Debates- Thursday, 28th February, 2008

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Thursday, 28th February, 2008

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






177. Mr D. Mwila (Chipili) asked the Minister of Labour and Social Security when the Government would review the policy of allowing foreign pension schemes to be established in the mining industry.

The Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mr Mukuma): Mr Speaker, private or foreign companies can establish Occupational Pension Schemes as provided under the Pension Scheme Regulation Act, No. 27 of 2005, which states:

“A person may apply to register for a certificate to establish or manage a pension scheme”.

Furthermore, the Act provides some minimum conditions that employers and employees must meet to set up private occupation pension schemes.

Mr Speaker, it is important to note that during the privatisation of the mines, some new mine owners requested for exemption from the National Pension Scheme Act (NAPSA) provided they established superior occupational pension schemes for their workers. However, the lessons learnt so far are that some workers in the mining companies are not adequately covered by the new occupational pension schemes. This is why the Ministry of Labour and Social Security has issued Statutory Instrument No. 99 to revoke the earlier exemption that was given to some mines. This means that the Government will regularly review the exemptions that have been given to various employer institutions.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) and Mopani Copper Mines Plc, which have the largest work force, have exempted their employees from joining NAPSA. Are there any plans by the Government to ensure that the employees in the two mines start remitting to NAPSA?

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, Statutory Instrument No. 99, which I am referring to, concerns the revocation of the exemption of Mopani Copper Mines Plc workers. This was a request which was submitted to the Ministry by the organisation. Therefore, at the moment, some of the Mopani Copper Mines Plc workers are free to contribute to NAPSA and we expect this trend to continue.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Imenda (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what measures have been put in place, in an event of a foreign company failing to meet obligations of the contributions to the employees.

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, one of the conditions set before an organisation can start occupational pension scheme is that they it establishes a Trust Deed so that all the contributions of the employees are deposited therein. This ensures that the workers get their benefits.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what measures the Government has put in place to deal with foreign pension schemes that fall short of providing what is provided by the local pension schemes.

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, I do not quite understand because the foreign pension schemes are the ones that establish the schemes locally. If they only have foreign schemes, then those fall out of our control.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister stated that Statutory Instrument No. 99 has revoked the exemption with regard to Mopani Copper Mines Plc. However, in answering a supplementary question, he stated that some of the workers at Mopani Copper Mines Plc are free to join NAPSA. Is it not mandatory that in the absence of a pension scheme to which they had been contributing, they all start contributing to NAPSA?

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, it is not a question of the Mopani Copper Mines Plc Occupational Scheme being completely abolished. The exemption has been provided for some of the employees who would want to belong to NAPSA. This is the request we got. The Mopani Copper Mines Plc Scheme is still going on, but their workers are now free to contribute to NAPSA.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, there are some Mopani Copper Mines Plc employees who were contributing to NAPSA before the exemption, and after the exemption, they moved to Regina Saturna Pension Scheme, but part of their money remained with NAPSA. When will the Government ensure those employees get the money that they contributed to NAPSA since they are now with Regina Saturna Pension Scheme?

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, I am aware of the contribution which was being made before Mopani Copper Mines Plc shifted the employees’ contributions to Regina Saturna Pension Scheme. This issue had some complications and there were even some court cases pursued. The delay has been because of the processes that have been taking place. Otherwise, the issue will soon be resolved.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, could he hon. Minister confirm to this House that actually, by encouraging foreign pension schemes to operate in Zambia, they are encouraging the mining companies to develop their countries by way of investing in real estate in the countries where they come from at the expense of developing our own country, Zambia.

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, I would like to believe that there are rules and regulations in our country concerning externalisation of funds. These funds are deposited here in Zambia. As I have mentioned, each scheme has to establish a trust where the money is to deposited. When it comes to externalisation, they have to go through a certain process or comply to some regulations which are established by the nation. Therefore, I do not believe that there will be that wholesale externalisation of funds.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


178. Mr Kambwili asked the Minister of Communication and Transport:

(a) how much money was raised by ZAMPOST from the Western Union money transfer in the form of commission from inception to July, 2007; and

(b) how much of the money above was paid as tax to the Government.

The Deputy Minister of Communications and Transport (Mr Mubika): Mr Speaker, I would like to inform the House that the commission earned by ZAMPOST under the period in question is as follows:

 Financial Year         Amount (K)

 1999/2000             193,110,000.00
2000/2001              725,317,000.00
2001/2002              1,770,811,980.00
2002/2003              1,951,661,000.00
2003/2004              3,690,932.000.00
2004/2005              4,823,348,059.00
2005/2006              4,922,055,221.00
2006/2007              5,779,205,663.00
April 2007, July      2,070,696,220.00
Total                       25,927,137,535.00 

Mr Speaker, there has been no tax paid to the Government during the period due to the corporation’s overall loss making situation.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, ZAMTEL has been complaining of making losses, and yet ZAMPOST managed to get K25 billion from commissions through the Western Union. Is the Government thinking of establishing a similar entity with the Western Union so that instead of getting a commission, they can have the whole business?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Communications and Transport (Ms Siliya): Mr Speaker, even though in the answer that we have provided we have shown that ZAMPOST managed to get revenue of over K25 billion, they actually have liabilities worth K122 billion accumulated from as far back as 1994 when they was a  separation of ZAMPOST from ZAMTEL. Therefore, they have that liability to deal with. Therefore, the commissions that they earn from the Western Union, which is about K25 billion, has accumulated for almost over seven years. Therefore, it is not K25 billion per year as they have to deal with the liability of over K122 billion as of January, 2008.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Quality!

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, could I find out from the hon. Minister what plans the Government has to make ZAMPOST a viable organisation.

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, countrywide, ZAMPOST has about 235 post offices. As I mentioned in my earlier response, ZAMPOST was established under an Act of Parliament in 1994 when it was separated from the ZAMTEL.

The most immediate job that we have to do, as Government, is to assist ZAMPOST to liquidate the liability of over K122 billion because with this liability hanging over ZAMPOST, even though in this year’s Budget the Ministry of Communications and Transport has provided over K250 million, it is far from liquidating the debt of over K122 billion. Therefore, with this debt, it is very difficult for ZAMPOST to operate and meet its objects which was to provide quality service, particularly in rural areas. Therefore, the whole review process is gong to take place as we restructure in the Ministry of Communications and Transport to see how statutory bodies such as ZAMPOST can begin to operate in terms of our market-oriented type of management. Therefore, at the moment, our urgent need is to see how we can liquidate the debt that ZAMPOST has so that it can begin to operate effectively and efficiently and provide a service to the citizens.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Quality!

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has said that there is K122 billion from old liabilities. The question is that is if ZAMPOST can make K25 billion from commissions, is the Government going to consider introducing another entity like Western Union from which they could raise more money?. Is there that possibility or is it that the K122 billion is the liability arising from the commissions?

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, actually, the House may wish to know that ZAMPOST actually carries out another electronic money transfer service which is Swift Cash. This has raised over K24 billion since 2005 when it was initiated. This money has been raised for over a period of three years since 2005 and the other K25 billion in commissions from the Western Union is over a period of seven years. We still have a huge debt of K122 billion which has to be dealt with before we can begin to discuss the direction that ZAMPOST should take.

I informed the House earlier on that in this year’s Budget, the Ministry of Communications and Transport has provided K250 million. We know that it is not enough, but it will still go a long in contributing to the daily operations of ZAMPOST so that they can continue these providing services, particularly in rural areas where the private entities cannot go as they are based on market-driven initiatives. Therefore, the Government is trying very hard to ensure that the post service is still able to reach as many people as possible in rural areas and that is why we have over 295 agencies around the country.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chimbaka (Bahati): Mr Speaker, ZAMPOST has a vessel that transports people and goods from Samfya to Chilubi and visa versa. How profitable is that?


Mr Speaker: Order!

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I appreciate the interest in that question by the hon. Member of Parliament for Bahati and I recall that this question was actually asked last week. In my policy statement when we present the budget, we will provide more details of the plans to facilitate for transport on waterways in Zambia.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, I heard the hon. Minister say that they have a liability of K122 billion, but despite that liability, the Government has kept …


Mr Speaker: Order! There will be silence in the Chamber!

Mr D. Mwila: Despite having K122 billion as a liability, the Government has kept the same board and management. Can the hon. Minister explain why this is so?

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, firstly, let me just provide some information about the composition of the liability of K122 billion. This comprises of disbursements to the Zambia Revenue Authority in terms of Value Added Tax (VAT), Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE), National Pensions Scheme Authority (NAPSA), terminal benefits, workers’ compensation and withholding tax. This liability has been accumulated over a period of time.

Sir, as a Government, we appreciate the interest that the hon. Member of Parliament is taking in ensuring that ZAMPOST operates efficiently and effectively. However, we also must realise that ZAMPOST is offering a service almost at a non-profit making basis to the citizens of this country. And recently, generating revenue capacity has been dwindling because of competition and other factors in the market.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sichilima: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: Mr Speaker, it is evident from what the hon. Minister has said in so many answers that this organisation is unable to liquidate the debt of K122 billion. In any case, it is more of a service organisation and the letter delivery service is dwindling because of modern telecommunications. What is the Government going to do to liquidate that debt? If they do not step in to assist, ZAMPOST will fold up. What are the Government’s plans to salvage that organisation to enable it to continue?

Mr Ndalamei: Declare your interest!

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, as a Government, we have a responsibility to ensure that we provide services to the citizens, but at the same time, we have to ensure that at least we meet the costs to keep providing this service. This is why the Ministry of Communications and Transport actually provides a grant to ZAMPOST to try and maintain its operations.

Sir, however, I do appreciate the question raised by the hon. Member of Parliament on what the long-term solutions to these issues should be. I am sure that as I present a ministerial statement, I will try and provide some direction in which some of these statutory bodies in the Ministry of Communications and Transport will take in future and also welcome any engagement that we can have with the Member of Parliament to find a lasting solution.

I thank you, Sir.


179. Mr D. Mwila asked the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives:

(a) when the Government started determining the floor price of maize in Zambia; and

(b) whether the Government had plans to stop determining the floor price of maize.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Kalenga): Mr Speaker, the Government had a policy of determining the floor price of maize during the pre-market liberalisation era, that is, before 1991. This was during the time when the National Agricultural Marketing Board (NAMBOARD) was the sole player in agricultural marketing.

Sir, after the market reforms of 1991, the Zambian Government stopped determining the floor price of maize.

However, following the market reforms, the Government established the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) through the enactment of the Food Reserve Agency Act of 1995. The role of the FRA was to establish and manage the national strategic grain reserves. In 2005, the Food Reserve Agency Act was amended to include the mandate for FRA to engage in crop marketing. The FRA currently handles about 30 per cent of the total available maize crop in the country. The price at which FRA buys maize is the FRA price. There are other players in the agricultural market who participate at prices either lower or higher than the FRA price.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, what measures has the hon. Minister put in place to ensure that the price of fertiliser is reduced so that the farmers can make profits?

Mr Kalenga: Mr Speaker, we are doing everything possible to enable the farmers make profits from the sale of their maize. Through this House, we agree how much we can allocate to the Fertiliser Support Programme. This programme is there to build capacity for the farmers, but it might not continue. It will be phased out slowly. We do not know whether we can continue subsidising fertiliser in future. In the meantime, the Fertiliser Support Programme is there to assist the farmers who are vulnerable but viable.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sichamba (Isoka West): Mr Speaker, considering the fact that the floor price is determined by the Government, what plans does the hon. Minister have to ensure that maize for this year’s season is purchased despite the reduction in this year’s budget?

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalenga: Mr Speaker, as I mentioned earlier, there is no floor price because there are other players in the market. What we fix is the FRA price. The market is open and the other prices can determine the floor price.

I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Members: Aah!


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister confirm that the current marketing arrangement is the best that this Government can design to enhance maximum profitability on the part of the people who actually produce maize?

Mr Kalenga: Mr Speaker, it can stay because it needs modification. We will be coming to this House to bring an amendment to the Agricultural Marketing Act.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili: Question!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister confirm that the reasons for pegging the floor price was to protect the farmers from unscrupulous buyers who were offering lower prices from which the farmers could not make any profit? Could the Minister, please confirm this.

Mr Kalenga: Mr Speaker, I can confirm that Hon. Muntanga has said so.

I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear! Quality!

Mr I. Banda (Lumezi): Mr Speaker, almost a month ago, the Government, through the Food Reserve Agency (FRA), said that they would start selling maize to mitigate hunger throughout the country. When is the Government going to start selling this maize, particularly in Lundazi District which has not yet started selling, and yet the people are in dire need of food?

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalenga: Mr Speaker, we have started offloading maize from FRA to mitigate the maize shortages. I am sure Lundazi District has not made a request because other districts have started offloading the maize from FRA to maintain lower prices of maize.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi (Luena): Mr Speaker, the difference between the FRA price and floor price is a question of semantics. In 2006 and 2007, the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives, Hon. Kapita, stated on the Floor of this House that they were going to work on plans to announce this floor price or FRA price before the beginning of the farming seasons, but to date, that has not happen. Would the hon. Minister, therefore, inform this House when farmers will be given the opportunity to plan by having floor prices or FRA prices before the beginning of farming seasons?

Mr Speaker: The hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives.

Hon. Opposition Members: Lelo.

Mr Kalenga: Mr Speaker, we are seriously considering that and all things being equal, we will fix the price before the farming season begins.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili: Tema Minister aya.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Imasiku (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, at one time the hon. Minister said that he will institute a programme to assist the wetlands of the Western Province with fertiliser support and seeds. Has this programme been instituted?

Mr Kalenga: Mr Speaker, I would like to assure the hon. Member for Liuwa that the matter is receiving serious consideration by the Ministry and we will come to this House to tell them the modalities.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Mr Speaker, in response to one of the questions, the hon. Minister stated that FRA fixes their price and that they mop up 30 per cent of the crop. As hon. Minister responsible for Agriculture, could he indicate to this House, on average, how many or what quantity of crop above the 30 per cent is bought at lower than the FRA price and what quantity is bought above the FRA price.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Kalenga: Mr Speaker, that will need detailed information, as there are other players in the market. Therefore, we will need to come to the House at a later date and give the details that have been asked for.

I thank you, Sir.




Mr Speaker: Order! I could not hear what order the Clerk of the National Assembly read because there was so much talking and muttering.

Will the Clerk, please, do it again.

VOTE 21 – (Loans and Investments – Ministry of Finance and National Planning – K1,278,786,534,304) and VOTE 37 – (Ministry of Finance and National Planning – K1,329,135,480,736).

(Consideration resumed)

Mr Kasongo (Bangweulu): Finally, Madam Chairperson, I would like to invite the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to tour the Northern and Luapula provinces so that he can look at the infrastructure and also see why Kaputa and Chienge deserve district hospitals.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Thank you, Madam Chairperson, for according me this chance to debate on this Vote. I will be very brief.

Madam Chairperson, in contributing to this Vote, I would like to raise issues concerning staff welfare in the ministries. There seem to be unfairness in the accessibility of salary advances across ministries. In some ministries, the civil servants are able to easily access salary advances, while other ministries find problems to access this money. Therefore, I would like to appeal to the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning and the line ministries to ensure that accessibility of salary advances to these employees is fair.

Madam Chairperson, we all know that the civil servants in the country earn meagre salaries. Therefore, we should not expose the civil servants to the money lenders who sell their money at very exultant prices. Most of the civil servants, who carry the burden of our society, are caught up in a vicious cycle of borrowing from unscrupulous money lenders. Some of these money lenders are foreigners. I do not know what problem they have. They get money from other sources outside the country where interest rates are low. When they come here they charge exorbitant interest rates and make huge profits. We need to shield the lowly paid civil servants from these money lenders. Otherwise, we are worsening their situation.

Madam Chairperson, therefore, my appeal in this brief contribution to the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning is that, all ministries must be treated fairly. However, the revolving fund should be available in all the ministries and quasi-Government departments so that the people who earn low salaries can, at least, access salary advances and attend to the many problems that they face. This country has a very high disease burden and most of the civil servants are the ones taking care of funerals and the sick. We cannot allow them to continue being exposed to these money lenders when presently we need to break the vicious cycle that they have found themselves in because of borrowing from the money lenders.

With these few words, I thank you, Madam.

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Madam Chairperson, I have three or four issues to debate on. The first one is on the local debt. Road contractors are owed about K350 billion and I note the effort that the Government is making in trying to dismantle this debt. However, probably what is important here is the timeframe within which this debt is to be dismantled. Last time I proposed that we try by all means to dismantle it in two years. Starting this year, 2008, we should completely dismantle this debt by December, 2009.

In order to do so, I am proposing that more than half the amount that is has been allocated this year to pay off the contractors should been given to small-scale contractors. If we do that, we will clear a lot of them. However, if we start with paying off the big contractors, we will only clear very few, but I think we should aim at clearing the small-scale contractors, the indigenous Zambian contractors.

I also would like to refer to the client, in this case the Government. In order to avoid accumulation of debt, we should start projects when funds are available. Let us also release the money for capital projects on time. Failure to release the money for capital projects on time can lead to huge debts. Similarly, if we start projects and there are no funds, in the long run, it can also lead to huge debts. There are many examples that I can give, but I will just give one or two. We have the Choma-Namwala Road which, according to me, started about ten years ago, and was supposed to be completed in two and a half years. There is also the Mutanda-Zambezi Road and others.

Now, the other issue which we should look into once we dismantle the debt is the capacity on the part of Government officers and consultants in the preparations of interim certificates. This is a very big issue. I am told that part of this accumulation of the debt is as a result of not giving these interim certificates on time. The certificates are given very late, maybe towards the end of the year, and during this period, the money for the projects is returned to the Treasury. Therefore, we should improve on the issue of preparation of interim certificates and this is the responsibility of the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) officers and consultants.

Let me now make my second point that is on revenue collections. I will not go into details because Hon. Kasongo and Hon. Milupi went into details yesterday, but let me bring in this element of border support facilities. In order for the Government to increase the revenue that is collected, there is a need to have border support facilities. Permit me to give an example of the Chirundu Border. The construction of the border facilities there are six years behind schedule and therefore, you can imagine how much revenue we have lost as a result of this delay. This facility was supposed to be completed in 2006 and officially, we are told that between K2 billion and K3 billion per day is collected there. Unofficially, I know that it can be double or even treble that amount.

Madam, I am trying to say that we are losing a lot of revenue as a result of not completing these border facilities on time. Another border support facility that I think should have been completed by now is the one at Katima Mulilo. That facility was meant to be completed in two years, but it has now taken about three and a half years. The other facility where we could reap a lot of revenue is at Makombe where at the moment, if my memory serves me right, we do not have modern support facilities. It is not long ago that we read in the newspapers that billions were collected there everyday. If we had modern facilities there, the revenue collected could double or treble. Therefore, there is a need to invest in these border support facilities. Once we do that, we will have more revenue and that means more develop.

The third issue is on the remittance of fuel levy. I think there is some improvement because four years ago, there was a lot of talk this, but now it is quiet. I will not comment further on this issue because it seems there is some improvement.

The fourth point I would like to make is Vote 21. There was a commitment three years ago by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning that the programmes under this Vote would revert to the Ministry of Works and Supply. I am now wondering what has happened to that pledge because it is very confusing that roads, bridges and pontoons, although some people say ‘pantoons’, …


Mr Mooya: … are handled by the Ministry of Finance and National Planning. Please, hon. Minister, what happened to the commitment that you made three years ago that was made when we had a workshop that this will be reverted to the Ministry of Works and Supply?

Finally, on the Public Private Partnership (PPP), I noticed that last year, there were funds allocated for meetings, but this year, there is nothing.

Madam Chairperson, my appeal is that the commission that will be there - if the hon. Minister is listening to me there - ….

Mr Magande: I am listening.

Mr Mooya: Thank you. I am hopping and praying that the appointment of officers to run the commission that will be at the Ministry of Finance and National Planning will not be political. If that happens, then you know the story. It will be a white elephant.

Madam Chairperson, I propose that the people who are working on this PPP policy should be made to run the commission effectively.

Madam Chairperson, I end here and would like to thank you.

Mr Mwansa (Chifunabuli): Madam Chairperson, I wish to also support the Motion on the Floor. In so doing, I acknowledge the fact that the Ministry, under debate this afternoon, is, very important. It is a Ministry that collects revenue for this country and superintends the execution of the money collected in the various ministries. Consequently, its importance cannot be over emphasised.

Madam Chairperson, let me begin with the issue of loans and investments which still is under this Ministry. Suffice to say that I am one person who believes that when we borrow, we should borrow for investment and not for consumption. Money should be borrowed and used in the social sectors because what we are doing is creating a huge debt for the country with the possibilities of paying back reducing or receding in the background. If money is borrowed for investment in developmental sectors, then we make a lot of sense because we will have the hope that, in the future, we will be able to use the profits from the investments to clear up the debts that are outstanding, and also to make the lives of the Zambian people a lot better.

It is also extremely important to ensure that money that is borrowed is used for investment. In addition to that is that consultation when money is borrowed is extremely important. What has been practiced in our country for a long time now is that only the Executive to go out and source funding. All we hear about is that this country or the other has given us finances. We know very little about the conditionalities attached to the money borrowed. We know very little about the interest rates on the loans. We know very little about the loans themselves. All we see are the accruals of interests that the country has to pay.

Madam Chairperson, I think the most important thing that this country must do at one point or another is ensure that there is a committee of this House that looks at borrowing specifically. It should not be in the hands of the Executive only because when money is borrowed, it covers all Zambians irrespective of their political ideology or political parties they belong to.

It is important that when the Government is borrowing money for use in this country, all the stakeholders, particularly those who may take over that debt as a new government are aware of the debt for them to support it. What we have been doing does not engender good governance or good management of resources. The greatest danger we are in currently, and I am sure the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning knows this, is that after the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative Completion Point, we have continued borrowing. This means that the debt is growing. If we do not watch out, we will take ourselves back to where we were prior to the Initiative. There is nobody who is lending us money without interest. Therefore, it is extremely important that before the money is borrowed, firstly, concurrence of all the stakeholders is sought and secondly, it is for investment in productive sectors of the economy and not otherwise.

Madam Chairperson, I would need a statement from the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning about this so-called “Basket Funding” because what I understand by this term is money that is put in a pool where there is no hope of recovery. That is how they use the term “basket” in Europe. It is only in this country where we use “basket funding” as the money we use which will come back. I need to be educated a little on that point because I think that we are being touted as it were by those who give us this money.

It is like you are saying to us in some way that they are putting their money in a bottomless pit and we have accepted it and it has become part of our nomenclature. We seem to be very proud about it. Why basket funding and not investment funding, and why have we accepted it anyway? I would like a word from the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to explain why the term “basket” is used and why money is put in a leaking container, as it were, because that is what “basket funding” means internationally except for Zambia.

Madam Chairperson, as I listen to the hon. Ministers’ explaining the problems they have with their Controlling Officers and failures to finish or complete projects in time, what comes to my mind is that this MMD Government is giving us the impression that there is a dichotomy between the Executive and the Civil Service. They are trying to remove themselves from the responsibility of superintending the finances of this country. If you have found problems with the way you relate to the Civil Service, the responsibility falls squarely on you to ensure that you create systems in which you are in-charge so that when we blame you in this House, we blame you rightly. If you fail to make the necessary changes, blame nobody else, but yourselves.

Madam Chairperson, as far as we are concerned in the Opposition, we will say that the Government has failed. I know there are many of you there who are worried about how to convince the Permanent Secretaries to do things that you want to be done within this year. You forget that it is a Government problem. In other words, it is a structural Government problem and you need to sit down and look at ways and means of ensuring that the working relationship between yourselves and the Civil Service are dealt with. There is no one else who will do that, but yourselves. Never leave changes to the people you want to change.

Madam Chairperson: Can the hon. Member speak through the Chair.

Mr Mwansa: I am obliged, Madam Chair.

The other point that I wanted to mention is the need for the Government’s investment in power generation in the country. We are in a crisis and when I listen to the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development, I see that instead of just looking to his left, he is looking to the donor outside to help him find money to invest in power generation. This is one industry we must invest in even if we have to borrow money. Borrow money now to invest in power or we are in a crisis. Do not wait for the donor to come with money.

Madam Chairperson, this is extremely important for the development of the country. If we do not deal with the problem of power failures and outages in the country, we will be discouraging those who want to invest in this country. We cannot tell them that we are waiting for a goodwill financier to come and invest in electricity. The nature of electricity generation is that it is a long-term investment and there are very few foreign investors who want to invest their money where reaping of the profits will come after ten to fifteen years. They want to make money as quickly as possible. Therefore, the responsibility to ensure that there is funding for power generation reposes in the Government of the day. Do not leave it to the donors, private partnerships or the Government private partnerships because it will not work. You have the authority to look for money. Look for money and invest in power generation. If anyone gets interested on the way, you can then take them on board. However, it must be a project that you spearhead. The Ministry of Finance and National Planning is extremely important in this process.

Madam Chairperson, I would, therefore, ask that the two hon. Ministers sit down and look for means and ways of ensuring that as quickly as possible, we begin to develop power from the various resources we have. There are so many rapids and falls in this country that if we put our minds to generating electricity, we should, in the next ten or so years, export this commodity and get more money for ourselves. The problem of waiting for an accident to happen or waiting for circumstances to help us is what has landed us in this crisis we are in now.

Madam Chairperson, I am appealing to the hon. Minister who collects the money for this country to size out as it were. Cut out a chunk and if he likes, use it as a flag to show that the Government is committed to investing in the electricity industry, and then start to look for others who are also interested. Do not wait until somebody big comes to invest in power generation. It is your responsibility from A to Z. The Ministry of Finance and National Planning is the prime mover. If you do not do it, the Patriotic Front (PF) will do it when it comes and we will be laughing at you.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mwila: Bwekeshapo.

Mr V. M. Mwale: Which PF? There are two PFs.

Mr Mwansa: We have only one PF if you do not know.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: We are saying that if you do not do it, we will pump in money there ourselves ….

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: … because we consider this to be extremely important. We consider electricity extremely and absolutely necessary for the development of the country. The hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, who is smiling very much, should know that if he does not do it, we, who never dream, will do it. He knows that after His Excellency the President leaves, they have a serious crisis there. There are seventeen Heads of State-in-waiting among them.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: At least we only have one and it is easier for us.

The Chairperson: Order! The hon. Member debating is drawing hon. Members on my right into his debate. Can you, please, debate the Budget without provoking them into making running commentaries on you? Please debate your very serious motion.

Mr Mwansa: Madam Chairperson, I am obliged. Let me move on to the issue of mining. I think that there is in mining, a sector that the hon. Minister has not been telling us much about. This is the mining of semi-precious stones in this country. The emeralds. What is happening? There is so much silence you can feel it. What is going on?

Madam Chairperson, we read in the papers about last year, if my memory serves me right, that we were losing US$7 billion annually from this industry and the hon. Minister of Silence, I mean of Finance and National Planning …


Mr Mwansa: The hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has maintained a silence that almost makes me feel he has become the hon. Minister of Silence.


Mr Mwansa: Madam Chairperson, there is a lot of money in this industry. We know for a fact that most of that money is being stolen out of this country. If this Government does not know, then they have closed their eyes or have put their heads in the sand.

Hon. Opposition Members: Or they are involved.

Mr Mwansa: The other alternative is worse. It is involvement.

Madam Chairperson, if we are able to negotiate with the companies mining copper, why not sit down and streamline the operations in this sector? Why have we allowed the mining of semi-precious stones to go on as if there are no organisers in this country?

The MMD Government is in the saddle. We will be holding you responsible for whatever money is being stolen today and whatever is going on. Therefore, if you do not do what you are required to do in terms of streamlining the operations of the semi-precious stones industry in this country, we will assume that you are involved in whatever is going on.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: Something we do not want to do, but we might be forced to imagine that.

Mr Kambwili: Ba Magande.

Mr Mwansa: Madam Chairperson, we are talking about the Vision 2030. I have always wanted this idea of writing things down. What I still ask the Government of the MMD is: what are the indicators towards the Vision 2030? What are the things we must be looking for in the coming five years? What are you going to achieve? The Millennium Development Goals have already failed. You will not achieve any. Therefore, how is the Vision 2030 going to be achieved if we cannot even see the indicators and the beacons that you have put in place for us to judge you by? You have remained silent about the indicators, as a Government, and consequently, what we see is the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning talking about the Vision 2030 with absolutely no indicators on the way to show us how we will arrive at this Vision and how we will achieve this middle-income country. It will not happen by accident. It will be by planning.

Madam Chairperson, I thank you.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Thank you, Mama Chair.


The Chairperson: Order! There is no Mama in this House.


Mr Mbewe: Madam Chairperson, thank you for your correction. I stand here to strongly support the Budget which was properly prepared by our hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear

Mr Mbewe: I think that was a job well done. I am a man of few words and I have only one or two corrections which I should put across.

Madam Chairperson, I would like to advise the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning that the job he is doing is very good.

Hon. Opposition Member: However.

Mr Mbewe: Madam Chairperson, whenever money is released, it goes to particular ministries and some ministries find it very difficult to use the money because of the cumbersome nature of the Zambia National Tender Board procedures. The Zambia National Tender Board is supposed to be re-visited. The Ministry of Finance and National Planning is going to release money in good time, but as the Zambia National Tender Board sits, it takes a long time before the money can be used.

I, therefore, ask that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to review or repeal the Tender Board Act because it is monotonous. If this can be done, whenever money is released from the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, it is going to be used. However, the money fails to be used because the procedure takes too long.

I am, therefore, asking the hon. Minister to track the money that he releases and find out where it jams because if this money is jamming somewhere and is not used, then it will be taken back to the Treasury.

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

Mr Chimbaka (Bahati): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute on this Vote. I would like to support the appropriation given to the Ministry of Finance and National Planning which is a key Ministry. It is like a heart to a human soul.

Madam Chairperson, I would like to comment on issues that have not been debated before. One issue that I would like to address is the National Population Policy. It is important that we have a national development policy, as a country. The importance of a National Population Policy is that it can give us direction regarding how much money we should raise as per capita to appropriate to different ministries so that we address the developmental desires and needs of this country. If we do not have that, I am afraid, we are not going to plan to address the issues of development.

Our country is over populated and this is why I am saying we need a National Population Policy. Over population means that even in a house where there is just one man and that man cannot afford to have three meals a day and buy adequate soap, then that house is overpopulated.


Mr Chimbaka: Madam Chairperson, a family of three persons, where the father and mother fail to provide for the child, that makes the third in the family, is overpopulated.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chimbaka: Unless they address their population policy in that home, they will live in perpetual poverty. That is the situation obtaining in our country today.

Madam Chairperson, this is a key issue. If we are going to be afraid of addressing ourselves to this National Population Policy, the Ministry of Finance and National Planning or any Government that will come into power, except for the PF because when we, as PF, come into power in 2011, …

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chimbaka: … shall address this population issue. We say in ninety days, we shall provide development because we shall base it on the population vis-à-vis the national income.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chimbaka: I am saying that we, as PF, are very cognisant of the development of a National Population Policy because we shall use it vis-à-vis the Gross Domestic Product of the country (GDP) to address issues of national development.

Madam Chairperson, the per capita income of every individual is very important. I, therefore, I do not want to dwell much on that one. I know my elder brother, Mr Magande, is addressing himself to this matter seriously because it is key to national development and national resource appropriation.

The other issue that I would like to comment on is liquidation of arrears for companies that have been placed on receivership for many years. When I was interacting with the Administrator-General, I often met the former Lint Company (Lintco), United Bus Company of Zambia (UBZ) and Contract Haulage workers who have been perpetually denied the “meagrer” benefits they accrued when they worked for these parastatal organisations.


Mr Chimbaka: Madam Chairperson, it is now seventeen years since these companies were placed under receivership. For former Mansa Batteries workers, in particular, it is a sad story. I remember in 1996, when the former Republican President, Dr Frederick Chiluba came to Mansa, the people moaned and told him that fifty people had died. According to statistics, to date, ninety-eight former Mansa Batteries workers have died without receiving their benefits. I must thank the Government for indicating that it intends to sell houses to the former Mansa Batteries workers. However, the Government should equally address the issue of paying these people their “meagrer” K840 million.


Mr Chimbaka: ‘Meagrer’


Mr Chimbaka: “Meagrer” K840 million and not billion.

Hon. Members: Meagre!

Mr Chimbaka: It is meagre, …


Mr Chimbaka: … but my dictionary says “meagrey”.


Mr Chimbaka: Only K840 million, “meagrer”.


Mr Chimbaka: I think on this one, please, let us have a human heart. I appreciate the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has a human heart, but I would like to inform him, although I do not like reporting persons, that some officers in his Ministry have delayed this process. The result is that people are blaming the Government for bad governance. I know that the Auditor-General’s Report may have reached his office this time around. The Administrator-General and I worked very hard in Mansa and I must thank him for that. All I am saying is that it is time we considered releasing the K840 million to pay the former Mansa Batteries workers so that we make them happy and close the chapter.

While still talking about Mansa Batteries, I would like to say that the former Lintco workers should also be considered. They worked for that money when they were in employment and that was their source of livelihood. We need, as a listening Government, to address these issues. Those are human rights issues and I talk about them very passionately because they involve human life. Imagine if you died and left your children without an income, and yet you had money which you were not paid for the services that you rendered to a company. That would be very unfair.

Madam Chairperson, the other issue I would like to talk about is on Government disbursement and tracking of released finances. I know that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning sometimes releases money on time to various ministries for Government projects. However, some controlling officers and accounting officers keep this money for some time without channelling it to the intended programmes and projects. This is the reason the Government should address the issues of reclaiming this money back.

I would like to propose to my elder brother that there be put in place a specific committee of intellectuals, who have Zambia at heart, to be inspectors, if that can be allowed within the realm of the Ministry. These people must be tasked to track where the money goes, when it arrives and how it will be expended such that, at an appropriate time, they can inform the hon. Minister if money is lying idle somewhere. Once that is done, I think we shall be up to date with expediting action. I thought that point was also quite important.

Finally, I would like to say that hon. Ministers must not be seen begging for the money we are appropriating. They should receive this money prudently, expeditiously and timely because the Zambians, out there, are thirsty for development.

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

Major Chizhyuka (Namwala): Madam Chairperson, I would like to thank you very much for the opportunity to debate the Loans and Investments Portfolio of the Ministry of Finance and National Planning.

Madam, before I delve into my debate, kindly allow me to welcome three hon. Members of Parliament to the Manda Hill, namely, Hon. Colonel Chanda, Hon. Holmes and Hon. Munkombwe.

In welcoming the three hon. Members, it is my ardent hope that Hon. Colonel Chanda will fold his sleeves high and use his military acumen …

Hon. UPND Member: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: …to brace himself to the glaring reality of tackling a gigantic quagmire …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: …of the squalor, the social degradation, the misery, the hunger, and disease in Chibolya, John Laing, Kanyama and Linda Compounds.

Madam Chairperson, for three weeks, I buried myself in the rough and tumble of the Kanyama debacle.  


Major Chizhyuka: Our ideals are phenomenally high. However, attainment might just be, but a bridge too far.

Hon. Holmes, it is a welcome due reposition that the President has appointed a Minister of your stature for Presidential Affairs. His Excellency, the President signed a petition which was presented to him by the Hon. Mr Speaker, on behalf of the hon. Members of Parliament at the Opening of Parliament in October, 2006. The aim of that petition was for the President to assure this House that he would be available to all Members of Parliament when they sought audience with him.

Madam Chairperson, in the last one year, I have made in-roads into the matter of meeting with the President to deal with issues associated with Article 81 of the of the Republican Constitution in so far as they are related to a set of Motions I wanted to move in this House on behalf of the people of Zambia. The President has been frustratingly unavailable. I hope that through your appointment, Hon. Holmes, the President will append his signature to that petition, so that the President’s word, becomes his bond.

Hon. Munkombwe, it is such a pleasant surprise that you are my hon. Minister in Southern Province.

Hon. Government Member: Why?

Major Chizhyuka: The Almighty God is, indeed, gracious. When I talked about isamolyamoomba …

Hon. Government Members: Meaning?

Major Chizhyuka: …where several thousand heads of cattle were assembled by the people of the Southern Province to raise hard cash for the struggle of independence in Northern Rhodesia, you were physically there as a fire brand Young Turk of the African National Congress (ANC). When the rest of the regions of Northern Rhodesia failed to raise sufficient monies to send Mr Nkumbula, Mr Kaunda, Mr Kapwepwe, Mr Kamanga, Mr Nalumino Mundia and others to Lancaster House, England, to bring the first Constitution, …

Mr Mooya: Mwanvela?

Major Chizhyuka: …you, Hon. Munkombwe, …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: were there, together with uncle Liso and Mr Nkumbula. You were there at isamolyamoomba to auction the hundreds of cattle to raise the money which took the national leaders to England to negotiate and bring the Constitution, which …

Hon. Opposition Member: yes!

Major Chizhyuka: … gave birth to Zambia and Manda Hill.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mooya: Tell them.
Major Chizhyuka: For me, a son of Edward Liso Mungoni, who was your friend and colleague in the struggle to free our country from the British Colonial bondage …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: …and imperialism, it is such an exciting privilege to sit in the same House with you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: However, I have one piece of advice for you, my honourable Uncle. You now have a very rare opportunity to bequeath a legacy of a lifetime to our people. All that selfless effort by our people in the early 1950s and 1960s evidenced in digging deep into their family incomes and wealth to donate cattle for the struggle and fight for self-determination must not be in vain.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: Hon. Munkombwe, looking back forty-fours years, that effort has been in vain. However, it need not be.

We, on this side of the House, ask of you to join us in the quest to actualise the tarring of the Choma/Namwala, Monze/Nico and the Bottom roads.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: In so doing, you will exit from the politics of this country and, indeed, that of the Southern Province with a legacy of accomplishment.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: Madam Chairperson, I would like to come back to the discussion on the Floor.


Major Chizhyuka: The Loans and Investments Portfolio of the Ministry of Finance and National Planning permeates into the labyrinth of everything that holds our economy together. However, we are not economists and we do not profess to hold the acumen of economic numbers. We are battlefield, tactical pragmatists and the battlefield is the Zambian economic arena, in which taxes have been assigned to enterprises as a means of raising revenue for the State to finance national development projects. I am talking about bridges, schools, hospitals and income generation for small-scale business people.

Madam Chairperson, given this scenario, my thoughts are on the allocation of the Loans and Investments portfolio in this year’s Yellow Book. My thoughts are on the various pieces of taxation processes to better the allocation so that at the end of one Budget cycle, we will be talking about finished tarred roads of bituminous status in Chibolya into Los Angeles Road, a new hospital at Banda in Kanyama and a fresh water reticulation system at John Laing. In so doing, the important people of John Laing, and we saw how important they are because the whole Government went to them in the recent elections, will not have to walk long distances to draw water in Kanyama and the people of Linda Compound will not have to travel to other wards in Lusaka in search of high schools, which has been the case since independence. For me, a National Budget should have rudiments to address these issues. How can a Government unlock resources for economic empowerment and wealth creation so that those revenue figures, hon. Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning, can look so reasonable that they can deal with these matters. There is a need for a Budget, not of rhetoric, but a Budget of action?

Madam Chairperson, we are gratified that, in actual fact, there has been a movement to get the copper mines be taxed, but I would to say that the rules that have been followed have been lopsided.

For example, if we take Mozambique which taxes the mines at 53.0 per cent, Angola at 59.2 per cent, Botswana at 49 per cent, Namibia 48 per cent, Tanzania at 45 per cent, Indonesia 45 per cent, Australia 40, per cent, Peru 39 per cent add them up and divide by eight, you are going to arrive at the taxation which this Government has come up with, which is 47 per cent.

Madam Chairperson, is that what you must deal with an economic figure? You have so many learned gentlemen across there and all they can do is to do a simple arithmetic progression and arrive at an average. An average is a good figure because they can go to the international community and say after all, we are, but average. That is not the issue because we are talking about unlocking resource for economic development.

Madam Chairperson, they are not even confident of themselves because if they were confident, they would have consulted the countries in Africa such as Mozambique, Angola, Botswana, Namibia and Tanzania on how they arrived at the tax percentage. Perhaps they would have found that our average would have been 50 per cent of the averages of the countries in Africa which, if you put on the table, which would have meant more much revenue to this country. You do not have the courage, and yet the people of Zambia have given you the responsibility to rule over these matters.

Madam Chairperson, I am saying that you should unlock these resources because the 47 per cent average is not the average that we should be talking about. Let me give a scenario at Albidon Mine.

Do you know that the Albidon Mine is projected for 900,000 tonnes of Nickel? Do you know that the cost price and investment is US$100 million? Do you know that the price of Nickel per ounce is US$2? Do you know that the hedged price of Nickel is US$11 per pound, a difference of US$9 per pound? Dou you know that the actual price of Nickel today is US$14.7 per pound. A few weeks ago, I was told that it was US$16 per pound, but I would like to use my figure which I got from the international data base which is at US$14.7 per pound. Do you know that in the first year of sales of Nickel, Albidon Mine will be making US$277.78 million net profit? Do you understand that within the first year of their operation, they will have made the entire profit for all their investment?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: This is a repeat of what happened to KCM when it was sold at US$27 million.

Major Chizhyuka: Do you know that in actual fact, they will be making US$11.2 million from copper, US$20.56 million from Platinum and they will also be making earnings from palladium, Cobalt and Uranium? Yet, you arrive at 47 per cent tax as a Government.

Madam Chairperson, as entire Government sits on your right and went on an arithmetic progression. I would like to tell you that I learnt calculus in Indore Madya Pradesh …


Major Chizhyuka: … in India. Therefore, I understand some of these figures.


Major Chizhyuka: Madam Chairperson, they have arrived at 47 per cent windfall tax, and yet they are a Government of the people and elected by the people. They should, therefore, deal with the resources of this country.

Madam Chairperson, I realise that my time is so almost completed. Therefore, I have to end here.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

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

The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mr Magande): Madam Chairperson, indeed, like Hon. Chimbaka said, it s a delight to wind up debate on this important Ministry

Madam Chairperson, this ministry is the sum of Government operations regarding raising revenues and working out how those revenues can be shared and making projections of what the outputs, indeed, should be.

Madam Chairperson, perhaps, it was appropriate that we ended the debate with a mathematician who learnt a little bit of algebra in India.


Mr Magande: I would like to assure him that his own uncle learnt not a little, but all the algebra and calculus at the University of Zambia, and was getting distinctions.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Magande: Madam Chairperson, having said that, I would like tell Hon. Major Chizhyuka that we are aware of all the figures he was reading. We know what Albidon Mine is all about. We also know why we why we were only paid US$27 million for KCM. We were not selling the asset because at Konkola Deep Mine, the asset is about 3 kilometers in the ground, and not even Hon. Yamfwa can determine the value of that asset because he has no technology at all. He was just running on top playing football without knowing that underground …


Mr Magande:… there was an asset.


Mr Magande: Being a very competent mining engineer, I would like to rely on him to tell me whether he knew that 3 kilometers down at Nchanga, we had an asset worth billion of dollars. If he knew, I would have made him my advisor then, I would not have made this wrong calculation that I sell KCM for US$27 million. Those who risk their investment or assets to go 3 kilometers below the ground level to show us where this asset is are the people worthy of our respect.

For all I recall, as a young man in those areas, crossing the mountains of Munali for my Standard B Examinations, I never knew what was underground. Likewise the people at Albidon Mine, including my own grandparents were on top trying to eke a living out of the poor soils without knowing that underneath, there was platinum going at more than US$50,000 per tonne today. The people who have discovered and brought to our attention this wealth are the people we want to respect as partners in coming up with these kind of numbers.

Madam Chairperson, we are aware of those statistics. Like Hon. Chimbaka said, unless we take into account the different parameters, we make wrong calculations. Therefore, it is very easy to forget that part of our problem is limited literacy in technology and science. As long as we do not believe in getting ourselves to the 21st Century by embracing science and technology, we will continue to heard cattle in the plains of Namwala without knowing that underneath, we have oil and diamonds.


Mr Magande: The maximum value we will give to those plains is just one cow which might die of CCDP. That is not what we call planning. It is, therefore, not National Planning.

Therefore, I would like to say that those who were privileged to be around last year, will know that we launched the Vision 2030 and the Fifth Nation National Development Plan.

My good learned friend, Hon. Mwansa, was asking us how we have the Vision 2030 without indicators. We do not seem to know when we will get to 2030 and we do not know what we expect then. I would like to assure him to take time to read the Vision 2030. It will clearly tell him, on page 30, that this is an aspiration with goals and targets in each of the sectors. Those targets can also be found in the FNDP which is building up to the Vision 2030. The FNDP is only up to five years, but we believe that we can clearly see the indicators. However, with the kind of effort we are making, this country is headed for a middle-income country.

Madam, I enjoyed Hon. Milupi’s submission on what it is required to get to US$6,000 per capita income and at that rate, we would, perhaps, need $66 billion to be a middle-income country. With the prices, the hon. Member for Namwala was mentioning, I can see the possibilities. We must all work together. We should perhaps reduce rhetoric on poverty and the poor.

My good friend, the former Permanent Secretary and now hon. Member for Bangweulu, took his time, and I was counting in his speech, to mention the word “poor” or “poverty” more than twenty times.


Mr Magande: That means he has a dictionary with the words “poor” and “poverty”. Can you change that dictionary, Hon. Kasongo?


Mr Magande: Can you be more positive by talking about wealth, capability, money and jobs?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Magande: Talk about tarred roads …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Magande: … and not paths. We are going to build the roads.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Magande: If we continue with that dictionary with twenty words of “poor” and “poverty,” we are going to continue believing in poverty.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Magande: Hon. Major Chizhyuka said, “We are not poor. This country is rich.”

Mr Muntanga: We are not poor!

Mr Magande: However, what we need is to use those resources to get out of the problems that some of us are facing.

Madam Chairperson, there was discussion on the question of borrowing and I would like to concur with the hon. Member for Bangweulu, that, indeed, we should not again subject our posterity to debt. When we borrow, we must borrow for the right purpose. We have been helped from 128 per cent of GDP debt to less than 10 per cent. This has taken a lot of effort from many Zambians, for example, those who were lobbying as NGOs, those of us who were on the planes, flying even when there were plane accidents where were going, those who were left behind, but believed that we did not deserve this debt because much of it was forgotten since it was used to build schools for some of us, while we went free without paying. Therefore, we thought this was not worth it. This has been an exercise in national unity.

I would like to request the hon. Members that as we rally behind on issues like this, let us rally together in development. Think of what we can contribute as individuals. The Ministry of Finance and National Planning will continue to do its job to efficiently raise resources and efficiently look after them and efficiently distribute them. At the other end, add one who travels on the roads that have to be constructed. We want you, therefore, to be in a position to understand your responsibilities. I think that is what we are looking for.

Madam Chairperson, it has been an honour for me to speak four times during this debate in Parliament and I am happy that a lot of my colleagues have understood the message that I have brought here before. However, I would like to advise those who have still not got the message that we have enough documentation for …

The Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

[THE CHAIRPERSON in the Chair]

Mr Magande: Madam Chairperson, indeed, I intend to wind up my debate as I did make most of my points before our “health break.” That is a new term that we use at the Ministry of Finance and National Planning instead of “tea break”. Tea has caffeine and those who have High Blood Pressure are advised against taking it. Water is the best replacement for tea.

Mr Sichilima: That is Doctor Magande!

Mr Magande: Madam, I appreciate the contributions by Hon. Milupi, obviously, he was speaking in his capacity as Chairperson of a Committee which is very important in the House. However, I would like to say that we have noted the message about misapplication and, more importantly, misappropriation of public funds. Perhaps what we do not advertise and publish are the efforts that are made to get at the culprits.

I wish to report to this House that forty-nine officers are currently appearing in the courts of law. These are officers who have been cited in the report of the Auditor-General and those who have been found wanting through our internal audit system. Therefore, we are doing something to make sure that we give notice that it is not proper to personalise public resources.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Magande: On the contributions from Hon. Kasongo, on border points, in particular, which was also mentioned by Hon. Mooya, I wish to state that we are taking action on these issues. As soon as possible, all the points of importance vis-à-vis external trade will be covered with modern facilities so that we can get as much revenue as possible.

However, let me warn that Zambia is a member of both the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA). Today, the Council of Ministers of SADC met, and I had the privilege to join my colleagues this morning. We are talking of a free trade area for SADC by August this year, hopefully with a customs union by 2010.

As you are aware, we are already members of the COMESA free trade area and we are also heading for a customs union. What this means is that over thirty countries in Africa which belong to SADC and COMESA will not collect revenues from there. These countries’ populations, some of them much larger than Zambia, we will give us the market for selling what we should produce in this country. This is a challenge. I know that there is a delegation from the People’s Republic of China now talking of exports of over US$300 million to China, but China is too far away. The Democratic Republic of Congo is only across the border. If anyone of us were going to open a very big tomato farm at Kasumbalesa on the border, the market would just be across the border.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Magande: And they can earn same foreign exchange rather than complaining that your tomatoes will not reach Beijing because of lack of proper packaging. The opportunities for us are there. Therefore, I would like to say that some of these initiatives will make us not trust or believe wholly in external resources in terms of customs taxes.

I would like also to correct Hon. Mooya. He said that the infrastructure to Chirundu is six years behind schedule, like Hon. Major Chizhyuka said, that is a miscalculation. This infrastructure is forty-four years behind schedule because it has not been there since independence. It is only now that this New Deal Government …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Magande: … is completing this infrastructure. Therefore, it is not only six years since we started, but it has not been there for the last forty-four years. I would like to assure Hon. Mooya that his concern is clearly taken care of. Hon. Mooya, if you go to Vote 21, you will find that on one page, not less than twenty roads have no allocation this year because we transferred them to the Ministry of Works and Supply. Mostly, what is left under my Ministry is the infrastructure that is donor funded because we receive the donor money before we disburse it to the executing ministries. Like I said, after reaching the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative Completion Point, we want to have a dedicated account for receipt of donor money so that we know how much we are receiving and can account to those who are still kind to us.

Madam Chairperson, Hon. Mwansa is still not in the House, in spite of him asking so many questions that he wanted me to reply to, but wherever he is, most likely, he is listening. He said why call this basket funding because in other nomenclature, they call this money that never comes back. Now, clearly, in Zambia baskets are for carrying goods and you cannot carry goods in a basket which has no bottom. Therefore, in Zambia we are using this term in order to have an account where all the donors put their money meant for a specific sector. Yes, with a bottom …

Dr Scott interjected.

Mr Magande: Yes, Hon. Dr Guy Scott, our baskets have a bottom. Before the money goes out, it has to go into this common account and it is from that common account that money will be used for health and we call it a Common Basket Funding for Health. That is the meaning of “Basket Funding”.

Hon. Mwansa also talked about energy, but I hoped that he would wait until my colleague has given his policy statement to state to this august House, exactly what efforts the Government is making to try to deal with the shortage of energy in the country.

Madam Chairperson, from our point of view, as a Ministry responsible for National Planning, we are working together with the Ministry of Energy and Water Development and clearly, the kind of investments that we need now are not investments that can come out of the Government’s Budget. We feel that there are enough participants interested in energy, if only we could all start paying viable tariffs. If you do not pay a viable tariff for anything, you will not get what you want.

Madam Chairperson, you can imagine, a taxi driver giving you a lift from here to Kitwe saying, I need K200,000 to buy fuel and you tell him that you cannot pay him that much, but can only give him K120,000. Obviously, you will not reach Kitwe, you will only reach Ndola. Thereafter, do not blame the taxi man because you did not facilitate his driving all the way up to Kitwe.

Madam Chairperson, now, we know that the Zambia Electricity Supply Company (ZESCO)’s rates at 3 cents per kilowatt are the lowest in the region, if not in the world. Clearly, since most of the times we want to compare the country to the world and the region, then we would get the average of 6 cents. At that rate, then ZESCO will earn enough money that their financials will be attractive even for other people to invest in ZESCO, let alone for the people who want to start their own generation units to see that it make sense as I will be able to sell my electricity or commodity at a viable rate. Then, they will invest money into energy production.

Hon. Mbewe, clearly, you had very few words and I want to thank you most sincerely. Yes, we are discussing the tender procedures, as a Government. We hope that we can find a quicker solution even before amending or repealing the Tender Board Act. Because we know that as Hon. Mooya asked, what comes first, do you have money in the account before a contractor starts or do you pay the contractor for what he has done? That is the dilemma. We are aware that when we have deposited the money in the account and when the contractor goes to the bank and finds his money in the account, he takes the money and does not deliver. Many of them have done that.

Madam Chairperson, what we would like to see is that, once you sign a Government contract, the contract is an important document that you can use to get money. Once you have done, at least, a quarter of your job or you have mobilised all the way to Kashikishi Road, you can say I have spent this money can the Government reimburse me? As a Government, we will want to make sure that we always have money to pay these contractors. That is why I wanted to refer to an item which came yesterday during this debate. The issue of the fees which are here. Already, we saw that Hon. Nsanda does not want to pay any more fees, but he is running luxury buses. These luxury buses cannot run on roads with potholes and the potholes can only be covered by a material which is bought by the road contractors. To do that, we need somebody to raise the money. Therefore, you cannot raise all the money …


Mr Magande: Hon. Dr Guy Scott, when you were a farmer, you were not just keeping pigs at your farm. You diversified. You kept pigs, …


The Chairperson: Order!

Mr Magande: … chickens and tomatoes.

The Chairperson: Order! Hon. Minister, can you talk through the Chair.

Mr Magande: Madam Chairperson, I heard Hon. Dr Guy Scott saying tax the mines. Yes, we will tax the mines, but every one of us must also contribute. If Hon. Nsanda is making money out of running luxury buses into the country from all over and beyond, he should pay for the roads so that these buses can move.

Hon. Government Member: Yes.

Mr Magande: And the passengers will be more excited to get on to his buses, but he wants somebody else to repair the roads and put up another road while he enjoys the income. That is not fair. That is not how you run a country. However, I just wanted to say that while we have to raise local resources, all of us must agree that we have something to contribute.

Hon. Chimbaka mentioned the National Population Policy. I would like to inform this august House that on 18th January, 2008, we launched this Policy. I have the document here and if copies were not brought to this House, we will try to arrange to have them distributed during this sitting of Parliament. We had to consult many other stakeholders on this Policy. In order for the hon. Members to clearly understand what the National Population Policy is about, allow me to inform them that it does not limit the number of children one is supposed to have. People can have as many children as they want. However, like Hon. Chimbaka said, if someone cannot feed his or her children, then he or she is not a good parent and therefore, should not bear any more. Parents should limit the number of children according to their capacity to look after them.

Mr Kambwili interjected.

Mr Magande: Well, I do not want to make a comment on the hon. Member because he has done something that I was unable to do, that is, to send away his wife and stay alone.


Mr Magande: Now this clearly …


The Chairperson: Order! Order! Can I request that the hon. Minister speaks through the Chair. The intention of …


The Chairperson: Order! Order! The intention of the running commentaries and heckling is to derail you from what you are saying, which is important to the nation. So can you speak through the Chair and close your ears to some of those comments.

Mr Magande: Madam Chairperson, I am most grateful for your guidance. All I want to say as, I conclude on this matter, is that if others send away their wives as a way of family planning, that is also acceptable.


Mr Magande: We have different methods that we can use, but there are obviously those who are known by most of us. All we need to do is space our children so that we give our wives time to handle other responsibilities and also enable them to continue being in employment.

Madam Chairperson, otherwise, my Ministry is grateful for the comments that have been made and we will definitely consider most of them as we implement the Budget for this year. I just seek the overwhelming support of the hon. Members of this House for the estimates of my Ministry.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Vote 21/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 37/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 37/02 ─ (Ministry of Finance and National Planning ─ Budget Office ─ K14,261,070,969).

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Madam Chairperson, I would like to draw your attention to Programme 7, Activity 7 ─ Mining Development Agreement Renegotiation ─ K5,667,288,738. This is surely contrary to the position of the Government. We have been told by the President that there will be …

The Chairperson: Order! Just ask the question. Make it clear and we will move on.

Dr Scott: Can we, please, have this Programme deleted or transferred to Social Welfare forthwith?

The Chairperson: You have made your point.

Mr Magande: Madam Chairperson, we really did not feel that it was worth spending time and paper to make an amendment, but we are all aware that there will be no renegotiations. Therefore, this money will be used for creating the Special Unit that we have been reporting about to this House and the Estimates Committee. This special unit will help us to make sure that the mineral tax regime is properly handled in addition to helping us open and keep the special accounts as well as monitoring the books of accounts for the Ministry. Nonetheless, part of this money is for paying some of the consultants who helped us with the work that we have been reporting here. We did not finish paying them last year.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Milupi (Luena): Madam Chairperson, in the light of what the hon. Minister has stated, would it not have been proper to come back to this House with an amendment rather than leave this item in the Yellow Book in the manner that it is?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Magande: Madam Chairperson, the budget is for the whole Ministry. We will bring the necessary amendment at a later stage. However, I have explained that the money is not for renegotiations, but other purposes.

I thank you, Madam.

Ms Masiye (Mufulira): Madam Chairperson, I appreciate the hon. Minister’s sentiments, but does the Ministry realise that having a huge figure like K5 billion left without being amended as compared to the amendment we made on 20th February, 2008, on the Vote for the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development when we deleted K100 million from the Mines Development Department on Programme 09, Activities 03 and 04, is so huge and is sending an indicator to the mining investors that there is still hope for the opening of the renegotiations. I appreciate that …

The Chairperson: Just ask clearly. Do not go on debating.

Ms Masiye: Madam Chairperson, I thank you for your guidance, but I just would like to drive the point home and I am still coming. Whilst I appreciate that the amendment is going to be made after the pronouncements and concerns that have been raised by the other hon. Members in the House, my question is: does the hon. Minister not think it is necessary to put it in writing to the various mining investors so that they get it once and for all that there is not going to be any renegotiations of the development agreements. Hon. Musenge was …

The Chairperson: Order! Order! Can you take your seat. You have made your point. Now is not the time to debate. Simply ask for clarification. Hon. Members, make your questions very clearly instead of giving a long background to your question.

Mr Hachipuka stood up to speak.

The Chairperson: Order! No, this is not the procedure. Hon. Hachipuka, you will have your opportunity.

Mr Hachipuka: I would like to help him.

The Chairperson: No. Nobody is going to help the hon. Minister.


Mr Magande: Madam Chairperson, I thought Hon. Masiye was on the Floor and she did not ask a question. I answered Hon. Dr Guy Scott’s question. I do not know what other explanation I am being asked. If it is a question of writing to the mines, we do not have to write to do so. We are going to pass a law here. Once it is law, everybody will be compelled to read it. We do not have to remind any tax payer about the law passed by this House.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Masiye stood up.

The Chairperson: Hon. Ms Masiye, you ask your question.

Ms Masiye: Madam Chair, the hon. Minister is saying that I did not ask a question. He did not hear it. He is saying that the law has been passed, but they are still giving the Bills …

The Chairperson: Order! We move on. You do not want to ask, Hon. Masiye.

Ms Masiye: Sorry, Madam. The question is: why can the hon. Minister not write to these mining entities to tell them in a crystal clear language that there is not going to be any renegotiations because as it is, they still have hope?

The Chairperson: I think the Chair is really getting mixed up. The hon. Minister has just responded that this House makes laws which everybody in the nation must abide by. I thought that was the response.

Mr Hachipuka (Mbala): As a long-standing hon. Member of Parliament, I would not like the hon. Minister to delete this K5 billion. It is provided for and he has indicated that there was a team that was negotiating and any Bills that are going to come to achieve this must …

The Chairperson: Order! I think …

Mr Hachipuka: My clarification is that I would like the hon. Minister to confirm that we do …

The Chairperson: Hon. Hachipuka, can you first take your seat?

If you develop a habit of arguing with the Chair, you will find the Chair very difficult. If I say “Order”, whether you understand the purpose or not, you must, please, take your seat and listen.

Mr Hachipuka: Thank you.

The Chairperson: The point I am making here is that at this point, you have all debated while others may have listened carefully. This is not the time to start debating. You should have gone through the Budget and raised these points of debate through your own debates. This time is for clarifications. It is a time meant to ask why there is this or that figure. Therefore, let us stick to the procedure, please.

Mr Hachipuka: Madam Chair, can the hon. Minister confirm that he will keep this K5 billion with a view that the Bills that have arisen from the Committee as set up are set against this figure so that he does not come here for a supplementary allocation?

Mr Magande indicated assent.

The Chairperson: That, again, is a comment.


Mr Magande: Madam Chairperson, I would like to confirm that the Bills that are going to arise for the new mining fiscal regime for setting up all the procedures and systems to track all the accounts of the mines and how they will be taxed will come out of this particular line.

I thank you Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Vote 37/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 37/04 – (Ministry of Finance and National Planning – Government Stores – K5,215,110,732).

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Madam Chair, I need clarification on Programme 07 – Procuring for Trade, Activity 01 – Trading Items, K685,890,000. I do not know what Trading Items are and I need an explanation and I also seek clarification on why there is a reduction.

The Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mr Shakafuswa): Madam Chairperson, on Programme 07 – Procuring for Trade, Activity 01 – Trading Items, K685,890,000, the Government Stores stocks some stationery, hardware and other stocks which it sells to Government Departments. The reduction is as a result of the monies which we have been giving them over time. This is supposed to be a revolving fund whereby the funds given are supposed to reproduce on their own.

I thank you, Madam.{mospagebreak}

VOTE 37/03 – (Ministry of Finance and National Planning – Planning and Economic Management – Nil).

Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Madam Chair, I have an objection on Vote 37/03 – (Ministry of Finance and National Planning – Planning and Economic Management Department –  Nil) which you did not allow us to debate. May I find out why there is no allocation for this Department because this is equivalent to shutting down the Department, and if that is the case, …

The Chairperson: Order! Which Vote?

Mr Simuusa: Vote 37/03 which you did not allow us to debate.

The Chairperson: You may take your seat. You know some issues are a matter of policy which the Government may have decided. It is very difficult to debate that vote now because we are supposed to get clarifications on allocations now. You should have seen this and raised it in your debate at the time the Vote was being debated. Now is a time for clarifications on figures unfortunately.

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Madam Chairperson, the matter was not raise any policy debate, but, with your indulgence, could the hon. Minister just explain to us what has happened to that Department or has he allocated the money under another department so that as we approve the Budget, we are sure that this function shall continue to exist.

The Chairperson: In as much as, indeed, that sounds a logical thing to do, we will probably depend on the goodwill of the hon. Minister as we go on. When we have passed an item, we do not go back. That is the procedure. We are already on Vote 37/04.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


The Chairperson: Order! You do not recreate rules here. We have rules of procedure. Order!


The Chairperson: When we start asking questions of this nature, it means that we have not looked at the Budget. The concern should have been raised earlier.

Vote 37/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 37/06 ordered to stand part of the Estimates

Vote 37/07 – (Ministry of Finance and National Planning – Financial Management and Accounting Department – K735,728,552,097).

Mr Mukanga: Madam Chair, I need clarification on Programme 01 – Personal Emoluments, Activity 01 – Salaries Division 1, K707,183,499. We seem to have had K301,018,519,443 and there is a reduction to K707,183,499 this year. I just would like to find out why there is this reduction. Also on Programme 02 – Office Administration, Activity 02 , the reduction is so big from K7,102,853,578 to K748,725,514. I need clarification. Then on Programme 8, Activity 01 – Receipt and Insurance of Accountable Documents, the reduction is from K6,000,000,000 to K4,000,000,000. I need an explanation.

Mr Magande: Madam Chairperson, on Programme 01 – Personal Emoluments, Activity 01 – Salaries Division 1, K707,183,499, as I was reading my statement and, in fact, I was helped by Hon. Chimbaka, I indicated that the Ministry does not only deal with the Ministry of Finance and National Planning. The K300 billion was for payment of salary arrears for the whole Government system for Division 1 staff. That is the explanation. Otherwise, the KK707,183,499 is what we will pay our own staff, but, at the end of the Budget debate, there is always a figure under the Public Service Reform which is used to pay the salary arrears once the negotiations have been completed and that comes under the Ministry of Finance and National Planning.

Madam Chairperson, on Programme 2, Activity 02 – Office Administration – K748,725,514, in November, in the Supplementary Estimates, this figure was indicated and we explained it. It was monies that we were receiving from the donors, and since the Office of the Accountant-General is the one responsible for most of the payments, we put it there as a Holding Account. Otherwise, it was for expenditure elsewhere.

Madam Chairperson, on Programme 8, Activity 01 – Receipt and Issuance of Accountable Documents – K4,000,000 000, again, this goes to the same role of the Ministry of Finance and National Planning. For example, the Riffle Licences receipts and Vehicle Licences are acquired as accountable documents by the Ministry of Finance and National Planning and are given to the other Ministries because we want to make sure that they are accounted when we issue them and when they are exhausted, we need to know that how much we should have received. These are some of the receipts in all the Government institutions, but they are bought under one department for purposes of security.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Kambwili (Roan):  Madam Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 8, Activity 02 – Production of Financial Reports (Expenditure) – K312,368,877 and Activity 03 – Inspections, Monitoring and Evaluation – K279,175,201. I have seen that on Production of Financial Reports, last year, we provided K456,490,633 and asked for a supplementary expenditure of K200,000,000. What is the reason it has reduced this year?

Secondly, on Activity 03, I have seen that the Budget for Inspection, Monitoring and Evaluation has drastically reduced. Are we saying that we are not going to monitor and evaluate the expenditure unit?

Mr Magande: Madam Chairperson, on Programme 8, Activity 02 – Production of Financial Reports (Expenditure) – K312,368,877 and Activity 03 – Inspections, Monitoring and Evaluation – K279,175,201, most likely, last year, we were behind in the Financial Reports, hence the need for more money to quicken the production of the arrears of reports. This year, we might be up to date, hence the lack of need for any more additional funds. However, it does not mean that we will not undertake the work that we are normally supposed to undertake on an annual basis. We have caught up with what was not done and are now up to date.

I thank you, Madam.

Vote 37/07 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 37/08 – (Ministry of Finance and National Planning – Investment and Debt Management Department – K6,123,902,680).

Mr D. Mwila (Chipili): Madam Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 7, Activity 02 – Management and Monitoring of Contingent Liabilities – K33,040,000. Last year, we budgeted for K96,900,000. This year, we are proposing K33,040,000. I would like to find out why we have a reduction of 200 per cent.

Mr Shakafuswa: Madam Chairperson, on Programme 7, Activity 02 – Management and Monitoring of Contingent Liabilities – K33,040,000, contingencies have been mostly arising from parastatal organisations. The contingencies have raised a lot of concerns from both the Government  and the International Monetary Fund, but most of the were cleared last year. The reduction is as a result of the reduction in the liabilities out of this proportion.

I thank you, Madam

Mr Milupi: Madam Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 7, Audits Unit – K134,706,946. The total amount there shows a reduction of 60 per cent on all the audit functions. I would like to ask the hon. Minister whether in view of the current re-quoted issues, the audit function which actually needs strengthening should not have had more money thereto allocated rather than reduce the allocation by 60 per cent. Would he, please, explain?

Mr Magande: Thank you, Madam Chairperson, on Programme 7, Audits Unit – K134,706,946, as we have said, we are improving the operations of the Auditor-General, but we also have internal auditors in various ministries. This was supposed to be just under our Ministry and once some of the items have been cleared, we do not need to keep the money because sometimes, when you are in arrears, you have to pay officers over time to clear the backlog of the work. Therefore, it is not that we feel we are now giving less importance to auditing.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Vote 37/08 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/09 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 37/10 – (Ministry of Finance and National Planning – Internal Audit Department – K5,386,725,533).

Mr D. Mwila: Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 2, Activity 05 – Procurement of Motor Vehicles – K600,000,000. K248,307,430, was allocated last year, but this year, it has increased to K600,000,000. Why has it been increased so much?

Mr Shakafuswa: Madam Chairperson, Programme 2, Activity 05 – Procurement of Motor Vehicles – K248,307,430, is meant for the provision of replacement of old and obsolete vehicles with new ones to make the department more effective.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Vote 37/10 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 37/11 – (Ministry of Finance and National Planning – Economic Management Department – K7,357,874,635).

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on all the Programmes and Activities on this vote because there was no Budget allocation last year, but this year you have allocated K7,357,874,635. Is this a new department?

Mr Magande: Madam Chairperson, indeed, it is a new department. Activity 03 does not have any allocation in the Yellow Book and that is the one you are asking about. The two departments, Programme11 and 12 are the new departments out of Programme 03.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Vote 37/11 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 37/12 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 37/13 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 37/14 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 44 – (Ministry of Labour and Social Security – Headquarters - K19735,244,588).

The Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mr Mukuma): Madam Chairperson, I with to thank you for giving me this chance to address this august House in support of my Ministry’s 2008 budget.

The role of the Ministry of Labour and Social and Security in the social economic development our country cannot be overemphasised. As the country seeks to achieve the target of 7 per cent economic growth, there is a need to step up labour productivity. This requires the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to remove any legal or institutional impediments to the promotion of peace and harmony on our labour market and also to mount sensitisation campaigns to change the work culture at places of work.

Madam Chairperson, the good economic management of the Government has seen an increase in both local and foreign investment. The launch of the Fifth National Development Plan by His Excellency the President, Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC. reaffirms the important role to be played by the employment and labour sectors in addressing the theme, “Broad-based wealth and job creation.”

My Ministry has continued to forge ahead in maintaining a calm and harmonious industrial relations environment by facilitating tripartite consultations and social dialogue with employers and workers.

Broad Functions of the Ministry

Madam Chairperson, my Ministry is responsible for management of policies and associated legislation related to employment and labour, social security, educational and occupational assessment services, occupational safety and health, and productivity development.

Challenges in the Employment and Labour Sector

Madam Chairperson, the challenges in the employment and Labour Sector lie in the following areas:

(a) the need to create a policy framework that facilitates the creation of employment;

(b) the need to effectively regulate the labour market and enforce labour laws through timely labour and factory inspections;

(c) provision of timely labour market information to stakeholders in the public and private sectors;
(d) regulation of monitoring of the trends with regard to delivery of social security and occupational safety and health services by the labour market; and

(e) safeguarding jobs and skills that can be performed by Zambians through the control of foreign labour in-flows.

Achievements by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security in 2007

Madam Chairperson, in 2007, the Ministry accomplished the following:

(i) concluded consultations on labour law reforms;

(ii) launched the Zambia decent work country programme;

(iii) built capacity in the labour offices around the country to enhance the Ministry’s capacity to enforce labour laws;

(iv) intensified labour inspections through engagement of additional inspectors and procurement of vehicles;

(v) conducted sensitisation workshops for employers on labour laws; and

(vi) maintained relatively harmonious industrial relations through tripartite consultations and intensified worker education programmes.

Policy Focus in 2008

Madam Chairperson, there are a number of policy issues that the Ministry wishes to focus on this year. These include the following:

(a) employment creation;

(b) labour law enforcement and social dialogue;

(c) national social security policy formulation;

(d) productivity promotion;

(e) progressive elimination of child labour;

(f) mainstreaming gender, HIV/AIDS and disability issues; and

(g) development of a labour market information system.

Madam Chairperson, with the resources allocated in the 2008 Budget, the Ministry seeks to utilise the resources as follows:

1. Support Services and Staff Deployment

Madam Chairperson in order to strengthen support services as well as build staff capacity in the Ministry, an amount of K5.6 billion has been allocated to the Headquarters Department in the Ministry. This expenditure will ensure that the Ministry is able to maintain and sustain its institutional capabilities with regard to operations and staff development.

2. Labour Administration and Labour Market Management

Madam Chairperson, the Ministry has allocated an amount of K4.5 billion to Labour Administration and Labour Market Management. The funds will be used to conduct labour inspections and social dialogue, sensitisation programmes on labour laws and supporting the Zambianisation Programme. We have increased the allocation to the Department of Labour by more than 30 per cent from the 2007 allocation because the Ministry intends to open new labour offices in some districts where they do not exist as well as implement the new labour laws once they are approved this year.

3. National Productivity Promotion

Madam Chairperson, the Government intends to intensify productivity promotion programmes and a total of K1.9 billion has been allocated to support the establishment of the Pilot National Productivity Centre.

4. Occupational Health and Safety Promotion

Madam Chairperson, in order to effectively inspect all pressure vessels, lifting equipment and investigate occupational diseases and accidents, the Ministry has allocated an amount of K2.5 billion for this purpose.

Madam, I wish to confirm that the Ministry mainstreamed the implementation of the National Occupational Safety and Health Information Programme to the provinces in 2007. In 2008, the focus of the Department will be to co-ordinate the National HIV/AIDS Work Place Programmes as well as support the field officers. It is our intention to finalise the Policy on Occupational Safety and Health and later amend the Factories Act to expand its scope of coverage to include all work places, including those in the informal sector, which are currently not covered by the Acts.

5. Planning and Research on Labour Matters

Madam Chairperson, the Ministry has allocated a total of K3.1 billion for the purpose of conducting labour market research, monitoring and evaluation of ministerial programmes and promotional programmes and projects that enhance direct employment for vulnerable groups.

6. Social Security Management

Madam Chairperson, the Government attaches great importance to the efficient delivery of social security services. A total of K1.8 billion has been allocated by the Ministry to facilitate research and consultations with stakeholders on the extension of social security to the informal sector, scaling up social security public awareness campaigns and improving co-ordination of the existing national social safety net programmes.

I further wish to inform this august House that work on the Draft National Social Security Policy has reached an advanced stage and we hope to finalise consultations with the various stakeholders.

Madam Chairperson, as I conclude, I wish to re-affirm my Ministry’s commitment to the creation of an enabling labour market environment that promotes economic growth, job creation and productivity in the economy. We expect support from hon. Members of this august House so that the Ministry can effectively monitor the labour market situation and continue to maintain a good employer-employee relationship, which is necessary for accelerated economic growth.

I thank you, Madam.

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

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me an opportunity to add my voice and the voice of Kantanshi to that of the others on this important Vote. In supporting the budget of this Ministry, I would like to say a few things and I would like to start with issues concerning labour.

Forty-four years after independence, employees in Zambia still continue to wallow in poor labour laws and abject poverty. The labour laws in this country are poor and to an extent that a person who gets employed today does not look to retirement.

What normally happens is that when a person is engaged is maybe richer than at the time he is retired because the labour laws of the country are very poor. It is for this reason that Zambians or employees are not proud to work in Zambia. Though Zambians work very hard, at the end the day, they receive so little. This is all because the labour laws in this country have not provided a facility to enable these people to get what they work for.

Madam Chairperson, the Zambian employee is discouraged and does not know what to face tomorrow. The labour laws need to be reviewed to change the status quo.

At the moment, in this Yellow Book, there is an increase from K30 million to K60 million in the name of trying to review the labour laws. What are you going to achieve? There should be seriousness and political will in the way money is allocated. At the moment, this budget does not reflect any seriousness.

Madam Chairperson, it does not matter whether you are talking about the National Constitution Conference (NCC) or any other programme, I am talking about serious issues and am not playing. We should be able to look at issues and provide the necessary monies that are required to ensure that we address the many problems in the labour sector. How can we have university graduates leave the university with high hopes only to come into the Civil Service to get insubstantial sums of money? How are you going to motivate, attract and retain the people with PhDs and Master’s degrees if they are remunerated so little? It is not right that issues like that are left hanging and these people are left at the mercy of the would-be employers. It is important that the workers in Zambia have proper security by addressing the Acts on labour.

We have seen situations where domestic workers are working for a foreigner and are employed as guards, but at the end of the day or after two, three or four months, the employer says that now you are going to be a guard as well as a housemaid. However, at the end of the day, he is only paid K100,000. This happens because the Government does not seem to care. Hence, the people are down trodden. It is important that issues such as these are addressed. When it comes to the so-called expatriates, I get disappointed because we call them expatriates, but some of them come to Zambia to dig trenches. What type expertise are they trying to offer to the Zambians?

Madam Chairperson, the principle of equal-pay-for-equal-work does not exist in the mines or on the Copperbelt in particular and everywhere in general. This Government should work on that. We have a situation where if a Zambian takes over a job from an expatriate, he/she will be given a Zambian pay. Therefore, even the pay itself is Zambianised. What is the Zambianisation Committee about expatriates who have stayed for twenty years trying training the Zambians who will take over from them? By the time they finish the training, the Zambian will be old enough to retire. Therefore, it is important that we look into these issues. We should not just be singing songs about a Zamibianisation Committee and issues to be addressed. The situation on the ground is very bad and the people are suffering. They are not getting the benefit of what they are putting in as workers in this country. The hon. Minister should look into these issues and address them thoroughly.

Madam Chairperson, the Ministry should learn to be pro-active and reactive. What normally happens in this Ministry is that they start working when people go there to complain that there is a problem. We want to see these inspectors if they are there to be on the ground. These concerns should be raised by the inspectors so that issues can be addressed properly.

Madam Chairperson, we have seen, in the recent past, how some people were told not join the union, despite the hon. Minister having said you can go ahead and join the union. At the end of the day, people are fired and the director goes scot-free and continues to work in the office while the other people are just sitting at home. Where is the Executive? What is happening? The people are questioning whether there is a Government in place which can protect us. The Government is there to protect its people. The people are now seeing that it has become lax. Inspectors should carry out on-the-spot checks as people are working.

We have workers in this country, especially those working for the Chinese. I do not hate the Chinese, but what they do. There are situations where a person works without safety attire. The electrical installations are not up to acceptable standards. Where are the factory inspectors? Their compressors are not tested. What do we expect? We expect accidents. It is therefore important that we have a situation where the inspectors are on the ground to find out about such malpractices and bring them to a halt. We need factory inspectors who are capable of inspecting all the facets of safety and security in industry.

Madam Chairperson, the other issue which I would like to talk about is the Workers Compensation Act. This needs to be addressed and addressed adequately. Currently, the prevailing situation is that if our committed workers in Zambia are injured on duty, the compensation that they get is minimal. We are entitled to K2,000 per month in case of an accident. What is K2,000? When the bread winner is lost as a result of work, they get K30,000 per month. The children can neither continue to go to school nor can they afford a loaf of bread. It is important that we address these issues properly and squarely so that compensation can be meaningful and not just saying there will be compensation, and yet you are giving K40,000. It is therefore important that we address these issues adequately.

The people who have been involved in accidents are complaining. We are wondering what is happening. At times, even the Executive starts questioning like what happened in Kanyama. It is because of such issues.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: You should address these issues so that the people out there understand and see that they have a Government that listens to their cry. I cannot lose a bread winner and start getting K40,000 per month. This means that family is gone and will never rise again. We are killing families. We need to address these issues so that we develop. It is important that the Ministry addresses this issues urgently. We have a number of people on the Copperbelt who are complaining and I am sure in Lusaka too there are some.

Madam Chairperson, I would like to comment on the issue of work permits. The hon. Minister said we will look into the issue of how best we can provide for foreigners because there is money provided for it. What I am saying is that the Act that deals with works permits should go to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. The reason it went to the Ministry of Home Affairs was that the prevailing security situation at that particular time. Presently, the situation is okay. It needs to be reassigned to labour. The Ministry of Labour and Social Security is the one that has the data base. It has the data on how many engineers have graduated at the University of Zambia to date. It has the data on how many lawyers and accountants are there. It is the one that has the inspectors, if there are any. Therefore, this Ministry would be in a better position to award a permit because they will look at the data which they have and see whether we really need that skill in the country. As long as this function remains assigned to the Ministry of Home Affairs, there will be some loopholes.

Madam, I know that the Chief Immigration Officer is very hard working, but we need to take that responsibility where it belongs because the Ministry of Labour and Social Security will know what is happening on the ground. In as far as security is concerned, they can be rapport between the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Home Affairs so that, at least, we know the people we are bringing in. In as far as work is concerned, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security should be held responsible.

It is for this reason that I am urging the hon. Minister to ensure this Act is reverted to the Ministry and brought to this House for amendment. If this is not done, we will continue to talk about it and it will continue to be mere lip service. Year in and  year out, there will be no change. We will be talking about it the way we talk about the poverty datum line. We say now there are about 68 per cent of people who are below the poverty datum line, but at the end of the day, nothing happens. Every year, it continues increasing from 68 to 80 to 90 per cent and now it will be 100 per cent. Therefore, all of us we will have only education poverty or information poverty at the end.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: It is important that we address these issues squarely.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Mr Matongo (Pemba): Madam Chairperson, I would like to start by stating that we have set parameters for the country to be a middle-income country, come 2030. Others will say that they will not be there, but we have siblings and grandchildren who ensure that this is achieved. As a country, we have set ourselves to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), come 2015. In the planning process, we have said, I need to give this background, agriculture, mining, manufacturing, tourism, communication, transport and energy ought to be the engines of development in the country.

Madam Chairperson, my point here is that all these seven targeted development areas I have outlined will come to a nought and to nothing if the Ministry of Labour and Social Security is not considered to be paramount to this country’s development.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Matongo: On the social sector, we have taken health and education as it ought to be. In my second year in this House, I advocated for a change to somebody I knew too well and is sitting somewhere there. He was the then hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security and I told him to convert this Ministry to an economic ministry along the same lines as the ministries of the functions which I have stated here. I have not heard the Government making the Ministry of Labour and Social Security a priority. We want this Ministry to be one of the eight top ministries in terms of national development and reaching the MDGs. Therefore, I demand that the Leader of Government Business in the House, who I have not seeing anywhere in this House this afternoon, classifies the Ministry of Labour and Social Security an economic ministry. This is a policy decision you should be taking because we have been talking about it for the last four years. Since, there is no Leader of Government Business in the House by the name of Hon. Mpombo, I would like to request Hon. Mulongoti to deliver this massage to the authorities that be. I trust he will deliver the message.

Madam Chairperson, on principle, I also would like to state and, perhaps, assume the words of my brother, Hon. Yamfwa Mukanga, on the labour status in this country as my own. To me, this cuts across ethnic boundaries. You could be a farmer in Choma or Mkushi, you could be baking bread in Lusaka or manufacturing anything anywhere, but since 1991, the advent of multipartism and liberalisation, employers of whatever creed, race or sex have come to be Caesar unto themselves. This means, I am the employer, if you have any complaints, go to the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security to employ you. Now, under the First Republic, never could an employer of any race say that to a worker. Labour was respected. What has gone wrong in the last sixteen years vis-à-vis respecting labour?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Matongo: We demand that not only those we hear are mistreating their employees, the Chinese, but also the Zambian farmers in Mkushi and elsewhere, be made to respect labour.

Hon. Opposition Members:  Hear, hear!

Mr Matongo: There are Zambian employers here in Lusaka who bake bread and mistreat their fellow Zambians. We need to be more proactive, co-ordinated and we need the laws of this country to be implemented. No more taka taka investment of any race.


Mr Matongo: We want actual investor …

The Chairperson: Hon. Member, can you interpret “taka taka”.

Mr Matongo: “Taka taka” means inordinate investors.


Mr Matongo: We want real people who will provide pride in this country that our labour laws are respected, as we join the global village.

Madam, there is a need for more job evaluation. People today, not only in the private sector, can negotiate a salary with anybody. It is even worse in the Government service. Hon. Minister, we need to have set standards for job evaluation and a data bank on the people who have graduated from colleges and elsewhere for ease of employment.

Hon. Government Member interjected.

Mr Matongo: Obviously, I am speaking Greek to the hon. Deputy Minister of Communications and Transport, but I suppose one day, he will learn.


Mr Matongo: We need the principle of equal-pay-for-equal-work applied, Madam Chairperson. It is simply a necessity. How can you tell me a technician who has never gone to college, but has learnt how to brew beer and ours who are college trained on how to brew beer or make coca-cola and the person brought from across is given a higher salary than the local college trained person? By the way, you seem to be creating jobs for them here. That applies to all industries. The hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security should take note of that. We should be very proud of ourselves.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Matongo: Madam Chairperson, I would like to restate the principle of Zambianisation. It is as if it went with Dr Kaunda. It is as if he was the only one who knew how to put Zambians in the right jobs. What has gone wrong? Should we go back and get the people who were there before because they knew what they were doing despite their being in the 80s? And yet, we are the very ones who keep saying archives. We want you new hon. Minister who is a young man, to, please, ensure that the policy of Zambianisation is brought back. Zambianisation is a national programme.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Matongo: We demand that, particularly, the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security does not make a talk shop of the need to have a poverty datum line. I get surprised, Madam Chairperson. When I was a manager at the age of thirty-one, some of the people, who were in the trade unions demanding a poverty datum line, are sitting as Deputy Ministers for Labour and Social Security ….

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Matongo: … and they do not talk about such issues.

Hon.  Opposition members: Hear, hear!

Mr Matongo: Madam Chairperson, I always state clearly that it is not my job to teach the labour movement what to do. I feel very hurt when workers negotiate by starting at 100 per cent while management starts at 2 per cent and then, they hope to meet somewhere. What is the criterion for negotiations?

Madam Chairperson, when we were the managers, we offered what we felt was good for our people for them to perform. No wonder all the companies we ran made huge profits. You do not ask a worker to suggest a salary because you are the one holding on to the accounts. Managers must be open enough to say, this is our profit and this is the allocation to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, what do you think? That is what I call civilised management. Yes, trade unions must be there for other social sectors. The whole idea is to uplift every Zambia from bootstraps to a level where there is no social conflict between the haves and the have-nots.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Matongo: That is the principle. We are heading to a liberal democracy and the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security must take charge of these matters and not listen to the people who may not understand them because I know that he, on the contrary, does understand them. Let us get the Ministry of Labour recognised.

Madam Chairperson, it is very important that we look at institutions such as the National Pensions Scheme Authority (NAPSA). I have heard people talk about the Malaysian experience. In 1988 and 1989, I had the opportunity of accompanying whoever was hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to the Commonwealth Ministers of Finance Conference and was also a Director on the World Bank’s Multi-lateral Insurance Guarantee Agency (MIGA). Therefore, I gained a lot of experience. Malaysia developed from savings of their ordinary workers. They made sure that farm labourers and timber-cutters contributed money which was invested in the economy to develop the country. I dare anybody here to argue otherwise. I was there and I think the hon. Minister is nodding in agreement. 

For how long have we had NAPSA or the National Provident Fund? They want to be supported by the Government. Surely, there must be something wrong with the manner in which these institutions are run or with the employers of this country such as them not caring about their workers by not remitting their contributions, and this includes the Government. I call upon the hon. Minister to work through NAPSA and make it an engine of easy money for investment. It is possible because it happens elsewhere.

I could talk about insurance companies and the workman’s compensation, but frankly, I do not know what they do except for sitting in a building rented from the Zambia State Insurance Corporation in Ndola and having a director there. How many Zambians have been injured and how many have received compensation?

Madam Chairperson, I keep saying that compassion starts with an individual, goes on to the family, then it moves on to society. Then only can you talk of a Government that is compassionate and understanding. This can only happen if we are convinced that we, ourselves, are compassionate. It is these institutions that the Government must use to show compassion. You cannot talk of national compassion without communities and a Government that is understanding and appreciates the needs of the people.

I would like to urge my hon. Friends to work together to uplift the standards of the people. If we lack certain logistical capacities such as managerial skills, we can always appoint kuwadies who can help us to move along these lines. A kuwadi is a consultant, but more of a social nature. Having stated that, I would like to conclude by saying that the Ministry of Labour and Social Security is vital. It is has competent people at the top and I know them personally from the Permanent Secretary, the hon. Deputy Minister, who has become very quiet because of too many chickens at Parliament, to the wonderful hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security.


Mr Matongo: With those few words, …

Mr Muntanga: It is a Chicken Ministry.

Mr Matongo: I end by saying that this Ministry must be assisted to create jobs in the manner that I have just established.

I thank you very much, Madam.

Mr Beene (Itezhi-tezhi): Madam Chairperson, I stand to support the Vote on the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. I say so because every year, this Ministry is under funded. Its terms of reference are very clear as stipulated by the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security. It covers issues of the Labour Policy of the country, legislation, occupation safety, productivity, labour markets, information on labour and so other areas.

Madam Chairperson, when we talk about being happy that the economy is moving in the right direction, we must remember that this is because of the input of labour. However, is this labour being properly remunerated?

Hon. Opposition Members: No.

Mr Beene: The question is no.

Hon. Members: The answer.

Mr Beene: The reason …


Mr Beene: Is there a problem somewhere?


Mr Beene: Madam Chairperson, it is high time we ensured that the Government or Executive changed its attitude to funding of this Ministry and the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services, which involves the people on the ground. From the onset, I would like to encourage the hon. Minister that his Ministry is doing a good job in carrying out inspections in the factories where women are locked in, searched and subjected to other malpractices.

Mr Muntanga: Sex!

Mr Beene: That is very important. I think that the Ministry is doing a good job and should continue doing so.

Madam Chairperson, I am extremely disappointed that the National Productivity Development Department, Programmes 7, 8 and 9 have all not been allocated anything and yet one of these programmes is meant for awards. If the Ministry of Labour and Social Security cannot award workers in its own Ministry, how do you expect the foreigners, who have come here to invest in the mines, to give awards for the good job the people are doing?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mwila: Bwekeshapo, boyi.

Mr Beene: That is giving a very bad and dangerous example. I would still argue with the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to have allocations for these programmes so as to make sure that the Ministry of Labour and Social Security gives an example of awarding workers for the good job they are doing. The economy is growing because of the workers. That is critical. The Government is the biggest employer. As the biggest employer, it is expected to show a good example even in terms of remuneration.

There is a tripartite arrangement between the labour movement, the employer and the Government. Year in and year out, they have met and made decisions and these decisions have been left to gather dust on shelves, and yet they are supposed to be translated into law so as to improve the conditions of service and the Labour Act. As a result, it would be justified that this Ministry is given enough money to do a good job.

Madam Chairperson, I let me move on to talk about workers in the media. I would like to mention that it is extremely worrying that there are many radio and television stations mushrooming. The conditions of service of the workers in the media have to be checked by the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security. Some of them are porous …

Major Chizhyuka: Hear, hear!

Mr Beene: … and if they are not addressed, we are going to have very bad news, corruption and other vices. Why is it that in the private media journalists move from one company to another? For example, they resign from The Post Newspaper to another media institution and so on. At Radio Chikuni in Monze, people change jobs and the reason is simple. Usually, they receive a lot of threats on having unions and that is a fact. I would like to ask the hon. Minister to check this situation before the media, which is supposed to inform us on corruption, is also corrupted because definitely, employees will end up asking for bribes. This is just a fact and it has to be checked immediately.

Madam Chairperson, I also would like to mention that at the moment, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security is playing an advisory role of harmonising agreements between employers and the unions. I know that some other years, other hon. Ministers who may be seated there almost used that Ministry for persecution of other people, which is a fact. Let that Ministry be there to harmonise the employees and the unions and not encourage duplication of unions. If it means that a law has to be amended that the duplication of unions is not helping this country, let it be so.

Madam Chairperson, at the moment in this country, there are a lot of power outages and the ZESCO management has taken advantage of the duplication of unions. The Government should not just stay there because with these outages and lack of harmonisation in that company, we are going to expect more blackouts. The ZESCO workers have not had salary increments for the past five years. This could be attributed to the problems that are going on at the ZESCO offices. Immediately we leave the Parliament premises, along the way, we notice that there is no electricity.

Therefore, I am urging the hon. Minister to take this very seriously. Where people are not getting salary increments, the hon. Minister has an obligation, despite that company having a union to intervene. As a result, the other unions have completely been eroded.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Beene: Let the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security not have a job of going to pass legislation and statutory instruments for unions. That will not be helpful to anyone.

Madam Chairperson, I would like to draw my attention to the pension schemes. What is the Ministry doing to so many workers who are lined up there waiting for their monies? Employers deduct huge sums in billions of Kwacha from their pay slips, but the money is not remitted. Where is that money? Other people are dying, especially now in the wake of the scourge of HIV/AIDS. Despite having Anti- Retro Viral Drugs (ARVs) in our hospitals and clinics, people are still dying. This means that these drugs do not work for some people. Can you make sure that the money which is deducted is given to the employees.

I know that the hon. Minister is trying to liquidate the arrears, but that is not enough hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning. The money deducted should be remitted to the deserving workers.

Once again, I would like to thank you. The others points, I think, have been covered by other hon. Members.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Simuusa: Madam Chairperson, to begin with, I would like to add my congratulations to Hon. Dora Siliya, Hon. Cecil Holmes and my uncle, Hon. Munkombwe on their appointments and finally, my colleague Colonel Chanda and the Patriotic Front for a well deserved win.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simuusa: There are two points that I would like to debate. The first point is that I listened very keenly to the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security when he was delivering a Ministerial Statement on JES Mining. I know the hon. Minister mentioned that the investigations are still going on. I would like to request, through you, Madam, that as these investigations are going on and as they are concluded, the hon. Minister, reverts to this House and informs us about the results of the investigations. They are very important.

I would like to inform the hon. Minister that I was doing my own investigations. You might ask why. The reason I was conducting my own investigations is that I am very upset and annoyed to see that the laws currently prevailing in the country are weak and too inadequate to address some of the sophisticated individuals who are coming into the country in the name of investors.

Madam Chairperson, I would like to use this as an example because I have seen it too often. Even when I was in Maamba, I saw it and it was another Zimbabwe.

I will start with the workers. It is not a secret that Stanbic Bank that gave the loan to JES Mine is owed US$12 million. I doubt if we will even get close to US$12 million from the sale of that equipment in Chingola. Meanwhile, there are still statutory liabilities which the Zambia Revenue Authority has to be paid. Thereafter, possibly, that is when the workers will be paid.

In short, let us not even beat about the bush. Workers will not be paid because there is nothing for them.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! Shame!

Mr Simuusa: My appeal to the Government is that they state their position on this matter clearly. We should not play hide and seek games because these are real issues at hand. In addition, there are other creditors to JES Mining such as the AEL the Explosives Company, Toyota, Kafironda and other service companies. All these are waiting to be paid and yet we are saying that we are investigating. However, we know that the workers will not be paid.

I am looking for that statement since we are talking about social security. As a Government, I would like them to strengthen these laws so as to address the sophisticated people who have come into the country.

The other point is on the directors and the weak laws. I am proposing and calling for the directors of JES Mining to be locked up.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simuusa: Why am I saying this? For a long time now, there are people in this country that are breaking the law with impunity hiding in the Companies Act. The JES Mine’s reasons being put forward is that the rate was too low which was US245 per tonne. The arguments are that the equipment was not adequate.

Madam Chairperson, those are professionals and when they were signing that contract they new exactly that they would make money and be able to mine with that type of equipment. They still went ahead and signed the contract knowing fully well what they were going to do. They went ahead and externalised funds and did what they had to do and then liquidated the company. The directors went scot-free and left a shell which is not enough to share among our people. That is criminal and that is why I am saying the directors should be locked up even just an example so that people start fearing to liquidate and put companies under receivership.

We have issues of the Andrews of this World where people were locked up and are still being persecuted …

The Chairperson: Order! The Chair feels a little uncomfortable that the hon. Member is calling for people to be locked up. You make the laws and there are others who decide who should be locked up. Discuss your laws. You may continue.

Mr Simuusa: Madam Chairperson, it is a way of requesting for the law to be amended. I was happy yesterday when I heard from the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry that he is amending the Company Act. The law as it is now is inadequate and I am calling for it to be amended. If it is a way of saying that people should be locked up, let it be so. Likewise at Konkola Copper Mine we should again investigate and check such activities. Again, I am saying that the people who allowed that contract are professionals. They are people who know what mining is all about. The one who approved that contract, if it is true that the rate was too low, would have known that this rate was too low. Therefore, since they did it before they could have cancelled that contract and gone to the most reasonable person. However, the contract was signed and I know it was not signed by junior people, but the most senior and most likely it is the owners in the name of the Indians. That is why I am saying let us be very proactive in protecting our workers in the name of social security. Let us enforce the laws so that they are stiffer for people not to liquidate and put companies under receivership at will.

Secondly, before I conclude, I would like to bring up an issue that is close to my heart and this is an issue I mentioned in my maiden speech. I said that we, the Zambian professionals and workers, have been treated like second class citizens in our own country.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simuusa: By this I am talking about the equal-pay-for-equal work principle which my colleague mentioned here. What equal pay means is the right of employees to be free from discrimination in their compensation. We have done very well so far in terms of gender and the Equal Pay Act.

The United States of America enacted the Equal Pay Act in 1963 and it says that it requires men and women …

The Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 18015 hours until 1830 hours.

[THE CHAIRPERSON in the Chair]

Mr Simuusa: Thank you, Madam Chairperson. Before business was suspended, I was advocating for a law on equal-pay-for-equal work. This phenomenon is covered by legislation in other countries. I would like to quote that of the United States of America:

“The Equal Pay Act requires that men and women be given equal-pay-for-equal work in the same establishment. The jobs need not be identical, but they must be substantially equal. It is job content and not job title that determines whether jobs are substantially equal. Employers may not pay unequal wages to men and women who perform jobs that require equal skill, effort and responsibilities and that are performed under similar working conditions within the same establishment.”

Madam Chairperson, I would like to say that as a country, we are doing very well in terms of gender discrimination. There is active attention given to gender issues on pay. As a result, currently in the country, if I am a Minister, for example, and there is a female Minister, the pay will be the same. If there are male and female general managers, the pay will be the same and I would like to commend the Government for that.

Hon. Government Members: However, we have failed lamentably with regard to discrimination based on nationality.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simuusa: Madam Chairperson, not so long ago, when I was working in the mines as Head of Department, a non-Zambian …

Mr Munaile: Indian

Mr Simuusa: If an Indian, white or black non-Zambian comes in, by the mere fact that they are not Zambian, they were given the title of expatriate. I would be more qualified, experienced and skilled …

Mr Munaile: And more handsome.

Mr Simuusa: … and more handsome …


Mr Simuusa: … than the person that comes in and yet that person would be put on a US$15 thousand salary and I would be getting K1.5 million.

Hon. Member: No!

Mr Simuusa: Meanwhile, I am running the department and that person cannot run the department without me. It was happening then, and is still happening. At Nchanga, Kansanshi or Mopani Copper Mines, it is happening.

Madam Chairperson, I feel it is a shame that forty-three years after independence, we are all being treated as second class citizens in our own country. If you go to the neighbouring countries not so far away like Botswana and South Africa, there are no expatriate conditions. Whoever you are, if you want to get paid, you work and accept the pay for that job.

Madam Chairperson, what I would like to suggest is that as the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security introduces the Labour Reforms, hopefully this year, I would like to urge him to bring in what we are calling the Pay-Equal-Pay Act which requires that there will be no discrimination in the compensation of the work based on nationality.

Madam Chairperson, I end here and I thank you.

Dr Katema: Ebaume, aba.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Madam Chairperson, I thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to debate this very important vote.

Madam Chairperson, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security is an extremely important Ministry. Unfortunately, over the years and even now, as a Government, we do not seem to give it the importance that it deserves.

Madam Chairperson, in the Budget for this year, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security has received an allocation of K19,735,244,588. That is K19 billion. Let me just read a few of the allocations to other ministries as compared to the K19 billion for the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. In comparison the ministries’ allocations are as follows:

Ministry                                                                   Amount (K)

Youth, Sport and Child Development                      60,771,453,586
Commerce, Trade and Industry                               78,106,839,728
Justice                                                                     375,636,736,743
Home Affairs                                                           182,111,775,731
Defence                                                                   981,993,629,583
Local Government and Housing                              217,670,098,577
Foreign Affairs                                                        194,303,671,231
Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources        123,227,689,352
Education                                                                 2,151,264,712,528
Health                                                                       1,512,340,942,914
Finance and National Planning                                 1,329,135,480,736

Madam Chairperson, when you talk of K19 billion, it looks like a small section of one of these bigger ministries. We are really not very serious about how we treat labour. This is, in fact, the way we regard ourselves as workers. This Ministry needs to have a little bit more allocation. Unfortunately, I am sad that this has not started. The allocation of very meagre resources to this Ministry seem to be historical. It has been like that for quite some time. We have been fighting it, but we hope that some of our colleagues will listen to us who have had experience in this area and do better. Unfortunately, hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, my colleagues have failed to convince you of the importance of this Ministry. Let me say why this Ministry is extremely important.

Madam Chairperson, as we have brought in foreign investors, unlike the situation which we had when we had parastatals that obeyed the Laws of Zambia and treated their employees humanely, we have people who are here just to make profits. It does not matter how they treat the workers in some cases.

In this situation, we need an extremely powerful Department of Labour in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to enforce the labour laws. We now have big companies such as the mines. For example, Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), instead of employing Zambians, they would rather get some small company called JES whatever from elsewhere to employ the workers not them so that they can get away from paying the benefits that go with employing people full time.

Under these conditions, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security ought to be adequately funded to look around. We are in a situation where people from different countries, cultures and orientations towards treating employees have come into the country. In order for us to ensure that our values, as reflected in our labour laws are adhered to, we need to strengthen the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. Unfortunately, all this has to be done with K19 billion, which is a little drop in the ocean. It is a very small amount. In fact, it is smaller than the Vote 99/04 Programme – 7 Contingency – K90,698,088,188. The Contingency allocation is bigger than the allocation to this Ministry. The K90,698,088,188 Contingency allocation in the Budget is almost five times or four and a half times what has been allocate to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.

What I am trying to say, hon. Minister, is …


Mr Muntanga: On a point of order, Sir.

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Muntanga: Madam Chairperson, is it in order for my colleague to continue debating comfortably when this Chamber is getting so hot that we are about to remove our jackets because something has gone wrong with the cooling system? Is he in order to continue debating with his jacket on and a handkerchief in his hands and …

Mr Muyanda: And he is sweating!


Mr Muntanga: … sweating very much like I am beginning to? Is he in order?

Mr D. Mwila: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: The guidance to the House is that, the Chair has also noted the malfunctioning of the air condition. However, the hon. Members debating is in order to speak with his jacket on just like the hon. Member who raised the point of order.


The Chairperson: However, hon. Members may wish to know that it has been noted and I think it is being rectified.

Hon. Member, you may continue, please.

Dr Machungwa: Madam Chairperson, I believe I have laboured on the issue of allocating meagre resources to this very important portfolio.

Let me also bring out the issue on the weakening role of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. Of course, it is partly because it is not adequately funded. However, I believe our colleagues at that Ministry have to be a little more aggressive. I cannot understand, under any condition, why the Ministry of Labour and Social Security should allow some kama company from India …

The Chairperson: Order, what do you mean by the term “kama” company?


Mr Kambwili: A small company!

Dr Machungwa: … some small company from somewhere to impose it on the Government and the Ministry of Labour and Socials Security, in particular, that they were going to bring in 648 workers to come and build a …

Mr Kambwili: Smelter.

Dr Machungwa: … a smelter. If they said they wanted to bring in, may be, twenty or thirty engineers, we could understand. What is the role of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security? I think we are getting weaker. Is it a presidential directive that the Ministry was ordered to just keep quiet and accept these people? Who issued the work permits? The Ministry of Labour and Social Security has a say in these matters. It is simply not acceptable. I think, we would like to see a more vibrant and interventionist Ministry of Labour and Social Security because it has to stand for the workers.

The National Productivity Development Department has been allocated a meagre K1.943,057,675. What is encouraging, however, is that the Labour Productivity Centre is going to be set up with a small amount. This is extremely important because we have to orient the workforce to increase productivity.

Madam Chairperson, let me come to another issue of extreme importance. The Ministry of Labour and Social Security works with the social partners. It is an arbiter. It advises the social partners at the same time as it represents the Government. It is not the duty of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to decide who is going to be general manager in a certain company. The company, itself, must employ its general manager. It is not the duty of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to determine which worker is going to become president of a given workers’ union. The workers, themselves, will determine who is going to be their leader.

Mr Kambwili: Freed trade unions!

Dr Machungwa: Unfortunately, at the moment, we are seeing a trend where the Ministry of Labour and Social Security is becoming an interventionist in the wrong direction. Instead of sorting out those who are trying to bring workers to the disadvantage of our workers, we are now trying to stop some labour unions from electing their leaders, freely. I am referring to a case that has been going on for quite sometime now. About two years ago, there was some communication from the Labour Commissioner instructing that one labour leader be prevented from continuing to be a labour leader. This was in the papers and it is common knowledge. I am talking about the Zambia Union of Financial Institutions for Allied Workers (ZUFIAW). It tried to hold its annual conference so that they could chose a leader, but the Labour Commissioner said they could not do that. That was about a year or two ago.

Again, recently, the same union tried to hold its conference and elect its leaders, but because they seem to have a problem with this one particular labour leader, they said they could not hold the conference for some unknown reason. It is not the role of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to choose for the workers, just like it is not the role of the workers or the employers to determine who is going to be Minister of Labour and Social Security or the Labour Commissioner. That is the role of the appointing authority.

Therefore, let us move in a way that will create harmony and not to be seen to be to fighting these people. Labour leaders will be there and they will be popular if they are seen to be fighting for better conditions of service for their workers. No matter what we do, in fact, if we keep intervening, we might even get some more unreasonable labour activists into the leadership. I would like to urge my colleague, the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security that it will not do the Ministry, the Government and the Department of Labour well if they continue to try to stop some people from being elected.

In this regard, let me also mention the issue of reviewing our labour laws. It is rumoured, in the labour circles, that there are some attempts in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to review the labour laws and bring in clauses that will make it impossible for some labour leaders to continue in office. Such laws cannot be accepted here. If those clauses are put into the Acts, we will ensure that they are defeated. Please, let us work with these people. Tripartism means that we should continue to work with the social partners. Sometimes, we disagree, but we continue to serve our constituents.

Finally, let me mention one issue that has been mentioned by three of my colleagues, Hon. Mukanga, Hon. Beene and Hon. Simuusa. This is the issue of equal-pay-for-equal work. I think each administration has been speaking about this, but we have not brought it to fruition. We have to take a more robust stand to ensure that the people, in their own country, are treated like normal people. For example, can you imagine me going to work in China or India and I get a job …

Mr Muntanga: And Turkey

Dr Machungwa: … where I am paid twice or three times as much as their local people? In Mumbai, can you imagine that?

Mr Muntanga: And you take along 600 Zambians.

The Chairperson: Order!

Dr Machungwa: Yes! I think this issue. In Bemba, we say, apalekomaila nondo, pali ubulema.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: Apale komaila nondo,  pali ubulema.

The Chairperson: Meaning!

Dr Machungwa: In other words, if all these hon. Members are taking about one issue, it means there is a serious problem. Therefore, this principle of equal-pay-for-equal work must be attended to.

As I conclude my debate, let me end by congratulating the three new hon. Members of Parliament who have come to the House. Hon. Holmes, who is currently outside the Chamber, found me here, he left me, and he is back here. I hope we will work very well together, again.

Hon. Munkombwe is an old timer in this House and we hope that we can still learn from him. We also hope that he will acquire and give a new technology and approach of debate to this House. Welcome to this House, Sir.

Finally, to Hon. Colonel Chanda, the newest Member on your left hand side, Madam, in the Patriotic Front (PF) Party, I would like to say welcome, and please, quickly get into the swing of things so that our voice becomes louder.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: We assure you that you will find this a worthwhile task in this House.

I thank you, Madam Chair.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: Before I ask one more debater, I would like to say that you will note that we have been dwelling on the same points. Therefore, in asking somebody else to debate, may I be assured that the debater will bring in new points.

Mr Mwenya (Nkana): Madam Chairperson, first and foremost, I would like to congratulate the new hon. Members of the House and …

Hon. Member interjected.

Mr Mwenya: Stop disturbing me. You are a rebel.

The Chairperson: Order!

You are supposed to bring new points. If you do not have new point, but to congratulate, let us use the time for other business.

Mr Mwenya: Madam Chairperson, I thank you for your guidance. A lot has been said, but I have a few new points that I would like to bring to the attention of this House.

Madam Chairperson, I would like to speak on behalf of the many servants, shopkeepers, minibus drivers, etc, who are the silent majority. They have not been represented in this House. We know very well that the Ministry of Labour and Social Security is understaffed. For this reason, most of these vulnerable employees have not been represented adequately. They are being abused by their employers on an a daily basis. Despite our knowing that the minimum wage for servants is K268,000, some of them are being paid K150,000 or K100,000. If we had a Ministry of Labour and Social Security, which was very effective and had enough inspectors to ensure that they visit and monitor the way employers are looking after these workers, there would be a very big improvement.

Madam Chairperson, in this country today, the majority of the employers are foreigners. For example, we have the Lebanese, the Indians and the Chinese. The Ministry of Labour and Social Security has failed to monitor how these employers are treating their employees because of its inadequacies. When you ask a Chinese employer how much he pays his workers, he will tell you that he pays them K270,000. Now, the minimum wage is K268,000 and as long as he adds K2,000 to the minimum wage, he is comfortable that he has met what has been stipulated, meanwhile, when you look at the workload being carried out, you will discover that the worker is totally abused.

My sincere appeal to the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning is that he considers increasing the allocation to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Mukuma: Madam Chairperson, I wish to start by thanking all the hon. Members who have participated in the debate. The contributions have been very positive. The general observation by the many who participated is that the Ministry is under funded; it is not doing enough to monitor the market situation to understand fully the problems of labour; Zambians are not adequately remunerated for the work that they are doing, and therefore, there is a need for a law on equal-pay-for-equal work and the Zambianisation policy to be implemented. The other comment is that the Ministry needs to be classified as an economic Ministry.

I wish to respond to these observations, being general to most of the participants, that, yes, we have not been very active, as a Ministry, in inspecting and enforcing the law. Hon. Members of the House are aware that I have been explaining the challenges that the Ministry has been facing, basically the problems of capacity. The whole of last year, the Ministry concentrated on building capacity and to this effect, we have employed more inspectors. Last year, we employed twenty inspectors and we will continue to employ more. 

As you are aware, employment in the Government requires the approval of the establishment. Therefore, it is something that we are working out in stages and it is an on-going programme. However, we are much better with the additional twenty inspectors we have employed last year compared to before. The total number of inspectors that we have now is ninety-one.

Madam Chairperson, with the equipment that we have bought and the vehicles that we have distributed to most of the offices around the country, we are hopeful that we will certainly mount vigorous inspections and that our presence on the ground will be felt, compared to what the situation was before.

On the issue of equal-pay-for-equal work, I wish to inform this august House that this is one of the issues that has been taken on board in our amended laws. Therefore, the laws that we will be considering in this House will include a clause on the principle of equal-pay-for-equal work. Therefore, we know that when you approve that, the Ministry will have teeth because you are saying that it should have teeth. Indeed, we shall have teeth after that approval.

I also wish to inform the House that the Zambianisation Committee is being revamped. Though this Committee has existed for a long time, it had no legal backing. It was just a Committee to over see the labour market. It was just like an ad hoc committee. However, we have decided that it should now be included in the Act so that the Zambianisation Committee will have the legal support for it to be effective. That is the other action that we have already taken.

Madam Chairperson, let me now comment on individual contributions. Hon. Mukanga pointed out that the Ministry does not seem to care about the welfare of the workers and that the workers are left in the cold.

Mr Mukanga: Bikeniko ichimwela!


The Chairperson: Order! Order!

Mr Mukuma: My colleague here seems to be used to ichimwela …


Mr Mukuma: … so he would like to see it reflected in my speech.

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!


Mr Mukuma: We may not seem to be providing the necessary care because of the inadequacies we were experiencing as a Ministry. Nevertheless, I wish to assure you that you will certainly see a difference in our operations now that the Ministry has been rated as an economic Ministry and we have started getting better allocations better than before. We will try by all means to do our best within the allocations that have been given to us.

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

Mr Mukuma: One hon. Members said that the Ministry should be proactive. We agree with him that we should be proactive. If anything, we should know and detect the problem before it actually surfaces. That is the approach that we have taken and indeed, we have given adequate advise and instructions to our labour offices that within their area where they are, they should not be taken by surprise on labour problems. They should be the ones to identify where the problem is likely to be. Then, as a Ministry, we should intervene in order to stop any possible dispute or disruptions of production in those areas. Therefore, we have taken of that and I am sure that we will do better in that direction.

On Workers’ Compensation not adequately compensating the beneficiaries, I wish to report that the Workers Compensation Act is being reviewed at the moment with a view to revising most of the compensations that are paid to the beneficiaries. I am sure that we should provide much better service than we have so far provided.

Madam Chairperson, there was the issue of work permits. Issuance of work permits is currently the responsibility of the Ministry of Home Affairs. There is a committee that has been established where the relevant Government officials are members and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security is also a member on that Work Permit Committee. We do liaise as much as possible and each member who is put on the committee tries by all means to play his/her role because we all there as advisers. And based on the advice that each member provides to the Committee, a decision is made. Of course, as you know, these are systems that are put in place and where we feel that there is a need for some improvement or revision, it can be done, but at the moment, that is the system that is in place.

Most of the issues that Hon. Matongo raised have already been explained. That is, making the Ministry an economic ministry and that employers should not be left to do what they want to do. Again, here I have already explained that the failure to reach most of them is the reason they appear as if they are free to do what they want to do.

There was one hon. Member who said that NAPSA is being funded by the Government. Maybe he was thinking in terms of the National Provident Fund or another authority. I do not think that NAPSA now is funded by the Government. NAPSA has a lot of money at the moment. What is required is NAPSA to inject that money into the economy so that we use it.

I wish to inform the House that the Investment Guidelines of NAPSA have been revised and now it is going into investment in the area of estates development. It is also supporting greenfield organisations. As I stand here, I am confidently informing the House that so far, NAPSA has provided about K73 billion to the National Housing Authority.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukuma: Therefore, I think the issue which was raised was referring to, maybe, when NAPSA was the National Provident Fund.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukuma: Hon. Beene touched on productivity and talked about checking of services of media. I agree that we have the productivity centre and it is our intention and one of our programmes that to start a pilot project aimed at improving productivity. We hope that we will get co-operation from most of the employers.
Hon. Siyamusa …


Hon. Government Members: Simuusa!

Mr Mukuma: Simuusa.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukuma: I sincerely apologise to Hon. Simuusa for mispronouncing his name. He talked about the Ministry continuing investigations in JES. That is not what I said in my statement.

In my statement, I said there may be a need for further investigations. I did not say the Ministry is continuing with the investigations. If there will be other organisations to investigate, that is a different issue, but the Ministry is not investigating this case. We have already carried out our duty and we have reported to the House. I do not think that we are doing anything else on that issue.

Madam Chairperson, generally, the reforms have reached their final stage. I wish to inform the House that we hope that the amendments to the Industrial and Labour Relations Act may be pushed into this Sitting for consideration by the House. We have almost done our part on the Employment Act. We hope that it will be considered in the next sitting. These are the actions and steps that we have, so far, taken.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Vote 44/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 44/02 – (Ministry of Labour and Social Security – Labour Department – K4, 522,115,540).

Dr Machungwa: Madam Chairperson, on Programme 7, Activity 01 – Management of Foreign Labour (Zambianisation Committee) – K240,000,000, there is an allocation of K240,000,000. Can I have clarification on what that allocation is for?

Mr Mukuma: Madam Chairperson, on Programme 7, Activity 01 – Management of Foreign Labour (Zambianisation Committee) – K240,000,000, as I have already mentioned, the Zambianisation Committee is being revamped and we would like it to have a legal backing. Therefore, it will start operating fully this year and the estimate is for the operation expenses for the Zambianisation Committee.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Vote 44/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 44/03 – (Ministry of Labour and Social Security – National Productivity Development Department – K1,943,057,675).

Mr D. Mwila: Madam Chairperson, on Programme 2, Activity 02- Pilot National Productivity Centre – K800,000,000, last year, we had budgeted for K137,552,000 and this year they have proposed K800,000,000, an increase of about 400 per cent. Can the hon. Minister clarify?

Mr Mukuma: Madam Chairperson, we are, again, anticipating to start full operations of the pilot project on productivity. We have already acquired offices for the centre. Therefore, it is to be fully operational. All the expenses of the productivity activities have all been grouped together in this activity. Under the Productivity Department, most of the activities there have no allocation because they have been brought under this activity.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Vote 44/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 44/04 – (Ministry of Labour and Social Security – Occupation Safety and Health Services Department – K2,582,042,863).

Mr Mukanga: Madam Chairperson, on Programme 2, Activity – 03 – National Occupation Safety and Health Information Management – K200,000,000), issues of health and safety are very important to industry. I would like to find out why there is a reduction. Last year, we had K900,000,000 and this year, you have only provided K200,000,000. I am a little concerned about this reduction.

Mr Mukuma: Madam Chairperson, we have a new item which is going to be active in this Budget and that is a labour market information system. Most of the activities will be taken over by that activity. Here, we have left activities that are suitable for this department, but quite a lot of activities which were under this activity they have been transferred to the labour market information system.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Vote 44/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 44/04 – (Ministry of Labour and Social Security – Planning and Research Department – K3,144,394,982).

Mrs Phiri (Luanshya): Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 02, Activity 06 ─ Employment Promotion for Vulnerable Groups ─ K500,000,000? For the last two years the budget looked okay, but now there is a reduction from K1 billion to K500,000,000. I would like to find out why there has been this reduction.

Mr Mukuma delayed in answering.

The Chairperson: Vote 44/05, Programme 02, Activity 06 ─ Employment Promotion for Vulnerable Groups ─ K500,000,000. Why has there been a reduction?

Mr Mukuma: Madam Chairperson, some of the activities here have been transferred to another department except that I have just misplaced the record.

Hon Opposition Members: Aah!

The Chairperson: Can somebody, please, assist.

Mr Mukuma: Madam Chairperson, the reduction is due to the introduction of a new programme called the Decent Work Country Programme under the Labour Department.

I thank you, Madam.

Dr Machungwa: Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 02, Activity 07 ─ Staff Welfare ─ Nil. Last year there was an allocation of K200,000,000 but this year there is nothing? Are we not going to care for our staff or maybe they have been retrenched?

Mr Mukuma: Is this Activity 05?

The Chairperson: Programme 02, Activity 07 ─ Staff Welfare.

Mr Mukuma: Oh, yes, yes!


Mr Mukuma: Madam Chairperson, the allocation has been centralised under the Human Resource Department, and hence we will see quite a good number of activities, especially dealing with staff welfare, without allocations.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Vote 44/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 44/06 ─ (Ministry of Labour and Social Security ─ Social Security Department ─ K1,898,492,642).

Mr D. Mwila: Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 02, Activity 01 ─ Office Administration ─ K80,000,000. Last year, we budgeted for K20 million, but this year, there is a proposal of K80 million translating into an increase of 400 per cent and also on Programme 07, Activity 01 ─ Promotion of Social Security Public Awareness ─ K320,000,000, where we budgeted for K75,818,656 and this year, there is a proposal of K320,000,000 which is also an increase of 400 per cent.

The Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mr Liato): Madam Chairperson, on Programme 02, Activity 01 ─ Office Administration ─ K80,000,000, is needed to cover costs such as telephones, water bills and other administrative expenses as well as ensure the smooth operation of the department. The increment is due to utility works.

With regard to Programme 07, Activity 01 ─ Promotion of Social Security Public Awareness ─ K320,000,000, this is the money needed to sensitise the public on social security through the media, workshops and other foras. The increase is meant to ensure that the public is aware of the Social Security Programme in the country. It will mainly focus on the reform measures.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 03, Activity 02 ─ National Safety Net ─ K300,000,000, where there has been a reduction from K500 million to K300 million and what this safety net is?

Mr Mukuma: Madam Chairperson, this is the money needed to co-ordinate the activities of various safety nets and the programme is under review, hence the reduction.

I thank you, Madam.

Vote 44/06 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

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

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: Order!


The Minister of Community Development and Social Services (Ms Namugala): Madam Chairperson, I thank you very much for according me this opportunity to discuss the estimates of expenditure for the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services for 2008, which stand at K67,136,144,896 compared to last year’s approved budget expenditure of K72,268,830,249.

Madam Chairperson, the mission statement of the Ministry is:

“To effectively and efficiently facilitate the provision of socio-economic empowerment and welfare support to the poor and vulnerable, and to promote the development and preservation of culture for sustainable human development.”

In order to fulfill this mission, the Ministry has put in place policies and programmes to address the needs of the poor and vulnerable groups including persons with disabilities as well as the preservation and promotion of culture. The programmes are structured within the framework of the Fifth National Development Plan.

Madam Chairperson, the Public Welfare Assistance Scheme referred to as (PWAS) is one of the Government’s major social safety nets aimed at providing support to the most needy such as the elderly persons, the disabled or the chronically ill persons who have no other support. The programme targets the poorest of the poor. Currently, this translates into about 200,000 persons of the population of Zambia.

The Public Welfare Assistance Scheme has three major components namely:

(i) Education;
(ii) Health; and
(iii) Social Support.

In the year 2007, my Ministry was allocated K9.4 billion towards this programme and assisted 166,599 beneficiaries as compared to 158,249 beneficiaries in the year 2006.

Street Children’s Programmes

Madam Chairperson, with an allocation of K6.4 billion to this programme in last year’s Budget, the Ministry has made progress by rehabilitating and reintegrating 1,365 street children into their families and communities. Further, through this programme, the Ministry empowered households as a way of preventing children from going to the streets. The Ministry also rehabilitated centres to provide accommodation for vulnerable children on the streets. With this year’s allocation of K10 billion to this programme, we will ensure that there is continuation of the activities to remove and reintegrate children from the streets.

Cash Transfer Scheme

Madam Chairperson, the Cash Transfer Scheme targets incapacitated households, especially the elderly caring for orphans and vulnerable children and other incapacitated persons. The assistance given is in form of cash. The scheme is currently being piloted in Kalomo, Kazungula, Katete, Monze and Chipata. In 2007, co-operating partners contributed a total of K2.8 billion while the Government contributed K1.5 billion to the scheme. The total number of beneficiaries was 7,476 households. In this year’s Budget, the co-operating partners have pledged to contribute K10.2 billion while the Government has allocated K1.5 billion to the Scheme.

Persons with Disabilities

Madam Chairperson, the Government is concerned with the plight of disabled persons. For this reason the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services, through the Zambia Agency for Persons with Disabilities (ZAPD) in last year’s Budget paid retirement packages to 265 employees. This backlog of retirement packages made it difficult for the agency to implement its programmes and activities. In this year’s Budget K5 billion has been allocated to ZAPD to facilitate its operations.

The Ministry has also endeavoured to empower persons with disabilities through micro finance services such as the National Trust Fund for the Disabled which has been allocated K600 million in this year’s Budget. The Ministry is also spearheading the mainstreaming of disability issues to track budgeting in other ministries to be supported by disability focal point persons.

Programme Urban Self Help (PUSH)

Madam Chairperson, the Urban Self Help Programme under my Ministry uses labour-based methods to undertake local developmental projects such as construction of community roads and bridges in exchange for food and other assets. This empowers communities to institute self-help projects. In this year’s Budget, the programme has been allocated K1.7 billion.

Food Security Pack Programme

Madam Chairperson, the Ministry implements the Food Security Pack (FSP) programme for vulnerable but viable farmers. Currently, the Ministry has engaged the Programme Against Malnutrition (PAM) which is a Non-Governmental Organisation to implement this programme on behalf of the Government. In this year’s Budget, the programme has received an allocation of K10 billion.

Care for the Aged

Madam Chairperson, the Ministry realises the need to provide better welfare for older persons. In this regard, my Ministry looks after destitute and older persons by providing grants to institutions looking after or working with older persons. Currently, six homes with a total of 123 older persons are supported by the Ministry.

Women’s Development Programme

Madam Chairperson, the contribution of women to the development and welfare of our society cannot be over emphasised. For this reason, the Ministry has been giving grants to Women’s Clubs to empower them economically. In this regard, 162 Women’s Clubs were given grants in 2007. In addition, a total of 1,200 women participated in entrepreneurship workshops that were conducted for the Women’s Clubs. This function, however, has been moved to the Citizens’ Economic Empowerment Commission.

Mr Muntanga: Why?

Non-Formal Education and Skills Development

Ms Namugala: Madam Chairperson, the Ministry will continue …

Mr Muntanga: Bacijaya ino!

Ms Namugala: … to provide non-formal education and skills development to the women, the youths and persons with disabilities who have not had a chance to access formal education, particularly in the rural and remote areas in order to improve their livelihood. Last year, the Ministry supported 40,964 literacy students countrywide.

Learning Resource Centres

Madam Chairperson, the learning resource centres provide skills for women, men and youths in carpentry, brick laying, metal fabrication, tailoring and catering. The Ministry will continue to strengthen the capacities of these centres in all provinces. In this year’s Budget, K1 billion has been allocated to the learning resource centres.

Preservation, Development and Promotion of Arts and Culture

Madam Chairperson, in the area of culture, the Government has realised the important role that culture plays, not only in safeguarding customs and indigenous knowledge, but also the sectors potential for the creation of employment through the creative arts and cultural industries.

In this regard, the Government in the 2008 work plan, will support programmes and activities of the National Arts Council, Cultural Associations and Museums as well as other key stakeholders who are working in the sector in line with the Fifth National Development Plan. Some of the key programmes and activities which the Ministry intends to facilitate include:

(i) review of policy and legislation;
(ii) development of cultural infrastructure, promotion; and 
(iii) the developments of arts and cultural products and the implementation of the long awaited zero rate tax on musical equipment and tools graciously announced by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning in his Budget Speech.

Madam Chairperson, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chisala (Chilubi): Madam Chairperson, firstly, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for having put across the policy statement in an able manner.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chisala: Madam Chairperson, I would like say the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services is a very important Ministry in as far as serving of our people is concerned. I say so simply because this is one Ministry which has been extending a hand to the Zambian people in the rural areas, particularly, to the old men and women and the less privileged women who have been involved in fundraising ventures. Therefore, Madam Chairperson, it is important that a ministry such as this one is given adequate allocation so that the people who have been facing a lot of financial problems can at least be equipped to alleviate their problems.

Madam Chairperson, the other point I would like to labour is that of the National Arts Council. The institution is a very important one, but what we have observed is the fact that the people manning this institution receive inadequate funding to the extent that at times, they fail to reach the rural areas. As a result, their concentration is centered around the line of rail which is not supposed to be the case.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chisala: Madam Chairperson, the rural people have been neglected by the National Arts Council of Zambia. However, this is not a problem of their making.

Hon. Opposition Member: Yes.

Mr Chisala: It is a problem that has been created by the Executive. It is, therefore, prudent that the people be visited in the rural areas so that we can sustain our culture. In the event of not being visited and getting encouraged by the National Arts Council, our culture, definitely, shall get eroded.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chisala: Madam Chairperson, the next point I would like to labour on briefly is the issue of women’s clubs. These clubs in rural areas, in particular, have been neglected in the sense that the conditions attached to the attainment of the funds are very stringent. You can imagine the people in the rural areas where there are no banking institutions being advised to open bank accounts. Let us take for instance a place such as Chilubi where there is no bank. People have to travel more than 200 km to open a bank account for the sake of getting K2 million. Such conditions are too stiff for our women. Therefore, there is a need for the Ministry to review such conditions, otherwise the poverty levels will definitely keep rising.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Chisala: Furthermore, in the previous year, we were advised as Members of Parliament to encourage the women to form clubs. We did that, but to date; some of the clubs in our constituencies have not received the funding. What has been going on at the Ministry? This issue should be looked into critically if we are to alleviate the problems of the women out there.

Mr Munaile: Walanda, Mwana.

Hon. Member: It is true. Tatwapokelela ifwe bonse.

Mr Chisala: On the other hand, there is also the problem of the people who are managing this fund at district level. Some of these people have been marginalising some groups. Others have been doing that due to the fact that they do not have the capacity or they are not qualified to run the affairs related to the administration of the women’s clubs. Therefore, it would be right for the hon. Minister to see to it that qualified people are sent to the rural areas which have been shunned by the qualified people to help the women.

Madam Chairperson, one important point I have to labour on again is that of street children. Today, in the streets in urban areas it is evident that the number of street kids has really gone up despite the fact that the Government is trying to do its level best to reduce the number. However, the number still remains high and we cannot just keep watching the situation and say that this problem has been alleviated when we have seen many people becoming mad and destitute. This is the issue the Government should look into …

Mr Imasiku: Question!

Mr Chisala: … because in the event …

Mr Lubinda: On a point of order, Madam 

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised..

Mr Lubinda: Madam Chairperson, is the hon. Member who is debating very eloquently in order not to point out to the Government that it is not a question of thousands, but that even if it just one child on the streets, that one child is far too many? Is he in order not to say that to the Government?


The Chairperson: That point of order was an attempt to debate.


The Chairperson: That surely is not a point that cannot be debated. It is a debatable issue and that is what is happening. He is in order not to say that.

Mr Chisala: Madam Chairperson, the point I would like to emphasise is that the number of the people who are living in total poverty has swelled greatly simply because the Government is doing very little to assist them. There are a number of children today who are not in school simply because the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services has not taken care of them. The old men and women in the villages cannot be taken care of simply because the hon. Minister is immobile …


Mr Chisala: We would like the hon. Minister to go out there …


Mr Chisala: She has to be mobile so that she can see, for herself, with her naked eyes …


Mr Chisala: … how the old men and women in the villages are suffering because more concentration is in urban areas.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chisala: This is not supposed to be the case.


Mr Chisala: I would like to stress the point, here, that we would like to reduce the number of beggars on our streets in the country because if we do not do that, we are not going to win the respect that we deserve from the Zambian people, as a Government.

Finally, I would like to advise the Government that time has come for them to look into the plight of the Zambian communities, particularly, the less privileged who are living in rural areas. For a long time now the people in rural areas have been neglected.

Madam Chairperson, the national cake should be distributed equally. That is why when the Zambian people were voting for the Republican President, they said, “We are going to vote for one Government.” It is this Government which is in power that should support them in all areas of human endeavour.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson

Hon. Members: Hear, hears!

Mr Muntanga: Madam Chairperson, I thank you for according me this opportunity to contribute on this Vote. The Ministry of Community Development and Social Services, unfortunately, is one of the ministries that are considered to be Cinderella ministries. It is a Ministry that is on the lower level of consideration. It is a Ministry that has not been looked after properly. It is not elevated. We wished we had a Ministry of Community Development and Social Services in the old days when Princess Nakatindi was the hon. Minister of this Ministry. At that time, there was money to support home building. There were some clubs that were properly established. People and families were assisted with iron sheets to improve their houses.


Mr Muntanga: Immediately after you were born.


Mr Muntanga: Madam Chairperson, my worry now is that the little that was given to the Ministry has been removed. True to the word of the Bible that, “Those who have little, even the little that they have shall be taken away.”

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: It is a very sad affair. We are the people who do not want to take care of our own aged people. The people in Kaputa are not assisted at all.


Mr Muntanga: The old people who are supposed to be assisted are not assisted, at all, in Kaputa.


Mr Muntanga: Madam Chairperson, when non-governmental organisations (NGOs) started the cash transfer in Kalomo, it had not been introduced in Kaputa.


Mr Muntanga: We were of the opinion that since it had done very well in Kalomo, we would move to Kaputa.


Mr Muntanga: Unfortunately, now, the hon. Minister …

The Chairperson: Order!

(Debate adjourned)



{MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress reported)


The House adjourned at 1957 hours until 00900 hours on Friday, 29th February, 2008.