Debates- Wednesday, 5th March, 2008

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Wednesday, 5th March, 2008

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I have been informed by the PF that the hon. Member for Kantanshi, Mr Yamfwa Mukanga, MP, has been appointed PF Whip in the House.

I thank you.




186. Mr Chanda (Kankoyo) asked the Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources:

(a) what the normal pH (measure of acidity and alkalinity) contained in water for domestic consumption is; and

(b) what the penalty for polluting water for domestic consumption with pregnant liquid solution (PLS) used in In Situ Leaching (ISL) or solution mining is.

The Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources (Mr Kaingu): Mr Speaker, the normal pH in water for domestic consumption ranges between 6.5 and 8.5. This is in accordance with the World Health Organisation (WHO) standards for domestic water quality. However, the recommended pH by the Zambian Bureau of Standards is 6.9.

Mr Speaker, the penalty for polluting water for domestic consumption as provided for under Section 24 of the Environmental Protection and Pollution Control Act is a general offence. The penalty regime for offences under the Act is found in Section 91. Under this Section, there is provision for imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or a fine not exceeding K60,000 penalty units. The regime here, people presupposes a situation where the defaulting facility or person has been taken to court for prosecution and that person has been found guilty. In addition, for continuing violation, a court may order a daily fine not exceeding K30,000 penalty units. It should be noted that ECZ has the mandate to close down the polluting facility and fine the defaulting person or facility a total of 803 units, approximately K144,000 in which case prosecution is barred.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): Mr Speaker, normally, when water is polluted, it involves a large number of people, may I find out from the hon. Minister through the Environmental Council of Zambia (ECZ), what responsibilities they take to assist people who are affected?

Mr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, the ministry through ECZ engages the defaulting facility to find out more about the pollution. If the ECZ finds that the facility is at fault, as I stated in my reply, it will fine that facility, but if the facility thinks that it is not at fault, then ECZ will take that facility to court. There is nothing much more than that.

I thank you, Sir.


187. Mr D. Mwila (Chipili) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives when the Government will construct new depots for the Food Reserve Agency in the following areas in Chipili Parliamentary Constituency:

(i) Mwenda;
(ii) Lupososhi; and 
(iii) Kamami.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives (Mr Kalenga): Mr Speaker, the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) has no immediate plans of constructing sheds or depots in Mwenda, Lupososhi and Kamami, in Chipili Parliamentary Constituency.

The immediate plans for FRA is to rehabilitate the grain silos in Lusaka, Kabwe, Chisamba and Ndola and to construct sheds in Chambeshi, Kapiri Mposhi, Kalomo, Chisamba, Petauke and Mbala.

However, Mr Speaker, Mwenda, Lupososhi and Kamami may be considered in future depending on the availability of funds and the levels of crop production in these areas.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chimbaka (Bahati): Mr Speaker, Mwenda, Lupososhi and Kamami are agricultural areas and production levels of both maize and cassava are high. How is Government intending to help with storage of produce to farmers in Kamami in the absence of storage facilities?

Mr Kalenga: Mr Speaker, since we do not have sheds we will use mobile marketing to collect crops from those areas to places where we have sheds.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kanyanyamina (Kanchibiya): Mr Speaker, food security goes with proper storage and this is one of the facilities that is lacking in rural areas. Arising from his answer, can the hon. Minister confirm whether the money that is going to be spent on transportation cannot suffice to put up emergency storage facilities?

Mr Kalenga: Mr Speaker, as Government, we are committed to food security. As an interim measure, we use mobile marketing. As I explained in my earlier answer, we are committed to this and that is why we have started putting up and rehabilitating silos in Lusaka, Kabwe, Chisamba, Ndola, Chambeshi, Kapiri Mposhi, Kalomo, Petauke and Mbala. Depending on the availability of funds, we will also move to Mwenda, Lupososhi and Kamami in the near future.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwansa (Chifunabuli): Mr Speaker, the issue of food security also has to do with keeping food near the place of production in preparation for difficult times. How is the ministry going to sort out food security problems for Mwenda, Lupososhi and Kamami if all the food produced in these areas will be collected and taken to Lusaka or Ndola, for that matter?

Mr Kalenga: Mr Speaker, that is an interim measure because we do not have storage facilities in these areas and so for the time being we are using mobile marketing to collect crops. However, in the near future we will consider putting up depots in those areas.

I thank you, Sir.


188. Mr Lubinda (Kabwata) asked the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry how many glass bottles for packaging the following products were imported from 2004 to 2007.

(i) soft drinks;
(ii) lagers;
(iii) medicines; and
(iv) cosmetics.

The Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Mr Mutati): Mr Speaker, a total number of 1,920,894 packages of different glass bottles were imported between 2004 and 2007. It is difficult to determine the number of bottles for packaging in each of the specific products as data at the source is aggregated as well as the specific use to which they would be put, that is, whether in soft drinks or beer packaging or for use in the laboratory or pharmaceutical industry.

The total values and quantities for the glass bottles packaging imports from 2004 to 2007 is as follows:

Year   Value (ZMK)   Net weight (kg)

2004   14,713,472,890  6,001,423
2005   18,324,869,141  6,072,425
2006   14,989,690,103  7,067,744
2007   11,227,235,462  5,479,763

Major import markets include Zimbabwe, Republic of South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, Japan and China.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I wonder whether the hon. Minister would like to say that his answer is actually wrong because the total weight that he has given to this House is 24,000,000 kilograms and yet he said that there were 1.9 million bottles that were imported and that translates into two kilograms per bottle. On the basis of that, I find it difficult to ask any follow-up question because the answer is obviously wrong. May I have clarification from him?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, I said a total of 1,920,894 packages. Therefore, in one package there could be more than one bottle and that is why we have these various amounts.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Mr Speaker, arising from the answer that the hon. Minister has given, can he confirm whether there are any bottles that are being manufactured locally and why we are allowing such huge figures in terms of imports to be brought in the country.

Mr Mutati: Speaker, at the moment we are not aware of any local manufacturing of glass bottles.

I thank you, Sir.

_____________ {mospagebreak}



Mr Sejani (Mapatizya): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House urges Government to develop a comprehensive long term National Disaster Management and Mitigation Plan that places more emphasis on prevention rather than management of disasters and to address structural issues that exacerbate the impacts of natural calamities in Zambia.

Mr Speaker: Is the motion seconded?

Mr Malama (Mfuwe): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the motion.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Sejani: Mr Speaker, this motion is motivated by a desire to avoid crisis management as we grapple with problems associated with natural calamities whose occurrence in Zambia is surely becoming a permanent fixture of our national life.

Sir, this motion is also motivated by a desire to decisively and noticeably shift emphasis from merely managing calamities to putting mechanisms in place aimed at minimising the impacts of such disasters.

Sir, this motion is also motivated by a desire to critically look at the structure of the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit of Government and see to what extent this structure is designed to save lives.

Fourthly and more importantly, this motion is motivated by a desire to earnestly urge the wider Government to recognise the unique position that the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit is supposed to occupy in as far as its advisory role is concerned to ensure that in all aspects and levels of our national planning, we do factor in and mainstream strategies that prevent the occurrence of some of the disasters that we are experiencing in this country.

Mr Speaker, why focus on prevention and pro-activity? The answer is very simple. In this country, the types of disasters that we are handling are not entirely unpredictable. In Zambia, we are not dealing with unpredictable phenomenon like volcanic eruptions or earthquakes. We are dealing with disasters that we can thoroughly and accurately predict such as floods or droughts.


Mr Sejani: In this country, we have technology that can predict that this coming season, we are likely to receive above normal rainfall in that area.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: Or that in this coming season we are likely to receive below normal rainfall in that area. That is the predictability that we are talking about and because the calamities that we are dealing with in this country are fairly predictable, it must be possible to put in place strategies and mechanisms that minimise their impact, if they must escape our preventive judgment. But, Sir, we do not seem to be seeing any of these on the ground, and this is the import of this nation.

Today, there is little evidence that in our national plans we put emphasis in trying to prevent disasters. What is evident, however, is that we want to wait for disasters to occur, and that is when we jerk ourselves into some panic action.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: In the end, not a good job is always done. To show our wrong bias, I want to quote the Mission Statement of the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit of the Government which states, on page 3 and I quote:

“The Mission Statement of Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit is to effectively and efficiently manage disasters in order to minimise loss of lives, damage to property and environment through harmonisation of national efforts.”

This means that we are very comfortable until disasters occur, that is when we are thrown in disarray and in a patting manner try to address what has hit us. In this mission statement, there is no place for attempting to prevent disaster or attempting to put in place mechanisms that will minimise these calamities.

Mr Speaker, I want to show that even in the main documents that are supposed to act as guide lights in our national development, this aspect is tragically missing. I have taken considerable time reading the document on the Vision 2030 which is the main document that is supposed to guide our development to that year, by which time, this country is supposed to have achieved middle income status. That document does identify a number of obstacles that stand in the way of realising the vision, but what is sad is that it omits to identify certain critical strategies or obstacles that will make the realisation of this dream almost impossible.

On page 4 of the Executive Summary of the Vision 2030 document, there are challenges, goals, strategies and scenarios that are supposed to be addressed in order to achieve that vision. There are a number of them, but I will just read a few. In total there are about thirty-two recognised obstacles.

For example, it is recognised that we need proper infrastructure if the vision is going to be achieved. It is also recognised that we will need to invest in people, human capital, education will be extremely critical if we are going to achieve Vision 2030. It does also recognise that we will need a health population. Therefore, issues of HIV/AIDS do stand in the way of realising that vision. However, what is sad is that this main document which is supposed to guide us is clearly and conspicuously missing on issues relating to climate change and global warming as a very serious impediment to any plan that we might have to develop this country.

Mr Speaker, one wants to ask a question on what kind of vision this is…


Mr Sejani: … that does not envision the seriousness of climate change as an obstacle to achieving this vision. This vision is blur and it requires urgent medical attention…

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear! Dr Chituwo!

Mr Sejani: … otherwise, we are going to fall in one ditch.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: This vision is blurred and this nation is attempting to prescribe medicine to ensure that we recover a bit of vision as we match towards 2030.

Mr Muntanga: Dr Chituwo!

Mr Sejani: Mr Speaker, if there is any one single factor that will go against the realisation of the Millennium Development Goals, it is climate change with its accompanying phenomenon. Mr Speaker, climate change brings with it problems such as El Nino and its opposites such as droughts and floods. When these occur it means that huge national resources are going to be moved away from critical areas to handle disasters. We move monies away from education, health, agriculture and general development to mitigate disasters, meaning that we will not achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 because we were not able to identify the obstacle that is caused by climate change.

Hon. Opposition Member: Quality!

Mr Sejani: It is most disheartening to discover that a critical document such as this must omit to observe this. I expected this issue to be clearly identified and put in place specific mechanisms that will address it. The other day you talked about climate change in your submissions, but that is all. There are no strategies to combat this. We have a blurred vision.

Major Chizhyuka: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: Mr Speaker, I want to put it to this Government that many of the problems that we have in Zambia are as a result of our inability to be forward looking in terms of our plans.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: That is the root cause of many of our problems today. Take for example, Town and Country Planning, where are our planners if all our cities are going to be surrounded by slums, squatter compounds and unplanned settlements?

Mr Shakafuswa: At the Ministry of Local Government and Housing.

Mr Sejani: Where are our city planners who allow these squatter settlements to mushroom without ensuring that before a settlement is approved, there must be in place an effort to provide basic services such as roads, water and drainages?  In the end, we have all these squatter compounds which are the venues of many of our problems today. The floods in Kanyama and elsewhere have been as a result of this deficiency that we are talking about. The houses that are collapsing in these compounds are as a result of this. The Cholera that has now become an annual traditional ceremony is as a result of this deficiency.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: The Malaria epidemics that arise from the stagnant water from these squalors is as a result of this deficiency. Where are our Planners? What we need is a proper re-design of our towns and cities to ensure that before any settlement is approved, we are sure that basic infrastructure such as the roads, water and drainage are going to be provided. This way we can avoid scenarios such as those recently witnessed in Kanyama.

Major Chizhyuka: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: Mr Speaker, unfortunately, instead of seeing these things, our Government still by and large pays lip service to issues of up-grading urban unplanned settlements. This Government is becoming legendary in promising heaven but delivering hell.


Mr Speaker: Order! The word ‘hell’ is unparliamentary.
Mr Sejani: Mr Speaker, I withdraw the word ‘hell’. However, I maintain that this Government is very high on promises, but empty on delivery.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: The Fifth National Development Plan is now three years old and will expire in the next two years. Therefore, by this time, we should have seen movement based on this.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: Mr Speaker, page 199 of this plan promises us that we are going to upgrade unplanned settlements in Zambia and they are saying they will

(a)  foster housing areas that are healthy, functional, environmentally friendly and emphatically  pleasant.

You will tell me whether that is happening or not.

(b)  we will provide basic services such as water, sanitation, roads and other social amenities.

Hon. UPND Member: Where?

Mr Sejani: Tell me whether that is happening in Kanyama? If it was not for the by-election, they would not have seen a bull dozer there.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: We were promised that they would streamline building standards, regulations and other controls. We were promised that they were going to provide solid waste management systems. We were promised that they were going to relocate families living in areas earmarked for other developments in approved structural plans. That was three years ago.

Mr Speaker, this is an expiring document. When will these things happen? That is why I doubt the listening credentials of this Government.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: They claim they want to be called a listening Government. We must drop that slogan and call them a talkative Government.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: This Government is talkative. They are very qualified in talking. They speak and write well, but are absolutely empty on delivery.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: That is a worrying development which needs to be changed if we are going to improve the lives of the people. What is known on issues of rural development? What sort of plans are in place? What are the rural areas which voted this Government into power receiving in return?

Mr Speaker, our rural areas remain unattractive to stay in. As a result of that, we have failed to stem the rural-urban drift. Many more people are leaving our rural areas coming to overcrowd our cities, thus creating conditions for the mushrooming of more squatter compounds. We are creating optimum conditions under which Cholera and Malaria are going to breed.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: What have we done to rural development?

Hon. Opposition Member: Landa mudala.

Mr Sejani: Mr Speaker, why can we not make rural areas productive and attractive to our people …

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: … so that they are encouraged to stay there and reduce the pressure on our urban centres and the pressure on the structures in urban centres. Why has this Government refused to put in place …

Mr Kaingu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Member for Mapatizya, who has a propensity of denouncing this Government, in order to debate away from his motion? I ask for your serious ruling.

Mr Speaker: The hon. Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources says through his point of order that the mover of this motion the hon. Member for Mapatizya is debating outside his motion. What I am hearing is that what the hon. Member for Mapatizya is debating is part of moving his motion. He is giving examples of the difficulties that, in his opinion, are not taken care of to prevent disasters. Therefore, he is in order. May he continue.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: I am most indebted to you, Mr Speaker.

Indeed, one of the key words in the title of the Motion is “comprehensive” steps and the need to mainstream preventive mechanisms is our national plans. That is what we are trying to say, hon. Minister. By the way, I am not denouncing you, I am advising you.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: This is advice …

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: … which I expect this Government to accept. Mr Speaker, on issues relating to rural development, what sort of plans do you have to ensure that our rural areas remain attractive so that we do not get our people leaving rural areas to towns to put pressure on our systems in town that will breakdown and create calamities? We must make our rural areas productive and attractive. The main enterprise in our rural areas is agriculture. One of the perennial problems afflicting agriculture in this country is the issue of drought which this Government must start mitigate.

Mr Speaker, this Government promised us that they were going to put in place a national irrigation plan to ensure that we minimise the impact of drought once it occurs. Unfortunately, that programme has just remained on paper and no movement on the ground. This is the reason we are saying this Government is very good at writing documents and totally unable to put what they say into practice.

Major Chizhyuka: They gave no capacity!

Mr Sejani: Mr Speaker, I have document here on national irrigation which identifies the need to arrest the water that comes so generously to this country every year such as we had this year. But the water we had this year has already flown to the Indian Ocean.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: We have missed an opportunity to harvest that water so that we can use it in times of difficulties.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: That is the planning we are talking about.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: These are the strategies, hon. Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Recourses that we are talking about. Arrest this and make hay while the sun shines. It was shining this year because we received massive rains. For every cloud, there is a silver lining.

Mr Shakafuswa: It was a disaster!

Mr Sejani: Yes, it was a disaster, but we could have taken advantage of this disaster and used the so much water we got positively at a future date.

We promise Heaven and then deliver …

Mr Syakalima: Hell!

Mr Sejani: … something else.


Mr Sejani: Mr Speaker, three years ago, this Government promised that under the irrigation scheme, they were going to do the following and I want to quote so that they are reminded of their talkativeness:

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: Mr Speaker,

(a) a reduction on the cost of energy. We were told that electricity and diesel are key inputs in the utilisation of irrigation technology. In order to encourage more investment in a short term, a reduction in electricity tariffs and pump prices of diesel were proposed at 75 per cent of market prices for the next two to three years. Have they reduced the tariffs?

Hon. Opposition Members: No, they have gone up!

Mr Sejani: Talkativeness!


Mr Sejani: Mr Speaker,

(b) we were promised that most equipment required for irrigation is imported and therefore subject to duty and VAT changes, it is recommended that during the first two or three year of the irrigation plan on basic equipment, VAT would be reduced to a manageable level. It is also important that Customs and Excise Duty as well as the base lending rate for irrigation equipment loan be reduced. You will tell me whether that is happening;

(c) apart from the above incentives, it is proposed that tax rebates on irrigating farmers be implemented to encourage retention of re-investable capital.

This is your document and you must tell me that this is happening, otherwise, you are just a talkative Government.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: Mr Speaker, the national irrigation fund has not taken off the ground up to date after it was promised about three years ago.

Mr Muyanda: It has been shifted!

Mr Sejani: What is happening?

Major Chizhyuka: Nothing is happening!

Mr Sejani: Mr Speaker, all this shows that we are planning disasters in this country. If we are not planning disasters, then there is disaster in our planning.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: It is as simple as that and we need to change the way we manage national affairs. As I conclude this debate and give chance to others, I would like to make the following recommendations to Government as a way of mainstreaming preventive mechanisms against calamities:

(a) Government must ensure a second look at our town and country planning and arrest the growth of mushrooming squatter compounds. Let us start seeing things happening on the ground concretely;

(b) we have reminded you of what you promised us under irrigation. Can we get those promises fulfilled if we are going to change the slogan from listening to talkativeness;

(c) ensure that the construction of public infrastructure is well supervised and maintained and to avoid a situation where little rainfall make all our bridges collapse, our roads washed away and schools have their roofs blown away. A few weeks ago, the hon. Minister of Education was reading cheques that have been sent to all the provinces because roofs for classrooms have been blown off. There is something amiss in the way we plan and execute these public works; and

(d) I recommend that we take a proper assessment of Zambia’s areas. There are areas which we know are prone to disasters. We know that certain areas are more prone to drought than floods and vice versa. Let us study these areas and visit these communities and try to impart coping mechanisms to these communities and sensitise these communities. Some of these communities if they are properly approached might even be prepared to leave their dangerous area for safer grounds.

Let us identify those areas and do the needful to minimise the impact of disasters when they occur. Let us, decentralise the Disaster Mitigation and Mitigation Unity (DMMU).

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: The DMMU is too much Lusaka based and as a result, our response to emergencies is sluggish. Let us develop a structure that will respond to emergencies because in emergencies time is of the essence. If you miss on time, you are courting calamity. If the emergency is that we must deliver air, you must do it in three minutes.

Hon. UPND Members: Yes!

Mr Sejani: … because elementary science tells that you need only three minutes to survive without air. If the emergency is about taking water, take it within three days because elementary science tells us that a man will only survive for three days if there is no water.

If the emergency is about food, do it in three weeks at maximum because elementary science tells us that man will not survive after twenty-one days without food. Now, how long does it take today to answer people’s problems?

Sir, Siamponde area in Mapatizya Constituency was identified as food insecure last year but up to now nothing is happening. How can you respond to disasters like that? You must look at the structure of the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unity (DMMU) with a view to decentralizing it.

Mr Speaker, lastly but not the least, can we ask this Government to bring the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unity Act which has been promised so that the legal framework within which the DMMU is operating is properly defined. We need that Act and with that Act, I want to propose that we must also change the mission statement of the DMMU to emphasise prevention. In that Act, I also want to ask Government that they must also change the name of the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unity (DMMU) to Disaster Prevention Management and Mitigation Unity (DPMMU) to reflect the new emphasis and focus. That way, we shall be in business.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

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

Mr Speaker: Order! Does the seconder wish to speak now or later?

Mr Malama: Now, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker, thank you for according me this opportunity to second the motion on the Floor.

Sir, many are times in this House when important motions like this one to some extent have been shot down because may be the Executive looks at it as though it is exposing their weaknesses, more especially when a motion is coming from this side of the House. This motion has come at the right time when the country is experiencing the so called disasters in the name of hunger, floods, fire and the rest is common sense.

Mr Speaker, in seconding the motion on the Floor, first of all, I wish to thank the great son of this country, Hon. Sejani for having ably moved this important motion.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Malama: Mr Speaker, disaster is defined as and I quote:

“The impact of a natural or man-made hazard that negatively affects society or environment.”

Sir, you may have noted that I am using “so-called” when referring to disasters in this country because I believe and I am sure that our country is not as prone to serious natural calamities as compared to Middle and Far East countries.

Mr Speaker, Wisner et al 2004, reflect a common opinion when they argue that all disasters can be seen as being man-made. Their reasoning being that human actions before the strike of the hazard can prevent it developing into a disaster. All disasters are hence the result of human failure to introduce appropriate measures. Mr Speaker, you will agree with me that this is exactly what is taking place in our country today, hence this motion.

Sir, there is an urgent need by Government to seriously consider restructuring and decentralising the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unity.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Malama: Sir, I would wish to further urge Government to consider increasing funding and other logistics to this important institution. If, indeed, Disaster Management and Mitigation Unity is serious at mitigating the effect of the so-called disasters in many parts of our country, what measures have been taken by the unity to establish the real causes of these disasters or more importantly, what steps are being taken to avoid further unnecessary loses of lives and hard earned property of our people? These are some of the pertinent questions that I am sure are at the tongue of every Zambian worth his or her weight in gold.

Mr Speaker, it is said that you cannot expect the unexpected but you can prepare for it. The main purpose of establishing the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unity, I believe was to protect the precious lives and properties of our people in seemingly disaster prone areas or in times of disasters. It is, therefore, Government’s primary duty to protect the lives of Zambians, regardless of distance from the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unity Headquarters. The lives of our people are precious and as such, every effort possible should be invested in efforts designed to serve such lives.

Sir, the question now is, how? First and foremost, Disaster Management and Mitigation Unity should establish permanent offices at district level with permanent and salaried employees to coordinate relief efforts. This is important in that it will lessen the unnecessary bureaucracy, we are embarrassingly witnessing on a daily basis when a calamity befalls one part of our country where it takes several days between reporting the disaster and the time when efforts at intervention are made.

Sir, many are times we see people from Lusaka, not only waste tax payers money but also precious little time needed to serve lives by traveling to the area affected rather than living it to the locals to investigate and intervene. People from Lusaka will rarely fully understand the extent and seriousness of the calamity if they do not live in an area affected. Local people by far are much more placed to understand the effects of the disaster because they know adequately the fully history of the environment they live in and its related natural events.

Mr Speaker, at this juncture, allow me to cite one example from Mfuwe Constituency. Since 1964, Government has been sending food to Mfuwe Constituency to feed the hungry. I wonder if this is disaster management or mismanagement. There is a wise saying and I quote,

“Give a man a fish, you will feed him for one day but teach a man how to fish, you will feed him for the rest of his or her life”

Mr Speaker, the point I am trying to drive is that when a disaster happens, the wise thing would be to try to find measures of empowering the people affected by concentrating efforts on means rather than ends. If we concentrate efforts on ends, we should be prepared to continuously deliver loads and loads of relief at the expense of other developmental issues.

Mr Speaker, further, the whole exercise of disaster mitigation seems funny when you consider the fact that DMMU has to hire vehicles, airplanes and helicopters to use in relief efforts. There is no seriousness in this. How will Government effectively intervene in times of calamities when the DMMU runs out of money to hire these vehicles, airplanes and helicopters, especially that infrastructure like roads, bridges and buildings are in a deplorable state in most parts of the country?  For example, when relief food was being transported to Nabwalya in my constituency at the end of last year, the hired vehicles could only cover 40 kilometres, leaving a distance of about 80 kilometres. I mentioned earlier in my submission that the DMMU has no helicopters of its own and that is why it was not possible to deliver this food to the people that needed it most and at the time that they did. Are we serious as a nation?

Mr Speaker, I know that DMMU has men and women capable of working diligently but unfortunately, their efforts are being hampered by lack of equipment and other resources necessary to do a good job. A good example would be the floods and droughts, which are always causing havoc to the people of Southern Province. I wonder how DMMU with most of its staff concentrated at the headquarters rather than at district level would have been managing its programmes effectively if the calamities were widespread.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I would like to say that Government has a lot of work to do. Currently, the situation on the ground leaves much to be desired. As long as we do not seriously look at involving the grassroots at implementation level by involving them in identifying the causes of calamities and their mitigation, our efforts at helping our people in need will remain a fleeing illusion to be pursued but never attained.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mr Shakafuswa): Mr Speaker, to start with, I would like to say that this is a non-controversial Motion. In being non-controversial, I would say that it is a Motion that has come at the right time, and one which should be debated in a very cool and sober manner.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, natural disasters can never be prevented. We can only put in measures to mitigate the effects of the disasters on the people. In that way, we would be able to manage it. When we talk about our ability to manage disasters, we come back to the same thing, which I feel was not looked at by the mover of this Motion.

Mr Speaker, in the Vision 2030, we are looking at a situation where we are trying to create capacity in the nation which will move us from the lowest web, which we are complaining about, to a higher web.  What this entails is that we cannot work on ifs. We want to create enough capacity in the nation so that even areas which are prone to disasters are able to withstand these disasters because of the capacity within those areas. 

Mr Speaker, Vision 2030 entails that we have our own blueprint. We are coming from a situation where we had no blueprint we could call our own and base programmes and developmental efforts on.

When Hon. Sejani was Minister of Local Government and Housing, he could not foresee that the mushrooming unplanned settlements could culminate into today’s problems. Even us who are in Government today should not forget that some of the things which we may be overlooking will spill over tomorrow. Hon. Sejani has brought that idea to us and I appreciate that he is conceding failure as former Minister of Local Government and Housing because he was not using planners and local authorities, who were under him. I do appreciate that he supports us and we have to critically look at this issue.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, we have become so cheap to an extent where we are politicising issues which can actually correct situations. When we resolve to do something and the approach used is wrong, instead of us coming together to find a solution or the right approach, some people want to find political capital by saying no, you cannot do this or that just like the issue of Kanyama.

Mr Speaker, I come to the issue of re-planning Kanyama and other areas. Kanyama is not for settlement but for industrial zones. As it is now, we have to bring in people to plan for drainages in those areas but we have not done anything because the issue has been politicised and as a result, many people have taken advantage of political affiliations to take land and sell as plots, which is wrong.

 Mr Speaker, it is important that as Government, we relocate these people. However, we have to look at the cost associated with relocation and we are looking at the mechanism of going about this. If we go to Kanyama today and say we will try to put up drainages and connect water, we are cheating ourselves. To connect water, a particular line is needed to lay the pipes and to do that we would need to relocate some of the people there so that we create room for water and drainages. Furthermore, if we were to put up drainages on either side of a road, the road would be too small for two cars to pass. You have been to Kanyama and you have seen the situation. 

Mr Speaker, when we talk about disasters, we talk about development and everything else. We are basically talking about the money basket. Someone here even said that the DMMU should have airplanes of their own. We can buy helicopters today which we will use maybe after five years or so when disasters happen. For someone who knows his economics and who knows how to plan, it would be a wasted investment because that investment would be a charge on the current budget, which we need today, for current issues like mitigating the disasters we are talking about right now.

What we forget when we debate is that Zambia is not a very rich country. The other time, Hon. Musokotwane, who is not here, said that the late UPND president Anderson Mazoka said that Zambia is a rich country and Mr Hakainde is still pursuing that vision that this country is resource rich and can counter all the problems which we have. That is a way of looking at things from the reverse side. 

Hon. UPND Member: From which side?

Mr Shakafuswa: Reserve.

Hon. UPND Member: Aah!

Mr Shakafuswa: That is why when some of us saw that the thinking in UPND had become low, we moved out.


Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, for resources to become valuable, they have to be …

Mr Muntanga: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning in order to start debating people who are not here and he is ignoring the advice since he is in the planning unit of the ministry. Is he in order, Sir? I need your serious ruling.

Mr Speaker: Order! With regard to the point of order being raised by the hon. Member for Kalomo, my guidance is that the hon. Deputy Minister was making reference to a policy stand and not a personal issue, so he is in order.

May he continue.

 Hon Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, agreeably, Zambia is resource rich, but those resources can only be used if there are taken from 100 meters from where they are, if the farm land and the untapped potential we have is actually brought to fruition. That is when we can say that Zambia is resource rich. Therefore, if you just dream and say that Zambia is resource rich and you think just over night that you will have the resources and means in which to solve all the problems, this is the dreaming that has been shown in this House. It is also the same dream which is taking this country in reverse and not forward because people think things cannot move forward. Some people think there are shortcuts which they can use to change things within a short period of time. That is dreaming.

Hon. Government Members: Ninety days!

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, for resources to be able to take this country forward, all of us have to work hard to put our ideas together to create value to our nation. As long as the copper is underneath there, as long as the waters are just draining without you irrigating and as long as the farm land is just idle and you sit in Lusaka doing nothing about it, nothing will move.

Mr Speaker, somebody will say that the onus is on Government. Government can only facilitate and can only facilitate within a limited budget. There is no way we are going to say to day, let us put all the money to sustain agriculture because tomorrow, health will say we need a clinic. So, we should ask ourselves what resources we have at our disposal and how we can use these to reach all Zambians. Mr Speaker, this motion is a good one, but it needs money. I would have enjoyed if the mover had said we can start moving money from this and that area.

Mr Speaker, people would speak from outside and quote K9 billion. There were roads whose contracts were cancelled and that money which they were supposed to use remained in the bank accounts. Since it was the on set of the rains, we could not ask for new tenders. The bulk of that money about K300 billion was out of cancelled contracts or tenders by the Ministry of Works and Supply.

Sir, out of that money, there was also monies which were given to us by donors to construct high schools and some medical institutions which were tendered for, but at that particular time, that money was not used and according to the Financial Act the money had to be brought back. The money is still there. The Minister of Finance and National Planning will come here for a Supplementary Budget to make sure that the money is used this year. Mr Speaker, we value accountability.

Mr Speaker, as a country we should not look at easy solutions. There is no one in this House who can prepare for a funeral in the family adequately. That is a dream.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: When disasters strike, we should not politicise them. We should all come as a family and say this problem is with us, how do we go about it? There are some people who were jumping and going into the waters as if they were mitigating disaster and some of them were just looking as if they have never been to school. How do you go jumping and saying I am with the people without doing anything about the disasters.


Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, the Government is with the people. We know that roads have been washed away, but you want the roads to be rehabilitated when the rains are still on. How much money are you going to spend?

 Hon. Opposition Members: Kuomboka!

Mr Shakafuswa: No! No! This is what we call cheap thinking.

 Mr Speaker: Order. Address the Chair and ignore the hecklers.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, I am happy to note that this Government through its planning processes this year and despite what we are going through, has in stock almost K200 billion worth of maize and food. This is what disaster planning is all about. We have in stock more than enough and this means that as we are talking now, the price of meal meal has been maintained. That is part of planning. When people think we just talk I do not understand them. For businessmen like me when you plan you are making a path for your set goals it is also an indicator of what you want to do. When he was Minister of Local Government and Housing such plans were not there but the present Government has decided to make a plan which we can follow.

Mr Speaker, the hon. Member was quoting something from the Fifth National Plan and from the Vision 2030 document. What we have done is to make a path as a direction although every plan needs resources to be achieved. Mr Speaker, we have committed ourselves to these plans. Disasters are not continuous. We have a disaster, but it is not going to affect us forever. It will go. Going by the responses to the disaster, I am certain that we will get by.

Mr Speaker, let me now come to the agriculture sector and rural development. Sir, we have to re-think. Every year, we spend about K400 billion a year mostly on substance agriculture and this is a charge. We should also know the value we are getting back from the fertilizer support programme and maize marketing programme.


Mr Shakafuswa: Yes! It is the applicability. If you look at the fertilizer support programme, it is you people in the districts who apply that and not Government. You are the ones who steal the fertiliser and start selling.


Mr Shakafuswa: Yes! It is us in the districts and I will include myself. We are the ones who do that. Now, if we ask ourselves on how these resources are used effectively? We will find that we can with minimum resources be able to move the country forward.

Mr Speaker, we have started an infrastructure development programme and by next month, we will start to work on the rural infrastructure. We want to open up the feeder roads so that…


Mr Shakafuswa: Yes! We have just received equipment. The problem with you is that you are always doubting and you do not wake up.

Mr Speaker: Order! Address the Chair.

Mr Shakafuswa:  Mr Speaker, we are opening up infrastructure and through infrastructure development, we will be creating employment. For those who think positively, when roads are open, there are commercial values. You were resisting the Nickel Mine and the Platinum Mine in Southern, but those are roads to development. When your people are employed, it means that there is poverty alleviation. When people get income and pay tax, that money will assists you to build a dam.

Mr Speaker, the people of Southern Province including Mazabuka Council will get taxes and rates which they are not getting now. Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Namwala will never think of investment because he is investment negative.

All this time, he has been talking about development in his area but he does not know that development can only come if there is investment in an area. He should not think that investment will come from the Government, no. The Government has no capacity to feed people on a daily basis but it can enable people to become productive so that they contribute towards their well being. That can only be done through investment. The problem is that Zambians are investment shy that is why foreign investors who are looking out for potential which Zambians are not seeing are coming in. When they come in and invest some feel jealousy. Learn to save and invest money then you will enjoy the returns of your investment.

Major Chizhyuka: From which resources!

Mr Shakafuswa: The Government will give an enabling environment for you to invest. Do you want to go back to the days when Government used to run United Bus Company of Zambia (UBZ) or everything? That is inefficiency. We came out of that situation and found that when Government has a foot in anything, inefficiency comes in. However, what we want now is investment. Hon. Members, must learn how to save money for an investment by starting with tuntembas, and then, let them grow so that you create opportunities for other people to come and develop our rural areas.

Mr Speaker, through local and foreign direct investment, we are creating wealth for this country. People think wealth creation should not be there, there should just be poverty promotion. If there has to be lesser poverty, people must first know the opposite of poverty which is wealth. In case it has never occurred to you, the opposite of poverty is wealth creation. If you give a poor person a plough, which is an asset, then seed, he can improve by investing the asset to create wealth. For one to buy seed and a plough it will need money and so, that money has to come from somewhere. For us to move forward, we need to create wealth.

Mr Munaile: Create wealth from where? Agriculture mwalifulunganya!

Mr Shakafuswa: Let us ensure that the people work hard for the country to move forward because it will never work out if we come here and ask for easy solutions.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa (Chifunabuli): Mr Speaker, thank you for this opportunity you have given to me to contribute to the debate on the Motion on the Floor. I want to thank my friend and colleague for such a motion because it really brings to the fore one of the major problems we have as a country which is a problem of planning put simply, the futuristic planning as opposed to planning when a calamity befalls us.

Sir, as the hon. Deputy Minister has stated, this is a non controversial motion. It is straightforward and intended to assist in mapping out a route for our development as a country. Consequently, I plead with the hon. ministers who are the Executive, to listen closely. The way we debate or speak is not intended to malign, but to put a point forward as emphatically as we can, for you to hear …

Major Chizhyuka: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: … so that you can take remedial measures on an issue being debated.

Mr Speaker, I think the motion is very apt. It says simply that “this House urges Government to develop a comprehensive long term National Disaster Management and Mitigation Plan that places more emphasis on prevention rather than management of disasters.”

Sir, all it is saying is that disasters will come but there are certain disasters that can be prevented. For example, flooding in an area we know is prone to flooding is a problem we already know. If there are heavy rains in Kanyama, there will be floods. The question that begs and answer is, why not plan to ensure that that water moves in a particular canal to a place where it will be safe to travel?

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

Mr Mwansa: That is the issue of planning.

Mrs J. C. M. Phiri: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: It is putting it as simply as we can.

Major Chizhyuka: The minister does not know that!

Mr Mwansa: It is that simple. It is planning we are talking about. We are not saying stop the rains from falling from the sky.

Hon. Opposition Members: No! Hammer!

Mr Mwansa: The rains will come but all we are saying is that once the rains have fallen on our soil in the country, direct its water either to a river, a dam or to some stream.

Major Chizhyuka: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: So that it does not affect where people live. Sir, these are very simple things!

Major Chizhyuka: No, it is a jargon!

Mr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, when we talk about unplanned settlements that are in the country, it is not like we do not know that it is happening, we know. We have tried what we have called “statutory improvement areas” and somehow it has not worked out well, firstly because it is not planned. That is the problem. We want to get to that root there. Why do we not plan for settlements? If we have realised that people cannot settle in Msisi or Kanyama and have houses already there, and if Government is planning, it should identify a place, put up low cost housing and then, advice the people to move to that place. They will not refuse because that is planning. Plan in a manner that makes people think and realise that Government is concerned for their affairs and is taking them to a better place than where they were.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: That is the way you plan.

In my opinion, raising money is the easiest issue. Let us take Misisi as an example. Today, what is happening is that people are selling their houses at about K30 million to investors who are building up structures there. If this Government observed that, all it can do is to move in that area, pay the K30 million or raise money, build up structures and move the people out and sell that place to developers. They will not refuse because that is planning.

Major Chizhyuka: As simple as all that!

Mr Mwansa: These are the things we are talking about.

Mr Shakafuswa indicated assent.

Mr Mwansa: It is taking steps that remedy the situation.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, these are very simple issues and sometimes when we, your friends in the Opposition advise you people in Government, we mean well.
Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: We do not mean to undermine you because you have already been elected, therefore, feel comfortable and listen to us …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: … because we mean well.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, we have had problems in health. For example, the problem that the Minister faces is procurement of drugs for cholera, malaria and Tuberculosis (TB). These are real issues because he will never have enough money to meet the challenges of a disease burdened country like Zambia. What Hon. Sejani is saying is that if we planned well, we would minimise on the number of people who are getting into hospitals …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: … by preventing disease in the areas where they stay.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: It is that simple. It is not complicated.

Mr Muntanga: They do not understand!

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, I am trying to understand the complexity of the matter but I cannot see it.


Mr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, all I am saying is that what the hon. Minister requires is a planned system in dealing with health. How do we prevent these things? If there are streets that are dirty, clean them before the rains start.

Mr Shakafuswa indicated assent.

Major Chizhyuka: He is agreeing.

Mr Mwansa: You would have solved the problem of cholera.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: If you start cleaning when the rains have fallen and cholera has begun, there is no prevention there. You can ask him, he is a doctor. You can spend billions of Kwacha but you will still have problems of cholera. This is planning.

Hon. Opposition Member: Yes!

Mr Mwansa: If you know that when rains come there will be flood disasters in certain areas, move in before rains come and make canals for water. Do not move in when elections come, that is a wrong time.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: That is all we are saying. So much money will be spent, but there will be so little effect because you are trying to make a canal in water. It cannot work.

Mr Shakafuswa: He debates like me!


Mr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, when we talk about agriculture and see how much money this Government has put into the Fertiliser Support Programme in trying to help the poor, surely by now, this Government should have sat down and asked a question, is this a success or a failure? This is because when you plan, you obviously have benchmarks. You must have things you look to, to see whether the programme you have put in place is working. This is what we are saying. If you see that this is a bottomless pit avoid it. Let me use the term “basket” that the hon. Minister does not like, if you put water in a basket it will necessarily leak. It is a nature of a basket.

Mr Shakafuswa: We have heard!


Mr Mwansa: So, do not put money in a basket that leaks. That is what you do if you do not plan.

Mr Speaker, agriculture is absolutely essential to our country, but may be the mistake has been that we go in an area and politicise the distribution of this input.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: We do not realise that they are people who have acumen for business. They may be poor not because they do not know what to do, but because they are not resourced to handle issues. Go round their house, look at their Shamba there, you will find that they have grown maize without money. Then, you will realise that if this person is empowered, they will do better. You have to set certain people up as examples to the rest. You cannot develop every individual at one time.

Hon. Opposition Member: No.

Mr Mwansa: If the money is targeted to those who are already doing something, it means that they will be food in those areas at any given time. If you give that money to a person, who does not want to work, they will sell the fertiliser. That is the problem you have.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: You are targeting people wholly without first of all analysing what abilities and in-capabilities these people do have in order for them to utilise effectively the funding we are giving to them. It still comes back to what my friend has said, futuristic planning. What is the calamity we have in terms of this disaster called electricity outages. The answer is simple, planning. This is a Zambian problem, may be if I say it is a Government problem you will be afraid, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: You left this problem and we are trying to solve it.

Mr Mwansa: … but you are the ones who are moving the wheel of the economy now. You are the ones who have been empowered with the money to make the changes. So, when the words come to you that way, it is not intended to hurt you. It is intended to tell you that please, look at the little money you have and use it effectively for the good of our country.


Mr Mwansa: There is a lot of money we can raise in this country without external financing.

Mrs J. N. Phiri: Tell them.

Mr Mwansa: We are so used, Mr Speaker, that is why we do not mitigate disasters properly because we are looking to the outside world. We wait until disasters strike and then we cry out very loudly for the international community to hear we are in trouble.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: Then, money comes in and that kind of money unfortunately, Mr Speaker, is very difficult to account for. Therefore, those with long fingers find the opportunity now to put the money into their pockets.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: That is why we do not plan because when you plan the system begins to check things up. When we plan it becomes a little more complicated to take a few into the pocket. So, work in confusion because in confusion you can quickly put some few things in the pocket.


Mr Mwansa: We are talking about planning for the good of our country.

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes.

Mr Mwansa: We are talking about mitigating problems of disasters for the good of our country. How can a country so richly endowed with water have deficit of food year in and year out. Our Government must come to us and tell us, FRA has put up some food in storage, so, we will not starve. Surely, we should be saying the families have enough food in their Shambas.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: I was listening and very discomforted by the hon. Deputy Minister, who was answering that food from Chipili is being transported to Lusaka. I am wondering, what will happen if disaster strikes Chipili? We will have to find money to take the same food which was produced in Chipili back to Chipili from Lusaka. No, that is still planning. If we do not have enough silos in every province and we are good planners, we should be talking about building silos in each and every province of our country, so that in terms of ensuring that we deal with the problems when they arise, we will just lift a phone if we are in Government and tell the silo in Western Province to release 200,000 bags of maize to the area in Kalabo or Shang’ombo? You do not move the food from Lusaka to Shang’ombo. It shows there is something wrong with the way you are planning.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: This is not right. We cannot be forty four years independent and we are still fire fighting.

Hon. Opposition Member: Bauze.

Mr Mwansa: That is a disaster in itself. May be the way to put it as my friend had said, is that may be the disaster in Zambia is in the heads of we who are in power.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, I still mean very well. May be what we need to do is re-educate ourselves. Get our heads back to the drawing board …


Mr Mwansa: … and re-educate ourselves on how to deal with the disasters in our country. We mean well, Mr Speaker, because we will be the next Government and I am cautious with the fact that …

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: what I am saying, the words I am using might be used against me tomorrow. That is why I am very cautious about what I am saying.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: I am aware, Mr Speaker, that if we do not plan we will have problems and if I can prod this Government to plan certain things now, it means they will reduce on my planning when I move there.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: That is the intention behind it. We are giving this probono advice because we are cautious of the fact that tomorrow we will be that side ….

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: … and we want certain things out of the way.

Mr Speaker, it is not only agriculture or water, but even electricity. I was thinking that, after we see the disaster that has befallen us, we should be thinking, how can we raise money to put up another power station in our country? We have done tremendous things as Zambians before within Zambia. The building of the University of Zambia did not take donor money.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: It took the will and determination of the Zambian people and it was done. Why can the Government here not begin something like that? Raising money from all of us to try to put up another power station, what is impossible about that. Do you think we are not interested in electricity? We are, but it is how you market the programme. We are all interested in seeing our country succeed and your interest is as much as ours, therefore, all we are saying is, if you planned properly you can raise a lot of money locally …

Mr Speaker: Order! You may address the Chair.

Mr Mwansa: I am obliged, Mr Speaker. We need to plan as Zambians for Zambia. We need to look to ourselves, first and foremost, before we look to outside help. I would like a programme which begins with us and we will only seek assistance when we run out of funding. A perfect example, Mr Speaker, is the health posts in the Ministry of Health. I was a Deputy Minister there the first time we proposed to the World Bank that we needed money for health posts. The response of the World Bank and IMF was that health posts were not necessary, but they were going to build us rural health centres. My argument to the World Bank was that, you are starting with very expensive infrastructure without looking at whether we are able to even find the manpower to fill in those places. Why do you not start with health posts which will address the problems at village level and they refused to fund us. I raised US$68,000 to start the first three projects of health posts. When they became successful, there have been many queries. I am sure probably the hon. Minister today is receiving money from donors. If our planning is correct, we will get money from outside. We cannot begin to plan when a disaster strikes us. We must plan and sell our ideas before a disaster so that if a disaster comes, it becomes yet another arguing point.

Otherwise, when these disasters happen, we will be reminding them that we had told them that this would happen and it has happened and if they had listened to us then, we would not be asking for so much money for mitigation and management of these calamities. In future, after listening to such an argument, they will listen to us before they see the disaster. We should not wait for the donors to give us ideas on such issues. We have the ideas locally and we only need to sit down as a family in this nation to deal with the problems of our country.

Mr Speaker, we can manage and mitigate the disasters. Some of the disasters we can be avoided by merely sitting down and using God given brains to think through the issues and help our country to move forward. This country needs all of us and this motion must be supported.

I thank you, Sir.

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

Dr Kalumba (Chienge): Mr Speaker, I am aware that the Front Bench on this side of the House or the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) Government knows that the mover and seconder of this motion mean well. So it is therefore, beyond the point for our colleagues to keep saying that they mean well. The hon. Members on this side are not shaken by the motion. They understand that it is an important motion, which touches upon the experiences of our people and therefore, there is no aggressive instinct to oppose our colleagues.

Major Chizhyuka: Yes, your Excellency.


Dr Kalumba: Mr Speaker, the MMD Government is particularly saddened by the experiences of our people in places like Kanyama and Southern Province who have been befallen by this particular calamity following the floods. The Government does not miss the point that our people have gone through great suffering as a result of the floods and that is why we saw His Excellency, the President rush to Mazabuka in order to meet with our people. There was no by-election in Mazabuka but he went there to feel with the people what they were going through.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalumba: Mr Speaker, other leaders in other political parties felt the same and did their part. So this is a collective experience of a national tragedy. Now, what we are simply asking is that we look for further conceptual clarification and the debate on this motion has offered an opportunity for improved understanding of what the mover, Hon. Sejani, is seeking. We are not saying that the rains should stop falling on Zambia and therefore, we need to distinguish between concepts of primary and secondary prevention. In primary prevention, if we challenge ourselves to think at that level, we will go along with what the hon. Member for Mapatizya was calling for, like looking at issues of climate change and doing all that we can to prevent it from raining  cats and dogs as it is often referred to.

Hon. UNPD Members: His Excellency, Mr President! 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalumba: Now, there is room for that at a macro level but what the mover was targeting, more significantly, are issues relating to secondary prevention. The rain fell in Kanyama as much as it fell in Kabulonga but we had qualitatively different experiences in Kanyama as opposed to Kabulonga or Woodlands.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalumba: That is what we are trying to tackle.

Major Chizhyuka: Exactly, Mr President.

Dr Kalumba: How do we prepare the infrastructure in Kanyama so that when the rain falls, the people there would have the same experience as those in Kabulonga or Woodlands?

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

Mr Munaile: Naulinga mudala.

Dr Kalumba: So this raises a host of public policy issues on equity in infrastructure development which this Government is quiet conscious of. I do not think it is the New Deal Administration that has created Kanyama.

Hon. Members: No!

Dr Kalumba: It is important to state that. But it is this Government’s commitment to ensure that in an attempt to improve our cities through healthy city planning such as driven by the hon. Minister, Hon. Masebo that we begin to redress the inequities in infrastructure distribution across our land. But …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Dr Kalumba: Mr Speaker, when business was suspended, I was belabouring the point that the challenge Government faces now is to see the differential impact of various natural disasters and plan for various infrastructural possibilities for places like Kanyama in the same way as it has for places like Kabulonga and Woodlands.

Sir, the mover, Hon. Sejani, made reference to the predictability of the possible sources of disasters such as climatic conditions and so on. Let us first concede the point that this is quiet difficult. We may prepare in one instance for rain based type disasters such as droughts and heavy rainfall. We may also have locusts striking in other places, which create another form of disasters for small-scale farmers. So we must think of this in an evolutionary sense so that we, perhaps, start tackling one set of sources of disasters such as rain patterns and then, perhaps, next time we can challenge ourselves to look at another sectoral problem. In my view, if we take all these things at once, we may fail. It is better to be systematic and take one sectoral problem and then move on to another.

Perhaps, that is where the significance of the concept that the hon. Member has advanced of long term planning becomes important. For us to plan that over stages of time, we will tackle various sectoral or natural types such as rain based or rodent based type of disasters like the locust striking in Mbala or plagues in Namwala. It will take us systematic thinking and identifying possible sources of these disasters over the long-haul and then begin to respond to them systematically.

However, before we move to this futuristic analysis of possible sources of disasters, I am more concerned about the challenge that is posed to the department, the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU), and a new term has been fashioned for ‘recoding’ this particular department or prevention department. It is understandable and I appreciate that but first I want to know or be comfortable with an analysis of what is wrong with the current structure. The hon. Member who moved this motion needed to advance a lot more argument in this regard.

Is it the response time of the department to declare disasters or is it moving too slowly? Is it the quality or quantity of response that is given once this department responds? Maybe that is the question that needs to be answered.

I recall Sir, that in 1998 my constituency was facing a flood and a lot of houses collapsed, but the most immediate crisis was that of food. We had the Vice-President’s office then sending helicopters to Chienge counting collapsed houses for seven or eight months and by the time they finished, another rainfall came in.

Hon. Member: What did Mwansa plan then!


Dr Kalumba: These are the kinds of things we need to be focused on, the response time, the quality and quantity of response so that we deal with the immediate problems that people are facing. If it is food, I have been very pleased with the current response strategies in the Southern Province and I do not know to what extent one can make a general statement. I have seen the first responses Government has made, they have made sure that people have food, and blankets because they have lost these things and that they have tents to relocate them to higher ground. These levels of responses need to be supported and where it falls short we need to identify the needs and be able to help our Government to address them.

There is also the aftermath up to the point where we have rainfall in certain places, like the Kafue flood areas where villagers who are closer to the stream have to be moved out. It is not wrong to give them something to eat. To advance a critique that somehow Government is mistaken by ensuring that it gives them fish today before it starts teaching them how to fish, is not fair. People need to be attended to in terms of the immediate contingences they face once a disaster strikes. We need to know whether it is food or blankets that they need to be assisted?

Then the third most important issue is that of what actions follow through after this particular experience of a disaster. It is very easy to leave the food today and then forget about relocation or crop management issues. We need to give them seeds which stand resistant to drought or those that may help them on the long term? Do we really talk to the villagers about relocating them to higher grounds permanently? These are long term intervention measures.

We should not talk only with the immediate crises we face today of the floods in Kanyama, we should begin to plan for long term relocation of populations, if necessary or upgrading of the population in Kanyama as it is now, by providing opportunities for drainage or new housing structures that stand the weight of rain. These are the kind of follow up measures that long term planning can answer and the hon. Member for Mapatizya is right in raising that particular question. We need to analyse the limits of response of the current strategies adequately.

Finally, I am very weary of the concept of more and more planning. Zambia does not lack plans. Perhaps, our biggest problem is that we have too many plans but very little execution. That is where our public policy, perhaps faces challenge. This Government has come up with very useful plans like the Fifth National Development Plan, but we need to get our colleagues who are in the business of implementing these plans to hold on to some of these and put them into place. It is not that ministers do not have policies, they have policies and many of them.

The question is, do we have the people who we should trust as technicians to implement these policies on the ground? Perhaps that is where we need to rethink Government not so much from its political structure but its administrative civil service structure. All of us have spoken that there is work to be done in this area to transform our administrative systems in such a way that they implement the policies that Government has pronounced itself on.

We tend to have this Government coming in with this set of policies and we have policies over policy and plans over plans and in the end, it is very frustrating for our people. They believe that perhaps we are just lying to them. We mean well, hon. Member for Mapatizya.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Mr Speaker, I will be very brief because most of the points that I wanted to discuss have already been covered.

Mr Speaker, Hon. Sejani’s words, Hon. Mwansa’s and Hon. Dr Katele Kalumba’s words are mine. In addition to planning, let me add one issue which is contained in this policy document on page 13, Objective number 46(h). This calls for promoting regulatory measures concerning physical and urban planning, and public works project designs.

Mr Speaker, in addition to planning, there is need to enforce regulatory measures, rules and regulations governing designs and construction of infrastructure. We need to invest a lot here and I note that under this paragraph 3.5.2, entitled ‘Building Capacity for Disaster Prevention’ should have been much more than this because this deals with the prevention of disasters. Through the infrastructure, we can prevent most of these disasters.

Mr Speaker, let me give examples of bridges being washed away because of poor designs. We do not follow the standards and we do not have the right or experienced people to design them. These structures are under designed, and we have the same arguments for the roofs. I was very interested in the statement by the hon. Minister of Education who said a few weeks ago that last year Government sent about K1 billion to repair roofs. To me, really this can be prevented, it should not be an annual event. How can we prevent this? We can by involving the right people like engineers from the Engineering Institution of Zambia.

Mr Milupi: Hear, hear!

Mr Mooya: They can redesign the roofs by the information from the weather man regarding the wind. You know that it is the wind or storm that blows off the roofs. Once you get this information the speed that we use here in Zambia is about, if I am not mistaken, 125 kilometres per hour. You can imagine that force onto the roof. There is suction lifting of the roof members hence, the design of, especially the fixings to withstand the suction.

We have people who can handle that and if we can involve technically qualified people from the top coming down, starting with the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit, we can prevent a lot of these disasters. Coming to building materials it is the same reasoning. We know that when there are floods, houses collapse. Why is this so? It is because of the poor building materials used. I was of the idea that if we could spend time sensitising people on the need to use building materials they can afford.

Sir, I have in mind burnt bricks which many people can afford to make and burn. These can withstand moisture. We know that houses and huts fall in flooded areas because of bad building materials, therefore, I wanted to add the element, in addition of planning, the need to enforce regulatory measures governing the design and construction of infrastructure.

Mr Chairperson, let me come to the other issue of Policy. It looks an excellent piece of information and guides the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) in that it stipulates that the DMMU is there as secretariat to coordinate and is not the implementer. In the past, there was confusion with everything such as in the duplication of roles and responsibilities. I have an example of what I am talking about, the twenty-seven Bailey Bridges that were handled by the DMMU for many years were meant for disaster situations. Everything was tried including tendering construction, but they failed in the end. I am happy that there is a policy now, which stipulates that the DMMU is there to coordinate, they are a secretariat.

Now, looking at the structure itself, as I pointed out earlier, let us involve a lot of people, including planners, engineers, scientists, architects, weathermen or women from the top to the bottom. This way we can manage to prevent a lot of disasters.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Milupi (Luena): Mr Speaker, let me first of all thank the mover of this motion and also the seconder for the eloquent and passionate manner in which they have moved and seconded this motion. As others before me have said, this is a non-controversial motion and we all hope that it will get all round support.

Mr Speaker, a disaster is something unforeseen. Throughout history, mankind has had to endure disasters. Billions of years ago, when those meteorites struck earth, and whipped out the Dinosaurs and the living things that existed at the time, that was indeed a disaster because life at that stage could not foresee the meteorites striking the earth.

 A few years ago, when the Tsunami occurred in the Far East, that was a disaster, because there was no mechanism there to foresee the Tsunami.

Hon. UPND Members: There was.

Mr Milupi: There was not, but now there is.

Hon. UPND Members: There was.

Mr Milupi: Mr Speaker, when we look at the disasters that we face today, we must be able to differentiate between the disasters that we can foresee and those that we cannot foresee.

If you look at Jupiter a few years ago about 1994, when the comet shoe maker levy struck Jupiter and its effects  could be seen from earth, those that live on Jupiter could have termed that  as a disaster because they had no means of foreseeing that.

Mr Speaker, let us look at the disasters that we see today. Right now, we are engulfed by the floods and with the floods, we have hunger throughout the country. I do not need to go to the sorcerers in Chienge …


Mr Milupi: … or anywhere else to be told that not only this year do we have floods that will result in hunger, but that even next year and the year after, we shall have a similar situation. That is what we are involved in here in Zambia. These are the disasters that do not require rocket science to predict. Any person can predict that if we do not have floods next year, we shall have drought and have sections of our communities especially in the rural areas, which will require food relief.

Mr Sing’ombe: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi: When we look at the power outages that we have, yes, to some extent it is a disaster. However, we have people who are trained, who spent five years at universities studying these things such as the planning of electrical systems. My contention is that we can foresee some of these things and that is why I support this motion.

Mr Sing’ombe: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi: It is non-controversial in the sense that even those to your right, do not like to see themselves in the situation they find themselves in. We need to help each other and that is what this motion is seeking to do.

Mr Speaker, let me look at specific areas where we have these perpetual disasters. One of them is what successive Governments in this country have done to the rural areas. I have said already on the Floor of this House, that this nation is developing two societies with one in the rural areas, and the other in the urban areas. One is unrecognisable from the other. Through our actions or non-actions as a Government, we have reduced the production capacity in rural areas such that any fluctuations in weather conditions, be it floods or drought, results in hunger that necessitates relief food.

Mr Munaile: Severe hunger.

Mr Milupi: Mr Speaker, another area of disaster is what we have successively done to the agricultural sector. Throughout the history of this country, we have paid lip service to what agriculture can do to this country, but there has been lack of follow up action and therefore, the bounty that we are supposed to receive from agriculture to boost our coffers and revenue remains, but a pipe dream.

Mr Speaker, the rural areas which most of us come from were not always like this. They had production capacity.

Mr Sing’ombe: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi: In most places we had granaries. In fact, you still see granaries in certain provinces, I saw them on my way to the Eastern Province. However, in most other provinces the granaries that used to be there are no longer there.

We have reduced our rural areas to hand to mouth type of existence. We have not supported them.

Major Chizhyuka: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi: We have, through our actions or lack of them, reduced their production capacity.

Mr Speaker, let me speak specifically about Luena Constituency where I come from. When our grandfathers were in charge of things, Luena and the whole of the Western Province had 1.5 million herds of cattle. Now, Government statistics tell us that the Western Province has less than 500,000 herds of cattle.

Mr Sing’ombe: Shame!

Mr Milupi: With that reduction, has also gone the draught power. Those that grew up ploughing their fields, now have to till their land using their hands. Is it any wonder, therefore, that any fluctuations in weather conditions in the Western Province and Luena, in particular, results in us going to Government to look for relief food?

Are we unable to ensure that even as we develop as a country, we do not leave others behind? We do not want to leave the people in rural areas behind.

Mr Sing’ombe: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi: That is a point that we are making.

Mr Speaker, even as I speak now, going back months before us, there was a warning on the horizon about the incidence of foot and mouth disease in Western Province which started in Kazungula and extended to Senanga and we sounded the alarm bells. We were told that the foot and mouth disease is a national economic disaster and as such, only Government can distribute the vaccines for that. No farmer or individual can buy the vaccine anywhere for foot and mouth disease, but it was the responsibility of Government. As I speak now, that disease has spread so far to the north in Nabungu Area. When this disease wipes out the cattle of the poor people, are we going to call it a national disaster? Is it the lack of planning that Hon. Sejani talked about? That is what we should focus on. God created us and gave us the brains. It is time that we used those brains.

Mr Sing’ombe: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi: Mr Speaker, as a result of the floods that occurred in Mongu, Western Province, last year, His Honour the Vice-President in February inspected Barotse Plain. He saw areas where the fields were completely wiped out by the floods. Mr Speaker, when it came to distributing food, the most affected area which had food loss of 90 per cent was left out. Why should the DMMU fail to even conduct the simple task of allocating food to the right areas? It is only Lealui Ward that was given food. All the other wards on the plain got nothing.

Mr Sing’ombe: Shame!

Mr Milupi: Mr Speaker, let me comment on the issue relating to electrical power. The absence of electrical power causes disruption in the lives of many people. It also disrupts the production capacity of this nation and our ability to raise the revenue that is necessary to develop this country.

What have we done? As I speak in this House, this afternoon, the demand on our electrical power system is 1,600 mega watts. That is the total demand for this country. The installed capacity is 1,650 mega watts, but the available capacity is 1,100 mega watts. The reason is that, over the last ten to twenty years, ZESCO has been undergoing power rehabilitation project which appears to be a continuous thing.

My knowledge, as an engineer, is that when you carry out these things, they have a final period when you are supposed to finish. As a result, by the end of this month, Lumwana Mine will come on stream and with it there will be a requirement for an extra 100 mega watts and so the demand will increase to 1,700 mega watts, but the available capacity shall remain 1,100 mega watts.

Mr Speaker, in two years time, Konkola Deep Mine (KCM) will come on stream and we shall require an extra 120 or 150 mega watts and I ask whether we shall have the capacity to feed that. Is this not the lack of planning that we are talking about?

Mr D. Mwila: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi: Mr Speaker, we can do better, as a country. We can go on and on debating these issues, but to help our friends on your right, let me say that even as we are putting money that we are raising from new taxes on the mines under the table, let me propose to them that that is the one area where the over US$400 million can be used to develop power generating capacity. We have enough cites and one of them is the Kafue Gorge Lower, Itezhi-tezhi and the vast potential that I keep talking about on the Luapula River where we have a potential for 2,000 mega watts. Let us not keep the US$400 million under the table. This is the money that Government can use to develop this infrastructure so that, in future, we can mitigate the effects of power shortages.

Mr Speaker, one of the greatest disasters that this country faces is that of lack of man power development. The First Republic did what it could. Almost all of us are here because of the manpower development that the First Republic put in place. They exposed us and we got ourselves trained. But in the Second Republic, the focus on manpower development was removed.

Sir, let me not just talk about schools and universities because the issues there are known, but let me also talk about the need to develop technical expertise in our country. Even as you bring 600 people from China or India to put up a smelter, please, remember that is a manpower development opportunity you are denying Zambians. When those people are gone, you will not have people to run your infrastructure.

Mr Speaker, Zambia is a mining country. I shudder to think about it because I know what we used to do when we were in charge. Do we have, as a country, the means to mitigate against a major mine flooding in this country today? Where is the emergency pumping stock that used to be kept at Konkola Mine such that if a mine flooded, this country had an opportunity and capacity to retrieve people, save machinery and, indeed, to save the whole mine? That is gone because we have segregated our mines and so on.

Sir, the issue that was raised by the mover of this Motion relating to country and town planning, affects all of us. We are all feeling the effects of lack of planning. At certain times, it takes an hour to drive from Kabulonga to Cairo Road. How much is this country losing in terms of wastage of time? We can do better, Mr Speaker. We can plan better.

Mr Sing’ombe: Tell them!

Mr Milupi: Mr Speaker, the infrastructural development is what defines the development of a country. If we develop a bridge, school, road, or building that in totality is what will add to the development of a country.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi: That is the very definition of development.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi: But, Sir, we have a situation where every project we undertake, there are problems of completing it on time, to quality and to cost. Therefore, as a country, we will not get a return on the investments that we are putting on our infrastructural development.

Sir, Hon. Mooya, who is an engineer, has already put it very clearly that we need to focus on this area and when we do that, we will then stand a better chance of developing this country.

With that, Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for the opportunity.

Mr Sing’ombe: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order! Since we have to conclude this motion, I would like to give chance to one hon. Member on my left and then I will have to call on the hon. Ministers to respond. {mospagebreak}

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on this Motion.

Sir, I have no problem with the sentiment which is driving this Motion although I would suggest that, if it were possible, let it be reworded and read, “That this House urges the Government together with the local authorities including traditional authorities who are crucial to the implementation of pre-disaster planning.” You cannot just have a central organisation in Lusaka acting through district commissioners who are actually not part and parcel of the local administration to make this country more disaster proof. A phrase like, “A comprehensive long term National Disaster Management and Mitigation Plan,” frightens me because it sounds like a formula for another five years of workshops, meetings and conferences.

It is not so much, and I tend to disagree with some of the speakers who have said it is planning. It is more of a matter of implementing measures that already there. The Town and Country Planning Act and the Local Government Act are there. The fact is that due to corruption and politicisation, the other towns are not run properly.

Sir, finally I would simply say that structural issues do not mean anything to me. Factors would be perfectly adequate.

Mr Speaker, in this country, we do not only have problems looking forward but we sometimes have problems looking back. It can be helpful to look back. Not necessarily as far as Hon. Mpombo would have to look back in order to remember the Batembo people. The other day, when Hon. Mpombo was reminded by the hon. Member for Chienge that there was a tribe called the Batembo who actually have been here for thousands of years whom he thought were Congolese. His ancestors found them just as my ancestors found his ancestors.

Mr Mukanga: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, I remember as a child Cairo Road flooding when I was about six. That is when that huge trench was dug down the middle of Cairo Road. We called it the Swiss Canal in those days. After it was covered over with concrete the centre of Lusaka does not flood because there is a consequence. Since that time, places like Kanyama has suffered from lack of implementation of local government and this is of course driven by many factors when there is a shortage of money it tends to be drugged back to the centre. This is like blood sucked to the brain when the body losses blood. Mr Speaker, very little funding has been there for local authorities to do the job but I think we do need to depoliticise and decorrupt the management of local authorities.  In this regard, we will see that we do not need to do much comprehensive planning, it is just the implementation of the law as it stands.

Sir, when it comes to rural areas I remember well because I was born and brought up in Livingstone during the early years of life. I remember driving from Livingstone to Kalomo up to Choma. The trees could meet over my head. This country traditionally is forest. It is not grass with a few small weeds here and there. This country has been deforested and it is the deforestation of this country which has not only pumped hundreds of bigger tones of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere but has rendered our country helplessly flood prone.

Sir, if you have a good healthy forest, it slows the rain movement down. It drags it into the ground. It does not let it hit across the surface of the soil. I would implore the hon. Minister rather than telling us that he is very busy, he has just been to Barley and he is on his way to New York and from there he is going to Kyoto. He thinks that is the way you work on global warning, it is not Hon. Minister and you should take my word for it. The way to work on global warming is to come home and restore this country to its condition as a forest. Is there a way anywhere near Lusaka now that we can travel and see the trees meeting over our heads? I doubt it except for these foreign trees that are planted in Woodlands and places of that sort.

Sir, this country badly needs to be reforested. If it is difficult because of technical reasons with the Forestry Department, I suggest that the hon. Minister thinks outside the box and wonders what he can do with his Community Resource Boards (CRBs) that he has under Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) because a village scout will work very happily for K150,000 or K200,000 a month and do a very job. I have seen it work under ADMED and it is extremely cost effective. If you give people in the villages the right to control all natural resources against people invading from outside, they do a good job and they do it very cheap and perhaps, that is where we should be concentrating.

Mr Speaker, with those few words, I do not believe in consuming 20 minutes chunks.

I thank you.

The Vice-President (Mr Banda): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to say something on this motion presented by Hon. Sejani. We are all agreed here that really there was no need for this acrimony as if there was disagreement. You only argue with somebody if he is arguing back but we agree with the Motion. There was no need for the hon. Member to abuse us by saying that this Government has no brains. I know we have no brains and that brains are on that side but we really mean well as he said and I think we are trying our best.

Sir, therefore, I would like to say that this has been a very educative debate. I was listening to Hon. Scott and many others including Hon. Sejani who brought up issues that include all of us including those in the Opposition. The people out there who are listening to us on the radio and who are going to read tomorrow about what we have been saying know that we are all politicians and we are all leaders. They know that many of us have held very responsible positions here and as Hon. Scott has said, we have had a chance to reduce on, for instance, the deforestation of this country. We have had a chance to collaborate with each other and make the lives of the people much better than they are.

Mr Speaker, we all know about the devastation in the rural areas regarding the roads and bridges. All of us who go to rural areas either for by-elections or just to visit our relatives know that this degradation in our country is as a result of a long  period of no attention to this because we have had no money. We know that. Many of us in this House have been in Government and could not repair these bridges because of insufficient funds. Our economy through the mines had literally collapsed. Now that we are seeing light at the end of the tunnel, our mines and other enterprises, and investment coming into the country, we are seeing more and more money invested towards these issues.

Sir, I have just come from the Southern Province and I had the pleasure of working with the hon. Member for Choma Central, hon. Member responsible for Kazungula and others. I was very pleased because we were all agreed on many issues. I wish to say this because I am appealing to all of us hon. Members that it is our duty to convince and sensitise the people who are living in these areas which are not suitable for human habitation in terms of floods. As you said it correctly, every year, we have known that if it is going to rain heavily, floods will be experienced and our people will be under water.

Sir, I used to hear about Kazungula but I did not understand how serious the problem was until I saw it for myself. When I got there, I found Chief Sekute who addressed his people in front of us and Hon. Musokotwane was there and she agreed with him as well. The chief said that last year, he told his people to move from there because there would be floods again and they would be under water. The people refused. He went on and said to them that next year if the rains found them there, they should not go to his palace. He asked them to move and said he had given them a place at an island within his chiefdom.

Sir, all the relevant Government officials from the Permanent Secretary, resettlement officers, water people, the police going downwards were all there and we all agreed that we were going to all combine our efforts to ensure that a new place is created for the people who are living in tents now as refugees in their own country. In certain places, you will find that the hon. Member of Parliament is the one in the forefront to object to people moving. He would say they should stay where they want because for him they are a captive market for his votes but when problems come, he turns round and says it is the Government when in fact, the people should have moved.

Mr Speaker, Kanyama has been referred to many times and we all have been there recently and I am happy to say that the battle in Kanyama was very peaceful. However, we all know what problems are being faced by the people of Kanyama because we have been there. They are sitting on a rock. As Hon. Mwansa said earlier, we need to unite as leaders. Do not tell the people out there that you are not leaders because you are not in Government because as far as they are concerned, you are leaders too. We have to agree to make this move so that we stop talking about Kanyama.

We need to find the money and a place for them to relocate and we should ensure that drainages and water systems are put in place. Thereafter, as Hon. Mwansa said, we can sell that land and turn it into an industrial area. Even though we would have spent part of the money already, at least we would realise some money from this kind of move. However, we have to be united.

 Mr Speaker, I listened very carefully when others were saying that we have no brains on this side of the House to plan for disasters. You know that is not true and it is not fair. All of us here, collectively, have got enough brains to plan. We should agree that when it comes to national issues, and there is a disaster which affects all our people, we must be united and try not to politicise issues because people out there know when we are playing politics. I have learnt from this debate here that we all need to be in agreement.

Mr Speaker, before I make specific replies to some of the issues that were raised, I would like to say that my visit to the Southern Province was an eye opener. The first thing that struck me in each of the resettlement schemes that we visited was how well organised our people were. I visited three resettlement schemes and one of them is the home of the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning. We went to Kabuyu and other places, and the people in those areas, from the chiefs to the hon. Member of Parliament, the councillors, the chairman of the scheme and the villagers were well organised and in agreement as to what they wanted.

They wanted a school, and some of them had already started rebuilding the school on their own with their own limited resources. They took an old farmer’s building and turned it into a school. They also wanted a clinic and some of them had already started building that. I was very impressed with what the people had done. That made it possible and easier for Government to support the people beyond just giving them the staff. We were encouraged to expand the clinic and if it is possible, we could connect electricity because they are delivering children under lantern. 

Mr Speaker, I was very impressed with the capacity of our people to organise themselves in order to help themselves. We the politicians need to agree that these people only need our help. All we need to do is to assist them with what they need.

Mr Speaker, concerning the disaster of food shortage, we should agree that we do not want to turn our people into beggars. Every year, a Member of Parliament, a District Commissioner, a village headman or chiefs come to ask for food for their people. Is it not possible for all of us to agree to continue with the scheme of assisting our people with the Fertiliser Support Programme? We have seen what happened in the last season and the effect of it. I am sure that there will be no disagreement among us here to continue with the scheme and perhaps broaden it so that people should be independent and ask for food only when it is necessary.

Mr Speaker, today, the whole country is asking for food. We know we do not have the capacity to feed every body day in and day out by supplying them with food. In actual fact, it is not a good thing for an independent country, of wise men, such as ourselves when we have the capability to take measures to ensure that people grow their own food. I agree that we should be thinking about ways to ameliorate this kind of situation in future.

Mr Speaker, now I would like to turn to my written statement in reply to many of the issues that have been raised.

Mr Speaker, I stand here to respond to the Private Member’s Motion entitled Long Term National Disaster Management and Mitigation Plan. In this Motion, the House urges Government to develop a comprehensive long term national disaster management and mitigation plan that places more emphasis on prevention rather than management of disasters, and to address structural issues that exacerbate the impact of natural calamities in Zambia.

I would like to announce from the outset that the views expressed in the Private Member’s Motion are the exact views that Government holds. In fact the debate can even end here because we are all in total agreement with the Private Member’s Motion. The only difference, perhaps, is the difference in the space of time. Hon. Members who have moved this Motion may have just realised this yesterday while Government realised it a long time ago …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: …and put the policy parameters in place.

Mr Speaker, like in any other part of the world, disaster management mechanisms are born out of necessity and are usually put in place after a natural calamity. In case of Zambia, the need to put in permanent establishment within the integrated civil service arose from the lessons learnt following the 1990 and 1991 widespread drought, which is still dubbed the worst in living memory in our country.

Mr Speaker, it is clear from this background that the nature in which the DMMU was created may send wrong signals that it was a department meant to react to disastrous situations. Unfortunately, this perception continues to exist among the general public, more worrying, among some of the hon. Members of Parliament. It is for this reason that I pose to briefly talk about disaster management in Zambia and the world as a whole so that by the time I will have finished, all hon. Members, both from the ruling and opposition parties, appreciate how Zambia has moved with the rest of the world in the area of disaster management.

Mr Speaker, in January, 2005, the world conference on Natural Disaster Reduction was held in Japan. This conference reviewed the successes and failures of the world in the implementation of interventions that were to reduce natural disasters. It is the resolutions that were passed at this conference, which emphasised and signaled the mind shift from disaster management which is reactive in nature, to disaster risk reduction, a proactive approach. It was during that conference that the framework known as the HYOGO framework of action was put in place to create the basis for global, regional and national governments to adopt a proactive approach to disaster management issues.

In other words, the conference acknowledged that the most effective way of disaster management is the mainstreaming of disaster risk reduction into developmental programmes at the national, provincial, district and satellite levels. This Government acknowledges this approach as the most effective long term measure to deal with disaster related issues.

I would like to pose here and agree with Hon. Dr Scott who says that all of us have to attempt to return this country to the time when we had trees and we were able to drive through our main roads which had a lot of trees in order that our environment is not degraded any further. No one from outside can be held responsible for the destruction of this environment. In one or another, all of us have participated in that and it is our duty to ensure that we all co-operate and return our country to what it was before.

Mr Speaker, may I now draw the attention of the hon. Members of Parliament to where Zambia is in terms of implementation of the long term National Disaster Management and Mitigation Plan.

Sir, in August, 2005, Government launched two important documents namely, the National Disaster Management Policy and the National Disaster Management Operations Manual. In this particular case, I would like to draw the attention of hon. Members of Parliament to the vision of the National Disaster Management Regime from Committee of Ministers to Satellite Committees at the village level. This is reflected on Page 9 of the policy which I now lay on the table.

Sir, wording of particular importance in this regard is that Disaster Management Regime in the country is to promote a safety net for protection of the citizenry, their assets and the environment against disasters through and I quote:

‘Proactive community based developmental and multi sectoral approach that combines disaster preparedness, prevention and mitigation and integrates disaster management into national development’.

Mr Speaker, furthermore, Government acknowledges that the starting point of the main streaming of disaster risk reduction into developmental programmes is to comprehensively understand the nature, type and frequency of the hazards and the risks these hazards pose in each of the seventy-two districts of the country with a view to developing a long term National Disaster Management and Mitigation Plan which seeks to manage these risks.

Mr Speaker, hon. Members may wish to know where we are in this regard. Government through my office intends to carry out the comprehensive vulnerability assessment and analysis (CVAA) in all the seventy-two districts and nine sectors of the economy. The output of this survey will be the district vulnerability profiles which we will lay the basis for all our future preparedness prevention, mitigation and response of activities. Hon. Members may wish to know that funds have been provided in the 2008 Budget for this exercise. For those who may need more details on this subject, I lay the concept papers of the Comprehensive Vulnerability Assessment and Analyst (CVAA) on the Table.

Mr Speaker, may I add that no hon. Member of this House is excluded from participating in laying down the plan or for that matter actions which have to be taken to mitigate against disasters.

Many of the hon. Members and I will refer to the seconder of the motion who came up with the idea in my office and asked why I always bring maize to their area when it is raining and when I know that I cannot get in there. Why do I not preposition this food before the rains come. He went further and said listen, we have local transporters and when you have problems moving the maize from wherever you preposition this, when you have decided to release it, we have local contractors. You should give us the right to request somebody to move it for us. You do not need to bring people from Lusaka.

We agreed because we thought that was a good idea. There are many other good ideas hon. Members here have given about the system in order to make the system more effective.

Mr Akakandelwa: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Therefore, all I am saying is that…


The Vice-President: I am his brother-in-law and therefore, he always wants to interfere.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, hon. Members may wish to know that in order for Government to preposition itself to mainstream Disaster Risk Reduction into development programmes, Disaster Risk Reduction  Focal Points  have been identified in all line ministries and letters of appointments as focal points would be issued to the officials in due course.

In other words, I am agreeing with those hon. Members who are saying we can create as many institutions as we like in order to resolve this problem and the problem will still be unresolved. As long as we do not understand what it is and what we are trying to do, you can duplicate organisations and pay more salaries to organisations and take away the money from development. In my opinion, the institutions we have are adequate and what we need is to be aware at all times to what are the problems and where they are.

Mr Speaker, if the problem is a particular office in a district, then, as soon as we know, we will get in touch with that office and resolve that problem. If the problem is with the hon. Member of Parliament, we will talk to the hon. Member and if the problem is in my office, we will talk to that officer who is responsible. The most important thing is that we can do these things and planning is already available to all of us.

Sir, I wish to refer to the hon. Member of Parliament who referred to the building roof being blown off by the wind. Even in countries where they have built houses for a much longer period and who have more money to build these houses in such a way that there will not be taken away by water or wind, this happens and things happen.

Mr Speaker, even Tsunami which we were referring to as the debate was going on when somebody said that there were ways of them knowing that it was coming, even if they had known, that Tsunami was too big a disaster for them to control.

Mr Speaker, I would like to assure hon. Members that the architects who plan our houses and the engineers who build these bridges whose culverts have been taken away by the rains especially in the Southern Province, what we have established is that these are old roads and many of these culverts and bridges were built long time ago. Now, because we have had no money to inspect and replace these things, we have been surprised when the water washed away these culverts.

Sir, the Eastern Province is a good example. I used to pass where we have lost the bridge now. I did not even know that there was a culvert under, but because of the water that has come and the thing was old, it was carried away by water. Mr Speaker, therefore, it is not the wish of Government that bridges should be carried away by water because we would like, if possible, to know in advance and with resources coming up and may I say that with the good policies of this Government…

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President:…more and more investors will come to this country and Government will have access to more money. This year, the disaster management has raised a lot of money, not from outside, exactly what one of our colleagues said, most of this money has been donated by local businessmen. Businessmen do not give money unless they are happy that they are making a profit. We have raised billions of Kwacha from local businesses and so it is in our interest also to have good policies so that we can have support from our own businesses both Zambian and foreign.

Sir, in the area of Early Warning Information System, Government has partnered with other cooperating partners to work on a comprehensive Early Warning Information System as it believes that an effective Early Warning Information System is the entry point and very foundation of effective disaster management. This will be housed   at the National Emergency Operational Centre building at Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU).

Mr Speaker, may I say that I am always happy when I go to disaster management and see hon. Members walking in and out engaging the people at DMMU and asking them to attend to this and that because that is your building and your organisation. You have to tell them what your problems are and believe me, you will never hear from me that you were interfering because I believe that that is how it should be that hon. Members should take time off to ensure that the needs of their constituencies are attended to.

Government acknowledges further that in order for the National Disaster Management regime to be effective, there is need for the regime to be equipped with appropriate specialised plant and equipment.

In this regard, Government has embarked on the programme of securing some of this equipment including the procurement of an aircraft. I say this because one hon. Member referred to an aircraft. If we do not have an aircraft from the Air Force or any where in the country, we cannot get across the Zambezi River, for instance, if we have to go to the people on the other side and it is necessary that we have the equipment in place. We all want a bridge to be build across the Zambezi River to Kalabo, but we also know that we have constraints because we do not have the money now. As we proceed to have this done, we shall do it by road and need trucks. So, we should all be united and support the efforts by Government in equipping the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit, so that they quickly and efficiently react to the needs of the people.

On structural issues that have been identified to exacerbate the impact of natural calamities in Zambia, Government agrees with the hon. Members, particularly the mover of the Motion on the need to address them. In this regard, Government through my office is currently working with the Secretariat for Decentralisation. The plan is to devolve most of the disaster management functions to local authorities as it is the view of Government that the frontline of disaster management should be at the satellite and district levels since disasters occur in a local environment and that primary responders are the disaster victims themselves.

It is the Government’s view that they should only be a very small coordination cell at the national level as the satellite and district structures should be the main leverage of the disaster management regime in the country. For this reason, we agree with Hon. Sejani that we need to involve the local people because without them, we would not know what they really require.

Mr Speaker, hon. Members will agree with me that we need time to get to that point as we need to develop the structures on the ground and later on give these structures the necessary capacities for them to effectively take up these challenges.

The process of developing these structures has begun. I refer the hon. Members of Parliament to the Sector Devolution Plan document I laid on the Table earlier. The process of strengthening capacities at district levels has also began as eight districts have already been oriented to the development of district disaster preparedness plan.

Sir, in winding up my overview, I urge all hon. Members to give Government necessary support in the exercise of Comprehensive Vulnerability Assessment and Analysis, as the outputs of this survey are what will trigger the mainstreaming of Disaster Risk Reduction into development plans.

In conclusion, Mr Speaker, may I take this opportunity to thank all of us in Government, particularly in the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, because I have found it much easier to go on your behalf to the Minister of Finance and National Planning and say, “We require immediate help because such and such Member of Parliament has got problems and we need to attend to them.” I have found that he is sensitive to that and renders help as quickly as possible.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: I also want to assure Hon. Milupi, since he is one of the hon. Members whom I spend some time with whenever I have to learn about the problems related, particularly to engineering and governance, that if food has been sent to a particular area and it ends up in one place, that is a local problem. As far as we are concerned, we always plan basing on the advice from hon. Members when we hear that there is food shortage. Now, in this case, 200 metric tonnes of food was sent to forty-eight districts in the country. If something happened to this food, then we are to blame because it never got to the right destinations. I also want to assure you that when you are in Government, you lose your brains …


The Vice-President: … because we know that we cannot use a far fetched example given by one of the hon. Members.

Hon. Mwansa said that we collect maize from Luwingu and bring it all the way to Lusaka then take it back but we never do that. Normally, we have points where the food is grown and it is kept there. For example, if food has to be taken to Western Province, it is collected from Kaoma until it runs out, that is when we look for the next nearest place where food is available. If food has to be taken to Northern Province, we always look for a nearest place where it is grown and stored. We are not extravagant and unreasonable to move food from far places to here and later send it back. In any case, Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU), does not do that.

Mr Speaker, I wish to thank all hon. Members and Hon. Sejani, in particular, for a very uniting motion. There was no need for him to feel the heat and attack, because you are opening an open door. We agree with you whole heartedly.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Are there documents to be laid on the Table?

The Vice-President laid the paper on the Table.

Mr Sejani: Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you for giving me this opportunity to wind up this motion. I am extremely humbled by the reaction of the entire House to this motion, and the warmth of which it has been received by both sides of the House.

Major Chizhyuka: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: I am indebted to the seconder of this motion, hon. Member for Mfuwe (Mr Malama) for a job well done, the various hon. Members who had an opportunity to speak to this motion and enriched it, and finally His Honour the Vice-President for his response. Mr Speaker, let me say that motions are a normal parliamentary activity.

Hon. Government Member: No!

Mr Sejani: Mr Speaker, if we agree to what the Vice-President stated that we are all leaders who are supposed to share information, we must accept that a motion creates a platform, which we must use to interchange and exchange views. This is exactly what has happened this afternoon. Whenever motions are debated on the Floor of this House, Government must not impute mischief or political motives. When these motions come we may differ in style of delivery than velocity.

Mr Matongo: Hear! His Honour!

Mr Sejani: If you look at my face you may be scared.


Mr Sejani: Listen to what I am saying and do not look at my face.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: If you listen to what I am saying you will actually understand that I am being advisory. This House offers advice to the Government on what steps it should take in order to enhance disaster management activities.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: Plenty of ideas and suggestions have been offered, therefore, do not only acknowledge them but implement them. If this is done, we will make a difference.

I thank you most sincerely, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Order!

Question put and agreed to.




THE INCOME TAX (Amendment) BILL, 2008

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

Mr Speaker, the Bill before this House is principally seeking to effect supporting revenue measures as announced in my Budget Speech of Friday 25th January, 2008.

Sir, one of the notable revenue measures is the introduction of the new mining fiscal regime. From the debates of my hon. colleagues and indeed, the comments of the general public, it is evident that Government has overwhelming support on the new fiscal regime for the mining sector. As we have said before, the new fiscal regime for mining sector shall remain one that takes into account the interest of private enterprise and guarantees viable and profitable investment, while at the same time giving a fair share of the mineral wealth to Zambians.

Mr Speaker, the other measure is with respect to the adjustment to the Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) regime. It seeks to increase upward the exempt personal income threshold and some income bands so as to provide relief to workers especially those in the lower income brackets. While indeed many have advocated for a higher increase in the threshold, this is cannot be achieved in a single year without clearly disrupting very important Government programmes due to huge revenue loss. However, the New Deal Administration is determined to continue addressing this matter in a phased manner in the medium term, as it has demonstrated in the past years by consistently adjusting the PAYE regime returns.

Sir, the other proposal is to make interest paid on mortgages for residential property deductible. Government’s intention is to encourage home ownership, spur growth in the housing market and reduce the current shortage of housing.

Mr Speaker, the Bill also seeks to implement the increase in the tax credit to persons who are differently-abled and the allowable deduction to any employer who employs a differently-abled person.

Other proposed changes to the Income Tax Act are meant to update, strengthen and remove ambiguities in certain sections of the Act to make tax administration more effective and efficient.

Mr Speaker, this Bill is non-controversial and I, therefore, commend it to this House.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Mr Beene (Itezhi-Tezhi): Mr Speaker, your Committee on Estimates considered the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill (NAB 1/2008) referred to them by the House on 19th February 2008.

In considering the said Bill your committee invited various stakeholders to make written and oral submissions.

Allow me, Sir, to comment on a few salient issues that caught your committee’s attention during the deliberations.

Mr Speaker, first one regards the proposed new tax regime for the mining sector. Most stakeholders were of the view that this measure was timely, but rather long overdue. For a long time the Zambian people have been deprived of their wealth through low taxes. It is, therefore, your committee’s recommendation that the new tax regime should be implemented in full as soon as possible.

Mr Speaker, while commending Government for this initiative, your committee is concerned about the utilisation of the anticipated income from the mining sector especially that it is not provided for in the 2008 budget. Your committee hopes, and earnestly urges, Government to consult stakeholders, including the National Assembly, on the utilisation of these financial resources.

The second issue, Mr Speaker, concerns the PAYE threshold. Your committee is concerned that there seems to be no criterion upon which Government bases the minimum threshold for Tax credit purposes. Research, Mr Speaker, shows that the essential food basket for a family of six in Lusaka currently stands at K1,835,300. It is, therefore, inconceivable that Government can propose a threshold of K600,000 as tax credit. Your committee urges Government to move an amendment so as to increase the threshold to at least K1,000,000.

Finally, Sir, let me thank you for the guidance rendered during your committee’s deliberations. I extend my gratitude to various stakeholders for the invaluable information and for sparing their precious time to meet with your committee.

Lastly, I wish to thank the Office of the Clerk for advice and other services rendered during your committee’s deliberations.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, I want to thank the Chair of the Committee for coming up with some of the observations and indeed, I want to thank the committee for giving my ministry enough time, if not adequate time to represent the proposals to his committee. From the silence in this House, I can see that indeed the Government proposal has a lot of support.

However, as I wind up, Mr Speaker, let me just say that there has been a misunderstanding between the Valuable Profit Tax and the Windfall Tax. Let me clarify the issue that the two taxes have different triggers. The Windfall Tax will be triggered by abnormal prices. The Valuable Profit Tax will be triggered by profitability of a company and therefore, it is our intention that when prices are very high, the Windfall Tax will be more attractive for us to earn enough revenue. When therefore the prices do not go above the trigger price, the Valuable Profit Tax which will be on the basis of an internal rate of the return by an investor is what will apply.

Mr Speaker, according to the models that we have developed, the two taxes will not be applied at the same time. I wanted to make this very clear so that we are not misunderstood. The basis of this decision is to clearly continue to make mining investment in Zambia profitable for those that want to risk their money in a trade which we know you can either make money or lose money if something goes wrong.

I thank you, Sir.

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

Committed to a committee of the Whole House.

Committee on Friday, 7th March, 2008.


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

Mr Speaker, the Bill before this House is principally seeking to introduce an export levy on cotton seed and copper concentrates and revise the rates of customs and excise duty payable on certain products and harmonise and simplify customs procedures in order to align them with acceptable international standards.

Sir, I have proposed to provide for the Commissioner-General to make advance tariff ruling in respect of goods to be imported or exported. This is intended to ensure predictability and transparency in tariff determination prior to the importation and exportation of goods and also in order to conform to the provisions of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) recommendations and the revised Kyoto Convention which Zambia ratified in February, 2006.

The other proposed changes with respect to the reduction in customs duty rates are mainly on those products used as inputs in the manufacturing sector. This measure is not only aimed at stimulating growth of the sector but also making our manufacturing industry more competitive in the region and beyond as the cost of inputs and ultimately that of business will be lowered.

Sir, I have also proposed to introduce an export levy of 15 per cent on the export of both copper concentrates and cotton seed. This measure is aimed at encouraging local value addition and job creation as capacities to further process these products are now being developed in the country. In the past, we have witnessed situations where products such as cotton seed was exported to other countries in the region where it was processed in edible oil and cake that was later imported into Zambia despite having local capacity in oil processing plants. The intention of Government, therefore, is to reverse this trend thereby encourage local value addition before goods are exported.

Mr Speaker, other proposed changes to the Customs and Excise Act are meant to align the national tariff book in line with accepted international customs and trade practices and update and strengthen the law for better and effective administration .

Sir, this Bill, again, is straightforward and I commend it to the House.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Beene: Mr Speaker, your Committee on Estimates considered the Customs and Excise (Amendment) Bill (NAB 2/2008) referred to them by the House on 19th February, 2008.

Mr Speaker, the first issue that caught your Committee’s attention is the imposition of duty on export of cotton seed. Some stakeholders are of the view that this measure is not in the interest of the cotton industry especially that the world is moving towards free trade. Your committee, however, is of the view that this measure is timely. It will not only discourage export of cotton seed but also, and perhaps more importantly, add value to the cotton seed before it is exported.

Further, in this regard, other stakeholders on this measure were of the view that what should be taxed is seed cotton and not cotton seed. The reason being that cotton seed is meant for planting. What is extracted from the lint is seed cotton and the same should be taxed if exported in raw form. Your committee urges Government to clarify this issue.

Mr Speaker, your committee note that persons that are differently abled are faced with various and varied mobility, auditory, visual and other difficulties. There are limited facilities, if any, that are friendly to this category of the Zambian public.

In this regard, your Committee urges Government to consider a waiver on duty on mobility, audio, visual and other aids for the disabled. Further, Government should consider waiving duty on disability friendly buses for a period of time.

Lastly, I wish to thank you, Sir, for guidance and the Office of the Clerk for advice and other services rendered during your Committee’s deliberations.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, again, I want to thank the Chairperson of the Committee for coming up with his comments and I want to say that we have taken interest in the definition of cotton seed as we are told that it can also be seed cotton.

Mr Muntanga: No!

Mr Magande: As a farmer I did not grow any cotton seed or seed cotton. We are aware that both of them can be used in industrial processing. Cotton seed is for extracting oil and making cake for cattle, which I keep and therefore, I am aware of that. Seed cotton is lint which is used to manufacture clothing and our interest is that both the seed which comes out of a ginnery as well as lint should not get out of this country without value addition.

Mr Mpombo: Hear, hear!

Mr Magande: So I go back to what Hon. Dr Guy Scott recommended and we will come with an amendment at an appropriate time.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

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


Mr Speaker: Order!

Committed to a committee of the Whole House.

Committee on Friday, 7th March, 2008.

VALUE ADDED TAX (Amendment) BILL, 2008

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

Mr Speaker, I stand to present a Bill which is intended to provide for the definition of an “operating lease” and also a “finance lease”; provide for the eligibility of diplomats and other designated officials to claim value added tax paid on eligible goods and services and provide for the remission of value added tax due that is not recoverable.

Mr Speaker, the financial sector has grown rapidly over the past few years and financial institutions have introduced a number of financial instruments that are useful for their businesses. Among these instruments is that of leasing. Acquisition of assets through both finance and operating leases as opposed to outright commercial debt, is now gaining prominence as an alternative way of financing businesses. While tax treatment of both finance lease and operating lease has now been provided for under the Income Tax Act, currently, the Value Added Tax (VAT) Act does not provide for the same hence the proposed amendments. The measure will provide more clarity on the tax treatment of the two types of leases for VAT purposes so that leasing business is enhanced.

Mr Speaker, the other proposals meant to provide for eligibility of diplomats and other designated officials to claim Value Added Tax (VAT) paid on eligible goods and services. Prior to 2007, all taxable purchases made by diplomats were zero rated at the point of sale. However, diplomats and other designated officials accredited to Zambia are now required to pay for goods inclusive of VAT, which is later refunded to them. The mechanism that is currently in place to refund VAT is administrative.

I have therefore, proposed to regularise the refunding of VAT on eligible goods and services made by diplomats and other eligible officials.

Sir, the other proposal is with respect to the remission of Value Added Tax that is due, but is not recoverable. The Zambia Revenue Authority has some debt stock on its books that has accumulated over time basically on account of taxpayers that are on the register, but are either simply inactive or have been declared bankrupt. This information is readily available in the reports of the Accountant-General where ZRA is being blamed for keeping a very high arrears stock. While the VAT debt from such companies are still outstanding, the reality of the matter is that this debt is in fact, virtually impossible to collect.

The amendment is therefore, intended to ensure that only collectable VAT is reflected in the ZRA books instead of reflecting debt that will never be recovered.

Mr Speaker, this Bill is well intended and I commend it to the House, Sir, I beg to move.

Mr Beene: Mr Speaker, your Committee on Estimates also considered the Value Added Tax (amendment) Bill, of 2008 referred to them by the House on 19th February, 2008.

Mr Speaker, one major issue of this amendment Bill is the reduction of Value Added Tax from 17.5 per cent to 16 per cent. Your committee is of the view that Value Added Tax rate should be reduced further to 14 per cent as the case is in other countries in the region.

Mr Speaker, this will not only discourage evasion but also encourage compliance especially at border entry points, thereby broadening the tax base.

Mr Speaker, the other issue your committee noted was that public transport operators are not allowed to claim Value Added Tax refund. The reason being that, the bus fares are Value Added Tax exempt. Your committee however, are of the view that Government should find a way that will enable operators in this sector claim Value Added Tax refund without necessarily passing on the burden to consumers.

Mr Speaker, the third issue which the committee wishes to comment on is generally the role of the National Assembly and your Committee on Estimates in particular in the budget process. Your Committee’s involvement is at the tail end of the budget process. This makes your committee’s work very difficult in that whilst debates on the Estimates of Income and Expenditure is going on in the House, your committee is at the same time considering the revenue measures. It is your committee’s strong view that the National Assembly be involved early in the budget process like the case is in other jurisdictions such as Ghana and Uganda.

Finally, Sir, let me thank you for your guidance rendered during your committee’s deliberations. I extend my gratitude to various stakeholders for the invaluable information and for sparing their precious time to meet your committee.

Lastly, I wish to thank the Office of the Clerk for the advice and other services rendered during the committee’s deliberations.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, I am sure you are aware the question of mining tax took up 90 per cent of the committees’ attention, so, there are one or two things that have not been thoroughly covered. The one I want to mention under the VAT and for that matter the Customs and Excise Act is that energy saving light bulbs are fully taxed customs and VAT. This makes them uncompetitive with energy expensive light bulbs and tax being a useful way of incentivising people, we could have zero rating on both customs and VAT for energy saving light bulbs. You might even save the equivalent of whole turbine generator because 300 mega watts or so is used in lighting in this country. I would like him to attend to that.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Speaker, I will be very brief. I support the Bill. The only issue I have with this Bill is when you look at the objects, there is nothing provided for in the objects for the reduction that the hon. Minister spoke of in VAT from 17.5 per cent to 16 per cent. When I look at the Bill, I also do not see that. I would like the hon. Minister to explain why there is such an anomaly and where that reduction is?

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, I want to appreciate the comments from Hon. Dr. Scott. I think that is a proposal worth considering in particular because of the difficulties that we are going through in energy. We need to take affirmative action that the little power that is there is not used for playing Digital Satellite Television (DSTVs) in our homes, but is used for industry. It is a very good proposal, which definitely we will look at.

Mr Speaker, the Chairman of the Subcommittee raised the issue of consumers of the bus services paying VAT. The theory of VAT is that it must be paid by the consumer and that might not be the best way that we start removing the VAT from the last consumer on any service or good. So, we will study that but I think it will not be possible that we have one of the consumer categories not paying VAT on a commodity which is a last consumption item.

On the issue of the 16 per cent, it has not been a deliberate omission. The legal advice is that this is by statutory instrument and I will check on it to confirm that in fact, by my signature, I have already announced this to the public. If it has not been done, then I will definitely make sure that I do that and make sure that Hon. Dr Machungwa benefits out of that.

I thank you, Sir.

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

Committed to a Committee of the whole House.

Committee on Friday, 7th March, 2008.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.{mospagebreak}



VOTE 46 – (The Ministry of Health – K1,512,340,942,914).

(Consideration resumed)

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Chairperson, before the House adjourned yesterday, I was stating the fact that this Government has not done so well in as far as sending our citizens for treatment abroad.

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Kambwili: It is actually disheartening to learn that as leaders, we have started praising Government based on what they have done for our families. I am aware that husbands of certain hon. Members have been sent abroad for treatment and these hon. Members come to this House and praise Government that it is doing very well.


 Mr Kambwili: We are supposed to assess the performance of Government based on the poor people and not on the rich people. What we are saying is that it should not only be the rich people, but the ordinary people to benefit from Government programmes. When we want to judge Government, we should look at the larger spectrum and see how many people are benefiting from this scheme. It should not only be confined to leaders and their spouses but it should be taken to the common man in Kalingalinga, Mpatamatu and Roan Township.

Mr Chairperson, this Government has drastically failed to run the elth sector.

Hon. Government Members: Health, not elth.

Mr Kambwili: I have a lot of respect for the Hon. Minister of Health, Dr Brian Chituwo, as an individual, but the entire system has failed.

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Kambwili: When you go to the University Teaching Hospital (UTH), you will find it stinks like nobody’s business. Where is the quality health care? They have failed to provide quality health care to the people. There are no drugs, nurses and doctors in the hospitals. What can they tell us?


Hon. Government Member: Where is your wife?

Mr Kambwili: Mr Chairman, I would like to urge the hon. Minister that as long as the conditions of service for our health workers such as nurses remain deplorable, we shall continue to lose a lot of staff for greener pastures in England, South Africa and Botswana.


Mr Kambwili: How do you pay a nurse less than K1 million in these hard conditions of living? That is why …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Let us give him a chance to debate.

The hon. Member may continue.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for your protection. These people are scared of me. However, …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! We want to be as fast as we can be. Avoid qualifying the Chair’s ruling in the manner that you are doing. I was protecting you and, therefore, you should have just gone straight on.

The hon. Member may continue.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Chairperson, I was saying that as long as we continue paying our nurses salaries that do not stand the test of time, we shall forever suffer the brain drain that has affected the health sector.

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Kambwili: Mr Chairperson, how do you expect a nurse who is paid less than a K1 million per month to survive today? In Zambia, an average family consists about six members. We have been told by the economists that the food basket for a family of six is about K1 million. That is just for the food basket excluding education fees, clothing and other benefits that go with a normal family. Do you expect these nurses to stay on and work for the Government of the Republic of Zambia?


Mr Kambwili: This Government must pay nurses and doctors well in order to retain them. As long as you are not able to pay the nurses, you can even forget about the ones that you are going to train in my constituency as they will run away from this country.


Mr Sichilima: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Kambwili: I urge you, through the Chairperson, to increase the salaries of the health workers in general in this country.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Sichilima: Mr Chairperson, I rise on a very serious point of order. The hon. Ministers are busy taking notes and this person keeps on repeating “this Government”. From last night, he has been talking about salaries and conditions of service. We have not heard anything new and yet the Standing Orders of this House state that we should not have repetitions. If he has no points, he should sit down. Is he in order to start repeating the same point?

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! In the interest of time, we have to move.

The hon. Member on the Floor may continue.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Mr Chairperson, there is need to emphasise the point because this Government does not listen. They need repetitions for them to listen and I am doing just that.


Mr Kambwili: Mr Chairperson, if we have to improve health delivery in our country, we should move away from thinking about nurses because we have failed to keep the nurses. The way forward is to train health care assistants who are not going to be attracted


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! We cannot proceed like that, we are getting …

Mr Kambwili interjected.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order, you are not in the Chair but I am. We cannot go on like that. Hon. Members of the Executive, I expect you to lead by example. You put me here and we are here to ensure that Business of the House goes on smoothly. However, the way we are conducting ourselves now is really unacceptable.

Will the hon. Member continue, please.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili:  Mr Chairperson, I was saying that the way forward for the hospitals is to employ health care assistants who are not going to be attracted to our neighbouring countries and Europe. As long as we do not pay the nurses well, they will be attracted. Therefore, the way forward is to train another category of health workers who are not going to be attracted to other countries.

Mr Chairperson, I remember that when I was growing up, we used to have cleaners in the mine hospitals who were trained in certain skills like dressing wounds with bandages. Currently, we do not have cleaners who are able to do these small jobs to supplement the nurses. I urge this Government to seriously look at the issue of training some of the cleaners because some of these cleaners are traditional birth attendants. They can help the nurses in the wards to sort out some of these issues.

Sir, let me comment on the issue of Section 25 Clinic in my constituency. I am wondering whether the District Commissioner has been brought to the district to foster development or discourage development.

I sourced K700 million to build a clinic at Section 25, in my constituency, but the District Commissioner is in the forefront of discouraging the investor who has given us the money from building a clinic at the expense of the people of Mpatamatu.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Mumbwe pa kulila ninshi pali ukwa shitilile!


Mr Kambwili: I am of the view that it is this Government that is sending the District Commissioner to block that kind of development in my constituency.


Mr Kambwili: I am appealing to the hon. Minister of Health to sort out this District Commissioner so that construction of this clinic can commence.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Chairperson, I rarely rise on points of order, but is it in order for Hon. Kambwili to debate the District Commissioner in this House when he is not here to defend himself? I need your serious ruling.

The Deputy Chairperson: Well, we are not supposed to debate people who are not in the House, but in the context he is debating, he is referring to the District Commissioner as a person in charge of administration and so it is in that respect that I will allow him to continue.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Sir, I thank you for your guidance.

Sir, I was in the Provincial Minister’s office with the doctor who was occupying this office and he told him openly that the District Commissioner had been threatening him against handing over the clinic to the Government and that if he did, Kambwili would build a clinic and that would be the end of MMD in Luanshya. That is being retrogressive and Hon. Mbulakulama can bear me witness because I was with him in the office.


Mr Kambwili: It is a fact!

Mr Mbulakulima: On point of order, Sir.

Mr Kambwili: It is a fact that this District Commissioner, instead of being a civil servant, is behaving like a politician.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order, Mr Kambwili can you come back to the subject.

Mr Mbulakulima: On a point of order, Sir.


The Deputy Chairperson: No, I am not giving a point of order.

Mr Shakafuswa: He is raising a point of order.

The Deputy Chairperson: No, that is not you! I am …

Mr Kambwili: Nine naileko, bushe nimwe mwaileko ba Shikapwasha!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Will the hon. Member continue, please.

Mr Kambwili: I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Therefore, as hon. Member of Parliament, I approached Luanshya Mine, but the District Commissioner is blocking development. I am only appealing to the hon. Minister of Health to sort out the District Commissioner so that the people of Mpatamato can have a clinic.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: It is high time that these people controlled the behaviour and attitudes of district commissioners who we all know are MMD cadres.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Mr Chairperson, health is important and the people of Mapatamato are waiting for the hospital to be built. It is only this Government that can give directives to this District Commissioner so that Luanshya Copper Mines can release the money to build the hospital. This is a serious issue that must be looked at without bias to political affiliation.

Mr Chairperson, with these few words, I thank you.{mospagebreak}

Dr Chituwo: Mr Chairperson, I thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to wind up debate on the Vote on the Ministry of Health.

Sir, from the outset, let me thank all the hon. Members who stood to support the Estimates of Expenditure for my Ministry, for 2008. I am most grateful for the many observations made on how best we can improve the services offered to the Zambian people.

Mr Chairperson, in my statement I covered almost everything that every single Member raised in their debate.

Mr Shakafuswa: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo: I started from the issues of human resource, equipment and infrastructure. I also discussed the programmes on malaria, HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, child health and reproductive health.

Sir, perhaps, for the sake of clarity, let me comment on some issues that the hon. Members seem not to have understood. The hon. Member for Sinazongwe raised the issue of discipline. I agree with him that discipline is the cornerstone to any development starting at family, society and national levels and therefore, discipline, in financial management, is key to the success and delivery of quality health services.

With regard to issues raised with regard to retention of medical staff, I am not quite sure whether some hon. Members paid attention, but I suppose it was because of the loud consultations that were going on and so they missed one or two points. I indicated that we are putting measures in place to tackle the issue of human resource for health shortages, by starting with training, recruitment and introducing a retention scheme which is unique in this part of the region. All these have been put in place in order to try to retain our health workers.

Mr Chairperson, the whole world has a shortage of over four million health workers. In the African region, we approximately need an additional of one million health workers. That is the extent of the shortages we are talking about and therefore, Zambia is not unique in this area, but what is important is to know what to do in order to retain health workers that we train at high cost.

I, therefore, wish to appeal to hon. Members as leaders, to be guided by the truth. I am referring to the young hon. Member for Roan (Mr Kambwili), who I must advise that, we must face the truth. We are talking about loss of linen in our hospitals and we did not generalise that all our patients steal linen. However, the truth of the matter is that, these things do happen. We have found linen marked Government of the Republic of Zambia Ministry of Health being aired on the lines in the living-in compounds. These can only be in the hospital setting and so we cannot run away because the truth hurts.

Sir, let me now talk about the issue of the efforts that Hon. Muyanda made in the construction of the K60 million health post at Siampondo. I wish to congratulate him on that initiative. Again, if he were to put this in the context, I would say that the Ministry of Health is operating at 50 per cent of our establishment and hence, the difficulties that we have had in filling the vacancies in our various health posts. Perhaps the hon. Member can get comfort in hearing that the recruitment process is definitely going on and if there is a house available at this health post, certainly, he will be considered.

With regard to the issue relating to transport, an area which I covered so adequately, I stated that every district office, hospital, whether missionary or Government and all the twenty-seven training institutions will each receive, at least, one vehicle and so the issue of Mazabuka or some place being left out does not arise. Probably, the hon. Member may have missed this point.

In addition to this, in order to carryout outreach programmes, I mentioned that right now, 360 motor bikes are being distributed so that our health workers can go to the remotest areas to carryout maybe an under five clinic or a health talk. Mr Chairperson, some of these will be modified such that they maybe able to even carry a patient. Surely, you can assist us to monitor the utilisation of these very expensive equipment.

Mr Chairperson, I would be failing in my duties if I do not mention the nurse-patient and doctor-patient relationship. It is unacceptable that any patient, relative or guardian can resort to assaulting a nurse.

It does not matter under what circumstances, there are procedures for complaints in the hospitals and institutions and, of course, the Law Enforcement Agencies are always there to resolve these issues if you cannot resolve them amicably. As leaders, we must not encourage this kind of indiscipline. These nurses are working in very difficult conditions.

Sir, for instance, at the University Teaching Hospital, that Labour Ward delivers between forty and fifty mothers per day. That is a lot of work. Here comes somebody who perhaps has been on a queue for a long time and would want to assault a nurse. I wish to encourage our citizens to be more tolerant.

Mr Chairperson, let me turn to the issue of safety of medicines. Again this was covered adequately in my statement that we have put in place and will continue to put in place receiving committees of medicines at hospital level and health centre level so that collectively they know what has been delivered to that institution and therefore, monitor the utilisation. We have even gone further to plan for pharmaco vigilance in conjunction with Zambia Police Service under the supervision of the Pharmaceutical Regulatory Authority. Again, this is the way in which we will want to safeguard these very expensive commodities.

Sir, with regard to the issue of privacy in the maternity wards as Hon. Sinyangwe mentioned yesterday, we have decentralised most of the funding and the implementation of these programmes. For instance, Lusaka District Health Management Team receives nearly K800 million per month. Out of that, 4 per cent is reserved for capital projects like buying of curtains. I am sure if we engage our District Director of Health, she will be able to look at these issues actively and demonstrate that we mean business. It is not a question of just talking.

Sir, last year, this House approved a Budget of K3.2 billion towards reproductive health. This year, we are asking this House to approve a K14.7 billion. Surely, this can only go towards improving reproductive health services.

Mr Chairperson, my young sister, the hon. Member for Katombola bemoaned the issue of screaming in labour wards. I do not want to belabour this point because it is part of the normal process of reproduction.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo: Sir, I must say that when I was a young man, I did assist to deliver many mothers and they have various ranges of threshold to pay. Some will deliver quietly and others really want to show evidence that happiness is on the way as they deliver their babies.


Dr Chituwo: Sir, maybe she wanted to say that we have these windows open. This is why UTH labour ward is isolated and so, what would be men be doing there to listen to screams.


Dr Chituwo: Sir, in any case, the Chairperson of the Women is telling us now that these men are not respecting women and that, perhaps, they must be invited in labour wards so that they see the evidence of productivity.


Dr Chituwo: Now, we need to be guided. I want to state here clearly that indeed on the leaking roofs that the hon. Member for Katombola mentioned, UTH has been undergoing extensive rehabilitation. Many of us will remember that three to four years ago, there were buckets of water in every ward. Unfortunately, this sister of mine does not even mention the absence of buckets everywhere except in one corner of the hospital. When we have finished, I will invite the hon. Members to see what efforts UTH is making in the rehabilitation of that hospital.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo: Mr Chairperson, I must state that buy and large, the issues raised as I say where covered.

The hon. Member for Munali, who is not in the House wanted to be educated on how hon. Ministers, hon. Deputy Ministers and Permanent Secretary’s allocations indicated that a Permanent Secretary’s office was superior to that of the Deputy Minister. I am not sure where she got that information from. The Yellow Book has nothing like that and so I do not know what I can clarify for something which does not exist. Funding is under administration and this is where the funding for all these offices is.

Sir, she also bemoaned the issue of mosquitoes. Again, I did indicate to this august House the efforts we have made in vector control in this area. Of the fifteen districts and Lusaka is one of them, we have reached a coverage of nearly 87 per cent and so, obviously since she lives in Sunningdale, that place and Kabulonga may not have been covered yet. It is our concern that we look after those who are least able to look after themselves. Therefore, we started with Kalingalinga, Mutendere and other compounds because those need that protection more than the person in Sunningdale. Therefore, we shall reach there and she will be comfortable that her baby will sleep nicely and will not contract malaria.

Mr Chairperson, it will be incomplete if I do not refer to the issue of male circumcision. From the multi-country survey on male circumcision, it is clearly reported that it does provide a 60 per cent protect from HIV/AIDS and STIs but it does not state that because one is circumcised, therefore, one must embark on a multiplicity of partners…


Dr Chituwo: … without protection. I am afraid that is not the way. Yes, there is protection but it is just one of the methods and we must continue to be responsible and protect ourselves by abstinence or going under a shower or using condoms. That is very important.

Mr Chairperson, this is a message we must carry across that circumcision is not a panacea for having uncontrollable partners.

Sir, finally, I must state that with regard to treatment abroad, I must emphasise yet again and it was even in my statement. Hon. Member for Roan (Mr Kambwili), I have no reason whatsoever to mislead anybody, I do not get anything and I do not even get satisfaction from that kind of behaviour. Since you have formed an opinion and you refuse to be persuaded that that opinion is not correct, I want to state that out of ten patients that we send, perhaps one would be a person who is a news maker. A lot of our patients go quietly for overseas treatment and no media would follow them to indicate to you that so and so has been treated. So, please, try to believe us when we say these things. Statistics are there and they start with the person who is speaking and so let us not mislead the nation that because these things have been publicised for one or two persons, therefore, it is a wholesome treatment.

Mr Chairperson, I wish to end and to urge that each one of us has a role to play in health and I am seeking that the hon. Members support the proposed Budget.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

VOTE 46/01 ─ (The Ministry of Health ─ Human Resources and Administration ─ K277,315,426,839).

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Mr Chairman, may I have clarification on Programme 2, Activity 01 – Outstanding Bills – K1,635,123,499. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what these outstanding bills are, and why we should have such a large amount. Why were they not paying these bills all these years?

Dr Chituwo: Mr Chairperson, on Programme 2, Activity 01 – Outstanding Bills – K1,635,123,499. Indeed, as has been stated, even in many Government departments, we have fallen behind with the issue of debt. This amount consists of debt to utility companies and maintenance of vehicles. It is true that we incurred this big debt because of falling behind in the management of some of our programmes.

I thank you, Sir.

Vote 46/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 46/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 46/06 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 46/07 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 46/08 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 46/10 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 46/11 ─ (The Ministry of Health ─ Copperbelt Province ─ K99,191,656,590).

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 9, Activity 02 - Supervisory Visits to District Hospitals and Health Centres - K31,650,635. I note that last year, the allocation was K95,764,012. The allocation this year is just about a third of what was allocated last year, can the hon. Minister shed some light as to why there is this drastic reduction? Are they not going to supervise as they did last year? Is there a reason why there should be such a big reduction?

Dr Chituwo: Mr Chairperson, I acknowledge this reduction on Programme 9, Activity 02 - Supervisory Visits to District Hospitals and Health Centres - K31,650,635. However, this is because some of the supervisory functions have been taken over by other functions and hence, the reduction that we have noticed.

I thank you, Sir.

Vote 46/11 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 46/12 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 46/13 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 46/14 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 46/15 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 46/16 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 46/17 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 46/18 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

VOTE 65 – (Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training – Headquarters – K135,610621,478)

The Deputy Chairperson: It seems the hon. Minister of Science, Technology and Vocational Training (Mr Daka) is not in the House and so we move to the next order.


VOTE 68/01 – (Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources – Human Resources and Administration - K123,227,689,352).

The Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources (Mr Kaingu): Mr Chairperson, it is my honour and privilege to be accorded this opportunity to present a policy statement in support of the Budget Estimates of Expenditure of Head 68 – Ministry of Tourism Environment and Natural Resources…

Mr Kasongo: On a point of order, Sir

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kasongo: Mr Chairperson, I rise on a question of procedure of the House. Whenever an item is reflected on the Order Paper, it means that if the hon. Minister is not available, that issue cannot be debated and the vote of that particular ministry lapses. May I be guided on the issue?

 Hon. Opposition Members:  Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! The Standing Orders are there to guide us, but you will also appreciate just as the Chair does that we are considering the budget. You know that if that particular vote is not considered because of the absence of the Minster, it simply means that the whole budget will not be considered. It is, therefore, in that respect that I took the decision that we consider it later on. Therefore, let us proceed.

May the hon. Minister please, continue?

Mr Kaingu: Mr Chairperson, it is my honour and privilege to be accorded this opportunity to present a policy statement in support of the Budget Estimates of Expenditure of Head 68 – Ministry of Tourism Environment and Natural Resources.


Mr Chairperson, the House may wish to recall that my ministry was reclassified as an economic one because it presents tremendous opportunities…


The Chairperson: Order!

Mr Kaingu: … for economic growth and improved standards of living of the Zambian people. The economic ranking of the ministry is further underscored by the fact that both tourism and forestry contribute immensely to the social economic development of the country.

Mr Chairperson, as most of the hon. Members of this House may be aware, my ministry is responsible for managing two distinct sectors namely, the tourism sector and the natural resources sector. My ministry is also responsible for environment protection and pollution…


The Chairperson: Order! You are consulting very loudly both on my right and left. Can we consult quietly. The hon. Minister is making an important policy debate.

Mr Kaingu: Though distinct, the sectors reinforce one another. Sir, the total budget for my ministry is K123,226,689,352 of which Government will contribute K53,179,919,852 and the cooperative partners will contribute K17,047,769,500. In keeping with the Government overall development agenda…

The Minister of Science, Technology and Vocational Training (Mr Daka) entered the Assembly Chamber.

Hon. Members: Shame, shame!


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Order!

Mr Kaingu: … In keeping with the Government overall development agenda of wealth creation and poverty reduction, my ministry has ensured that allocation of resources in this year’s budget reflects the importance placed on programmes with the greatest impact on national economy and the contribution towards the improvement of livelihoods of the Zambian people.


Mr Kaingu: This year, my ministry aims to focus on tree planting through establishment of plantations in the most degraded parts of the country. To this effect, K4,690,000,000 has been allocated towards…

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Before, we go ahead, let me advise the Executive that this is a serious matter. The Minister of Science, Technology and Vocation Training (Mr Daka) should have been around because he was aware that after Head 46, it was his Ministry coming on.

He left at a very inappropriate time and in the process, a procedural point of order was raised because under normal circumstances, the consideration of this Head should have lapsed and you can imagine what that would have meant for all of us and the whole country. That is why although I took the discretion of moving on, wrong as it may be, I had to look at the interest of the nation.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 The Deputy Chairperson: Therefore, please, next time, make sure that you are available.  Since the hon. Minister of Science, Technology and Vocational Training has come at an appropriate time, I would like him to apologise to the committee.

(Debate adjourned)



[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress reported)




The Vice-President (Mr R Banda): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.

Question put and agreed to.

The House adjourned at 1919 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 6th March, 2008.