. There is no way farmers can graduate from the small-scale level if they are given two bags of D-compound and two bags of urea. No matter how good they are, they will never graduate because the food that they are able to produce from that amount of fertilizer is just for their immediate consumption.

Mr Sing’ombe: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi: We need to come up with better schemes to ensure that we grow capacity in the people that require that capacity, especially the people in rural areas.

With these remarks, I wish to thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Chairperson, I am very grateful that you have given me this chance to contribute to this very important Vote. In the first place, I am very disappointed with the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: Mr Chairperson, our Government is a rural government. This means that it is those peasant farmers who voted for us.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: It will not do us any good if we do not call a spade a spade.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: Since the coming of His Excellency the President, Dr Mwanawasa, the agricultural activities changed for the better because some good money was injected into the system and we did very well last year. The production of crops was properly done and purchased. However, there is a problem in this year’s Budget.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe:  There is a big problem. We are not here to pretend.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: The, firstly, is that the farmers will fail to access enough inputs.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: Secondly, the farmers who produce the little maize will fail to sell it. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: What are the peasant farmers going to do with the maize that they will produce?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkhata: Ema Members of Parliament aya.

Mr Mbewe: I propose that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning looks into this issue critically.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: A supplementary budget is supposed to be induced …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe:  … because we cannot do without food.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: Mr Chairman, there are no mines where I come from. The people there only depend on farming.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: Now, if farming is not properly organised then we are in trouble.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Tell Muchima that.

Mr Mbewe:  Mr Chairman …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! I know the enthusiasm with which some hon. Members of Parliament are taking that speech. However, let us give the hon. Member time to debate then say “hear, hear! ”, but you are just going “hear, hear!” at every point.


The Deputy Chairperson: Let us give him time to debate then we can say “hear, hear!”

Mr Mbewe: Thank you very much, Mr Chairperson, for your protection. Firstly, I would like to remind the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning that the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives is working under very difficult conditions. There is no transport in this Ministry. How do we expect the District Agricultural Co-ordinating Officers (DACOs) and other agricultural officers to supervise the farmers? How do we expect the workers to induce the farmers to grow more?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: Should we be controlled by the NGOs in running the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: Mr Chairperson, this issue must be seriously addressed.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: Mr Chairman, speaking about the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, I would like to give our dear sister free advice.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: Firstly, I would like to give advice on the co-operatives. The co-operatives in the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives are dead.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: The Act is one of the reasons.
Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: There is no way a normal Act, which can be internationally recognised, can allow me and my wife to belong to different co-operatives. This never exists. You cannot allow a situation where I need to own a co-operative and my wife also owns another. It cannot work like that.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: I, therefore, ask the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives to revisit the Co-operatives Act with immediate effect before the next farming season.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: Further, Mr Chairman, we have not talked about the Co-operative Bank. The people out there want a Co-operative Bank. However, the hon. Minister has not come out clearly about the Co-operative Bank. That is the bank which assists farmers. If the farmers are given that bank, then we are heading somewhere.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: Mr Chairperson, for as long as the Co-operative Bank …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! I think you should heed the Chair’s advice. Let us give him time to debate. I know you seem to be agreeing with what he is saying, but can you just do it quietly and nicely. Mr Mwila and Mr Hamududu, I must mention you, in particular. You may continue.


Mr Mbewe: Mr Chairperson, I would like to ask the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives to amend the Co-operatives Act.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to move further and talk about the tobacco industry. This industry in Zambia is dead because the investors who are coming to deal in tobacco, particularly in my constituency, are not very trustworthy. They are swindling the farmers. Since the Tobacco Board of Zambia (TBZ) Act was enacted in 1968, it has never been amended, whereby it has become irrelevant. It is very irrelevant. Additionally, Mr Chairman, the Board of Directors of TBZ has taken TBZ personally. I am asking the hon. Minister to dissolve the board and constitute a new one.

Mr Chairperson, the TBZ has a lot of infrastructure in the villages that has been vandalised. Some of the people who vandalised that infrastructure are the ones who are coming in the name of investors. This is very painful to our people. If the hon. Minister wants more information, he can come and I will give it to him.

Hon. MMD Members: Her!


Mr Mbewe: Mr Chairperson, there is an urgent need to dissolve and audit the board of TBZ. Where I come from, there is the Kapala Tobacco Development Scheme (KTDS). The Government is supposed to be getting 41 per cent of whatever is realised from there. I doubt if any ngwee has ever been given to the Government. Can the hon. Minister make a follow-up? The District Development Co-ordinator in Kapala should find out what is going on. the hon. Minister should also find out why the Zambian investors in the Tobacco Industry are denied a chance to purchase tobacco. It is only the whites who come from outside who are given the chance to purchase tobacco.

Hon. MMD Member: Guy Scott.


Mr Mbewe: Mr Chairperson, I would also like to comment on colleges under the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives. These colleges have been stagnant since the 1960s. A good example is the Natural Resources Development College (NRDC). This college was established in 1965, but, to date, they are still giving diplomas to graduates. When you look at other ministries, for instance, the Ministry of Education, we are talking about Nkrumah Teachers Training College and the Copperbelt Secondary Teachers’ College being turned into universities. Why can the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives not upgrade these colleges so that they start offering degrees courses?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: Where has the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives gone wrong?

Hon. MMD Member: Sosa mwana.

I urge the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives to take this issue head on. We would like to see the NRDC turned into a university. If Nkrumah Teachers’ Training College can be upgraded, NRDC should be as well.

Mr Imasiku: Sosa!

Mr Mbewe: Let us look at these other colleges such as the Monze School of Agriculture. Why can we not upgrade them?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: The way they were in the 1960s is the way they still are.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: There is an urgent need to upgrade these colleges.

With regard to the issue relating to NRDC land, let the hon. Minister come out clearly and tell us whether the NRDC Ranch has been given to people or what other alternatives have been put in place to ensure that students do adequate practicals before going into the field. Right now, the distinction is not very clear.

Mr Chairperson, with these few words, I support the Budget.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the debate on this Vote.

Sir, I stand as a very sad man because I am speaking as a farmer, not as a certificate farmer, licensed farmer or a farmer by accident because those are the three qualifications and I am not either of them.


Mr Muntanga: This Ministry is being ripped off. This Ministry is heading to becoming a very small Ministry orchestrated by the people who allocate money. The MMD Government says that agriculture is a priority, but when it comes to funding, they show that it is not.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: This Budget you have reduced from K1,073,063,951,992 to K786,652,085,160, in actual fact, is not even K786,652,085,160 because K350 billion will come from donors. Therefore, the Government is only looking for about K300 million. This Government is not serious. Actually, the Government is only talking about giving barely K400 billion to agriculture.

Mr Chairperson, in the previous years, when we said that funding should be increased, there were results on the ground. When agriculture was fairly funded, you could see that there was increased production. We suggested an increase in the number of farmers to be funded from 120,000 to 150,000, but the hon. Minister has said they will only support 70,000. This means that they have reduced the number by half. They are only going to fund 70,000 out of 1,000,000 farmers available. If this is seriousness then this Government does not need to stay there one minute. You have put the farmers that voted you in that position.

The hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning is worried about the K67 billion that was released without his knowledge. I think this should not be the reason for punishing the Ministry. The hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning and the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives know very well that the Permanent Secretary did that without the knowledge of the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning. As a result, they want to punish the whole sector because of their failure to discipline the Permanent Secretary.

This is one Ministry where you have put two Permanent Secretaries. The Permanent Secretary for Co-operatives does not even control the Ministry. I was wondering why a medical doctor was made Permanent Secretary in charge of distributing fertiliser.


Mr Muntanga: I felt that there was something wrong. Now, what has happened is that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning is punishing the whole industry because of mismanagement.

Mr Chairperson, they are spending time fighting for control. The Permanent Secretary for Agriculture and Permanent Secretary for Co-operatives were fighting, all the time. The two Permanent Secretaries have since been removed and replaced with two new people who have not yet started fighting for control.

That Ministry needs experience and not only education. It does not help that your father sent you to some college where you acquired a certificate, but you have no idea how to grow one seed of crop and you call yourself an expert. You put people there without experience. They cannot grow anything at all. Go back to Mukutu …

Hon. Opposition: Namukolo Mukutu!

Mr Muntanga: Call back Namukolo Mukutu. Take him back on contract. Bring the Permanent Secretary for the Southern Province who is an agriculturist to the Ministry. Stop trying people. They are fighting everyday. When you go to a department under this Ministry, you will notice that people are looking for promotions. They will ask you to listen to them because somebody who is supposed to attend to them is not doing so. Why are you allowing this Ministry to be treated like this? This is a Ministry that will make sure that it helps the people.

Talking about the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), let me tell you that your GDP without producing the gross national happiness is nothing.


Mr Muntanga: It must produce the gross national happiness.


Mr Muntanga: The majority of the people must be happy with your GDP. If you have the gross national happiness in your planning, the people of Zambia will like you.

Mrs Musokotwane: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, I will show you that these officers do not mean well. The hon. Minister stated that K30 billion had been allocated for Veterinary and Livestock Development for Controlled Diseases. They have given her notes, but when you check in the Yellow Book, on page 1003, the actual Budget is K20,139,001,448. They have told her that they have added another veterinary on Vote 15, Veterinary and Livestock Development Research Station, department total is K2.026,315,720, the total is K22 billion. Where is the K30 billion that she mentioned? You have people that are feeding the hon. Minister wrong information and I pity her. I am an agriculturalist, I pity you Madam. You have been messed up in that Ministry!

Mr Sichilima: No!

Mr Muntanga: Oh yes! There are no jokes about it. If you heard her correctly, she was having problems to pronounce trypanosomiasis because that is not her profession.


Mr Muntanga: At least, you have put Dr Chituwo in the Ministry of Health which is in line with his profession. Why are you not looking for an agriculturist rather than picking on anybody? You go and ask questions when that is not a trial ground.


The Chairperson: Order!

Mr Muntanga: The problem we are having …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order, Mr Muntanga!


The Chairperson: Order, means keep quiet.


The Deputy Chairperson: The Chair has been listening very carefully. Let us discuss the Budget for the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives. My problem is that you are now going into details of discussing appointments which may not necessarily be needed. That is for the appointing authority. Just veer off from that line of debate and come to the main point. You may, continue, please.

Hon. Government Members: Cry!

Mr Muntanga: I do not cry when I talk about agriculture, I just get annoyed.

Mrs Musokotwane: Get annoyed!

Mr Muntanga: This year, the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) is not going to have money to buy the crop. Last year, there was a budget of K205 billion, but this year, you have provided K80 billion which means that the FRA will not go to all the provinces. They will not go to the Southern Province, obviously, because it is on the line of rail.

Mr Magande: Where are they taking the proceeds?

Mr Muntanga: Even the hon. Minister who is debating while seated is asking where they will take the proceeds. I have no business to know that, but he should know. Why can he not control the FRA? Why can he not go to the FRA and find out what they are doing with the money? Why are they not using it?


Mr Muntanga: The point …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! I know what it means, but I believe the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning can hold fire until at an appropriate time. Do not engage him.

Can you, continue, please.


Mr Muntanga: I do not mind, he can engage me outside.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Do not qualify the Chair’s ruling. You are being protected so get on to your subject.

Could you, continue, please.

Mr Muntanga: Sir, the whole problem is that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has under funded agriculture. We cannot pretend on this issue. I took time to go through the Yellow Book and when he reduced the money, I thought it is because in certain cases he has removed most of the training and seminars, especially for Siavonga. He has only increased the Tsetse Fly and Trypanosomiasis Control Survey to K1,213,261,057, which is good.

Sir, under Livestock Development, he has reduced the Dairy Management from K300 million to K100 million. From the present prices of K3.5 million per dairy heifer, it means that before that, they were buying over 100 heifers from small scale farmers. With the present budget, they are barely going to buy about twenty for the whole country. This means that every section you have looked at has gone down.

I was thinking that if we were to change from livestock to fisheries, the allocation should increase. For Kalomo in Kanchele, they have increased the allocation for a number of fisheries. At least, in that area, the hon. Minister is looking at expanding the fisheries sector, but the problem is that fisheries are mostly found in the Northern Province where funds have been reduced. Therefore, the total Budget does not offer any hope to Zambians.

Mr Chairperson, I attended a meeting where it was discussed that people are misusing the funds. Last year, I debated that if most of the budget goes to seminars and workshops and does not go to the Poverty Reduction Programme then there is a problem. Why should we and those who pretend to be farmers, come here and talk and have to fight in order to convince you? If it is a problem of management, you should deal with those problems. Do not punish the Zambian people. If you continue doing this towards the election time, we will be carrying these figures, especially in Chilanga Constituency where there are farmers.


Mr Muntanga: We will tell them that this is where the Budgeting was wrong. We will go to Namaila in Magoye and tell them the same. Some of you who want to be presidents that side should watch this.

I am in the Committee of Agriculture and Lands, but unfortunately, lands has been reduced from K24,283,533,138 to K22,240,983,414 and Agriculture has been reduced from K1,073,063,951,992 to K786,652,085,160. Now, if you go out there and start talking to people, what do you even talk about? These…

Mr Sichilima: On a point of order, Mr Chairperson.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr D. Mwila interrupted.

Mr Sichilima: Mwila keep quiet, you will be arrested.


Mr Sichilima: Mr Chairperson, I have been very quiet and listening attentively to what the hon. Member of Parliament is debating. Is he, therefore, in order to start victimising the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, who is seated quietly, listening and even taking notes by insinuating that this Budget is only for the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning when it is a National Budget, by referring to the hon. Minister’s constituency that he will go and warn the farmers and the people in his village Namaila about him.

Sir, people out there are listening to this. I personally take it that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning is being victimised. Therefore, is the hon. Member in order to say that.

I need your very serious ruling, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Can the hon. Member on the Floor continue. At least, the people of Namaila know that you are concerned about them.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, I have been asking why certain issues where not touched in the Yellow Book. I want to implore the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives that programmes such as Water Resource Development whose allocation has been raised from K957,500,000 to K2 billion, must be seriously undertaken. The Smallholder Irrigation Scheme whose allocation has increased from K845 million to K1,950,000,000 billion has to be taken seriously as well because that may be our only hope. The allocation for Informal Irrigation Project has been raised from K100 million to K400 million. This is the only hope for the extension.

Mr Chairperson, disease control is not only for cattle, but also for seed. It is, therefore, unfortunate to find that there is no funding under Pathology. This means that we cannot know the types of seeds that are weak to diplodia. We cannot properly advise farmers which seed is easily attacked by weevils. Some of the problems that the Food Reserve Agency has now are the varieties of seed which are easily attacked by weevils. Unfortunately for research, there is no such funding.

Sir, the total funding for research under Veterinary has reduced from K7 billion to K2 billion. These are issues that concern us. All we are asking is that in their order and the faith they have from the people of Zambia, this Government must consider supplementary estimates for agriculture. They must consider that fact because if these donor funds are not released in time, I am sorry for agriculture which has only K400 million. For us to depend on well wishers and private investors in such a difficult industry, nothing will happen unless the Government does something about this.

Sir, the Irrigation Fund which was given to Finance Bank has now been moved to the Citizenship Empowerment. There are no guidelines on how the money can be accessed. It is three years ago since the President talked about this Irrigation Fund and you have even put it now to another organisation which has no system at all.

Mr Kasongo: No structure!

Mr Muntanga: This means that for the next one to two years, farmers will have no access to this Irrigation Fund. The story about the Irrigation Fund and the source should improve.

Mr Mbewe: Muza siliza ma points!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, I therefore, seriously urge this Government to re-look at this issue. It is too late for us to move funds from the Ministry of Finance and National Planning. The hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning is a farmer and he rears cattle. Let him be considerate and consider Supplementary Estates to Agriculture. Without this, it will be a disaster.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ngoma (Sinda): Mr Chairperson, I rise to contribute to the debate on this very important Vote on the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives. I would like to say that real riches are found on land.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ngoma: Sir, land is the genesis of wealth. Even the so called precious stones, gold and silver are found on land. Therefore, the importance of land and agriculture cannot be over emphasised.

Mr Chairperson, in the last election of 2001, the MMD Government should realise that probably 75 per cent of its support came from the rural areas.

A few years ago, when I was on the Copperbelt, I learnt something from my brothers in the Northern and Luapula provinces when they said ushitasha, mwana wandoshi.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ngoma: That translated means that somebody who does not appreciate something good done for him or her, is a son or daughter of a witch.

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ngoma: When you see Hon. Muntanga, Hon. Milupi and Hon. Mbewe debating in the manner they did, you should know that there is something wrong. When will the MMD Government learn to appreciate the rural peasant farmers? You cannot say that you are improving in agriculture when you are reducing the funding.

Time and again, the Head of State has come to this august House to tell us that agriculture is one of the priorities of the MMD Government. Now, how do you say that agriculture is a priority of the MMD Government if you are reducing funding to the Agricultural Sector? You have reduced it from K1 trillion to K700 billion and you are happy and even harbouring serious presidential ambitions?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ngoma: That is a very serious affair which you need to look at. If, really, the majority of the vote for the MMD was generated from the rural area then there is a need to look out for agriculture.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ngoma: Mr Chairperson, ever since the MMD came into power in 1991, Zambia has lost its position as the Food Basket for Southern Africa …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ngoma: …because agriculture has been left in the hands of conmen. Today, agriculture is on a sick bed, and yet the MMD’s New Deal Government wants us to believe that agriculture is ticking. The New Deal Government has been talking about bumper harvests, which have never been, with such audacity.

Mr Chairperson, the problem is that the New Deal Government wants to compare their performance in agriculture to that of MMD’s new culture regime.

Mr D. Mwila: Yes!

Mr Ngoma: Prior to the coming of MMD in 1991, Zambia used to have genuine bumper harvests.  The silos, storage sheds and hard stacks across the country were full to the brim, to an extent where when there was severe drought in the 1991 and 1992 Farming Season, the Government simply picked maize from the silos and distributed it as relief food. That was proper bumper harvesting.

Mr Imasiku: Question!

Mr Ngoma: Mr Chairperson, farmers used to receive payment of their supply on time. The rural area was a very lucrative place to live in because agriculture was ticking and well paying. Today, maize which was supplied by the farmers to the FRA in June, 2007, has not yet been paid for. Ten months down the line, farmers have not yet been paid. Imagine, a farmer who supplied his only crop to FRA staying for ten months without being paid. Is that a great improvement in agriculture? What improvement are you talking about? That is total failure in agriculture.

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

Mr Ngoma: Today, with the floods and bad weather that we are experiencing, I cannot be surprised if hunger was declared a national disaster, as it was in 1993. However, the country does not have enough strategic reserves of our staple crop.

Mr Chairperson, wherever the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives, Hon. Ben Kapita is, I pray that he receives the favour of God and gets well. We all pray for him. However, I remember that at one point while presenting on the Floor of the House with regard to agriculture, he said that when he went to Petauke, he was overwhelmed by the tonnage of maize that he saw.


Mr Ngoma: Mr Chairperson, the hon. Minister should have gone ahead to explain to the nation that a good portion of that maize was brought in from Mozambique …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ngoma: …by bogus businessmen at the expense of local farmers.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ngoma: Mr Chairperson, the Government should seriously implore the FRA to immediately pay the farmers who are owed colossal sums of money for the maize they supplied.

Hon. Opposition Members: Tomorrow.

Mr Ngoma: It is very illogical that the Government has gone to the extent of paying for maize produced on the Malawian side of the boarder and for maize produced in Tanzania, especially in places like Mbala. It is very unfortunate. The Ministry of Home Affairs should come in to protect our boarders from these dubious businessmen.  The Government should not stay arms akimbo, but intervene to protect the helpless peasant farmers.

Mr Chairperson, at this juncture, allow me to talk about the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ). I remember that last year, your Committee on Agriculture and Lands recommended that NCZ be privatised. This view must be analysed critically before many people are placed on the unemployment market. As far as NCZ is concerned, it is the Government’s baby and it should be handled carefully.

Time and again, workers and retirees of NCZ have demonstrated. They have even gone to the extent of demonstrating up to the gates of State House. Only a few days ago, they did that. However, one astonishing factor is that despite NCZ having the capacity to supply fertiliser to the Zambian farmers, the Government mostly favours private suppliers of fertiliser by giving them good contracts. Of the total supply contract of fertiliser, the Government only gives a negligible portion to NCZ with the bulk going to private suppliers. How can our own NCZ improve like that, and yet you are saying that there is a tremendous improvement in agriculture?

In conclusion, Mr Chairperson, when the Head of State came some time back to officially open Parliament, he talked about introducing a Crop Market Authority and dissolving FRA. Sir, there is a lot of incompetence at FRA. For five years in a row, this House has been approving monies to go towards the purchase of produce from farmers. All these years that money has been accumulating, but each year, the FRA laments that it has no money to purchase the crop from farmers. Where does the money that this House approves go?

Hon. PF Member: The bottomless pit.

Mr Ngoma: Therefore, Mr Chairperson, I would like to suggest that the Government shakes up the FRA. Rather than complaining that FRA is not doing fine, it is your duty as Government to move in and shake up the management at FRA because at the end of the day, the results will be good for you. If you want to continue running the affairs of this country, surely the best thing you can do is improve on agriculture. A few days ago, the President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, complained that Zambia had failed to supply maize to Zimbabwe. Why can we not take advantage of such opportunities?

I read in the papers a few days ago that Malawi wants to purchase maize from Zambia. That is a great opportunity. Besides, agriculture is not a loss, but a serious investment. Hon. Magande, are you listening?


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Hon. Ngoma, can you address the Chair?

May the hon. Member, please, continue.

Mr Ngoma: Thank you Sir, for your wide guidance.

Mr Chairperson, all in all, what I am saying is that the Government should stop paying a lip service to agriculture. I remember when President Mwanawasa appointed his first Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives, there was a lot of excitement by the hon. Minister. When he was asked how he hoped to improve agriculture, he said, “I am going to improve agriculture using cow dung”. However, there was a lot of tenacity, care, wisdom and audacity with the way in which that hon. Minister went about doing things and there was, at least, some semblance of development in agriculture.

Now that cow dung is no more, are you saying that we should now slow back? I implore the Government to take agriculture seriously in this country.

Mr Chairman, with these few remarks, I thank you, Sir.

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Chairperson, with respect, I would like to join the last speaker in wishing the other hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives well. Even though he maybe bed-ridden, I am sure he is listening to these proceedings and may he have many years ahead of him.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: Mr Chairperson, a 100 years, 103 years or 104 years ago to be precise, Cecil Rhodes, after whom this country was named, of course, for a while acquired for himself a large ranch in Southern Rhodesia and to stock it, he decided to import 2,000 of the finest of Australian cattle that money would buy. His cattle were brought by sea to Beira and from Beira, they were matched because in those days, the railway was not there up to what the whites used to call Umtali, but is now called Mutare. When they got to Mutare, the veterinary officers discovered that they had a disease that they had never seen before which they had obviously acquired in the course of their match up from the coast. However, because Cecil Rhodes was too old to be consulted and was the big Bwana in those parts, they decided not to do what they were trained to and what they were always told to do, that was to slaughter all the cattle showing signs of the disease and those that had been in contact with the animals showing signs of the disease. Instead, they did nothing except think of a name for the disease and since it had just been acquired in the match from East Coast up to Mutare, they called it the East Coast Fever. That same East Coast Fever is known in some parts of Zambia as East Coast Fever. Other names are now known as corridor disease or Denkete.

The presence of Cecil Rhodes left us Denkete and the lesson from that story, Mr Chairman, I think is that when it comes to animal disease control, politics has no part to play. 

Hon. Opposition Member: No.

Dr Scott: Respect for individual Bwanas and even for founders of countries has no part to play. There is soft stepping around the problem of animal disease control. We have heard already from the hon. Member for Luena that the cattle population in the Western Province has dropped from 1.5 million to 0.5 million. This is entirely due to disease.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: The Southern Province has had cattle wiped out in recent years due entirely to disease. Unless we are completely ruthless, disease, be it swine fever or Contagious Bovine Pleura Pneumonia, foot and mouth or Denkete, we will never become efficient producers of meat. The first thing I would implore the hon. Minister to do is bring a new culture. There is too much politics in disease control, softness and indeterminacy. We even see cattle floating across the Kafue River because it is supposed to be a cordon line. You will see a gentleman on a yacht directing cattle across. I am afraid to say that you might see Tongas migrating up to Mkushi and taking their cattle with them.

We should be a shame that in this country, we cannot produce beef that is good enough to match the nice beef from Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa and even Malawi. We should be a shame that we have been blacklisted. It is not because people fear that our cattle will give them diseases, it is because they fear that we will also reduce their cattle population in the way that we have reduced our own.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott:  I think that the Government should take an entirely new approach to cattle disease, Madam Minister and the other hon. Minister.

Mr Chairperson, I am beginning to suspect that there may be a food security problem this year. The word of mouth I am getting is that much of the maize being held at the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) depots is deteriorating rapidly from weevils and fungus diseases because it was bought when it was still too wet for political reasons, again, and much of it having been imported from outside the country in a very poor condition. There are some good commercial stands of maize. For example, Mkushi, Chisamba and Lusaka have reasonable commercial maize, but the traditional or village crop, for a variety of reasons, including the pushing of people to lower land and all that- we know all about that- is almost a write off in many areas or 90 per cent of the areas. Therefore, the crop will be low and what is in storage is low. Even the wheat production coming up after that maybe very badly affected by ZESCO’s failings in the area of electricity or a lack of foresight in the area of electricity generation. The mining companies have told me that those that are building electrical smelters have guaranties ultimately emanating from ZESCO for a full supply as they wanted, but that leaves the farmers on the second round. I would like the hon. Minister, when winding up debate, to give an assurance that this issue of power supply for irrigated wheat is going to be attended to because the world price of wheat has hit a record high recently. If we have to import wheat, it will be landing at US$500 a tonne and maybe, bread will cost K10,000 a loaf. It will be an unbearable situation.

Mr Chairperson, rather than going into the details of agricultural policy, I would like to say that we need to stabilise agricultural policy. It is not good having a different policy from one year to the next. I can only say that it is better to have a bad policy which is consistently applied than a good policy which comes and goes because the farmers’ needs are yearly and already have enough uncertainty with regard to the weather. Why add the uncertainty of budget makers and ministries on top of that? Let us have a steady policy. We have the experience. We have been battling with these problems of getting fertiliser accessible to small farmers for years now. For years now we have been talking about collecting the crop. We know everything about this problem. Surely, we can settle for a consistent, balanced and well calculated policy and apply it year after year. We give out a lot of fertiliser in an election year and when it is not an election year, we reduce the amount of fertiliser. By a miracle, that is how it happens.

Mr Chairperson, very briefly, I want to say that the Ministry has to- …

Mr Sichilima: Wind up!

Dr Scott: … -not finally, I will say, “finally” when I get there.


Dr Scott: Mr Chairperson, I want to take up briefly the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning’s views on poverty. He told us that he did not like the word ‘poverty’. In fact, the word ‘poverty’ is like some words that make you react badly like a snake. He gave an example that when someone hears the word ‘snake’ ….


Dr Scott: … his brain sends a message to his legs and the legs start running. Now, I do not know what he meant us to understand by that adage. Does he mean that when he hears the word ‘poverty’, his brain sends a message to his legs and he starts running? Does he think the word …

Mr Magande: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Magande: Mr Chairperson, I need your serious ruling. Is the hon. Member for Lusaka Central in order to start frightening people, when he knows that it is getting late now and they might start running away thinking there is a snake here?


Mr Magande: We know we talk about cobras sometimes, but not in the House.

Is he in order?


The Deputy Chairperson: Can the hon. Member continue debating, please.


Dr Scott: Perhaps he means that he wants the word, ‘snake’ removed from the dictionary so that when he goes to the doctor and says, “Doctor, I have been bitten”, and the doctor says, “By what? By a dog?” No. “By a cat”. No.  “By a fish”.  No. “By, by, …


Dr Scott: He will not be able to explain what has happened.


Dr Scott: I think to jointly say that the word, ‘poverty’ should be taken out of the dictionary is an illustration of the kind of illiteracy or mere liberalism that I was complaining about when we discussed the overall shape of this budget. There are a lot of poor people in Zambia and we have to find a way of attending to this issue. The problem is more complicated than I think some people sometimes characterise in this House.

There have been complaints, for example, that the foreigners have taken over land. Some foreigners have taken land so have many well to do Zambians. For example, the Vice-President has a big farm, the Minister of Finance and National Planning has a big farm, the President of the Republic has several big farms and many other people. It is not just the whites, but also the rich blacks and Chinese. They are all taking land and …


Dr Scott: … it is not necessarily- …

Hon. Member Government Member: What about you?

Dr Scott: … -I have about twelve hectares if you want to know. That is my total holding.

Mr Chairperson, I have a constructive suggestion to make. I think nobody could claim, for example, that it will be better that we close down the Nakambala Sugar Plantation completely and revert it to traditional grazing. This is because the wealth then generated by the whole area would be considerably less. On the other hand, the people of Chief Mwanachingwala’s area have plenty to complain about because they are not the main beneficiaries of Nakambala. The Government, through its Value Added Tax (VAT) and profits tax, is taking a lot of wealth from Mazabuka. The seasonal workers there are mostly from the Western Province. They are taking wealth from Mazabuka. Most of the full-time workers are probably from the Eastern Province. I would suggest that instead of viewing the problem of commercial land owners as one of going back in time, we should find a way forward to ensure that the local people get the benefits of whatever commercial activities. The original owners …

Mr Muntanga: The indigenous.

Dr Scott: Indigenous, yes. You be careful. You might find only Ba Tembo qualifies, if you are not careful.


Dr Scott: The original owners of that land, whatever chiefdom they come from, should be beneficiaries. I would even support an increase on agricultural profits tax from 15 per cent to 25 per cent. The additional 10 per cent could be reliably applied to schools, infrastructure, scholarships and other benefits for the original owners of that land. This is because there is a lot of passion. It is very clear from the debates in this House and from our sources that there is a lot of resentment, especially in areas like the Southern Province, where the degree of commercialisation as a percentage of the land has been quite large, including the Tonga Plateau.

Therefore, Mr Chairperson, I would like the hon. Minister together with, perhaps, the Ministers of Community Development and Social Services and Finance and National Planning to explore possibilities of having more benefits kept locally. This is not the Salisbury the bambazonke anymore, Mr Chairperson, but Lusaka. We used to call Salisbury, bambazonke because all our copper revenue and income tax went to Salisbury. Now, it is Lusaka which is the bambazonke and we need to decentralise wealth in a realistic way.

With these few remarks, Mr Chairperson, I thank you. I have given somebody else one minute and thirty-one seconds to talk.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Imasiku (Liuwa): Mr Chairperson, I think after listening a lot to other hon. Members debate, you had given up looking at me. All the same, I want to thank you for remembering me that I should also add a word or two to the debate on the Floor.


Mr Imasiku: Mr Chairperson, I just want to debate on one item. The item I want to debate on is actually relevant just to my area. I know that there is a lot of progress and so being made by the Ministry. I think this same issue has already been highlighted by the hon. Minister herself. The Government has a good policy.

Mr Chairperson, hunger is actually a serious issue. When people, a nation is hungry or a family is hungry, you expect discontent. That is why we feel that the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives is cardinal …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! We are consulting loudly.

May the hon. Member, please, continue.

Mr Imasiku:  … and needs a lot of attention so that the nation can survive.

As already said by many other hon. Members, agriculture can make us create wealth. I am aware that this Government has not done very badly. All the same, I just want to zero in onto my constituency or the Western Province per se.
Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Imasiku: Mr Chairperson, the Western Province or Liuwa Constituency is a wetland. This area is flood-prone. In this area, crops are destroyed year in and year out. If we have good rains in the country, in the Western Province or Liuwa per se, we have problems because our crops are washed away and so the wetlands of the Western Province are hunger-prone. Therefore, during such times, we yearn for food supplies. For how long are we going to be fed by this Government? We know that the Government is quite kind because the Vice-President comes to our aid most of the time, but how long is the situation going to be like this?

Mr Chairperson, I am on record in this House as having tried to discuss issues of the wetlands in the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives. At one time, the hon. Minister, who we wish a quick recovery, assured us that a policy is coming up to make sure that the wetlands of the Western Province have another type of agricultural policy where certain crops will mature early. These are crops that are flood-resistant. However, I have not seen that up to now. When I was perusing through the Yellow Book, I did not seen anything relating to this. The wetlands of the Western Province require the right crops that are flood resistant and early maturing. There should also be a fertiliser support programme designed for this area.

Mr Chairperson, we realise that with the Fertilizer Support Programme, which is enjoyed by other people in the country, the wetlands of the Western Province are not well serviced. I think Hon. Milupi has alluded to this, …

Hon. Milupi: Hear, hear!

Mr Imasiku: … but what I want to say is that as earlier promised by the hon. Minister, Hon. Kapita, I am requesting the other hon. Minister to find a method of assisting us in the wetlands of the Western Province. We would like to have – while Mr Kambwili is making noise – a type of crop which can mature early. It was even mentioned that there would be a fertiliser support scheme particularly for the wetlands. The hon. Minister told us that the fertiliser under this scheme is going to support the rice project and the balance will go to other crops in that area. Alas, when I perused the Yellow Book, I did not see such a programme.

Mr Chairperson, with regard to agricultural programmes, Liuwa constituency is a farming block with six camps. It is interesting to note that in those six camps, there is only one agricultural officer. Therefore, I am requesting the hon. Minister to help by ensure that Liuwa Constituency or the Western Province per se, does not always rely on hand-outs. We are requesting the hon. Minister …

Mr Kambwili: Finshi mulelanda bamudala? Ikalenifye. 


Mr Imasiku: … design a programme for this. I said that I just wanted to concentrate only on one item, therefore, my appeal to the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives is for him to come up with a diversified policy on agriculture in the wetlands of the Western Province.

Mr Milupi: Hear, hear!

Mr Imasiku: We need a specialised fertiliser support programme for that area so as to reduce dependency on hand-outs from the Government.

Mr Chairperson, with regard to this programme, as long as I remain hon. Member of Parliament, I will not rest, but will keep reminding the hon. Minister that we need such a programme in the Western Province, especially in Liuwa, the Zambezi Valley, Luena, and other areas.

Mr Milupi: Hear, hear!

Mr Imasiku: If this is not done, we will always be going to the Office of the Vice-President to ask for more support and relief food.

With these few words, I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Syakalima (Siavonga): Mr Chairperson, when I debated the Budget Speech, I said that this particular Budget was the most deceptive ever presented in this House. Many people thought it was criticism as usual. Now, I have been very attentive and heard, sometimes hon. Ministers themselves say that the allocations in each vote have been too low this year. That is basically what I meant when I said this Budget was very deceptive.

We had an opportunity to develop the agricultural sector.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

(Debate adjourned)



[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress reported)


The House adjourned at 1956 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 13th March, 2008.