Debates- Friday, 1st February, 2008

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Friday, 1st February, 2008

The House met at 0900 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]





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

Sir, on Tuesday, 5th 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 consider the Motion of Supply on this year’s budget.

On Wednesday, 6th February, 2008, the Business of the House will commence with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. After that, the House will consider Private Members’ Motions, if there will be any. The House will then continue with the debate on the Motion of Supply on the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for this year.

On Thursday, 7th 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 continue with the policy debate on the Motion of Supply.

Sir, on Friday, 8th 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. Sir, after that, the Business of the House will be a continuation of the debate on the Motion of Supply on this year’s Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure.

I thank you, Sir.




The Minister of Health (Dr Chituwo): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you for giving me an opportunity to once more clarify to this august House the issues surrounding a family planning product called Depo-Provera.

Sir, allow me, from the outset, to emphasise that the Ministry of Health and, indeed, the Government of the Republic of Zambia is committed to the provision of quality health care to the citizens of Zambia. The House may wish to note that the Ministry of Health has put in place a number of programmes aimed at enhancing the productivity of the citizenry through provision of quality health care. Under the reproductive health programme, in particular, the ministry endeavours to promote the family planning component which includes a number of options that can be used by both men and women depending on their preferences. Research has shown that having effective family planning services, coupled with the development of human resources, are major components of sustainable economic development. I, therefore, wish to inform hon. Members that, among the many methods of family planning, the Ministry of Health presently encourages the following:

(i) natural methods;
(ii) oral contraceptives;
(iii) injectable contraceptives;
(iv) implants;
(v) barrier method, such as, the use of condoms which can also prevent infection; and
(vi) intra-uterine contraceptive devices.

Sir, hon. Members of this august House may wish to note that research further shows that a well planned family enhances the health of the mother and her children and significantly contributes to the overall good health of a family. This factor is necessary for the development of any country.

Mr Speaker, allow me, at this point, to indicate that the current subject of discussion falls in the category of injectable contraceptives. Depo-Provera is injectable and it is given to a woman every three months. Two types of this contraceptive are available in Zambia, the powder form and the pre-constituted type. About 20 per cent of our women on contraceptives are using Depo-Provera. Many women have found it to be a convenient product because one does not have to use it everyday. No severe adverse effects, so far, have been reported on this product in Zambia. I must also mention that the pre-constituted one was introduced to Zambia as a donation through USAID in November last year.

Sir, following concerns from various quarters of the community, including some of the health workers, that this family planning product contained HIV, my ministry immediately issued a circular to withdraw the product from all health institutions. Further, the ministry began to conduct tests on the product to ascertain whether it, indeed, contained HIV.

Mr Speaker, two types of tests have so far been done and these are:

(i) Antibody Tests 

These tests detect the body’s responses to the presence of an offending germ. They do not detect the presence of the germ in the body. I must mention here that two types of these tests were reactive to the antibody for HIV. However, it should also be carefully noted that not all such tests were positive; and

(ii) Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) 

This test is specific and is meant for the detection of the presence of the germ, in this case HIV, in the human body. This test was non-reactive, meaning that there is no HIV in the Depo-Provera.

Mr Speaker, owing to the sensitivity of the issue and taking into consideration the need to safeguard the health of the Zambian people, the Government, through the Ministry of Health, decided to send samples of this product to various laboratories and South Africa for independent opinion. I must mention that what is of paramount importance at the moment is that scientific investigation through the tests using PCR shows that Depo-Provera does not have the virus that causes AIDS. Further, Depo-Provera does not contain human serum at all. Serum is the watery component of the human blood. It should also be noted that HIV cannot survive in Depo-Provera, a non-life sustaining environment.

Mr Speaker, what should be appreciated is that antibody tests are not conclusive by themselves. This is why when making a diagnosis of, say, HIV/AIDS, a number of other factors should be taken into consideration, which include the viral load, the presence of the virus in the body, symptoms and signs on clinical examination, CD4 and CD8 counts and the presence or absence of defining opportunistic infections or diseases.

Mr Speaker, allow me to shed more light on some of the frequently asked questions.

(i) What is an antibody?

An antibody is a substance which the body produces to fight an invading germ. An antibody kills a germ. An antibody is not a germ. The HIV test kits that we have in our health centres detect the presence of the antibody against HIV in the body and not the HIV virus itself.

(ii) Why was the product labelled for export only?

Mr Speaker, such labelling is done for various reasons. Even here, in Zambia, we practise this. Such a label might reflect a subsidy extended or removed on the product. It might be for trade (tax) control purposes or it might be for meeting requested specifications. Such labelling is done in Zambia where books may be labelled not for sale. Such labelling might not necessarily mean that the books in question are of inferior quality.

(iii) Why is the product testing positive?

Primarily, the kits used are not meant for testing Depo-Provera. For these tests to be valid, human serum has to be used. It should be noted that the probability of false positive results is high when these instructions are not followed.

Mr Speaker, as mentioned earlier, the product has been withdrawn from all health institutions completely and quarantined pending completion of scientific investigations. This has been done to safeguard public health and safety. The suppliers of the product have been contacted and notified about our concerns and are expected to submit their thorough and researched position on the matter as quickly as possible. I must assure the public that matters of quality assurance are cardinal and the Ministry of Health shall continue to ensure that public health and safety is guaranteed. We shall endeavour to meet both local and international safety standards. All the clients that received the said product need not worry as they shall be briefed by their family planning advisors when they next visit their health centres. I, therefore, wish to assure the public in general and the women in particular, that this matter is under control and there is absolutely no cause to fear or panic.

Mr Speaker, I wish to conclude by saying that our national health indicators are improving, slowly as this might be. I must be quick to mention that there are many reasons for this. This has happened in collaboration with efforts of other ministries and partners. Efforts, for instance, by the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives that today explain our being food secure, efforts by the Ministry of Education that continue to produce and endeavour educate its citizens, and efforts by the Ministry of Local Government and Housing that explain today so far the absence of cholera in our country. All these efforts deserve to be commended. Nonetheless, efforts by my ministry which include reproductive health efforts are also responsible for these improvements in the health of our citizens.

Mr Speaker, it is my earnest appeal to this august House that we should continue to support one another regardless of party affiliation because at the end of the day, what we want - all of us in this House and beyond its walls - is a health secure and developed Zambia. I must emphasise that there is no HIV in Depo-Provera and neither is there any human serum. As soon as all our investigations are concluded, which we are carrying out for public safety reasons, our women will continue to use the product.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the ministerial statement given by the hon. Minister of Health.

Mr Milupi (Luena): Mr Speaker, I agree, indeed, with the hon. Minister that this is not a matter of party politics, but of public health concern. Would the hon. Minister accept that there are perceptions in certain quarters of the world that the HIV/AIDS pandemic was introduced to wipe out a certain race? He has also explained specifically that the antibodies are produced by the body to fight specific germs. Would he explain that where this has been found, it is indicative of the fact that for these antibodies to be produced, they must have come into contact with an HIV virus?

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, the world, including Zambia, is very much aware of this conspiracy theory. This means, as it has been stated, that the human immune deficiency virus was produced in the laboratory for the specific purpose of targeting our continent as an example.

Mr Speaker, scientists and social researchers have delved around this question for many years now and there is no proof, indeed, that this theory ever existed as far as we know. I agree with the hon. Member for Luena that when one has a health programme or any other programme in the country for that matter, perceptions do matter.  In order for us to dispose of perceptions, it can only be done by providing all the information that is available for that population to digest and make decisions.

Now, this House passed a law and put into place the National HIV/AIDS/STI/TB Council. This council has been trying to explain to all our people what HIV/AIDS is, how it is contracted and what they can do to prevent contracting it and so forth.

Sir, on the question of antibodies, tests target those antibodies as I explained that are produced in the body. However, let me share some information with the House. Antibodies can share certain aspects of the protein. It is in this regard you have similarities that you have a false positive result. Therefore, the presence of this positive reaction in itself must not necessarily be interpreted as having been human serum from which the antibodies were obtained. This is why it is clearly indicated on the brochures how a test is done. As I said earlier, these are screening tests upon which one does not rely for the diagnosis of HIV/AIDS.

Mr Speaker, I have tried to explain the similarities between the antibodies in Depo-Provera and the antibodies that are actually produced in human bodies and found in the human serum part of the blood component.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kalumba (Chienge): Mr Speaker, I would like to move from populist science to facts. Given the fact …


Dr Kalumba: … that Depo-Provera has been a source of controvesy from as early as the late 1970s and 1980s, I want to commend the Government for being cautious about the product. However, I also want to ask the Government whether, in fact, the current controversy may be associated with the struggles between pro-life campaigners and pro-choice people regarding the use of contraceptives in general.

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, I want to thank the hon. Member for that specific and searching question. In the context of science and particularly in reproductive health, he is right. There are people with a view that life is sacred and that anything to do with contraception is interfering with nature. However, there is another school of thought that says that just like the Almighty God gave us trees, plants and water to take dominion over, we can surely use that God-given knowledge to better our lives while here on earth. Therefore, the first school of thought will, indeed, do everything possible to discredit the other, hence part of this conspiracy theory surrounding reproductive health.

Mr Speaker, I want to emphasis that the duty of Government and the Ministry of Health, in particular, is to provide all the information, choices and options that our people can take at family level so that the Government’s policies are formulated through them. Depo-Provera is also being used in the United States of America. Now, we have not checked when this was started, but that is in the past. Therefore, we will continue to provide accurate information arising from science so that our people can make informed choices.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Kapata (Mandevu): Mr Speaker, alluding to the answer given by the hon. Minister that women who have received Depo-Provera will be captured in their family planning clinics, that is not good enough because what I feel is that …

Mr Speaker: Order! Ask your question.

Mrs Kapata: Mr Speaker, if the ministry is caring, it would immediately call all the women …

Mr Speaker: Order! What is the question?

Mrs Kapata: Sir, will the ministry properly screen all the women who have received Depo-Provera so that they ascertain whether they are HIV positive or not?


Mr Speaker: Order!

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, let me emphasise for her benefit. The confirmatory test for the presence of HIV particles has consistently revealed that there are no HIV particles in Depo-Provera. Therefore, I do not see the reason we should call all the women who have been on Depo-Provera to be tested for HIV because there is no evidence of the HIV virus in Depo-Provera.

Mr Speaker, I am aware, from my previous practice, that Depo-Provera can safely be given even to women that are HIV positive because HIV/AIDS should be regarded just like any other disease. In fact, we advise women, where possible, not to get pregnant because this depresses their immunity. However, if they choose to get pregnant, they should not stop taking anti-retroviral therapy. Therefore, going along those lines would be a very dangerous way of extrapolating an issue which does not exist, thereby implying that all those women that were on Depo-Provera are HIV positive.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has made it very clear that there is no HIV virus in Depo-Provera. However, has the ministry gone further in the tests to ensure that there is no chemical in this product that might bring another complicated disease in these women, other than HIV?

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, I appreciate the concern of the hon. Member for Katombola. The registration of any pharmaceutical product follows rigorous testing, starting from the laboratory to animal tests before there is even an attempt to give that product to human beings.

With regard to whether there can be other diseases brought on by Depo-Provera, as I mentioned in my statement, there are very few side effects from Depo-Provera. 
However, every medicine that we know on earth has some form of side effect or other. Even aspirin has side effects. Therefore, it is not possible to have a product that is completely side effect-free. What scientists look into is what the benefits are which outweigh this small reaction which may occur in a small number of the population of the world. Once the answer is yes, then that product is released on to the market for use by patients.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister indicated that they have since quarantined the contraceptive until they conclude their investigations. I congratulate you, Sir. However, in terms of your own anticipation, how long will it take before you decide whether to continue quarantining the Depo-Provera or remove it from circulation altogether, or re-introduce to our women?

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, it will take a very short time. The reason we did this is to be certain because of this perception out there. If we use only our laboratories, there would still be concern as to how sure we are. In order to double check, we requested that independent outside international laboratories carry out the test that we did.

Mr Speaker, through you, I do not expect that this will take a long time. Before many of our women are due for the next injection, we want to do everything possible that they do not miss that time when they are due to receive their next injection.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): Mr Speaker, the concerns of the people over the issue are very high bearing in mind that there was a case in Libya where innocent children were infected. What is your ministry doing to win the people’s confidence that there is no HIV in this drug?

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, the cardinal point in winning the confidence of the population, in our view as a Government, is to present to our people all the information that is available. Our people are very intelligent and will be able to make decisions as to whether to go back to use Depo-Provera or not, and whether they will feel that they are safe. That is the best we can do, as I have said, to prove to them that the results that I have shared with this august House are not meant to cover up anything and, therefore, the need for independent results. This is why I have stated that in the shortest possible time, those results will be made available to continue to reassure the public that Depo-Provera is safe.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr I. Banda (Lumezi): Mr Speaker, may I find out from the hon. Minister whether they have done any comparison between the Depo-Provera that is being used in the United States of America and the one which was exported into this country.

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, one of the references is what the hon. Member for Lumezi has mentioned. We have the Depo-Provera expertise from Pharmasia and Upjohn companies that we need to have comparative tests available either in Europe or anywhere. The Depo-Provera exported to Zambia is not only meant for Zambia, but for the whole world. Therefore, I can confirm that was one of the requests that we made.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order! After one more question, I shall guide the House to make full use of the ministerial statement, especially when conclusive decisions have been made on this particular product and where you can sensitise your constituents. For now, let us hear from the hon. Member for Munali.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mumbi (Munali): Mr Speaker, I would like the hon. Minister to assure women who have been affected by this drug. A statement was made by the United States of America Ambassador, who is a woman. Is the ministry thinking of injecting her with this quarantined drug to prove to women that it is fine?

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order! Would the hon. Minister of Health be ready to do that?


Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, I would not be able to do that. The starting point should be with the hon. Members. It is a pity that the hon. Member for Munali just walked in.

Ms Mumbi: I was listening on the radio.

Dr Chituwo: She may not have listened properly with the interference from her radio while driving.


Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, if she did not understand, it means that my 10 minutes of interaction with the hon. Members has not yielded results as far as she is concerned.

Ms Mumbi: I am not clear.

Dr Chituwo: I am grateful that she admits that she is not very clear. I am ready to interact with her and …

Hon. Members: Aah!


Mr Speaker: Order! I say again, do not go there.

May the hon. Minister of Health continue, please.


Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, I am sorry if …


Dr Chituwo: Apparently, let me indicate how senior I am as a citizen. She is my daughter.


Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, if we were to go that way, it would mean I have not been very sure from the very beginning. However, my statement pertains to any woman who chooses to use this method of contraceptive and it may not be only Zambians, but anybody else. However, we cannot go to that length of starting on a doubt. My appeal is to start on a positive note and say that what is safe for our Zambian woman is also safe for any woman in the world.

I thank you, Sir.




89. Mr I.  Banda (Lumezi) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives:

(a) how much tobacco was exported to Malawi from the Eastern Province from 2001 to 2007, year by year;

(b) how much revenue was realised from the export of tobacco at (a) above; and

(c) whether there were any plans to set up a tobacco factory in the Eastern Province to enable the province export finished tobacco products.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Kalenga): Mr Speaker, the following are the quantities of tobacco (Burley-Tobacco, as the type mainly produced) exported from the Eastern Province to Malawi, as the green leaf tobacco (unprocessed tobacco) from 2001 to 2007

Year    Quantity Produced and Exported (Kg)   
2007                             5,382,000
2006                             14,306,535
2005                             22,494,327
2004                             22,408,917
2003                             12,512,540
2002                             8,901,463
2001                             3,608,008

Total                            89,613,790

The following is the revenue realised from the export of tobacco at (a) above:

Year   Value (US$)  Average Price

2007     5,405,000.00        1.01
2006   10,983,125.65        0.82
2005   19,322,059.01        0.70
2004   20,765,226.00        0.92
2003   12,416,528.00        0.99
2002     7,299,335.00        0.82
2001     2,345,205.00        0.65

Total   78,536,478.66        0.84

Mr Speaker, currently, there are no plans to set up a tobacco factory in Eastern Province because no private company has approached the Government for this business venture. The main limitation is that the current production levels are below the minimum threshold of 30 million kilogrammes per year for establishing a processing plant. Nevertheless, there is need to establish a tobacco factory in Eastern Province for the purpose of value addition to the tobacco leaf produced in the province.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr I. Banda: Mr Speaker, I would like to ask the hon. Minister as to why there was a reduction in production in 2006 and 2007. What were the ministry’s findings?

Mr Kalenga: Mr Speaker, if you look at the two charts, the decline in the production was due to the selling price. If you look at 2003, the price was at US$0.99. In 2004, it was US$0.92. The price kept on declining and by 2005, it was US$0.70. Therefore, as the price decreases, production will also increase.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister why the farmers have not been paid money for their tobacco for 2006.

Mr Kalenga: Mr Speaker, I do not have the facts. I need to come to the House at a later stage.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chimbaka (Bahati): Mr Speaker, the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives told this House, on the Floor of this House, last year that they were contemplating inaugurating a co-operative bank which would resolve issues pertaining to farmers payments. When is this bank going to be operationalised?

Mr Speaker: Although the question is out of context, the hon. Minister may provide the answer if he has any.

Mr Kalenga: Mr Speaker, although it is a new question, the Government is very keen to open a co-operative bank. As a caring Government, we have taken care of this and are doing everything possible to ensure that a co-operative bank is opened.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Mr Speaker, would the hon. Minister confirm that the companies that are buying and supporting tobacco in Eastern Province have factories in Malawi and, therefore, would not be willing to put up a factory in Eastern Province as this would interfere with their interests in Malawi?

Mr Kalenga: Mr Speaker, to start with, I want the hon. Member to declare interest because he is one of the shareholders. However, …


Mr Speaker: Order! Will the hon. Member for Kalomo declare interest?

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, there is no interest to declare in any tobacco company. In fact, the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives is aware that I have no personal interest. He must just answer that particular question.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalenga: Mr Speaker, I indicated earlier that to establish a processing plant for tobacco, we need to produce more than 30 million kilogrammes per year. Therefore, we are encouraging our farmers so that they can reach that level and make possible the establishment of a processing plant to add value to tobacco.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC. (Chasefu): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister confirm that people in Eastern Province find it attractive to sell their tobacco to companies that operate in Malawi as opposed to those operating in Zambia because the price there is attractive and the pay is on the spot for the product sold?

Mr Kalenga: Mr Speaker, I am not privy to that and, therefore, I cannot confirm. The hon. Member needs to come and share that information with our ministry and we would be very happy if he did this.


90. Mr Chimbaka (Bahati) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing:

(a) how many residential housing complexes such as the Ben Mwiinga Housing complex the ministry had built since 2002;

(b) how much money had been spent on the above projects;

(c) how much money had been realised from the sale of the housing units at (a) above.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Dr Kazonga): Mr Speaker, in response, I wish to inform the House that the National Housing Authority (NHA) has built 1,048 housing units in the following areas:

Area                                  Number of Houses                        Town

Bennie Mwiinga                     581                                            Lusaka
Ibex Hill                                  147                                            Lusaka
Nyumba Yanga                     254                                            Lusaka
Twapia                                   66                                              Ndola

Total                                   1,048

With regard to part (b), Mr Speaker, K112.40 billion has been spent on the projects in the four areas that I have referred to broken down as follows:

Project                   Total Spent (K’billion)

Bennie Mwiinga                            64.88 
Ibex Hill                                         24.7   
Nyumba Yanga                            20.62 
Twapia                                          2.20

Total                                          112.40

As regards part (c), K168.56 billion was realised from the sale of the housing units in (a) above, which figure is broken down as follows:


                                 Project Sales (K’billion)

Bennie Mwiinga          97.05
Ibex Hill                       40.57 
Nyumba Yanga          27.52 
Twapia                         3.42

Total                         168.56

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chimbaka: Mr Speaker, where and how many housing units have been constructed using the K168.56 billion realised out of the sale of houses constructed before?

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mrs Masebo): Mr Speaker, that is a very good and interesting question. The National Housing Authority’s mandate is to construct houses continuously throughout the country. Currently, the National Housing Authority (NHA) has continued to construct houses in Lusaka and Copperbelt provinces and Solwezi District in North-Western Province. However, the Government has issued a policy instruction to ensure that they concentrate not only in districts along the line of rail, but also on the new districts that have since been created. To that effect, we have asked the local authorities to make available at least a minimum of 100 plots in all the seventy-two districts so that the National Housing Authority can partner with the local authorities and, indeed, the private sector to construct houses in all the districts of Zambia.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Dr Kalumba (Chienge): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister shed light on whether she intends to give priority to those new districts that do not have adequate housing units and have not benefited from Government programmes before?

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, it is Government’s desire to ensure that the twelve newly- created districts such as Chienge, Kazungula, Lufwanyama and many others without adequate infrastructure, are assisted.

Dr Kalumba: Hear, hear!


Mrs Masebo: It has not been easy and this is why the Government has put in place a policy to ensure that we do not turn some more areas into new districts until we look at the issue of infrastructure. We do not want to make the mistakes that were made by the past administration.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Mr Speaker, the National Housing Authority spent K112 billion and realised K168 billion. How much profit was realised?

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, you will note that for all the areas where houses have been constructed, there has been a profit. If you look at the cost, you will find that there is a profit. In some cases, the profit is less than 50 per cent while in some areas like Ibex Hill, the profit was over 50 per cent. Generally, I can say that there is a profit.

However, as a Government, we note that the staff establishment at National Housing Authority is blotted. We are looking at restructuring it so that we can have a lean structure that can effectively deliver housing at a cheaper cost. The House should also know that NHA had to merge with other institutions like INDECO, FINDECO and ZIMCO. We tried, as a Government, not to create unnecessary retrenchments because of that process and so we are slowly working with the NHA Board to see how best to restructure it so as to make it more viable.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Chitika (Kawambwa): Mr Speaker, all of a sudden, NHA houses have become very expensive and out of reach for an ordinary Zambian worker. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what mechanisms have been put in place to ensure that these houses are affordable by the low income workers.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, we are aware that the public have complained that the cost of houses by NHA is high. However, I wish to state that there are various factors that make these houses expensive.

One factor is that we have a backlog and high diversity. We recognise that problem and this is why we have established a special vehicle to assist raise long-term, but cheap resources on the capital market, which moneys will be used to construct houses that are not only affordable, but also of high quality. If and when we are able to have enough houses on the market, we expect prices to become competitive. At the moment, there is only NHA that is delivering houses of various categories and these are lower, medium and higher income groups.

However, one other issue is that NHA is over bloated and the expenses are very high. When you look at the market in terms of building materials, the costs are very high. When you put all these things together, it makes it expensive for NHA to deliver houses at a cheaper rate. You will agree that NHA is constructing these houses on a commercial basis. In our budget, there is no money that we give to NHA to construct houses. Unless Government subsidises …

Hon. Members: Subsidises.

Mrs Masebo: Thank you very much. Unless Government subsidises NHA in housing delivery, you will obviously expect the prices to be the same.

Sir, let me also say that in comparison with the other available players in housing construction, NHA still remains the cheapest. Therefore, I think that it is correct especially that the houses are of high quality. The ones that are cheap, in most cases, collapse when there is a flood.

I thank you, Sir.

Major Chizhyuka (Namwala): Mr Speaker, while it is understood that because there is scarcity of houses, the price of the housing units is bound to rise, to what extent do foreigners who come in this country with a very high per capita income per head and higher levels of earnings buy properties and resell them distorting the prices of the property market in the country? What is your ministry and the Ministry of Lands doing about it?

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, indeed, we have seen an increase in the prices of houses as a result of the money that come in the country. Of course, looking at the scarcity of houses on the market, these people are able to invest in property estates. After buying these houses, they resell them. Currently, that process of reselling does have a direct impact on the price of houses on the market.

However, this is a question of supply and demand in that we do not have enough houses on the market. Therefore, people get exploited on account that the demand is high. This is why the Government is looking at this issue by ensuring that we have enough houses. For example, you have seen what has happened in the United States of America. There is recession and the prices of properties have gone down. Of course, that is not the best way to do it, but we need to ensure that we build more houses in this country. We should not wait for Government through the NHA to construct houses. Even hon. Members of Parliament should not only buy beautiful vehicles, but they should also invest their moneys in housing …


Mrs Masebo: … so that the more the houses we have, the better. We are talking about investing our money where it is needed most. This is where you will get better returns and make a difference for our country. In fact, leaders lead by example. If each one of us could put up a good house using our meager resources, I am sure others can also do the same.

Let me say that as a long-term measure, my ministry is looking at the various pieces of legislation including the Rent Act which is also outdated. We are looking at reviewing this Act by bringing it in line with the current trends to try and protect tenant because it seems that landlords are having a good time by overcharging rentals. Therefore, there is need to protect our tenants.

I thank you, Sir.


91. Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma) asked the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry:

(a) whether the hon. Minister was aware of the new cement factory in Nangoma Parliamentary Constituency;

(b) who the owner of the new cement factory at (a) above was;

(c) what benefits the local community would derive from the cement factory; and

(d) whether of company would invest any resources in the welfare of the local community as part of its corporate responsibility.

The Deputy Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Ms Siliya): Mr Speaker, I am aware of the proposed new cement factory in Nangoma Parliamentary Constituency. The name of this factory is Mumbwa Cement Limited. It will be located around three villages, namely, Natani, Mulyango and Mulimba in Nangoma Parliamentary Constituency. The shareholders have since:

(i) registered the company with Patents and Registration Office (PACRO) on 5th June, 2007;

(ii) obtained a mining license on 17th August, 2007 from the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development which is valid for a period of 10 years expiring on 16th August, 2017.  However, it has a provision for renewal;

(iii) the company has also submitted an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIS) to the Environmental Council of Zambia (ECZ) for review and approval. The company has indicated an intention to register with the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) at a later stage; and

(iv) this factory would be in operation in 12 months time.

Mr Speaker, the owner of the new cement factory is Mumbwa Cement Limited. Mumbwa Cement Limited proposes to create 200 direct jobs for the local people in the surrounding area. The capacity of the plant will be 200 tonnes per day and the factory will bring development to the area by creating employment and making cement available to the local community thereby encouraging locals to construct cement-based infrastructure. This, in the long run, would improve the housing structure and the general surroundings of the district.

Sir, even though the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry is not the spokesperson in terms of social responsibility for the private sector, however, our interaction with the company revealed that they intend to invest in the welfare of the local community as part of its corporate responsibility by:

(a) extending the power line to Kapyanga Basic School which will have a Grade 12 this year and needs a science laboratory;

(b) extending the power line to Kapyanga Health Centre which currently is using solar energy; and

(c) constructing of a clinic that would be available to the workers and surrounding community.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda (Sinazongwe): Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry has not answered part (b) of the question. Who are the shareholders of this company?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order! I think the question is who the owners are and not shareholders, and I think that was given. However, if the hon. Minister has that information as well, she is free to share it with the House.

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, as I stated that the owners are Mumbwa Cement Factory and the shareholders are Mr El Hussein Yasser and Mr I. M. Shour.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Kapeya (Mpika): Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister inform the House whether there are any other plans to open similar factories elsewhere in the country?

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, due to the good performance in the economy in the last few years, we have seen an increased demand for cement in this country. The Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry through the Zambia Development Agency has been indebted with a lot of interest in terms of investment into the cement factory. We are confident that we will be seeing more investment in the cement industry in different parts of the country by the end of the year, particularly, on the Copperbelt.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Beene (Itezhi-tezhi): Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister has indicated that the factory will be around three villages. This means that those villagers are going to be displaced. What measures has the Government put in place to ensure that those villagers who will be displaced are compensated and what kind of compensation will be given to those villagers?

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry actually sent a team to the site to follow up on the proposed cement factory. Our indication from the interaction with the locals and, particularly, the chiefs in the area is that they are very welcome to this new investment. Even though the land has been allocated to the proposed cement factory is under customary tenure, the chief and his headmen have consented to the conversion of this land from customary tenure into statutory land.

Mr Speaker, at the moment, the promoters of this company have given information to the Environmental Council of Zambia (ECZ) to assess the impact that it will have not just be on the land, but also to the community. Our initial findings are that the people in the area are actually very pleased and if there will be any displacement, I am sure that relevant authorities, particularly, the Ministry of Lands will deal with the matter adequately.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mooya: Mr Speaker, with all these cement plants mushrooming, may I get a guarantee from the hon. Minister that the specifications or characteristics of the cement will not be compromised.

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, the information we have is that the lime stone, which is a major component as a raw material in cement production will actually be mined in Mumbwa itself in close proximity to the plant. This limestone in Mumbwa, which is of marble kind contains 48 per cent calcium as compared to the one being mined by the Chilanga Cement, at the moment, which contains 38 per cent. Therefore, it is actually of a superior quality and has a life span of over 100 years.

Mr Speaker, I did say that the company has already submitted its project impact assessment in terms of environmental issues to the ECZ and the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry through the Bureau of Standards will ensure that this cement meets the requires standard.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Major Chizhyuka: Mr Speaker, I would like to know whether these villagers in the three villages will be shareholders in this cement company by way of introducing their God given land as contribution to the operations of the company.

Ms Siliya:  Mr Speaker, I am not privy to the negotiations that have taken place between the promoters of this company and the community, except that our initial findings show that the community is very happy with this investment in the area because it will expose them to utilities, such as, electricity and water. Even in terms of the environmental impact assessment, they have proposed mitigation measures including giving the local population advance notice in terms of any imminent blasting. It has also been agreed between the promoters and the community that in terms of any form of land degradation, the open pit will be converted into water points for the livestock for the community. The case in point as far as this is concerned is the pit that Phoenix Contractors which is a road construction company, if you recall, left behind in the area which our team at the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry visited and found that this is actually being put to good use. Therefore, at the moment, all I can say is that the community and the promoters seem to be working in tandem and the community seems to realise that they will benefit from this investment, not just through jobs, but through other direct benefits.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: I believe the House joins me in complimenting the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry for providing model answers to this question.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!
Mr V. Mwale: Quality.


92. Mr Mabenga (Mulobezi) asked the Minister of Education when the roof of a classroom block at Sejamba Middle Basic School in Mulobezi Parliamentary Constituency, which was blown off by a whirlwind 8 years ago would be repaired.

The Deputy Minister of Education (Mr Sinyinda): Mr Speaker, the blown off roof at Sejamba Middle Basic in Mulobezi Parliamentary Constituency will be considered for repair within the 2008 Budget.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mabenga: Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister confirm that, in fact, this will be done?

The Minister of Education (Professor Lungwangwa): Mr Speaker, natural calamities like whirlwinds are indeed a hindrance to our development in the education sector. I would like to confirm that the Ministry is doing everything possible to repair blown off roofs in our schools and other education facilities.

Mr Speaker, as I speak now, the provincial education officers from all over the country, are currently collecting money meant to repair blown off roofs. The money is being collected from our offices as follows:

(a) Luapula Province, there are twenty-two units with blown off roofs and a cheque of K892,251,720  is currently being collected by the provincial education officer;

(b) Copperbelt Province, there are nine units with blown off roofs at the moment and a cheque of K627,700,000 is currently being collected by the provincial education office;

(c) Eastern Province, thirteen units have blown off roofs and a cheque of K1,360,000,000 is being collected by the provincial education officer right now;

(d) Western Province, thirty-six units have had their roofs been blown off and a cheque of K1,353,184,900 is being collected;

(e) Central Province, twenty-two units have had their roofs blown off and a cheque of K1,042,100,000 is currently being collected by the provincial education officer of the province;

(f) Southern Province, twenty-four units have had their roofs blown off and a cheque of K1,371,814,900 is being collected right now;

(g) North Western Province, fifteen units have had their roofs blown off and a cheque of K887 million is being collected;

(h) Lusaka Province, twenty-one units have had their roofs blown off and a cheque of K897,035,400 is being collected; and

(i) Northern Province has forty-two units which have had their roofs blown off and a check of K1,993 billion is currently being collected to repair the blown off roofs.

 Mr Speaker, allow me to state that the process of repairing blown off roofs is a continuous process to which our district staff are paying closer attention to so that we have all the relevant information based on the bill of quantities which is information used to mobilise resources for the repair of the infrastructure in our system.

 Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, I know of farm buildings that have had their roofs blown off. I also believe that some houses in compounds have had their roofs blown off, but nobody in this House, for example, has a house whose roof is liable to get blown off by a mere kabulubulu.  Could he hon. Minister inform the House what standards of design and supervision are used that schools all over the country are continuously losing their roofs?

 Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, I am very sure that the hon. Member for Lusaka Central is very much aware that quite a number of housing units are having their roofs blown off in various compounds and that the information is not reported as we report information on our education system. Therefore, it is not quite clear what he means by asking that question.

 Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

 Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, in terms of standards of designs or buildings, we use standards that are of very high quality which will ensure that the buildings when certified are acceptable having reached a level of quality in terms of building standards. We are confident that the buildings will, of course, last. However, natural disasters being what they are, we have no control over the effect or impact they have on our structures.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chota (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, what measures has the ministry put in place to check that the amounts being released are used for the purpose they have been set for? I am saying this because we have had money allocated for those ventures in Northern Province and nothing has been done. In fact, third rate roofing sheets have already been put on some of these schools in the province.

 Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, the funds that we disburse to our various institutions are based on the information which is collected by our experts in the fields. Details of what is to be done are, of course, sent to as will be shown in this document which I have.

Mr Speaker, we have endeavoured as a ministry to employ technical experts in the infrastructure section of the Ministry and every province has those technical experts who are making follow ups on the rehabilitation works that are going on. Therefore, to answer the hon. Member’s question, measures are in place through our staff that do continuous inspection and monitoring to ensure that the works for which the money is disbursed are undertaken.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 Ms Mumbi:  Mr Speaker, allow me to congratulate the female hon. Members of Parliament for giving good and elaborate answers. To hon. Ministers, I say keep it up.

Now, I hope I will get a good answer from the hon. Minister of Education this time. We have this problem of roofs being blown off from most of the schools. For example, the Kalingalinga Basic School where a roof is threatening lives of our school children. There is a company called CIDAS operating next to the school which has tried to help the school, but the district education board secretary’s office has refused this company to repair the roofs. Could the hon. Minister comment on the school authorities who are trying to frustrate Government efforts through private partnership participation?

 Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, I am sure the hon. Member for Munali appreciates the comprehensive answer we have given…

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: …which is very factual. If she wants verify what is happening, the document is here for her to see details in terms of what is being done and the actual costs of the works to be undertaken. I do not know how much detail she wants us to present, but I am sure the answer we have given is in detail.

Mr Speaker, with regard to the comment she has raised, we have no problems with our staff interacting with any person who is interested in rendering service or support to our education institutions. Our education policy is based on the principle of partnership. Therefore, I have not come across any officer who has abrogated that very important noble principle.

 I thank  you, Mr Speaker.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, on projects relating to roofs being blown off, does the hon. Minister not think that these projects are in line with the President’s directive that hon. Members should be informed on major projects taking place in their constituencies, particularly, in view of the sensitivity of this project? Does he not think that it is important to inform us on the releases of this money that his ministry is undertaking?

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

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, I am sure that my cousin who is asking that question is trying to tickle me. Nevertheless, I have just released the information and the document is here. I have indicated that our provincial education officers are currently collecting the money meant for repairing the roofs. In addition, the funds which we release for various educational activities are made public. We advertise in the newspapers the funding that goes to the various education activities for the information of hon. Members.


Professor Lungwangwa: Sir, the district is the point of educational delivery. I would request all hon. Members to pay attention to what is happening at the district level because that is where the constituencies are.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: May the hon. Minister of Education lay that detailed document on the Table of the House so that we can find a way of circulating it to the hon. Members of Parliament.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa laid the paper on the Table.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, realising that it has taken 8 years for the school in Mulobezi to be repaired, may I find out from the hon. Minister why it should take this long for a disaster to be handled?

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, of course, we are not happy with that type of delay. The delay must have been caused by information which was not relayed to the relevant offices.


Professor Lungwangwa: We shall ensure that corrective measures are taken as we have stated in our response.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simama (Kalulushi): Mr Speaker, is there a deliberate policy for schools to plant trees around the surroundings to act as wind breakers in order to avoid roofs being blown off?

Mr Munaile: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker that is part of our preventive maintenance programme …

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Professor Lungwangwa: … which, of course, has been in place for a long time …

Hon. Opposition Members: No!

Professor Lungwangwa: … ever since the 1960s when some of us were still in school. The preventive maintenance programme is intended to ensure that various measures are taken to protect and maintain the school.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Mr Speaker, this seems to be a new idea to me. Could I find out from the hon. Minister if this idea of planting trees around schools has been budgeted for in the 2008 Budget so that we start now?

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Order! The learned Members of Parliament here know that sometimes problems can be created by giving too much information on a particular question, but I am sure that the hon. Minister of Education does not mind. May he answer that question, please.

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, I am sure that the hon. Member for Katombola who has been in the education sector for a long time knows very well that preventive maintenance is part of the recurrent expenditures at a school level.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!



93. Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa) asked the Minister of Community Development and Social Services whether the Government had any plans to introduce a pension scheme for the aged.

The Deputy Minister of Community Development and Social Services (Mr Muchima): Mr Speaker, at present, my Ministry does not have plans to introduce a pension scheme for the aged.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, does this Government not see it prudent to introduce pension for the aged due to the burden that they carry of looking after orphans since they cannot work anymore? Is this Government proving to us that it is uncaring for the aged?

The Minister of Community Development and Social Services (Ms Namugala): Mr Speaker, this Government is socially conscious. We are aware of the many problems that the aged are going through.

Under the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services, there are many programmes that are being used to deal with the problem of the aged. One of those problems is the Social Cash Transfer Scheme which is being piloted in Kalomo, Kazungula and several other districts. Apart from that, we have the Public Welfare Assistance Scheme which Government uses to try and deal with the problems that many of our people are facing including the aged.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kalumba: Mr Speaker, understanding that the aging problem is national, could the hon. Minister confirm whether there are any intentions whatsoever for Government to consider a targeted social security programme and whether there is any effort to develop an aging policy in Zambia?

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, yes, there is an attempt to come up with a targeted programme called the Social Cash Transfer Scheme which, as I said, is being piloted. However, with resources permitting, the Government intends to scale up this programme. It has proved to be very successful.

In terms of the aging processing or policy, Government is in the process of developing a policy on aging. In fact, I would like to report that the process has reached a very advanced stage. We have consulted the stakeholders. Many of our people in the various districts are forming what they are calling Senior Citizens associations. We will use these associations in a lot of ways to try and obtain information to include in the policy document.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sikota (Livingstone):  Mr Speaker, arising from the hon. Minister’s answer that the Social Cash Transfer System has proven to be very successful and that it is still in its pilot stage, how much will it cost in order to make what this Government says is a highly successful universal scheme so that we help the bottom 10 per cent of the most vulnerable in our community?

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, it will cost the Government about K132 billion to apply this Social Cash Transfer Scheme universally.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out how the hon. Minister expects to meet those expectations when her budget has been reduced this year.

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, as I said in my earlier answer, we are piloting this scheme. The Government is working with other partners to implement this particular scheme. The hon. Deputy Minister indicated that, at the moment, the Government does not have the resources or indeed the intention to apply this scheme universally as of now.

I thank you, Sir.


94. Mr D. Mwila (Chipili) asked the Minister of Communications and Transport:

(a) whether the Government has plans to construct a post office in Chipili Parliamentary Constituency; and 

(b) what factors compel the ministry to construct a post office in any part of Zambia.

The Deputy Minister of Communications and Transport (Mr Mubika): Mr Speaker, there are currently no plans to construct a post office in Chipili Parliamentary Constituency. However, an assessment of upgrading the agency to a full post office will be considered. Postal services in Chipili are currently being provided through a post agency where basic postal services are being done by the Anglican Church.

As regards part (b), a number of factors are considered when constructing a post office. Requests could be received from the local post offices, local community or political leadership of a particular area. Once the request is received, …

Business was suspended from 1045 hours to 1100 hours.


Mr Mubika: Mr Speaker, when business was suspended, I was answering part (b) of the question raised by the hon. Member for Chipili.

Mr Speaker, a number of factors are considered when constructing a post office. Requests could be received from the local post offices, local community or the political leadership of a particular area. Once the request is received, a comprehensive study is undertaken to assess the viability of running a postal outlet in the area. The major factors considered are: economic, population to be served, social amenities available, distance to the next post office and geographic location.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister informing this House and the nation that Chipili will never have a post office considering the situation that is prevailing?

Mr Mubika: Mr Speaker, I never said that there will never be a post office in Chipili Parliamentary Constituency. What I said is that the hon. Member for Chipili being a political leader of that area can write and request for a post office.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisala (Chilubi): Mr Speaker, between 1992 and 1993, a number of post offices were closed down in the country because Zambia Postal Services (ZAMPOST) and Zambia Telecommunications (ZAMTEL) separated. Since then, these offices are being run by agents. When is ZAMPOST going to take over these post offices?

The Minister of Communications and Transport (Ms Sayifwanda): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for raising that concern. It is true that ZAMPOST and ZAMTEL separated. The answer given by the hon. Deputy Minister is quite elaborate. It is not that the ministry under this able Government has ignored to take up that responsibility. However, the hon. Member or the community in his constituency can always make a request for a post office.

Let me also urge this august House and the nation that the ministry is ready to receive complaints and with availability of resources, we shall consider that in the near future.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): Mr Speaker, people in the urban areas have various means of communicating with one another, but there is a problem in the rural areas with communication. Why can the Ministry not concentrate on rural areas like Chipili Constituency so that they help the people in these areas?

Mr D Mwila: Hear, hear!

Ms Sayifwanda: Mr Speaker, the New Deal Government is very concerned with rural areas. As you can see from this year’s budget, we have already started planning for the rural areas. There is the ZAMPOST rural service and this shows that this ministry is very concerned with communication in remote places. Moreover, there is infrastructure for ZAMPOST in most districts and I hope that it will be taken into consideration though not now.

I thank you, Sir.


95. Mr Chazangwe (Choma Central) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives what measures the Government had taken to eradicate the animal disease known as Contagious Bovine Pleural Pneumonia (CBPP) country-wide.

The Deputy Minister Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Mulonga): Mr Speaker, the Government, through the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, convened a stakeholders’ consultative meeting on 25th April, 2007, in an effort to eradicate CBPP country-wide. During this meeting it was strongly recommended that CBPP in Zambia be declared a national disaster. The recommendations of the meeting have been incorporated into the National CBPP Eradication Strategy, which has been circulated to all hon. Cabinet Ministers and is awaiting Cabinet approval.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chazangwe: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out why this Government has not taken any punitive measures to put in place and contain all the diseases that are affecting cattle in this country like in other countries.

Mr Mulonga: Mr Speaker, whilst this process is taking this direction, I think we have been doing a lot as a ministry. For example, last year we had vaccinations against CBPP. Secondly, the Ministry has been carrying out surveillance work country-wide to make sure that other diseases do not break out and those that have already broken out are taken care of.

It is in this vein that in the second week of October, 2007, we had another stakeholders meeting in Livingstone apart from the one that was held in April. Some chiefs and farmers were incorporated into that meeting and the resolutions were that as Government is taking this direction, the farmers should form groups to help prevent the transmission of these diseases from one farmer to the other. Those are some of the efforts that are going on as we are waiting for Government’s approval of the recommendations from the first meeting.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kasongo (Bangweulu): Mr Speaker, it took 2 months down the line before this disease was declared a disaster. What interim measures is the Government putting in place to address this problem?

Mr Mulonga: Mr Speaker, maybe I did not get the hon. Member correctly. I did not say that this was declared a national disaster. I have just informed the House what directions the Ministry has been taking so that if the recommendations are approved, then the disease will be declared a national disaster. Presently, the disease has not yet been declared a national disaster.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that this disease broke into Zambia across the cordon line more than 10 years ago when Angolan refugees were allowed to bring their cattle to Nangwenya Refugee Camp? Is he aware that since then, it has spread to the North-Western Province and now on to Southern Province? Is he also aware that no country in the world takes more than 10 years to convene a stakeholders’ meeting to deal with a critical disease outbreak that has to be …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! The hon. Member’s question was asked earlier.

Mr Mulonga: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Lusaka Central for that question. Yes, it has taken long for the Government to contain the disease, but may I also point out that the disease has not been spreading as is being portrayed. It is 3 years now since it spread. I remember that it subsided in 1999 and it was under control. It is only in 2005 that this problem arose again above levels that could not be dealt with. The control measures have been put in place and Government is on the right track. We will inform the nation very soon what will follow thereafter.

I thank you, Sir.

Major Chizhyuka: Mr Speaker, the first meeting held to discuss mitigation measures for CBPP was in April. This is February, 2008. From April to date, the budget does not reflect moneys to deal …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Hon. Member, can you ask your question, please?

Major Chizhyuka: Sir, in light of the fact that the budget does not reflect any measures to deal with this disease, is it a question of the Government deliberately not wanting to deal with this disease or is it a question of the smallness of politics?

Mr Mulonga: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that question. I would like the House to appreciate that the disease was contained from June to August. It was not spreading as it is being portrayed. The disease remained only in Southern Province, in particular, Kazungula District. If you go to Western Province and areas like Kalabo, Kaoma and Lukulu, you will find that there is no disease. This means that it has been contained. It is only in very few districts where we still have the disease.


Mr Mulonga: It is not spreading. Now, because we eradicated this disease, the Ministry allowed movement of animals within Southern Province from one district to the other because by then, the disease had already been taken care of. Contrary to the picture that is being portrayed that the disease is spreading, the disease has been contained and what we are doing is making sure that it does not spread like it did in 2005.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Mr Speaker, CBPP is one of the solid diseases in the veterinary control. There are specific steps that are supposed to be taken when there is such an outbreak. Does this Government need the stakeholders meeting to undertake a normal control measure of the disease when steps are already known?

Mr Mulonga: Mr Speaker, Government would like by all means to involve the stakeholders on how to control certain diseases like CBPP. We involve stakeholders to get ideas. In fact, the Ministry has invited Hon. Muntanga and another hon. Member so that we can have a wider picture of what is supposed to be done. As a Ministry alone, we may not be privy to one or two information that is causing this, hence the involvement of all stakeholders. I do not think we are going wrong, but are on the right track.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, why is it that the Veterinary and Livestock Development Department is treating animals in Western Province leaving Kazungula District? I say so because at Kasaya, where we share border with Western Province, veterinary officers come to Kasaya and treat the animals. The rest of Kazungula is not being attended to. Why do we have that segregation? That is a fact that we have on the ground.

Mr Mulonga: Mr Speaker, between Western and Southern provinces and Kazungula District, in particular, there is a cordon line which helps us separate the movement of animals from one area to the other. When that complaint was made to the Ministry, I personally went to Kazungula to meet with the District Commissioner and the area hon. Member of Parliament so that we could all contribute positively to the problem on the ground. Unfortunately, the area hon. Member of Parliament was not there.

I thank you, Sir.



96. Dr Kalumba (Chienge) asked the Minister of Health when the Government would build a district hospital in Chienge.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Dr Puma): Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Health is currently concentrating on finishing the projects that were already started including Mumbwa, Samfya, Chadiza and Kapiri Mposhi. However, consideration for the construction of a district hospital in Chienge may be done in the year 2009.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kalumba: Mr Speaker, in view of the answers by the hon. Minister whose brains I respect, can he restate his answer by saying that there will be a hospital in Chienge in 2009?

The Minister of Health (Dr Chituwo): Mr Speaker, I think the answer was very clear. There maybe a hospital in Chienge in 2009 as going by the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs J. Phiri (Luanshya): Mr Speaker, I have a problem here. Chienge has many women. What measures has the ministry put in place considering that there is no hospital in Chienge. Women have to travel long distances to get to the hospital for deliveries.  What measures have they put in place?

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, I am not very sure that there are many women in Chienge. There are women everywhere and many of them.


Dr Chituwo: I am being destructed, Sir.

The Deputy Chairman: Order!

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, the health services that are there are coping somewhat with the women and children’s conditions. Truly, there is a need for a hospital and this is why it is in the plan. In the meantime, we combine the conventional Government provision in terms of being on board our traditional birth attendants who are periodically trained.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, Chienge and Mwense do not have district hospitals. May I find out from the hon. Minister what plans they have to construct district hospitals countrywide.

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, I have informed this House plans we have for construction of hospitals in districts where they do not exist. Since we have a 3 years cycle, we believe that it is prudent to finish those projects that we have embarked upon. Then, we shall progress to provide these services in those districts that do not have district hospitals.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs E. M. Banda (Chililabombwe): Mr Speaker, may I find out from the hon. Minister where emergencies are sent since there are no hospitals nearby. We are only talking about health centres. Where do you send emergencies?

Mr Shakafuswa: They use D.Com.


Dr Chituwo: It appears that the hon. Member of Parliament for Chienge has a lot of support.


Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, emergencies are referred to St. Paul’s Mission Hospital. To facilitate this, only 3 weeks ago, we took a brand new vehicle to Chienge so that our mothers can receive the best care in order to strengthen the referral system.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mooya: Mr Speaker, Chienge may have a hospital in 2009. Is it possible to have a hospital by 2009? I know that construction can commence.

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, I am highly impressed by the hon. Member of Parliament for Moomba for being very attentive. When we say ‘may,’ it is the issue of tendering and probably starting construction. However, I do not mean that all these processes would have been done and by 2009, we will have a hospital in Chienge.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwenya (Nkana): Mr Speaker, I would like the hon. Minister to state very clearly that as long as these other hospitals are not completed, we are not going to expect a hospital in Chienge.

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, it is prudent that we put our resources where our people can have the services as quickly as possible. We have so many health posts at slab and window levels and so on. As a policy, we have decided to concentrate on those projects we have embarked upon and finish them. There are schedules for completion. When that is done with projections, then the process of embarking on new hospitals will start.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Nsanda (Chimwemwe): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has informed this House that they will only start constructing new hospitals after they complete health centres that are on slab and roof levels. However, Kitwe Central Hospitals which has been in existence for a long time has no scanning machine. What is the Ministry doing about this?

The Deputy Chairperson: Well, the hon. Minister of Health can give a bonus answer.

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, we have plans to supply equipment to hospitals, health posts and health centres. It has been a weakness where in some cases, these structures have been completed, but they cannot be used because there is no equipment.

As regards the scanner, I am not quite sure which scanner the hon. Member of Parliament for Chimwemwe is talking about. Each level of health care has a standard of equipment befitting the skills that are available at that area. Perhaps he can write to the Ministry specifying what he needs to be done at Kitwe Central Hospital and we shall provide an answer.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


97. Mr Chota asked the Minister of Energy and Water Development when the following schools in Lubansenshi Parliamentary Constituency would be electrified under the Rural Electrification Programme:

 (i) Nsanje Basic School;

 (ii) Saili Basic School, and

 (iii) Chiponde Basic School.

The Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Sichilima): Mr Speaker, the hon. Member may wish to know that all these schools have been identified for electrification. However, only Saili Basic and Luwingu High schools have been funded and are due to be electrified by mid 2008.

Mr Speaker, based on the Rural Electrification Master Plan, Njanse and Chiponde schools are …

Ms Siliya: Nsanje.

Mr Sichilima: Oh, Nsanje. I am from the east. It is Nsanje and ...


Mr Sichilima: ... Chiponde schools that are expected to be electrified by 2010.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chota: Mr Speaker, I am worried because work started at Nsanje Basic and Saili Basic schools. Can the hon. Minister confirm that the machinery which was brought at the project sites is being carniblised or vandalised because the few things which were brought there have been taken away including the poles and generators?

The Deputy Chairperson: The hon. Minister said that works only started at Saili Basic School, but the hon. Minister may respond to that question.

Mr Sichilima: Mr Speaker, I am just surprised that the hon. Member is talking of a generator as part of the equipment. The generator could have been used by the team that was mobilised to work on the current projects may be for drilling holes in the poles that he referred to. The ministry, as identified by the Master Plan, will complete the two schools by 2010. The work that was started was for Luwingu High School and Saili Basic School.

Mr Speaker, let me take advantage of this question by informing hon. Members that the short supply of poles has caused some of these projects to stall. Hon. Members should urge their constituents to grow eucalyptus trees. In the past few years, we have just been cutting without planting. In any case, if those that were planted some years are ready, they will only be used by the Zambia Electricity Supply Company (ZESCO) after 6 months when they are cut. This is why works have been extended to 2010.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Dr Kalumba: Mr Speaker, in view of the problem of power outages by ZESCO, how likely is it that you can expand the distribution of power to these schools like Saili, Nsanje and Chiponde without investing in the hydro-power projects like the one on Kalungwishi River?

The Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Konga): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member of Chienge for that very interesting question. As I have indicated in this House at different forums, the Rural Electrification Master Plan among others will identify the options of connecting the various rural growth centres to ensure that this very able Government attains its objective of making this country a prosperous medium-income country by the year 2030. Therefore, while it could be true that there is currently a shortage of energy, the Government has embarked on measures, first of all, to upgrade the existing infrastructure at the current generating stations and also ensure that the existing infrastructure is also upgraded so that we can get more energy. The Government has gone beyond by identifying various potential generating sites like the one at Kalungwishi River. From this station, the country is expected to derive energy close to 230 megawatts. This energy will, of course, be put in the system and distributed.

Sir, I have stated several times in this House that through promoting public and private power investments, Government has also identified other potential generating sites. In my ministerial statement last week, I invited hon.  Members of this House to invest in these generating stations.

Very soon, Government will be tendering the big station at the Kafue Gorge Lower. Those who have US$1 billion are welcome to invest so that we collectively, as citizens of this country, are in charge of our energy resources, which will then go to provide electricity to the different rural growth centres throughout the country. Other than that, there other options which the Government will consider connecting other forms of energy, such as, solar power and may be the use of borehole fuels.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Silavwe (Nakonde): Mr Speaker, sometime …

Dr Katema: On a point of order, Sir

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Dr Katema: Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to raise this very serious point of order. Is the Government in order to keep quiet when there is an industrial unrest in Chingola where Jess Mining has abruptly and without warning closed down and thrown out into the cold 405 miners? These miners do not know what their fate is and when and how they will get their terminal benefits. Is the Government through the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security in order to keep quiet by not informing miners and the nation at large what measures it will take to protect the interests of these workers which have been abrogated by the Government’s blue-eyed investors? I need a very serious ruling on this matter, Sir.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: We have to make progress, but I can ask the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security to make a reply at a later stage regarding that point of order.

May the hon. Member for Nakonde continue, please.

Mr Silavwe: Sir, I asked the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development in October last year when they would finish electrifying Chief Nawaitwika’s Palace abandoned after elections. In response, the hon. Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Development informed this House that poles had been purchased and the project would be completed by December. I wonder why the hon. Deputy Minister should keep on misinforming this House by giving force assurances which are not workable.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Silavwe: I was in my constituency last week and not even a single pole has been delivered to the site and this is February. May I have a serious answer from the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, as the hon. Deputy Minister has ably explained and I mentioned this earlier that the provision of electricity is a process which starts with the production of electricity itself until it is connected to the customer’s site. During this process, stakeholders play different roles by providing equipment, such as, switch gears, conductors and, of course, poles. However, one of the challenges that ZESCO is facing is the supply of some of these materials. Materials like poles are not consistently being supplied to ZESCO such that it is being forced to import some of these poles in order to meet customer connection requirements.

With regard to Chieftainess Nawaitwika’s issue, there was an assurance that the job would be done by December, 2007. Unfortunately, the poles that were supposed to have been taken there for one reason or another were not delivered. We regret the delay. The poles are in Kasama and will be taken to the palace so that the job is expeditiously done.

Mr Speaker, allow me to throw a challenge to hon. Members of this House. As I have said, provision of electricity is a process and hon. Members of this House could help the Government by asking citizens to set up timber plantations. The hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has made a provision of K50 billion this year through the Citizens Economic Empowerment Fund. I, therefore, urge hon. Members of this House, both from your right and left, to talk to the youth groups so that with the big tracks of land and the good waters that we have, they can take up the challenge of growing timber plantations since we have a shortage of poles. In future, this could provide poles to ZESCO and in the process enhance and sustain electricity provisions.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sichilima: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa (Chifunabuli): Mr Speaker, the provision of electricity for the running of industrial businesses, especially heavy industries is absolutely essential. Now, taking into account the fact that in this region, there is predicated to be a deficit of electricity for a time to come, what is Government doing in terms of planning for the provision of this power to the country so that we do not lose out on industrial development in the region?

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, I am very grateful for that question raised by the hon. Member for Chifunabuli.  I usually request that hon. Members pay particular attention when I speak …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Konga: … and very often, it appears hon. Members do not pay attention at all. Therefore, for the sake of those hon. Members, I will repeat what I said. The Government is definitely aware of the looming power deficit in the country.

The Government is planning for this deficit. To this extent, Government has already identified certain sites to complement production of energy that will go towards the looming power shortage in the country.

Sir, as I have said, one such site that has been identified is at Kalungwishi River, which has already been awarded. There will be an additional 230 Mega watts that will be produced by 2010 or 2011. The Government has just closed the tender for the award of the 50 Mega watts from Kabompo Hydro-Power Station. Government has through the local electricity supplier engaged the China Exim Bank to provide over US$250 million for power at the Kariba North Bank Extension. Government will produce 250 Mega watts of power. It has again engaged through ZESCO, an Indian firm called TATA International to produce 120 Mega watts of power from Itezhi-tezhi. Other than this, Government has engaged the International Finance Company (IFC) as a transaction adviser for feasibility studies to identify the appropriate site for construction of the power station at Kafue Gorge Lower Extension which will hope produce something like 900 Mega watts of power.

Sir, the Government has embarked on these efforts because, as I have said repeatedly, due to the very good economic policies, the energy that we have had all along has been outstripped due to the investor confidence in this administration.

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

Mr Konga: Sir, to plan for future investor confidence, Government has done all these studies. Of course, Government has already embarked on construction of some of the power projects. However, I plead with hon. Members of the House not to look to Government alone because this is a liberalised environment. This House passed a law to attract private investment in power generation. Therefore, why do hon. Members of House want to leave this responsibility to Government alone?

Mr Lubinda: Look for partners!

Mr Konga: Sir, I challenge hon. Members of this House to participate in economic activities of this country, especially in the energy sector. As Government, we are doing our part and we do not want hon. Members on the left to cry foul and say that the Government has taken the lion’s share. All hon. Members should take up the challenge of a liberalised market economy.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Konga: Sir, they should look for potential investors. If they do not do that, Government is going to partner with foreign external investors and at the end of the day, hon. Members on your left will say they were excluded.

Mr Speaker, therefore, I am throwing the challenge to the hon. Members on your left to take up this challenge. The hon. Members on your left should come forth and partner with both foreign and local investors. There is money in the Citizens Economic Empowerment Fund. Come forth and invest in power generation and that way, our economy will move forward.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


98. Mr Chanda asked the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development what Mopani Copper Mines Plc was doing about the houses that were affected by the company’s operations in Butondo Township.

The Deputy Minister of Mines and Mineral Development (Mr M. Mwale): Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Kankoyo is consistent and passionate about his constituency. Mopani Copper Mines Plc conducted a base line study of the houses in the Butondo Township before commencing mining operations to open up a pothole in Mufulira West. The company has since commissioned an independent consultant to measure what has happened to the houses in terms of deviating from the base line position. In other words, the consultant will determine whether there has been any damage caused to houses in Butondo Township due to mining operations in Mufulira West. The study will be completed in March, 2008.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chanda: Mr Speaker, I feel pity for the people of Butondo Township because of what is going on. We went round with Mopani Copper Mines management to see what is happening. Now, if I am told that this problem will be sorted out sometime in March, 2008, is the hon. Minister aware that actually there are two houses which belong to the Ministry of Home Affairs, in particular, the police that have been declared inhabitable because they are almost falling apart.

Mr M. Mwale: Mr Speaker, there is nothing that Mopani Copper Mines Plc can do. As my response has indicated, they have engaged consultants and the problem will only be known in 2 months time. In any case, J. K. L. and Associates, who are the consultants, are the ones who are specialists in geo-technical and piling. Therefore, let us wait for a report from the consultants.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Muyanda: Mr Speaker, is he aware that Mopani Copper Mines is using outdated methods of blasting which have caused those houses to crack?

Mr M. Mwale: Mr Speaker, to the contrary, Mopani Copper Mines is quite updated in as far as technology is concerned. What the hon. Member should realise is that we need a geo-technical study for us to know whether truly what is happening to the houses in Butondo Township is due to the blasting at the mine. We have already engaged consultants to investigate.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chongo (Mwense): Mr Speaker, mining operations carry a lot of activities, such as, blasting which goes with a lot of concussion, dust and noise. What has the ministry done to ensure that actually this blasting or mining operations effects do not affect the people of the surrounding areas to where mining operations are taking place?

Mr M. Mwale: Mr Speaker, I am thankful for that follow up question from my fellow miner. The hon. Member is fully aware that wherever there is danger posed to humans, they will definitely be moved. I hope the hon. Member has taken note of the term, geo-technical study, which means vibrations caused due to explosives. These will have to be measured to see whether they would cause severe damage to the buildings.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, it is common knowledge that all ex-ZCCM miners’ houses built near the mining operations have had cracks as a result of blasting. During the ZCCM …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Please, can you ask your question?

Mr Kambwili: ZCCM had a department, specifically looking at repairing cracks as a result of …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! May the hon. Member ask the question, please.

Mr Kambwili: What is this Government doing to compel Mopani Copper Mines Plc to continue with the exercise of repairing houses that have cracks as a result of blasting, without that geo-technical study or whatever you call it?


Mr M. Mwale: Mr Speaker, I do realise that Mopani Copper Mines Plc has a moral obligation, but I would like to remind the hon. Member that those houses are no longer the property of Mopani. They have been sold to individuals. That is why if anyone has a complaint and if it is proved, anybody can seek redress from the courts of law. It is a constitutional right and the hon. Member knows this.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.




(Debate resumed)

Mr Chongo (Mwense): Mr Speaker, when the House adjourned yesterday, I was talking about heroism. I was talking about the need for us to put in place a constitution that should ensure that some of the imbalances in the distribution of the country’s wealth are addressed.

Mr Speaker, this is the reason why I envy Hon. Lubinda who is an elaborate speaker in this House. Each time he stands up to contribute in this House, he will lobby even for hon. Members on your right whenever we are considering some of these issues, and so we need not take a party line. We need to be focused and ask ourselves whether what we are debating or deliberating upon is of importance to the nation at large.

This, therefore, throws a challenge to even the hon. Members on the other side to ensure that even as we go to debate in the National Constitution Conference (NCC), we are focused and ensure that we do what is right for the people of Zambia. In fact, this is the reason why we even have people who may not want to be part of this gathering because they do not have the assurance that those in the majority will look at the interest of the people because they will probably feel that they will align by the demands of the dictates of their own political parties. Therefore, it is a challenge to us and this is why at the end of the day, when we formulate a good constitution, people will call us heroes because they will realise that we made a lot of sacrifices and even defied some of those instructions to try to do what is right for this country.

Mr Speaker, on the issue of mining, this has been an activity for a long time that has contributed positively to this country. Mining, though it has dropped, still has potential to create so much wealth that we need in this country. The only thing that is needed is for this Government to be focused and develop this activity. I, therefore, urge the Government to ensure that they open up more mining areas. These areas should not only be concentrated along the line of rail or on the Copperbelt, but also in other areas. Zambia is a country that has been endowed with a lot of minerals like copper all over the country.

Mr Speaker, in Mwense, particularly, the House may wish to know that we have copper deposit averaging 18 per cent. This is nine times higher than even what is being obtained in Mufulira where I was working. The mine has been ticking, but we are only benefiting from 2 to 3 per cent. Now we are talking about 18 per cent, and much of this deposit is something that we can exploit with minimal resources because it is basically just lying on the surface. Why not take up this challenge?

Mr Speaker, if we opened up these mining operations around the country, even certain measures that we are putting up as a country, such as, promoting farming blocks, will thrive because they will depend on mining activities. They will be supporting each other. Which farmer would want to go and put up a very big farm, probably, in Kaputa knowing that he will have limited market and knowing so much that his or her produce will not find its way to the market? However, if we opened up mines in those areas, anybody would feel encouraged even to venture into farming at the scale we need.

Mr Speaker, one other thing that we need to do in order to develop mining is to encourage native Zambians to venture into mining activities. If we just tell them to venture into this, it will not do because they need to be supported somehow.  However, what is worrying is that somebody from China or probably from …

Hon. Members: Taiwan

Mr Chongo: … some other country in Europe or Taiwan will find out that there is copper deposit at a particular place and the natives will not even know. This creates a problem because once there is that information, certain members of staff in the Geological Survey Department who may have that information will sell this vital information to foreigners leaving out the natives in the land. This is very discouraging. Therefore, I feel that the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development should ensure that this stops.

Mr Speaker, the other issue is that whilst we appreciate that a number of mining activities are coming up, such as, smelters and the like, what is more important now is to promote primary production. The Government should give tax concessions to primary production activities other than encouraging those activities because smelters will stand by themselves. The capacity to handle is inadequate.

The capacity of these smelters is beyond what we are producing. Therefore, we need to focus our attention to primary production so that these smelters can adequately handle work.

Mr Speaker, let me talk about safety, health and environment in the mines which are cardinal. The rules that we have put in place to the latter are not being followed by mining houses. We have got a problem with this. The other problem is that we do not have punitive measures to put in place in case these mining houses flout the regulation that we have put in place for them to follow. The case in point is where you have somebody who has been subjected to silica in the mines for 20 years and gets TB and pneumonia which emanates from mining operations. At the end of he day, he is only compensated a lump sum of K100,000 and getting K18,000 per month. The investors feel that even if they subject these workers to this kind of treatment, they realise that there is no punitive measures. Hence, they will just go scot-free because they know that they would rather spend that little than putting in place the recommended regulations that they need to abide by. This has been a source of worry.

 Mr Speaker, let me now talk about agriculture. Agriculture in Luapula Province must be supported adequately. I say so because Luapula Province and Mwense, in particular, has been predominantly a cassava-growing area, but how is Government helping out these poor farmers? It should help by way of making sure that they create a market for them.

Mr Speaker, it is very disheartening to learn that for the last four seasons, farmers do not have a market for their cassava. The objective is to have a proper market for this because at the end of the day, we mill as many cassavas as we can do. However, if we cannot dispose it off, at the end of the day, even the milling plant will not work. This is the reason the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry should come in and assist its sister ministry to find a better market for cassava. For example, Angola’s staple food is cassava, but we are supporting them by providing maize and not giving them the cassava that they want so that farmers growing cassava can generate money. This issue must be looked into.

Sir, as regards energy, we need to increase the generation capacity even on smaller stations like the Musonda Falls in Luapula Province and in Mwense District, in particular. As at now, Musonda Falls only generates 2 mega watts of power and yet it has the capacity to generate 15 mega watts which is enough for the whole province. We also have generators that are just lying idle because they just need one or two spare parts, but this Government cannot rise and assist the province in that aspect.

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 Mr Chongo: Mr Speaker, this is very disheartening to see.

On the issue of inadequate number of workers in rural clinics, I remember last year, I talked about cleaners administering health services in Mwense District. This Government said that such a thing was not happening and quickly mobilised their workers and sent them to these clinics. As I speak now, the hon. Minister of Health has removed all qualified personnel. We have gone back again to the old system where patients in our clinics are still being attended to by supportive workers.

 Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chongo: Mr Speaker, all clinics officers and nurses that were posted to Mwense last year have been transferred to Central and Copperbelt Provinces. Do you not think the people of Luapula and Mwense, in particular, also need the same kind of services that you are enjoying in urban areas?

Mr Speaker, for lack of enough time, I should rest my case, but I only implore that this Government should wake up and ensure that all of us enjoy the benefits of this nation.

 I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Gender and Women in Development (Ms Mulasikwanda): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Budget Address delivered by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to this august House under the theme, “Unlocking Resources for Economic Empowerment and Wealth Creation”.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Hon. Members should not consult loudly because we are not going to hear what the hon. Minster is going to say.

May the hon. Minister, please, continue.

Ms Mulasikwanda: Mr Speaker, Mr Speaker, before I go into details, allow me to quote from the Holy Scriptures in the Book of Ephesians, Chapter 6, Verse 1 …

Mr Matongo: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Matongo: Mr Speaker, we have respect for the hon. Minister of Gender and Women in Development very much. We have been guided before in this House that we should not quote from the Bible. Is the hon. Minister of Gender and Women in Development in order to quote from the Bible?

The Deputy Chairperson of Committees: Order! Hon. Minister, as you can see, there are many hon. Members who want to raise a point of order on your quotation from the Bible. May you find a way of avoiding this.

 May the hon. Minister continue, please.

Ms Mulasikwanda: Mr Speaker, I only wanted to remind the House that by law, from our God the creator, we are supposed to honour our elders. This means that we are supposed to honour our parents because it is just right for us to do so.

In this case, I would like remind the House that it is in order for hon. Members of Parliament when they rise to speak to praise the President. It is also written in the Holy Scriptures, although I am not supposed to quote, that we need to honour the governments that the Lord has put in place. Therefore, those who shall go against them shall face the wrath of the Lord.

 Hon. Opposition Member: Aah!

Ms Mulasikwanda: Mr Speaker, having said that, let me say that this year’s theme “Unlocking Resource for Economic Empowerment and Wealth Creation” is exciting for the women of Zambia as it is an opportunity to unlock their untapped potential and God given gifts to enable them work side by side with their men folk and effectively contribute to the development of this country.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mulasikwanda:  For a long time, the women of Zambia have been marginalised in the development process and this budget seeks to resolve that problem.

Mr Speaker, I firmly believe that the women of this country are being given an opportunity to effectively contribute to Zambia’s vision becoming a middle-income prosperous nation by 2030. As you may be aware, Mr Speaker, women are an essential component of the human capital which is a vital national resource.

Mr Speaker, I wish to commend the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning and his team for working tirelessly to stabilise the economy and improve economic performance. It is my belief that with the measures proposed in this year’s budget, even rural poverty, where the majority of the people are women will begin to take a downward trend.

Mr Speaker, this year’s budget has highlighted the pivotal role of the Citizens Economic Empowerment Programme. I am also of the view that Zambians should fully participate in various economic programmes through this initiative regardless of their gender.

In this regard, the accelerated implementation of the Citizen Empowerment Programme will not only unlock resources for women and men, but also contribute to entrepreneurship development through equal access to affordable credit and resources by women and men.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mulasikwanda: Mr Speaker, in his budget speech, the hon.  Minister of Finance and National Planning reminded us that, as a country, we have adopted the aid management policy which ensures a systematic and well co-ordinated approach to the way we receive and utilise resources from co-operating partners.

Mr Speaker, the adoption of the aid management policy is already bearing fruit. In the gender sector, we are in the process of finalising the joint gender support programme which is intended to ensure that our efforts, both Government and co-operating partners, are well co-ordinated for the effective implementation of the gender mainstreaming strategy. Therefore, we are beginning to see the fruits of the sound financial policies of the New Deal MMD Government.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mulasikwanda: Mr Speaker, as you may be aware, agriculture remains a key sector for the nation’s economic development. It is, therefore, encouraging to note that Government will put in place resources for aqua-culture development, especially by women. The involvement of women in aqua-culture will greatly contribute to the moving from just being mere fish traders to owning and managing fish ponds which will eventually, economically empower and liberate them from the shackles of poverty and gender violence.

Mr Speaker, in order to empower women economically and ensure sustainable food security, my office through appropriate line ministries and in collaboration with our co-operating partners will support women to come up with cottage industries to process fruits and vegetables so that apart from food security, there will also be value addition translating into more income and creating jobs within their communities.

Mr Speaker, I am pleased to note that the mining sector will begin to contribute to the advancement of the social and economic welfare of the people of Zambia under the new regulatory framework. It is my firm belief that the returns from the new regulatory framework will effectively contribute to financing gender equality through various sector social and economic empowerment programmes.

Mr Speaker, I am pleased to learn that this year’s budget will provide resources for finalisation of the Rural Electrification Master Plan. As you are aware energy is a source of livelihood of any living human being and without energy you can do very little or nothing. Therefore, the implementation of the Rural Electrification Master Plan will open up rural areas where again the majority of people are women. It is, therefore, my belief that the implementation of the Rural Electrification Master Plan will light up the rural areas with facilities, such as, schools and hospitals. The possibility of re-introducing night schools which we call in Lozi, busile, is also within and it will improve their literacy levels.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mulasikwanda: Mr Speaker, I know that rural electrification will enable rural hospitals and health centres to provide more services, such as, maternal and surgical services including mortuary services.

This will also reduce the burden on women as they will no longer be required to walk long distances in search of firewood. They will have access to readily available electrical energy for home use.

Mr Speaker, rural electrification will create economic opportunities for women as they will be enabled to be part of the global market through access to the internet. As you may be aware, Zambia is part of the global village where access to energy plays a pivotal role in terms of usage of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). As at now, it is a well known fact that there is a big gender digital divide with women being the disadvantaged gender. Therefore, the rural electrification will be able to bridge that divide with internet centres which women themselves will set up and manage. Hon. Members, especially on your left, may begin to think that I am talking from without, but I wish to assure them that these things are happening in several countries, including in one of our constituencies in Central Province. Our wish is to make this a national reality.

Mr Speaker, the proposed infrastructure investment in the education sector will contribute to increased enrolment of our girls and boys, thereby reduce gender disparities which continue to obtain in the education sector. Furthermore, it will contribute to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goal No. 3; “Promotion of Gender Equality”.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mulasikwanda: Mr Speaker, the focus of the Government in the health sector will be the recruitment of frontline staff and improvement of infrastructure, such as, maternity wards and mothers’ shelters. It is, therefore, my belief that this focus will contribute to the reduction of maternal mortality rates among our women.

Mr Speaker, finally, I wish to appeal to my fellow hon. Members of Parliament to support this wealth creation and economic empowerment budget meant to unlock resources including the rich resources within us, the mothers of Zambia.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate on the 2008 Budget speech presented to the House by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning.

Sir, I want to take this opportunity to thank my friend, the mover of the motion and to also congratulate him for his appointment to Deputy Chief Whip of Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD).

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: I also want to thank the seconder of the motion.

While I appreciate the attempt made to address economic issues of this country, I have the following reservations on the ability of this Government to deliver on the promises contained in this Budget Address.

Mr Speaker, how much of the flood disasters that are taking place at the moment have been taken into account in this budget?

Hon. Opposition Members: None.

Mr Hachipuka: How much of the damage to road infrastructure has this budget taken into account?

Hon. Opposition Members: None.

Mr Hachipuka: Mr Speaker, we must remember that disasters are continuing from the information we have until mid or end of March, 2008. I hope my colleagues have sufficient time to reflect on the budget. I hope they will not come rushing before June, 2008 to ask for supplementaries because we do not know the extent of the damage to our economy the floods might offer.

Mr Speaker, firstly, I would like to talk about the issue of the Gross Development Product (GDP). How much of this GDP enters the pockets of the indigenous Zambians? I have difficulties in appreciating when we praise ourselves if, for instance, we are able to score a GDP of 6 per cent or whatever. However, how much of that 6 per cent really lands in the pockets of the average indigenous Zambians or a resident, whether Zambian or not? There are serious inequities. The fact that we are unable to provide three meals a day lies in that very statement in that the bulky of the GDP that is claimed in this country as being achievable, flies out of this country because of our legislative mechanisms. This Government has continued to believe that we should have a liberal economy and continue to let capital fly out. People can come in and invest and then go away with no regulation relating to GDP or foreign exchange. There lies really our opportunity.

Mr Speaker, I also have a problem. There has been a revelation that K900 billion was released to the various ministries amongst the many other amounts out of the K9 trillion or K10 trillion budget. Again, K900 billion has been sent back to the Central Treasury. This is a lot of money. My concern is the measurement of the capacity of this Government. If we cannot spend K900 billion while at the same time a lot of projects remain uncompleted, then they must do something about their capacity.

Mr Speaker, I have often said and I will continue repeating this that the Government must fine tune the capacity of the Civil Service. How I wished UPND was in power.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

 Hon. Government Members interjected.

Mr Hachipuka: I know it is a wish, but how I wished and I want to remind most of you in MMD that you were once in UPND.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: The issue of the Civil Service must be addressed. I also worry about the capacity of the construction industry. My colleague, Hon. Mooya, bemoans this every time. Is there anything this Government can do to improve the capacity of the construction industry because you will find that the K900 billion substantially lies in projects?

Mr Speaker, I also worry when you want to target K13 trillion. How will you be able to deliver service to the people? Which vehicle are you going to use, since there is no capacity of transportation and communication system? Our roads have substantially collapsed. There is no railway system. How are you going to deliver service to the people with the road infrastructure which has collapsed?

All of us here are aware that at the moment, we are required to go and take stock of our positions in our constituencies. In my case, I have to stop now in Mbabala because the Chitongo/Choma Road has collapsed. How then are you going to deliver service to the people?

Mr Speaker, I also worry when we talk about K13 trillion. How long will it take Hon. Shakafuswa to collect this money because you have to collect it within 12 months? By the time you collect the money and let it accumulate to be able to give it to individual ministries, that is a problem.

Hon. Opposition Member: District Chairman for Chibombo.

Mr Hachipuka: I do not want to go further, except to finally mention that the issue of corruption is real.

Mr Mwiimbu: Absolutely!

Mr Hachipuka: Mr Speaker, the issue of corruption is real. How much of every kwacha gets to the final destination? You may want to take K13 million or K10 million to a project in Macha which is in Mbabala. How much of that will end up in Macha? There are trimmings along the way. That is another problem.

Mr Speaker, let me now talk about the energy sector. I have often advised this Government and that is why I wish we were in power as UPND.

Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: Why are you refusing to unbundle ZESCO? It is your Government which put ZESCO together from generation, transmission to distribution. Up to now, you are making the same mistakes UNIP made by bundling together Roan Copper Mines (RCM) and Nchanga Consolidated Copper Mines (NCCM). 
The Deputy Chairperson: Order! May the hon. Member address the Chair, please. I have always said that when you address the Chair, you are protected.

May he continue, please.

Mr Hachipuka: Thank you, Mr Speaker, for your advice. We are making the same mistake as we did before.

Mr Imasiku: That is good. You are part of it.

Mr Hachipuka: This Government believes that by bundling together generation, transmission and distribution, this is the right way to go. However, the people receiving this service have problems. Currently, I have to wake up at 0100 hours to switch on my pump because there is no power. I am 60 years of old and my life is getting worse than it was before under this Government.


Hon. Opposition Member: Hanjika!

Mr Hachipuka: Mr Speaker, allow me to talk about the road infrastructure. I thank the hon. Minister for shifting the Chitongo/Choma Road to fuel levy because this Government has not been giving me money year in and year out. I hope the issue of the contractor will be resolved.

Hon. Opposition Member: Fire him!

Mr Hachipuka: First of all, I need that road to be graded this year before we await the tarring. The Penda/Mapanza and Monze/Kachenje roads and the Mbabala/Silukuya Road to Macha are all in bad state. I have serious road infrastructure problems.

Hon. Opposition Member: Kazungula.

Mr Hachipuka: Mr Speaker, there can never be development without attending to the road infrastructure and schools. I am glad hon. Minister of Education alluded to roofs of schools being blown off. However, in my constituency, schools have had no roofs for years yet every year these people are collecting money. In my private discussion with the hon. Minister, I have told him to check his officers and I make no apologies…

Hon. Opposition Member: They are even fat.

Mr Hachipuka: … to my Permanent Secretary in the Southern Province. If you look at the budget, there is no capital expenditure. The easiness with which they can shift money from one goal to the next makes one wonder.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: How is it possible that money for cattle restocking in Southern Province has been given to District Commissioners to hold a seminar?

Hon. Member: He is your brother!

Mr Muntanga: That is what happened!

Mr Hachipuka: I do not want a brother who misappropriates money because I have made my own money without stealing.


Mr Hachipuka: I urge this Government to take the issue of supervising the Civil Service seriously because a lot of money goes amiss.

Mr Speaker, let me talk about the constitution. Before I conclude, allow me to tender an apology to all the churches for my remarks on the constitution.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: … making-process which is currently in stew. In my remarks, I referred to the Catholics, Anglicans and other churches by names. I ought to apologise to them, in particular, the Catholics who were singled out by the media.

Mr Mwiimbu: That is leadership!

Mr Hachipuka: As Hon. Mulongoti once said, the media can either build or destroy you. In my case, the media chose to single out the Catholic Church out of the many churches my statement referred to. I wished I had a way of reaching out to many Catholics, who were injured by the story carried in The Post newspaper No. 4116, Thursday, 24th January, 2008.

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

Mr Hachipuka: To you, my dear sons and daughters of Zambia, forgive me for that article and information carried therein. It is not important for me to say that I did not mean that way, but that the final message was injurious to yourselves.

To my party UPND, I say thank you for the in-house advice. Politics is a rough and difficult journey. We have to walk it together …

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: … in unison under the able leadership of President Hakainde Hichilema. We have to carry our original vision which held us together under first UPND President, Mr Anderson Mazoka and now, under President Hakainde.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: I hope we shall gather in this country one day for the betterment of our country.

Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: Hon. Members, as you go for your week end, enjoy yourselves.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Chitika (Kawambwa): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Floor of this House.

Sir, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning in his 2008 Budget Address to this House on Friday, 25th January, 2008 said on Page 1, and I quote:

“Mr Speaker, over the past five years, the nation has achieved macroeconomic stability characterised by growth in real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in excess of 5 per cent per annum, the reduction of inflation to single digit, a stable exchange rate, declining interest rates, a stable financial system, the removal of external debt burden, and a substantial build-up in foreign exchange reserves. These achievements have resulted in notable successes in the creation of jobs and wealth, and the reduction in poverty levels.”

Sir, all these things have happened and it is indeed true that our economy has been expanding in the past few years. However, what is surprising is that this expansion has not benefited the country and indeed, its people. We have heard in this House that the people of Lundazi District have no roads. Hon. Hachipuka has just told us about the serious infrastructural problems in his constituency. We have also heard in this House that people are feeding on mangoes. We have heard several times that the important Kawambwa/Mubo Road is impassable. We have heard that the small-scale farmers who initially paid money to all the district co-ordinating officers in their various constituencies have not received fertiliser. We have heard about several other things, such as, lack of desks in schools and drugs in hospitals and the list is endless. Most of the benefits that have accrued to the economic growth have only benefited the foreign investors.

On economic growth, I talk about it last year. I said that equitable distribution of the same economic growth is meaningless. What we need to do as a country is that the resources which are a factor in this economic growth are for the Zambians. It is only prudent that the Zambians who are the owners of these resources benefit in the consumption of the wealth that is coming from their own resources.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Chitika: Mr Speaker, last year, I called Hon. Magande’s budget as a promissory note. How can K900 billion which has gone back to the Central Treasury be explained?

Sir, on direct taxes, now that there is an increase in the tax base for the mining companies, the tax regime for the Zambian workers should have been reduced even further than what hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning announced in this House last Friday, 25th January, 2008. Zambians have been paying high taxes for a very long time despite the low wages that these workers receive. It is high time that this listening Government…

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Chitika: … should be able to offer our people reasonable tax relief. Let us prove to them practically that the economy is indeed growing and that inflation has equally dropped. Let us not feed our people on mangoes and indeed with rhetoric.

Mr Speaker, the other issue that I want to talk about is rural roads. Last Friday, I had all the hope when I heard the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning read his speech on Page 8, and I quote:

“An immediate programme for this year is the rehabilitation of the damaged rural roads, which will be done once we receive the road equipment in March. This should open up the rural areas for more and viable investments to up lift the living standards of our people.”

Mr Speaker, this statement is impressive, especially to the hon. Members from rural areas. However, this hope was short lived for me because after a serious scrutiny of this Yellow Book, I have noticed that many of our rural roads have not been captured and budgeted for in this year’s budget. Therefore, how is Hon. Magande going to achieve what he talked about if these roads are not budgeted for?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Chitika: The Kawambwa/Munganga Road in my constituency which I always talk about is nowhere to be seen in the Yellow book. Hon. Simbao travelled on this road in December last year. He knows that there are serious problems on this road and it requires rehabilitation. Now, if it is not captured even in this year’s budget, how is it going to be rehabilitated?

Mr Speaker, the people of Kawambwa are not asking for too much. All they asking for is a good road. Once this is done, it will be the shorter route to the Copperbelt and Mansa. The people in Kawambwa are farmers and receive more rainfall in Zambia than other parts of the country. Kawambwa has potential land. I have said in this House, but we have been neglected.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Chitika: My colleagues from Northern Province talked about the Kasama/Mporokoso and Kasama/Kaputa roads. They never mentioned where these roads lead to. They did not say these roads lead to Kasama, Mporokoso and into Kawambwa.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Chitika: I think Hon. Simbao might come up with a supplementary budget, specifically to take care of some of these important roads like the Kawambwa/Munganga Road and others that Hon. Hachipuka talked about.

Mr Speaker, on the issue of local empowerment …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Chitika: … the hon. Minister informed this august House in his speech on Page 20, and I quote:

“The New Deal Government has chosen to create an environment that supports individual initiatives.”

Hon. Opposition Member: There in nothing like that.

Ms Chitika: It maybe true that a conducive investment climate has been created. However, like I have said, this has only benefited the foreign investors. It is high time that the Government started putting in place an investment climate that will allow me and other ordinary people to participate in the development of the national economy. This is the only way that we can create our own indigenous capitalist class.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, Hear!

Ms Chitika: Mr Speaker, it is only the local capitalists who can localise the economy of a particular country. Right now, the situation is that the Zambian economy is not really a local one because it is predominantly in foreign hands and control. As a third world country with a vision of becoming a middle income country by 2030, there is no way we can develop completely by depending on foreign investment, especially with the type of investment that we have in Zambia …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, Hear!

Ms Chitika: …where the entire surplus created is taken out. This is the only country where there is so much capital flight by investors.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! I can see an exchange of views among hon. Members who are seated. Can we give chance to the hon. Member debating, please.

May the hon. Member for Kawambwa continue, please.

Ms Chitika: Mr Speaker, I was saying that this is the only country where there are so many capital flights by investors. The Government should, therefore, put in place serious measures to limit the amounts of money that go out of this country at any particular time. We cannot liberalise everything.

 Mr Speaker, I would also like to briefly talk about our forestry. As all are aware, Zambia is endowed with abundant forestry resources. However, we have not been quite prudent in the manner we have managed these resources. For example, what is happening with our timber in this country? This is a serious issue. We have allowed a situation where our timber is being exploited indiscriminately without taking measures. All we need is to attract investors to come into the country and create employment for Zambians.

Mr Speaker, finally,  I would like to talk about tertiary education. The establishment of the Mulungushi University is a welcome development. We are all very happy that this is happening so that our children who are not able to get places into our two public universities will be able to be taken on by this new university though this is not the end. There are home-grown initiatives, such as, the Zambian Open University, Seventh Day Adventist University and the Catholic University, but they should be supported in terms of tax rebates.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Chitika: Mr Speaker, they are doing a log in this country by providing good education to our children. In fact, these universities are being managed by our own Zambian professionals. Therefore, they should be given incentives like tax rebate so that they can order books and equipment. In doing so, the Government will be supporting them.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Dr Kazonga): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate of the Floor of this House.

Sir, I will debate on one specific issue in the Ministry of Local Government and Housing. The hon. Minister will tackle the rest at an appropriate time. This is the issue of water supply and sanitation. It now recognised that water is life and sanitation is dignity. This has led to the New Deal MMD Government declaring water supply and sanitation a priority in the Fifth National Development Plan and indeed, in our vision 2030.

 Mr Speaker, the issue of providing a citizen with clean and safe drinking water and improved sanitation is cardinal at all times, be it during floods or droughts. Whereas as droughts lead to a shortage of clean water as water sources may dry up, floods may contaminate the water sources and, therefore, affect the quality of drinking water.

Mr Speaker, my ministry will this year concentrate on implementing national programmes to improve water supply and sanitation services and introduce sustainable operations and maintenance systems.

 Mr Speaker, poor operations and maintenance…

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

(Debate adjourned)


The House adjourned at 1255 hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday, 5th February, 2008.