Debates- Friday, 29th February, 2008

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Friday, 29th February, 2008

The House met at 0900 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, following the election of Colonel Gerry Chanda as Member of Parliament for Kanyama Constituency during the parliamentary by-election held on 21st February, 2008, I wish to inform the House that I have appointed him to serve on the Committee on Health, Community Development and Social Welfare.

 Thank you.



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


On Tuesday, 4th March 2008, the Business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply on this year’s Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure and will consider the following heads:

Head 64 – Ministry of Works and Supply;
Head 65 – Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training;
Head 68 – Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources; and
Head 76 – Ministry of Sport, Youth and Child Development.

Sir, on Wednesday, 5th March 2008, the Business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. After that, the House will consider Private Members’ Motions, if there will be any. The House will then consider the Second Reading Stage of the three Bills that were referred to the Committee on Estimates on Tuesday, 19th February, 2008. These are:

(i) The Income Tax (Amendment ) Bill (N.A.B. 1/2008);
(ii) The Customs and Excise Tax (Amendment )Bill (N. A. B 2/ 2008); and
(iii) The Value Added Tax Act (Amendment) Bill (N. A. B 3.2008).

The House will then resolve into Committee of Supply on this year’s Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure and will consider the following head:

Head 51 – Ministry of Communications and Transport.

On Thursday, 6th March, 2008, the Business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. After that, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply on this year’s Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure and will consider the following heads:

Head 77 – Ministry of Defence;
Head 78 - Office of the President - Zambia Security Intelligence Services; and
Head 80 – Ministry of Education.

Sir, on Friday, 7th March, 2008, the Business of the House will begin with His Honour the Vice-President’s Question Time. Then, the House will consider Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply on this year’s Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure and will consider the following heads:

Head 87 – The Anti-Corruption Commission; and
Head 89 – Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.




180. Mr D. Mwila (Chipili) asked the Minister of Mines and Mineral Development how much money had been spent by Konkola Copper Mines Plc and Mopani Copper Mines Plc on the following sports from 2001 to 2007, year by year:

(i) football;
(ii) netball;
(iii) rugby;
(iv) boxing;
(v) chess; and
(vi) tennis.

The Deputy Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr M. B. Mwale): Mr Speaker, I would like to inform the House that Konkola Copper Mines Plc and Mopani Copper Mines Plc spent a total of US$2,884,508 which is equivalent to K13,554,167,512 from 2001 to 2007 on the sports listed in the question. The expenditure per sport is as follows:

KCM Expenditure (US$)

Company                    Sport                   Clubs          2001      2002     2003     2004      2005       2006       2007
                                   Category             Sponsored

Konkola                       Football                Nchanga      0           0       210,000 210,000 300,000 300,000 380,000
Copper Mines                                          Rangers
Plc                                                           Konkola
                                                                Blades and 

                                   Football               KCM Premier                                                    200,000  250,000 250,000

                                   Tennis                                                                                           50,000     50,000   71,250

Mopani                        Football                                  168,000 168,000 168,000 168,000 168,000 168,000   168,000 
Mine Plc                      Rugby                                        1,121   31,754    49,463   19,997   31,901  49,200     54,050
                                   Chess                                                                                                             3,000    9,950                                         Boxing                                                                                                                            1,365
                                   Tennis                                                    14,644   8,442                     1,719    14,604    9,298

Mopani Copper Mines PLC

Sport                 Football                         Rugby            Tennis             Chess         Boxing             Total
Category            K                                   K                     K                     K                K                       K

2001               823,200,000                5,492,000              0                      0               0             823,200,000
2002               856,800,000            161,445,000       74,684,400             0               0           1,092,929,800
2003               814,000,000            239,895,550       40,143,700             0               0           1,094,839,250
2004               823,200,000              97,985,300              0                      0               0              921,185,300
2005               803,040,000            152,486,780          8,216,820            0               0              963,743,600
2006               806,400,000            236,160,000        70,192,000      14,400,000     0           1,126,976.200
2007               695,520,000            223,764,000        38, 493,770    41,193,000  5,651,100  2,593,584,870

Mr Speaker, the House may wish to know that of the sports listed in the question, Konkola Copper Mines Plc did not support boxing, chess and netball, while Mopani Copper Mines did not support netball.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, we have heard that …

Mr Mukanga: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, I am sorry my brother for disturbing you. I rise on a very serious point of order. As a matter of procedure, whenever the National Budget is presented and the speech is given by the hon.  Minister of Finance and National Planning, the issues that are raised in the budget are effected after the Bill is presented to the House by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning. Is Government in order to put into effect some of the issues that were in the Budget Speech without presenting the bill and not even a statutory instrument? I will read what the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) letter states and what it is trying to implement:

From:  Director and Chief Executive Officer
To:  All Station Managers
Dated:  20th February, 2008
Priority:  Very important
Subject:  Revised Road User Charges 2008

The letter states:

“The Honourable Minister of Finance and National Planning in his Budget Speech 2008 indicated that Road User Charges collected by Road Transport and Safety Agency have been increased with effect from 1st March 2008 as a mandate.

Kindly find attached a schedule of the Revised Road User Charges which you are required to effect on 1st March, 2008. Ensure all revenue officers/cashiers, examiners, licensing officers and affected officers are aware of this development. You as Station Manager are expected to personally supervise the change over.

Should you need clarification, kindly contact the undersigned or the Head of Finance and Administration.

Signed by: Fredrick Mwalusaka.

Cc: Head Finance and Administration
  Deputy Directors
  Principal Licensing
  Principal Examinations
  Principal Registration.”

Mr Speaker, I need your serious ruling. I will lay this document on the Table.

Mr Mukanga laid the paper on the Table.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member of Parliament for Kantanshi has raised a point of order which the House has heard. That point of order, indeed, needs clarification. However, that clarification cannot be done now. I would guide, therefore, that since the House has an opportunity of resolving into Committee of Supply which will be debating the Budget for this year moved by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, the Chairperson of the Committee of Supply could exercise her discretion at any point during the discussion on the various heads to ask the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to clarify this matter. I have seen statements referring to this matter, but these are made by persons outside this House. That would be the serious ruling I would make on that point of order.

May the hon. Member for Chipili who was raising a supplementary question, please, continue.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, when the point of order was raised, I had just started saying that we have heard that K12 billion roughly has been spent only on football. What is the Ministry doing to ensure that even these other sports are also fully sponsored?

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, I would like to inform the House that, as Government, we are encouraging these mining companies to invest in sport as a way of meeting some of their social corporate responsibilities. However, I would like to inform the hon. Member that question would have been rightfully directed to the Ministry of Sport, Youth and Child Development.

I thank you, Sir.


182. Mr D. Mwila asked the Minister of Labour and Social Security:

(a) whether the Government had plans to review the redundancy packages under the Employment Act; and

(b) when the packages at (a) above were last reviewed.

The Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mr Liato): Mr Speaker, the Government has plans to review the provisions of the redundancy package, Section 26(b), Sub-section 3(b) of the Employment Act Cap. 268 of the Laws of Zambia, which compels the employer to continue paying a salary to an employee who has not received the package on the last day of duty. The justification is that employers have raised concerns that at the very time of declaring workers redundant, the employers have no capacity to continue paying the employees. Therefore, to place an obligation to such an employer, will be relying on unbearable burden on employers that are about to retrench their workers.

As regards part (b) of the question, the current redundancy package was reviewed in 1997.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Order! The House will have to continue remembering that the digital public address system we are using now is extremely sensitive. This is why I keep reminding you to consult very quietly because even, as I am speaking, there is feedback that if you also speak, will actually filter through the system. There is a large speaker just below the top red light that feeds back and your whisper can reverberate throughout this hole which is constructed for good sound. I emphasise, consult quietly.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, we have been informed that the Government is ready to review the Employment Act. Therefore, reviewing means that it can go up or down depending on the formula. I would like the hon. Minister to shed more light because the Zambia Federation of Employers wants the two months pay for each year served to be reduced to one month pay for each year served.

Mr Liato: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member knows because he is my colleague from the trade unions. He knows that the revision of labour laws is always done in consultation with the three social partners at the tripartite consultative labour council meeting. Therefore, if one party out of three has a particular position, that definitely will be brought before the consultative process at the tripartite meeting and the other two parties will have an input. I just want to assure him that it will be discussed exhaustively.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chongo (Mwense): Mr Speaker, companies, particularly mining companies, are now employing people on fixed term contract and, therefore, not obliged to pay redundancy packages, but gratuity which they are not equally paying at the end of the contract. How is the Ministry intending to protect the workers that are employed under these terms?

Mr Liato: Mr Speaker, the role of the Ministry basically is to be an arbitrator or a referee. Largely, the conditions of service are expected to be may be between employees and their employers. In other words, it is the workers organisations and employers. The Government has done its part to provide for the provision of this law. The actual details as to what terms must exist between an employee and employer largely depends on how the workers themselves are well organised. I wish to urge those who may not have these provisions within their contracts of service to do so. Our role will be, as we inspect, to see that the employers are complying with the provisions as agreed upon.

I thank you, Sir.





The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mr Magande): Mr Speaker, I beg to present a Bill entitled the Excess Expenditure Appropriation, 2005. The object of the Bill is to approve the excess of expenditure of monies aggregating K83,341,135,177 required for the services of the Republic during the financial year which ended on 31st December, 2005.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: The Bill stands referred to the Committee on Estimates. The Committee is required to submit its report on the Bill to the House by 13th March, 2008. Hon. Members who wish to make submissions or amendments to the Bill are free to do so within the programme of work of the Committee.


The Minister of Justice (Mr Kunda, SC): Mr Speaker, I beg to present a Bill entitled the Mines and Minerals Development Bill, 2008. The objects of the Bill are to:

(a) revise the law relating to the prospecting four mining and prospecting of minerals;

(b) repeal and replace the Mines and Minerals Act, 1995; and

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

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: The Bill stands referred to the Committee on Economic Affairs and Labour. The Committee is required to submit its report on the Bill to the House on 14th March, 2008. Hon. Members who wish to make submissions or amendments to the Bill are free to do so within the programme of work of the Committee.



[THE CHAIRPERSON in the Chair]

VOTE 45 – (Ministry of Community Development and Social Services – K67,136,144,896).

(Consideration resumed)

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Madam Chairperson, when business was suspended yesterday, I was explaining that the Social Cash Transfer Scheme being undertaken by the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services is very good and so there is need for the Government to take full responsibility of this particular programme. The scheme is in Kalomo, Kazungula, Chipata and Katete, but it has been a trial project by German Technical Assistance to Zambia (GTZ). For the benefit of hon. Members who do not understand what the Social Cash Transfer Scheme is, this is about paying the elderly and helpless people K50,000 every month to enable them survive. This project has done very well in Kalomo. It is our wish that this would be extended to all other areas of the country. It is important that areas like Kaputa and Shang’ombo, where there are the elderly must have this project. I have been to Luapula Province and I have seen elderly people there. Unfortunately, this has only been allocated K1.5 billion. What is gratifying, however, is that the co-operating partners have provided K10 billion. Last year, they gave us K2.4 billion, but we have been given K10 billion this year. I hope the hon. Minister will use this money, if they do release it, to extend this benefit to all parts of the country because it really helps the people.

I must congratulate the young lady, Hon. Namugala, for clearing the children from the streets. The street kids that were along …


Mr Muntanga: Madam Chairperson, I can see that hon. Members are now quarreling about her being called a young lady, but I do not think the hon. Minister would accept being called an old woman. In any case, I do not think she takes offence in me calling her a young lady. I am complimenting her on the clearing of the street kids. We used to see a lot of children on the streets. However, with only K6 billion, she was able to clear them from the streets. She has now received K10 billion for this purpose and we expect her to ensure that we do not have any more of these rejected children coming back on the streets. I hope that a lot of our friends will also take responsibility and not reject children anyhow …


Mr Muntanga: … so that we are able to reduce the number of children going on the streets.

Madam Chairperson, with regard to the social welfare, I would want this ministry to be taken seriously. The hon. Members of Parliament have now been given offices and if we are not careful and do not adequately fund the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services, what will happen is that people will run to the offices of hon. Members of Parliament and we will have to look for money to assist them. They will come to our offices for the supply of food, dressing of children and paying of school fees instead of us sending them to the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services where they would be assisted.

One issue on which I will try to move an amendment is the relocating of money for women empowerment from the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services. We do not need to move away this money from this Ministry. There was K1 billion for women empowerment …

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: … and now this money has been removed from the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services. We have to move an amendment so that this money is taken back to this Ministry.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: We do not need to have that K100 million for women development that has now been allocated. Why should this be so? Money is now being moved to some created organisation which is fictitious.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: How can the Government do that?

Dr Machungwa: Bwekeshapo!

Mr Muntanga: We had the Youth Development Fund which we were able to use in constituency development. Now it has been moved to another fictitious organisation. We had K29 billion which was moved to be administered from Lusaka. How many youths have benefited from this in the constituencies?

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Had the Government decided to distribute this K29 billion through the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), it would have been utilised by now. The Government wants to create programmes on which it does not use money and come to tell us at the end of the year that K900 billion was not used and, therefore, taken back to the treasury. Why should this be? We created another fund called the Irrigation Fund. How many farmers have benefited from this? This fund has been transferred to Finance Bank.

We want, therefore, the money for women empowerment to go back to the Ministry Community Development and Social Services. When I go out of this House, I will go and see how we can move this money back to the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: We also want the money for the youths to go back to where it was allocated before. Zambians should not be deceived that the Ministry of Finance and National Planning has more funds to invest in youths and women empowerment.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Madam Chairperson, I urge hon. Members that these are two important items and the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services, for their own information, is one ministry where even some of us here will end up because we have seen that those who are not preparing themselves, once they lose an election, are a sorry site. It is only this Ministry, under Hon. Namugala, that will rescue us. In Zambia, we have not created a social security fund like in Europe, where elderly people are paid. I have seen my cousin Manjata …


Mr Muntanga: … who was a hon. Minister. I want hon. Ministers in here to go and look at him and …

Mr Mabenga: On a point of order, Madam.

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mabenga: Madam Chairperson, is the hon. Member of Parliament in order to talk about a peaceful man who has looked after himself so well after leaving this House and say that he is a sorry sight when he is not? I need your serious ruling, Madam.

Hon MMD Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: The point of order raised by Mr Mabenga, who is the hon. Member of Parliament for Mulobezi, is that the hon. Member debating is bringing in his debate Mr Manjata who is outside this House and, therefore, cannot defend himself. The Chair feels that this point of order is very important. If we have to refer to people outside, I think that as individuals, we ought to say good things about them. However, if we are going to bring in people …

Mr Muntanga interjected.

The Chairperson: Order! He is no longer an hon.  Minister or public figure, but a private person now and, therefore, you cannot bring him in your debate here as a sorry sight.


The Chairperson: That is not in order. The hon. Member may take this into consideration as he goes on.

May the hon. Member for Kalomo, please, continue.

Mr Muntanga: Madam Chairperson, I thank you for your guidance and I will not mention my brother or cousin, Manjata. I will say that the people that may have been in Government become sorry sights.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: It is only those that do not care about their friends when we try to remember them, like my friend the National Chairperson of Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD), that are shy to mention that a number of our friends …

The Chairperson: Order!

Mr Muntanga: I will not mention any names, Madam.

The Chairperson: Order! You do not refer to the ruling.

May he, please, continue.

Mr Muntanga: We have to care of the people that are actually having problems. We have to show sympathy and I have a lot of it.

Madam Chairperson, the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services has helped many people. This is why we need to support this Ministry. I have been to the Ministry and I have met so many disabled people. Quite a number of times, the hon. Minister and her staff have looked after these people that are suffering and this is something that you cannot comprehend. There is no need, therefore, for us to even reduce this budget from K72 billion to K67 billion. This shows that we are not serious.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: I am trying to control my annoyance and, if it was possible, I was going to start crying.


The Chairperson: Order! Mr Muntanga may not provoke the Chair by his own annoyance. Nobody is supposed to be annoyed here. Continue controlling yourself without even telling us that you are doing so yourself.

You may continue, please.

Mr Muntanga: I will not be annoyed, instead I will just cry.


Mr Muntanga: Madam Chairperson, even if you are seeing me here, I am crying inside.


Mr Muntanga: This Ministry must be given money in order to help the aged who are suffering in Kaputa, Mbala and Liuwa. I met many old people in Liuwa that are suffering. In Kalomo, we are the aged by giving them K50,000 per month. However, I would be happier if the hon. Minister through the Chair increased the number of the aged from 3,000 to 10,000 in Kalomo. However, I want to cry for others say in Kaputa especially because I have been there.


Mr Muntanga: I want to remember …

The Chairperson: Order! The Chair appreciates the debate and indeed, a very constructive one. However, the Chair feels that the hon. Member debating has an agenda …


The Chairperson: … in the way that he is showing concern over Kaputa.


The Chairperson: The Chair will remain focused and will not give favours to any type of debate.

You may continue, please.

Mr Muntanga: Madam, thank you very much. I will shift away from crying for all these other constituencies, but I will have to continue for Luanshya, Munali and even Siavonga where my grandmothers are. We have people that were displaced during the construction of the Kariba Dam. These people need help.

Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has run away because the people of Namaila Village where he comes from are suffering and I wonder why he cannot see this. The hon. Deputy Minister is also not here and yet the people in Katuba are also suffering. I have seen the old people there. Maybe he does not see them. We need to be serious. This is a Ministry that needs people’s sympathy.

Madam Chairperson, I am going to bring amendments to this Ministry and so I expect support to come from the whole House.  I do not expect anyone to go against it. Who are you not to give the old people assistance? The old people must be assisted. The K1.3 billion that she has requested for should be given. Why can Government not see this problem?

Mr Hachipuka: From contingency!

Mr Muntanga: I am sure you can get some money from the contingency fund and give the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: What is wrong with MMD? In the, first instance, you are the people who caused the problems. Now I am annoyed with you.


Mr Muntanga: Why should MMD not reason? You are the people who have spoiled this country and you are the same people who cannot listen. Why are you like this? What sort of people are you? You have professors and doctors and no matter how fashionable they are.


Mr Muntanga: You have doctors in medicine, but they cannot even tell their friends who are suffering. When there is a Cabinet meeting, you just sit and smile. What is wrong with you?


Mr Muntanga: Madam Chairperson, we have presidents here like the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services. How do you become president if you …

The Chairperson: Order!


Mr Muntanga: Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


Mrs N. J. M. Phiri (Luanshya): Madam Chairperson, I would love to congratulate Hon. Namugala for standing out as a woman and for helping us. I also want to zero in on two points.


The Chairperson: Order!

Ms N. J. M.  Phiri: Madam, I will not hammer as much as my big brother has done. I think he has done a very good job. I will just maybe talk about two issues.

Firstly, I congratulate the hon. Minister of Community Development and Social Services for having tried to wipe out the street children in Lusaka. They are not a menace, but just looking for what was right for them. Having children on the streets does not mean that they are a menace as many at times they are abused by those that could be maybe called well to do. They are on the streets because of poverty. The poverty levels of this nation are appalling. Of course, we can be proud and say single digit, but I do not want to support that. I do not see the single digit inflation because I am a poor mother. The children that are on the streets are my children. Many at times when I look at them, I want to cry and feel bad that there are men who abuse these children. Sometimes, they would even insult them and say fuma apo ukutumpa. They forget that one day, …

The Chairperson: What does that mean?

Mrs N. J. M. Phiri: This means get out of here, stupid boy or girl.

Madam Chairperson, I hope the K10 billion provided in the Yellow Book, and knowing the hon. Minister, will be used properly to maintain the centres for street kids which have been established under her Ministry.

Repatriating them into these centres means that a lot of things will be done using the K10 billion for the children to be attracted because there is an influx of these children getting into those centres and coming back. I have seen them in Luanshya Constituency. A number of them have come back. When you ask them why they have gone back on the streets, they say, kabili tulima widows meaning that they are just widows. When they in these centres, they are not given any allowance. I, therefore, urge the Government to give them some incentives, like money to buy toiletries.

On the issue of services, the Ministry must improve on schools and skills training.

The other issue the Government must look at is to put up spiritual centres so that as these children are being counselled, they also get spiritual counselling. They need to be liberated from the bondages that they have had for a long time.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Member: Mayo mwalanda bwino.

Mrs N. J. M Phiri: Madam Chairperson, we also need a special Income Generating Activities (IGA) household. This should be in homes where these children are coming from. When these children complete their courses, which may be for a year or so, they need to go back to their households. This should be done the way it is done with prisoners. We need to empower the households. If these households are not empowered, the mothers will still ask their children to go and beg on the streets.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hammer!

 Mrs N. J. M Phiri:  I think it would be better for the Government to empower them with an income generating business like rearing chickens. I know that many of us during our time did not come from rich families and so we kept chickens behind our houses so that when time came to go back to school, we would sell the chickens to generate money to enable us go back to school. There was nothing very special that our parents were doing except that they had a vision. We should instill back the vision that has been stolen from these mothers. However, they cannot do that unless we provide proper leadership to give them direction and that is why I am talking about the income generating activities. We need to sustain this Ministry as one of the hon. Members of Parliament pondered on. This is the only important Ministry in Luanshya, Kaputa, Kantanshi, Luapula and Lusaka Central constituencies.  It is called a Ministry for the poor.

 Madam Chairperson, it is very important that these mothers are given a vision. They should be given money to sustain themselves. The only income that was going to help them has been grabbed from the Ministry which is looking after the poor people. I do not think the hon. Minister would have loved that to happen because she is the only hon. Minister I can proudly say has been to my constituency and knows how many old women I look after single handedly. They are more than one hundred. Where will I get the money because I do not have any income generating business to sustain me?

Hon. Member: Lila mummy.

Mrs N. J. M Phiri: An amount of K100 million has been allocated for the women, but this is too little. What will the hon. Minister be monitoring because this is just a monitoring fund?

Dr Machungwa: Deaths.

Mrs N. J. M Phiri: Will she be monitoring deaths of the old women, widows and orphans? I am sure if you know how Luanshya is, I do not think the hon. Minister will be accepted this time around if she will just come empty handed. What will be monitored when the Government has grabbed the small fund which was sustaining the women? Does the Government want us to come and talk about the budget in this House? What Budget will we talk about when you are grabbing the finances which are sustaining the women? It is well known worldwide that when you empower one woman, …

Hon. PF Member: Pray for them

Mrs N. J. M Phiri: … it means that you have empowered 700 households because we share as women. Now you are grabbing the little and giving it to this body which I do not even know. I do not even know where the offices are because as hon. Members Parliament, we go from one ministry to another to push for projects.  Now, we should even include bodies which we do not even understand.

Hon. PF Member: Amen!

Mrs N. J. M Phiri: I do not know whether that body is called the Citizens Commission or Citizens Economical cakuti.


Mrs N. J. M Phiri: How are we going to manage, Madam Chairperson? I do not know if the Chair is listening.

The Chairperson indicated assent

Mrs N. J. M Phiri: Thank you Madam. In order to emphasise the point, I can express myself by using so many words or with a lot of vigour or maybe with tears in my eyes or with a broken heart. However, I urge the Government to send this money back to this Ministry with no compromise. If it means women walking in the streets to fight for their money and rights, I think the time has come now. May be this is what the Government is looking for. As women, we should walk like Mama Chikamoneka.

Madam Chairperson, I think it is important that this money that has been taken away from the Ministry is taken back so that the old women of Luanshya and Mambwe in Eastern Province where you find the Kunda people who are very poor can benefit. No one looks at the women except when it is voting time. I have said on this Floor of the House that we are not going to take that where even the little money allocated to us has been taken away. It is not a fair deal. Let us take this money back where it belongs. In fact, I would urge the Government to increase the allocation. I have said this on this Floor of the House and I am not ashamed to say again that let it be given to Hon. Namugala. The K900 billion allocated to this Ministry for the old people is very little money.

Ms Changwe: On a point of order, Madam.

Mrs N. J. M Phiri: Lucy, ikala wawa.


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


Ms Changwe: Thank you very much, Madam Chairperson. I rarely rise on points of order, but I am prompted to rise on this one because I want you to rule seriously, whether my elder sister debating so well is in order to actually put it to the public, the women, the young girls and to everybody that the only way women can get their plight heard is to undress as Julia Chikamoneka did. Madam Chairperson, I want your serious ruling because I do not think that is in order. Is she in order to incite the women to undress in order for their plight to be heard?


The Chairperson: Order! The point of order raised by the hon. Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Vocational Training is that Mrs Phiri debating has, in her speech, brought out something like women to undress and demonstrate on the streets and the concern is whether she is in order to incite women to undress on the streets and wants a very serious ruling. The Chair heard the hon. Member debating referring to demonstrations in the Mama Chikamoneka style. Inciting is not correct. Mama Chikamoneka’s style can be anything, maybe, from the way she walked, she did not  …


The Chairperson: Order! The Chair did not hear that it is in the way she dressed because if it is dressing, the police would know which offence to charge them with which may be indecent exposure.

The Chairperson: When we debate, as leaders, what we say can be taken as a way forward. The hon. Member debating should simply moderate her speech. Taking advantage of the same point of order, I would like to urge you not to refer to bodies that you legislated in the House as unknown because you legislated the Economic Empowerment Bill in this House. Therefore, it is part of you. Now, if you turn against it out there, then people will wonder where it has come from when it came from this House. I thought I could make that point.

May the hon. Member, please, continue.

Mrs N. J. M. Phiri: Madam Chairperson, I thank you for the guidance. I think my young sister understands what I meant.

Madam Chairperson, I agree that we should not speak against what we legislate in this House, but that does not mean that certain bodies must die. The money that belongs to certain bodies must not be diverted to other portfolios and so I urge the Government to run this as an entity on its own. This is a very responsible Ministry and so it should be supported. As women, we are going to use any means to maintain and sustain the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services because it is looking at our welfare.

Dr Scott: Hear, hear!

Mrs N. J. M. Phiri: It is the only Ministry that deals with the grassroots. It is the only Ministry that is managing the bottom up way of management.

Hon. Member: Bottom up!

Mrs N. J. M. Phiri: How can the Government reduce or take away the money that is meant for women? I think this Ministry should be supported because it is involved with the grassroots.

Madam Chairperson, I think I have laboured on this point and I trust God that the listening hon. Minister has heard. She will help up us fight for the money that has been taken to the commission or wherever to come back to the Ministry so that the women clubs can continue operating. I am happy that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Development is in the House now and so I urge him to take back the K1 billion to this Ministry. I also urge him to increase the allocation because even his constituency has benefited from the Women Empowerment Programme under that Ministry.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Dr Machungwa: Hear, hear!

The Minister for North-Western Province (Mr Chipungu): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the vote for the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services.

In supporting the vote, I would like to talk about the role of women clubs in this country. First of all, let me commend the hon. Minister of Community Development and Social Services, Hon. Namugala, her two hon. Deputy Ministers and the entire members of staff at the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services because they are doing a commendable job in this Ministry.

I would like to, personally, again commend the Hon. Minister who I know so well.


Mr Chipungu: We have known each other for a very long time.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chipungu: I know that she also knows me very well …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chipungu: … as an elder brother.

Mr Muntanga: She is from Isoka. How can you be her elder brother?

Mr Chipungu: Madam Chairperson, I wish to defend her in terms of mobility. I think she has tried because she has travelled extensively in North-Western Province.

Mr Muntanga: What about Isoka?

Mr Chipungu: This year, she has been to Nyampande and other parts of Rufunsa Constituency and this is highly commendable.

Madam Chairperson, women clubs play a vital role in our society. They are a source of economic empowerment to their womenfolk. They also build capacities and help to identify leadership. Women clubs also foster unity in communities where they exist. I am happy that these clubs have been well funded in this country by the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services and this must be indeed commended.

Madam Chairperson, in North-Western Province and Rufunsa Constituency, a number of women clubs were funded last year. These clubs have embarked on a number of economic income generating activities, such as, gardening, rearing chickens and keeping goats. Therefore, hon. Members must take keen interest and lobby for more funds on behalf of their constituencies.

In addition, Madam Chairperson, I would like to talk about another form of women club which is called WORTH. This is a new concept which is being managed by PACT Zambia in conjunction with the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services.

Madam Chairperson, WORTH implements a sequence of activities and these are:

(a) introduces literacy through action-oriented, group instructional learning, while women save together;

(b) enables women to transparent savings and credit groups through simple practical women’s village banking, using their literacy skills;

(c) encourages women to borrow from their resources or savings to develop micro-enterprises built on women learning from women;

(d) facilitates village banks charging interests on their loans and then periodically distributing this interest as dividends to bank members;

(e) trains women in problem solving and advocacy to tackle the most difficult challenges facing families and communities including HIV/AIDS; and

(f) supports the development of two income streams for women – one from micro-enterprise and one in the form of dividends from the village bank.

Madam Chairperson, in short, this is a very good concept. In Rufunsa, over 1,000 women are benefiting from WORTH. At the time I was invited to go and officiate at a function, I found over 1,000 women translating to about thirty women clubs in the groups of twenty-five. During the time I was there, they had banked over K100 million. In fact, I have a document here for those hon. Members who may be interested. They can photocopy it so that they can introduce this in their respective constituencies.

Mr Muntanga: Lay it on the Table.

Mr Chipungu: Madam Chairperson, I have also encouraged PACT Zambia to come and introduce this concept in North-Western Province. I always believe that people should not cry, but be practical.
Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chipungu: I will lay this document on the Table for those hon. Members who are interested to look at it. If they do not understand, they should come back to me and find out and not to this House. I will show them how to do it.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Mr Chipungu laid the paper on the Table.

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

Mr Habeenzu (Chikankata): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to those who have spoken on this subject.

Madam Chairperson, the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services is for the poor.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Habeenzu: This is a Ministry that takes care of the welfare of the poor and vulnerable in society. It takes care of the people who cannot afford to fend for themselves.

Madam Chairperson, it was quite disheartening yesterday to hear a very senior Government official say that he hates hearing words, such as, poverty and poor. He wants people to talk about wealth. How can people talk about wealth when this Government is what has created the poverty being experienced by our people in rural areas?

Hon Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Habeenzu: Madam Chairperson, our people are suffering because this Government has not paid our farmers.

Hon Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Habeenzu: This Government has not delivered the fertiliser to the farmers in order for them to produce so that the hunger being experienced in the rural areas is addressed. This Government has not done that, yet this is a Government which hates words, such as, poor and poverty. Some of these people who hate such words are presidential hopefuls.

Mr Habeenzu: How can you be a president of a nation when you hate words like poor and poverty?

Major Chizhyuka: Which you have created.

Mr Habeenzu: I believe that a very responsible Head of State should always talk about poverty and think about how he can help the poor people out there. Our people are suffering because …


The Chairperson: Order!

Mr Habeenzu: … some of these people …

The Chairperson: Order! Please, stop debating from your seats. Just indicate that you want to contribute and give your views. If you want to raise a point of order, do it properly.

The hon. Member for Chikankata may continue, please.

Mr Habeenzu: Madam Chairperson, the problem with us is that we belong to the old school. There are some people who are very good at making noise.


The Chairperson: Order! The Chair has ruled. Can you continue and deliver your speech.

May the hon. Member continue, please.

Mr Habeenzu: Madam, I thank you.

The allocation that has been given to the Ministry of Community Development should be increased. The amount of K67 billion allocated this year in the budget is not enough. This is because this Ministry looks after the poor. I want to commend the hon. Minister of Community Development and Social Services for a job well done in looking after the street kids and in trying to alleviate the suffering of our people in our constituencies.

Hon Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Habeenzu: Madam Chairperson, I want to rally behind those who have spoken on the Women Development Fund. This fund is very important. In my view, instead of removing it, the allocation should have been increased because some of these women are widows and this is the money that they have been using to at least take their children to school after having done some projects. It is this same money that has been used to venture into businesses and make money to enable them afford a meal a day.  However, this fund has now been removed. I would like to appeal to the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, who is not here, to seriously look into this. If an amendment is moved, this fund should be increased from K1 billion to K2 billion so that these women, who are suffering in Chikankata Constituency, can benefit from this fund.

Hon Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Habeenzu: Madam Chairperson, it is good that there is a provision for the Food Security Pack in this vote. As you are aware, the Government has failed to deliver fertiliser to our farmers. I believe that this fund can be of use because our farmers can diversify from growing crops like maize to crops that will bring profit. It is possible that if this fund is put to good use, it can help in one way or the other.

Hon Opposition Member: Hear, hear!
Mr Habeenzu: Madam Chairperson, I do not want to waste much of your time, therefore, I will now go to the issue of disability.

Hon Opposition Member: Hammer!

Mr Habeenzu: Madam Chairperson, over 650 persons around the world are disabled. With extended families, you will find that a staggering figure of 2 billion people in the world live with disabilities. In every country in the world, persons with disabilities always live in margins of society and deprived of some of life’s fundamental experiences. They have little hope of going to school, getting a job, having their own home, creating a family and raising their children and enjoying a social life or even voting. For the vast majority of the world’s persons with disabilities, shops, public facilities, transport and information are largely out of reach.

Madam Chairperson, an estimated 20 per cent of the world’s poorest persons are those with disabilities. Madam, 98 per cent of children with disabilities in developing countries do not attend school while 30 per cent of the world’s street kids live with disabilities. It may also be of interest you to know that literacy levels for adults living with disabilities is as low as 3 per cent in some countries. Zambia needs to look seriously at the signing of the Convention of the Rights for Persons with Disabilities. At the moment, persons with disabilities are still primarily viewed as objects of welfare or medical treatment rather than holders of rights.

Hon UPND Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Habeenzu: Madam Chairperson, the only way to ensure that persons with disabilities fully enjoy their human rights is to guarantee those rights under national law, support legislation through consistent, co-ordinated and continued actions across all ministries and ensure that legal institutions enforce and respect these rights. Marginalising persons with disabilities and encouraging them to remain dependent is costly both for their families and the general public. Empowering persons with disabilities to live independently and contribute to society is socially and economically beneficial. Persons with disabilities are voters, taxpayers and citizens like every one else. They expect the Government support which they are fully entitled to.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Hon Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Kapata (Mandevu): Madam Chairperson, I join many others in passing a vote for the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services for the year, 2008.

I bemoan the reduction in the budget allocation of 2008, which is at K67.1 billion as compared to last year when it was at K72.1 billion. This year’s budget is a drop in the ocean.

I say so because the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services empowers women clubs with skills so that they raise the entire households in our communities. They provide for the poor and the vulnerable group, such as, persons with disabilities, orphans, the elderly, widows and people living with HIV/AIDS. They also provide recreation to the vulnerable in the communities. The poor economic performance and long-term neglect of the sector has, however, resulted in the rising of illiteracy rates, wide spread of unemployment, poor living conditions, malnutrition, destitution and crime among others.

Madam Chairperson, may I also take this opportunity to congratulate the hon. Minister for removing the street kids from the streets of Lusaka. However, most of the children have since relocated to the peri-urban of Lusaka. I would also want to urge the hon. Minster to take time and come and issue a ministerial statement to explain how these kids are being maintained, skills that are being undertaken, the follow ups that been done so far and how these children have been settled back into their families.

Madam Chairperson, I also want to comment on the Social Cash Transfer Scheme because I am one of he hon. Members of Parliament that went to Kalomo to have a look at how this skill works. It is saddening to hear that the donors have contributed K10.2 billion while the Government has only allocated K1.5 billion. I, therefore, feel that the Government should do better so that this scheme can spread to all constituencies. All constituencies have elderly people who would benefit from this scheme.

 As regards the aged, I would like to say that we should not even talk about old people’s homes as Zambians because that is not in our culture. As Zambians, we should encourage living with extended family which was there even from the day Zambia was born. When you look at most of the families in Zambia today, people are only living as a nuclear families and that is not a Zambian way of living. Therefore, we should not encourage the existence of old people’s homes because the aged are not even well looked after. It is just like a damping place. Some of them go without meals and sleep on the floor. For example, the Old People’s Home in Matero, it is an eye sore. When you go there, it looks like people are in prison. Therefore, I urge the Government to look into this issue.

Madam Chairperson, having said that, I would like to encourage the hon. Minister to rehabilitate and provide community development infrastructure, such as, welfare centres, community libraries and recreation facilities to avoid idol minds which result in mischief, such as, drunkenness among the youths and defilement cases which are on the increase. There are a lot of defilement cases because people‘s minds are idol. If they were occupied, they would not even think of defiling children as young as 5 years.

Madam Chairperson, I would also like to encourage the hon. Minister to re-introduce literacy classes in the peri-urban. Malnutrition programmes must also be encouraged in the low income communities. The Ministry of Community Development and Social Services should work hand in hard with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and churches in order to meet the community demands in development and social welfare.

Madam Chairperson, on the issue of HIV/AIDS, the hon. Minister should sensitise people about the HIV/AIDS awareness and public health education. This can be done through songs, drama and other media of communication in our communities.

The Ministry of Community Development and Social Services should also improve water and sanitation in the peri-urban.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Kapata: Madam Chairperson, 44 years after independence is really a long time to see people in the peri-urban areas, especially the people of Mandevu Constituency still do not have clean drinking water and good sanitation. Therefore, I would like to urge the hon. Minister to kindly consider these issues.

 I thank you, Madam Chairperson.
Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka):  Madam Chairperson, I would like to thank you for allowing me to make a few comments on the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services.

Madam Chairperson, I would like to begin by saying that I have a lot of apprehensions in support of this vote because of the reduction of K5 billion and transferring it to the Citizenship Economic Empowerment Commission. The Ministry has a mandate, as many hon. Members who have spoken before me said, that this is a Ministry that has direct contact with the poorest of our poor people in this country. Therefore, I would like to submit that there has been a lot of injustice done to the Ministry by reducing this amount when actually, in my view, they ought to have doubled it.

Madam Chairperson, according to the Central Statistic Office Survey of 2006, 67 per cent of our people in urban areas live below the poverty datum line. I would like to submit that this figure, to me, appears to be a little bit bogus because I imagine that nearly everybody in this House is honourable in one way or another and this is the Ministry that is charged with a mandate of looking at the vulnerable people’s welfare in this country.

A lot of people, Madam Chairperson, have been subjected to this vulnerability by many vices and some of which can be circumvented. We have a lot of people in this country that are victims of job losses offloaded in the ambits of this Ministry, for example, Agri-Flora. Last week, we were talking about JES Mining Limited that has offloaded its employees onto the streets. The Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ) Limited has been my daily song and prayer that Government should rise to the occasion and help these people. Most of these people have actually been moved a step further into the poverty stream. Some employees of NCZ have died as a result of one reason or another. The HIV/AIDS pandemic is one of the top that has eliminated the lives of these people.

Madam Chairperson, if you look at one of the articles in one of today’s newspaper, you will see that widows of the former employees of NCZ have obtained a court injunction to prevent NCZ from paying the workers who are currently employed. Suffice to mention that these workers who are currently employed at NCZ have not been paid for nearly three months.

Now, what is the attribute that brings all these things into reality? I think that the Government has a duty to help these people by intervening in certain areas of our economy beginning with the bank interest rates. I spoke about Agri-Flora and how they went under. It was a result of them failing to pay interest rates and the end result was that a lot of people were subjected to no jobs. Consequently, everybody start to suffer and fall in the basket of community development and social welfare.

Right now, we have a case in Mazabuka at Mubuyu Farm. As a result of interest rates again, Madam Chairperson, this farm is threatening liquidation. It is under receivership right now and if this receivership transforms into liquidation, we will see nearly 28,000 people being affected and then they will fall into the basket of the ambit of the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services. I am simply trying to illustrate that this Ministry has a very wide mandate in looking after the affairs of our people.

Madam Chairperson, I would also like to draw your attention to the Public Galleries. If you look at the kids that we have in the galleries today, I would not be surprised to find that nearly 10 or more per cent of them may be orphaned. This is the case with many children that we have today. They have lost their parents and fall in the ambits of the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services. If there was a way of moving a little bit of money into this vote, it would be about the most justifiable thing that this Government under the able leadership of the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, Hon. Magande, must do. They should move some money in order to enhance this Ministry a little bit more. In the current situation, I think that it is a good recipe for my dear hardworking lady, Hon. Catherine Namugala, who has a passion for people who are vulnerable for her to fail. You will not be doing her a favour or doing your Government a favour to leave this vote in its current form. This is the reason why I support this vote, but with a little bit of apprehension.

Madam Chairperson, it is a known fact that only a fool has no capability to change mind. In my view, I think the colleagues on your right are not fools and, therefore, they will consider …
The Chairperson: Order! Mr Nkombo should withdraw that word. It is not a saying. It is a direct word and, therefore, cannot use it. Withdraw the word “fools.”

May he, please, continue.

Mr Nkombo: Madam Chairperson, I withdraw the word “fools” and replace it with only “insensitive” people can fail to change their minds. I believe and strongly say that our colleagues on your right are very sensitive and so, they will actually consider these sentiments that have been aired by my colleagues before I stood up as those that will help this country move forward.

Madam Chairperson, I would also like to make an appeal to the hon. Minister of Community Development and Social Services to lobby the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to add more money, especially in the skills training and apprenticeship because this is the only area where most of our kids who are offloaded from the formal schooling system will end up. Apprenticeship, handcrafts and so on can help this country move forward. It is clear that this Government, despite its many efforts, is running behind schedule to get all the children that deserve to be in the schooling system. I think that they can move more money in helping enhance the apprenticeship system and trade training arrangement because one need not be academically strong to use your limbs. There are a lot of children that are very talented that can salvage a living even after being excluded from the normal schooling system.

With these few remarks, Madam Chairperson, I thank you.

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

Dr Kalumba (Chienge): Madam Chairperson, I will try to be brief.

Madam, let me first adopt the words of my colleagues who has just been on the Floor as my own. Speaking as he has been from the Opposition, I would like to echo his words from the vantage point of the MMD Back Bench that, indeed, given the sensitivity that this Government has shown on public policy issues would not miss the opportunity to address the budgetary deficit in the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services.

My colleague and others who have spoken before me have stressed the point that this is a Ministry with a very brave mandate. Indeed it is, if we just catalogue some of the issues that it deals with. There are, in fact, the first frontline workers vis-à-vis the issues of incomes poverty. We have seen for many years MMD Government policy initiatives to try and improve incomes policy questions by the income generating projects given to women and small groups of women in villages, but these have not perhaps been as productive as intended. However, it is an acknowledgment that this Ministry can do something in the area of improving incomes in order to reduce incomes poverty. It is not the duty of the Ministry of Finance and National Planning and the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry that are important in addressing the question of incomes poverty, but it is the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services and Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives. These two ministries are critical to overcoming incomes poverty.

Madam Chairperson, the issue of poor distribution of income in both rural and urban areas is first brought out by this Ministry because they come face to face with the challenges of poverty that the majority of our people face. One policy issue that needs to be funded is how best Government is going to help this Ministry respond to the challenges of incomes poverty in rural and peri-urban areas.

The second issue is the growing number of dependable elderly people. I am saying dependable because the bread winners are dying, the house makers are also dying after being widowed for a few years, children cannot go to school and the grandmothers who have to look after them have either retired or have no social or economical empowerment facilities at all. These grandmothers and grandfathers, who are the only remaining bodies available to most of our young children, need to be addressed in terms of a social policy scheme. We need to address this issue. We have spoken here before on the question of policy for the elderly. What kind of strategies do we need to put in place in order to empower the elderly to look after the children that have been left behind as a result of HIV/AIDS and other catastrophes that are facing the many breadwinners who are dying now?

Madam Chairperson, we have seen the challenge of the street children and we thank the hon. Minister because she has done a lot in addressing this question with your colleagues, particularly, in the ministries of Finance and National Planning and Local Government and Housing. However, I beg to say that more needs to be done.

One of my colleagues from the Opposition said that as we are witnessing these children being taken to camps, they still come back to the peri-urban areas. We need monitoring instruments. The Ministry has to be empowered financially to be able to monitor the movement of these young children. The Ministry has to keep them in camps, train and have them deployed afterwards.

We have seen the restructuring of the economy and positive developments in this area, but at the same time, challenges in terms of our employment structure. More and more people are on the streets. It will take a little while for the economy to take all these people and, therefore, we must have social policy schemes, particularly, a creative NAPSA programme which would attend to the problem of the unemployed worker. This ministry can be critical in both thinking through the policy issues and developing the strategies necessary to attend to the unemployed worker.

Madam Chairperson, the female headed households and I think some of my colleagues who talked about them bemoaned the fact that part of the budget has been moved which could have been attached to the empowerment of women and have been taken to a larger body. I am aware that the Government’s interest is to keep this citizens empowerment as a mega body for the empowerment question. However, I believe that a lot more targeting is needed. There is a danger of significant populations falling in between the crevices. Targeting requires designated hitters. If we have effective hon. Ministers, such as, the one in the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services and if we targeted the female headed households with the fund, I am sure they would be put to good use. You will not regret hon. Minister Magande.

Madam Chairperson, the absence of creative opportunities for use of leisure time falls within the mandate of the hon. Minister. They need to respond to this. Some of us who were born during the colonial times have at least witnessed community libraries. In rural areas, we had reading centres run by the native authorities. Some of my young Members of Parliament may have forgotten, but they were there.


Dr Kalumba: Libraries I think are the first opportunities for exposing our people even in remote areas or rural areas to the wider world. It will take a little while for internet cafes to reach our villages. I hope the hon. Minister can engage the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, Ministry of Education, and others who are interested in improving literacy in our communities to afford opportunities for our people in rural areas to have libraries.

Madam Chairperson, let me talk about the physically challenged people. My first born son, Lukwesa, lost sight. I understand the challenges now than I ever did before. I have visited the Zambia National Library and Cultural Centre for the Blind in Chilenje, which is in my friend’s constituency, Kabwata. They need facilities in order to attend to the growing number of young people who are losing sight. May be, we need to study what is causing this problem, Hon. Chituwo. It is a growing pandemic. I think there is need to keep close watch on this particular problem. A lot of young people are losing sight now and I have witnessed this not only in my own family, but I have seen it, as I have visited the Zambia National Library and Cultural Centre for the Blind. The centre has lobbied for more support and services so that they can re-educate the young people who are coming in and give them capacity to cope. I think the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning can listen to Hon. Namugala, if a project proposal is put in on this issue. It is a very important area of intervention.

Madam Chairperson, Hon. Members should speak with one voice on this Ministry. I know the hon. Minister has introduced very creative measures in the budget practices over the years that allow this House to make some adjustments when this is necessary.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Community Development and Social Services (Ms Namugala): Madam Chairperson, firstly, let me wholeheartedly thank all hon. Members of Parliament for supporting the vote.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: Madam Chairperson, indeed, this is a poverty reducing Ministry. With the poverty levels as high as they are, it is a critical Ministry.

Madam Chairperson, …

The Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1040 hours until 1100 hours.

[THE CHAIRPERSON in the Chair]

Ms Namugala: Madam Chairperson, when business was suspended, I had just started reacting to some of the issues that have been raised by hon. Members of Parliament.

On the issue of orphans and vulnerable children, economic empowerment of households is one of the critical components in our rehabilitation programme and this is so because we realise that households with the potential of having the children on the streets need to be empowered so as to prevent these children from going to the streets. We have, therefore, set aside some resource allocation to empower such households.

Madam Chairperson, let me say at this point that Zambia has one of the highest rates of children orphaned by HIV/AIDS. As of 2006, this stood at 845,545 in comparison to only 845 orphans in 1985. What this means then is that HIV/AIDS reinforces poverty and vice versa. The issue of HIV/AIDS has negative impact on children. Let me take this opportunity to urge hon. Members of Parliament to ensure that they protect themselves against the spread of HIV/AIDS. This is because they are looking after parents who are too vulnerable to fend for themselves.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: They are also looking after their own children and, therefore, if they fall prey to HIV/AIDS, it means that the elderly and children and in some cases, the grandchildren become vulnerable and destitute.

I would like all of us to live responsibly so that we do not see more children becoming vulnerable.

Madam Chairperson, the issue of street children who are removed and reintegrated into communities is indeed very serious. As a Ministry, we have removed children and taken them to places of safety. We need more community leaders, like hon. Members of Parliament, to get involved so as to ensure that the children are counselled. Each one of us here can play a role by ensuring that all those children that are in institutions of care are visited. It is very good for an hon. Member of Parliament to go to an orphanage or a street children drop-in centre and just share a few moments with these children so that they feel that they are part and parcel of the larger community.

Madam Chairperson, as regards the Programme Against Malnutrition (PAM), as I said yesterday, the Food Security Pack is a programme that is fully supported and run by the Government and not run by the non-governmental organisations (NGOs). I did explain that the Programme Against Malnutrition is a mere NGO contracted by the Government to implement its programme. I would like hon. Members to take time, as they go to their communities, to see how well this programme is being implemented so that they can give us a feedback. We will then make use of this information that they will give us.

The Social Cash Transfer Scheme has been mentioned and I note that Hon. Muntanga passionately speaks about this. It is true that the Social Cash Transfer Scheme is changing lives in areas where it is being implemented and we are hopeful as a ministry that we will be able to scale up this programme so that we can reach more lives. Indeed, currently the co-operating partners are putting in more money than the Government. However, starting from 2007, the Government has been putting up resources towards the Social Cash Transfer Scheme.

Madam Chairperson, as regards disability, yes, members of the community that are disabled need attention and my Ministry intends to ensure that disability issues are mainstreamed. What we intend to do this year and the years to come is to have a committee in place that can track or ensure that funding in each ministry is put towards disability issues. In the Ministry of Health, for example, we would like a situation whereby there is enough attention given to disability issues even in areas, such as, Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT). Currently …


The Chairperson: Order! Can hon. Members lower their voices in certain quarters. It is very difficult for the Chair to concentrate when you are consulting with raised voices. It is not an easy thing.

The hon. Minister may continue.

Ms Namugala: Madam Chairperson, I have talked about the importance of mainstreaming disability and I gave an example of health. If a deaf person goes for VCT, they need to be accompanied by an interpreter to know their status. This undermines confidentially. We, therefore, as Government, want to see a situation where a ministry such as the Ministry of Health has sign language interpreters to give the results to a person who is deaf.

We also want to ensure that every developer, Madam Chairperson, takes into consideration issues of disability. Therefore, as Government, we take disability as a developmental issue and we will ensure that resources are allocated to disability issues and also that it is mainstreamed so that it does not remain a responsibility of the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services alone. We want to turn disability into ability.

Madam Chairperson, a lot has been said about women’s clubs and, therefore, there is no need for me to continue talking about this except to say that I appreciate the interest that hon. Members of Parliament have shown.

Madam Chairperson, with regard to the issue of learning resource centres, Dr Kalumba mentioned that there were centres in the past where people used to go and train to be carpenters, bricklayers and so forth. This year and next year, my Ministry intends to rehabilitate resources centres so that communities can go and learn these skills without necessarily having completed formal education. We want to ensure that the lost glory of the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services is restored. In this case, we have already worked on Mungwi Resource and Namushakende Resource centres to ensure that our communities have somewhere to go and learn.

Madam Chairperson, on literacy, my Ministry implements what we call ‘functional literacy’ which simply means that these are skills that are taught to people on demand. These are not formal literacy classes. The Ministry of Education is currently implementing adult literacy. In our case, we do not necessarily need to have classrooms for us to teach our students. We can teach them under a tree. However, since these are functional skills, we give them as and when the people need them.

With these few remarks, I wish to thank you, Madam.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

VOTE 45/01 ─ (Ministry of Community Development and Social Services ─ Headquarters ─ K25,156,239,919).

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 3, Activity 08 ─ Peri-Urban Self Help (PUSH) ─ K1,700,000,000. I would like to find out why there is a reduction because this programme is very beneficial to our women. May I also have clarification on the same programme, Activity 11 ─ Monze Community College ─ K700,000,000. The institutional support has been reduced from K1,046,395,594 to K700,000,000. What plans are there?

Ms Namugala: Madam Chairperson, Peri-Urban Self Help (PUSH) has had its allocation reduced to K1,700,000,000 because we expect it to get support from other institutions, especially that the country is suffering from the effects of floods. We have already made arrangements in this regard to access some money from the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU).

Madam Chairperson, with regard to the question on the Monze Community College, yes, there has been a reduction and this is because in last year’s Budget, the college was being rehabilitated in order for it to be upgraded to a diploma level institution. This activity is not necessary this year.

I thank you, Madam.

Vote 45/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 45/02 ─ (Ministry of Community Development and Social Services ─ Social Welfare Department ─ K19,673,445,274).

Mr Nkombo: Madam Chairperson, may I have an explanation on Programme 3, Activity 03 - Nakambala Training School - K350,000,000 and Activity 05 - Katombola Reformatory - K24,000,000. Could I get an explanation from the hon. Minister why there was a sharp reduction of nearly 50 per cent on Katombola Reformatory, which if I am not mistaken is much bigger in terms of its capacity than the Nakambala Training Centre that has been allocated K350,000,000 this year and the same figure appeared last year.

Ms Namugala: Madam Chairperson, on Programme 3, Activity 05 – Katombola Reformatory – K24,000,000, there has been a reduction on Katombola Reformatory this year because the activities which were being undertaken last year, such as, repairing institutional accommodation will not take place. This amount is simply to manage the office of the Social Welfare Officer who is attached to Katombola Reformatory because it has funding under the Ministry of Home Affairs. In other words, this is just to facilitate the office of the Social Welfare officer who is attached to Katombola.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Mukanga: Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 7, Activity 07 – Public Welfare Assistance Scheme (PWAS) – K4,292,630,548. There has been a reduction of more than 50 per cent. I need some explanation.

Ms Namugala: Madam Chairperson, on Programme 7, Activity 07 – Public Welfare Assistance Scheme (PWAS) – K4,292,630,548, there has been indeed a reduction. However, we had to work with the resources available to us and this is what we could provide for the Public Welfare Assistance Scheme.

I thank you, Madam

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 3, Activity 02 – Cheshire Homes. I wonder if the Cheshire Homes are not going to be supported or there is a provision elsewhere for them.

Ms Namugala: Madam Chairperson, Cheshire Homes are institutions for children. We decided to move this to the Children’s Homes, which is Programme 7, Activity 05 –Children’s Homes - K300,000,000. They will be supported except that we have moved the allocation to another vote so that we have a tidier way of managing the institutions.

 I thank you, Madam.

Vote 45/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 45/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 45/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 45/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 13/01 ─ (Ministry of Energy and Water Development ─ K62,115,947,563).{mospagebreak}

The Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Konga): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to acquaint this august House with the 2008 Budget Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the Ministry of Energy and Water Development. The estimates are based on the need to implement priority activities that have been identified in the Fifth National Development Plan as well as the Vision 2030.

Madam Chairperson, may I begin with a review of some of the major achievements made in 2007 for the Ministry of Energy and Water Development in the Energy and Water sectors. In the energy sector, I am pleased to inform the House that in 2007, Cabinet approved a revision to the 1994 National Energy Policy. The major focus of the new National Energy Policy is to ensure that energy continues to play its role in meeting national demand in a way that fulfils the aspirations of the country. Among others, the new policy focuses on the following issues:

(i) ensuring security of supply for petroleum products as well as providing a base for efficient pricing of petroleum products;

(ii) promoting investment in electricity generation and transmission projects;

(iii) further encouraging the private sector to invest in the energy sector; and

(iv) promote renewable energy forms, such as, bio fuels and solar which can be locally harnessed to serve as substitute to imported petroleum products thereby contributing to the promoting of security of supply.

Madam Chairperson, allow me to highlight now in more detail some of the major achievements in the various energy sub-sectors. In the electricity sub-sector, the main focus has been to increase the electricity generation capacity. As hon. Members of the House are aware, the demand for electricity is increasing rapidly due to increased economic activities led by investments, especially in the mining sector. In this regard, the Ministry continued to facilitate the expansion of the country’s power generation capacity. The implementation of the power rehabilitation project by the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) continued to be implemented during the year under review and is expected to be completed by the end of 2009. The implementation of Itezhi-tezhi Project by ZESCO and TATA of India is also underway. Major progress has also been made in preparation for the Kafue Gorge Lower Project for implementation.

During 2007, bids for the implementation of the Kalungwishi Power Project as well as Kabompo Gorge Project were undertaken. A developer for Kalungwishi has been selected while that for Kabompo will be selected soon.

Madam Chairperson, as hon. Members may be aware, increasing access to electricity for the majority of the Zambians through the Rural Electrification Programme is a priority for the Government. Currently, rural access to electricity is only 3.1 per cent while urban access is 48 per cent, giving an overall national access of only 23 per cent.

In 2007, another milestone of the Energy Sector was the formulation of the Rural Electrification Master Plan which will cover the period 2008 to 2030. The aim of the plan is to increase rural electrification access from 3.1 per cent to 50.9 per cent by the year, 2030.

In the Petroleum Sub-sector, the objectives have been to ensure security of supply of petroleum products as well as ensure smooth and efficient operations of the Indeni Petroleum Refinery. During 2007, a mechanism to ensure stable supply of petroleum products was developed. This resulted in the increase in feed stock received in the country by 11.3 per cent compared to the same period in 2006. By the end of the year, the Government had spent K97.75 billion in rehabilitating the Indeni Oil Refinery. This has greatly improved the refinery reliability and brought down losses from 16 per cent to 8 per cent.

With regard to TAZAMA Pipelines, the Government provided K2.4 billion to enable the company commence works on the 40,000 metric tonnes tank in Ndola. This tank will be used to store diesel. This will be an important facility given the history of fuel shortages in the country.

Madam Chairperson, allow me now to focus on the activities for the year, 2008. Following the adoption by Cabinet of the new National Energy Policy, my Ministry this year will focus on implementing activities that will address issues of sustainable supply of energy and implement programmes which will contribute positively to wealth creation.

In the Electricity Sector, focus will be on

(i) accelerating implementation of power generation and transmission projects;
(ii) managing the electricity load to reduce load shedding as much as possible. In this vein, the Government will spearhead information dissemination on load management in all sectors of electricity consumers as well as the transition from use of inefficient electricity appliances; and

(iii) mobilising of resources both locally and internationally to implement the rural electrification master plan. This will be with a view to increase electricity access in rural areas.

In the Petroleum Sector, the Government will continue with the recapitalisation programme of Indeni Petroleum Refinery. Focus will also be on the production of clean petroleum products. In this regard, I wish to inform this august House that Indeni has stopped producing leaded petrol and hence the transition to unleaded petrol is now in full motion.

Madam Chairperson, the Ministry will also continue with the promotion of renewable energy sources like solar, wind, bio-gas and bio-diesel. As a way to promote generation of electricity from biomass, my Ministry has facilitated the acquisition of a 25 kilowatt plant from India to be located at the ZESCO Training Centre in Ndola. This will facilitate the training of ZESCO staff in this new technology of biomass.

Madam Chairperson, in the Water Sector, the Ministry will continue to implement programmes on development for water resource management as well as infrastructure development, such as, rehabilitation and construction of dams and boreholes. The development of water resources will also contribute in meeting the demand for increased industrial activities which will, therefore, contribute to economic growth and development of our country. We will further pursue the enactment of the Water Resources Management Bill and expedite its full implementation. The proposed Water Resources Management Bill, once enacted, will assist in the management of our water resources in an integrated manner at river basin level. The proposed Bill envisages a strong stakeholder participation in the management of water resources.

Madam Chairperson, the Ministry shall also pursue the adoption of the revised 1994 National Water Policy. The new policy is intended to be more relevant to our current aspirations, including the need to provide a clear vision and holistic policy direction for the management and development of Zambia’s vast water resources and to re-align the Water Sector to the principles outlined in the Fifth National Development Plan (FDNP).

Further, measures towards the realisation of the objectives of the National Decentralisation Policy in conjunction with other key stakeholders will be developed in 2008. My Ministry will continue to place emphasis on the need of providing safe and clean water for both domestic and industrial consumption.

Madam Chairperson, the Ministry continued to undertake measures to facilitate water resources management in Zambia during the period under review. Between 2006 and 2007, the Ministry completed capital programmes falling in the following categories:

(i) surface water;

(ii) ground water; and

(iii) water resources management.
The Ministry has been focusing, mainly, at implementing infrastructure development as a priority programme for both surface and ground water. The Ministry has, during the period under review, carried out more rehabilitation works than construction of dams. A total of twenty-four dams around the country were rehabilitated, while only five dams were constructed. These are:

(i) Nasanga Farming Block in Serenje District;

(ii) Nyimba of Nyimba District;

(iii) Fibale in Masaiti;

(iv) Mumpofe in Mansa; and

(v) Kantoloni in Kapiri-Mposhi.

Madam Chairperson, the Ministry has also constructed boreholes as water points for the Nasanga, Luena and Kalumwange Farming blocks. This was being implemented in an effort to open up the areas for agricultural purposes. The Ministry further constructed a few boreholes for monitoring of ground water.

Data collection on both ground and surface water continued. Emphasis on data collection was placed, once again, on surface water which has a long time data collection span. A donor projection for creation of database for ground water whose objective was to produce utility maps for use in planning commenced during the period under review.

Other major projects implemented during the period under review are:

(a) ground water development and sanitation improvement for Northern Province which established a total of 153 boreholes;

(b) rural water supply in Easter Province, Phase II Project, which produced a total of 850 water points; and

(c) the Fifth National Development was implemented in 2007 and three priority areas were addressed with the following programmes:

(i) the Water Resources Development and Infrastructure Development.

The objective of this programme is to assess, develop and allocate water resources in four priority areas which are pillars of economic development of agriculture, tourism, environment, mining and manufacturing.

The Ministry has committed itself to do the following for the coming year:

(a) construct four dams per year;

(b) maintain several dams countrywide;

(c) construct boreholes for emergency situations;

(d) construct and rehabilitate grading stations; and

(e) construct thirty-three monitoring boreholes per year.

This programme is under implementation. The construction of dams on the Copperbelt, North-Western, Central and Northern provinces is also underway while several dams around the country have either been rehabilitated or are under rehabilitation.

(ii) Water Resource Management and Information Systems

Madam Chairperson, this programme will aim at developing management information systems for planning development allocation and management of water resources at catchments, national and regional levels and will also provide safe and improve coverage of water in Zambia.
Focus will be directed towards addressing the shortcomings identified in this field in order to enable my Ministry fully manage information for water resources development. My Ministry has been sourcing for funds for sustaining the operationalisation of data collection for groundwater, surface and water quality under this programme.

(iii) Institutional Capacity Building and Enhancement

Madam Chairperson, the Ministry has continued to enjoy the goodwill of our co-operating partners in the Water Sector. The following donor funded projects have either been accomplished with donor financing or are currently under implementation:

(a) Groundwater Resources for Southern Province, which ended in 2007 and utility maps have been produced. The project has been extended to 2008 to Lusaka Province, which will see the creation of a water database. The total funding from Germany for this project has been 1.5 million euros;

(b) DANIDA Project, which is addressing issues of Integrated Water Resource Management; and

(c) the Ministry is also receiving financing from the European Union on Integrated Resource Management.

Madam Chairperson, I want also to observe that the planned projects and programmes in the Energy and Water sectors for this year will only have the envisaged immediate impact on the lives of our people, if corresponding resources to allow for their successful implementation are made available in this House. I, therefore, earnestly seek the support from the House for the approval of the Ministry of Energy and Water Development budget Estimates for the year, 2008, to enable to the Ministry achieve the objectives outlined.

I thank you, Madam.

The Chairperson: Before I allow anymore hon. Members of the Committee of Supply to debate, I would like to, once again, remind the House about leaving mobile phones outside.

 This morning, the Hon. Mr Speaker made an announcement that some of us here are carrying mobile phones. The equipment that we have, as the Hon. Mr Speaker said, is extremely sensitive. In fact, it is an offence to come in with your mobile phone whether switched off or not and yet it seems that we may even be carrying them while they are on silent. That does not mean that they will not disturb, particularly, the recording. I think you get the seriousness of this matter. The recording becomes very difficult when you have your mobile phones with you. Can we, please, make sure that our mobile phones are left outside, and not brought into the House on or off? This is because when it is accidentally taken away from you, do not come for it. We can even keep it forever. However, that should not be the idea. The idea is to have the flow of the debate kept in the House and recordings go on without the interruptions by the mobile phones that we are carrying. I hope that we will adhere to this important announcement.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this important vote on the Floor of the House presented by the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development. I will try to be brief.

Madam Chairperson, I would like to address myself to two issues. The first issue is energy, specifically petroleum. We have a situation in the country where the cost of fuel, especially in areas that are far away from Ndola like Livingstone, Mpulungu, Chavuma, Samfya, Kaputa or any other place far away from Ndola pay much more whereas fuel is reasonably priced on the Copperbelt and Lusaka provinces.
Madam, fuel is the engine of development. If you want to transport goods, use vehicles in industries and even to farm for those who have mechanised equipment, you need fuel. The level of poverty in our rural areas is higher than in the urban centres. In previous debates, we have brought up this matter on the Floor of this House regarding people in the rural areas paying far much more for fuel than people in the areas where there is less poverty. Hon. Minister, your predecessor in the previous Parliament assured this House that the Government was looking into this matter. In fact, this issue has been coming up even in the previous parliaments. He explained that out of the total consumption of fuel in the country, only 2 per cent is consumed in those areas. I urge the Government to try and have the same prices of fuel.

Zambia Breweries Limited, which manufactures coca-cola, ensures that the price is the same in Lusaka and Mpulungu. There is no difference in the pricing. It is the same with electricity. Whether it is being utilised at the source say in Siavonga, Kariba North Bank, Kafue Gorge or in Chavuma and elsewhere, the charge is the same. Why should this disparity only apply to fuel? In fact, the hon. Minister informed this House that if, for example, fuel along the line of rail, especially on the Copperbelt and Lusaka provinces was increased by K10, that would be adequate to reduce the fuel price in the rural areas so that it is the same.  In fact, the hon. Minister promised that a study was being carried out and a memorandum was being prepared so that this matter could be addressed. However, nothing is happening. Is this Government intent to continue disadvantaging the poor people of our society by charging them even more? If we increased the price of fuel by only K10 in Lusaka and the Copperbelt, it will not make much difference. However, it would make a huge difference to the people in the rural areas. I would like the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development to look at this issue and do something about it.  If he is not familiar with it, let him go and look at the notes and the work that was done by his predecessor. He must look at the promises and assurances that he made to this House that this matter would be addressed.

Madam Chairperson, coming to the issue of electricity, the installed capacity of this country is somewhere around 1,700 mega watts. We are aware, of course, that because of the rehabilitation of equipment that has been going on at the Kafue Gorge Project, two machines are not in operation. They are being rehabilitated. Each of the machine produces 150 mega watts of electricity and so 300 mega watts has been reduced. The capacity has been reduced from 1,700 to 1,400 mega watts.

There is also one machine at Kariba North Bank that is being rehabilitated which is supposed to produce 150 mega watts and so we should have roughly 1,250 mega watts.

Madam Chairperson, we are also aware that there has been an increase in consumption in the country. Therefore, we had a situation where our consumption looks to be slightly above what we are producing. In fact, what is happening now is that ZESCO has been advertising in the newspapers that they are only generating 1,000 mega watts which is below what this country is able to produce. It appears that instead of ZESCO going forward and improving on what they found, they are now driving us backwards into the dark ages. Most of the time, some parts of our country are in darkness.

Madam Chairperson, there have been recommendations in the past from the Floor of this House by Mr Speaker’s Committee on Energy, Environment and Tourism. It recommended that the vertical integration of ZESCO has not worked for this country and we should, therefore, try to dismantle so that we have generation and transmission and distribution and supply because part of these functions are really not efficiently performed and are riding on the backs of other functions. The idea was that if you disintegrate or make different companies out of this, then you can try to focus on those areas where there are problems, especially in distribution and supply. This was also the position of the World Bank. Even the Energy Regulation Board had also seen it in that manner, but the Government strangely enough rejected that. Instead, they went ahead and took Kariba North Bank which was an independent company and integrated it into ZESCO. To make matters worse, ZESCO, two and half years ago for some reasons, fired some of their most experienced and qualified managers and engineers like Mangamu, Matale, Mwape, Zulu and others.

Madam Chairperson, what is happening now is that whatever the problems are or if it is incompetence, they are coming home to risk because instead of even maintaining what we had, we cannot do that. We are instead going backwards. We are like under war conditions where there are blackouts every day. Where are we going?

Madam Chairperson, of course, we know that our consumption is increasing and we have been talking about this for quite sometime. For the last 5, 6 or 7 years, we have known about this problem and yet nothing has been done to try to invest or improve on the situation. Now, because there is a power shortage even in South Africa which generates about 40,000 mega watts, which needs from now about 1,000 additional mega watts every year for the next 10 years, we cannot get any power from there. Of course, the Democratic Republic of Congo has a lot of power, but we do not seem to be able to get anything from them for a variety of reasons. If it was in any normal economically running country, something would have been done in the management of ZESCO. However, we think is it is normal here.

Madam Chairperson, we cannot continue to be going backwards. If you cannot perform as hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development, you will be removed.

Hon. PF Member: He should be removed.

Dr Machungwa: If somebody cannot perform as head of a company, something must be done. However, we are just sitting here. What is it that is happening? Each one of us is elected from the constituency and if you are not performing, the voters or constituents will sort you out during the next elections. That is the way it goes. I, therefore, urge the Government to look into this matter.

Madam Chairperson, ZESCO is a huge company. There are a lot of technical issues since it is a technical company. The company deals with squatters, illegal connections, technical losses and non-technical losses. Now, because you lump all these in one entity or unit, it becomes too much for those people to manage. Why is it that we are not prepared to unbundle so that we can be able to focus where the problem is because I now that there are a lot of problems in distribution? Usually, we have had very good engineers in terms of generation and others.

Madam Chairperson, even though the hon. Minister or Government does not seem to be listening, this issue of electricity is extremely important because it impacts on industries and people. There are people in the townships who are saying they may take the law in their own hands. We do not want to get to that. Since the ball is in your hands, as Government, you should do something about it. We plead.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Mr Mooya (Moomba):  Madam Chairperson, I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate on this very important vote.

Madam Chairperson, to start with, I would like to say that I support the vote. In doing so, I have only two issues to discuss, namely, the two blackouts we experienced and lack of water in my constituency.

Madam Chairperson, let me start with the issue of blackouts. I do not want to pre-empty the findings of the investigations that are going on. I note that about two or three days ago, it was written in one of the newspapers that investigations have now shifted from Lusaka to the Copperbelt and a time frame of six weeks was given in which to finish with the investigations. Therefore, I do not want to go very deep into that subject.

Having said that, I am tempted to comment on one issue which the hon. Minister mentioned in the ministerial statement some few weeks ago. Probably, an answer comes from what the former debater said, Hon. Dr Machungwa. This is about the firing of engineers which took place sometime back, if I got him correctly. Maybe, this is why we had the two blackouts. According to the hon. Minister’s statement, he said that the two blackouts were as a result of a tower that collapsed which was still under construction when that happened and that the concrete was still being cured.

Madam Chairperson, I would like to differ here with the hon. Minister’s statement because curing concrete takes only seven days and not more than that. Maybe, among those engineers that were fired, they would have pointed out this. You only need seven days to cure concrete and if that was done by 19th January, 2008, the tower would have been erected.

Madam Chairperson, you would find that there is a lot that happens in seven days. The strength of concrete that you want, two-thirds of it is achieved in seven days. The remaining one-third is spread over a period of more than three weeks. Really, the erection of the tower that collapsed should have been put up well before the blackouts occurred. Now, I think this is the ordinary cement that is being used, but under this urgent scenario, I wonder may be another type of cement should have been used. This is rapid hardening cement which only takes a few days for the concrete to harden. Do you know what happens? The setting can occur within a few days. Therefore, I will be very interested really to read the report which will be prepared by the investigating team and also probably hear the comments from the hon. Minister. However, all I am saying is that curing of concrete does not take more than seven days, it takes only seven days. That tower which collapsed should have been erected well before the two blackouts occurred.

Madam Chairperson, the second issue is on the water crisis in my constituency and to be exact in Moomba Ward of Moomba Constituency. This ward lies along the Gwembe Valley. It is semi-allied. I have been talking about this issue for the past 4 years. I even wrote a letter to the former Vice-President, Mr Lupando Mwape, who instructed in writing the Ministry of Energy and Water Development. The letters are there. Since this area is semi-allied, people suffer a lot, especially during the dry season. A lot of people have never seen dams before since time immemorial in this ward even though they were born, lived and died there. Most of them have never seen a dam and they are in Zambia. Those are human beings and they are Zambians just like us. It is 4 years now, …

Hon. Opposition Member: You cry.

Mr Mooya:  I am crying. That is right. Madam Chairperson, really my appeal to the hon. Minister is that this ward needs consideration.

Madam Chairperson, I remember mid last year when I went to the Ministry, a surveyor was sent to Moomba and came up with some sites. What was remaining was a detailed survey for the design purposes. I was given the impression that, come 2008, at least one dam should have been included in this year’s budget, but I doubt if that was done. This issue was put in writing, but nothing is happening. The former Vice-President instructed the Ministry, but nothing has happened. That is why I have brought it on the Floor of this House. I think the remaining time of my being here will be spent on talking about this.

Mr Kasongo: Hear, hear!

Mr Mooya: Madam Chairperson, the people of Momba Ward deserve the gesture of dams. If not dams, maybe weirs since it is a hilly place. This is happening in Zambia where people are born and die without seeing a dam.

With these few remarks, I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Mr Simama (Kalulushi): Thank you very much, Madam Chairperson, for according me this chance to add my voice on the debate of the Ministry of Energy and Water Development.

Madam Chairperson, the demand for electricity is very high. We have mines coming up in rural areas. I urge the Ministry of Energy and Water Development to set up a bio-fuel and biomass plants.

Madam Chairperson, if you look at countries like India, China, the United States of America and Finland, you will find that they already have bio-fuel and biomass plants. This is because they want to reduce on electricity. Therefore, if we are going to encourage other companies to set up bio-fuel and biomass plants, we shall at least have few people demanding for electricity. For instance, the Copperbelt Power Company which is now Copperbelt Energy Corporation has set up bio-fuel and biomass plants.

Hon. Opposition Member: Drink water.

The Chairperson: Order! Just continue.
Mr Simama drank some water

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simama: Madam Chairperson, I think there is need to set up bio-fuel and biomass plants. In this country, we have a lot of feed stocks for bio-fuel and biomass plants. For example, we have a lot of trees in Zambia and you find that we are not utilising them. A tree takes a long time to grow, but when we only use about 25 per cent of it. Most of it like the slab and the sawdust which can be used in the bio-fuel and biomass plants are not utilised.

Madam Chairperson, the process of setting up these plants is very simple. You have to boil sawdust on high pressure which turns the turbines to generate electricity. I support the Ministry of Energy and Water Development for coming up with an idea of setting up these plants in Ndola near ZESCO plant because this will reduce the number of people demanding for electricity using the main grid.

With these few remarks, I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Mr Kapeya (Mpika): Thank you, Madam Chairperson, for allowing me to debate the Ministry of Energy and Water Development.

Madam Chairperson, I will look at two issues. The first issue is the wind power generation. The second is the current ZESCO situation today. I must admit that I was very excited when His Excellency the President made a pronouncement on the Floor of this Chair …


Mr Kapeya: … that the Government is looking at ways of promoting new methods of power generation such as wind.

Generation of power by wind depends on the wind speed and the required speed for the purpose of turning the turbines which in the end create power is said to be six metres and above per second.

Mr Chanda: Professor Kapeya.

Mr Kapeya: It is a known fact that in Zambia, the average wind speed is three metres and below per second except in very few flat areas, such as, the Blue Lagoons of Kafue and Barotse Plains of Western Province and indeed, in very high places like Mpika. Mpika stands at an altitude of 1,470 metres above the sea level, which makes it possible for such places to drive the wind at six metres and above per second.

Mr Chanda: Hammer!

Mr Kapeya: It is, therefore, important for the Ministry of Energy and Water Development, especially the departments of Energy and Water Development. This time, I would prefer we include wind development …

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear

Mr Kapeya: … to be funded in order to allow it to carry out extensive studies in the areas mentioned in order to come up with the required wind speed for the purpose of generating power.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapeya: When I looked through the budget for the Ministry, I was disappointed to find that the amount of money allocated for the purpose of generating power using wind is just about K270 million. What can this amount do in order to come up with a new venture like generation of power using wind? It is important that enough money is allocated towards this very encouraging and well meant venture.
Madam Chairperson, let me now come to the current situation regarding the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO). Indeed, the generation of power by ZESCO is a total disaster in as far the people of Zambia are concerned.

Mr Chanda: Hammer!

Mr Kapeya: I would, therefore, encourage the Ministry of Energy and Water Development to immediately venture into construction of other hydro-power stations, especially in Luapula and Northern provinces where we have a lot of waterfalls which can be used to generate the much needed power in Zambia.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapeya: Madam Chairperson, we have always talked about this issue. There is plenty of water resource for the Ministry of Energy and Water Development to generate power in Northern and Luapula provinces. The power that would be generated from Luapula and Northern provinces would not only be meant for these two provinces, but would be consumed by all Zambians. Our friends in South Africa, for example, are experiencing a similar situation. South Africa in 5 years’ time will have conquered the issue of outages. They will do away with this problem. Now, what are our plans as a country and especially as a ministry? What have we put on paper in order to conquer the same situation that we are facing in Zambia?

Madam Chairperson, finally, Zambians and especially the people of Mpika District, where I come from, want to know the truth. Let us not take Zambians for granted.

Mr Chanda: Get annoyed, uncle.

Mr Kapeya: Just a few weeks ago, the hon. Minister came to tell us on the Floor of this House the inter-connectors in Zimbabwe were causing the outages. Hardly a day after the hon. Minister had delivered his statement, the Head of State also came up with a statement saying that there was sabotage …

Mr Chanda: Get annoyed.


Mr Kapeya: … in relation to the same outage. Now, who is telling the truth? The Zambians want to know the truth. When the hon. Minister winds up debate, he should please remember that Zambians are waiting to know the truth about these two statements.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: Order! Hon. Members of the Committee will remember that earlier this week, Mr Nsanda had raised a point of order in this Committee on the introduction of new fees and other payments by the Road Traffic and Safety Agency. The Chair had ruled that there was need to consider that during the debate on the Ministry of Communications and Transport since we had not gone through that.

This morning, Mr Mukanga, raised a point of order in the House basically on the same issue. Mr Speaker guided the House that we could debate this, of course, at the discretion of the Chair, probably during the ministry’s debate. However, after looking at the document, the implementation of the same is supposed to be tomorrow and, therefore, it becomes a matter that needs an explanation from the Executive before tomorrow, which is the implementation date.

Hon. Oppositions Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: Therefore, it will be unprocedural for now because of the urgency of the matter that I will allow the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to give a ministerial statement on this matter.

_____________ {mospagebreak}



The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mr Magande): Madam, the issues that have been raised by both Hon. Nsanda and Hon. Mukanga is the question of user fees for road transport.

In my Budget Speech presented on 25th January, 2008, in Paragraph 142, I said and I quote:

“Mr Speaker, I also propose to revise the road user fees payable under the Road Traffic Act. This will bring the fees to appropriate cost recovery levels for providing these services. The measure will result in a revenue gain of K76.3 billion and will come into effect on 1st March, 2008”.

Madam, the amendments to the Road Traffic Act to effect a change in user fees are supposed to be made by a statutory instrument signed by the Minister responsible for the particular ministry and not by my ministry.

This year’s Budget was presented on 25th January, 2008. Cabinet had met on 24th January, 2008, to approve the Budget Speech with the attendant revenue measures, including the amendments on the user fees or the road user fees. What was said here had the blessing of Cabinet. The figure that we brought to this House was worked on the basis that by 1st March, 2008, we would have signed the statutory instrument to put it to effect the recommended adjustments to the user fees.

Madam, we hoped that within a period of one and half months, which was from 25th January, 2008 to 1st March, 2008, we would be in a position to have concluded our negotiations on how and when to implement these user fees. Now, clearly as it happens, we needed to alert the Road Traffic and Safety Agency to be ready with these amendments because some of the fees and documentation would require changes. Of course, we expected that once the statutory instrument is in place, then the necessary agencies were going to effect those on legal basis. What, therefore, happened is that this statutory instrument has not been issued up until today.

Going by the speech which I made on 25th January, 2008, the officers at the Road and Traffic Safety Agency decided to quote my speech and indicated to the public that the fees were going to be effected on 1st March, 2008. Clearly, this was wrong. There was no statutory instrument to cover my speech.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Magande: Once a statutory instrument is issued and according to Cap. 233, it only becomes effective thirty days later. That meant, therefore, there was no thirty days for any statutory instrument and there was none. Therefore, these changes which are to support this year’s Budget have not become effective as of now. As a result of this, we intend to work on this matter and we have a draft statutory instrument which hopefully will be signed sometime next week. Those who would like to know when they are going to pay higher fees will have to calculate from that time to thirty days. That means for most of March, 2008, we are going to lose a bit of revenue. However, since most of my colleagues here will be rushing to beat this deadline, therefore, I expect to raise more money in March, 2008 as many people are going to renew their fees ahead of time.

Madam Speaker, let me say that the numbers that are being discussed by the public and stakeholders clearly are correct because they are indicated in the press release by the Director of Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) and those are the numbers that we have come to learn as Executive as we are normally called but, in particular at my office, that those are the fees that the members of the public are supposed to pay.

Let me say that we should now ignore that circular because it was not issued after a statutory instrument. Therefore, the information in that circular although it has been for public consumption should be ignored. What should be taken are the figures that will appear in the statutory instrument which will be legally signed by the hon. Minister of Communications and Transport.

However, let me say that the way the fees are being interpreted is also wrong. There were some indications that in order to have a personalised number plate, you need to pay K10 million from K1 million. According to Cabinet decision, the fee is going to be K5 million and not K10 million.

Madam, those who have personalised number plates will realise that they only paid once when the vehicle was registered. That number will be kept for the life of the vehicle. If you are going to pay K5 million this year to have a number like ‘NPM’ for Ng’andu Peter Magande, because I want to be identified even in my village by that number, I will only pay once this year and that number will be valid without any renewal for the rest of the life of the vehicle. It is not annual. Those, therefore, that want to be identified by having prestigious number plates on their vehicles should realise that it costs money to try to clean yourself in public even when you are not clean.


Mr Magande: That is why we believe that this particular cost is for those who want to show off. As Government, we do not believe this is going to harm the members of the public.

Hon. Government Members: No!

Mr Magande: The old fees is K1 million and the new fees will be K5 million. However, we would like to discourage individuals having these numbers because anybody can duplicate your numbers and there is nowhere where you can go. Apart from that, there is a security risk because some of you like Hon. Dr Machungwa who moves around and wants to be a presidential candidate, once they know your number which I know - and I will not say it - it becomes insecure for you to move around with your number.


Dr Machungwa: On a point of order, Madam.

Madam Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Dr Machungwa: Madam, would the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning who has openly announced his intentions to be a presidential candidate for MMD and his Deputy Minister as his campaign manager …


Dr Machungwa: … by his public pronouncements in order to be projecting only hon. Member of Parliament for Luapula who has no ambitions to become President like my colleague? Is he in order to say that instead of announcing and emphasising his presidential ambitions here and try to transfer them on to the hon. Member of Parliament for Luapula who is listening to the debate very carefully and humbly in the House?


The Chairperson: The hon. Minister will take that into serious consideration.

May he, please, continue.

Mr Magande: Madam, I take that very serious and I am impressed that on the other side, they have no presidential material. I thought it was only him who was going to help us.


Mr Magande: Madam, I also want to give an example of the vehicle registration which is one of the payments for one who buys a vehicle for the first time. The current fee is K160,000 and we propose to increase to K262,000. Again, this is a one off. Once you get your registration number you do not pay again. However, we have some annual fees, for example, road service licences and I am sure quite a few hon. Members on the other side are quite interested. For example, a 36-seater mini-bus or less, the fee currently is K58,860,000. We intend to increase this to K650,000.00.


Mr Magande: However, this is only paid once per year for those who are running mini-buses. We believe that this will be a useful way of helping Government to raise revenue to make sure that the roads are properly maintained.

The other fee is a short-term. In other words, this is a fee which you call every quarter on a 36-seater mini-bus and below. The current figure is K58,660,000. It was the same with the long-term which obviously was not correct. We intend to increase this one to K1 million.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Magande: Why are we increasing the short-term one? The short-term licence is given without somebody sitting at the public authority and so it is somebody who does not want to go before a public sitting, but just wants to be renewing my licence every three months, which means either there is something they are hiding …

Hon. Member interjected.

Mr Magande: Yes, why not go for a public hearing where you will only pay K650,000? To discourage those people who do not want to go before a public hearing, we are making this fee a little bit higher. We also want to discourage that after four short-term licences, it must be mandatory for them to go for a public hearing because that is where you give all the information on the type of vehicle and why you want to venture into a particular business.

We think that there is good rationale for doing that.

Madam Chairperson, I know also that there are a lot of people driving mini-buses, trucks and lorries which we call public service vehicles. The current license which is issued once every 5 years will cost only K60,000. The fee has been increased to K200,000. However, you will need a PSV driver’s badge every year. The current annual cost is K27,000, but it has been increased to K54,000.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Magande: We think that this is something that everybody should be able to accommodate and support. For those of us who need ordinary driving licences, the current fee is K60,000 which is only paid every 5 years because you do not renew your driving license. We are only increasing it to K120,000. I am sure hon. Members of Parliament here can pay for even for some of their constituents whom they would like to be comfortably driving without fear of the Road Traffic and Safety Agency (RTSA) officers and the police.

Madam Chairperson, as I have indicated, these fees are going to be effective once the hon. Minister has signed a statutory instrument and an additional 30 days. We hope that the hon. Members are going to inform their constituents to avoid unnecessary anxiety by some of our people who keep on raising unnecessary difficulties. Of course, those who want registration of their vehicles with special numbers should still come along, but remember that this is a very insecure way of moving around on the roads.

I thank you, Madam.

The Chairperson: Hon. Members are now allowed to ask at least a few questions on points of clarification on the ministerial statement given by the hon. Minister.

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Madam Chairperson, could the hon. Minister square the enormous increases he has talked about with his boasting of inflation being less than 10 per cent? Is it only less than 10 per cent for us and 100 or 200 per cent for the Government?

Mr Magande: Madam Chairperson, I am grateful to hon. Dr Scott for he has reminded me to clarify that these fees were last adjusted in 1997. Therefore, it has taken us some 11 years to adjust them. If he takes the inflation which was there during his Government’s tenure of over 100 per cent, he will discover that what we have done has not even caught up with those high inflation levels.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Nsanda (Chimwemwe): Madam Chairperson, I know the hon. Minister is a very good mathematician. When I raised the point of order, I indicated that the amount he announced here is a lot of money for any businessman who has many trucks of up to 200. If, for instance, they have to transport maize from Hon. Magande’s farm, they are going to increase the rates. Already, the price of mealie-meal has gone up. In the next haulage of maize, the price of maize will be increased and in business …

The Chairperson: Order! Ask your point of clarification.

Mr Nsanda: … in order for the K176 billion to be raised, the end user will have to pay for this cost. In the business of transport, the end user is the traveller and not the operators. In haulage, it is the consumers. These are the people who are going to pay more. Is he telling us that we should prepare increasing bus fares to recoup that K176 billion which he wants to get?
Mr Magande: Madam Chairperson, let me say that my being a good mathematician does not mean others should be poor mathematicians.


Mr Magande: The Budget Speech is very clear. I mentioned this morning that the amount we expect to raise is K76.2 billion and not K176 billion. Therefore, that is not an excuse for a poor mathematician to quote wrong figures. However, let me say that this is why we have difficulties of running businesses because if the hon. Member of Parliament cannot even give me the correct figure, how do I know that he is calculating correct figures for his busses which are making so much money? We must have responsible businesses which take care of the customers. You need the customers and so when the Government is trying to raise revenue, do not pass it on to your customers…

Hon. Opposition Member: Aah!

Mr Magande: … because I know you can absorb some of these costs yourselves by reducing your margins. You are operating on 100 per cent margins. Let me warn those businessmen who will want to change and take advantage of this that we have we been told that we can change laws. We shall start refusing your licenses. This is because if one owns 100 trucks, it means one has made money from the travelling public. When are you going to help them?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Magande: You should even be providing cheap transport sometimes because you have become a billionaire out of business in this country. It is not correct and we will not expect you to make those adjustments.

Mr Kanyanyamina: On a point of order, Madam.

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr V. Mwale: Aah, uyu naye.

Mr Kanyanyamina: Madam Chairperson, I do not have any problems with most of the fees pronounced by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, but may I have clarification on road tax and fitness for the 36-seater mini-bus and above. I am concerned, even if he does not want to hear the word ‘poor’, but I will force it on him, that poor people move massively. The rich people move in their own cars. Therefore, this bounces back to the poor people.

The Chairperson: Please, ask your question! We are not debating a motion, but asking points of clarification on the ministerial statement.

May he, please, continue.

Mr Kanyanyamina: Madam, I will still use the word ‘poor’ in my point of clarification which I seek from him. How is he going to ensure that the poor will not be over charged because even the businessman wants to make profit?

Mr Magande: Madam Chairperson, the poor people move in your mini-buses. Therefore, give them consideration.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Ntundu (Gwembe): Madam, I would like the hon. Minister to clarify …

Hon. Government Members: How?


The Chairperson: Order!

Mr Ntundu: Madam, I would like the hon. Minister …


Mr Ntundu: … to clarify whether he is aware that RATSA …


Mr Ntundu: … up to now, has not remitted some of the money collected in receipt form and the hon. Minister is aware of this and it is a fact. How does the hon. Minister expect RATSA to remit the money from this increment …


Mr Ntundu: … if they are not able to remit the money in receipts which they have collected?


The Chairperson: Order! As your questions in a very moderate manner, otherwise you will scare the hon. Minister from responding.


Mr Magande: Madam, as I indicated in the Budget Speech, we intend to use all the road user fee revenue for road rehabilitation and construction. Just like we have been very strict on the collection of the fuel levy, we intend to also implement a very high handed method of making sure that any of that ngwee paid is remitted to the Road Fund Agency for use for road rehabilitation.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Milupi (Luena): Madam, quite clearly, the premature announcement from this circular reflects very badly on the co-ordination of Government ministries and functions. Who is responsible for this fiasco and what action is going to be taken?

Mr Magande: Madam Chairperson, I mentioned that the circular which has been issued should not have been issued before the statutory instrument was signed by the hon. Minister of Communications and Transport. Clearly, in terms of our disciplinary code and procedures, the hon. Minister will have to take action on the officers under the departments which falls under her Ministry.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Madam Chairperson, I seek clarity. The hon. Minister seems to be contradicting himself. When he delivered his ministerial statement, he said the new fees are being introduced to help recover costs for service provision by RATSA. Could the hon. Minister confirm that the K72 billion that we are going to raise as revenue is going to recoup costs of running RATSA, and if not, it will be used for road service provisions? Can the hon. Minister, please, confirm what criterion we are using in these fees that we are raising? Is it for cost recovery or are there criteria like roads or is it to stop presidential hopefuls from using personalised number plates?

Mr Magande: Madam Chairperson, when we passed a bill to create RTSA in this House, we provided that they will operate on the basis of revenue as a percentage of what they collect. Therefore, part of what they collect will go towards running the institution and whatever is balanced goes to Government revenue. We have decided that this money that will go to the Government will be applied to roads, where RTSA has relevance.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Kasongo (Bangweulu): Madam Chairperson, is the hon. Minister aware that the current situation on the ground is that RTSA has suspended collecting fees in anticipation of the increment? Having clarified the issue, is he going to order RTSA to begin receiving fees from clients?

Mr Magande: Madam Chairperson, I am grateful to Hon. Kasongo who, as someone said, is my good friend for raising that question.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Magande: We did not expect RTSA to suspend issuing of lincenses because they are anticipating an increase in the fees. This is an old fashioned way of doing things. I remember that this was rampant when I was Director of Budget some 20 years ago, when people would hold on to mealie-meal in anticipation of the budget changing fees. I think that we have to move with modern times. If people want to rush and pay before these fees increase, like I have said earlier, we are going to earn revenue in March and that will still be Government revenue. What happens after that should not be the concern of RTSA. They should just make sure that their operations are continuous.

I thank you, Madam.

Dr Katema (Chingola): Madam Chairperson, I would like the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to clarify whether we can go and inform our people out there that that the fees for PSV licence holders, which was K60,000 has only been increased to K200,000 and not K900,000, as was indicated by the Director of RTSA.

Mr Magande: Madam Chairperson, I would like to plead with Hon. Dr Katema not to tell the people anything until the statutory instrument has been published. The statutory instrument will be the official document to give the changes in the fees. Therefore, I will not make a comment on the K900,000, K1 million or K20 million for now because we have not yet published the information. I appeal to the hon. Members not to start informing the people wrong things.


Mr Magande: I hope that by next week, the statutory instrument, which is the official document, will be published, and which you will talk about with the people in your constituencies.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Mushili (Ndola Central): Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister, who is supposed to be an economist, talked about some measures that have been taken by RTSA, which are meant to recoup the costs, but he does not want to at the same time to allow a businessman recoup his investment by asking for an increase in transport costs. Will the hon. Minister, who sounds very primitive in this legislation, be prepared to meet the consequential effects if the people that these laws are meant for react negatively, instead of threatening the local investors with non-issuance of licences if they do not do certain things? What other options are there? Can the hon. Minister clarify that issue?

The Chairperson: Order!

(Debate resumed)



[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress reported)


The House adjourned at 1957 hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday 4th March, 2008.




181. Mr Sichamba (Isoka West) asked the Minister of Works and Supply when Nsasa Mwenje-Musindano Nakonde and Kanyala Mwanimpangala roads would be rehabilitated.

The Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Simbao): Mr Speaker, on

1. Nakonde-Kanyala Road

The road between Nakonde and Kanyala has been placed under the programme of Periodic Maintenance of Trunk, Main and District roads by output and performance based contract financed jointly by the European Union and the Government of the Republic of Zambia. The maintenance of the project road is included under Package No. 4 of the programme which was awarded to Messrs Spencon and Polyphase in joint venture with Rankin Engineering at a contract price of ZMK45,790,326,695.09. The other roads included in Package No. 04 are Mbala–Nakonde road and Mbala–Tanzania Border respectively. The contract was awarded on 30th June, 2006.

The contractor carried out and completed the rehabilitation of the project road in the first six months. Currently, the project road and the other roads under Package No. 04 are receiving continuous maintenance until June 2010 when the contract will come to an end.

2. Mwenje-Musindano Road

In 2007, the Ministry appointed all District Councils as Road Authorities. In the 2007 Budget, a provision of ZMK7,350,000,000.00 was allowed for the maintenance of feeder roads by the Road Authorities countrywide. The Isoka District Council identified the maintenance of RD69 Nsasa Mwenje – M14 Nakonde-Kanyala road as one of the priority roads to be included under the programme of Maintenance of Roads by Road Authorities in the Annual Work Plan for 2007 for Road Development Agency.

The maintenance of the above mentioned road is still under procurement and the works are expected to commence soon after the rain season is over

3. Mwenewisi-Mulekatembo-Mpangala Road

The Ministry through the Road Development Agency has provided an amount of ZMK1,528,400,000.00 in the Annual Work Plan for 2008 for the maintenance of the above mentioned road.

The Road Development Agency has prepared and submitted the tender documents for the maintenance of the project road to the National Tender Board. The contract will be awarded about mid April 2008. The works are expected to commence about end of April 2008.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.