Debates- Wednesday, 23rd January, 2008

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Wednesday, 23rd January, 2008

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






59. Mr Mabenga (Mulobezi) asked the Minister of Health when Mulobezi Rural Health Centre would be built as a prototype health centre since the money for its construction was used to build another health centre about six years ago.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Dr Puma): Mr Speaker, Sesheke District Health Management Board then received K25 million in November, 1998 for rehabilitation of Mulobezi Health Centre. At the time, the hon. Minister of Health was touring the districts in the company of the then hon. Member of Parliament for Mulobezi Constituency. Among the facilities visited was the health centre in question, which was then made of pole and mud. It was in a bad state as it was dilapidated.

A decision was made there and then, in good faith, that the K25 million meant for Mulobezi Health Centre be shared as follows:

(i) K12.5 million be used to rehabilitate Mulobezi Health Centre Block; and

(ii) K12.5 million be used to reconstruct Mkushi Health Centre Block.

This was a mutual agreement between the then hon. Member of Parliament and the hon. Minister of Health at the time. The funds were used as decided.

The need to upgrade Mulobezi Health Centre into a prototype facility still stands pending allocations or availability of funds in future.

I thank you, Sir.


60. Hamududu (Bweengwa) asked the Minister of Finance and National Planning:

(a) whether entrepreneurs in rural areas had began to access funds under the Rural Finance Programme and, if so, how many had so far benefited from the programme; and

(b) whether there were plans to decentralise the administration of the above programme.

The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mr Magande): Mr Speaker, the Government launched the Rural Finance Programme in the last quarter of 2007. The overall objective of the programme is to increase the use of sustainable financial services in the rural areas. The programme will work within the framework of the Financial Sector Development Plan, with Government playing a supportive and supervisory role. The programme has the following five components, namely:

(i) Development of community-based financial institutions;

(ii) Promotion of rural banking services;

(iii) Credit facility for contracted small-scale production;

(iv) Innovation and outreach facility; and

(v) Policy, institutional and management support.

Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that under the Credit facility for contracted small-scale production component, the Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ) will be contracted as an apex institution to provide development finance to the market through commercial banks. Currently, the programme is finalising recruitment of staff and procurement of office accommodation. Once the administrative arrangements have been resolved, we expect the programme to commence disbursement of funds to rural entrepreneurs through commercial banks by April this year. In other words, the programme has not yet started lending funds.

Mr Speaker, with regard to part (b) of the question, the programme is designed to reach as many rural entrepreneurs as the funds will permit. In this regard, the programme will contract with Development Bank of Zambia and the National Savings Bank to disburse funds to the entrepreneurs but DBZ will be using commercial banks. Therefore, the disbursement and administration of the funds will be done through commercial and savings banks, which have a national coverage.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, as the hon. Minister launches this programme, is he aware that people in the rural areas do not have collateral. If he is, has a waiver been provided for the rural people so that they can use other means to access this finance?

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, we are aware that the assets of the rural people are not in a form where they can be used as collateral. In particular, the land which is under traditional ownership has no title and therefore, it cannot be used as collateral. However, some of the assets that will be bought are going to be used as security. For example, if somebody in the rural area wants to borrow money to buy a vanette, the vanette can be used as security under some kind of lease arrangement. So we are aware of these difficulties and that is why this programme was specially designed to try to help the rural farmers and people who want to do other business in their operations. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, in view of the fact that some peri-urban areas are as poor as rural areas, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister if there are any plans to introduce entrepreneur funds for the people in peri-urban areas.

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between rural and peri-urban areas. So in peri-urban areas where people are as poor as the people in places that are clearly demarcated as rural areas, we will try to facilitate their involvement. Otherwise I am aware that in most of the peri-urban areas, like in my own constituency which more or less surrounds half of Lusaka, the people that live there are some of the richest and are able to access other financial facilities in towns that are close to them. Therefore, we do not want to crowd-out the people that are very distant from the commercial banks.

I thank you, Sir.

Major Chizhyuka (Namwala): Mr Speaker, given the good answer to the collateral arrangements regarding this new fund, is there a thought within the ministry that a fund associated with irrigation may also go through a similar process because at the end of the day, the rural farmer may still not have collateral, and therefore, may not have the privilege to access the fund?

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, as we have said, this is a rural finance programme. Those who want to go into irrigation will be allowed to borrow from this fund as well. It has no designation. Like I mentioned, those who want to go into transportation, livestock or chicken rearing or those who are doing cropping will be facilitated. In other words, we are trying to fill the void left by the non-availability of lending institutions in the rural areas, not only for farmers, but all the people that are in the rural areas.

I thank you, Sir.


61. Mr D. Mwila (Chipili) asked the Minister of Education:

(a) when the Government would procure mattresses for pupils at Chipili High School in Chipili Parliamentary Constituency; and

(b) when mattresses for the above school were last bought.

The Deputy Minister of Education (Mr Sinyinda): Mr Speaker:

(a) procurement of mattresses has been a continuous process at the school; and

(b)  in 2004, Mansa College of Education gave Chipili High School 50 mattresses while in 2006, the school bought 100 mattresses using sector funds and in September, 2007, the school bought 14 mattresses from Campaign for Female Education Fund (CAMFED).

I thank you, Sir.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, I want the hon. Minister to be specific as to when mattresses would be bought at Chipili High School in that the students are sleeping on the floor.

Mr Sinyinda: Mr Speaker, as I have already stated in our reply, the process of buying mattresses is a continuous one and as you might have heard, there were mattresses that were given to the school in 2004 and those that were bought in 2006 as well as 2007. Therefore, it is a continuous process.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chazangwe (Choma Central): Mr Speaker, what measures has the ministry put in place to control vandalism in boarding schools?

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Education (Professor Lungwangwa): Mr Speaker, we have a long standing programme called preventive maintenance in which pupils are sensitised to matters of vandalism and maintenance of their property.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, realising the fact that pupils at Chipili Secondary School do not have mattresses and following the answer by the Minister, is it in line with the provision of quality education since the students do not have mattresses?

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, it is indeed, in line with the improvement of quality, teaching and learning environment. This is why we pay attention to the procurement of facilities which can enhance teaching and learning. This is a continuous process as, of course, need arises.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Kapata (Mandevu): Mr Speaker, may I find out from the hon. Minister because it is not only Chipili Secondary School but that it has now become mandatory that once a child is accepted in a Government school, the parent buys a mattress and this is indicated on the acceptance letter. What is Government doing about it?

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, I am not sure what the hon. Member is asking because cost sharing is part of our education policy. Participation or partnerships in the development of education is clearly stated in ‘Educating Our Future’ which is a Government policy document and I am sure she is aware of that.

I thank you, Sir. 

62. Mr Chazangwe asked the Minister of Education what measures the Government has taken to improve the performance in schools where the pass rate has continued to be abnormally poor.

Mr Sinyinda: Mr Speaker, the following is a reply to my comrade in arm who is also a former head of a High School. Mr Speaker, Government has done the following to improve the pass rate in schools where pass rate has continued to be abnormally poor.

(i) The Government is sending sufficient teachers to various schools;

(ii) The Government continues to professionally develop our teachers;

(iii) Teaching and learning materials have been or are being procured and are being sent to schools; and

(iv) Continuous monitoring activities have been intensified by our standards officers.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order! Before the hon. Member for Choma Central comes in, I would like to remind the House that the word ‘Comrade’ have been ruled out of order in this Chamber. It will not be used in the House.

Mr Chazangwe: Mr Speaker, may I find out from the hon. Minister of Education whether he is aware that results in our Government schools are poor due to over enrolment and the Academic Production Unit (APU) Schools that have mushroomed and are making teachers to be over-used and do not have time to plan for lessons for the following day.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, the Ministry is aware of some of the constraints which affect effective teaching and learning in our schools including indicators like teacher-pupil ratio. It is because of that awareness that efforts are being made to recruit more teachers for our schools.

As the hon. Member is aware, last year, 2007, the ministry recruited 10,600 teachers countrywide. Right now, an advertisement is running in our papers to recruit 5,000 teachers hopefully by next month.  All these efforts are directed at meeting our commitment to the development of a quality educational system that is equitably accessible with a focus on improving educational provision in our country. Therefore, matters of teacher-pupil ratio are being attended to including APU classes which have been mushrooming in our system. We are taking measures to address the APU syndrome in our schools so that APUs do not become an impediment to our teaching and learning environment.

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata) Mr Speaker, I am sure that the hon. Minister is aware like the whole country is that the poorest performance of our children is in science, mathematics and technical subjects. I would like to find out from him following the promise that was made by his ministry four years ago that all the schools that were recently upgraded to high schools would be provided science laboratories. I wonder why in the response to the question raised by the hon. Member for Choma Central, the provision of science laboratories and libraries and the requisite materials is not being considered as a way of enhancing the pass rate in our schools. Could I know why, Sir?

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, stating that attention to laboratories, science equipment and other learning materials is not being considered, is not being fair to the ministry and the Government because in our infrastructure development programme, laboratories are part of the infrastructure that we are developing in our schools. These cannot be done all at once because resources cannot permit to undertake a comprehensive broad infrastructure at once. However, this is part of the programme of infrastructure development in our schools.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said there are measures that are being put in place to address the issue of APU classes but did not tell us what those measures are. Can he tell us what they are because schools have introduced APU classes so that they can raise funds to run their schools since the Government is not giving them enough money.

Mr Speaker: Order! The hon. Minister of Education may also explain for the lay persons what APU stands for.

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, APU is an acronym for Academic Production Unit. This effort in our schools emerged way back in the 1980s with the low intake in the secondary sector. The demand that was imposed on access to secondary education was seen by teachers as an opportunity to organise classrooms to accommodate those who would like to access secondary education. That is how the Academic Production Unit or units, almost synonymous with school production units, emerged in our school system.

Mr Speaker, as a ministry, we did embark on a research last year to assess what exactly is going on in the APUs and how they were affecting the teaching and learning environment especially the impact on the quality of education. We are now in the process of studying that report and coming up with a policy position as a ministry on APUs.  I will, at an appropriate time, request that I make a ministerial statement to this House on the policy position of the ministry with regard to Academic Production Units in our schools.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what measures have been put in place to prevent teachers in rural areas from coming to towns.

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, at the offices of entry into the teaching profession, our professionals in the districts take time, first of all, to counsel the new teachers. Counseling them on the expectations, commitment to the teaching profession and how best they can address the difficulties which they may encounter. They are also enlightened about the opportunities and facilities which are available to assist them in their problems. That is one of the measures we take when recruits or new professionals enter the teaching profession.

In addition to that, we do ensure that their conditions of service are facilitated, for example, the settling-in allowance and other benefits which go to the teacher. All these are measures which we put in place to ensure we create a conducive teaching and learning environment for our teachers in the rural areas.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr C. K. B Banda, SC. (Chasefu): Mr Speaker, this Government has adequately identified the poor teacher-pupil ratio as one of the factors that has contributed towards the bad results obtaining in Government schools. Bearing in mind that you are a planning Government, can you give us a definite answer when this problem will come to an end.

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, indeed, we recognise constraints like teacher-pupil ratios as problems which affect the quality of teaching and learning. Sir, we are taking these measures of recruitment of teachers with the hope that this problem will soon come to an end, but as we are aware, there are, of course, certain constraints, for example, we have problems of teacher attrition due to a number of factors which does encroach on our efforts to put more teachers in the educational system.

Of course, we are hopeful that, in future, we will be able to have a balanced educational environment in which there will be a balance between the teachers and the pupils.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr J. K. Zulu (Bwana Mkubwa): Mr Speaker, one of the biggest problems that the teachers are facing in the rural areas is that of accommodation. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister how many houses have been built and how many you are planning to build for the teachers who are being recruited.

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, specific questions require statistical analysis to see how many units of teacher’s houses we have constructed in different parts of the country. If the hon. Member cares, we can make that information available, but commitment to the construction of houses for our teachers is a Government policy.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kasongo (Bangweulu): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister of Education informing this House that his ministry has no data which indicates how many teachers have been accommodated and how many have not been accommodated in order for him to know the number of units required to accommodate those teachers who have not been accommodated. Do you not have that data, hon. Minister?

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, I am sure the hon. Member for Bangweulu is interested in knowing whether we have an effective planning unit in the ministry. Sir, we do have an effective planning unit in the ministry which captures data on different aspects of educational provision in this country. We also produce annual statistical reports every year containing different aspects of the operations of the educational system.

Mr Speaker, if the hon. Member would like us to bring to this House the information on the number of teachers that have been accommodated and the housing units that are being constructed, that information is available and if it was asked last week or yesterday, we could have brought the information here.

I thank you, Sir


63. Mr Ntundu (Gwembe) asked the Minister of Finance and National Planning:

(a) what the total monthly wage bill for the Bank of Zambia was;

(b) how much had been spent by the Bank of Zambia on staff car loans from 2001 to-date;

(c) how much in recoveries had been collected so far against the loan bill at (b) above; and

(d) what the duration of a car loan was for members of staff of the Bank of Zambia.

The Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mr Shakafuswa): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House as follows:

(a) the total monthly wage bill for Bank of Zambia is K10,237,761,605.00. This figure is all inclusive.

(b) information for 2001 and 2002 needs to be extracted from the old Information System (IT) and requires more time. Due to short notice, we wish to submit information from January 2003 to December, 2007 as follows:

(i) general staff car loans  K7.7 billion
(ii) personal-to-holder car loans K10.1 billion

Mr Speaker, Personal-to-Holder Vehicles Scheme is available to staff that previously enjoyed personal to holder vehicles who now have to get loans to buy vehicles.

(c) general staff car loans   K6.9 billion  89.6%
Personal-to-Holder Vehicle Loans Scheme  K9.9 billion  98%

The staff car loans account are funded through a revolving fund.

In addition to the above, eligible staff are also accessing car loans from commercial banks through a-loan facilitation scheme with particular commercial banks and the repayments/recoveries of such loans are made through the payroll.

(d) general staff car loans  6 years
Personal-to-Holder Vehicle Loans Scheme  4 years

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, from the figures that have been given by the hon. Minister, it clearly shows that the Bank of Zambia is very extravagant in spending. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister why the Bank of Zambia is now asking junior staff to be getting car loans from commercial banks while senior members of staff are getting loans from the Bank of Zambia. I would also like him to explain why the Bank of Zambia is extravagant.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, I would not say that the Bank of Zambia is extravagant because those  are the conditions of service which apply to the Central Bank. Mr Speaker, I also want to say that the Bank of Zambia employs most of the professionals that we have around and are at senior level, therefore, they are paid according to their conditions of service. We also have to attract qualified people to run our monetary system as well as giving a policy direction in the country.

I thank you, Sir.

Major Chizhyuka: Mr Speaker, arising from the answer given by the hon. Minister, is there a deliberate form of apartheid system at Bank of Zambia? I am saying so because you will find that in one bank, a certain class of employees gets their loans from the same bank and another class gets its loans from the national commercial banks.

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, there is no apartheid at Bank of Zambia. In most institutions, you cannot just have an open door policy that everyone gets a loan from the bank. It has to go with capacity. If you say that everyone gets a loan, you will have budget constraints. There are other categories that get loans from banks and are able to pay from banks and so there is no form of apartheid. In any institution not everyone will be able to get loans.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out how many employees are at Bank of Zambia for them to get a monthly bill of K10 billion.

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, although it is a new question, I would like to say that in economies, we have comparative analysis of other central banks in the region. You will be surprised that our conditions are even far less than what is prevailing in other central banks in other areas.

Sir, some of the staff at the Central Bank had high lucrative contracts outside Zambia and we have to retain them and other qualified staff. I will give you an example of one official who was the Vice-President of the African Development Bank (ADB). What he was getting at ADB and what he is getting here is about 30 per cent less. Therefore, we have to retain our staff so that we have quality in our system. We have been crying about the issue of reducing the brain drain and so we should not cry when our fellow Zambians earn according to their qualifications. We should encourage a system where all of us are paid according to what we are putting in. We should make sure that we pay people according to their abilities and according to what the economic situation is facilitating.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mrs Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, I want to believe that the senior members of staff at the Bank of Zambia get much more than the junior staff. We should have a situation  that the seniors who get more money get loans from commercial banks where interest rates are high and the juniors who get less money get the loans from the Bank of Zambia.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, we can revert to the previous system of buying senior staff personal to holder vehicles which is a big cost to the bank. Now, instead of buying them personal to holder vehicles, they buy these vehicles themselves and pay back the loans to the bank.

Sir, senior managers are supposed to be provided with vehicles and allowances which they are entitled to. This is not just particularly for Bank of Zambia. That is why we work hard so that the more experienced we are the more valuable we become. In fact, our qualified staff like accountants are the ones running institutions in the region and we want them back and also to retain those who are here. We can only do that by giving them very good conditions of service. You will find that if conditions of service for Members of Parliament improve a lot of  people will want to become Members of Parliament.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: Order! The hon. Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning was off the mark by rushing in that last sentence in his reply.




(Debate resumed)

The Minister of Education (Professor Lungwangwa): Mr Speaker, before I continue with my debate, allow me to congratulate the hon. Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development on the excellent performance of our team last night.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, at the end of my debate last evening, I did state that the leadership of His Excellency the President is anchored in human and humane interests and that the speech is anchored in the concern for the people of Zambia. This is because of His Excellency the President’s concern for the people of Zambia that this speech that was delivered to this House has received a lot of attention and acceptance in this House, and far and wide.

Mr Speaker, to demonstrate the President’s concern for the people of Zambia, in this speech, on Page 65, is a profound statement on him which reads, “after all, a country is its people.” That statement clearly demonstrates the true and committed leadership of the President to the people of this country. That is the mark of true leadership. It is in recognition of that commitment to selfless service to the people of this country that the University of Harding awarded the highest owner of doctor of laws to His Excellency the President.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Sir, to show his commitment to the service of the people of Zambia, he dedicated that doctor of laws to the youth of this country so that it can inspire them to work and aim higher in life.

Mr Speaker, that is a mark of true and committed leadership. The speech is, indeed, illustrative of a number of areas which are a commitment to the development of this country. Mr Speaker, for example, the areas of good governance, which of course borders on matters of credibility, integrity, commitment and selfless service to the people. These are clearly stated in this speech.

The commitment of this Government to the exploration of resources of this country, which can eventually benefit the people, is a commitment of this Government to the service of the people of Zambia. This includes issues of gender equity, equality, matters of personal development of the citizenry and matters of  the rights of the people. All these are a reflection of what this Government is about, the commitment to the prosperity and welfare of this country.

Mr Speaker, it is very clear for all of us who have been in Zambia for a long time that this country, at some point, could be likened to a patient that was in a coma and required revitalisation and resuscitation. This is exactly what this Government has been able to do since 2002. The revitalisation, re-construction and modernisation of the economy of this country are aimed at improving the quality of life of the people of this nation.

Mr Speaker, it is evidently clear that this country is on course in terms of development and improving the quality of life of the people. The indicators are very clear for all of us to see. When a developing country like ours has undergone major difficulties like we did, you look at the four Is. You look at what is happening in the infrastructure development of the country, in the investment environment, in the interest rates and in inflation and the indications are that, in all these areas, this country has made tremendous progress over the past six years, which is an indication of the commitment of the Government to improve the quality of life of our people.

Mr Speaker, in terms of commitment to the human resource development and personal development of our people, it is very clear that the efforts which are being made in the education sector are directed at affording our people opportunities for educational development.

Mr Kambwili: Questionable.


Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, it is only those who bury their heads in the sand, like ostriches…


Professor Lungwangwa: …who will not see the developments which are taking place in this country…

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: …and who will be shouting “it is questionable”.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, it is very clear that from 2002 to-date, six private universities have been established in this country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: It is very clear that we now have three public universities, Mulungushi University being a new institution, a creation of this Government. Sir, it is very clear from the statistics that in 2002, we only had about 8,000 university students in this country, but we now have close to 20,000 university students. Those who bury their heads in sand will not see these realities as positive developments.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, they should be able to see that this country is moving ahead.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, we have a commitment to the establishment of a quality and equitably accessible education in this country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, our focus is on improving the educational system at all levels so that we are able to produce the human resources which will form a critical mass to push this country forward in our quest to transform Zambia into a medium in-come country through wealth creation and employment generation. Our strategies in the education sector are very clear.

Mr Kambwili: Kwena mulayumfwa.

Professor Lungwangwa: We are focusing on infrastructure development at all levels…

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: …and those who care to know what is going on, can go to the University of Zambia, for example, today, where student hostels are being constructed.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: The last time a student hostel was constructed at the University of Zambia was in 1980. Now, we are constructing four. As we speak, the contractor is on the ground.

Hon. Government Members:  Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: The same is going on at the Copperbelt University, where since 1987, there has not been construction of any infrastructure. However, right now, the contractor is on the ground constructing two student hostels.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: The School of Business Administration has been constructed and we have improved the water reticulation system.

Mr Speaker, all these are positive developments to which this Government is committed in ensuring that our people have access to training and education opportunities that will develop them in order for them to play a vital role in this knowledge-driven economy and the transformation of this country. This is our commitment.

In addition, we are, as we have been stating over and over, committed as a Government and as a Ministry to putting teachers in our schools. We are recruiting and motivating more teachers and also ensuring that their welfare is taken care off, of course, in the context of constrained resources. However, the efforts we have made and the efforts we are making are to a large extent being acknowledged. Sir, even those outside the boundaries of this country are keeping a close eye on the development that Zambia is making. These are commendable efforts, just like we are putting educational materials in our schools in order to ensure that our pupils are able learn, and learn effectively, we have put mechanisms in place to monitor the quality of our educational system and we are competing favourably with the countries in the region.

Mr Speaker, we have annual reports under the Southern Africa Consortium for Monitoring of Education Quality (SACMEQ), which is sponsored by UNESCO in the region as a whole. The indicators are that to a large extent we are closely monitoring the quality of teaching and learning in our educational system and our children are performing at acceptable levels in certain areas. These are positive developments, which those who are well-meaning will appreciate and understand, under the very difficult conditions that this country has gone through.

Mr Speaker, it is very important that as we serve the people of this country, we begin to appreciate what the Government is doing and the efforts being undertaken in order to ensure that this country moves forward. It is true from the statistics available, especially, in sectors like education, that progress is being made.

Sir, in Mufulira, the last examination results for grade 7 indicated that all the children who sat for Grade 7 exams last year, have gone to grade 8. Is that not an effort? Is that not a commendable progress?

Mr Speaker, 90 per cent of the children in North Western Province who sat for Grade 7 Examination have gone into Grade 8. Indeed, we are making progress. This is what we mean by development.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, this is what we mean by serving people. Even matters of the dichotomy across the different segments of our society…

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Professor Lungwangwa: For example, a matter of differentials in social economic development or social economic living as debated by the hon. Member for Livingstone (Mr Sikota), dichotomous existence is the nature of developing countries. We have differentials between urban and rural, the elites and the masses and so on and so forth, but a Government which is committed to focusing on the welfare of the people will be able to address the dichotomies as identified by the hon. Member for Livingstone as he was quoting Charles Dickens. It is very clear and you can go any where in the developing world, that we have what is called the best of both worlds which is a character of developing countries.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa:  Dichotomous situation can be solved by focusing on what the people need and by focusing on the welfare of the people. It is in that context that this Government is focusing on addressing the problems of those in rural areas, peri-urban areas and those in the urban areas as part and parcel of addressing the welfare of the people and ensuring that the gaps and differences in the lives of our people are bridged and addressed. This is commitment to selfless service which this Government is about.

Mr Speaker, no wonder that among hon. Members to your left have indeed, acknowledged that the policies of this Government are policies which are in the best interest of our people.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Sir, this Government is committed to serving the people. This is a clear indication of what we are as Government as opposed to those who are or were concerned about personal aggrandisement.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Sir, this is very clear. We are more concerned with selfless service to the people and we are committed to serving the people of Zambia equitably.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order! Let me guide the House just a bit. Hon. Members, if you wish, you are professional politicians.


Mr Speaker: As such, you should use professional terminology in this House. I shall guide on certain things because they are many.

When a Member appreciates the debate of another hon. Member as I have said this before, you indicate that appreciation by saying, “Hear, hear!” That is well known. But if you do not appreciate what the hon. Member is saying, you say “Question” not “Questionable”.


Mr Speaker: The two words do not mean the same thing. No! “Question” does not mean “Questionable” or vice versa. Do not use the word “Temporal” when you mean “Temporally”. There are two different words. They have a common route in Latin, but they mean something different. Do not say “I retaliate what I have said before…


Mr Speaker:…when you mean “Reiterate”. The two words do not mean the same. We can go on and on like that. I know we are not born English speaking, but the fact is constitutionally, we must express ourselves in this language and we should do so in such a way that those who are listening to us understand what we mean. They should not guess what they think we mean. That can cause ambiguity or even equivocation and that increase problems in the minds of the people. I summarise, if you agree with what the other hon. Member is saying, say “Hear, hear!” If you disagree, you say “Question”.

Any further debate? Where are the Cabinet Members? This is their time to debate because we do not have much time, you have to answer.

The Minister of Science, Technology and Vocation Training (Mr Daka): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for this opportunity to speak on the Motion of Thanks.

Mr Speaker, the President’s Speech has gone a long way in confirming that the MMD is a listening Government.

Hon. Government: Hear, hear!

Mr Daka: Throughout the speech, one sees and hears how dedicated the Mwanawasa Administration is in making this country a better place to live in by listening to the people. From constitutionalism to the most basic of our people’s needs, this Government continues to deliver. Worth singling out, is Government intervention in the mining sector, which is very much in line with what our people have demanded. We are in Government to serve and protect the interests of our people and we will continue to do so with vigour and diligence.

Mr Speaker, let me at this point focus on the issue of science and technology. Government is taking science and technology seriously. In taking science and technology seriously, we need a total attitude change to how we view the role and place of science and technology in our national development agenda. The change I am taking about must start from our homes. We live in an environment where our sons and daughters as they grow are constantly being encouraged to become accountants, economists and lawyers.


Mr Daka: While there is no harm in our children pursuing careers in these noble professions, we need to start encouraging our children to take up careers as engineers and scientists.

Whereas, we are doing reasonably well on the development of professionals in areas like accounting, we are falling short on our national demand for engineers and scientists both of who are extremely critical in national development. To begin to change attitudes towards science, we need to start with our children. We need to focus on changing the attitude of children towards science and technology.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Daka: Mr Speaker our children must be encouraged to take up science and mathematics and made to believe in their abilities to excel in these subjects. Unless we tap this potential while they are tender, it will be increasingly difficult to convince them to take on science and technology later in life. This also entails changing the way we teach science in our schools.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Daka: I am cognisant of the fact that laboratories in some schools are but mere classrooms with large desks but this should not deter us from encouraging our students.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Daka: As we address the issue of quality of laboratories in schools, we should not just stay put. Science is in our everyday life, some things we see some we do not. We should focus on creating a learning environment where exploring the surrounding, nature and everyday life are a constant theme inculcated in our children. We need to tell our children that science is about discovery thereby exciting children. We need to teach them to explore and challenge issues at an early age so that as they grow they will not find themselves intimidated by the many challenges they meet in pursuit of understanding what science brings.

We further need to focus on encouraging our daughters to take up careers in science and technology. We need more women to take up science and technology. We tend to be comfortable directing females away from science and mathematics subjects. Our intentions as parents and guardians may sometimes be noble but the approach is wrong. We must believe in the ability of female children in the same way we have confidence in our male children on their capacity to tackle science and technology. We must focus on producing a cadre of scientists and engineers to play a critical role in the advancement of  technological capacity.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Daka: Mr Speaker, another area of concern is the issue of scientists retiring at the age of fifty-five.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Daka: We have had a culture where scientists retire like accountants or office managers. The value of scientists cannot be restricted to fifty-five years of age.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Daka: To me scientists are like wines, they get better with age.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Daka: Furthermore, the very nature of science is that the more experiments you undertake and participate in, the more proficient you become. One may argue that they too like other professionals are entitled to retire at the age of fifty-five. I have my doubts that a dedicated scientist operating in a reasonable research environment can decide to change paths, and continue to work even after the age of fifty-five.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Daka: I feel giving contracts to those who wish to continue researching would do this nation a lot of good.

Sir, we critically need the scientists we have now so that as we develop, they will be models to those who are now developing and seeking to develop. We need our old scientists to continue assisting us develop new technologies relevant to our development.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Hammer!

Mr Daka: The world is changing everyday. The planet we live in is changing everyday. We have to find solutions today for tomorrow’s problems.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Daka: Mr Speaker, when we talk of climate change, what are we saying? We need mitigating factors for science and technology to curb these changes.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Daka: This world cannot go on without technological innovations. Unless our scientists begin to undertake research that is directly addressing local problems, science will remain an issue that many people view merely as an abstract. We will make policies that direct scientists towards addressing issues such as the diseases that are ravaging on our people and our animals.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Daka: We will also ensure that technological innovations are about addressing the challenges that our people face in their day-to-day life. Through such practical applications of science and technology, we will make our people see science and technology as a way of life rather than a distant abstract.

Sir, what we see today is very interesting. We have floods all over the country and all over the world. What answers do we have for these floods? I have always said that my ministry is crosscutting. Crosscutting in the sense that if you look at human resource, you will find that we have 320,000 Grade 12 school leavers. The public and private institutions today only absorb 14,000,  where do the rest go to?

We talk about empowering the youth,  how do we empower them without a profession? We have to empower them with a skill. I believe that half of the Members in this Parliament have been to Evelyn Hone College, Nortec, Luanshya Trades or University of Zambia. That is the empowerment we are talking about.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Daka: If they do not pass through these institutions, then they are not empowered. We are talking about empowerment. I must emphasise this point.

For example, most of the former Zambia Airways employees graduated from Zambia Air Services Training Institute (ZASTI). ZASTI was under Vocational Training Department, which is part of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training.

Today, we are encouraging private sectors to participate in training people that have finished school. We do not want a situation whereby one graduates from Evelyn Hone College and later is sent back for a refresher course, and yet you can bring your inputs into these colleges so that one is equipped as he/she goes out once and for all.

Mr Speaker, thirty-nine students graduated from Solwezi Trades and all of them were taken by Lumwana and Kansanshi mines.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Daka: What I am saying is that the industry out there must participate in Government’s effort in training the people they require in their industries.

I will borrow a terminology which my colleague and Minister mentioned and this is “sine qua non.” Sine qua non means that which is not there.

Dr Scott: Sine qua non!

Mr Daka: Yes, sine qua non. Guy Scot, go back to school! Sine qua non means that without it, it is not there. With it, it is there.


Mr Daka: How do you know that Peter Daka is a man, you will look at my beard.


Mr Daka: That is sine qua non!


Mr Daka: Mr Speaker, I need your protection.


Mr Speaker: Order! Order The hon. Minister will stick to his speech. Stay within the written text.


Mr Speaker: Stay within the written text.


Mr Daka: Mr Speaker, I thank you.

The problem that we face with scientific advance is fear of the unknown. Fear often leads to rejection. Science is a topic which can cause people to turn off their brains. In the past, science and old discoveries were based directly on our human sense for example.

When Galileo developed a telescope, the wonders of skies were fully illuminated for humans to extend their capabilities of visual system. Scientists have continued to extend our own vision to glimpse of distances of galaxies to our naked eye.

Mr Speaker, microscopes have helped us to see into the inner world of biology, first the cells and the molecules and all taking us beyond physiological capabilities.

Mr Speaker, I have forty-six chromosomes, twenty-three from my mother and another twenty-three from my father. This is what science says. Science says that those chromosomes help you to develop into things that you are.


Mr Daka: Our ability to see, hear, smell, taste and feel the world around us and how wonderful is evolution developing upon us which we base our daily derives. We can recognise and respond to minor facial differences in a 6.5 billion of us on earth today. What I am trying to say is what Hon. Imbwae was saying yesterday. If I had a way, I would borrow her speech and make it as my own. We should develop means and ways to reduce on dependence on chemical issues and chemical usage.

Mr Speaker, on the chromosomes, I was saying that when I know my genes, I am able to take certain things. If I take four cups of coffee that four cups of coffee will cause me have heart attacks at 64 per cent. If I take two cups of coffee, the percentage is much lesser.


Mr Daka: Therefore, I am asking you hon. Members to go back to your books and read then you will find out. For me, I have developed to understand these things at a later stage, but I am encouraging you to go back home and encourage our children to take up science subjects so that they know themselves better.

Mr Speaker, our planet is in a crisis.  We need to mobilise our intellectual forces to serve it. One solution will rely in building a scientifically liberated society in order to survive. To begin the process of change, we need to start with our children by teaching them in place of modernisation. To explore challenge and problem solving in an attempt to understand the world around us and most especially, the world they cannot see or feel directly. Perhaps, with a lot of change in the way we teach science in schools, many students will continue to rely on solving facts about the state of our science and maths education, both in Zambia and Africa as a whole. While we compare with good information in previous years, many show that countries like Singapore, Taiwan and Japan …

Mr Lubinda: Yasoba pegi.

Mr Daka: … have continued to industrialise. That industrialisation has come with a lot of permission. How much we may develop bio-fuels, we will not match the industrialisation that is going on on earth today. With …


Mr Daka: On the complex of modern life we can change a lot of things. One solution could be new methods to motivate students particularly girls in science, exposing science education to twelve and thirteen and develop mobile research laboratories.

I think I have exhausted the subject, Sir, I thank you.


The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mrs Masebo): Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to add my voice on the Motion of Thanks.

Hon. Government Member: Hammer!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, indeed, His Excellency did articulate what this Government has done and going by the responses that came from both your right hand side and left hand side, it was clear that what the New Deal Government is doing is being appreciated not only by the people of Zambia, but also by the Members of Parliament.

Mr Lubinda: Some!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, under the local Government portfolio, His Excellency did allude to the housing bonds programme which our Government has embarked on. As you are aware, Your Excellency …


Hon. Opposition Member: Mr Speaker and not Your Excellency!

Mrs Masebo: As you are aware, Mr Speaker, this country has a deficit in housing of over 1.5 million. This obviously is of great concern to this Administration. In order to address this shortfall, the New Deal Administration has come up with a programme of municipal housing bonds. This is a concept to try and raise funds from the capital market which funds are long term and cheaper than borrowing from the banks so that through the capital markets we can raise money to build houses.

Mr Speaker, I am happy to say that the special purpose vehicle that was created to implement this programme is in place and a lot of work has been done. I will later be coming to the House, Mr Speaker, with a Ministerial Statement to give details of what has so far been achieved and, of course, to announce when the first municipal bond will be issued by the special purpose vehicle on behalf of the local authorities. As hon. Members will recall, the SPV is supposed to implement programmes in five pilot districts namely; Lusaka, Livingstone, Kitwe, Chipata and Solwezi. This programme is expected to be extended or rolled over to the other seventy-two remaining districts in Zambia, once the first issuance of the municipal bonds has been successfully launched. This is in an effort to bridge the gap which is huge and which as a Government we realised that we cannot manage to raise money just from the treasury and even just to borrow directly from the banks because of the high interest rates.

Mr Speaker, on the same subject, we have also as a Government through my ministry embarked on a project that we are calling 100 houses in each of the seventy-two districts which is currently being implemented by various district councils.

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

Mrs Masebo: The seventy-two districts council were asked to find land which should be demarcated specifically and as a minimum set aside a 100 pieces of land for construction of low and medium houses. This was also a deliberate move just to get the councils to begin building on capacity because as you are aware after the houses were sold, there has been no construction of houses by Municipal Councils and there has been nothing much that has been done in the area of house construction. This programme is not restricted to local authorities, but local authorities are being encouraged to partner with the private sector or with any individual in terms of constructing houses. What we require are houses. It does not matter who delivers the houses, but the local authorities have been encouraged to find this land and I am happy to report that in fact, almost all the local authorities have set aside land for construction of these medium and low cost houses. I would like to encourage the Members of Parliament to use their gratuities to construct, at least, one house in a constituency to help bridge the gap.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: The other programme, Mr Speaker, which is being implemented in bridging the gap for housing, is the housing programme under the National Housing Authority (NHA). As hon. Members are aware NHA has the mandate to construct houses nationally and these are low, medium and high cost houses. The Government has instructed the NHA to deliberately try to invest more in low cost houses because we seem to have a bigger gap in that category.

Mr Speaker, His Excellency talked about the issue of integrated development plans which we will ensure to update. As hon. Members are aware we still have some districts, for example, Shang’ombo District which was created in 1995 ...

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: … and since its establishment there has been no formal plan that has been developed. This means that the development in Shang’ombo is being done in a haphazard manner. It is the same for a district like Solwezi. What we now want to do is to ensure that those districts that have never had a formal development plan adopted, have a formal integrated development plan which can shape the developments that are taking place in the respective districts.

To this effect, I am happy to say that, in fact, in the 2007 Budget, we released K150 million to about eighteen district councils in the country to help them update their development plans and where there was none, to come up with totally new development plans. As a ministry, we are aware that the capacity may not be there. So what we are trying to do in order to help the local authorities is to encourage them to engage private planners to partner with the local planners so that the work can be spade up so that we can have development plans for respective districts. As you are aware, we are updating the old plans of cities like Lusaka through the support of our co-operating partners. We are updating the old plan which somebody was asking about and what happened to it and this is the Deskedus plan …

Mr Lubinda: Doxiadis.

Mrs Masebo: The Doxiadis plan. Thank you, Minister Lubinda. Ooh, hon. Lubinda …


Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, I was saying that the Lusaka plan is being updated through the support of our co-operating partners. To this effect, it means that through the updating of this plan, we will see a re-planning of the unplanned settlements which have been authorised to be legalised. That is the policy that Government has taken. We will be looking at all the unplanned settlements in the various cities and towns and we have asked the local authorities to identify those settlements which respective authorities think can be updated, legalised and upgraded. To that effect, I am happy to say that we are beginning various programmes of upgrading slums, not only in Lusaka, but in other towns in the country as well.

Mr Speaker, this programme costs a lot of money because what is involved is putting roads, water, play parks and other social facilities in places where they are not there. I am, however, glad to say that we have started the programme and hope that when we begin to demand for more resources as a ministry, I hope that all our colleagues from both the right and left will appreciate why it is important to improve on our budget.

Mr Speaker, another issue which was raised in the Presidential Speech is decentralisation. I note that some of my colleagues here did raise this issue. The President talked about this subject even though at times he did not specifically use the word ‘decentralisation’. As a result, I noticed that a number of colleagues continued to say that the policy is not being implemented or that if it is being implemented, it is being done slowly. They were asking what is happening and so on. I thought that I could use this opportunity to say to my colleagues that this Government is committed to the decentralisation policy.

To that effect, a number of activities have or are being implemented in some cases, therefore, there will not be a fun-fair or a big event to signify that the decentralisation policy is being implemented. It is a fact that in the 2007 Budget, all the grants that were budgeted for were fully released. The amounts are huge compared to the past years. They are not enough but it can be seen that this Government has truly and steadily increased allocations in terms of grants to local authorities. This is why it has been possible for the Government to ensure that all the districts in Zambia will have a vehicle in each constituency …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: … to help them deliver services to the communities. Even in areas like Samfya and Siavonga where there are lakes, as Government we have tried to ensure that we purchase boats for the people so that they are able to do patrols, for example, on Lake Kariba which they are not doing at the moment. Their counterparts in Zimbabwe are able to patrol while the Zambians are just spectators. Even when there are problems there is nothing that can be done. As Government, this time around we have tried from the 2007 Budget to actually purchase boats for at least fifteen to sixteen councils or districts that have waters within their districts.

Mr Speaker, you will also note that we have constantly received support from our co-operating partners in the area of building both institutional and human capacities at the local level. That is an activity of decentralisation which is about ensuring that you build capacities so that even as lower organs are given powers and extra resources, they are able to use them in a manner that will deliver goods and services efficiently.

Mr Speaker, yes,  in some cases we are moving slowly because the issue of giving more resources to the districts is crucial, especially when accountability has not yet been developed. There are issues relating to Medium Term Expenditure Framework and the activity-based budget which needs to be rolled to the districts. There are issues of structures and sub-structures that have to be developed at the district level. All these issues need to be taken to the district level by making the people at this level understand, develop and build capacity. It is not an issue whereby you just wake up one morning and say that you are giving the districts money and power and therefore, they are autonomous and think that is decentralisation. That can even be more destructive to the Government and resources for the development of this country and so we have to move very slowly and cautiously. I just want to underscore the point that this Government is committed to the policy of decentralisation because in any case, there is no way out.

Mr Speaker, I also want to say that this year the ministry will bring a Bill to amend the Local Government Act. When this Bill comes, some of the issues that people are bringing – when they see us trying to do something, they say something like, ‘but you said that you are decentralising, how come you are now talking about, for example, the establishment of the Local Government Service Commission’. The fact that we are decentralising does not mean that the Central Government will become a spectator. It is only the Central Government that has been mandated by the people of Zambia to run this country and be answerable five years down the line …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: As Central Government we have various organs that we shall use to implement development. We shall use the private sector, Non-Government Organisations (NGOs), and local and provincial Government. This does not mean that when we work with the donors or NGOs, for example, we have now abrogated our functions. We will intervene where we see that the system is not working well, for example in a case where the power to employ and fire by the local authorities has been abused to the extent that we have seen officers who are not qualified being employed even when the rules are very clear. We have seen nepotism and tribalism.

 When somebody from the east is sent to north, the people in the north will say we want our fellow Bemba. When somebody from the north is sent to the south they will say we want a local person. This has brought tribalism and we want to kill it by coming up with the Local Government Service Commission that will be tribal blind and that will move officers from Ndola to Shang’ombo, from Shang’ombo to Lusaka and from Lusaka to Mansa.

Hon. Members: Chongwe.

Mrs Masebo: Yes, indeed, from Chongwe to Chinsali and from Chinsali to Chongwe.

Mr Speaker, this Administration will from time to time come up with legislation or bills to try and help the operations of councils. When we do that, people should not say what about decentralisation because this simply means sharing power from the centre to the various organs or levels of Government. Decentralisation is a form of privatization and therefore, there are various forms and we shall come up with different forms to suit our culture and the situation in the country. It does not mean that since we are decentralised, then we become blind, no. Where there is a problem we will make a reverse, but the policy still stands.

Mr Speaker, the creation of the Local Government Service Commission does not mean that the centre is taking powers from the local governments. Local governments at the local level will continue employing junior officers. We do not want compromise because we have seen that officers are compromised and they have no security of tenure of office because they are at the mess of the councillors. Mr Speaker, for the good administration of the council, we need that and I would like the hon. Members both on the right and left to support this Government in that area.

Mr Speaker, on the issue of constitutionalism it does not mean that the Government must stop moving. People ask why certain things are being done when we are at the National Constitutional Conference (NCC). It does not mean that when you go to the NCC, the Government stops working. We shall continue working until we finalise the constitution, at that stage whatever will come out from the constitution, is of course, what will shape the way Government will look after its people.

Mr Speaker, the President alluded to the issue of water supply and sanitation which is cardinal. I would like to say this especially that on Friday, 25th January, 2008, we will be listening to the Budget Address.

Mr Speaker, this Government is putting in more money on education and health which many people are crying for. Sir, it is important for the public to begin to understand the determinacy of health and focus on that. One key of the determinacy of health is water. Where you have no water, children cannot go to school and where you have poor water people would be sick, therefore, do you want to be spending money on drugs or preventive measures?

Mr Speaker, I would like to say that this Administration has come up with the water supply and sanitation programme for rural areas first not because they are the ones who voted, but that this is where the majority of the people are and that is where the biggest problem is. From there, we shall move to the urban areas to develop an urban programme for water supply and sanitation.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Apart from that, we are looking at the institutional set up of various provincial utilities and I am happy to say that for Lusaka, the councilors, especially Members of Parliament who are here who were trying to derail Government’s programmes but finally, we are moving in the same direction. The Lusaka Provincial Water Utility will come into effect on 1st February, 2008. This means that Chongwe, Kafue, Luangwa and Lusaka will be under the Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company so that the resources are shared because we need to serve the whole country and not special towns. Lusaka is not special but it is as special as Chongwe and Chongwe is as special as Mansa and Shang’ombo.

Mr Speaker, we must, therefore, start looking out for all the people of Zambia and not just one town. To this effect, I am happy to announce that as of now, ten utility companies have been formed in the country. We have finished the institutional arrangements on the Copperbelt in terms of urban water supply and sanitation and I am happy that even there, I had problems with the Members of Parliament, but along the way, they came forward. It is good that even where we had problems, we jumped the bridge and the hon. Members of Parliament were able to see sense in the direction of Government in terms of water supply and sanitation.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours to 1630 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

The Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources (Mr Kaingu): Mr Speaker, let me adopt Hon. Professor Lungwangwa’s speech as my own. Before I proceed, I want to put it on record that 2007 was a terrible year for me in my corporate life. I did not imagine that I would come to this House and find the characters that I found here.

Mr Speaker: Order! That is unparliamentary. May the hon. Member withdraw the word ‘characters’.

Mr Kaingu: Thank you, Sir, I will replace it with uncooperative.

Sir, this House is supposed to be for gentlemen and ladies, but it looks like even riff roughs with money can come.


Mr Speaker: Order! The word ‘riff roughs’ is unparliamentary. The hon. Minister will withdraw it.

Mr Kaingu: I withdraw it and replace it with the word ‘undesirable’.

Mr Speaker, let me come to my ministry, Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources. Sir, worldwide tourism is growing by leaps and bounds. In fact, it is contributing at 10 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product and it is growing at 8 per cent. Here at home, tourism is growing steadily at 5 per cent and is contributing to GDP at 2.5 per cent.

Let me put tourism in investment and marketing. I will start with investment. What we have done with investment is that we have put six zones. Zone 1 is Livingstone and Victoria Falls, Zone 2 is in the northern circuit which is Luapula and Northern Province, Zone 3 is Kafue National Park, Zone 4 is Lower Zambezi, Zone 5 is Lusaka province and Zone 6 is Mfuwe or South Luangwa.

Mr Speaker, I want to make an appeal to my fellow Members of Parliament that they should make an effort to go to these zones and acquire land because we are going to advertise these zones for investors and when we say investors, we do not necessarily mean people with long pointed nose. We mean anybody who can afford to invest in tourism. In fact, if there is one sector that can alleviate poverty, it is tourism. You have seen that even people who have been retrenched or laid-off from their jobs have bought three-bedroom houses and before you even know it, they have expanded to five or six rooms.

My only problem with investment in tourism is with the banks. I have been talking to the banks and I have talked to the Bank of Zambia Governor, and maybe the little that you have seen in the change of the interest rates is my effort. I have been talking to the Governor that our banks are not investing in Zambia. The 21 per cent, going by what Hon. Matongo said, I totally agree with him that 21 per cent interest rate is too high for investment. You cannot start anything from the greens to completion with 21 per cent because by the time you complete, they will take the property from you. The other problem that we have is that the repayment period is too short. Most banks just give about three to five years maximum for you to repay the loan. If you borrow substantially, there is no way you can pay the loan within three years.

In fact, what is happening is that they are favouring people who are trading, those who go to Dubai to buy merchandise for sell when there is nothing for capital investment. The banks do not seem to support this.

Mr Speaker, on account of time, let me move to marketing, we are seriously marketing Zambia and the opportunities that we have as Zambians are the Zambians themselves. They are a product that is very easy to market because wherever you go, people talk about the smiles of Zambians. We are going to Europe in a big way and we are translating our marketing languages materials into the languages found in Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom so that we can seriously market Zambia there. However, we are also marketing to you because we want domestic markets.

Let me come to global warming and climate change which most people would want to know about. I will ask the hon. Members to read the APU document which has been circulated to them. What is climate change? Climate change is caused by global warming. What is global warming? Global warming is caused by what we call green house gasses. How do we get these green house gasses? It is not like what Hon. Kambwili was saying about just one smoking jalopy. We are talking about serious emitters of gasses in the air.

What happens with global warming is that if carbon dioxide is emitted, it disturbs the ozone layer which has three atoms of oxygen. This makes the ozone layer thin, thereby, causing rays from the sun to heat and penetrate the earth on a particular area.

The area that is heated attracts cold air from other places and that area where the air is going will have serious rains and floods, whereas the area where the air is coming from will be dry causing serious droughts. That is what we call global warming.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, climate change is caused by global warming. What that means is that seasons become severe. When it rains, it pours and when it is cold, it is really cold and you have unpredictable weather patterns. You have short seasons and long seasons. We have ended up with what we call the effects of climate change. How do we fight the effects of climate change? We have the two words - adaptation and mitigation.

Mr Speaker, adaptation is really what should concern us because mitigation is for the developed nations like America which are emitting more gasses in the air. We had to work very hard in Bari to convince America to be party to the Kyoto Protocol that develops Clean Development Mechanism. For us in Africa and Zambia in particular, ours is adaptation because we can see the effects of climate change. Climate change today affects the economy, investment and development. You can see our bridges being washed away, our people are being displaced with nowhere to go. There are floods, there is no clean water and there is malaria everywhere. These are the effects of climate change.

It is in this vein that we are working very hard as a ministry to have the effects of climate change mitigated. We have come up with the National Adaptation Programme of Action which will be circulated to all the hon. Members of Parliament so that you can read for yourselves what we are doing as a ministry.

And while we were in Bhali, we convinced the developed world to give us the adaptation fund because we cannot fight the effects of climate change because it is a new phenomenon for which we neither have the capacity nor the technology and finance. Therefore, when this funding comes, we will still come back to this House to talk to the hon. Members of Parliament and tell them how they can access this fund.

Mr Speaker, I do not want to bore those people who do not understand what I am talking about.

With these few words, I thank you.


The Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development (Mr Namulambe): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Motion of Thanks.

The speech by the President gives much hope for the development of sport in this country. Mr Speaker, just to assure some people who doubt the efficiency of this Government, I want to assure them that in trying to promote sport in this country, we have established the District Sports Advisory Committees in each district. The aim of these committees is to organise district sports festivals because we know that sport is very important as it can act as a unifying factor. For instance, today, people are happy because Zambia beat Sudan and regardless of our political affiliation, we are all happy as a nation because our footballers have done us proud.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Namulambe: Therefore, there is unity in the nation and I am hoping that on Saturday we are going to beat Cameroon

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Member: Three zero!

Mr Namulambe: … and I want to appeal to all the Zambians and the corporate world to support our national team so that we are able to move to the next round.

Mr Speaker, sport is also important in that it can also be used as a poverty reduction tool. For instance on 21st December, 2007, our young boxer, Esther Phiri, had earned herself K150 million in sixteen minutes.

This means that if people can be able to identify which sport discipline they are talented in then, they can be able to earn themselves some substantial amounts of money.

Mr Speaker, as I am speaking now, footballers who are in Ghana are earning allowances which will enable them help their families, therefore, we can see how sport can be used as a poverty reduction strategy.

Mr Speaker, Zambia is destined to host the 2011 All Africa Games and our focus is to identify talent in all the seventy-two districts of this country. It is for this reason that we are appealing to all hon. Members of Parliament to ensure that they sensitise their communities to participate in various sports disciplines. As a Government, we are going to provide sports equipment for the various sports disciplines that Zambia is to host.

Mr Speaker, after the district sports festivals, we are going to come up with the district teams for various sports disciplines. These are going to compete province by province so that we come up with provincial teams and it is from the provincial teams that we are going to form national teams for the various sports disciplines.

Mr Speaker, after these national teams are formed, we shall put them in one place, which we are going to term centre of excellence so as to sharpen the talents for the various sportsmen and women who are going to be identified. This will enable them to come and compete favourably with other sportsmen and women that are coming from other countries. It is our sincere hope that since these games are going to be held in Zambia, the country will be able to reap many medals because we are not going to incur costs in terms of airfares and so forth.

Mr Speaker, we are also committed to ensuring that we improve on sports infrastructure. So far, we are happy with the works that are going on at the Independence Stadium. We are going to modernise the stadium and people will be surprised because it will not be looking the way it is now, but will be more or less like a new stadium that is going to be put up here in Lusaka.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, we are also going to improve upon other sports infrastructure for other sports disciplines in Lusaka because these events will be hosted here.

Mr Speaker, we shall go a step further to ensure that in each district, we improve upon a sports centre which is going to meet the standards and requirements of the International Olympics Committee. This will enable people who are going to be identified not to get lost when they come to these infrastructures that are going to be here in Lusaka. Mr Speaker, we are, therefore, committed to ensuring that these infrastructures are in good shape. We are also appealing to the corporate world to come on board and partner with the Government so that we improve our sports infrastructure.

Mr Speaker, the issue of child development and youth development is very cardinal. Time and again, people have said children are the future leaders of tomorrow without putting in practice what is being said. However, His Excellency, the President of this Republic has demonstrated by ensuring that the youths are also put in positions of responsibility.

To begin with, the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) has recognised the efforts of the young people. For instance, a week ago I was appointed National Trustee for the MMD. Looking at my age, this demonstrates how this Government is committed to ensuring that young people are also put in higher positions so that they contribute effectively to the economic development of this nation.

Mr Speaker, we are also looking at making use of the vulnerable youths. These are the people whom we feel cannot do much in this nation. We also took on board, the street kids. When this programme started, some people objected the idea because they thought that these boys were going to be trained as military personnel. To the contrary, just a week ago, we sent some people to Chiwoko to see how these boys have improved. Today, people cannot believe that these boys were once on the streets and had nothing to do. They are able to do things much better than the people who are able bodied, and who have been to schools and are living in better homes. Therefore, it is our considered view to ensure that we continue to give the survival skills to the vulnerable youths.

In addition to that, this Government is determined to ensuring that we build one youth skills centre in each district. Mr Speaker, last year, we managed to build four and this year, we are going to build five. The idea is that some of our youths who are not able to go into colleges and higher learning institutions such as Evelyn Hone College, Lusaka Trades and the University of Zambia can be able to do something. As Government, we have considered them and we are going to equip them with necessary skills to enable them contribute effectively to the economic development of this nation.

Sir, we shall also ensure that we toughen the laws to protect the children so that the child defilers are dealt with.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Namulambe: Sir, it is also my considered view that as hon. Members tour their constituencies, one of their responsibilities must be to try to sensitise people to refrain from defiling children.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, if we defile these children, we are ruining them. As honourable people, we have the responsibility to sensitise our communities. We are supposed to participate in these issues and my ministry is committed to ensuring that we provide the necessary information to all the hon. Members.

Mr Speaker, I have realised that some of the hon. Members have never seen both the National Youth Policy and the Child Policy, therefore, we are making efforts to distribute copies of the same to all hon. Members so that they can help to explain the youth and child policies to the people in their respective constituencies. The issue of explaining these policies should not just be a responsibility of Government, all of us have a role to play in trying to make the lives of our people better.

Mr Speaker, it is my sincere appeal to hon. Members to study these polices well so that they are able to inform the people in their respective constituencies.

Sir, as regards the distribution of sports equipment, my ministry will come up with a programme to distribute sports equipment in the respective districts according to the festivals that will be held. My appeal therefore, is for hon. Members to remain calm and wait for this equipment to be taken to their respective constituencies. Mr Speaker, hon. Members should liaise with the District Commissioners…


Mr Namulambe: … who are the Government representatives at district level because all the constituencies are in districts. In each district, there are people who superintend and it is incumbent upon the hon. Members to liaise with the District Commissioners who will coordinate with the District Advisory Coordinating Committees. We are doing this because there are people who come to the ministry to get the sports equipment and lie to the people that it is them who have bought. That is not fair because it is this Government which is providing for its people.  

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Namulambe: Sir, it is for this reason that transparence is needed and we shall ensure that we only work through the District Commissioners.

Mr Speaker: Order! The word, ‘lie’ is unparliamentary.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, I withdraw the word.

Sir, I was saying that there are some people who pretend that they have bought the sports equipment and yet they get it from the ministry and so, we shall ensure that we work within the existing Government structures. Even those hon. Members of Parliament who want this equipment should go to their respective districts because even the District Councils where they are members are going to be involved.

Mr Speaker, I thought I should make this point clear because we shall not attend to individual hon. Members when distributing sports equipment, we want to work with the committees that will be put in place.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kanyanyamina (Kanchibiya): Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Motion of Thanks. To begin with, I would like to concur with the President of this country, Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, for giving us a very able Vice-President who is not politicising the relief food in the country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kanyanyamina: Sir, I would like to say that I knocked at the door of His Honour the Vice President on behalf of the people of Kanchibiya to request for relief food and to complain about the bad roads when we experienced floods in the area. He gave us enough food and at the moment, there is no outcry in the constituency unless otherwise. We were very ready.

Ms Mumbi: Ni UNIP!

Mr Kanyanyamina: Mr Speaker, the President talked about service delivery to the electorate out there regardless of the party they belong to. Sir, in this regard, I would like to congratulate our Provincial Minister, Mr Lameck Chibombamilimo on trying to bring all the hon. Members of Parliament of the province together.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kanyanyamina: Mr Speaker, he is indeed, a son of God. At the same time, I would like to register my disappointment towards the hon. Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development because the day the President gave his Presidential Speech in this House, during the Speaker’s Reception, I went to him jokingly asking for some footballs and he told me that since I was not attending National Constitutional Conference (NCC), he was not going to give me any ball.


Mr Kanyanyamina: Mr Speaker, in my reply, I told him that it was for the good of his people and that I was only a representative of the people in this House. Mr Speaker, I humbly appeal to this House that we refrain from antagonising each other over the NCC because this …

Ms Mumbi: Hear, hear!

Mr Kanyanyamina: …country knows democracy. Those people who went to NCC did not do anything wrong. After all, we have entrusted them with the responsibility of coming out with a very nice constitution. To those of us who did not go, we have done nothing wrong because we believe in corrective responsibility. Our party said, “do not go” and for that reason, we did not go.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kanyanyamina: Sir, this is the trend we have taken even in this House as we vote on an issue. I have noticed that most of the time we go to vote, we do it on party lines. Each time we vote the Government benches would like to outdo the Opposition and vise versa. At one time, they even voted against the Speaker’s Committee when it gave recommendations on the NCC, therefore, no one is to blame. Let us unit and bring Zambia forward.


Mr Kanyanyamina: Mr Speaker, I cannot leave the President’s Speech unchallenged. To begin with, I would like to talk on a point where he talked of good governance and justice. How can we sustain this when for example, in Northern Province, we do not have a lawyer.


Mr Kanyanyamina:  Northern Province is one of the biggest provinces in Zambia and there is no lawyer in the province. Mr Speaker, the prison at Mpika was meant for forty inmates but currently, the prison is overcrowded because it has more than 200 inmates and feeding these people is a struggle. In the name of justice, we would like to appeal to the hon. Minister to see that these people, even if they are in prison, they have food or else, we are just being unfair to some who found themselves in that situation.

Mr Speaker, I would like to talk about corruption. In English we say, “you cannot bit a finger that fed you when you were young.” This is the same with the Anti-Corruption Institution. If we are to sustain, fulfill and fight corruption, the Government should not be the appointing authority of the staff in the institution. We must find a very independent body and give it autonomous operations or else, it is a joke.

Mr Speaker, I tended to laugh when the President talked about improving the services to the rural community. Sir, our people in rural areas, today, are suffering. I am sure that all hon. Members coming from rural areas like Nyimba, Kanchibiya and Shangombo have the same cry. It is pathetic to see our people walking. Our dear mothers walk long distances while pregnant and sometimes delivering babies under trees with no health services.

Sir, as I speak, Chiunda Ponde, is completely cut off from Mpika Town since last year because of the bad roads. I am sure that His Honour the Vice President with his Disaster Management Unit will try here and there but that body is too small to manage relief. The Road Development Agency (RDA) should have more impact on the rural areas, but  looking at the graduates that we have in RDA, who I commend, I would like to call on the hon. Minister involved to encourage them to have more impact on the rural areas.

Chiunda Ponde Road is completely cut off and we do not know if we have to call Jesus to come and save this world.


Mr Imasiku: Blasphemy.

Mr Kanyanyamina: Mr Speaker, when we talk of improving the infrastructure, rural areas must also get a share. After all, 75 per cent of the Zambian people, admittedly, live in the rural circles and only a few live in the cities because Zambia is not only the cities. Kindly come and work on the road to Chiunda Ponde which has never been worked on since independence. This is a scandal.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Kanyanyamina:  Mr Speaker, we were talking of this Government inheriting a debt-trap and being rescued from it. I do not think it is this Government that saved Zambia from the debt-trap, but the international community, including the churches, which some people, who lack appreciation, are rebuking in this House today .

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kanyanyamina: Mr Speaker, most of the hon. Members in this House, and most of the great men of this land went to mission schools. Even the famous and mighty Lozi Tribe who had the first school in their province had a mission school and as such the missionaries must be respected.

I am appealing for the unity of this country, and that we lay hands off the church.  If you run out of words, do not rebuke the church.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kanyanyamina: Mr Speaker, I would like to comment on the private sector development and the citizens empowerment. Sir, we are very far from a one-stop shop. What I mean by this, is that if some one would like to get a foreign and local permit to invest in the rural area, it is very difficult to acquire that permit. I will cite an example of a friend of mine who came from Germany and wanted to get a work permit. It took him one solid year just to get hold of the work permit, and yet, we are talking of opening up the rural areas to provide these services that are most needed because Lusaka is saturated with intellectuals.

Mr Speaker, we are saying let us encourage rural investment, but this is a person who has suffered for one solid year to get his permit. I would like to say that hon. Ministers involved must pull up their socks. The president is very serious about this issue but you are failing him, and that is why one day PF might take over.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Kanyanyamina:  Mr Speaker, I would like to comment on a very important issue of land accessibility.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kanyanyamina: I am not trying to be controversial on these matters. All I am saying is that hon. Ministers should pull up their socks and not fail our President at the moment because he is the man who is entrusted with power today. Do not have pride and think that we belong to you and that we owe you favours. No. You owe us favours so deliver for the flag you were given. The people of Zambia are waiting for you because you are the ambassadors of power and resources. Refrain from trivialising matters and be more objective.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Kanyanyamina: Mr Speaker, on the issue of land accessibility, the President meant well and for this, I would like to borrow the MMD phrase which says, “We mean well”.


Mr Kanyanyamina: On this, you have meant well. This is because for too long, it has been very difficult for a common man to access land, although chiefs and people like me, an hon. Member of Parliament easily accessed land because we matter in society. What about our common poor people that we are supposed to serve? God sent us to this world and to this House to serve the poorest people. If I, hon. Member for Kanchibiya, have to step on rich people’s toes for the sake of the poor, I am ready to give my life and blood for that.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kanyanyamina: Mr Speaker, I would like to comment on the natural resources. The President, admittedly, said that Zambia is blessed with natural resources, which is quite true. However, if you look at timber, it is mostly taken out of our country by cheap labour and exported outside, especially by the Chinese companies and some other companies.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Kanyanyamina: Sir, charcoal burning in our province is a chronic problem. For instance, from the Chinsali-Isoka area, you will see big bags of charcoal being taken to Tanzania, leaving the Zambian trees eroded. Late bush fires are another phenomenon. Hon. Minister wake up and see how you can provide a solution to this problem, than you moving up and down and saying ‘I am a Minister”…


Mr Kanyanyamina: …when the trees are being burnt because of late bush fires. If you wish, buy matches and send to the district and announce a day to officially launch the bush burning. We want to see you launch bush burning on television so that people can see what happens.


Mr Kanyanyamina: Little things like these can change our country. Solving small problems like these can also help to mitigate the impact of global warming which the able hon. Minister was preaching about in this House.

Mr Speaker, the protected forests are rapidly diminishing in this country. One wonders if we even have an hon. Minister in-charge of that. I am not underrating his efforts, but what I am saying is that he should kindly pull up his socks. We are here to help you. After all we are partners in governance.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kanyanyamina: Mr Speaker, I would like to comment on a very serious issue of rural electrification. The President said that less than 3 per cent of electricity reaches the rural community. That is correct. All the figures are given to the President, he knows this. It does not need to take a President to go to Chambeshi where there is the transformer that they sing about every day, but which is rotting. Perhaps I have to knock at the doors of State House to get the people of Chambeshi connected.

 Let me tell you one of the reasons why, we, rural people cannot get that cake of electricity. First of all, it is the high fees of connection. For Example, in Chambeshi, they are asking poor people from the village, who are selling mangoes for survival, to pay K40 million. Where will they get this money from?

I thank the hon. Minister for Local Government and Housing for giving us Constituency Development Funds (CDF) because, at least, this year, we can pay that amount and connect our people.

Mr Speaker, Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) tariffs are far from fetching. No one can afford to pay these. The issue of black-outs is one which I will leave to more competent men to talk about because I am not an engineer. However, what I am saying is that you should kindly reduce connection fees and ZESCO tariffs, so that the poorest people of this country, who vote for us as hon. Members of Parliament, and who make us walk away with a lot of money at the end should enjoy.


Mr Kanyanyamina:  Mr Speaker, in my final presentation, I would like to talk about more rural health centres being built in the country. This is true. We have seen this Government putting up structures, unfortunately, these structures are chronically under funded. The hard working medical personnel are trying their best even when the hospitals are under funded, starting from the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) to Chiunda Ponde Rural Health Centre in my constituency. They do not receive enough funds.

Secondly, structures are there, but if you go there you are only going there for recipe, because there are no drugs in the hospitals. What is the point of building more hospitals when you cannot consolidate what we already have in existence?

Mr Speaker, I would like to inform the Government that most of these rural health centres are manned by mere watch men who look after the infrastructure because we do not have trained man power.

You go to Kabinga Rural Health Centre, it is a scandal. This area has about thirty thousand inhabitants and yet, there is only a watch man who is there to administer medicines when available. I request the hon. Minister of Health, before I report him to the President of this country…


Mr Kanyanyamina:…to send trained personnel there.


Mr Kanyanyamina: Mr Speaker, I urge the hon. Minister of Health to start funding mission hospitals and if they are already doing that to increase the funding because mission hospitals assist a lot. The Church with its good ideas is being rebuked in this House today because people have a platform. Sir, mission hospitals need a lot of support from Government.

With these few remarks, Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC (Chasefu): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Motion of thanks. Mr Speaker, I will be very brief in my contribution to the debate.

Mr Speaker, like all hon. Members who have spoken before me, I would like to start by thanking His Excellency the President for a very good speech.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. K. B. Banda: Sir, the speech was good, clear thought provoking, refreshing and therefore, it is welcome.

Mr Speaker, in addition to this, the speech by His Excellency the President exhibited rare leadership qualities.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. K. B. Banda: It is rare in African that leaders take the responsibility to correct a wrong where a wrong has manifestly exhibited itself. The wrong I am talking about is the wrong relating to mineral tax. All of us are aware that Zambians have been calling for a review of the agreements that were entered into between the mining investors and the Government of Republic of Zambia. At one time, we got the impression that the Government had developed cold feet because the explanation that was coming from that side of the House, did not give us any hope. Fortunately, the speech by the President has given us the hope that we have all been waiting for.

Mr Speaker, having said that, I would like to state that with the introduction of the new fiscal and regulatory framework which the President announced is that soon or later, we expect the Treasury to have good income coming its way. That is welcome, but our worry is how we utilise the resources. I think Government needs to pull up its socks because the manner Government is managing the scarce resources in my view, leaves much to be desired. This is not the fault of the Ministers, but the fault of the Government structure because it is the civil servants who are given the power and most of the hon. Ministers have nothing by way of controlling what the controlling officers are doing.

Mr Speaker, for people who come from Eastern Province, they are really happy that for a change our Government is going to raise a lot of money in terms of revenue. We are happy because this time around, we hope the Great East Road – it is called the Great East Road, but in my view, it not Great East Road because the condition is deplorable. What is this Government going to do to the Great East Road? This Government knows that the Eastern Province is an economically viable province but what are you doing to improve the road infrastructure? I hope this time around, you will do something about the Great East Road.

Sir, not only that, the road between Chipata and Lundazi is no road to talk about. That road has suffered years and years of neglect. What is the MMD going to do? The people of Lundazi and the people Eastern Province are very good because they are giving you the vote, but please reciprocate. We expect you to raise sufficient funds internally to ensure that this road is re-surfaced completely.

Sir, I note that recently, tenders were advertised for patching of pot-holes. Mr Speaker, this Government has been patching pot-hole along the Chipata/Lundazi Road since fifteen years ago. For goodness sake, why can you not provide a long lasting solution because the solution lies in you raising sufficient money so that this road is attended to.

You see, we feel proud to be Zambians, but sometimes, we feel sorry to be Zambians because in a neighbouring country Malawi, we have very good roads and yet, the Malawi Government does not raise as much money as the Zambian Government does. The problem is management of the scarce resources.

Mr Speaker, not only are we complaining of the Chipata/Lundazi Road, there is also the Mfuwe/Chipata Road. Mfuwe is a very good tourist destination, but alas what is the condition of the road that leads to a first class tourist destination? The condition is deplorable. Are my hon. Colleagues on that side of the House not aware of the condition of this road? Should we kneel? I do not think hon. Members of Parliament should be kneeling. Mr Speaker, we are appealing to you that for once, give the Eastern Province the attention it deserves. We want to be proud Zambians, but at the rate we are going, we are beggining to have second thoughts. What is happening? What is wrong?

Mr Speaker, not only that. the President talked about the Chipata/Muchinji Railway line. This rail line is only 27 Km long and the MMD Government has only managed to lay a rail line of only about 13 kilometers. The MMD Government came into in 1991. Honestly, for all these years, can you be proud of laying a rail line of only 13 kilometers when your friends in Malawi accomplished this task a long time ago? What is wrong?

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

Mr C. K. B. Banda: Do we not need a rail line too? Should a rail line be the preserve of others only? My brothers my appeal to you, although I appreciate what you have done so far, is that the people in the Eastern Province should be looked at as people whose needs have to be attended to as well.

Mr D. Mwila: Hear, hear!

Mr C. K. B. Banda: It is not a proud record to lay a 13 kilometer railway line and to lay it it should take you more than 15 years. Honestly, we can do better. My appeal is that you have the capacity to do better, so, please, do better because the President wants you to do better.

Sir, the President in his good speech also referred to airstrips. Those who have been to Nyimba, is there an airstrip to be proud of in Nyimba? There is no airstrip to be proud of.

Sir, the one in Katete is in reasonable condition, but I remember during the campaigns, the Presidential ZAF plane was stuck. What are we doing to repair this infrastructure? I will not restrict myself to Katete only. What of the airstrip at Nyangwe in Chief Mwase’s Area? The President told this House that Government has done something. The only thing is that money has now been released and is lying in Chipata and nothing has been done to that airstrip because the truth is that the airstrip is overgrown with trees. So, you have done nothing to this airstrip. Mr Speaker, my appeal is that with availability of funds do something because you are on course except that implementation is lacking.

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

Mr C. K. B. Banda: Mr Speaker, I come from Lundazi and we have an airstrip there but its condition is nothing to ride home about. The same applies to Chama Airstrip. In short, most of the airstrips, if not all in Eastern Province deserve urgent attention by our Government.

My passionate appeal to the Government is that it takes a close look to our demands because we also want to benefit from the national cake. We are here to ensure that when the national cake is being distributed, you also give us something. We cannot always be scrounging around for remnants. Certain areas in this country have received a larger share of the national cake.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. K. B. Banda: This cannot be allowed.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. K. B. Banda: We need equitable distribution of scarce resources and that is the appeal I am making to this Government.

I agree that there are works going on at Chadiza District Hospital and we are grateful. However, while you are paying attention to Chadiza District Hospital, bear in mind that Katete District has no government hospital up to now and yet we have been independent for forty-two years.

Your good policy is that each district must have a government district hospital. It is about time you also thought about Katete. Katete is a district. As a matter of fact, I know that land was allocated for this project more than twelve years ago, why do you not pluck enough courage to find necessary funding so that the people of Katete can also be happy that their Government is thinking of them? That is a passionate appeal I am making to this seemingly hard working Government.

There is a lot that has to be said about the development in Eastern Province. Eastern Province has got rich agricultural land and our people are hard working. The problem we have like our friends in Southern Province is the non availability of fertiliser which is a nightmare. My appeal to this Government is that if you want agriculture production to be boosted, especially in Eastern Province, make available farming inputs and fertilisers in good time.

Sir, the Food Reserve Agency has made reports that there was a bumper harvest in Eastern Province. To the contrary, because in most constituencies like Petauke, I know that most of the maize was bought cheaply from Mozambique and resold to Food Reserve Agency in Zambia.

Hon. Member: Yah!

Mr C. K. B. Banda: The same obtained in Lundazi and Chadiza. Let us not mislead the nation by saying that the people of Eastern Province produced a lot of maize and yet they did not because you did not make adequate supplies of fertiliser. My appeal to this Government, therefore, is that it should do the needful. We can produce a lot of food for this country and make Zambia self sufficient. Mr Speaker, at the moment, most people in Eastern Province are surviving on mangoes.

Hon. Opposition Members: Oh!

Mr C. K. B. Banda: And the reason is very simple. The maize was bought from neighbouring countries and the Government has been misled into believing that people in Eastern Province have a lot of maize when in actual fact they do not have.

Therefore, my appeal to you people in Government is that while you are looking at other areas, also pay attention to the people of Eastern Province because some of them genuinely need relief food. I know that the Office of the Vice-President has done something but we need a little more.

With these few words, I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe (Matero): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank all the Members of the House who elected me as Vice Chairperson for the National Constitution Conference (NCC).

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: I have every hope that the NCC is going to yield results and prove to the prophets of doom that they were wrong.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Question!


Mrs Sinyangwe: I decided to go to NCC because I believe in doing what is right and not to follow the easy way.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: If I had followed the easy route, I would have been scared of being fired.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: At the same time, I would like to thank the people of Matero who I consulted extensively and who allowed me to go.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: Despite the agitation and telling people to rise against me, the people of Matero have been cool.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: We shall see!

Mrs Sinyangwe: Therefore, let us respect each other’s opinion.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: Those who decided to follow the easy route must be respected and some of us who decided to do the right thing should be respected and we will move forward.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: Mr Speaker, I will start by thanking the President for his speech. He set a good policy framework. The President of the Republic came to give a speech here. He gave a beautiful policy framework. However, I wish to appeal to my dear brothers on the right side now to translate and implement the policy framework. Otherwise, it will be something that is just written on paper and it will not yield results.

Mr V. Mwale: Zoona!
Mrs Sinyangwe: Mr Speaker, let me now talk about the Ministry of Education. I wish to congratulate you because for the first time you have talked about successes, but do not go to sleep, instead work harder and give us more successes since there are a lot of challenges in the Ministry of Education. The past results were good, but we need to look at the Education Act which has been there for a long time. We need to look at it and update it in order for us to realise the dream of having a child who is innovative and skilled.

Mr V. Mwale: Zoona!

Mrs Sinyangwe: Hon. Minister, bring it to our committee and we will do what is right and the Whole House will come and panel beat it so that we can have a good education system since education is key to every success.

Sir, let me now talk about health. I know that the Hon. Minister talked about increasing the training schools. We are doing our best in training people but at the same time we are losing a lot of nurses who are going in large numbers to go and nurse the old people in foreign countries when our children are dieing. Mr Speaker, we should motivate our nurses so that they stay, otherwise we are wasting the tax payers’ money training people who are going to work away from home.

I wish to appeal to the Hon. Minister of Health to increase the health facilities. Our people travel long distances to take their sick children to health centres. I lament seeing pregnant women giving birth on the way because they cannot manage to walk the long distances they have to cover.

I now wish to talk about Local Government. I would like to commend the Minister of Local Government and Housing in her absence that she has done a lot.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!
Mrs Sinyangwe: She is one lady I would say gives service without asking which party one comes from.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: She attends to any Member of Parliament who is doing the right thing in her/his constituency. However, I would like to emphasise here that the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) must be increased because each Member of Parliament has got his/her people at heart. After all, Members of Parliament are the ones who act as shock absorbers for those people on your right. If they do not implement all the things they promised, people will blame everything on the Members of Parliament. They will blame them for not having done the roads and many other things.

Mr Speaker, we must work together as the President said. He said it very well. He sent us letters encouraging us to monitor the projects and work together. We can also offer free consultancy to some of our people so that they can succeed, after all we are all working for Mother Zambia.

Lastly, I would like to talk about the Parliamentary Reforms. They are the most wonderful things that have happened because we have brought Parliament closer to the people.

As we represent our constituencies, we should realise that we are Members of Parliament for everybody and not for our parties only.

Hon. Member: No!

Mrs Sinyangwe: That is why I even went to NCC because I was representing everybody in my constituency.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: Therefore, let us not make these offices political. Let us work for the people so that we can be able to consolidate the people and spearhead development in our constituencies. After all, we go to the same hospitals, schools and everything. At the same time, I would like to see to it that these offices are properly looked after and funded so that we can do what is best.

Mr Speaker, lastly, I want to say that, in life we have to do what is right even if it means putting your head on the chopping board.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Lands (Mr Hamir): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me chance to contribute to the debate on the Motion of Thanks. First of all I send compliments of the season and best wishes to you and your entire team. I would also like to thank the mover and the seconder of the Motion on a job well done.

Mr Speaker, His Excellency the President, Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa’s speech was, indeed, excellent and splendid. It has been welcomed by persons in all walks of life.

Mr Speaker, my appeal to the civil servants is to be non-partisan but to work together for a better Zambia. Let us not frustrate or ignore the efforts of the President who has a genuine heart. He cannot be alone in the development of this wonderful nation, we all need to work hard because laziness will not pay since time for hand outs should be of the past. We have to put our heads together for a good cause so that at the end of the day we are all happy.

Mr Speaker, the frightening corruption is morally wrong, and we must say no to it, as we say no to our immoral behaviours so that we are respected and achieve a better Zambia. We must be conscious that corruption is wrong and that it should be stopped. This can be achieved if we fear the almighty God.

Mr Speaker, it is my humble appeal to the hon. Members of this House who have boycotted the NCC to give it a second thought…

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamir:… as your input will make a difference. Mr Speaker, there will be no regrets because this is in the interest of the nation.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamir: It should be clear to all that we are dealing with a vital document that is the National Constitution and not a party Constitution.

Hon. Government Members: Hammer!

Mr Hamir: Above all, the expense on NCC is cheaper compared to the National Assembly. Let us not oppose for the sake of opposing, but let us do this constructively.

Mr Speaker, the National Tender Board should stop giving tenders to substandard contractors (gongas) as we are sick and tired of their shoddy works.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamir: Mr Speaker, I do not understand the Tender Board, they take too long to process the tenders and when they give these tenders they give them to contractors who are not serious.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: That is correct.

Mr Hamir: We have challenges of encouraging investors to go to rural areas so that the rural electrification programme can reach and benefit our rural people so that development can be brought about quickly in those areas.

Mr Speaker, my appeal is also to those who vandalise schools, clinics, roads and so on. They should stop the act as it is destroying our country. They should feel ashamed of themselves and just become patriotic.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamir: Mr Speaker, mother Zambia has been rated one of the best investment destinations by one of the developed countries. This is a great achievement which we should be proud of and maintain. Our Bank of Zambia Governor must be appreciated for his scores of which he won an award which he deserved. However, for the first time we have reserves in the Central bank. This is a great achievement and for this we thank and take our hats off to our hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning and his team. We should encourage them to keep it up. Once again, we should be proud that our country is coming into its footing.

Mr Speaker, I being a Deputy Minister of Lands, I am hopeful that we will be getting better in the ministry, as we have already established a customer service centre on a website with the help of USAID to whom we are grateful for their helping hand. We are proud to inform this august House that we have increased our revenue collection by 87.3 per cent during the year ended 2007. However, all is not rosy as we need to improve in service deliver, challenges are there as nobody is perfect. We hope to improve in service delivery during this year, as we are working on it. Another observation is that, people must not illegally allocate land to themselves, they must follow laid down procedure, otherwise, the consequences will be too costly for them to bear.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamir: In this regard, we appeal to hon. Members and councillors to educate our people on the need to follow procedures. Mr Speaker, with these remarks I urge hon. Members to support the land policy when it comes to this august House.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Health (Dr Puma): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for according me this chance to contribute to the debate on this Motion. Firstly, I would like to commend the speech by His Excellency the President of Republic of Zambia, in which he touched on very important issues in this country. I would further like to commend you, Mr Speaker, and the whole team for guiding us and ensuring that we start to debate at a level as hon. Members. I recall that by 2006 some hon. Members would not even hold a paper in their hands, they were failing, but today, everyone seems to be confident in the way they debate. I thank you very much for the guidance.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Puma: Further, I would like to commend the hon. Members of Parliament for the good debates that have been put forward during the course of last year and this year although I am aware, Mr Speaker, to borrow your words, that there have been clumsy debates, but generally the debates have been very good.

Mr Speaker, I just like to comment briefly on the Presidential speech as regards to the stability of the kwacha. This has been very good and generally, the people in the country are indirectly benefiting from the stability of the kwacha. This comes in specific ways by having stable prices to the extent that everyone in the country is aware of what costs what and they are able to plan. Even when one wants to buy something they know what it costs and so, over a period they are able to plan to buy whatever they want. This is commendable.

Mr Speaker, the other issue I would like to clarify is that of the K900 million which has been withdrawn by the Ministry of Finance and National Planning and this in relation to health. I would like to mention that from the ministry point of view, the money that was not spent was not because we did not have the capacity to spend, but it was because of the tender procedures. I will give an example of Kapiri Hospital, where the tender procedures started,

the expected continuation phase cost is K3 billion but we could not complete the process by the end of the year. As a result, this money has been taken by the Ministry of Finance and National Planning. I would like to emphasise that this money is still being kept for the project. The reason for this emphasis is that I want to assure hon. Members who seem to think that this money has gone for good that it has been reserved for the intended projects.

Mr Speaker, I would like to briefly talk about the National Constitutional Conference by initially commending the hon. Members who have decided to participate in this very important activity …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Puma: … which is non-political and nonpartisan. I would also like to commend the hon. Members from the Opposition who have braved the intimidation from various sectors to ensure that they participate actively in this noble venture.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Puma: Mr Speaker, from the statistics that I have at hand, currently there are about 500 participants that have reported and are willing to continue participating in this national event as opposed to only less than thirteen who have, to use the right term  absconded because boycotting is a wrong term.


 Dr Puma: This represents 97 to 98 per cent attendance. It should be noted that staying away is not achieving anything. I am sure that even the Secretary to the Cabinet is not worried because if you have 514 people and only fourteen do not come, I do not think it is anything that should worry us. However, in the spirit of ensuring that we capture every issue and idea from both those that are well meaning and those that are not, we would like everybody to participate. I have been reliably informed that the seats are available for those who have decided to stay away, we are still waiting for them.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Puma: There is nothing that is being achieved by staying away because 98 per cent of the participants have already reported.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Puma: Mr Speaker, I would like to move away a little bit from that aspect and comment on the issue of drugs in our clinics and hospitals. I would like to report that the Ministry of Health has greatly improved the supply of medicines in our institutions.

Mr Kambwili: Question!

Dr Puma: In terms of supply of medicines to the clinics, the availability of essential medicines almost reached 100 per cent.

Hon. PF Members: Aah!

Dr Puma: Mr Speaker, I would like to urge hon. Members that before they come here to say anything, they should first get in touch with the constituencies and districts that they are coming from so that they know what the Ministry of Health is doing. We have now introduced health centre drug kits. This means that when a health centre drugs kit arrives at a health centre, almost all the essential medicines that are needed at that level are available in the kit. This has greatly improved the availability of drugs at health centre level …


Mr Speaker: Order! Order!

Dr Puma: Mr Speaker, in this regard, I would like to specifically refer to the debate by the hon. Member for Roan who mentioned that when he went to the clinic, he did not even find chloroquine there. I could not believe the level – I am not sure whether ‘ignorance’ is a Parliamentary term …

Mr Speaker: It is not.


Dr Puma: … the level of poverty of knowledge by our hon. Members of Parliament.


Dr Puma: The level of poverty of knowledge is such high that I cannot believe that hon. Members of Parliament, more than four years after withdrawing chloroquine on the market, can still go to the clinic and ask if there is chloroquine.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Puma: We do not have any institution in this country where there is chloroquine. This is really high level of poverty of knowledge.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Puma: Mr Speaker, soon after mentioning that Luanshya, and Roan in particular, had a shortage of medicines, I sent a message to the director of health to try to enquire and I just want to read the message I received from the director, and I quote:

“Good afternoon hon. Minister,
Luanshya district is well stocked with essential drugs.

Hon Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Puma: “We have enough antibiotics for syrups, orals and ejectables. Coartem is enough. Anti-hypertensives and anti-diabetics are available. We have enough algae fluids and we also have enough health centre drugs kits.”

Mr Speaker, this is the message that I received from the director of health for Luanshya and I still have it on my phone. The hon. Member can verify this. With this, I would like to urge the hon. Members not to just refer to what they knew in the past. If they knew that hospitals were dirty, they want to come here and say that the hospitals are dirty. The situation has changed. If they knew that previously, every time they went to the clinic there were no medicines, this is not the case. We have health kits which we are giving to health centres which have all the medicines required.

The way we have arranged our health care delivery in the country is that every level of health care has the type of medicines that are supposed to be found at that level. At clinic level, there are essential medicines that have to be there and we assess and ensure that the availability is as close to 100 per cent as possible. If you go to district hospitals, there are medicines that we expect to be at that level which may not be found at health centres. Similarly, at the University Teaching Hospital there are medicines that are expected to be found there but not at health centre level. It is important that hon. Members understand this so that they do not go to clinics and ask for medicines that we do not expect to be at that level, according to our planning.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Good, good.

Dr Puma: Mr Speaker, I would like to move on to infrastructure development. My ministry has continued to ensure that hospitals are constructed in the country. Last year we continued construction of Kapiri-Mposhi Hospital as well as Chadiza, Mumbwa, Shang’ombo, Samfya and many other health centres. Again this year, we are continuing with the second phase of construction of a number of these hospitals and we are also expecting to start new ones.

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

Dr Puma: Mr Speaker, with regard to health posts, we had slightly over twenty-five health posts that were funded across the country and they are under construction. Over thirty health posts were completed from the previous funding. I should mention that these health posts are fully funded by the Ministry of Health. We do not encourage communities to make blocks and other materials because the quality becomes compromised and therefore, we ensure that when we construct a health post, it has to be fully funded. In the past year, we also continued the construction of houses for health professionals in a number of districts across the country, especially in rural areas. Those that have visited their constituencies may have seen some houses under construction.

Mr Speaker, on the issue of transport, my ministry continued in efforts to take health service delivery closer to the people by procuring utility vehicles and ambulances across the country. A total of 164 land cruisers were procured and they are going to be used as utility vehicles and ambulances in some of the districts. Distribution of these vehicles has started. Already Eastern and North-Western Provinces have benefited and we are continuing to ensure that in every province we have an official handover so that people know that it is Government at work.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Puma: On the issue of distribution of vehicles, almost every district is receiving a vehicle and almost all the first and second level hospitals and training school are receiving vehicles, which is commendable.

In addition to that, I should report that my ministry has continued to improve transport in the districts. I would like to mention that recently, we have procured 360 motor bikes which will be distributed to all the districts in this country. This means that when you divide 360 by 72 districts you will get the number of vehicles per district. In rural areas, we expect more numbers to go to rural areas so that our people have access to the health facility and our staff is able to get information of what is happening in various catchment areas.

Coming to the issue of grants, I am glad to mention that the Ministry of Health increased grants last year to all institutions in the country. All the districts received increments in the grants and this included hospitals. The University Teaching Hospital (UTH), Ndola General and Kitwe General Hospitals received more than 50 per cent increment in the grants. This has led to, at least, a reduction in terms of complaints from our members of staff who are running these institutions.

In the same vein, I would like to mention that we have continued to support mission institutions in the country and I would also like to mention that almost all employees of mission hospitals are on Government payroll. We are paying almost all people who are working for mission institutions. In addition to that we are funding mission institutions in infrastructure development and also in terms of financial support. We are also giving medicines to mission institutions so that they serve our communities better.

In this vein Sir, I would like to mention that, at least, from last year, our management staff in almost all the institutions have not complained as much because of the increment in grants. I would like to mention that the lowest grant to a district is about K51 million every month and the highest district which is Lusaka gets over K800 million. This money is not for salaries, but purely for service delivery to ensure that beddings and all the other issues of cleanliness and other requirements that we need to make sure the patient is made as comfortable as possible are available.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Puma: Mr Speaker, on the issue of human resource. On the Floor of this House, we reported last year that we had a problem with the human resource situation in the country in the health sector. We are operating at 50 per cent capacity. I am glad to report that we took this very seriously and we have continued to improve the infrastructure of training schools in the country. So far, a lot of institutions have been heavily funded to ensure that the infrastructure is improved.

Mr Speaker, just to mention a few, Solwezi School of Nursing, we have constructed compete new school from the previous one that was existing. We have heavily funded Kalene Hospital to ensure that this year it opens any time as interviews have already taken place. Monze Hospital was funded and the hostels are complete. Mr Speaker,  Chikankata, Kabwe, Mongu, Roan Hospitals and many other institutions have been funded to ensure that we increase the number of students in these schools so that they serve our country better.

In addition to that, we have re-opened schools that were closed by the previous government. These include Roan, Nchanga and Kalene training schools which are opening any time this year, and the interviews have also already taken place.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Puma: Further, we have embarked on the recruitment of medical personnel and I am glad to report that 1,200 medical personnel were recruited.

Mr Speaker, I should mention that in last year’s Budget, we planned to recruit 1,900, but when we advertised, we only managed to capture 1,200 and this is a shame to the arm chair critics who have been saying that there are many people on the streets who need jobs in the health sector.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Puma: This means that we mopped up everybody who was not employed and we are very confident that all the staff that are coming from these training institutions that we have opened and those intakes that we have continued to expand will be employed after they graduate.

Mr Speaker, I would like to commend the President on promoting education in this country by ensuring that we construct high schools in districts where there has never been a high school since independence. For the first time, we are being assured that schools will be constructed in these areas. This is very good.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Puma: Mr Speaker, in addition to that, I am glad that we are opening Mulungushi University and degrees will also be offered to Nkrumah and Copperbelt Secondary Teacher’s College (COSTCO).

Mr Speaker, we have three public universities in this country and COSTCO and Nkrumah will be offering degrees. We have ten private universities offering degrees and therefore, as we go to the National Constitution Conference, I will advocate that we put at least, some education level to Members of Parliament, and even at Presidential level. The fact that we have ten private universities and three public universities, we cannot afford to have a situation where at President level we can just say anyone even a Grade 4 can be President. If we do so, we shall be unfair to ourselves.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Puma: Mr Speaker, finally, I would like to appeal to hon. Members that in their debates they should be very factual and ensure that as they debate, they do a research and consult their respective constituencies so that they do not make pronouncements for the sake of it, but should talk of what is prevailing as at now.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister for Luapula Province (Mr Musosha): Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Motion of Thanks on the speech delivered to the House by His Excellency the President.

Mr Speaker, I wish at this point to thank all hon. Members of Parliament, Counsellors community leaders and representatives who came to the National Constitutional Conference (NCC) from Luapula Province. I toured the province and not a single area is rising against any Member of Parliament or counsellor who is representing  the people at the NCC.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musosha: Mr Speaker, allow me to talk about mining. Our province is very expectant that our mineral resources in Mwense, Chienge and Milenge shall be explored especially after bringing the required amount of power or energy, if you like, to the province.

Mr Speaker coming to agriculture in the province, our farmers have done quite a lot and Luapula Province with the other provinces that are not affected by the floods can help this country to feed our brothers and sisters who have been affected by the floods once the right things are done in terms of fertiliser distribution.

Mr Speaker, at this point, I wish to talk about infrastructure development. Our province is appreciative to His Excellency the President on the construction of Chembe Bridge, which move will help prevent unnecessary accidents from happening.

Two weeks ago, I toured Chembe area with a view to inspect Chembe Bridge and in the process I witnessed an accident there. A truck loaded with cement was coming from the Copperbelt and as it was entering the pontoon, it unfortunately became uncontrollable and hit into three vehicles which made a mini bus fall into Luapula River. A child left on the mini bus almost died. The Chinese team construction the bridge rescued the child from dying.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musosha: This Government through His Excellency the President Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa’s policies has done tremendous work in the province especially in opening up Luapula Province to the Copperbelt, East Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo …


Mr Musosha: … yes, opening up East Africa through Nakonde, Kasama, Luwingu, Mansa via Chembe Bridge to the Copperbelt, the Congo and other parts of the country. With the construction of the Chembe Bridge all these problems of unnecessary accidents are going to be avoided.

Mr Speaker, I wish to report that the construction of the same bridge has tremendously advanced. This time as I speak to you, decking has already started, meaning the problems that have been affecting our people in Luapula and other parts of the country who use the Pedicle Road are going to come to an end.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musosha: Mr Speaker, at the same time, I wish to report that the Kashikishi Lunshinda Road which had a lot of problems to both motorists and pedestrians has been worked on by a Chinese company and the problems that people who have been traveling between Nchelenge and Chipungu used to face are no longer there. The Kansanka/Milenge Road has reached a tender procedure and procurement is being done, and by the end of the rainy season, construction works will be started.

Mr Speaker, we have a security road which runs from Chembe through Matanda to Mwense. A contractor has been identifies and at the end of this rainy season, construction work is going to be started. This simply means that this is a working Government.

Mr Speaker, I wish to speak on the issue of local contractors. It is on record that this Government has trained a lot of contractors at a huge cost through our National Council for Construction (NCC) School and it must be appreciated by everybody that capacity for these contractors must be built. It cannot be built without giving them any works, except the issue of following specifications.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musosha: Mr Speaker, the issue of following specifications should be talked about and I am happy that the hon. Minister of Works and Supply has put in place a group of trained people who are going to carry out investigations into shoddy performance and failure to adhere to specifications.

Mr Speaker, allow me to speak a little bit about specifications. You do not know what you are doing if you fall short of specifications and this is so wherever you go in this world in any form of constructions. Unfortunately some people who have never known anything about construction also want to come on board.

Hon. Opposition Member: Absolutely!

Mr Musosha: However, I am happy like I have mentioned, that the Minister of Works and Supply has already done something about it and the right thing is going to be done so that specifications are adhered to.

Mr Speaker, regarding skills development, I am happy to report that Mansa Trades Training Institute has expanded greatly. It is no longer what it used to be. Mansa Trades is in Bahati Constituency where my elder brother Hon. Chimbaka comes from. He is a true representative of the people of Bahati and I am very sure that he is happy with the expansion programmes that Government has done at this institution.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musosha: Mr Speaker, with the increase of the school leavers, like the hon. Minister for Science and Technology has already said, we need to teach our school leavers how to access the necessary skills.

Mr Speaker, at this point, I would like to speak about the issues of vandalism. We experienced very sad affairs at Mwense High School, Kawambwa Boys and St Mary’s Secondary Schools where our boys and girls decided to misbehave by way of destroying property that was put up at huge cost. I wish to request through you, Mr Speaker, and all the hon. Members of Parliament both from Luapula and everywhere that these pieces infrastructure that are being built by the Government should be guarded jealously. It does not make sense to destroy what you have found because the country is not going to develop. It is better to safeguard what you have found and then go to other things that require being constructed.

Mr Speaker, allow me to mention that the Ministry of Education has received a shot in the arm by the pronouncement which was made by His Excellency the President in his speech that houses for teaching staff are going to be constructed. I am very sure that for the Minister of Education, it gives very sad reading to be a leader of a demotivated group of teachers who have no houses and as such I wish to thank His Excellency the President for making this pronouncement and we just await its implementation.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musosha: I wish to thank all the Members of Parliament from Luapula and hon. Members from other provinces for the support. I request that we work together to bring the country forward.

Mr Speaker, with these words, I thank you.

The Deputy Minister of the Eastern Province (Mr Shawa): Mr Speaker, I rise to contribute to the speech for the official opening of the Second Session of the Fifth National Assembly of Zambia by His Excellency the President Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC.

Hon. Government Member: Chizungu.

Mr Shawa: Mr Speaker, since of late we have  been facing electricity problems, I wanted to give free consultancy to some people who have a tendency or gargantuan appetite to slaughter pigs.


Mr Shawa: They must not slaughter pigs because there is new technology that is coming. It has already started in Korea where pig manure can be utilised to produce electricity.


Mr Shawa: Therefore, such people must be advised not to have this appetite of destroying pigs.


Mr Shawa: Mr Speaker, I would like to join my colleagues in congratulating the national soccer team on the wonderful performance in yesterday’s game.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shawa: Mr Speaker, the people of the Eastern Province continue to be grateful and appreciate the continued effort by the Republican President to unite the nation in its quest to eradicate poverty, corruption, social exclusion and other ills…

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.


Mr Shawa: Mr Speaker, when business was suspended, I was advancing a point concerning burning of pigs and I believe the message concerning the pigs has been vehemently delivered.

Mr Speaker, the people of Eastern Province continue to be grateful and appreciative of the continued efforts by the Republican President to unite the nation in its quest to eradicate poverty, corruption, social exclusion and other ills such as the HIV and AIDs pandemic. The province appreciates the peace it enjoys from within and with our neighbouring sister republics of Malawi and Mozambique.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shawa: It is gratifying to note that the Government has continued to liaise with our brothers and sisters in Malawi on the survey of the remaining 604 kilometres of our common boundary.

Mr Speaker, allow me to comment on a few developmental issues concerning Eastern Province which were highlighted in the President’s Speech during the opening of the Second Session of the Tenth National Assembly. Before I do so, allow me to thank the President and the MMD leadership for holding the first mammoth rally in 2008 in Eastern Province, on Saturday, 5th January. We were honoured, as a province.

Mr Speaker, it is at this rally that this Government through His Excellency the President handed over eighteen brand new Land Cruisers to the province…

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shawa:…through the Ministry of Health to improve the health delivery services in our area and each district is going to receive two vehicles.

Mr Speaker, on behalf of the people of Eastern Province and Chadiza District, in particular, I would like to thank the hardworking New Deal Government for the construction of a modern hospital in the district. The district had no hospital since its inception in 1949. Finally, the cry of the district has been heard by our listening and action oriented New Deal Government.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shawa: Mr Speaker, I would also like to report that just this year the school of midwifery has been opened at Chipata General Hospital where our young ladies and men will be trained.

Sir, Nyimba District Hospital also got a modern X-ray and operating theatre block for the first time. These are but a few great achievements that the MMD Government scored and continues to score in the health sector in the Eastern Province.

Mr Speaker, the issue of decent shelter is one of the basic human necessities that has caused the challenge to our generation. The initiative by this hardworking-Government to introduce the National Housing Bond Trust cannot pass without great compliment to the MMD Government. Sir, I am delighted to note that Chipata is one of the pilot districts to benefit from this brilliant housing project.

Sir, regional integration is complementary to trade integration which is also dependant on transport infrastructure. I am glad to mention that the people of Eastern Province are indebted to the Government for the revitalisation of the Chipata-Mchinji Railway line which is expected to be completed some time this year.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shawa: This infrastructure will enhance regional integration among the three countries, that is, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique. I am confident that the socio-economic benefits of this project will go a long way into uplifting the livelihood of the people of Eastern Province and the nation as whole.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shawa: The railway line is earmarked to reach Petauke from Chipata and from there it will proceed to Mpika and connect to Tanzania Zambia Railways (TAZARA).

Mr Speaker, the number of basic schools in the Eastern Province increased from 613 in 2006 to 699 in 2007, and that of high schools from forty-two to forty-nine. The province recruited 586 new teachers in July, 2007, thereby reducing the teacher-pupil ratio from one to fifty-seven to one to fifty by the end of 2007. This achievement could not have been made if the New Deal Government did not put in hardworking policies in our education system.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shawa: Therefore, on behalf of the people of Eastern Province, I once again say, ‘Thank you to Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC.’

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shawa: Mr Speaker, I would like to turn to agriculture. The performance of the agricultural sector in the last farming season was greatly influenced by the good weather. Generally, the weather was favourable for most districts in the Eastern Province except for Chama, Mambwe, Lundazi and Nyima which experienced floods in the Luangwa Valley.

I wish to thank this Government for the relief food and other materials which were distributed to the victims. This demonstrated the passion the New Deal Administration has for its people. I would like to appeal, through you, Mr Speaker, that the people that live in such flood-prone areas should heed to the advice that the Government is giving to move to higher lands.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shawa: This must not be politicised.

Mr Speaker, with regard to the state of roads in the province, it is gratifying to learn that Government has secured earthmoving equipment for road rehabilitations and construction. Most of the roads in the province are gravel which requires constant and routine maintenance. The acquisition of the equipment will, therefore, resolve most of the rural roads problems that the people of the province are experiencing. I, therefore, on behalf of the people of Eastern Province wish to thank the President for procuring this equipment.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shawa: Sir, I would like to announce that a contractor has already been placed on the Great East Road to begin work from Nyimba to Sinda and from Kazimule to Mwami Border. My appeal is that we should work very hard with our colleagues, the consultants, who must move on the site as quickly as possible so that we reduce udwapu dwapu.


Mr Shawa: Mr Speaker, by that, I mean that we reduce the problems that people are facing through the potholes in case somebody in the Opposition does not know the meaning.

Sir, through different interventions such as the Poverty Reduction Programme, the Government has been providing safe and adequate drinking water to people in the Eastern Province. The sinking of  850 water ponds in 2007 under the Rural Water Supply Programme in the province is evidence enough of this Government’s commitment to the provision of safe and adequate drinking water to the people of Eastern Province. This will definitely go a long way in reducing water borne diseases in the province.

Mr V. Mwale: Zoona!

Mr Shawa: Mr Speaker, we are also concerned about the heavy cutting down of trees. I would like to say that environmental issues must be taken seriously and we are now busy sensitising our people on this very important issue. On the Kacholola Bridge which was washed away, a diversion has already been made and our people who were disadvantaged to go and come from the Eastern Province are now crossing because this Government has responded quickly by putting a Bailey Bridge. As I am talking, the contractor is already working on the new bridge.

Mr Speaker, allow me to say something on the mining situation in the province. I am proud that mining explorations are taking place in Nyimba and Petauke Districts. Once these are completed, they are going to contribute favourably to the livelihood of the people and employment will be created in the province.

Sir, allow me to also thank the New Deal Government for the construction of the Nyangwe Air Strip in Lundazi which cost K345,860,000.00. This will contribute greatly especially with regard to the flying doctor services.

Mr Speaker, finally, I will be failing in my duty if I do not thank Government’s great achievements on the noble task of combating problems of HIV/AIDS. Mr Speaker, through this Government’s effort, the province has supplemented by co-operating with partners so that the people can receive Anti-Retroviral Drugs and also assisting those who are affected and infected.

Sir, the Eastern Province has received tremendous support in the area of HIV/AIDS. On behalf of the entire province, I wish to sincerely thank all our people for responding positively to this support from Government. We are also very alive to the problems that our handicapped people are facing in Eastern Province.

Mr Speaker, recently, I was in Petauke and I found that we have a huge number of such people who need support. I want to say that our Government is working very hard to ensure that the blind and handicapped people are supported to live their lives fully in the province. We are very grateful to the able hon. Minister of Community Development and Social Service (Ms Namugala) for the support she has been giving…

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shawa:…in this area.

Mr Speaker, I would like to thank His Excellency the President for having posted me to Eastern Province. I am happy that I am settling down and I will continue to deliver to develop our country.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Simbao): Mr Speaker, thank you for according me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Motion of Thanks. To start with, I would like to wish you a prosperous New Year and I want to say that I enjoyed His Excellency’s Speech. For the first time, His Excellency’s Speech has been very well received. I think everyone saw the President’s vision and commitment to this country.

Sir, I must also say that I am glad to note that we are in this House to some extent beginning to work together. I have not heard any of the speakers before me condemning the President.

This is unlike in the previous Parliaments where hon. Members spent time condemning the President for things they thought were not correct. Sir, I am glad that every speaker is sticking to the speech and picking out what the President said, and stating their opinions.

Mr Speaker, I have a few issues to attend to, but before I do that, I want to state my understanding of the President’s speech. Mr Speaker, my understanding is that the speech by the President has given a lot of hope to the people of Zambia. It has given them hope for things they should look out for this year and it has given a lot of hope to the people of Eastern Province because in this year’s speech, the people there have been assured that Government is seriously looking at the Great-East Road.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, it is common knowledge that we have been allocated 23 million Euros by the European Union and this should be given to us in the EDFN, which will become available in 2010.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Simbao: This money will tar an equivalent of 70 kilometres. Sir, 70 kilometres is the standard of the road between Lusaka and Luangwa Bridge. The work to be done will be double surfacing. From there, this Government will look for money to tar to the same standard another 70 kilometres to Mwami Boarder.

However, for this year, before we get this money, we have put together money equivalent to K45 billion, which we are using to tar the road between Nyimba and Sinda, and between Mutenguleni and Mwami.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, the consultant has already been appointed and is mobilising. This means that from Nyimba to Mwami, the road will be similar to what the easterners are seeing between Katete and Mutenguleni. Therefore, for the time being, hon. Member for Chasefu, the riding will be very smooth,

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC: Every weekend.

Mr Simbao: Sir, the President has given hope to the people of Eastern Province. I want to tell you that the feasibility study for the Chipata/Lundazi Road was completed in November. What this feasibility study says is that the road is viable. Mr Speaker, the people who are willing to give us a loan, were looking forward to seeing if that road is viable. Now that the feasibility study says that the road is viable, it means that when we present this report, we are likely to get the loan money that we need.

However, in the meantime, we have started to look at tarring that road ourselves. We want to tar it slowly, according to the funds available, and hopefully, the loan facility will be made available for us to complete that road. Nonetheless, even if that will not be the case, we are now seriously looking at working on the road ourselves. Mr Speaker, we are confident that starting this year, we will tar that road and even if we do not get the loan this year, at least by 2009, we should be able to reach Lundazi.

Mr Speaker, the people of Eastern Province have hope because they were told when the President visited Mfuwe that the Chipata/Mfuwe Road is targeted for tarring. We are looking for money so that we start tarring that road in 2009 because that is when this money will be made available from the World Bank. Mr Speaker, therefore, the people of Eastern Province have a lot to hope for from the President’s speech and not the way the hon. Member for Chasefu put it.

Sir, I must say that we must be very grateful that the Muchinji Rail under construction. This has been a project that has been outstanding for a long time and yet, His Excellency, the President, Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, decided that before he leaves office he want to complete or make this rail line and we have already done 13 kilometers in one year and this means that by the end of this year, hon. Member for Chasefu, we shall finish that rail line.

Sir, what this means is that we are all looking forward to Chipata having “City Status”. The completion this rail line will definitely make Chipata obtain the city status they have looking for. Therefore, there is a lot to look and hope for in the President’s Speech by the people of Eastern Province.

Mr Speaker, I also want to say that there is a lot to hope for by the people of Luapula in the speech by His Excellency. Mr Speaker, I would like to assure you that Chembe Bridge which benefits the people of Northern, Luapula and the people of Copperbelt Provinces is going to be completed this year.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, I would like to inform those people who want to witness the launching of the decking that it is happening now and that they should go there. They have already launched the first deck and we are going to launch thirteen pieces. They have already launched the first piece. Today, they cast the second piece. In eight days’ time, they will be launching it. Those who want to witness that, are welcome to travel to Chembe Bridge and they are going to see what is happening. It is very nice.

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

Mr Simbao: Therefore, when I stand here to assure people from Northern, Luapula, Copperbelt and those from other provinces who use this road, that this bridge will be completed this year, I am saying so confidently that by September, we will open that bridge.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: Sir, to respond to an hon. Member who asked about the pedicle Road, I would like to say that the plan of Government is to create another corridor from Copperbelt to Tanzania - meaning that the targeted roads are pedical road, Mansa/Luwingu and Kasama/Isoka Roads. Those are the targeted roads. This means that we are carrying out feasibility studies for Mbesuma Bridge this year so that we see how it can fit into this corridor. We are also carrying out a feasibility study for the pedicle road this year so that we can be very sure how much money we need before we tackle this particular road. So, Sir, we are really looking at the pedical road for those who are interested in knowing what the President is doing.

Sir, I want to say that I read the President’s Speech in another way and there is hope for people in North Western Province. We are tarring the road from Mutanda to Lumwana and Mwinilunga.

Hon. Government Members:  Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, we are already going towards Lumwana which is a very important road. As we all know, Lumwana is going to be one of the biggest mines in Africa and maybe in the world. We are already on that road and we should reach Lumwana this year and proceed to Mwinilunga.

Sir, I must also say that the people of North Western Province have a lot of hope in this speech because the road between Mutanda and Kabompo has made a lot of progress. The contractor who is there is doing serious business. We gave him K20 billion in 2007 and he tarred 25 kilometers out of that money. We are giving him more money this year so that he can proceed with that road and so the people of North Western Province should have a lot of hope in the speech.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, I now come to the people of Southern Province and I would like to say that I see a lot of hope for them in this Speech.

Mr Muntanga: The Bottom Road.


Mr Simbao: Yes, the Bottom Road that has been lying idle for the last 30 years, …

Hon. Opposition Member: They are not here.

Mr Simbao: Well, there is one.


Mr Simbao: … is now being done. We are confident that by the end of this year, we would open up 87 kilometres on that road which links Chipepo to Sinazeze. Then, we shall look at the other side of the Bottom Road.

Mr Kambwili: Question!

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, we have 15 million Euro for Zimba/Livingstone Road. The problem that road was not done this year is that when it was floated for tenders, all the bids which came in were above 15 million Euro. The smallest bid was 24 million Euro which was far away from the money which was available. It was decided that we should re-look at the road and see which part we should completely reconstruct and which part we can just rehabilitate. That is what we are going to do this year and so, we are likely to do the Zimba/Livingstone Road this year.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, I want to say something, although our friends are not here, that since 1997, the Choma/Chitongo Road has been at a stand still and we owed the contractor who was doing it some money and we paid off the debt and we also terminated the contract because it was too old and we could not afford the prices which were in that contract. That is why we terminated it. We are going to float that contract this year. We have excess money from the funds we were given in 2007 to start off with this road. So there is a lot of hope for the people of Southern Province. For Southern Province again, we also have plans to do the Nico/Monze Road. We want to bring it to a very good standard gravel road by lifting it up so that it is not over flooded with water when it rains.

Mr Speaker, there is a lot of hope for the people of Northern Province this year. We started a feasibility study for Kanyala/Nakonde/Mbala/Mpulungu Road which is a very important road. We have been promised assistance by oil countries that once we finish the feasibility studies, in 2009, they are prepared to take it to their board for funding. They have told us that the funds are available for that road and we have contracted a contractor from Kenya and those with the opportunity to talk to the Nakonde District Commissioner, will be told that these people are on the ground upgrading the first feasibility study.

As I said, we are carrying out a feasibility study on the Mbesuma Bridge. Mr Speaker, because my time is running out, let me move to other things.

Hon. Opposition Members: Western.

Mr Simbao: There is a lot of hope for people in Western Province.


Mr Simbao: We are doing the Mongu/Senanga Road. Right now, the contractor is on site, I am sure he has just finished the camp and he is going to rehabilitate that road to a very good standard tarmac.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: We are also coming back to the troublesome Mongu/Kalabo Road.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: We have already contracted a supplier for bridges and we are now looking at floating a contractor for piling …

Mr Kambwili interjected.

Mr Simbao: … so that when the bridges arrive, we will be ready to start installation of the bridges on that road and so we are still coming back to the Mongu/Kalabo Road.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: I want to talk about something that …

Hon. Opposition Member: Lusaka!

Mr Simbao: I am not coming to Lusaka.

Hon. Opposition Member: How about Copperbelt.

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, there is a lot of hope for the people of Lusaka. Last year, I spoke about free training for Grade 12 youths who do not have qualifications to go to college. We have trained ninety youths in Lusaka for free in road construction. This is an example of what we want to do everywhere. We want to move in compounds like in Chawama, Kanyama and wherever and be given important roads to rehabilitate and maintain and this is how we want to keep these youths in employment. So we have already trained ninety people for Lusaka.

Mr Speaker, coming to equipment, we are bringing in the country, 207 pieces of equipment. This equipment will be distributed to nine provinces and will be used to work on feeder roads wherever they exist and feeder roads will be made where they do not exist as long as we have people living there.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, this equipment will be arriving in the country in March and April and I will invite all hon. Members of Parliament to come with cameras so that they can come and take pictures of this equipment to go and show it in their constituencies.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, I want to talk about the present road disasters. We have had a very bad beginning this year. I have heard complaints from a lot of people and yet I am being told that the worst is yet to come because we expect the worst rains in February and therefore, I want to say that we should be patient. We will try as much as possible to react to these natural disasters but I think our best stock will happen after the rains. That is when we can plan well and see how we can move on these disasters.

However, I want to tell this House that we have attended to most of last year’s disasters and there are hon. Members who will agree with me that we have been to these areas. The Office of the Vice-President has provided the materials and money required and in most cases we completed rehabilitating these infrastructures. I, therefore, want assure the hon. Members that although this year could be worse, we will still get to these areas and do the best that we can. All we need is your support as all these things happen around us.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa (Chifunabuli): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the privilege given to me to add to the debate on the President’s Speech.

Allow me to begin my speech in relation to the constitution-making process, and I will speak as an individual and not for everyone. Mr Speaker, as far as I am concerned, the constitution is a document that binds us as a people together.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: It is a document that we all have to embrace if we are going to be ruled by law. It is a document that ensures that the powers of Government or the state are properly divided between the arms of Government to ensure that no single arm of Government becomes too powerful or strong as opposed to others.

Mr Speaker, I am one person who has seen how much we struggled, for example to get our Parliamentary Reforms work in order for this Parliament to become seriously a check point for the activities both of the Executive and the Legislature. I feel that at this point, I take my heart off to the fighters i.e. the Non-Governmental Organisations and all political parties who have fought tirelessly to make the Government become inclusive in the constitution-making process. These people have done a good job and have worked very hard, however, it is unfortunate that at the end of it, we do not have all of them in the constitution-making process.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: It is unfortunate because I would have expected that we can get everyone together.

Mr Speaker, the President had said on page nine of his Speech that and I quote: “I also wish to repeat my caution about the need to approach the NCC …


The Deputy Chairman: Order! I just said that we should listen. It appears some hon. Members do not want to listen.

Hon. Opposition Member: It is Mubika!

The Deputy Chairman: I want to hear what he is talking. Let us consult quietly. Will the hon. Member continue, please.

Mr Mwansa: I was saying on page 9 of the President’s Speech he said and I quote: “I also wish to repeat my caution about the need to approach the NCC in a non-partisan manner. What should guide all of us in this exercise is to allow  a document that will fit national interests”.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott interjected.

Mr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, those words are extremely serious and if anyone of us here does not take them seriously then, the whole constitution-making process will flop. This is a document that does not belong to a single individual. This is a document that belongs to Zambians and the voices of Zambians must be heard about it.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: It is important that we take seriously the advice from the President because if we do not, what is well meaning may end up being undermined. Already you have seen that we have had difficulties even to arrive at where we are; and the appeal particularly, to the MMD Government who are the majority in the NCC is that this is not your document alone, but a document …

Dr Scott interjected.


The Deputy Chairman: Order! It is only one person on the Floor. Can we give him the chance to debate.

Mr Lubinda: But they are not listening.

Mr Mwansa: This is a document that does not belong to you alone. It is a document intended for the good of all, including those who have not come.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: It is a document that must be respected by everyone. Consequently, even the feelings and views of those who have boycotted must be taken on board.

It is extremely important that at the end of this constitution-making process, for once, this country can give itself a document worth the while, the document that will stand the test of time. As I said, I am speaking as an individual. Why have I gone there? The answer is very simple. When the document of my country is being made, which whether I go or not go will affect me, I feel very strongly that I must put my voice to that document.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: I feel very strongly that whether I am taken on board or not by those who will finally make that document, I will leave for posterity the views that I have in my mind. I refuse to die not having said what I need to say about the document that will govern both my children and grand children.

Hon Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: Speaker, I have gone to the NCC very conscious of the fact that I have left many of my friends bitter about the fact that we have not included them. I respect and value them and they are still my friends, but I have gone because I believe that at the end of the day, the document that will come out that NCC will affect me whether I go or not. I am one person who believes that if my rights are going to be affected, I must say something and if what I will say will  not be taken on board that day, posterity will judge me whether right or wrong.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: That is my reason for going there. It is not the reason for money. I have enough money to look after my family.


Mr Mwansa: Further, I would like to say that this document must not make us emotional. The people’s document must be decided by the people themselves, and if it is wrong the people will get rid of it again. That is the way it goes. However, while that document is in existence, we must bow to it if we are going to run a democratic government.

Mr Speaker, I am one person who …


The Deputy Chairman: Order! It seems that group there (pointing at PF Members) seems to be disturbing the person debating. Please, give him the opportunity to debate. Will the hon. Member continue, I am protecting you.

Mr Mwansa: I am most obliged. Mr Speaker, I have heard the threats before. It is not the first time I face them. I am used. However, I will never shy away from doing what the people in my constituency send me to do. Sometimes, I am misunderstood, but posterity proves me right. Consequently, I do not buckle as a matter of principle.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott interjected.


Mr Mwansa: If Dr Scott wants to see me outside, let him do that. I am ready for him. I do not make running comments about hon. Members of Parliament and I find it very unprincipled for the hon. Member to continue making unacceptable comments.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, let me also say something to the MMD Government that the document that we are making is not for the MMD.

Hon. Government Member: No!

Mr Mwansa: This document will never belong to you and if you want it as your document, you have got it all wrong.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: I want you to remember that after that document is done, there is no guarantee that you will be in the Government. You may be seated here in Opposition and we on the other side. You will sit here if you are lucky because you may just lose out completely.

Dr Scott interjected


Mr Mwansa: The point, Sir, is that at the end of the day, we must as Zambians feel that the document we have given ourselves is all right and that it is correct whether we are in Government or in the Opposition. It must be a document that attends to the needs and aspirations of both the people who are in Government and the people who are in Opposition including those who are not in Government but are outside there. Here I am talking about the civil society and the church, who must also feel that the document that comes into being is a document they can associate with. It must be a document that looks after their interest and reflects the moral standing of this country.

Consequently, Sir, my appeal to all of us is that we must approach that document as the President said, in a non-partisan manner so that we arrive at a document that reflects national interests.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, on page 10 of the President’s Speech, he had this to say:

“Accountability and prudent use of public funds shall continue to be top priority in the governance of our nation.”

This is proper and correct. It is important that we take that advice very seriously. I want to say this, first of all, as a starting point …

The Deputy Chairman: Order!

(Debate adjourned)


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

Question put and agreed to.

The House adjourned at 1915 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 24th January, 2008.