Debates- Friday, 22nd February, 2008

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Friday, 22nd February, 2008

The House met at 0900 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]





The Vice-President (Mr R. Banda): Mr Speaker, I rise to give the House some idea of the business it will consider next week.

Sir, on Tuesday, 26th February, 2008, the Business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply on this year’s Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure and will consider the following heads:

Head 21 – Loans and Investments – Ministry of Finance and National Planning;
Head 37 – Ministry of Finance and National Planning;
Head 44 – Ministry of Labour and Social Security; and
Head 45 – Ministry of Community Development and Social Services.

On Wednesday, 27th February, 2008, the Business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. After that, the House will consider Private Members’ Motions, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply on this year’s Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure and will consider the following heads:

Head 13 – Ministry of Energy and Water Development;
Head 46 – Ministry of Health;
Head 31 – Ministry of Communications and Transport; and
Head 64 – Ministry of Works and Supply.

On Thursday, 28th February, 2008, the Business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. After that, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply on this year’s Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure and will consider the following heads:

Head 65 – Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training;
Head 68 – Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources;
Head 76 – Ministry of Sport, Youth and Child Development; and
Head 77 – Ministry of Defence.

Sir, on Friday, 29th February, 2008, the Business of the House will begin with His Honour the Vice-President’s Question Time. Then the House will consider Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply on this year’s Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure and the following heads will be considered:

Head 78 – Zambia Security Intelligence Services – Office of the President;
Head 80 – Ministry of Education; and
Head 85 – Ministry of Lands.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, I wonder if the Vice-President who declared himself to be shocked and puzzled by the Nchanga Election results a few months ago is as shocked and puzzled by yesterday’s election results. Or is he starting to learn how unpopular his party is in the cities of Zambia?

Mr Speaker: This is the last time I shall allow questions on this subject.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I knew that my colleagues across there would be looking forward to teasing us this morning. However, my dear colleagues, I think the first point that we all recognise from this election is that your leadership is shrinking in that area.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: If you recall, during the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections, the Patriotic Front (PF) had 17,000 votes in Kanyama and the Movement for Multi-party Democracy had 9,000 votes. Today, the difference is only 300 votes.


The Vice-President: However, I want to congratulate them sincerely for slipping through this time. We are waiting for you at the next by-election and if we have another one in an area such as this one, you will remember.


The Vice-President: The question asked by the hon. Member for Lusaka Central is that I was shocked and puzzled in the Nchanga by-election. Indeed, I was shocked and puzzled, but I am not shocked and puzzled this time. As I have stated already, one could see from the singing of the National Anthem for which we have been congratulated by Mr Speaker that it was loud. We are all happy to sing it loudly. The PF, alone, could not impress Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: We also participated because we believe sincerely that our democracy is working.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: That is why we are all happy for you that you have won and are happy, but take note, MMD and UPND are all on your trail. We want to dislodge you of your last victory wherever we go and we are coming very close to that.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisanga (Mkushi South): Mr Speaker, when is His Excellency the President going to visit the people of the Luano Valley in Mkushi?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I wish to thank the hon. Member for Mkushi South for extending a public invitation in this House to His Excellency the President to visit the Luano Valley. I am really pleased to convey this invitation to His Excellency the President. All I can say is that as soon as it is possible for His Excellency the President to visit the industrious people of the Luano Valley in Mkushi District, he will do so. If he will be unable to do so, I will take it that the invitation extends to me too as his deputy. I would also be very pleased to take up that invitation if my President allows me to do so. I wish to once again to congratulate the people of Mkushi South for electing such a competent and committed hon. Member of Parliament.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the Vice-President whether or not there are any plans to relocate the people of Kaseya in my constituency who are always being shifted because of floods and have now turned into shifting cultivators.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I thank my sister and good friend, the hon. Member of Parliament for Katombola, for asking this question if there are any plans to move the people of Kaseya who are constantly victims of floods whenever the country has adequate rains. I am very pleased about this question because I am sure that this is one of the questions that must be worrying all the leaders of this country because we have floods in the same places every year. It is pleasing to hear that hon. Members of Parliament are beginning to think about long term solutions to the problem of floods. The biggest problem that the Government has faced is the reluctance of the people of those areas to move. Now that we are able to hear these questions from the hon. Members of Parliament, it means that we have allies in the struggle to move our people to more dry areas where they can lead better lives than constantly remain along the valleys that are always flooded.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sichamba (Isoka West): Mr Speaker, what mechanism is being put in place to ensure that there is continuity in the distribution of relief food in places that experienced floods last year? At the moment, the distribution has failed.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Isoka West for asking what plans or mechanisms Government have been put in place through the Office of the Vice-President to ensure that the people that are affected by floods are able to be looked after in terms of relief food. I will begin answering the question by stating the first step that we have put into the process of distributing food to the people who are in deficit areas for one reason or another. We all know that it is not only floods that lead to lack of food, but droughts also bring about food deficit.

What the Office of the Vice-President through Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) has done is to ensure that we have what we call prepositioning. This is not an idea that was mooted out by the Office of the Vice-President. I can remember many of the hon. Members of Parliament who wrote notes or spoke to me and questioned why we always wait until the rains come when the bridges and roads to these areas are impassable when we know which areas are likely to be affected and required the food each year. This is why we have used the term called prepositioning.

What we have done this season is to preposition food relief in the areas which required this food relief the year before. We assume that the rainfall pattern will continue to be awkward because of the change of the environment and the effects of green house gases that the same will happen if not worse. Therefore, we went to forty-two districts that required food relief last year. We took 200 metric tonnes of maize to these areas in anticipation of what has happened now. I was very sad to hear my colleagues say that the exercise had actually failed. It may have failed in a particular area where the hon. Member for Isoka West comes from, but I think we should certainly accept that an attempt has been made to provide this food before the rains come.

Mr Speaker, many of the hon. Members of Parliament have asked why we are not releasing the food. We do not want to turn the people of Zambia into people relying on relief. Only when the hon. Member of Parliament, together with the Chairman of DMMU who is the District Commissioner in the district and other leadership in that area take the initiative to inform our office of the problems and details as to how much is required, do we give authority for that relief food to be provided. We distribute according to the number required. We do not say that because we have prepositioned 200 metric tonnes, then we have to distribute it all. No. We give what is required.

I think the most important thing that I can ask my colleagues in this House to do is that whenever these problems come up, let us do what we are doing now by keeping one another informed. We do realise that communication has improved a great deal in our country and, therefore, let us take advantage of it and inform the relevant office to give authority to release this relief food.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mrs J.  C. M. Phiri (Munali) Mr Speaker, I am sure that every peace loving Zambian is concerned about the security situation in our country. Now that the by-election is over in Kanyama Constituency, would it be possible for the police officers that were deployed in Kanyama Constituency to be transferred to our compounds and re-enforce security personnel that are already there, in particular, at the University of Zambia where we have lost the life of a young and brilliant Zambian?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I can see that the hon. Member of Parliament for Munali is beaming with joy after the victory in Kanyama. By the way, there may be some hon. Members who are not aware of the important relationship that exists between me and the hon. Member for Munali …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: I was one of the hon. Members of Parliament who represented Munali for 10 years in the past and so I am very happy to answer this question. The question is can we improve the security situation now that the Kanyama Constituency by-election is over. Can we transfer some of the police officers to other areas?

Before I answer this question, I want to speak as if I were the hon. Minister of Home Affairs. I hope that when we come to allocating resources to the Ministry of Home Affairs, we will always remember that each one of us require police presence and protection. Among other things that are required by police officers are offices, housing, education and transport. I hope that the hon. Members will continue to do the needful and allocate adequate financial support to the ministry.

On the question of Munali, we have taken note of the issue. My colleague from the Ministry of Home Affairs has done so and that we shall transfer police officers to areas, such as, the university and many areas in Munali which require police presence as need arises. Once again, I wish to thank the hon. Member for Munali for asking this very cogent question.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Mr Speaker, may I find out from His Honour the Vice-President when the farmers who paid for fertiliser that was not delivered would be refunded because this has taken long.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to reply to the question raised by the hon. Member for Kalomo. He is an hon. Member who when he stands to debate will represent his people in asking questions related to agriculture which is the mainstay of the area in which he was elected. I always tell the people of Kalomo when I meet them to re-elect the hon. Member of Parliament ...


The Vice-President: … for Kalomo because he ably represents them. I have never heard him ask questions about things that do not exist in his area which the people do not need.

Now in answering his question, I would like to assure the hon. Member for Kalomo that the money will be refunded very soon. I overheard the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning say that measures have already been taken to do so. Please, go back and tell them that funds are being released because of this question.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Chimbaka (Bahati): Mr Speaker, now that the Government has seen the consequences of bad planning …

Hon. Government Members: Where?

Mr Chimbaka: … in all the unplanned settlements by experiencing disasters every time like floods, has the Government got plans in the near future to try and upgrade the status of these unplanned settlements or relocate people to higher grounds in order to find a lasting solution to these reoccurring disasters?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I thank my colleague, the hon. Member of Parliament for Bahati, for raising this question.  I would like to take a little bit of time and explain this issue.  I know he will complain because I will take a lot of time.


The Vice-President: He said that because of Government’s bad planning, people have found themselves in Kanyama or valleys. I think you will agree with the Government that this problem affects all of us. Our job now as Government and hon. Members of Parliament is to persuade our people to understand that certain areas are not suitable for human habitation for one reason or another.

With regard to the people who have settled in Kanyama Compound where you hope that we have learnt a lesson because of the bad planning, Kanyama has been in existence long before this Government came into power. Secondly, the problems of Kanyama are not created only by the presence of the people there or the Government’s bad planning as your call it, but we must also agree that the problem in Kanyama is drainage. The water is not going anywhere. What are the causes of this poor drainage?

First of all, Kanyama sits on a rock and so water does not sink. I think all of us saw this during the Kanyama Constituency by-election. The area does not absorb water as efficiently as in other areas. Secondly, there was one major drain that was dug and built by the Government through the council at the time. This drain goes through Kanyama and all the farms up to Makeni. If you go there and see this drainage today, perhaps only one third of it can be called a drain. People have built houses. Some people have put concrete slabs on the drain in order to build their houses …
Dr Scott: That was MMD!


Mr Speaker: Order!

The Vice-President: Thank you very much for eating up the time.


The Vice-President: People have been building on top of the drains. They have been putting concrete with re-enforced steel inside the drainage.

Hon. PF Members: Supervised by MMD!

The Vice-President: No, they were supervised by the PF Member of Parliament and councillor.

Mr Kambwili: Question!

The Vice-President: Well, unfortunately, this is the truth. Everyone knows that you won that seat during the tripartite elections in 2006 and your late councillor was there. Unfortunately, we do not want to talk about that because we all miss our brother. However, the truth is that PF councillor is responsible for running this area.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President:  Let me also say that one of the strategies we used in order shrink your majority was to tell the people that PF has been in the area for the last one and half years, …

Mr Mushili: On a point of order, Sir.

The Vice-President: … have they done anything better? May I take this opportunity to remind hon. Members that we have a joint responsibility.


The Vice-President: I will wait for my colleagues to take off what is in their minds so that I can continue, thereafter.

Mr Speaker: Order!

The Vice-President: It is necessary …


The Vice-President: … that the hon. Member for Bahati who I know very well will accept the fact that we have a joint responsibility as leaders in this country to agree to do the right thing regardless of who is in power. When I talk about power, I am not talking about Government power; but I am talking about the Member of Parliament who has just won the by-election. He will be in power there. I am not going to abandon him as far as disaster management is concerned. You must inform him that I am there for him as well.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Question!

The Vice-President: We must work together and tell our people to do the right things.

I thank you, Mr Speaker, for allowing me to comment on the question.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): Mr Speaker, I would like to ask the Vice-President the question that affects all hon. Members of this House. We have just undergone a calamity of floods, both in urban and rural areas to the extent that food availability maybe a big challenge this year. I also know that the reserves that are contained in our warehouses have gone, but to a rate of between 30 to 40 per cent as a result of non-fumigation, infestation or water affection. I would like to know what the Government is planning to do in order to cushion the impact that will arise from this calamity coupled with the bad harvest that we anticipate.

The Vice-President: Thank you, Mr Speaker. The hon. Member for Mazabuka would like to find out from the Government as to what we are going to do in view of the research that will come form the calamity of floods that we are currently experiencing that the food reserves that we have maybe going bad as a result of weevils and other destructive elements and that the Government should advise what we intend to do. I would like to begin by thanking the hon. Member of Parliament for raising this question. I have travelled to Mazabuka with the hon. Member on several occasions on business. He has always been there with the Government to see the problems and at the same time be able to discuss solutions. For me, as an old hon. Member of Parliament, I can only say that is the kind of hon. Members of Parliament we want so that we can resolve the problems of the people.

Now, on the issue of destruction of our food, I would like to advise hon. Members wherever we come from to consider themselves Government inspectors by looking after these food reserves.

Hon. Members must also ensure that Government officials, members of the Food Reserve Agency, officers in the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives and the District Commissioner supervise and make sure that they look after this food. As he said, we are likely to have bad harvest in certain areas of the country and as a result of that, we are going to need this food very much.

Mr Speaker, while we are discussing this issue of disasters, I want to inform the hon. Members of Parliament that the response of the public and private sector in our country as well as of governments outside has been overwhelming. I think one of the reasons why people have responded besides the fact that we have the disaster is that Zambia is held in high esteem by many countries in the world because of this Parliament, our behaviour, what we say and the way we run our country and our elections. Everyone looks and says our country deserves support.

Sir, I can perhaps reveal here that the other day I was emotional touched to see a big Air Force plane from Brazil with young Brazilian pilots bringing us relief food. I think all of Zambians deserve to join hands and say, “thank you” to our brothers from Brazil. They brought us beans and I know this is good news for my brother, the hon. Member for Chasefu. Zamusozi uswesi.


The Vice-President: We have got lots of beans from Brazil. What was so interesting about this gift was that there was a philosophy behind it.


The Vice-President: The philosophy behind this was that this beans and maize they brought us was grown by peasant farmers, such as, our peasants. They were sympathetic to us because they know how they are impacted when they have disasters in their country.

Mr Speaker, I wish once again to thank the hon. Member for allowing me to answer this question so elaborately.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo (Bangweulu): Mr Speaker, when will the fish restocking exercise begin in Luapula Province?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I think if there is any province that really requires fish restocking is Luapula Province.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, when I last visited this province, I stopped at Tuta Bridge and saw marketeers from Lusaka carrying baby fish. Suddenly, the question of fish restocking hit me. I really wish that all of us can educate the Zambian people that we must leave baby fish to grow so that they can breed more fish for us. Government is very concerned about this and we are working flat out to ensure that fish restocking in Luapula Province is done.

Hon. Opposition Members: When?

The Vice- President: Mr Speaker, immediately was the answer and this means now.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I always appreciate my brother in law and colleague because we were in Parliament together when I was in this House and his ability to debate is beyond any questioning by anyone. 
I thank you, Sir.


Dr Kalumba (Chienge): Mr Speaker, the Vice-President talked about people catching baby fish. When is the Government going to provide fisheries officers to ensure that the fish ban is respected by our citizens in Luapula Province and other fishing areas?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Chienge wants to know when we are going to recruit officers to assist in the fish ban in lakes and rivers. We realise that we have our neighbours across. That is why we have a Joint Commission between the two countries so that we can discuss these matters and sensitise each other as to what we are doing. Hon. Kalumba, who is a hon. Member of Parliament for Chienge and National Secretary of the Almighty MMD…

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: … has always made it his duty to ask pertinent questions affecting the welfare of the people of Zambia.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mushili (Ndola Central): Mr Speaker, first of all, I would like to share my happiness with everybody for the victory of Kanyama Constituency by-election. It is indeed very nice to have won. Victory is sweet.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mushili: Mr Speaker, what plans does the Government have as regards to working together with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in our respective constituencies, especially in areas where the Government Ministers are blocking the efforts of the NGOs from working together?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I thank very much the hon. Member for Ndola Central who wishes to know when Government will decide to work with NGOs who are working hard in his area. I wish the hon. Member had given us a bit of details as to which NGOs we need to collaborate with.

Mr Speaker: Order! The Vice-President’s Question Time has expired.




169. Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives whether there had been incidents of farmers and business people smuggling maize from Malawi, Tanzania and Mozambique and selling it to the Food Reserve Agency and, if so, how much maize was involved.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Kalenga): Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives (MACO) in conjunction with the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) and the Zambia Co-operate Federation (ZCF) conducted a verification exercise from 12th to 15th August 2007 in Lundazi. This was aimed at verifying reports that maize was being smuggled into Zambia from Malawi and being sold to the FRA.

Mr Speaker, the exercise which involved visits to FRA buying depots in the district and physical checking of crop purchasing records yielded the following results:
(i) before the opening of the crop marketing season, all camp officers under Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives were instructed to ensure that the certification of farmers at all FRA depots was done;

(ii) the names of certified farmers had been submitted to the FRA buying depots through the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives field staff;

(iii) the system of certification of farmers is in place and is being followed by all stakeholders; and

(iv) all maize purchases by FRA were from certified farmers with traceable Zambian National Registration cards.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, it is very clear from answers we have had before from the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives that the problem of smuggling across borders is what has been delaying the payments to local farmers from Mozambique and, particularly, Malawi. Tanzania has very strict laws against exporting illegally. Can the hon. Minister some how square for us the statement that everything is alright and that all certifications have been done with this excuse that has been given before that smuggled maize has been sold to FRA?

Mr Kalenga: Mr Speaker, I cannot confirm that statement because what we know as Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives is that the maize was bought from the Zambian farmers who were identified by the camp officers and these had National Registration cards.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, now that the hon. Minister has been told that the maize which was bought by FRA came from across the boarder, what mechanism is he going to put in place to ensure that this does not continue and that the Zambian Government does not lose revenue?

The Minister of Health (Dr Chituwo): Mr Speaker, it is very clear from our response that as we carry out this exercise, there is need for us to strengthen the systems that have been in place. If we do this, one will clearly see that the incidences of smuggling of maize across boarders will be minimised. That is what will be done. However, we need the co-operation of everyone involved in the marketing of this crop.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Speaker, with these persistent reports of maize being smuggled in from the boarder areas of neighbouring countries and being sold to FRA, would you not take it that we need to empower our farmers a little bit more so that we can be buying maize from them instead of the farmers buying maize from the neighbouring countries and reselling to FRA?

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, the essence of establishing FRA and the policies that we put in with regard to purchasing strategic reserves, clearly indicates our focus on the Zambian farmers. Our focus is not to purchase maize from foreigners. As I mentioned earlier, if we strengthen this aspect for our farmers and their co-operatives, we will be servicing our farmers first before anybody else. This is why FRA was set up.
I thank you, Mr Speaker.


170. Mr D. Mwila (Chipili) asked the Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development:

(a) how much compensation was paid by the Government to the families of the players and officials who died in the Gabon air crash in April, 1993; and

(b) how was the money distributed to the family members.

The Deputy Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development (Mr Taima): Mr Speaker, the Government spent a total of K16,919,381,400.93 as compensation costs to families of the late players and officials who died in the Gabon Air Crash in April, 1993.

Mr Speaker, most of the money was paid to the families of the late players and officials through their lawyers, Messrs Central Chambers and Messrs Ituna Partners as follows:

 Details                                   Cheque No.    Payments (K)

Messrs Central Chambers      008574         1,000,000,000.00
Central chambers                   008137         2,000,000,000.00
Messrs Ituna Partners            003887            552,000,000.00
Messrs Central Chambers      010480        6,000,000,000.00
Ituna Chambers                       009173           154,000,000.00
Central Chambers                   012132        4,586,725,776.93
Messrs Ituna Chambers          012133        1,884,155,624.00
Central Chambers                   009175           152,500,000.00

Total                                                          16,919,381,400.93

Mr Speaker, only a total amount of K590,000,000.00 was given directly to the administrators of estates for the deceased players and officials, and they received a uniform amount of K29,500,000.00 as tabulated below:

Name                                      Cheque No.           Payment (K)

1. Moses Chikwalakwala         009188               29,500,000.00
2. Whiteson Changwe             009178               29,500,000.00
3. Alex Chola                           009179               29,500,000.00
4. Moses Masuwa                   009172              29,500,000.00
5. Winter Mumba                      009168              29,500,000.00
6. Timothy Mwitwa                  009171              29,500,000.00
7. Eston Mulenga                     009185              29,500,000.00
8. Numba Mwila                       009189               29,500,000.00
9. Fentone Mhone                   009186               29,500,000.00
10. Wilson Mtonga                   009183               29,500,000.00
11. Edward Nambote               009196               29,500,000.00
12. John Soko                          009184               29,500,000.00
13. Wilson Sakala                    009194               29,500,000.00
14. Joseph Salimu                   009195                29,500,000.00
15. Thompson Sakala              009181                29,500,000.00
16. Joseph Sachika                 009177                29,500,000.00
17. Michael Mwape                 009176                29,500,000.00
18. Kennan Simambe              009170                 29,500,000.00
19. Samuel Chomba                009182                 29,500,000.00 
20. Nelson Zimba                    009187                 29,500,000.00

Total                                                                    590,000,000.00

Mr Speaker, records of how the respective law firms distributed the money to their clients are not available with us because this was handled by the law firms.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, there were some reports made through the press that there were some disputes whereby the families were not happy with the distribution of the funds. Can the hon. Minister shed more light on that issue?

Hon. Government Member: With who?

Mr D. Mwila: With their lawyer.

Mr Taima: Mr Speaker, as I clearly outlined in my response, the compensation of the victims of the Gabon Air Crash disaster family members was done pursuant to a court decision and was done using two approaches. One was that some families were paid directly the monies amounting to K590 million, but more than 90 per cent of the total sum paid was handled by law firms.

On the issue of how equitable the distribution was, it was a matter between the law firms and the families concerned.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Kapata (Mandevu): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister why the Government has failed to maintain the graves of the players and officials who died in the Gabon Air Crash in 1993 as the site is supposed to be a national monument because those people brought glory and honour to this country.

Mr Speaker: The House will stay closely to the question on the Order Paper.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, may I know how much was paid by the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) which is the world football governing body to the families.

Mr Taima: Mr Speaker, the question on the Order Paper is very specific. It is about how much the Government paid and we have given the answer with all the details necessary.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Zulu (Bwana Mkubwa): Mr Speaker, it is now almost 15 years since the Gabon Air Crash. When will this Government release the report of the air crash to the Zambian people so that we know what really transpired on that fateful day?

Mr Taima: Mr Speaker, it is very clear that is completely a new question. If the hon. Member wants to know what stage we have reached as Government in terms of his concern, he can raise that question afresh and we will provide an answer at an appropriate time.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Mr Speaker, Question 170 part (b) reads, “How was the money distributed to the family members?” The hon. Minister in his response said he could not state how the money that was paid through lawyers was distributed.

Mr Speaker, this is a matter of national importance and interest and for the court to have arrived at the amount that the Government paid through the lawyers, there was certainly some kind of calculation. The lawyers that paid this money on behalf of the Government had the figures. Can the hon. Minister kindly get that information either from court or the involved law firms for the Zambian people to be informed on how the money was distributed per family? Is it not easy to do that?

Mr Taima: Mr Speaker, information to deal with a client and a law firm is deemed privileged information and can only be done with specific instructions. Therefore, we can only go as far stating which law firms handled the disbursement of these monies and to which families have been paid and which we have done very ably.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, what mechanism has this Government put in place to ensure that the victims will be compensated adequately and smoothly in case of a future re-occurrence?

Mr Taima: Mr Speaker, I did not mention in my response anything to do with adequacy or inadequacy of the compensation, but I did state that in our payment or in attending to the issue of compensation, we followed a decision by the court meaning, therefore, that everything we did was in line with the decision made by the court.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


171. Mr Kambwili asked the Minister of Justice:

(a) why the receiver of RAMCOZ  was not willing to sell some of the ex-RAMCOZ institution houses to the Luanshya copper Mines plc to facilitate the speedy opening of Mulyashi  Mine and also to raise money to pay off the creditors; and

(b) why the Government is delaying to hand over the Luanshya Golf Club to the Luanshya a Copper Mines plc.

The Minister of Justice (Mr Kunda, SC.): Mr Speaker, I would like to inform this House that the receiver of RAMCOZ (in receivership) took over the receivership from the previous receivers Messrs Grant Thornton Associates, taking control of the remaining assets of RAMCOZ which at the that time were Mulyashi North and Oxide Caps and non-core assets comprising residential houses, flats, the club and motor vehicles.
Mr Speaker, under the receivership laws, the receiver was obliged to sell the said assets and settle liabilities due to the creditors of the company. In this regard, Mulyashi North and Oxide Caps was sold by the receiver in 2006 to Luanshya Copper Mines (LCM) Plc leaving the non-core-assets to be disposed off.

As Mulyashi North Oxide Caps was sold and transferred to Luanshya Copper Mines (LCM), the said mine is no longer under the ambit of the receivership which is RAMCOZ. As such, the operations of the receivership do not have any correlation with the operations of the mine which is now under the ownership of Luanshya Copper Mines. Further, with the issue of the sale of RAMCOZ (in receivership) non-core assets, there was no relationship to the speedy opening of Mulyashi Mine as it is now under the ambit of Luanshya Copper Mines as per the sale agreement.

Sir, the receivership is in the process of attending to the sale of the remaining non-core assets and following the conclusion of this sale, the receiver will then attend to the creditors of RAMCOZ (in receivership). In order to sell the houses, the receiver has to act in accordance with stipulated receivership guidelines and must follow proper procedures. Transparency and accountability requirements must also be complied with.

Mr Speaker, with regard to part (b) of the question, the Luanshya Golf Club was not part of the assets sold to Luanshya Copper Mines Plc because the company had initially declined to take up the club as part of the assets it was buying. The Golf Club was subsequently advertised by the receiver of RAMCOZ at the same time with the houses. The Luanshya Copper Mines Plc only recently expressed interest to acquire the Golf Club and so the question of delay in handing over the Luanshya Golf Club to the company does not arise. The receiver will in due course make a decision whether or not to transfer the Golf Club to Luanshya Copper Mines Plc and this will be done in accordance with receivership laws.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that the delays in disposing off the houses and the Golf Club will lead to these assets being dilapidated and that at the time of sell, they will fetch no good amounts at all?

Mr Kunda: Mr Speaker, that is up to the receiver to follow up. They should inspect the assets and take care of them.

 I thank you, Sir



VOTE 14/01 – (Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development – Headquarter – K12,554,915,518).

(Consideration resumed)

The Deputy Chairperson: When business was interrupted yesterday, the House was considering Head 14/01 – Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development – Headquarters, and the hon. Member for Kabwata, Mr Lubinda, had raised a point of order.

Before I rule on that point of order, let me refer to the Standing Orders of the House and Standing Order 115 reads:

“Members desiring to have propose amendments to Bills placed upon the order paper must hand them, fairly written and signed by them, to the Clerk or deliver them at his/her office not later than 14:30 hours on the day before that on which they are so to appear.”

Considering that point of order raised by the hon. Member for Kabwata, it is clear that these amendments were actually handed to the Clerk on Wednesday at 1430 hours. Thereafter, the amendments were circulated to the hon. Members in the pigeon holes. Some of them must have gotten them in the early hours of yesterday and others who came late may have received them later. However, the point is that the amendment had been handed in to the Office of the Clerk on Wednesday at that time.

 Thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!
Amendment agreed to. Vote amended accordingly.

Vote 14/01, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 14/02 – (Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development – Geological Survey Department – K17,124,148,718).

Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 11, Activity 01 – Preparation of the Structure - K200,000,000.

Mr Lubinda: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Chairperson, thank you for allowing me to raise this point of order. In so doing, let me pay my condolences to my good friend and brother, Hon. Tetamashimba, who has lost his dear father.

Sir, I rise on a serious point of order. Is the Leader of Government Business in this House in order to deny me the time that I was allocated when I was debating before you interrupted business yesterday because when I rose, I beckoned at the Chair, who gave me time to debate and I did not raise a point of order which solicited any ruling? Is the Leader of Government Business in order to misdirect this House to the extent where my debate is curtailed and answered by the Chair?

The Deputy Chairperson: I thank you very much for raising that point of order, but the rules of the House are that you cannot raise a point of order, as you are doing, on the Chair. That is unacceptable.

May the hon. Member for Nchanga go ahead, please, and ask his question

Mr Simuusa: Mr Chairperson, when the point of order was raised, I was referring to Programme 11, Activity 01 – Preparation of the Structure – K200,000,000. This refers to the Establishment of the National Oil Company. What is this National Oil Company? Are we forming a new oil company? Have we found oil? Is this going to be a parastatal company? An amount of K200,000,000 has been provided for the preparation of the structure and from my knowledge, to prepare a structure on a piece of paper can be done in a week. Why do we need K200,000,000 just to prepare a structure?

The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Dr Mwansa): Thank you, Mr Chairperson, for that intervention. We informed the House and we have done this several times that we have had very good prospects for finding oil and gas in North-Western, Western and Eastern provinces. I further inform the House that the activities for this year extend to Luapula and Southern provinces. Now, in the event that we discover a commercial deposit, we need to be ready to have a vehicle that will be an investment arm to take Government interests in oil and gas exploration.

Now, on Programme 11, Activity 01 – Preparation of the Structure – K200,000,000, this amount is for creating a company that will be a vehicle for the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines-Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH). This money is for recruitment of personnel as well as office accommodation.

I thank you, Sir.

Vote 14/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 14/03 – (Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development – Mine Safety Department – K4,944,518,227).

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 7, Activity 07 – Sensitisation of Small Scale Miners on SHE – K50,000,000. I am interested to know what this SHE is that deserves to be sensitised to the small-scale miners.

The Deputy Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr M. Mwale): Mr Chairperson, Programme 7, Activity 07 – Sensitisation of Small Scale Miners on SHE – K200,000,000, first of all, SHE stands for Safety Health and Environment and it will be sensitisation of small-scale miners on SHE.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Chairperson, issues of safety and inspection go together. May I have clarification on Programme 7, Activity 01 – Inspections – Large Mining – K350,000,000. I do not know why there has been a reduction on this activity. Why has the Ministry reduced instead of increasing the frequency of inspections on these mines?

Dr Mwansa: Mr Chairperson, this question was addressed yesterday in my winding up debate. I mentioned that last year’s amount of K711,356,960 was meant to acquire equipment and some of which we have acquired. On Programme 7, Activity 01 – Inspections – Large Mining – K350,000,000, the amount that is provided this year is for operational costs and that is adequate.

I thank you, Sir.

Vote 14/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 14/04 ─ (Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development ─ Mines Development Department ─ K7,569,680,783).

The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mr Magande): Mr Chairperson, I beg to move the following amendments:

(a) Under 2 Mining Unit, Programme: 9 Large Scale Mining Development:

(i) Activity 03 New Development Agreements Negotiations, by the deletion of K100,000,000; and

(ii) Activity 04 Development Agreements Compliance Inspections, by the deletion of K100,000,000; and

(b) Under 5 Projects and Minerals Economics Unit, Programme: 7 Investment Promotion:

(i) Activity 01 Participation in Local Shows, by the deletion of K35,000,000 and the substitution therefore of K135,000,000; and

(ii) Activity 02 International Trade Shows and Investment Conferences, by the deletion of K100,000,000 and the substitution therefore of K200,000,000.

Amendment agreed to. Vote amended accordingly.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 9, Activity 03 – New Development Agreements Negotiations – K100,000,000. We have seen an increase from K80 million to K100 million. May I know exactly what …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! We have already taken a decision. When I put the question on the amendment, there was no response. Therefore, that figure passed. We are now on head total. We cannot go backwards.

Vote 14/04, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 26 ─ (Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services ─ K31,948,528,690).

The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Members, before I ask the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services to say something, I just want to appeal to hon. Members in the House. When a policy debate is being delivered, I think we should pay attention so that we avoid when we come to individual items to ask the very questions on what the hon. .Minister had said.

May the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, please, deliver his policy debate.

The Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services (Mr Mulongoti):  Mr Chairperson, I stand before this august House today to present the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure on the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services. As I do so, I wish to once again stress the importance of information in the building of our young democracy and thereby seeking the support of this august House. We all know that only an informed population can positively and effectively contribute to the development of the nation. The task that my ministry carries out, therefore, is a critical one to enable Government achieve its desired goals. In this regard, we need support both from this House and the general public.

We are now living in a global village with a growing demand for information. My ministry is, therefore, carrying out programmes aimed at improving a two-way system of dissemination of information in which the people are informed about Government policies and programmes and the Government is informed about their responses and desires. The desire of Government is that the flow of information around our country should be enhanced and conducive environment created for the media to operate in an unfettered manner. Our programmes in the ministry, therefore, are aimed at increasing the media capacity in order to have a wider media outreach in which no corner of the country is left out.

Mr Chairperson, I am pleased to inform the House that with the support given by the hon. Members to my ministry last year, we have been able to facilitate the  Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) with the much needed communication equipment, transport and cameras in a large number of rural districts. Last year, the ministry managed to purchase sixteen video cameras, forty still digital cameras, four additional video vans and bringing the total to fifty-four and fifty-six computers. The ministry has since embarked on a project of creating wide area network that will link all ZANIS district offices to headquarters in Lusaka. By having these offices on internet, transmission of news, still photos and video pictures will be great enhanced and will add visibility to rural news. This is what I mean by being inclusive.

Mr Chairperson, over the past 7 years, efforts have been made to improve both radio and television reception. Substantial progress has been made in the case of television, with the installation of transmitters in fifty-nine districts and up linking of signal to satellite under rural television project.

In 2007, my ministry also managed to purchase two shortwave antennas for ZNBC to improve radio reception. Installation and testing of antennas will be done in May and commissioning in June this year. I can assure the House that once the two antennas are commissioned, radio reception will be greatly improved in all the rural areas. A long-term solution, however, is a replacement of a shortwave with FM transmitters as provided for under the Fifth National Development Plan. Funds permitting, this process should start next year.

The corporation also intends to introduce a second television channel to decongest the present single channel. For this channel to be countrywide, we need a total of K15 billion. As a start, an allocation of K1.6 billion has been provided in this year’s budget which will cover part of the country.

Mr Chairperson, the investment in equipment that is going into the expansion of radio and television will come to nothing if we do not find ways of funding the provisions of these services in areas that are not profitable to ZNBC. I hope that beginning next year, we can find additional funds for operations and maintenance of broadcasting infrastructure that is expanding annually. I am sure that our colleagues from the rural constituencies can attest to the improvement in services by Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS). Environment created for media to operating is unfettered.

Mr Chairperson, I know that the re-introduction of mobile video shows, especially in rural districts was heralded by hon. Members of this House. This activity has come with its own challenges, especially in the face of the meagre resources that some ZANIS offices receive from the provincial administrations. It is indeed saddening that some provincial and district offices are not funded for several months even though provincial accounting units are aware that provincial budgets include ZANIS. Consequently, the video vans are not used often and the ZANIS crews cannot go out to capture developments in the provinces.

The lack of support from some provincial administrations led to under utilisation of these facilities. We have adequately equipped new provincial and district offices with transport, cameras and other necessities. We have also equipped the head office with equipment to replicate DVDs for rural areas. The owners should now be able to generate materials for television and video shows that are about the local ideas and development and have them replicated. To realise this expectation to our people, provincial administrations that are responsible for the operation and maintenance of the equipment must adequately fund our offices. I would like to urge hon. Provincial Ministers to take a keen interest in the operations of the funding of the ZANIS in these areas.

Mr Chairperson, my ministry has continued to expand Government programmes and policies to its citizens at home and abroad and to the world at large. It has brought to light issues that this Government has been pushing for such as corruption, poverty alleviation and economic growth. It has helped to reveal corrupt practices and educate the public about this vice. It has ably informed us about what is happening in the far-flung areas and brought to our attention disasters like the floods that we are currently experiencing. The media has also highlighted the positive trends as well as the challenges in our economy, allowing us to make informed decisions.

Mr Chairperson, connected with information is the absolute necessity to have press attachés in our missions abroad. Last year we posted officers to Pretoria, Addis Ababa, Washington DC and London. We have provided for an additional four press offices to be opened this year, funds allowing. I need not emphasise the importance of press attachés in our missions because they play a very important role of providing information about Zambia in the countries of accreditation and about these countries to people at home. They also work as a conduit for us to provide information to would-be investors.

My ministry also strives to bring to the Zambians at home and abroad information about the Great Lakes Region, where Zambia has played a significant role in ensuring peace and stability. The House may appreciate that without such information, our people may not appreciate the peace Zambia has and continues to make and the necessity of having peace around. This is why Zambia has been chosen to host the regional centre for the promotion of democracy, good governance, human rights and civic education. My ministry will, therefore, this year and in the years to come, devote its efforts to highlighting the political, economic and social developments in the Great Lakes Region.

Mr Chairperson, my ministry still gives support to public institutions, namely, the Zambia Printing Company, Zambia Daily Mail, Times Printpak, and Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC). Through this support, the outreach has expanded in the provinces and with increased support, the newspapers should reach the rural districts earlier than is the case now. The two daily newspapers need to undergo a facelift as the printing presses they are currently using are obsolete. This year, the two companies will be supported in the acquisition of new printing presses which will enable them to print more quality papers.

Mr Chairperson, in view of the constitution making process, my ministry and the journalists stand ready to sensitise the people about the National Constitutional Conference, which started its sittings last December, given the necessary resources. I would like to mention that my ministry is keen to be the driver of this democratic process in terms of educating our people. We have the responsibility of ensuring that the public is adequately engaged and informed on how they want to be governed.

Mr Chairperson, let me reiterate Government’s commitment to the promotion of good governance. One way that the New Deal Administration is ensuring this is through the fight against corruption. The role of the media in this cannot go unmentioned for it has a critical role to play. Accessibility to information and a good flow of the same are cardinal to this fight.

In order to facilitate the work of the media, Government is committed to ensuring a free media and this extends to access to information by the media and public in general. To this end, progress has been made towards the re-introduction of the Freedom of Information Bill in this House. As I have stated before, we have had to make extensive consultations with countries that have similar laws in order to learn from their experiences.

Mr Chairperson, the process of Media Law Reform, which started in earnest in 2002 with the enactment of the ZNBC (Amendment) Act and the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) Act, is a continuing process. Other laws identified by the Law Reform Committee will be studied and amended or repealed at appropriate times. It is in the same line that my ministry is working on the repeal of the Theatres and Cinematography Act. Otherwise, I wish to state that presently, there are enough laws on our statutes to protect both the journalists and public and also to deal with people that issue careless statements amounting to libel. Even those who publish defamatory statements are adequately dealt with by the same laws.

Mr Chairperson, it will be recalled that last year, the Supreme Court ruled that the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services is the appointing authority for the ZNBC and IBA boards and not the ad hoc appointments committees. However, in order to make the provision clear and facilitate the appointments, Government intends to make necessary amendments. Progress has been made by way of circulation of Cabinet memoranda. The two boards will, however, be put in place this year. I am glad that funds for the constitution of the IBA Board are provided for in this year’s Budget as part of the Fifth National Development Plan.

Mr Chairperson, I hope my colleagues are as enthusiastic as I am to develop the media industry. We have already witnessed growth in the electronic media industry with the setting up of community television and radio stations. Let us all support the Government’s efforts in ensuring that the media play its rightful role in the development of this nation.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!
Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Chairperson, I just want to make briefly a point that independence and honesty of the media is not just a shibboleth or slogan, but something which any democratic dispensation actually demands. The demand is not simply on the private media, but the State media owes citizens an obligation to report fairly and honestly and to give us not the Government’s or the Movement for Multi-party Democracy’s (MMD’s) view of what they would like us to know, but a professional and balanced picture of what is happening.

Sir, I have here a copy of the Times of Zambia newspaper of Thursday, February 21st, 2008, which has on the front two photographs. There is a photograph of some people at a rally and there is an inset of His Excellency the President, Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, addressing somebody through a microphone.


Dr Scott: Now, unfortunately, for the sake of independence and honest of the media, this rally happens to be a Patriotic Front (PF) rally that was held two days prior to Mr Mawawasa, as our illiterate journalists have put it, addressing an MMD rally. I mean, we know the people and the cadre in the front is even showing a PF symbol.


Dr Scott: However, the implication of the presentation in this montage here is that this was the rally which came to welcome His Excellency the President in Kanyama. I do not want to talk about Kanyama. I want to talk about the standards of propaganda as opposed to reporting in this country. As taxpayers, we pay and we vote as parliamentarians money to the Times of Zambia. I have been cautioned by Mr Speaker before for likening Hon. Mulongoti to Joseph Goebbels and so, I will not do that.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! No, you have already done that. You have already been cautioned and so, do not make reference to it.


Dr Scott: I retract the suggestion that Hon. Mulongoti might resemble Mr Goebbels except in his stature and looks.


Dr Scott: Mr Chairman, I rest my case.


Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Mr Chairman, I also wish to add my voice to the debate probably to what Dr Guy Scot has just talked about.

Mr Chairperson, we are here to approve the budget for the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services. We are specifically looking at ZNBC which is television and the print media.  The total budget is about K31,948,528,690. Now, as other hon. Members already stated, this is taxpayers’ money. In addition to this, every television owner pays K3,000 as television licence fee. Now, if that is the case, I would like to join the hundreds and thousands of Zambians who are protesting and condemning the biasness of programmes and coverage by the ZNBC and the print media.

To illustrate my point, I will give the House an example of a rally and not Kanyama. About 3 or 4 days ago, I was privileged to attend a rally organised and addressed by the Patriotic Front President. That rally by any standards was a very big occasion. There was a very big crowd. There were ZNBC video cameras. In fact, ZNBC was even invited to the platform to take pictures of the rally. However, I was of the opinion that for such a big event and for the sake of Zambians who are paying tax and subscribing to the television licence had the right to be shown of what was going. Unfortunately, that rally was not covered even on the news and instead we were shown of a clip of, with all due respect, His Honour the Vice-President addressing a meeting in a church with very few people.

Dr Scott: Fake Pastor.

Mr Simuusa: I asked myself, where is the fairness when the PF rally had a very big number of Zambians? Once again, I want to join the millions of Zambians in asking Government when ZNBC and the print media will stop being bias because we are all Zambians whose opinions deserve to be shown and aired. I would like once again to appeal to the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services and ZNBC to know that we are using taxpayers’ money to support them. Therefore, let us give everybody fair coverage because this has been a cry.

Secondly, I would like to talk about another issue which I consider to be very unfair and this is about the protection of ZNBC and the print media. There are other independent television and radio stations which raise their own revenue. They are not sponsored or given taxpayers’ money. I think it is important to give everyone fair coverage. In fact, it is surprising to learn that Muvi Television has not been given television license to broadcast throughout the country. The same goes for radio stations like the Hot FM and other radio stations that have not been given licences to broadcast to the whole nation. The reason why they have not been given is because we have a public media which is ZNBC. Why are you protecting ZNBC …

Major Chibamba: When it is not performing.

Mr Simuusa: … when it is not performing? Is it because it is inefficient? In fact, if you take a survey, you will find that most people are tuning to private television and radio stations as well as the digital satellite television providers like Multichoice Zambia Limited. Many of us have been accused of using Digital Satellite Television, (DSTV) all the time because we find quality. Meanwhile, we are approving a budget of K32 billion to ZNBC from taxpayers’ money when it cannot even perform. Why are you protecting it when other corporations that are raising their own funds are doing better? I urge the Government to stop being bias. Let others also come in so that we have quality broadcasting in this country.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): I thank you, Sir, for allowing me to contribute to this vote which I consider extremely crucial.

Mr Chairperson, as the hon. Minister himself mentioned, the information sector is extremely vital for the social development of any nation. This means that it calls for prudent and focused management.

Sir, it will be recalled, especially by people like Hon. Mulongoti that Dr Kenneth Kaunda paid a lot of attention to the media, and that was the reason why Zambia was amongst the very first countries in the sub-region to have television service. It is also shown in the First National Development Plan (FNDP) and I would like to refer to the FNDP because that is the flagship of that Government. Every so often, they refer to the Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP). That plan also recognises the important role that the press, media and the information sector plays in the development of Zambia and the role that it plays in bringing Zambia to attain the Vision 2030, that of turning Zambia into a middle income country.

In the FNDP, the goal of information sector is stated as follows, and I quote:

“To increase media access and outreach throughout the country in order to promote free flow of information on development related programmes”. 
The key words there are “to increase media access and outreach throughout the country”. Following on what my good brother, Hon. Simuusa, said, is the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services keeping in sprit with what is contained in the FNDP with regard to enhancing access and outreach throughout the country?. If he were, would he up to now be denying licences to the Catholic Church, Muvi Television who have demonstrated that they have the capacity and resources to provide transmission throughout the country? Would he have been denying Radio Phoenix a licence to broadcast throughout the country? He would not.

Secondly, in the FNDP itself, there is a development strategic matrix which has a provision for core and non-core FNDP programmes. For the sake of the House, let me run you through some of the core FNDP strategies in the sector of information.

The first for 2008 is electronic media promotion. In both the FNDP and Middle Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), an amount of K7.5 billion is anticipated to be invested in electronic media promotion. If you look at the Yellow Book for 2008 and compare the Government’s intentions with the Government practice to see whether indeed this Government respects its own FNDP, you will see that there is a disparity of K5.5 billion. Whereas they told the Zambian people through the FNDP that they will invest K7.5 billion this year in the promotion of electronic media, the only amount they are asking this House to provide is K2.2 billion.

Mr Chairperson, with regard to Information Management System, the FNDP provides K1 billion. What has the Government provided in the Yellow Book? It has provided a paltry sum of K400 million. These are the so called core FNDP strategies for 2008 in the information sector.

The third one is the Media Support Fund. Hon. Mulongoti’s predecessors were darlings of the Media Support Fund. They spoke about it passionately in this House. Hon. Mulongoti has been running around in corners not talking so much about the Media Support Fund. According to him, the media has enough resources. They do not need support and yet the people are paying so much for the television license. Whereas the FNDP, the MMD regime provided K2.4 billion for 2008, how much have they allocated in the Yellow Book? They have only provided K400 million. Where is the seriousness?

Another area is the decentralisation of the printing press. Obviously, this is the strategy that will achieve the objective of the MMD Government to introduce newspapers in local languages. This is the strategy that is meant to produce newspapers in the regions. For that, what they planned to invest was K4 billion for 2008 only and yet half that amount is what they are willing to provide.

Mr Chairperson, from these core areas, the total that was planned to be invested in 2008 was K14.99 billion or K15 billion. This amount is what the FNDP proposes to invest in the information sector in 2008. We have been told several times that the FNDP is going to be the core of the Government’s programmes. Naturally, you would expect to see consistency amongst the FNDP, the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the Yellow Book.

Mr Chairperson, look at our wise Government. When they propose to spend K15 billion, they actually spend is K5 billion. I proposed to my colleagues on your right the other day to stop referring to the FNDP because they were using it only for rhetoric. That FNDP is not even worth the paper on which it is written and nobody should ever waste our time talking about it. Let them tell us that they are continuing with their history to plan and hope that God will take us there. They have no plans at all. There is no use to plan if you cannot implement and are not committed to the plan. It is no use, Hon. Mpombo, to plan that you shall take the troops to Livingstone and when it is time for you to move them, you take them to Lufwanyama.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: That is not planning. If you plan, that is only one aspect. The second and most important aspect is to execute the plan.

Now, while the core FNDP strategies have been denied money from K15 billion to only K5 billion, I want to show you how luxurious this Government is.  In the FNDP itself for 2008, the provision is K18.6 billion for non-core FNDP activities. What have you provided instead? You have doubled the amount because you are such a luxurious Government.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Address the Chair.

May he, please, continue.

Mr D. Mwila: Bwekeshapo.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Chairperson, instead of reducing on the non-core FNDP strategies, they have increased from K18 billion to K26 billion. What sense does it make? What is the reason to propose to spend more money on non-core strategies …

Business was suspended from 1045 hours until 1100 hours.


The Deputy Chairperson: As you can see hon. Members, we lack quorum. I hope those hon. Members who are outside the Chamber can quickly come in. Since some hon. Members are still outside the Chamber, I will suspend business for a few minutes.

Business was suspended from 1101 hours until 1102 hours

The Deputy Chairperson: When business was suspended, the hon. Member for Kabwata was on the Floor. However, before I give Hon. Lubinda the Floor, I would like to appeal to all hon. Members that we are not doing what we are supposed to do. We have given ourselves 15 minutes as tea break and I think it is proper that we make all efforts to ensure that we are back in the Chamber on time. We have seven heads of expenditure on the Order Paper to consider and yet we come in late. While the Chair would like as many hon. Members as possible to speak on each head, the number will be reduced. I hope you will understand if this is done because you are coming in late from tea break.

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

Mr Lubinda: Mr Chairperson, before business was suspended, I was just showing how the Government is not being consistent with the Fifth National Development Plan. This is very dangerous because the President’s Address on policy issues is drawn from the FNDP and the policies of the budget of the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning are also drawn from the FNDP and yet the sector ministries are not following the FNDP. It is as though the head of the locomotive train is going one way and Hon. Mulongoti and his carriages are going a different direction. We are not taking Zambia anywhere. As a matter of fact, the reason I am raising this matter with regard to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services is that this is the Ministry that should anchor the FNDP. Now, if this Ministry is not even concerned about the FNDP, I wonder which other ministries will be.

As I have demonstrated, when the FNDP proposes an expenditure of K33.6 billion in 2008, the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services is spending K31.95 billion. However, like I demonstrated, the bulk of the money is not going to the FNDP strategies, but going to non-core FNDP strategies, such as, services to the hon. Minister. For instance, this allocation has increased from K7.2 million in 2005 to K403 million in 2008. I hope the hon. Minister during his response will explain to us what these services are when the ministry also has a budget called General Administration. Is this for massage, hon. Minister?


Mr Lubinda: What services do you expect to get out of the K403 million?

Sir, let me move on and talk about another matter which is the role of the media. The role of the media is to inform the citizenry so that they can hold the Government and all leaders including the Opposition to account for their deeds. The media, especially the public media, is not meant to be a mouthpiece of the Government, but to inform the people. For example, I have in mind a number of cases where when the Opposition are holding press conferences, ZNBC cameras are brought, but you do not see any thing that has been said by the Opposition when you watch the news at 1900 hours or 2100 hours.

Sir, one typical case is a time when the PF was announcing the winning candidate now in Kanyama. That was not aired. Instead, what was aired was the response from a person they considered to be a spokesperson of the rebels of PF. When Hon. Marjory Masiye was responding to a matter that was not reported upon in the story, people were wondering what she was responding to. Now, this is because Hon. Mulongoti felt that he could use ZNBC to cheat the people in Kanyama that there is a problem in PF.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: The people there, Hon. Mulongoti, are wise enough. I have seen that you are allocating K2 billion as support to media institutions.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! The Chair tries as much as possible to encourage the hon. Member debating to address the Chair.  I know you know what I mean.

May the hon. Member, please, continue.

Mr Lubinda: Sir, I thank you very much. I normally address them through you, Sir. I am very sorry for that.

Sir, the challenge that Hon. Mulongoti has is to accept the reality that whether or not he finances the media, they have already done the job because the people in the urban areas who have limited access, as it maybe, have already made up their minds up irrespective of what Hon. Mulongoti tries to use the media for against the Opposition, the people in the urban areas know far too well. To try and use one member of PF to fight the major PF has not yielded the results that he was hoping for as we saw in Kanyama.

Hon. PF Members: Victory!

Mr Lubinda: We managed in Kanyama even when Hon. Mulongoti was trying to use the media against us.

Sir, not too long ago, because of the influence of the Government again on the media, we saw how lamentably one very well qualified journalist behaved on a television programme. It was very clear that Hon. Mulongoti had a hand over that young journalist by telling him what to ask and what not to ask. Mr Chela Katwishi was totally under intimidation from the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services. That is not the role of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services. I would like to appeal to the hon. Minister to ensure that the Zambian people have free access to information. I feel very much for the journalists in the public media because I am aware of some of the stories that they give to their editors, but the stories you see the following day are totally different. Why do they change?


Mr Lubinda: The reason they change is because the journalists in the public media think that they should sing the song that Hon. Mulongoti has written for them. That is not the role of the media, Hon. Mulongoti.

Now, let me conclude by telling Hon. Mulongoti that when the House adjourned sine die last year and also when he was debating the President’s Address, he passed very disparaging remarks against me. I would not seize this opportunity, Hon. Mulongoti, but I shall seize a better opportunity to respond to your disparaging remarks. I would like to say that …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Will the hon. Member address the Chair, please?

May he, please, continue.

Mr Lubinda: … as hon. Minister of Information Broadcasting Services, you ought to be aware that if you live in a glass house, you ought not to throw stones. I am saying this because, I shall seize the right opportunity to respond to those disparaging remarks and those remarks coming from the Government spokesperson using this House are very unfortunate.

Sir, finally, I would like to say that I shall meet Hon. Mulongoti squarely.

I thank you, Sir.

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

Mrs Sinyangwe (Matero): Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute on the vote on the Floor of the House.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to begin by saying the media’s role is to inform, educate and entertain. I would like to say that we still have a problem on the access to the media. Like I said before, we have been very old in this system, but still lagging behind because we do not give the media the adequate support that we are supposed to. I know that they try to do their best under very difficult circumstances. I am saying this because for many years, I mingled with them; I worked with them and I know some of the problems that they go through.

The radio reception is still bad. I would like the Government to do something to see to it that even my grandmother who is in the remotest part of Zambia can understand the situation as it is in Zambia today. This is because we deny the people in the rural areas the much needed information and development cannot get there because you will not know what they are saying.

I know that we have the Zambia News Information Service (ZANIS) vans, but how I wish we could develop to an extent where the news from the rural areas can be piped directly to Lusaka so that we can see what is happening. However, what happens is that, even if you have a rally or even if the President is somewhere, somebody must come with that material on the bus to come and beam it from Lusaka. I think we are still very far.

Again, we have a lot of media houses in Zambia today, especially in Lusaka. However, there should be a regulatory board that should regulate what goes on air. Unfortunately, we are not able to see what is good and bad news. In this regard, I am referring to an item that was shown on Muvi Television where a man naked was killed. There was nothing pleasant to see that man for thirty seconds or one minute and you are just seeing a blind man even if he was dead. I know that some of the radio and television stations that we have lack training. I think, as a mother body, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services should have an interest. I even said this last year. The ministry should have an interest to see to it that these people are trained and they must do what is right. They are doing a good job. They are going round to get the community news, but some of the pictures I think should be regulated. We need to see something, but not at the rate at which we are going. Some of them I think are not professional.

Secondly, when we go on radio to discuss, we have the freedom of information, but sometimes it is not worth to go on radio and discuss personalities. It is not right.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: Our radio stations must learn to give the people the right to reply. You do not just accord somebody a chance to say all sorts of things about someone and accept it …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: … and do not even ask the person who has been talked about to respond by making comments. I think that is bad reporting.

We should know that news or issues should be promoted and not personalities.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: Mr Chairperson, I think we must have journalists who should bring people on the road and be able to know that it is wrong to say this and right to say that. I have been a journalist before and have carried out interviews on both radio and television. I knew what to say and what to allow people to say. I think your people should be told that if somebody comes for personal issues, they should refuse because we cannot develop on personal issues.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: Mr Chairperson, somebody said that Hon. Masiye said the wrong things. She had the right of reply and she needed people of Zambia to know. If she went on Muvi Television, the people of Nakonde would not have known what she was talking about. Each one has a right of reply and not only one person has a right to go to media and say whatever he wants.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: Secondly, I would like to talk about training. I think let us train our journalists. Let us allow to specialise. Currently, when you look at the newspapers, you see a lot of mistakes. What has gone wrong? Are there no editors? It is shameful to see wrong sentences.

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

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Sichilima: Mr Chairperson, I rise on a very serious point of order. I did not wish to disturb my sister in law who is debating so well. Is it in order for hon. Members, especially of the Opposition, such as, Hon. Lubinda, Hon. Scott and a few others who bring in issues on the Floor of this House disappear before the hon. Ministers replies to them, giving insinuations that it is a one-sided head when actually members of the public are listening to us live? I think these hon. Members need to wait for them to get proper responses from the hon. Ministers so that they go and tell who is misinforming the correct information. I need your serious ruling, Mr Chairperson.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! The Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Development has a clever way of telling us all to be in the House all the time. It is true that when you ask questions, it is important that you are here when the hon. Ministers are responding. If you recall, I said that when the hon. Minister or any other person is making a policy debate on the Floor, it is only right and proper that we listen to avoid making questions at an inappropriate time. Therefore, I do believe that sometimes others go out not because they want to be absent, but may be responding to calls of nature. Generally, I appeal to all hon. Members to be present. That was a good point of order.

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

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: Mr Chairperson, when the point of order was raised, I was talking about training and regulating the training houses. I know we have a lot of training schools, but are we sure that these students who will come out of these training houses will have the appropriate training? We should increase the training houses with quality. What is happening now is that the training schools we have like the Evelyn Hone College are understaffed. The students are just more than what we need. As a teacher myself, I do not see how a lecturer is going to give personal attention to seventy students in his class. Therefore, what sort of journalists are we taking out? Quality is important.

Let me talk about ZNBC. I do not know whether the Directors at ZNBC are here and I do not know whether they watch the programmes that they give us on television because if they did, some of the programmes they show could have been stepped on the way. When I was working in a broadcasting station, my Director used to see what I was putting across. If it was not good, the first thing I came out, they would phone and tell me that it was bad. Now, they are too busy with Multi-Choice Zambia Limited. I think we should remove the Multi-Choice facility from these Directors so that they watch their own programmes because I do not think they see what goes on those programmes. These programmes are not of quality. The television service in this country started in 1961 and we should be the best, but look at the programmes we are producing. They are questionable.

Mr Chairperson, on the issue of the television licence, it says, “when you pay, it will show”. What is being shown?

Hon. Opposition Members: Nothing!

Mrs Sinyangwe: Mr Chairperson, I am shocked that I pay K3,000 every month. In this regard, I expect good Zambian programmes and good educational programmes that our people even in the rural areas can benefit from. I am not just talking about entertainment. If I go to ZNBC now to try and pull somebody to go with me to Matero because I have a developmental issue, no one will come. They will want to follow controversies. We are tired of controversies. We want programmes that are going to move this country forward.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: Mr Chairperson, when I call somebody to accompany me, they will ask who is going to be there, but that is not it. News makers should not behave like this. After all, even a common villager can be a news maker. Let us change our attitude.

Sir, my friends on the right, let us not be selfish. Let us share the media equally. The cameras that are there are not enough. When you go there, they will tell you that the hon. Minister has gone this way, the President has gone this way and the His Honour the Vice-President has gone that way. Now, what happens to poor me who is just an hon. Member of Parliament? Let us buy more equipment. Let us have more cameras and enough transport. Sometimes, you will find that these journalists are willing to come, but they are handicapped because of lack of transport. Last time, I even mentioned that sometimes even somebody who has news must go and give a lift to the journalists. What would happen if I kill them in my car? Who is going to compensate them? These are some of the things we should look at.

Mr Sichilima interjected.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Your mulamu is speaking and you are making noise. What is wrong with you, hon. Deputy Minister?

May she, please, continue.


Mrs Sinyangwe: Mr Chairperson, lastly, let us maintain our equipment. Even maintenance has a limit. If the equipment is old, please replace it. We are tired of apologies such as, “due to circumstances beyond our control” and “due to a technical fault.” Let us buy new equipment so that the people of Zambia can be serviced, especially ZNBC. It has no excuse because they get a lot of money. Let them not just look at their own personal benefits, but give us the benefit that we need.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Imbwae (Lukulu West): Mr Chairperson, I listened to the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services policy debate. Now, he did not say anything about opportunities to be directed as a country because this is an important ministry which can bring vision in this country. I will explain this later. The ministry makes us proud by speaking on our behalf. It has the power to marshal the resources for the nation. I will explain this also later.

Mr Chairperson, I am aware that Oprah Winfrey organised a lot of resources for the Katrina Disaster. We have had disasters year in year out and I know that the media has that responsibility to make the Zambians and outsiders know exactly what is happening in this country and where we are heading to. 

Mr Chairperson, when I say that the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services is a mouthpiece of Government, it is not being said in the negative sense. He is a mouthpiece to help us build this country and make Zambia a proud nation.

Mr Chairperson, the President talked about Zambia becoming a middle income country. I see this as a moment for strategic repositioning. Therefore, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Services must be in a position to tell us which direction this country should take. How are we going to get into this stratum of being a middle income country? I looked for pointers like this one in the policy statement so that when we come to look at the budget, we would see how the money is going to be used when this country becomes a middle income.

Mr Chairperson, on the issue of the media, the Government should tell us what this shift is. Many of us have moved from a place where we want handouts to a place where we want to be self-reliant and compete with other middle income countries. What is it that will take us to that level?  Are Zambian people ready to move into this middle income stratum? Are the Government departments driving this presidential directive ready to take this country to the middle income status? Are the District Commissioners professionally and mentally ready to disseminate Government’s desire to move from a position where we condemn one another and pull one another down to a place where we will be able to build a country that …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Can you consult quietly so that we can hear the hon. Member debating?

May she, please, continue.

Ms Imbwae: Mr Chairperson, although I am aware that keeping good relations with our neighbours is the responsibility of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I have lived and worked in the Government long enough to know that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services is also complementary to know what the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is doing. How is our foreign policy being disseminated within our country so that we know how we relate with our neighbours? How is the Ministry attempting to make us a proud nation within the region? I am sad to say that we could not even count on the support of our neighbours in getting the Chairmanship of the African Union. It is a sad development and I do not even want to get into it because I do not know what contributed to it. However, I think that if we had our neighbours’ support as we support them, we would have done better.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to digress a bit from that issue and reflect on the issue of freedom of the press with responsibility. However, I will not put it as nicely as Hon. Sinyangwe did. I would like to think that this responsibility is better shown by our journalists by projecting that not only are they patriotic, but intelligent and are able to articulate issues that will build this country. However, the issue here is where these journalists are trained. For how long and how much exposure do they have to compete with other journalists out there? We would like to see our journalists who are running media institutions outside the country come back home. When are we going to produce shows like Oprah Winfrey, Larry King or Tyra Banks? These are journalists that are able to marshal a lot of support and knowledge to make their countries attractive to tourists. When people see what is happening on Oprah Winfrey Show, they think that United States of America is the place to go because it has the kind of life that they want. Why can we not say Zambia is the best place to be?

Sir, I would like to say that we do have intelligent and patriotic journalists in this country, but something is amiss. Why can we not make them shine the way other people are doing in their respective countries? If the hon. Minister mentioned it, may be I missed it, but it is the type of journalists that we produce that can make our country look like the best country to go to.

There was a time when people from West Africa flocked to this country in numbers. It is because there was good propaganda machinery that made people feel like Zambia was the place to be. What direction are we taking? Is it tourism that will guide us to get there, and if so, how is the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services working with the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources to show us the direction we should take to attract people to Zambia? If it is agriculture that will help us to get to that level, we should train journalists to be specialists in this sector so that they can report positively on what is happening in the country. If it is about the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, then let us open up the country in that area. It is a good thing and instead of us saying things like the Government is giving away the land, mines and so on, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services should help us understand the policies that have been put in place for this country.

Mr Chairperson, I hope when the hon. Minister responds to these issues, he will capture certain important policies so that when we look at the budget for this Ministry, we will approve money allocated to it. What is going to drive us to be a middle income country? What are we saying about this country that will make us proud to be Zambians and a preferred destination?

Mr Chairperson, I rest my case.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kalumba (Chienge): Mr Chairperson, I will try to be brief since most my colleagues have covered most essential points.

First of all, I would like to observe that Parliament is a very good platform from which to counsel the Government on its policies regarding this sector. As we speak, we mean well, both in acknowledging what the Government has done in improving this particular sector and in pin pointing other matters that need finer tuning.

Mr Chairperson, I thank that we all acknowledge that, as MMD Government, we have come a long way from where we only had public media to where we have an environment where a number of our colleagues have invested in this sector, particularly, the electronic media, radio and television. A long time ago, we could never imagine that we would have Muvi Television and other stations operating in Zambia. Therefore, I think we should give praise that Government policy is open in this sector.

However, I would like to acknowledge that there is still uneasiness amongst public media reporters. If you are candid and talk to them, the young journalists feel that there is a cloud of censorship which is not there in policy, but may be among the editorial chiefs, need to be helped to overcome their learned helplessness regarding the right of their young journalists to report freely not the weakness. I think that there are many young intelligent journalists in Zambia, who given the right environment within the public media can report intelligently and responsibly. We do not need to go to the United States of America to look at Oprah Winfrey.

Hon Government Member: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalumba: Mr Chairperson, I would like to make a brief comment with respect to Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC). Sir, ZNBC is a public media responsibility for both the Government and the general public. Many people ask why we pay the extra amount of money to ZNBC. The fact is that it is our responsibility to maintain the public media. In this vein, we demand a platform to ensure that public interest issues are well covered by ZNBC. This implies that the ZNBC Board becomes sensitive to public interest issues.

Therefore, the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting is well placed to ensure that this particular public mandate is done well. Public interest issues are not just political issues, but they are also concerns of ordinary citizens. A child that is lost and has no parents requires attention as well as statements of politicians. I hope that, as Zambians, we should not run away from the responsibility of maintaining ZNBC as a public media.

Mrs J. C.  M. Phiri: On a point of order, Mr Chairperson.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mrs J. C. M. Phiri: Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank you for giving me this chance to raise a point of order for the time in this House.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs J. C.  M. Phiri: Mr Chairperson, I wonder the seriousness of this Government. As I am speaking now, there are some people who are picketing outside. These are Government workers who went on voluntary separation and they were told that they would be paid their leave days. Up until today, they have not been paid because they are saying that the computers which are supposed to print their pay slips or whatever have stopped working at the Government Printers.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! What is your point of order?

Mr J. C. M Phiri: Mr Chairperson, I need your serious ruling on this matter because those people have children who have to go to school as most of the school results have come out.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! A point of order is sustained or allowed if it is on procedure, decorum of the House and relevance. Therefore, that point of order does not fall in any of these. Therefore, it is disallowed.

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

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalumba: Mr Chairperson, I think for hon. Members of Parliament who come from remote places, such as, Chienge and Shan’gombo declare the need for better access to media. I think it would be important to acknowledge, particularly, for my Government our base of support in rural areas. It is very important for the rural people to be informed on what Government is doing.

 Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalumba: It is not good enough to have all our people supporting newspapers in Lusaka and television stations when the people in Chienge, Shang’ombo and Chama require newspapers.

Sir, we were told that Government was moving in this direction and I would like to see more action in this respect so that we can have local and print media in rural areas well distributed than perhaps the private media is doing. It is an important instrument to engage Zambians through print media in rural areas so that they understand Government policy and intentions. Most of the people uphold that there are a lot of good things that Government is doing and so people ought to be told about them, but they cannot be told if they have no access to media.

Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation is, unfortunately, supposed to reach the people in terms of radio. However, in Chienge, we have Radio Ilanda broadcasting in Chienge more efficiently than ZNBC. We also have Botswana Television (BTV) reaching Chienge than ZNBC. Therefore, we need to change that equation hon. Minster and I know you can do it. You are intelligent and have a vision enough to be able to look at this particular problem and address accordingly. We have been saying this for many years and so I appeal to you to improve access to media in rural areas. I want to see a little more movement in this respect. I know that Hon. Magande will support you because he is a very media friendly gentleman. I have seen programme he is currently running on television. That is very good, hon. Minister.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalumba: Mr Chairperson, let me now come to the issue of freedom of the press. I will speak as hon. Member for Chienge on this. I do not want to qualify beyond what is reasonable, possible and provided for under the international conventions regarding this particular issue.

Sir, I think we need to be on the side of boldness. Our young men and women are asking for a little more space in this area. I do not think we should be too constrained in conceding on this particular issue as long as the ethical responsibilities of our journalists are attended to. The hon. Minister has spoken very forcefully on this matter. I believe that you are one of those Young Turks who believe in change. I hope you will go through this particular movement to ensure that our young press men and women have much more room to maneuver in reporting on our misdeeds and achievements.

 I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa (Luapula):  Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this important debate.

Sir, media and information is important for any society for it to develop as a nation and to have that unity because we need to communicate information. Even in war, if people are fighting and there is no means of sending information and communicating among the fighting forces, they will not overcome.

Sir, unfortunately, in our country, we seem to be concentrating our resources at the centre or in the developed areas like along the line of rail, the Copperbelt and Lusaka. When we talk about media, like the hon. Member for Chienge said, the people in the rural areas are not considered. I appreciate that there is an increment of about 20 per cent in the budget to the ministry. Last year, the budget was K26.7 billion and it is K31.9 billion this year, but Government has not covered rural areas and I am a rural Member of Parliament and most people in this country are from the rural areas.

 Of course, there are differences among the rural areas because if you are in Lufwanyama and Masaiti constituencies, for example, you can at least get some media, but there are some parts of this country which do not even know that there is the media around. What kind of country are we building? We talk about micro-economic improvement and advancement in the economy and yet certain parts of our country are being left out. They cannot get basic information. That is totally unacceptable.

Sir, I know that the hon. Minister said that there are two antennas that will be installed for Radios 1 and 2 and should be able to cover the country. I wonder what type of antennas these are. Presently, the equipment that we are getting tends to be in FM, AM mode and the short wave on some of the equipment that people are buying now is not there. Therefore, if you are going to install this equipment to broadcast on AM or short wave, who is going to be listening to that? If you are going to provide for these areas and if it is FM, you should be able to give people what they are able to get because that is what they are able to buy. Today, if you went to any store to buy a radio, you would find that most of the radio services are FM.

Sir, on the issue of television signal, there is hardly anything. Of course, there is some talk that Government has covered the provincial centres, but not all our people live in the provincial centres. Are we trying to build through societies where others are left out say in Kazimule, Shang’ombo and the Bangweulu Swamps in Luapula Constituency where they are not covered? I refuse to be identified with an administration that only wants to focus on us here. We are not the only people in this country. Those people only become important only when we are going round looking for votes. You can take note of how much attention Kanyama got in the last two to three weeks from the administration prior to the by-election. I beg for all parties. This is what we all do when elections are to be held. These people are important. Therefore, let us ensure that they get something.

This is why it is important that Government assists communities to come up with community radio stations because they are doing a good job. However, these radio stations are extremely expensive to set up for some of the rural communities. Is Government putting in any effort to assist? For example, if one owns a private radio television station, why is Government impeded in spreading out their services? Even though they may not cover the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services favourably like ZNBC would, at least they would say something about what he said. Information that goes to our people is important. There is no way that people in Zambia should feel like they are part of Tanzania or Rwanda. Hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, you should …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Address the Chair!

May he, please, continue.

Dr Machungwa: Mr Chairperson, he is interjecting.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!


Dr Machungwa: I invite the Hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to travel with me to my area and see if he is going to get any reception of any kind.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: In fact, they will not even know you because they have never seen any television picture or newspaper.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! That dialogue between the two of you is unacceptable. You must address the Chair.

May he, please, continue.

Dr Machungwa: Mr Chairperson, what I am saying is that …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! My advice to the people on my right is that, please, give him chance to speak.

May he, please, continue.

Dr Machungwa: What I am saying is that the Government must administer in a manner that all our people are able …

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: The Doctor!


Dr Machungwa: Mr Chairperson, they are now harassing me.


Dr Machungwa: Hon. Minister of Home Affairs …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! I now tend to agree with the hon. Member debating. Hon. Ministers on my right, I think you are not doing the right thing. Can you give him time to debate?

May he, please, continue.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: Mr Chairperson, if a good job was being done, the hon. Minister of Home Affairs should be able to pass somewhere in my constituency and be recognised by the people and they would be able to say, “There comes Minister of law and order!” At the moment, they would not even recognise him because there is nothing. Probably, they have never even heard his name.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: What I am saying …

Professor Lungwangwa: That is hearsay!

Dr Machungwa: … hon. Minister of Education who always keeps building schools in his area and does not build anything in my area …


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Dr Machungwa: … is that precisely …

The Deputy Chairperson: … he keeps on building schools in the same area, how can they know him?

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! I think that is degenerating into something else. Please, can we have order? Dr Machungwa, address the Chair and ignore those who are heckling while seated. Just address the Chair.

You may continue, please.

Dr Machungwa: Sir, I am obliged.

Mr Chairperson, the gist of what I am saying is that we need every area to feel as the same country. We should be able to send information, newspapers, news and whatever it is everywhere within our land and not just concentrate in Lusaka. I do not even know how many radio stations we have in this city. In fact, even if you buy a modern radio that may have ten or twelve radio stations, you cannot accommodate all the radio stations in Lusaka. However, if you go to Shang’ombo, you might catch Radio Namibia or Liseli, but you can hardly catch ZNBC. It is a shame and scandalous that the national broadcaster cannot reach the entire country. That is what we are saying. I, therefore, would like to urge Government to be magnanimous and allow the radio media houses in our country that are able and have the means to reach these areas. Why are we so scared to extend television and radio facilities to the rural areas? After all, they will be able to get information from there.

Mr Chairperson, allow me to talk about the issue of freedom of information. Sir, freedom of information is important because it helps on the oversight role. It also helps other institutions, not only Parliament, but other institutions in the country as well. If people know that their activities can be made public, they are going to be a little bit more careful. This will also help the so much talked about “fight against corruption.”

Sir, however, what is surprising is that the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services stated that Government has now gone round to look at those countries that have had similar legislation to learn from there. I recall in this House when we debated the Freedom of Information Bill that when it passed, it went beyond second reading and Government stated that they had done that. They had looked at countries that had similar legislation. I hope that this time around, Government will be expeditious in bringing this Bill because if there are these problems that they identified, we hope that it will come. By not bringing it, you tend to create the impression that Government consistently wants to hide something even though this cannot be so and so, let it come forward.

Sir, one of my colleagues, I think it is Hon. Sinyangwe, talked about some kind of a regulatory body to ensure that what is going into the public, airwaves or media or newspapers is ethically professional. I agree with this. We have in this country an institution called the Media Council of Zambia. I would like to urge the hon. Minister to assist them function. They have a good constitution, but they do not have teeth. Some media houses can tell them, “Go to hell, I will do what I want!” and there is nothing they can do.

In other words, what we are allowing is lawlessness. Anybody can print anything. They can call somebody a hyena or insult anybody from the Head of State up to anyone. As Members of Parliament, we do not even count the insults. Something has to be done about this. In other words, what I am saying is that, there is no freedom that is obsolete. There are some regulations even in the media.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: Therefore, it is important that as we allow freedom of information and freedom of the press, there should be some form of oversight not necessarily by Government, but let the professionals themselves do it and empower them to do it. This has to be done. Otherwise we will not make progress in this regard.

Sir, finally, I want to refer to the issue of the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation Board and the Independent Broadcasting Authority. The hon. Minister has mentioned that he is doing something about this. Please, let these come to the House very expeditiously. The impression we get now is that the hon. Minister is the board.

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

Dr Machungwa: This is what happened to your predecessor. When certain negative information was coming from outside the country where he had visited, going to the private media, the Government media was quiet. It is like they were blind. They did not see or hear anything. That was scandalous! They could not report anything.

When I asked one of the very senior journalists at ZNBC, he said, “Hon. Dr Machungwa, you know we have families and children to feed and so you have to be very careful if you think that the powers that be may act against you.” We hope that if you appoint the board, that fear will go away. It is important that these boards are very quickly put in place.

Finally, let me mention that it is important to encourage news to come from all parts of the country. The concentration on Lusaka, the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, hon. Member of Parliament for Luapula and others who are here, are not the only people in this country.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: There are events happening in the rest of the country. Can the hon. Minister ensure that there are units that are empowered with cameras and other facilities, for example, like they have the Zambia Information Services (ZIS) in districts so that we can also get views from the areas? For example, if somebody wrote “Rode on a Crocodile somewhere and swam and it brought him back”, let us get some information on that. If somebody is going to dance or drink blood at N'cwala Ceremony, we must get that as well. I think there will be the N’cwala Ceremony taking place and my cousins are going to be there. We would like to see and know about that. News must be coming from all over not just from Lusaka only.

Sir, with these few remarks, I hope that the hon. Ministers of Information and Broadcasting Services, Finance and National Planning, Home Affairs and Education are all listening that Zambia is not only in Lusaka or in their constituencies alone, but it is the entire country. I would like to plead with them in that manner. For the hon. Minister of Health, I hope he sends the clinical officers to the rural health centres.

I thank you, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! You have made your point.{mospagebreak}

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Chairperson, I will start with the last speaker. Yes, on empowering of districts, I did say in my statement that we bought cameras, video cameras and whatever. If you cared to listen, you would have got that.

The ZNBC board exists, although we might have to reconstitute it. We have started preparations for the IBA. We have bought some furniture, they have some transport and so they are in the process of getting the offices set up and put the board in place.

Mr Chairperson, on the issue of regulating the media, I agree this is a conflict we have. Others say liberalise to a level where the media can say and write anything. The other hon. Members are saying we must regulate so that there is some control. Our position is that, we have said they must regulate themselves. Only when they fail to regulate themselves, that is when Government will be forced to regulate. That appeal still stands out. We hope they can do it as quickly as possible.

On the freedom of information, I have said my statement is coming. Hon. Sinyangwe talked about people writing carelessly. I agree with you. We have to find a way of meeting the needs between freedom and responsibility. You can have freedom and destroy other people, but you can also with responsibility be cautious so that you do not destroy other people.

On the issue of covering the rural areas, there are two transmitters for Radio 2 and Radio 4 with 1,000 kilometres radius. They will be able to cover the whole country when these are commissioned. The ideal position, like I said, is to go FM, but we are trying to complete the short wave range in the meantime.

Mr Chairperson, Government has also taken note of Hon. Kalumba’s concerns though he is not in the House. The outreach and freedom of the press is our responsibility. We will attend to that.

On the issue of the type of censorship that exists, I think this is just in the minds of the people. Those who know how I operate know that I have no time to go and tell journalists what to write and what not to write. We have given them the leeway, but sometimes there are considerations, for example, certain politicians will deliberately twist the truth. That is what we are saying that even the reporters who want to report you are worried that can they write a falsehood in the name of freedom.


Mr Mulongoti: When they do not cover you because you are saying, what they considered unprintable, you begin to complain that you are not being covered. Therefore, at the end of the day, …

Mr Sichilima: Hammer!

Mr Mulongoti: … you have to make news. If you want to make news in the wrong way, a young journalist will not cover you. I ask for responsibility from both the speakers and writers. Those of you who write or speak about things that are unacceptable, you will continue to be censored not by instruction, but by the fact that the laws do prohibit certain things.

Hon. Imbwae, my dear one, I saw her dancing very happily as she contributed.


Mr Mulongoti: Yes, we agree that our job is to promote unity and vision of our country. We need support of all of you. If you see anything that you want us to do, do not hesitate. You are welcome. I am grateful for that wise counsel as you danced there.


Mr Mulongoti: As regards Hon. Sinyangwe’s contribution, I have already referred to what she said. I am grateful for your counsel too.

With regard to Hon. Lubinda’s contribution, it is strange that he cautioned me that he will be on me one day. I would like to tell my brother that I bemoan the fact that you were the Chairman or President of the African Parliamentarian Network Against Corruption (APNAC), where the Zambia Chapter fights against corruption. When you came to the House to ask for support in the two motions that you introduced, we happily said that here is a person with commitment. I have bemoaned this on two occasions that when you refer to those issues, we want you to go all the way.  Do not go half way. Now, the two motions lapsed and I bemoaned the fact that well, when we met, you explained some of the reasons for the motions lapsing. You talked about uncontrolled discharges in certain areas and this is what I said …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Hon. Minister, the Chair does not want you to go that far. I am sure you can be moderate in your debate.

May he, please, continue.

Mr Sichilima: Go half way.

Mr Mulongoti: Sorry, my apologies. I did not know the right vocabulary to use because when I used the other one last time, I was checked again. All I am saying is that he was indisposed. Now, because of being indisposed, the two motions lapsed. Those were critical motions. Therefore, because of that, when you come out and speak very strongly about the fight against corruption, we would like to link this to your efforts at it. When you go half way, we begin to worry that you are not being helpful to us. We are willing to support you, now you let the motions lapse. This is what I bemoaned.

Mr Lubinda interjected.

Mr Mulongoti: It is not an attack on you. I was only reproducing what you had told me when we met because I was away when the motions lapsed. My brother, you are at liberty to come for refuge if you think your fight is shaky.

Mr Chairperson, on the issue of resources available, the Fifth National Development Plan is a five-year programme and as the resource envelop becomes larger, we might be able to meet some of what we have said we are going to do. You must know that there are competing needs. If you look at Kabwata Constituency, we have to balance between getting the roads, schools and hospitals done, we have to balance between getting the civil servants paid so that they can carry out the programmes and getting the radio stations working. For us, yes, we acknowledge that there are limitations, but given all the funds, we will be able to do what we are saying we are going to do in the FNDP.

Well, I nearly forgot Dr Scott who was happy that they have won the Kanyama Constituency by-election and in the process started saying I resembled Mr Goebbels. Unfortunately, I feel a little bit sad.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Hon. Minister, the Chair made a ruling on that issue that you should not go that far. Therefore, do not refer to that and I believe you had stopped.

May he, please, continue.

Mr Mulongoti: Yes, Mr Chairperson. He ended on that subject, but he giggled so much that it would be a little bit unfair for me not to respond …


Mr Mulongoti: …because I believe that I do not carry any Caucasian obstruction …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Hon. Minister, a ruling has been made and so can you proceed.

May he, please, continue.

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Chairperson, I would only be comfortable if he had even referred to his own nephew where as a person …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! No, it appears the hon. Minister has finished what he wants to say. Unless, you have something else, you have to conclude debate.

May he, please, continue.


Mr Mulongoti: Yes, Sir. I was just trying to wind up on the fact that they bemoan the fact a picture that was produced in the Times of Zambia had their cadres. However, what they should not forget is that we do not fish from different ponds. What you call your cadres are our cadres too. If they appear in two pictures, do not think there was any mistake on the part of the journalist. This is how you can trust them because they are with you today and they are with us tomorrow.


Mr Mulongoti: What you saw is part of the process of interaction between the political parties.

As regards Hon. Simuusa, yes, I know there was a big rally in Linda Compound of people who were bussed from all over Lusaka to give an impression that there was so much support in that area. We know what happened. We saw them travel. However, you were covered. I think they were on television on Tuesday and we saw your President dressed like a Kuomboka peddler ...


Mr Mulongoti: … and if that is not sufficient coverage, then I do not know what it is.

However, let me thank the House for the support and we look forward to continued support even next year so that we can fulfill our mandate of informing and disseminating information to the country.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

VOTE 26/01 ─ (Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services ─Headquarters ─ K6,510,852,101).

Dr Machungwa: Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 7, Activity 01 – Services to the Minister – K81,158,400, Activity 02  Services to the Deputy Minister  K70,713,600, Activity 03  Services to the Permanent Secretary  K70,468,800 and Activity 05  Services to the Directors  K149,904,000. What are these services that we have not seen in the allocations of other ministries?

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Chairperson, we are a transparent ministry. Instead of putting this programme under general administration, we would like to let the House know that there are services like transport and others that are provided to the Minister’s Office. For the Minister to be able to operate, his office requires to be serviced. Therefore, at the end of the day, we are being very transparent so that the House can see whether in providing those services to the Minister and his subordinates, there is abuse of any kind. We are being very transparent and there is nothing to worry about.

In some of the votes for other ministries, this appears under general administration. It becomes a little difficult for you to notice these services, but we have decided to clarify this by showing that the Minister’s Office is given fuel, phones and other things and this is the cost that is reported to have been incurred.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Chairperson, I have two questions. The first is a follow up on the response to the question raised by Dr Machungwa. I would like to ask the hon. Minister what deference there is between Programme 7 ─ Management, which refers to unexplained services, to the Activities covered under Programme 2 ─ General Administration, which are specific and cover some of the aspects the hon. Minister referred to as services, such as, Activity 01 ─ Payments to Utilities ─ K400,000,000, Activity 02 ─ Transport Management ─ K900,000,000 and Activity 11 ─ Local Tours ─ K152,800,000. If he may kindly inform us whether he is saying that the other ministries that have budgeted in accordance with the Activity Based Budget are less transparent than his ministry and, therefore, abusing money.

Sir, secondly, I would like to ask the hon. Minister why an amount that was provided for last year, which is Programme 9, Activity 10 ─ Health Scheme on HIV/AIDS, for which Parliament allocated K50 million and the Government through the supplementary expenditure added an extra K362,700,000, has no provision whatsoever this year.

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Chairperson, there is general administration and specific administration. At the end of the day, when we are talking about transport, I do not go, for instance, to draw fuel from the pool. I have been given an allocation and this is the allocation which is reflected in Programme 7, Activity 01 ─ Services to the Minister ─ K81,158,400. Now, we have motor vehicles that are in the general pool and services that are provided in the general administration as well as services that are provided specifically to the Minister, Deputy Minister, Permanent Secretary and so forth. In as far as we are concerned, there is no contradiction because like I told you, I am given money for the purpose of drawing fuel and I spend that money which I account for. However, you have a situation where there are pools that run motor vehicles which are also serviced by the general administration. On Programme 9, Activity 10 ─ Health Scheme on HIV/AIDS, I think my Deputy Minister will help me.

Thank you, Sir.

The Deputy Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services (Mr D. B. Phiri): Mr Chairperson, yes there was a supplementary budget of K362,700,000. This was requested for because we wanted to undertake specific programmes and these programmes were actually achieved last year and we will not undertake them this year. This is why it might be surprising that we asked for a big supplementary budget and we have gone back this year to what we had actually asked for not in terms of the supplementary budget, but the actual requirement. We will really not require that kind of money because we achieved those activities last year.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simuusa: Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 9, Activity 06  Sensitisation Workshop on APAS  K98,300,000. Is that one workshop which will gobble K98,300,000 …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Which K98,300,000, because Programme 9, Activity 06  Sensitisation Workshop on APAS shows K50 million?

Mr Simuusa: It is K98,300,000 and it was K50 million last year.

The Deputy Chairperson: And this year?

Mr Simuusa: It is K98,300,000.

The Deputy Chairperson: No. The figure in my Yellow Book is K50 million, unless I am using a different book.

Mr Simuusa: This is on Page 292.

The Deputy Chairperson: Yes, Page 292, Programme 9, Human Resources Management …

Mr Simuusa: Yes, that is right.

The Deputy Chairperson: … and you said Activity 06  Sensitisation Workshop on APAS.

Mr Simuusa: That is right and it is showing K98,300,000.

The Deputy Chairperson: All right, I have seen that.

Mr Simuusa:  Mr Chairperson, is this one workshop? Why is it gobbling K98,300,000 and what is this APAS to cost so much money? Secondly, I also would like clarification on Programme 11, Activity 01  Computerising the Record System  K50,000,000. Computerising a record system is an on going exercise and I believe ZNBC is computerised and there is no way that they can have a manual system now. I know it is already computerised in the …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Do not debate.

Mr Simuusa: Sir, I wonder why there is K50,000,000 budgeted for this when I am sure that it is already computerised.

Lastly, what budgeting will take so much money on Programme 7, Activity 02  Budgeting  K236,747,000?

Mr Sichilima: Mulamu, elomwishile imwe.

Mr Simuusa: Kaili kwipusha tumfwikishe.

Mr D. B. Phiri: Mr Chairperson, firstly, on Programme 9, Activity 06 ─ Sensitisation Workshop on APAS ─ K98,300,000, the increase in this allocation is due to the introduction of the APAS System in all provinces.

I thank you, Sir.

Vote 26/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.{mospagebreak}

VOTE 26/02 ─ (Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services ─ Zambia News and Information Services ─ K12,076,704,899).

Mr D. Mwila (Chipili): Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification from the hon. Minister on Programme 7, Activity 05 ─ Printing of Newspapers ─ K138,000,000. Last year, we had budgeted for K21,600,000.

This year, there is an increase of 600 per cent plus which is about K138 million. I want to find out from the hon. Minister why that big increase. Secondly, may I also have clarification on Programme 7, Activity 05 – Broadcasting of Radio and TV Programmes – K830,000. Last year, we had budgeted for K82,837,000. This year, we have budgeted for K830,000. Could the hon. Minister explain why there is such an increase?

Mr D. B. Phiri: Mr Chairperson, the reason why there is such an increase in the printing of newspapers is because we are decentralising the printing presses to the provinces starting with Eastern Province sometime this year. We are obviously going to incur huge expenses in printing newspapers there.

On the second item, ZANIS is no longer paying ZNBC for the Government programmes that ZNBC airs. That is why we have not made any provision this year.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Chairperson, the hon. Deputy Minister has said that there is no provision. However, what I am saying is that there is a provision where they have budgeted for K830,000. I want to have an explanation because the allocation has reduced from K82, 837,000 to K830,000.

Mr D. B. Phiri: Mr Chairperson, this is intended to service the small bills that we did not service previously.

I thank you, Sir.

Vote 26/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


VOTE 26/03 ─ (Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services ─ Press and Planning ─ K13,360,971,690).

Mr Simuusa: Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 7, Activity 05 – Destruction of Pirated Materials – K56,250,000. I would like to know what method we are using to destroy these materials. I thought we just pour diesel or paraffin and a match stick to burn the items. What is this K56,250,000 for?

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Chairperson, these things are being seized from all over the country. The advice from the Environmental Council of Zambia is that if you burn them, you are polluting the atmosphere. Therefore, the best way is not to pour diesel to burn them because if we do this, we will add to the environmental degradation. What we are doing is to crush and bury them.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Chairperson, I have four questions. May I have clarification on Programme 7 – Information Management System – K403,400,000, Programme 13 – Electronic Media Promotion – K2,207,230,850, Programme 15 – Establishment of a Media Revolving Fund – K400,000,000 and Programme 15, Activity 02 – Setting up of the fund – K400,000,000. These items are the core FNDP programmes targeted to be invested into …

The Deputy Chairperson: What is your question?

Mr Lubinda: Mr Chairperson, given that the FNDP provision for 2008 for the Ministry was K33.6 billion and has been reduced by only K1.6 billion, can I know the reason why the hon. Minister has chosen to reduce those items I have referred to by a total of K18 billion as opposed to what was provided for in the FNDP? What is the reason for reducing by K18 billion?

The Deputy Chairperson: Before I give the Floor to the hon. Minister, I would like to give the House some guidance. Under normal circumstances, you are supposed to ask one question at a time. It is better that we stick to our rule, rather than ask more than one question at a time. The hon. Minister can now give an answer.

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Chairperson, I informed the House that our programmes do not operate in a vacuum. We look at the total resource envelop. If what is available in a particular year is what we can plan for, we go ahead. We do not say that because we have done that in that particular year, then we are departing from the FNDP, no. This is a five-year programme.  If we have in a particular year enough resources available, we will apply more resources to the programmes.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lubinda stood.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Mr Lubinda, did you not ask a question?

Mr Lubinda: Mr Chairperson, I have a follow up question.

The Deputy Chairperson: You know that we have to move.

Mr Lubinda: Yes, Mr Chairperson, but I have a follow up question.

The Deputy Chairperson: Alright, you have the Floor. 
Mr Lubinda: Mr Chairperson, looking at the head total that the hon. Minister referred to, it shows that the resource envelop for his Ministry has reduced by K1.6 billion. My question has not been answered. If his resource envelop has reduced by only K1.6 billion, how come he has reduced on the core functions by K18 billion? It is not lack of money.

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Chairperson, there are competing needs in every ministry. Some of these are intended to prepare for the purpose of implementing the projects. If he expects us not to prepare for that and spend that money on projects when there are no people to execute them, it will not work anywhere. I want to say that in order for us to be successful in the implementation of projects, we have to prepare people and equipment.

I thank you, Sir.

Vote 26/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 27 ─ (Public Service Management Division ─ K527,484,394,622).

The Minister of Defence (Mr Mpombo): I am most grateful for the time I have been given to present the 2008 Budget Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the Public Service Management Division (PSMD). This is an institution under the Office of the President whose mandate is to manage human resources in the Public Service in an efficient and effective manner in order to improve service delivery for national development.

The Public Service Management Division’s portfolio functions as outlined in the Government Gazette Notice No. 547 of 2004 are Public Service Management and Development (PSMD) and Strategic and Performance Services.

Mr Chairperson, the PSMD is charged with the responsibility of recruitment and placement of human resources, ...


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Mpombo: … human resource development, human resource information and planning, formulation and interpretation of terms and conditions of service, industrial labour relations and payroll management and establishment control for the Public Service. The division also oversees the Future Search Project which is involved in the training of Public Service workers in social and business counselling, entrepreneurship development and mentoring. Future Search also trains Public Service workers earmarked for retrenchment and retirement to prepare their exit from normal employment.

Mr Chairperson, through its six departments, namely, administration, recruitment and placement, human resource information planning, human resource development, technical services and PMEC support services, the division has during the past year, been implementing programmes aimed at improving service delivery through recruitment and retention of qualified human resources in the Public Service. In order to ensure availability of optimum levels of human resources in the Civil Service, the division last year advertised vacancies and filled positions in the following six ministries and institutions: the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services, the Office of the Auditor-General, the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Public Service Management Division. Furthermore, the division processed appointments for new entrants into the Civil Service and placement cases during the Public Service Commission (PSC) tours of Southern and Western provinces.

Sir, in 2007, the Public Service Management Division launched the Public Service Training and Development Policy (PSTDP) and procedures and guidelines for human resources development in the Public Service. These documents shall, therefore, provide an effective guide on the implementation of the training and development in the Public Service in order to ensure forecast and systematic training.

Mr Chairperson, the division also developed the Public Service Training Needs Identification Plan (PSTNIP) which shall form a basis for capacity building to be undertaken in the Public Service for period 2006 to 2010. To this effect, the division in 2007 conducted various training programmes which included leading and managing change and strategic negotiation skills for senior officers in the Government to enhance service delivery.

In 2008, the division will continue sensitising heads of Government departments and human resource practitioners in ministries and provinces on the contents of the training policy and guidelines in order to enhance their implementation. The division has also planned to continue implementing the Public Service Training Needs Identification Plan in order to help build the necessary capacities for their achievement of Government programmes outlined in the Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP).

Mr Chairperson, the Government, through PSMD is committed to improving the conditions of service for the Public Service workers. In this regard, the negotiations for 2007 improved salaries and conditions of service with the seven Public Service unions were concluded by 31st March, 2007. It is hoped that the negotiations for 2008, improved salaries and wages and conditions of service shall be successfully concluded soon.

In addition, the division in 2007, in collaboration with the Central Statistical Office, Ministry of Works and Supply and the Public Service Unions conducted a clean up exercise on the administration of housing allowances in the Public Service as well as an employee census for the Public Service. The report of the clean up exercise will assist the Government to deal with issues relating to establishing the number of eligible housing allowance recipients, outstanding arrears and misappropriation of public funds.

Mr Chairperson, last year, Government signed a contract with Premier Medical Aid Society for the implementation of the Voluntary Medical Scheme for the Public Service. In this regard, a number of civil servants are subscribing to the scheme and are able to access quality medical services. It is anticipated that the membership will increase in 2008.

Mr Chairperson, the management of personal emoluments expenditure in the Public Service has significantly improved since the implementation of the Payroll Management and Establishment Control (PMEC) system in 2004. The division, through the PMEC system has over the last 12 months continued to timely process the payroll, ensuring that the public service employees get their salaries on time. Furthermore, the mismanagement that characterised the legacy payroll system has been addressed through incorporating the terms and conditions of service into the PMEC system design, hence minimising direct human intervention.

Mr Chairperson, may I take this opportunity to inform this august House that the PMEC system this year, 2008, is expected to be upgraded in order to take advantage of the technological advancement as well as the new processing requirements that have emerged in the last 4 years. The proposed PMEC system upgrade will include the acquiring, installation and commissioning of new hardware equipment system and application software. The upgrade will also result in the establishment of a disaster recovery system to ensure business continuity in case of disruption to the production site.

Mr Chairperson, the division, in 2007 drafted the records management policy which is intended to rectify records management inadequacies being experienced in the Public Service. Further, the division has continued to promote a work planning culture in the Public Service by aligning strategic plans with individual work plans in order to enhance employee accountability, resulting into improved serviced delivery. In addition, this year, the division plans to develop a website in order to improve communication with its clients.

Mr Chairperson, in trying to mitigate the impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the Public Service, the division is developing a comprehensive strategy for the prevention and mitigation of HIV/AIDS in the Public Service. The strategy will help harmonise various interventions implemented by individual ministries and institutions.

Sir, the Future Search Project has scored a number of successes in the areas of counselling, training, entrepreneurship development and mentoring and in the area of post training activities for the Public Service workers. Since its inception in 1993, the project has trained 156 and 281 Public Service workers across the country.

Sir, in conclusion, I wish to state that for the division to execute its mandate of managing human resources in the Public Service efficiently and effectively, it requires adequate finances. I now appeal to hon. Members of this House to favourably support the Division’s 2008 Budget Estimates.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Mr Muyanda (Sinazongwe): Mr Chairperson, in the first instance, I wish to thank you very much indeed for giving me this opportunity to debate on the Public Service Management Division.

Mr Chairperson, the hon. Minister has ably explained in the policy debate how the Public Service Management Division will perform in relation to the money provided in the National Budget. Policy, as it is per se, the most salient problem which is in the Public Service at the moment countrywide is indiscipline. There is absolutely no discipline at the moment in the Government Service. If you go incognito to any of these Government offices, you will never see the formal salutation a civil servant used to do in the past years. That has gone through the window because there is no adequate calculated training to instill discipline. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

Mr Muyanda: Mr Chairperson, in the 1970s, if a Member of Parliament walked into a Government office, the first thing he would come across is formal salutation, “Good morning, sir,” which is no longer there in today’s Civil Service. What is there now is, “Yes, boss”. That is not right. It ought to be a formal salutation of “Good morning, sir”. That is how the Civil Service ought to operate.  Now, what has precipitated this indiscipline in the Civil Service …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Somebody is speaking and can you, please, consult quietly.
May he, please, continue.

Mr Muyanda: Mr Chairperson, I am aware of certain cantankerous …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! You are making things worse. I am trying to help you, but you are now making it difficult for me.

May you, please, continue.

Mr Muyanda: Mr Chairperson, I thank you. First and foremost, discipline is the foundation of success of any organisation. If we want an efficient Civil Service, we must have discipline which is the prime factor above all. I hope that from today onwards, PSMD will utilise the resources we shall approve to mentally retrain the civil servants.

It is not unusual to walk into a Government office today and find a mere jacket hanging behind the chair or a civil servant playing games on the computer. This is malingering because of lack of discipline. That should come to an end. This is advice given to the policy makers who ought to know and accept that there is no more discipline in the Public Service. I, therefore, implore the PSMD to instill discipline in our workers countywide. 

Mr Chairperson, I would like to talk about one very important point which is ghost workers. In some ministries, ghost workers are still prevalent and plenty. How much has computer technology benefited our Civil Service? It is very negligible to the point where there are still some ghost workers today in some of these ministries. Some of the workers have not left Government houses after being retired. That is part of the contributing factor to ghost workers. I, therefore, urge the Government from today onwards to carry out a policy that will remove the ghost workers out of the records. Why are civil servants today having more money than executives in the private sector? Civil servants have built huge mansions. They have big companies operating through their relatives. For some of us that are elderly, tells us that a civil servant is not a money maker. I invite the hon. Minister for Presidential Affairs, who is in charge of PSMD to look at the way these civil servants work. The workers should improve their attitude towards work. Why should a civil servant today have a higher living standard which is not commensurate with his salary?

Something is wrong. This is one issue that this Government should look at. Let a civil servant live by sustaining a living standard commensurate to his income because that is no longer prevailing. I, therefore, urge the Government to kindly investigate this issue.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate on this vote.

Mr Chairperson, first and foremost, I want to support this vote. I will be very brief because I have only two issues. The first one is on the payroll processing where there is an allocation of K202 million. Government workers have been complaining on the issue of getting their salaries late and this has continued for the past 20 years. I do not know what has been causing this, but money is always allocated to ensure that our people get their salaries on the last day of he month. However, you will find in most cases that instead of getting their money on the last day of the month, they are paid on the 7th day of the following month. I, therefore, urge the Government to look into this issue because this hinges on the violation of the labour laws.

Mr Chairperson, the other issue is on the payment of terminal benefits. One will work in Government for more than 20 years and at the age of 55 years, the officer will retire. Now, the officer will wait for the money for more than 3 years, yet the officers in charge of the retirement package in the various ministries know that the officer’s retirement age is 55 years and, therefore, money is supposed to be prepared. This has to come to an end. Therefore, I appeal to our colleagues in the Public Service Management Division to look into this problem.

Mr Chairperson, another issue is the negotiation process. You will agree with me that negotiations start very late every year and all of us are aware that the collective agreement normally expires on 31st March every year. What I am trying to say is that 3 months before the expiring date of that collective agreement, negotiations have to start. That is according to the Industrial and Labour Relations Act on the bargaining process, but this does not happen.

Mr Chairperson, as I am speaking now, the seven unions have been complaining that negotiations are starting late. You would find that negotiations finish in May and you only talk about paying arrears every year. This must come to an end because we expect negotiations to be completed before the expiring date of that collective agreement.

Mr Chairperson, there is an allocation of K539 million over this process. The Permanent Secretary at Public Service Management Division is aware that in the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM), negotiations used to take place in Kitwe which was the central place. Therefore, I wonder why management and the seven unions should go and negotiate in Siavonga.

Are we giving them money for luxury or to do a better job? I suggest that we reduce this figure in future so that management and unions will be able to negotiate in Lusaka because they have nothing to fear. If you look at the composition of the union, you will find that there are about seven unions and each union submits not less than four. Negotiations go on for more than 3 months because it is a big group. I, therefore, urge the officials at Public Service Management Division to look at the composition because the number is just too big.

Mr Chairperson, the other issue which I want to talk about in general is management. Management must always respect or honour what is agreed upon as far as collective agreements are concerned. You will agree that nurses and teachers are not mainly paid their housing allowances on time. Obviously, management has to look into this issue.

Mr Chairperson, our expectations …

Mr Sichilima interjected

Mr D. Mwila: Sichilima ikalafye. You do not know anything.


Mr D. Mwila: Mr Chairperson, our expectations ….

Mr Sichilima: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! I cannot allow that point of order.


The Deputy Chairman: Order! When I sit here, although I am looking that side, my ears also hear. Please, let us not do these things. As for the hon. Member for Chipili, …


The Deputy Chairperson: … you have always been advised to ignore the hecklers when debating. Please, do not pay attention to what is being said in the House. Therefore, that point of order will not be granted.

May he, please, continue.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Chairperson, if you have heard the way I am debating, I am giving free advice to Government. I do not want anyone to provoke me because ….

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! No, you will not go that route. I have made a ruling and you just get on to your subject. Do not qualify the Chair’s ruling.

May he, please, continue.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Chairperson, that Government you are seeing there is a bad employer because the teachers are getting less than K1 million per month. They know that teachers cannot manage to feed their families with this kind of money. If that Government is a bad employer, what more the Chinese? This is because the Government must lead by example. We have talked here that the conditions of our Government employees must be improved and that Government does not want to listen.

Mr Chairperson, the teachers, nurses and all civil servants this year must stand up and fight for their rights. The salaries for teachers are lower than those for servants.

Mr Sichilima: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Sichilima: Mr Chairperson, as we are listening to the wrong advice, I rise on a very serious point of order. You have ruled on this matter several times. Is the hon. Member for Chipili who is debating so badly in order to incite Public Service workers like teachers to rise …

Hon. Government Members: Even innocent ones.

Mr Sichilima: … against the Government? In fact, they are not even here. Is the hon. Member in order to inform the nation by inciting Public Service workers?


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Let us debate humanely. The idea is to convince the other people to your point of view. However, if you debate in the way you are doing, you are making the other people take a very hard stance and that is not the idea. The idea really is to convince one another. Do not incite, but make a point. I want to believe that you are making an appeal to the Government to improve the conditions of service for teachers, medical personnel and so forth, which is in order. However, when you ask them to rise, you will have that kind of point of order. Can you debate and convince them.

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

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Chairperson, I am asking the Government to improve the conditions of service for civil servants like teachers and nurses this year. This is because these employees have almost every year been crying and complaining and that Government does not want to listen. Their children cannot go to school because they are lowly paid. Those who have retired are queuing for their money. Why?

Mr Sichilima: Icisungu.
Mr D Mwila: After working for 30 years, they cannot get their money on time and so I am asking the Government to respect collective agreements always. Maybe the hon. Members on your right do not understand what I mean by the collective agreements. These are agreements which are signed by management and the unions and have to be respected.

Mr Chairperson, this year, I want to repeat that we have managed to look for money for the National Constitutional Conference (NCC). I want the people of Zambia to know. Members of the NCC are getting more than K1 million per day while civil servants, such as teachers and nurses, who work for 30 days are getting less than K1 million.

Dr Katema: Ebaume aba.

Mr D. Mwila: I am not saying that members of the NCC cannot get K1 million, but they should make comparisons.


Mr D. Mwila: Mr Chairperson, sitting allowance is K500,000 per day, subsistence allowance is K650,000 and K100,000 for fuel. How much does that add up to in a day? The Government must listen and not just sit comfortably the way they are seated.


Mr D. Mwila: They have to change this year. The workers of this country have to get better salaries and that is why I said that they have to stand up and fight for their rights.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mwila: If union leaders are getting money at NCC, they should also look at their members because they have betrayed their workers. How can a chairman of a union go and get K1 million a day whilst his members cannot get K1 million for the 30 days that they work for? Maybe our colleagues on your right do not know mathematics.


Mr D. Mwila: Mr Chairperson, I am repeating that the workers of this country must stand up and fight for their rights. Let me tell them also that no man is an island. The people or workers of this country will one day follow them in their offices because they have suffered for too long. I hope the Government will give civil servants better conditions of services this year. Ba Mulongoti ba mudala, epo mpelele.

I thank you, Sir.


Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Mr Chairperson, I will be very brief. I want to take Hon. Muyanda’s words as my own on the indiscipline of the Civil Service which has resulted in us, retirees, not getting our money on time.

When you go into an office, you are told to go back tomorrow or after two or three weeks and you keep on going to that office. You are sometimes referred to office No.G7 and when you go back after two days, you are told to go to No.G9 and, therefore, you do not get your retirement benefits …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

(Debate adjourned)



[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress reported)


The House adjourned at 1257 hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday, 26th February, 2008.