Debates- Tuesday, 22nd January, 2008

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Tuesday, 22nd January 2008

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






The Minister of Home Affairs (Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you for allowing me to make a Ministerial Statement on the situation at the Nakonde Border Post, following the disturbances and disruption of business over a four-day period last week.

The problems were sparked off by protests by the Association of Clearing Agents over alleged delays in clearance of goods and vehicles. They also claimed that charges on motor vehicles imported through Nakonde had been hiked unjustifiably.

Mr Speaker, the truth of the matter is that, following the upgrading of the port at Nakonde and the strengthening of operations, the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) began to reintroduce its customs clearance procedures, as well as the management of the operations of the clearance agents at Nakonde Port. The Assistant Commissioner, who is a new Station Manager, had started applying new legal provisions and valuations for dealing and clearing motor vehicles in line with the World Trade Organisation General Agreement on Trade and Tariff. This entails the use of a system identified as ASCYUDA in the valuation and clearing of goods.

These, Mr Speaker, are stringent measures aimed at reducing smuggling, corruption and all the vices associated with this line of business.

Mr Speaker, the move by ZRA to reintroduce customs clearance procedures and other related guidelines were, obviously, not well received by some Nakonde-based clearing agents who accused the Authority of slowing down procedures and the movement of people and traffic at the border.

At this stage, Mr Speaker, the clearing agents decided to stop clearing goods and vehicles. Rather than let business ground to a halt, ZRA and Immigration authorities allowed travellers to come in and directly clear their goods and vehicles.

The incensed group of clearing agents assembled near the Tanzanian border chanting slogans and disrupting business. This prompted the Tanzanian authorities to close the border on their side and only a few people on foot were allowed to cross. The border was closed from 07:00 hours to about 11:00 hours on Monday 14th January, 2008.

During the four-day period of unrest, Mr Speaker, the clearing process was affected, as evidenced by the low number of entries processed by the Immigration Department during the period. On average, entries of movement of people are around 420 per day. During the period in question, the Immigration Department recorded an average of three persons per day. ZRA also recorded an average daily collection of K800 million from the normal K1.5 billion.

I wish to inform the House, Mr Speaker, that operations returned to normal after the following measures were instituted to ensure the situation was contained:

(a) a reinforcement of one platoon of police officers from nearby towns was sent and a further reinforcement of paramilitary police officers was sent to guard the border and ensure law and order is maintained; and

(b) the protesters were addressed by the Zambia Police Commanding Officer for the Northern Province and the District Commissioner for Nakonde.

Mr Speaker, I wish to take this opportunity to commend all the security officers, including the Police and ZRA officers for acting swiftly to quell the disturbances and maintaining law and order.

The Association of Clearing Agents is registered under the Societies Act and is bound to follow the rules of the nation and regulations under the Act. My Ministry shall, therefore, not condone any association or group of individuals taking the law in their hands and disrupting Government business and a free movement of people. Any leaders found wanting will be dealt with in accordance with the law.

Mr Speaker, I wish to appeal to the general public in Nakonde and indeed those that are travelling to remain calm, as the security situation is not only contained, but back to normal and it is also peaceful now. I urge the people and the travelling public to cooperate with Immigration, Police, ZRA and Government officials, as they take control of the situation in Nakonde.

Lastly, Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that the Government has a strategic plan to improve and upgrade the Nakonde Border, as we are doing at Chirundu. Once this is done, the movement of people, clearance of motor vehicles and goods and business in general, will be done in a more accountable, transparent and efficient manner. I urge this House to support the Government in this endeavour.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

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

Mr Habeenzu (Chikankata): Mr Speaker, during the four-days of unrest at Nakonde Border Post, were any of those inciting violence arrested?

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, a number of people were detained for questioning and statements were taken from them. The process of charging those who incited violence has continued.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Mr Speaker, I would like to know when the upgrading of the Nakonde Border Post will take place. It took eight years to upgrade the Chirundu Border Post instead of two. Could hon. Minister confirm that the upgrading of the Nakonde Border Post will not take long?

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, the Government will not take long to upgrade the Nakonde Border Post. We have learnt lessons from the construction and performance of the Chirundu Border Post. We shall continue to learn from there in order to improve on what we are going to construct in Nakonde.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kanyanyamina (Kanchibiya): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister when the driving hitch will come to an end on the Zambian side as compared to the Tanzania side, because it is very difficult to drive through the abandoned vehicles on the Zambian side. When will this be eased for motorists to drive through easily?

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member of Parliament for Kanchibiya usually speaks very good English …


Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: … however, today I have not understood what he has said. I take it that there are obstructions that do not allow the movement of vehicles and I want to assure him and the public at large that we are doing everything possible to remove the vehicles in order to facilitate the quick movement of our people.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister if there was any property lost during the disturbances and if at any time within those four days there were any life threatening situations.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, as a result of the quick action by the police, there was neither property nor life lost. Any life threatening situation was contained by the police re-enforcement.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Mr Speaker, clearing agents are stakeholders in the clearing system. Was there any education or sensitisation to them by the customs officers so that they become part of the changes that were taking place at the border?

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, sensitisation of the clearing agents, even when new regulations come into place, is continuous so as to ensure that they are always informed about what they must follow in order to have quick access to the Immigration Department and, indeed, the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA). So, yes they were sensitised.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mushili (Ndola Central): Mr Speaker, in his opening remarks, the hon. Minister said that the reason there was unrest was the delay in the execution of work by the customs and immigration officers. While we appreciate the upgrading of the system for efficiency, it is common knowledge that each time the Government upgrades a system, there are delays, because there were…

Mr Speaker: Order! Ask your question.

Mr Mushili: … delays in clearing even in places like Chirundu.

Mr Speaker: Order! What is your follow-up question?

Mr Mushili: Mr Speaker, when will the delays by the customs officers at the borders be reduced because this brings about corruption?

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, the upgrading of the Chirundu Border Post and the work that the Government has done should help to smoothen the flow of traffic for people and goods. Indeed, in outlying borders, many systems are also being put in place in order to help improve the movement of goods and people. Yes, you may experience a delay now, but the systems are improving as we continue upgrading them.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Kapata: On a point of order.

Mr Bwalya (Chifubu): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister confirm that ZRA collects K800 million …

Mr Speaker: I have not heard any disorder in the House. Is the hon. Member attempting to assist the Chair through the point of order?

Ms Kapata: Sir, I am raising a point of order and it is procedural.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development in order to remain quiet when the country has had two major blackouts within seventy-two hours? We need to know what …

Mr Speaker: Order! You hold on.

Ms Kapata: … I need your serious ruling.

Mr Speaker: There is no guidance, but hold on. Be patient hon. Member. There is something happening.

The hon. Member may continue.

Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister confirm that ZRA collects K800 million instead of K1.5 billion per day due to corrupt practices by ZRA officers.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, in my statement, I raised an issue of security at the border at Nakonde. In that statement, I clearly said that because of the disturbances at the border, ZRA was unable to raise its usual daily collection of K1.5 billion, but instead, in those four days, an average of K800 million was raised. This has nothing to do with corruption by ZRA. As a Government, we have no record that ZRA officials stole the money resulting in the collection of K800 million.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Mr Speaker, apart from the allegation of delayed processing of papers, the clearing agents clearly alleged that the customs officers were corrupt in changing rates and getting more or less money. The hon. Minister is now telling us that this is not true. Can he confirm that the allegations by the clearing agents were investigated and proved incorrect. If they are correct, what action has been taken?

Hon. PF Member: Hear, hear!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, I, again, refer to the statement that I made to this House in order to answer the hon. Member of Parliament for Nchanga. First and foremost, there are new measures that the Government, in line with the World Trade Organisation, has put in place, including those that have been introduced at the Nakonde Border Post. These measures have not proved popular to those that have been clearing goods as agents and because of that, we had this problem. I can only confirm to the hon. Member that as a Government, we continue to investigate any allegation, including the ones that he is tabling here, if he can give me some substance to work on.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: I have also permitted the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development to make a ministerial statement.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


The Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Konga): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you very much for allowing me to brief the nation, through this august House, on the major system disturbance which occurred recently on the Zambia High Voltage Network on Saturday, 19th January, 2008 at 1958 hours and on Monday, 21st January, 2008 at 1928 hours.

Firstly, I would like to apologise to the whole nation and electricity consumers in particular for the inconvenience they may have suffered due to the recent system disturbances which resulted in extensive loss of power supply in most parts of the country. I would like however, to thank the nation for bearing with this inconvenience.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Mr Konga: For the nation to understand what happened, permit me to point out that since the power systems of Zambia, Namibia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Africa are interconnected, a disturbance occurring in any one of the countries I have mentioned could have an impact on the other countries’ power systems.

This interconnection of the power systems in Southern Africa is part of the integration of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in order to among others:

(i) enhance security of supply among member States so that if one country has a shortage of power, it is possible to get power from another SADC country; and

(ii) enhance trade in electricity. It is through this mechanism that ZESCO is able to import power when the need arises. Alternatively, ZESCO is able to export power should the need arise.

Mr Speaker, this interconnection is facilitated through the Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP) which is an association of power utilities in the SADC Region. While the interconnection has advantages as outlined above, it also has disadvantages because as I have said, a fault in one country will also affect other countries that are connected to that network.

As Members of this august House maybe aware, power supply in the region is now a critical issue with most countries, including South Africa, experiencing extended hours of load shedding. It was only yesterday that it was reported that there were some riots in South Africa due to the load shedding that took place there.

Mr Speaker, I will request the hon. Members of the House to pay particular attention to what I am going to say now.

We have information that at the time of the disturbances in Zambia, Zimbabwe was experiencing power shortages, resulting from the ban of exports from South Africa which is one of its major source of power as well as the collapse of towers which supply power from Cabora Bassa in Mozambique to Zimbabwe. This led to instability in the Zimbabwe power system and that affected the Zambian electricity system, as the two systems are interconnected. We have observed that during 2007, Zimbabwe experienced several system disturbances which affected some equipment at the Kariba North Bank Power Station.

I will now proceed to say something about each of these disturbances:

The  Disturbance that Occurred on 19th January, 2008 at 1958 Hours

Prior to the disturbance, the status of generation on the ZESCO system was as follows:

(i) at the Kafue Gorge Power Station, four generators were working, giving a total generation of 597 mega watts;

(ii) at the Victoria Falls Power Station, the machines were generating 95 mega watts; and

(iii) at the Kariba North Bank Power Station three machines were in operation, giving a total output of 473 mega watts.

The 330 Leopards Hills Kariba North Bank line 1 was not functional due to a tower that collapsed on the 30th December, 2007. This line is still being restored, but the works have been delayed due to the recent heavy rains that could not allow the concrete foundation on which the mass is supposed to be mounted to dry. To cure the concrete, it normally takes about twenty-one days. It is estimated that the tower will be restored in the next few days.

For the rest of the Zambian system, the state of the major plant and equipment were in a satisfactory condition and all units, except those being rehabilitated at the Kafue Gorge and Kariba North Bank Power Stations, were in service.

Mr Speaker, according to the log of events at the ZESCO National Control Centre, the following events took place:

Due to the disturbance on the Zimbabwe power system, a high frequency occurred on the Zambian power system at about 1938 hours and this led to the tripping of some generating equipment at the Kariba North Bank Power Station. and at about the same time at the Kariba South Bank in Zimbabwe.

The Zambian and Zimbabwean power systems, which are inter-connected, separated on under frequency protection when the two inter-connectors tripped.

At the Kafue Gorge Power Station, the four generators that were in service tripped as they could not sustain the power overload that was imposed on them due to the failure of the generators at the Kariba North Bank. As the generators at the Kariba North Bank had tripped earlier, the Kafue Gorge Power Station could not meet the national demand because this happened at peak time.

The Victoria Falls Power Station also tripped as a result of the system overload. The Kariba North Bank Leopards Hill 330 KV line 2 also tripped as a result of this disturbance.

Likewise the Kafue Town Leopard’s Hill 88 KV line also tripped.

Mr Speaker, all these events happened because ZESCO’s equipment has protection systems that protect the equipment from extensive damage in the event of any system disturbance. The tripping of the generators at the power stations and transmission lines were a reaction of the protection system. If this had not happened, the nation would have experienced a catastrophe, leading to extensive damage to plant and equipment which would have cost this country colossal sums of money. Had this happened, the country would have experienced a prolonged blackout with dire consequences to the economy. This situation described already led to a blackout in most parts of the country except areas that are powered by diesel power stations.

Preliminary indications also show that most parts of Zimbabwe had lost power supply. At the same time, the Botswana system was equally affected.

Mr Speaker, as soon as the disturbance in the system occurred, power supply to the mines on the Copperbelt was restored at about 2000 hours using inputs from SNEL of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

 Further, the Victoria Falls Power Station, which supplies the southern and western parts of the country, was restored at 2207 hours and subsequently, power supply commenced to most parts of the Southern and Western Provinces. The two power stations at the Kariba North Bank and Kafue Gorge were also restored. The Kariba North Bank Power Station was restored at 0331 hours while the Kafue Gorge Power Station was restored at 0428 hours.

Mr Speaker, although the three power stations had been restored, power supply to consumers was delayed due to high voltages on the power systems which was mainly due to low demand at that time of the night. The restoration, therefore, had to be done in stages so as to ensure that the process did not lead to damage of plant and equipment. However, by 1400 hours on Sunday, 20th January, 2008, complete restoration of the ZESCO power system had been achieved in the country.

The Disturbance of Monday 21st January, 2008 at 1928 Hours

Mr Speaker, at 1928 hours yesterday, the ZESCO National Control Centre registered a sudden increase in power demand. This resulted in increased power flow on the remaining transmission line. As you recall, I have said that one of the lines from the Kariba North Bank was down while we are waiting for the base for the tower to cure. Therefore, the power flow that was on that line was beyond its carrying capacity and it tripped the overload protection. I mentioned earlier that the second line is out of service.

Since the Kariba North Bank Power Station was not generating to feed the national grid, the Kafue Gorge and Victoria Power Stations could, therefore, not sustain the resultant national demand at that time of the day. The peak demand for this country is the period between 1800 hours and 2100 hours. This, therefore, led to tripping of the station. This is a protective reaction by the equipment, as I have said earlier, to avoid extensive damage which could result in prolonged blackouts.

Once, again, the restoration process of the power system commenced immediately with the Victoria Falls Power Station coming on board at 2057 hours to supply Livingstone, the Western Province and parts of the Southern Province.

On the Copperbelt, gas turbines from CEC and power imports from the DRC were raised to supply critical mining loads.

The Kafue Gorge Power Station was restored at 2210 hours and customers were being connected progressively, starting with Lusaka, going on to the Copperbelt and the rest of the country. On the other hand, power supply from the Kariba North Bank Power Station cannot be accessed due to a fault on the transmission line.

With the non-availability of the Kariba North Bank Power Station, only Kafue Gorge and Victoria Falls Power Stations were available to supply power to the country. The current national demand is slightly over 1300 mega watts while the combined generation of the remaining two power stations, namely Victoria Falls and Kafue Gorge only amounts to 700 mega watts. The resulting power deficit has led to extensive load shedding on the Zambian power network.

In order to mitigate this deficit, ZESCO has arranged further imports of power from the DRC. ZESCO has also despatched engineers to locate and repair the fault on the second transmission line in order to restore power supply from the Kariba North Bank Power Station.

Mr Speaker, Zambia used to be a net generator of electricity and as such, a disturbance of this nature would normally have been absorbed by the power stations using the reserve generation capacity. However, due to diminished supply generation, which is also known as reserve capacity in both Zambia and the region, the interconnected system is now vulnerable to any slight disturbance that may cause an excess load on any power station which otherwise would have been absorbed by their respective power stations.

Sir, in 2002, the maximum demand for power in Zambia was about 1000 mega watts, but, at the moment, this has almost doubled. The high demand for power is credited to the good economic policies of the New Deal Administration …


Mr Kaonga: … which has resulted in an economic boom. I will repeat that.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Konga: The high demand for power is credited to the good economic policies that have resulted in an economic boom. As you all know, an economic boom requires energy.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Konga: Regrettably, the increased demand for electricity has not been matched with increased investment in power generation.

The issue of increased power generation is being addressed with the promotion of various generation projects.

Mr Speaker, while all these efforts are on going, I would like to assure all electricity consumers and the nation at large, that the Government is aware of the negative impacts of such blackouts on the economy. Therefore, it is doing everything in its power to prevent such occurrences in the future. To this effect, ZESCO has been directed to temporarily disconnect the Zambian power system from the interconnections in the South to stabilise the system until the power situation normalises.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Konga: In conclusion, I would like to, once again, sincerely thank our people for their patience and co-operation, but at the same time, appeal to them to remain calm and not to resort to acts that will lead to loss of property or life. The events of the past few days require co-operation from all citizens of our great country as none of us want this country to be in the dark.

Mr Speaker, may I also appeal to hon. Members of this august House to sensitise the people …


Mr Konga: … on the need to safeguard electricity infrastructure and co-operate with ZESCO during this difficult time.


Mr Konga: In view of the current power deficit, I would like to appeal to all electricity consumers to conserve as much power as possible in order to use the available electricity efficiently.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members may ask questions …

Hon. Opposition Members stood up.


Mr Speaker: Order! When I speak, take it that I am standing. Do not, therefore, rise until I finish speaking. Hon. Members may ask questions which will enable the hon. Minister to clarify certain points that he has made in his ministerial statement.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether ZESCO management has failed to institute a protection circuit to protect the Zambians from imported malfunctioning systems. Further, why should we adopt primitive methods of disconnecting the whole system?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, as stated in the ministerial statement, ZESCO systems are highly technical and computerised. Therefore, any disturbance in the system is automatically detected by the system and transmitted from wherever it occurred on the high voltage network to the national control centre.

Mr Mukanga was talking to Dr Scott.

Mr Konga: I would like the hon. Member to pay attention.


Mr Konga: I was saying that all disturbances in the system are picked up and relayed to the national control centre for further analysis and logging.

Therefore, a disturbance that occurs on the interconnector will equally be detected and, depending on its nature, will direct the computers either to sustain that disturbance or order them to shut down to avoid extensive damage to the equipment. This system is actually computerised. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, this is actually what happened. A disturbance was detected on the interconnector to Zimbabwe and it was transmitted. Firstly, the disturbance tripped the generators as a protection measure to avoid the generators from being damaged. The disturbance was detected and relayed to the computer which issued a signal to the power system to switch off the generators. As I have said, because this was the peak period of 1800 hours to 2100 hours, there was an overload on the system which was detected, again, by the computer system at the Kafue Gorge. This also shut down.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, there is tension in the country relating to power.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: Sir, I would like to find out whether ZESCO will immediately compensate all those whose appliances have been damaged?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, as I have indicated, the system switched off. During that period, if there was equipment that was damaged, that is deeply regretted. I would like to urge the hon. Members of the House and through you, Mr Speaker, the public at large to have their property insured …


Mr Konga: … because the disruptions are not caused by ZESCO, but another system.

Hon. Opposition Members: What system?

Mr Konga: Therefore, Sir, ZESCO cannot compensate for the damage that it has not caused.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Ngoma (Sinda): Mr Speaker, arising from the failure in the system that the hon. Minister is talking about, has the Government taken a thorough investigation to ascertain whether this disruption is not politically motivated to sabotage the Government?

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, what I have given is a preliminary report that I received from ZESCO. Therefore, I would like to assure the House that further investigations are still being carried out. However, the preliminary report states that all events that happen on the system are logged on the computer. There is also a computer report that is generated to show what happened at what particular time to the mini-second. The preliminary report indicates that the tripping of the system in Zimbabwe caused the shut down on the Zambian system.

However, Sir, if there are any acts of sabotage by other persons, I would like to assure the House that the relevant security wings will take it up and will be investigated.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kapata (Mandevu): Mr Speaker, other than the two major blackouts that we have had in the past seventy-two hours,  in the peri-urban areas of Lusaka, load shedding is done on a daily basis, especially in Mandevu, Chipata, Garden and Kabanana, just to mention a few. Some few days ago, women from Kanyama demonstrated because almost everyday, people are unable to watch …

Mr Speaker: Order! Your question please.

Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, what is being done about the load shedding that in the peri-urban areas?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, I indicated in the Ministerial Statement that the maximum demand for power in the country has almost doubled since six to seven years ago. That time it was just below 500 mega watts. I think by the end of this year, it will reach over 2,000 mega watts.

Sir, regrettably, there has not been corresponding investment in the area of generation. This is not a phenomena peculiar to Zambia alone. It is a situation that has affected the whole region. Therefore, to mitigate unnecessary damage to equipment due to overload which could result if the system is not properly managed, there is a deliberate effort by ZESCO to switch off targeted consumers. If ZESCO left the system unattended to, the system would be crippled and the situation would call for measures beyond load shedding. This would damage the generators and many other types of equipment.

To avoid that, regrettably, ZESCO has to resort to load shedding. Load shedding is a phenomenon that is not restricted to certain parts of the country. As far as the Government is concerned, load shedding is taking place irrespective of where the place is except for sensitive installations, water pumping institutions and hospitals. I also mentioned this in the question which was raised last week. Those areas are not load shedded. Even where I live, despite being Minister of Energy and Water Development, I also experience load shedding. Therefore, it is not only experienced in particular areas.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Tembo (Nyimba): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister assure this House and the nation that after preliminary investigations have been carried out, the country will never experience any blackouts.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, the hon. Members should appreciate that power generation is a mechanical and electrical process. Any mechanical process can fail. Therefore, I cannot, today, give an assurance that in the future, a mechanical process can never fail.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, with this background, President Mbeki of South Africa has admitted that the power shortage in his country and the region is the fault of his Government for having delayed predicted investments in the power generation capacity. When can we expect a similar admission of guilt from our own Government?


Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, it is correct and true that President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa has admitted that there is a power shortage. Sir, I also would like to admit, and I think that I have mentioned this in this House, …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Konga: …that this country has not had any investment in power generation for more than forty years. Basically, the law to invest in the electricity sub-sector is liberalised such that it is not the Government which should invest in generation alone.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, like other sectors of the economy, for instance the mining and transport sectors, which were under the Government, but have been privatised, the same legislation was passed in this House to liberalise investment in the electricity sector. Therefore, whereas the Government is making efforts to invest in new generation plants as is the case at the Kariba North Bank Lower Power Station, I would like to emphasise to you, hon. Members of this House, that the New Deal Administration has liberalised the economy, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!
Mr Konga: …so come forth and invest. Do not wait for foreign investors to come and invest. Mobilise yourselves and look for investments opportunities. There are investment opportunities in new power generation plants in many sites in the country.  The Government is making an effort to develop new power generation plants.

I mentioned last time that hon. Members of the House should also realise that for new power generation to take place, the investor in new power generation would like to see a return from their investment. However, that only comes about with a good price for electricity. To this effect, ZESCO has applied for a tariff application which will make it attractive for members of the business community to invest in new power generation.

Sir, this, as I mentioned in the Ministerial Statement, I admit, is something that has caught most of the region, including us, napping, and I submit. However, as I said, we used to have surplus capacity only six years ago. Consequently, in the last six years, what we thought was reserve, due to the unprecedented economic activities in the country, has been outstripped.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, I will appeal to my colleagues on your left to help boost the economy by bringing about investment.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

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

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, I would like to know from the hon. Minister why this New Deal Government has continued to encourage generation and distribution to be tied together. This is because we came from a situation where distribution was separate from generation. They were two companies and I submit that it is too heavy for one administration to handle both.
 I would like to know why we cannot separate them at this point in view of where we are heading.

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, it is true that what the hon. Member for Mbabala has said, is prevailing. That is the vertical integration of the power system, whereby the generation, transmission and distribution are all together. However, as I have indicated several times, at the moment, the sector has been liberalised. Members of the public are welcome to set up generation plants for power.

The transmission line can be declared a common carrier. The Government can take the challenge and study the options of separating distribution from transmission and generation. However, in the world over, it has shown that there are few people who would like to invest in distribution and supply. This is because there are attendant challenges to distribution. Usually, the Governments invest in distribution networks and the private sector in generation.

As I speak now, I have already thrown the challenge to hon. Members on the left, to take up opportunities in generation that are standing because we actually do have some private power generating stations for the private sector in Kabwe, Lusenfwa and we have just approved generation for Kalungwishi. Nevertheless, if the hon. Members feel that they would like to take up the challenge of power distribution, the Government will look into that. However, I can assure you that the world over, there is no distribution of power in the private sector. Zambia will be the initiator.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mwanza (Solwezi West): Mr Speaker, I understand Shoprite in Solwezi was guttered this morning. Could the hon. Minister confirm whether this is in connection with the theme of the Ministerial Statement?

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, yes, the national electricity power system has been faced with serious challenges for the last forty-eight hours. I, also, understand Solwezi Shoprite was gutted this morning. However, I am not sure whether the fire at Shoprite has to do with the power failure because the cause has not yet been established. As I mentioned in my Ministerial Statement, power was restored to the nation at about twenty-three hours last night and the fire started this morning. Investigations will still carry on to establish what caused the fire.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Ms Masiye (Mufulira): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister assure the House and the nation at large that the lives of premature babies in incubators in hospitals with no backup generators or mal-functioning generators were not lost. If that be or not be the case, what action has the Government taken to address this particular effect of power failure, as only the mining sector was mentioned as critical in the Ministerial Statement.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Member for Mufulira for that question.

Mr Speaker, I can recall that I mentioned the fact that supplies to critical routes were the first to be connected. For instance, I know that in Lusaka supplies to UTH although, the hospital has generators of its own, was connected immediately after supplies were available and water works were upgraded and other such sensitive installations.

Sir, I would like to assure hon. Members that yes, this was a big challenge and the Government will work with the relevant Government institutions to ensure that alternative supplies are looked into. As I mentioned earlier, power supply cannot be guaranteed. It is supplied and there are factors of nature such as lightening that come into play. With all the good intentions and protection, some of these things do happen. As such, I would like to assure the House that my Ministry will work with other Government ministries to ensure that the institutions that are very sensitive and do not have alternative sources of power supply, are provided with alternative supply.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Milupi (Luena): Mr Speaker, would the hon. Minister, perhaps, promise this House that when he has more plausible technical explanation, he will come to this House. For example, will the hon. Minister accept that where you have proper protection on a system, it can protect the network against external faults, therefore, the disturbances from outside this network, for example those in Zimbabwe, the protection system here will have protected the system and not knock it out.

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. Colleague, the hon. Member for Luena for that question.

Mr Speaker, as I said in the statement, depending on the nature of the fault, the system can withstand some disturbance. The idea of the protection is not only to withstand external faults, but if the disturbance is big and has the potential to damage your system, the purpose of the protection is to switch off the system …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Konga: … so that the fault does not affect the equipment.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order! Almost twenty hon. Members of Parliament still want to raise supplementary questions. I am afraid, this cannot be. What we can do is to find out if on my immediate left, there is an hon. Member who has a very helpful question to ask.

Hon. Opposition Members still on their feet.

Mr Speaker: On my far left, I would like to know if there is another hon. Member who has a very helpful question to ask. I can see that there is still a deadlock. Each one of the hon. Members seems to have a very helpful question to ask. Then, I have to use my discretion.

Mr Habeenzu (Chikankata): Mr Speaker, finally, the people of Kanyama have been hit twice and they are still in darkness. When is power going to be restored in Kanyama?

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Member for Chikankata for that question.

Mr Speaker, I have assured this House and through this House, the nation at large that the Government and ZESCO have endeavoured to restore electricity supply to all parts of the country.

Hon. Opposition Members: No!

Mr Konga: Of course, there might be a few isolated incidents of power not being restored in some places, but I would like to assure the House that most parts of the country have power.

Hon. Opposition Members: No!

Mr Konga: Also, members of the public must be aware that even before the disturbance on the ZESCO system, there were certain areas of the country which, for reasons of vandalism, were experiencing blackouts. This is brought about by members of the public vandalising ZESCO installations. At the moment, I can confirm that some parts of Kanyama have electricity. Therefore, I would like challenge the hon. Member for Chikankata to tell me which area of Kanyama does not have power as a result of the outage.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Ms Mumbi (Munali): Mr Speaker, I am sure the hon. Minister is aware that we have bodies decomposing in our health centres. What is the Government doing to help the bereaved families to bury their dead quickly because it is not our culture to bury our beloved ones already decomposed? I would like to find out what this Government is doing about this.


Mr Speaker: Order! Order! I suppose that is a helpful question.

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Member for Munali for that question.

Mr Speaker, the power outage that occurred yesterday lasted for at least three hours.

Hon. Opposition Members: No! More than that!

Mr Konga: Yes! As I said, in most parts of the country power was restored by 2300 hours.

Hon. Opposition Members: No!

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, I can confirm also that power went off at 1928 hours. In Lusaka, power was restored at 2200 hours for the hospital. I have mentioned that critical institutions were supplied with power.

Sir, first and foremost, the hospitals in Lusaka do have back-up generators. So does the hospital in Ndola and Kitwe. Therefore, I do not know which area did not have power for three hours.

Mr Speaker, I would like to urge the hon. Members not to politicise the issue of power disturbance because this is an issue that affects the whole nation. I, therefore, plead that all of us should take this challenge seriously without politicising it.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Konga: As I have mentioned, for sensitive institutions that do not have alternative power supply, my Ministry will see how best we can find alternative sources of energy such that in the event of a power outage, power to those institution will be supplied. However I still beg the hon. Members not to politicise the issue of power outage.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!



50. Mr Chota (Lubansenshi) asked the Minister of Energy and Water Development:

(a) when the electrification of Ipusukilo Mission in Lubansenshi Parliamentary Constituency would be completed; and

(b) when Chief Chipalo’s Palace would be electrified.

The Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Sichilima): Mr Speaker, Ipusukilo Mission is on the Rural Electrification Authority’s list for projects to be implemented. The cost of the project is estimated at about K1,200,000,000.

Based on the Rural Electrification Master Plan’s list of priority list, the area is expected to be electrified by 2010.

According to the recommendations in the Master Plan, Chief Chipalo’s palace is expected to be electrified by 2010 through grid extension. However, the palace is using solar power currently.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Chota: Mr Speaker, the works at Ipusukilo Mission had started, but the poles are being removed away from that area? How possible will it be to complete the work by 2010?

Mr Sichilima: Mr Speaker, I am aware of the installation leading towards Ipusukilo. At the time, the project was for connecting to a nearby place, but when there was an extension to reach Ipusukilo, there was change of programme. However, I am not aware of the poles being removed. It could be that we are moving in, possibly, to consider the nearby places where the poles have reached.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): Mr Speaker, I would like to enquire from the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development, considering the fact he comes from a rural constituency, how much faith he has in the Rural Electrification Master Plan, particularly that just thirty minutes ago, he was on the Floor admitting the fact that the demand for electricity in this country has far outstripped the supply. As a result, there has been no investment in power generation for the last forty years.

The Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Konga): Mr Speaker, the Rural Electrification Master Plan is the blue print by which this Government wants to ensure that all the rural areas of this country are electrified. This electrification process does not necessarily mean that the rural areas will be connected to the National Grid.

The Rural Electrification Master Plan has various options for electrifying the identified rural growth centres. They might be provided power either by mini-hydro station, solar power or other alternative modes of energy. Whereas this country is truly facing a deficit in energy in the form of electricity, the Rural Electrification Master Plan is still the blue print by which this Government wants to turn this country into a middle income and prosperous nation by 2030 through the electrification of rural areas.

I thank you, Sir.


51. Mr Chanda (Kankoyo) asked the Minister of Communications and Transport:

(a) when the railway companies would repair the traffic lights at all rail road crossings throughout the country;

(b) how many lives had been lost due to the absence of traffic lights at rail road crossings; and

(c) when the Government would replace defaced traffic signs on all rail road crossing points.

The Deputy Minister of Communications and Transport (Mr Mubika): Mr Speaker, in February 2007, the Railway Systems of Zambia (RSZ) admitted that they were unable to install flashlights at the rail road crossings due to high levels of vandalism and thefts. However, the Government, through the Ministry of Communications and Transport, has urged them to install the lights and put in place measures of protecting the lights from vandalism.

As for the Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA), highways and crossings have flyover and under bridges. In addition, TAZARA has two highway crossings situated between Mpika and Kasama. No traffic lights have been installed at these crossings due to the absence of power. However, they are adequately protected by rail crossing warning signs and well-pronounced speed humps.

In the last four years under RSZ, there has been one fatal accident in which one person died at a rail road crossing in Choma and a total of twenty-eight accidents occurred at the rail road crossings.

As for TAZARA, there have been no lives lost due to the absence of traffic lights at rail crossings due to the fact that the crossings are well protected and that many other crossings are on flyover and under bridges.

Replacing the signs along the road highways is the responsibility of the Road Development Agency (RDA) which is under the Ministry of Works and Supply, while the railway company is responsible for the signs and signals. As regarding the replacement of lights at rail road crossings, the Railway Systems of Zambia engaged a private contractor in 2007 to work on the defaced traffic sings on all the rail road crossing points.

Unfortunately, some of the road signs in the Southern Province have been stolen by unknown persons who are allegedly using the material for manufacturing motor vehicle number plates, hoes, spears, braziers and axes.


Mr Mubika: The RDA will do their work in 2008 since they have a continuous trend of doing the same.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether the Government is intending to introduce a penalty fee due to the inertia that has been demonstrated, especially by the Railway System of Zambia (RSZ) who are unable to comply.

Mr Mubika: Mr Speaker, there is no penalty fee that we intend to introduce.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}

Mr Kanyanyamina: Mr Speaker, going by the hon. Minister’s answer, there has not been a fatal accident on TAZARA, and yet we experienced a fatal accident at Mukolemfumu Rail Crossing in Kasama.

Mr Mubika: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member of Parliament has not said the date when the accident occurred because my response is within four years when RSZ took over the operations of the railways.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mooya: Mr Speaker, I was wondering which people are stealing road signs when we know that along the Mongu/Kalabo Road, the Lozis are using such materials for spears.


Mr Mubika: Mr Speaker, it is true that on the Mongu/Kaloba Road the Lozis are the ones who are stealing road signs, but in the Southern Province, it is the Tongas.

I thank you, Sir.



52. Mr D. Mwila asked the Minister of Education:

(a) how many basic schools were under construction in the Western Province in 2007, constituency by constituency; and

(b) how much money was spent on the above projects.

The Deputy Minister of Education (Mr Sinyinda): Mr Speaker, there were no basic schools under construction in the Western Province in 2007. Therefore, part (b) of the question is redundant.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister despite us …

Mr Malama: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order! It is quite clear, hon. Member for Chipili, that your neighbour is not interested in what you are saying.


Mr Speaker: That is why he is interrupting you. So, I need to choose between you and your neighbour.

Hon. Member for Chipili may continue.

Mr D. Mwila: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister despite us approving the Budget for 2007, most of the areas or constituencies …

Mr Malama: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order! The hon. Member is persistent, let us hear what his point of order is all about.

Malama: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for allowing me to rise on a point of order for the first time.


Mr Malama: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out, through the Government, whether the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services is in order to remain quiet without informing the nation why ZNBC is not showing the Africa Cup of Nations …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Malama: … despite the Zambian people continuing paying K3,000 every month.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Malama: Is the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services in order to remain quiet and sit so comfortably next to the Vice-President?


Mr Malama: I need your serious ruling.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: I allow that point of order only for the fact that this House did legislate on the matter of TV licence fees.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: As such, the nation expects a great deal of benefit from that measure. I would like to refer that point of order to the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services to come with a brief, in the form of a short statement as soon as possible. Preferably, even tomorrow so that the nation is made aware as to what has happened and what the problem is.

The hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services is aware that this country is a soccer nation and everybody wants to see what is happening in West Africa in Ghana in particular, live on TV. Therefore, hon. Minister, come with a brief statement tomorrow. I shall allow you to do that. The hon. Member was really persistent on this.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Chipili may continue, please.

Mr D. Mwila: Thank you, Mr Speaker. At the end of last year the Zambia National Tender Board advertised for the construction of some schools in the Western Province. I would like the hon. Minister to tell this House whether those schools will be constructed in 2008 or were earmarked for 2006, 2007 or 2008.

The Minister of Education (Professor Lungwangwa): Mr Speaker, at least, the hon. Member has acknowledged the fact that he follows the information that we put in the daily papers concerning Government programmes and projects. Indeed, there are a number of construction works at basic and high school levels, including the universities that we have made public through the Zambia National Tender Board. Of course, progress is being made in terms of contracting contractors to carry out the work. When a contract has been awarded, construction is determined over a period of time and in most cases, it can be done within that same year. It can spill over into the following year if the work has not been completed. We expect that when the contracts are finalised, with the contractors on site, work will continue and be completed within the agreed specified time.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Katema (Chingola): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minster of Education, under which budget line the works which have been talked about were advertised by the Tender Board Committee and in which year they were allocated.

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, they were allocated in last year’s budget line.

I thank you, Sir.


53. Mr C. K. Banda, SC. (Chasefu) asked the Minister of Health when another borehole would be sunk at Mtwalo Health Centre in Chasefu Parliamentary Constituency to replace the existing one which has insufficient water.

The Minister of Health (Dr Chituwo): Mr Speaker, the borehole was sunk with the financial support from the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) who contracted a private firm to carryout the work. Currently, the borehole has adequate safe water yield. However, periodically, the windmill develops technical malfunction. UNICEF and the private contractor have visited the site to assess the extent of the problem.

We are now waiting for the contractor to work on the windmill. This will be done before the end of January, 2008.

I thank you, Sir.


54. Mr Chisanga (Mkushi South) asked the Minister of Energy and Water Development whether there were any plans to electrify Old Mkushi, Chikupili and Lunsemfwa in Mkushi South Parliamentary Constituency using the Lunsemfwa Hydro Power Station which is located within the same constituency.

The Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Sichilima): Mr Speaker, the hon. Member may wish to know that the Government does, indeed, have plans to electrify Old Mkushi, Chikupili and Lunsemfwa in his constituency. Based on the Rural Electrification Master Plan recommendations, these areas will be connected by extending the national grid. However, I wish to inform the hon. Member that the Lunsemfwa Hydro Power Company currently sells all the power it generates to the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO).

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisanga: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the able hon. Minister when this is going to be done because the other side of Mkushi has already been electrified.

Mr Sichilima: Mr Speaker, I am thankful to the hon. Member for that question. I would like to confirm to the hon. Member that I personally visited this area and just this weekend, the managing director of ZESCO was also in Mkushi, although it was on the other side. I want to also acknowledge that the people of Chikupili and Lunsemfwa have answered to the call by the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government in terms of development. There are some farmers who have invested in dams, hence the need to electrify the area. When we visited the area, we found that there were more than twenty farmers in need of electricity.

Mr Speaker, there is a group scheme that ZESCO is working on and very soon, the hon. Member will be informed the area will be connected.

I thank you, Sir.


55. Mr Tembo (Nyimba) asked the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development:

(a) how many mineral exploration companies were currently operating in Petauke and Nyimba Districts;

(b) what minerals each company at (a) above was exploring and what their findings were; and

(c) what minerals, if any, had been discovered in Petauke and Nyimba Districts.

The Deputy Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr Nkhata): Mr Speaker,

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.


Mr Nkhata: Madam Speaker, when business was suspended, I had just started answering the question by the hon. Member for Nyimba. A total of six mineral exploration companies are currently operating in Petauke and Nyimba Districts. These companies are exploring for various mineral resources in the two districts as follows:

Prospecting Licence Holder   District  Commodity

Katanga Resources    Nyimba, Petauke base metals, gold

Albidon Zambia Ltd   Nyimba, Petauke nickel, copper, 
     precious metals

Zambia Gold Mines Ltd  Nyimba, Petauke gold 
(Australian and British)

Chusi Sikatali  Nyimba  base metals

Sable Transport  Nyimba  base metals

Geohydro Consultants  Nyimba  zinc, copper, gold

Currently large-scale prospecting exploration companies are assessing the ore grades, types of deposits and quantities to determine the ore reserves in the area for possible development of a large-scale mine.

Madam Speaker, the House may further wish to know that there is one small-scale mining licence holder by the name of Kanyamula Zulu in Petauke District who is mining copper oxide ore. The mined material is transported to processing facilities in Kabwe and the Copperbelt.

As regards question (b) of the question, the prospecting licence holders are at different stages of prospecting. The discoveries include the significant syenite-hosted first deposits that consist of the apatite-quarts quas bodies (phosphate ) of Chilembwe near Petauke.

The House may further wish to know that copper and gold have been discovered in Petauke and Nyimba, while lead and zinc have been discovered in Nyimba.

As regards (c) of the question,, the following materials are known to be present in Petauke and Nyimba Districts.

District   Commodity
Petauke   copper, titanium, gold, silver, limestone, graphite, cobalt, 
    Uranium, asbestos, phosphate and clay

Nyimba   lead, zinc, copper iron, aquamarine, tourmaline, gold, coal,
    Aquamarine, tourmaline, gold, coal, limestone, beryl, 
    Molybdenum, niobium and garnet.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Tembo: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that there is Jakuda Gemistone Company Mining at Aquamarine Mining?

Mr Nkhata: Madam Speaker, we were informed about that company by the chief who wrote to the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister if there are plans for prospecting companies to proceed to other districts?

The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Dr Mwansa): Madam Speaker, it is our policy to explore as many areas as possible. Indications are that there are people who are willing to go to other districts to carry out exploration work. The only problem is that there is a moratorium at the moment, so we are not issuing any licences until sometime in April.

I thank you, Madam.

Dr Kalumba (Chienge): Madam Speaker, could the hon. Minister tell us whether there is knowledge as to the commercial viability of the minerals that the hon. Minister has listed in Nyimba. Can they be mined on a commercial basis?

Dr Mwansa: Madam Speaker, it is possible to mine these minerals on a commercial basis and the companies that are carrying out the exploration work are looking at whether or not there are deposits that can be mined on a commercial basis. Indications are that there is a possibility of discoveries of commercial quantities of minerals and thereafter, we expect large-scale mining to commence in both Nyimba and Petauke.

I thank you, Madam.{mospagebreak}


Mr I. Banda (Lumezi) asked the Minister of Lands:

(a) at what stage the border redemarcation programme between Zambia and Malawi had reached;

(b) how many families had been displaced so far as a result of the exercise at (a) above;

(c) how many of the displaced households had been resettled and how many were yet to be resettled; and

(d) when the redemarcation programme at (a) above would be completed.

The Deputy Minister of Lands (Mr Hamir): Madam Speaker, the International Boundary between Zambia and Malawi was inherited from the Berlin Act of 1855. This border was designed as a watershed that separates the water that flows into the Lake Malawi from the water that flows into the Luangwa River. Presently, both Zambia and Malawi recognise the watershed as the international boundary between the two countries. On this account, therefore, there is no re-demarcation of the common border between the two countries. However, this border has never been physically defined on the ground. The work of physical demarcation of the border on the ground is currently what the two governments are involved in.

The Zambia/Malawi international boundary stretches some 804 kilometres. Maps showing the watershed for the whole stretch have been produced. However, only the first 200-kilometre stretch has been fitted with beacons on the ground. The exercise of putting physical beacons is ongoing and will continue after the rainy season in 2008.

Madam Speaker, there is no family, currently, that has been displaced by the re-demarcation exercise. The Governments of Zambia and Malawi undertook joint sensitisation a campaign of the people living along the common border and asked them to continue staying in the current locations until they get further advice from their respective governments after the conclusion of the whole physical demarcation.

Madam Speaker, no households have been resettled since no one has been asked to relocate.

The physical demarcation of the Zambia/Malawi common border is a joint activity between the two governments of Zambia and Malawi. Hoping the two governments will continue to fund this programme, it is estimated to be concluded by the end of 2010.

I thank you, Madam.


Mr Chimbaka (Bahati) asked the Minister of Education how many children of school going age failed to secure school places in Grade 8 in basic and community schools in Bahati Parliamentary Constituency from 2001 to 2007, year by year and by gender.

The Deputy Minister of Education (Mr Sinyinda): Madam Speaker, the following is the proposed reply:

                                   2001                        2002             2003           2004          2005        2006      2007       Total
                                   B          G              B     G      B      G      B      G    B      G     B      G     B      G     B        G  Total
Sat for Grade 7         294     269     312   284   368  295  388  313 421  396   517  424 573  532 2873  2513 5386
Selected to Grade 8  185     154     198  157   199   164  206  184 277  295 382  336 363  379 1810  1669 3479
Failed                        109      115     114  127    169  131 182   129 144  101 135  88 210  153 1063      844  1907

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Chimbaka: Madam Speaker, going by the statistics given by the hon. Minister, is he then confirming that attainment of education for all in Bahati Constituency in particular, cannot be realised by 2015?

The Minister of Education (Professor Lungwangwa): Madam Speaker, if the hon. Member looks critically and very closely at the statistics, there are three variables that stand out. There is a progressive movement towards improvements in access and it is a progressive movement towards equity and learning achievement. These are the yardsticks we use as indicators of progress towards education for all by 2015. We are confident that as we go on, we shall be able to make major developments towards the attainment of education for all, including in Bahati Constituency.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Kapeya (Mpika Central): Madam Speaker, could the hon. Minister of Education be very open to us in this chamber as to whether or not it is fair for a pupil in Grade 9, who is requested to pay K40,000 as examination fees to be made to pay another K40,000 to re-sit the examination when the same student’s results go missing at the Examinations Centre.

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, the answer is simple. Examinations have a cost and the cost has to be borne.


58. Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing:

(a) whether it was the Government’s policy to provide traditional chiefs with motor vehicles for their transport; and

 (b) if so, which traditional chiefs had so far benefited from this policy.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Dr Kazonga): Madam Speaker, the Government has decided to provide loans to chiefs to purchase cars, trucks and tractors. So far, the Government has procured 150 secondhand vehicles from Japan, though these vehicles have not yet arrived in the country. The remaining 136 motor vehicles will be procured this year so that all the 286 chiefs are catered for.

It should be mentioned that the original intention of the Government was to buy three hard tops and one minibus for each province and additionally, a boat each for the Western and Luapula Provinces. This failed because of the complications and implications on the control of vehicles by the Provincial Permanent Secretaries, which was considered unworkable. Further, some chiefs raised serious objections on the sharing of vehicles. It was for this reason that the Government decided to use the available resources to procure secondhand vehicles for all the chiefs.

When these vehicles arrive and are allocated to the chiefs, the care and maintenance will be their responsibility, as these will be personal vehicles.

Regarding part (b) of the question, no chief has benefited yet from the vehicles that have been procured, as they have not yet arrived in the country.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out the total cost of all these vehicles and what sort of collateral the chiefs have been asked to bring forward, as the hon. Minister clearly indicated that these will be procured as loans.

Dr Kazonga: Madam Speaker, the only collateral is that the chiefs are given subsidies. Therefore, we shall be deducting from their subsidies over a period of time. 

In terms of the resources, as was indicated in the budget, the 150 vehicles that we have procure were within what we had budgeted for last year. Therefore, it is important to note that these efforts the Government made were within the Budget that was approved last year.

More effort will be made, as indicated, to make sure that the 136 vehicles remaining are bought this year. I hope when that time comes, hon. Members of Parliament can support us to ensure that our traditional leaders, who are partners in development, have access to some of these facilities to develop.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, Hear!

Hon. Government Member: Quality!{mospagebreak}




Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, when we adjourned last week, I was advancing a point regarding fertiliser distribution. I was saying that the second allocation of fertiliser, which the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives included in the Supplementary Budget, was supported by this House, but that component has not been handled properly. The Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives informed farmers to deposit money in readiness for the fertiliser distribution.

Unfortunately, we have realised that someone at the Ministry happens to be one of those people the President said enjoyed causing chaos in agriculture. Before getting confirmation for the payment of fertiliser, they proceeded to deliver fertiliser to the districts when they were aware that the fertiliser was not going to be paid for.

Madam Speaker, at the moment, there is total confusion. People are desperate because their money has been taken by the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, while the fertiliser has been distributed. It is a very sad state of affairs. People in the Southern Province have not been paid after selling their maize to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) last year.

Now, the little money they had which is about K500,000 per hectare is now being held by the Government.

Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: On the other hand, the Government is saying, ‘We cannot pay the 60 per cent.’ They know there is someone at the Ministry who is not working well, but they are doing nothing about it, and yet the people are suffering. I would like to urge the Government and the Vice-President to terminate the services of that officer at the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives. He made you deliver fertiliser while he informed the fertiliser companies to close doors so that people can riot. Have these facts checked. That is why I do not want to support people when I know there are wrong things going on.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Madam Speaker, I would like to briefly comment on the issue of the National Constitution Conference (NCC). Yes, UPND had agreed with the Catholics and others that certain issues should be agreed to. As UPND, we actually support the Catholics. They mean well.

Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: It is one of those organisations that will support good governance in the country.

Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: We do not want the claim that it is UPND’s stance that Catholics are against any particular situation. Therefore, when we chose to participate in the NCC, it was our decision. Those that stayed away, it was their decision as well.

Mr Muntanga: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Madam Speaker, I would like to comment on energy. In 2006, the President said, and I quote:

“In order to mitigate the looming power deficit by the year 2008, the Government is fast tracking the development of Itezhi-tezhi and Kafue Gorge. So far, negotiations with the preferred investor for the development of Itezhi-tezhi have commenced.”

Madam Speaker, that statement was repeated in the President’s Speech of 2007 using the same words. It said that in fast tracking the looming power deficit in the year 2008, the Government is fast tracking for the development of Itezhi-tezhi.

These were the exact words.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Madam Speaker, this year, again, we are talking about the Kafue Gorge. We may be applauding that, but we are saying the people that write the speeches for the President must understand that the Members of the Opposition are not too dull to listen to any speech. We compare with what was said in the 2003 and 2004 speeches to see whether the Government is working.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: This is the problem we have.

Hon. Government Members: We are working!

Mr Muntanga: Yes, there are certain areas in which you are working, but look at this. It is the same statement in agriculture. The problem is that, the President may mean well, but maybe he is working with a very bad team.

Madam Speaker, what we are asking is why do you want to be praised if things are not working well? The hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning is asking, ‘What are we doing?’ Is he happy that farmers are complaining that there is no fertiliser being distributed?

Madam Speaker, in fact, all we are informing you is that whatever speech you read, we have a record of them. We will look compare what the President said on energy and on any other subject with your performance.

The Minister of Energy and Water Development was talking about consumption. We should not forget that there is a Committee on Energy in this House. There was a report tabulating that the consumption of power by Zambians is 1300 mega watts while production was 1600 mega watts. As such, Zambia has no shortage, but the region will have a shortage by this year.

We had power blackouts because there were rehabilitation works which resulted in a shortage of 300 mega watts. You could see how unprepared these people come to this House to explain issues. When you have a power cut, it is isolated from Zimbabwe’s problems and the National Control Centre picks it up before the machines report. The National Control Centre will have known that there is excessive demand and can switch off certain installations without causing a blackout for the whole country. Why should they switch off? The operators are supposed to be awake.

Madam Speaker, I’m saying that someone at the ZESCO National Control Centre was sleeping. We do not want to be told all these excuses about Zimbabwe. Botswana had a blackout because they get power from Zambia. When we switch off, Botswana is in trouble. In fact, it is only part of Botswana, Kasani, that gets affected.

Madam Speaker, I feel very sad for people who think that the Opposition has forgotten. Why should this be so? We need people to explain what happened with the rehabilitation works which they told us would end soon. They have not ended.

Another issue that we were told on energy relates to the fuel reserves. We were told that the Zambian people would be charged K53 per litre for the construction of fuel reserves. Now, you have changed. You are saying this money is meant to cushion the various prices. That is not what you told us. That money was meant for the Government to build fuel reserves. It was expected that every year, we were going to raise about K50 billion that would be used for constructing fuel reserves. Now, you are not even talking about the fuel reserves. You are now talking about the fifteen days’ fuel reserves by the oil companies. What has happened to the Government fuel reserves? Why have you changed that the money you are charging the Zambians is intended to cushion the fuel prices? That is wrong! This is the problem. Every time you say something, you think we have forgotten. We would like you to honour what you say and do it correctly.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear.

Mr Sikazwe (Chimbamilonga): Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this Motion. I wish you and the entire Member of this august House a Happy New Year.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikazwe: I am very thankful to have this opportunity to contribute to this special speech that was delivered by the President on Friday, 11th January, 2008.

Madam Speaker, the President reduced all the criticisms which were either constructive or destructive by coming up with a new mining policy which will be responsible for health and safety. Coming from the mining industry myself, people complained that the President was insensitive to the deaths and some accidents that were happening in the mining industry. However, people must, today, appreciate the President’s move.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikazwe: Madam Speaker, as I mentioned earlier, I was an employee of the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Limited (ZCCM) and Konkola Copper Mines (KCM). During that time, there was some misunderstanding between management and the employees. The President came to the rescue of all the employees who were facing such problems, but to my surprise, the criticism came from your left (Opposition). They said that the President was insensitive and favouring the investors when we lost some workers in the Chambishi disaster. Now let us agree and accept the President’s resolution.

The President has come up with a policy that call for amendments to the Act that is already in existence to make sure that every mining company, whether small or big, is compelled to take proper safety measures and create good conditions of service for all employees. This will be responsible for the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Madam Speaker, the President has broken the strings and bones of the strength of the Opposition parties by announcing the 47 per cent windfall taxes. The UPND have made constructive proposals while the other side is just pretending to be destructive. That was constructive criticism and we have accepted that.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikazwe: Madam Speaker, if the country earns in excess of US$400 million which is about K1.6 trillion, as estimated, the budget deficit will reduce from K3 trillion to K1 trillion. This is a way forward for any administration, leadership or company. There will be no better achievement than what the President has stated today. As a Government, we mean well in everything we do. 

Madam Speaker, I have always talked about the Kasaba Bay and Nsumbu National Park, but the President has been quiet about these two.  Some people during the UNIP administration asked what had happened to the Kasaba Bay Airport and Kapawa Golf Post.

Mr Milupi: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikazwe: During that time, Hon. Milupi was working for ZCCM. Around 1984, Hon. David Phiri, the Deputy Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services would take fuel to that area to facilitate the President’s visits. The Kasaba Bay was better than Mfuwe Lodge and Livingstone. I can challenge whoever is disputing this.

Madam Speaker, the Kasaba Bay was called Chinika and was established by Mr Chapel who was a white from South Africa. I want to bring this to the attention of the House so that people can understand why the Kasaba Bay is so pronounced even today. The Kasaba Bay has not just come out of an egg, but was hatched a long time ago. In 1970 to 1974, the Zambia National Tourism Board was the company in charge of all the hotels and lodges in Zambia.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikazwe: Madam Speaker, by then, the hospitality business was booming. We had boats called Kapembwa and Makumbi for lake cruising for tourists. Unfortunately, management changed this to Country Hotels and finally, we had the Zambia National Hotels Development Corporation which brought failure to all the lodges and tourist centres.


Mr Sikazwe: However, the worst part was when it was nationalised and taken over from ZCCM in 1988 and 1989 under the UNIP Government. Dr Kenneth Kaunda did that.

Madam, this has brought hardships in the lake shores of Lake Tanganyika because we lost about six fishing companies and three hotel companies. To date, the economy of the people of Kaputa District has not improved because they do not have any means to promote tourism. The fishing companies provided tourism attraction because the tourists were interested in seeing deep sea fishing during late hours of the night.

Madam Speaker, I would like to give a brief history of the Kasaba Bay so that I appreciate the move taken by the President publicly and openly. Until 1979, Cow Bell Schweppes headquarters were in Kenya. This brought the Ndole Bay Lodge into operation because of the volume of tourists going to the Kasaba Bay. However, everything came to a stand still after nationalisation and the Kasaba Bay was abandoned. The crocodile farm was closed and the crocodiles had to go back to the river.


Mr Sikazwe: Madam Speaker, that was the most disappointing part for the people of the Northern Province with regard to the development of that area because that was an area of interest for every investor.

Madam, the President mentioned openly that he wants to develop the Kasaba Bay Resort Project. I think people will appreciate this. He further promised that because of the good policies of the MMD Government, the Kasaba Bay will be revamped.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikazwe: Madam Speaker, the Kasaba Bay is in the Nsumbu National Park. The Nsumbu National Park is the untapped gold for the economy of this country in terms of tourism. It is one of the virgin places in this country. We have vegetation called Itigi. In our local language it is called Iteshi.


Mr Sikazwe: Madam, Itigi is a long stretch of intertwined shrubs which is the best shelter for the habitation of wild animals. When you go to the Kasaba Bay and Nsumbu National Park, you will find a lot of animals because of the Itigi. The game reserves have a lot of animals compared to the national parks because people are conscious about caring for the animals. Animals can rest peacefully in the Itigi because poachers can hardly see them. Therefore, the safety of animals is very prominent.

Madam Speaker, the Nsumbu National Park is the only park in Zambia that has fresh waters for fishing competitions with an excess of 350 species of fish in the Lake Tanganyika. Usually, ornamental fishing is welcome. We have fish such as the yellow belly (nkupi) and bukabuka which is not commonly found here. I can only say that we have so many types of fish. The Lake Tanganyika is the deepest lake in Africa. It is part of the tourism attraction the Kasaba Bay offers. We can say a lot about the Kasaba Bay because we are very happy as people of Kaputa and Chimbamilonga Constituencies.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikazwe: Madam Speaker, the Nsumbu National Park in the Northern Circuit needs to be developed, but the biggest problem, which has scared away a lot of investors and has to be addressed as soon as possible, is that of energy.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikazwe: Madam, every company needs to spend a little on overheads. At the moment, the only investor in the area spends more than K100 million on diesel generation for his plants. This is a threat to the nation.

I am appealing to the Ministry of Energy and Water Development to partner with private investors to take over the Kapisha Geo-thermo Plant. The machinery at that project is already in place and is intact. All that is needed| is to lay a power line on the stretch of sixty kilometres from Kapisha to the Kasaba Bay and this tourism sector will be a reality.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikazwe: Madam Speaker, I repeat that the energy sector is a threat to would-be-investors. As much as the President is putting in his effort, the Ministry of Energy and Water Development must come in and partner with the private investors who are more than ready, even at the moment, to take over the Kapisha Geo-thermo Plant. The Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) was given this plant on 20th October, 1999, but, to-date, the road leading to the Kapisha Geo-thermo Plant has not even been rehabilitated.

Hon. Members: Shame!

Mr Sikazwe: Madam Speaker, the machinery at the plant is worth millions of dollars. Once the road has been worked on, the would-be-investors will be fighting for licences at the Zambia National Tourism Board because the door will be wide open. It will be interesting to see the energy sector performing.

Madam Speaker, at the moment, Kenya, which is on the rift valley, is running 47 per cent of its energy on geo-thermo plants. The Kapisha Geo-thermo Plant, which is in Chimbamilonga, Nsumbu, is in the same temperature margin as that in Kenya.  That is why we brought in some Kenyan Consultants to assist us. They actually found that this was the latest amongst the springs they have even in Kenya. Why can we not emulate their energy sector? As we debate this afternoon, we have been experiencing blackouts because of the load shedding.  The furthest place to be affected by the load shedding is Kaputa because of the low voltage we receive.

The further away from the generation point, the lower the voltage. In this context, I suggest that setting up geo-thermo plants must be considered so that we prove what is obtaining on the ground.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikazwe: Madam Speaker, the next hurdle is the communication pattern. I have been talking about the mobile service providers all the time in this House. I was in my constituency during the festive season. Ndolebo Lodge, which has never handled more than two visitors or tourists, had more than twenty-seven non-Zambian tourists. I went to see them because they were in my constituency. The management at the lodge told me they could have more than this number of tourists, but the problem they faced was the mobile service network. All the tourists were complaining that they needed to be communicating with their relatives in England, Australia and the like. That is the point, Madam.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikazwe: While Cell Z is working on an optic fibre here, it should think about the roll-out programmes. Even if Celtel and MTN fail to do this, Cell Z, as a Government service provider, has part of the shares and can start the roll-out programme in the rural areas.

These areas are serviced by the so-called private mobile service providers. Let ZAMTEL go to in all the remotest areas of this country so that the presence of the Government is felt on the ground.

Dr Katema: Do not worry, PF will come back.

Mr Sikazwe: PF will never come back.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikazwe: Madam Speaker, the people of Chimbamilonga are still calling for the tarring of the Kasama/ Mporokoso/ Kaputa Road. This road is the northern economic corridor, today. The whole wealth of Zambia will come from the Northern Province, as it will take over from the North-Western Province because the Northern Province has the land to grow food. We do not just mine copper. We have a lot of natural resources. There are a lot of tourism attractions and enough land for farming.

Madam Speaker, the Kasama/Mporokoso/ Kaputa Road must be tarred.


Mr Sikazwe: We should not be talking about re-gravelling the road. Madam, the Ministry of Communications and Transport has released K110 million to build another harbour in Nsumbu ...

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikazwe: …intended for the exportation of goods to the Congo DR.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikazwe: Madam Speaker, with those gravel roads, how are we going to handle the damage? It will be rehabilitation after rehabilitation and we will be spending a lot of money.

Madam Speaker, we are expecting K1.6 trillion, which has not been budgeted for. We just need K400 billion to work on the road from Kaputa to Kasama. The K1.2 trillion will remain in the Treasury. It runs the programme and opens the door for investment. There would be a scramble for the Northern Province if the road is worked on.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikazwe: I am not trying to show provincialism here, …


Mr Sikazwe: … but I want to be open and confident in telling the nation that there is potential in the Northern Province for everything. When you talk of minerals, we have them in Mporokoso and Mpika. We also have more than five national parks.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikazwe: I am very happy that the Bank of Zambia has rated the Lake Tanganyika and Nsumbu National Park as the best tourist centres in the Northern Province and Zambia at large. We are amongst the best nineteen national parks. How economically viable can we be, apart from what has already been mentioned by the others?

Madam Speaker, the people of Chimbamilonga are indebted to the President for mentioning the Kasaba Bay in his speech. When we saw some officials come to Chimbamilonga, we thought they were investigating something. Now, we are very thankful to the Office of the President for recognising Nsumbu National Park as one of the best tourist centres.

Madam Speaker, a lot has been said about the President as Chairman of SADC. As for me, I can see the SADC protocols coming to reality. The Chairmanship of His Excellency the President has shown people that he is more interested in what they resolved at the SADC Summit for Heads of State in terms of infrastructure development …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikazwe: … which has been put clearly and he is thinking of another harbour, which has never been thought of before.

Mr V. Mwale: Talk about NCC.

Mr Sikazwe: Madam Speaker, with regard to the NCC, …


Mr Sikazwe: … the people of Chimbamilonga have said that they want people to attend the NCC not because of money. We were raised using other means of livelihood. Besides, the NCC is a new thing.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikazwe: Madam Speaker, a leader must not be compared to a withering reed in the river. No! We have to stand our ground.

With these few words, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Imbwae (Lukulu West): Madam Speaker, I would like to join the many that have spoken before me in thanking the President of the Republic of Zambia, Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, on his speech to this House. In doing that, I would like to quote what he said on page 36 of his speech:

“Agriculture will remain one of the priority sectors for our economic growth and development. My Administration’s emphasis will continue to be on increased and sustainable food security at all levels, income generation through increased cash crop productivity, livestock and fisheries development”.

Madam Speaker, on page 45 of the same speech, he states, and I quote:

“Although Zambia is not a major contributor of green house gases, we are vulnerable to the consequences of climate variability such as droughts and floods. These, particularly, affect small-scale farmers and the poor, threatening their food security”

Madam Speaker, I am aware that this country has gone through various modes of trying to address agriculture. Beginning with our own traditional farming methods, then getting to what was known as the green revolution, advocating for every body to go back to the land and giving subsidies to all the people until it was not possible to provide subsidies for fertiliser in this country.

Then, having put a lot of our land under synthetic fertilisers, we came to the food packs where selected farmers were given inputs with emphasis on trying to graduate them from being poor farmers to middle in-come farmers.

Madam Speaker, unfortunately, the challenges that we have gone through up to this time are proving that we are not getting where we wanted to be. I would like to suggest, maybe, some help for all of us who are from poor constituencies.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, Hear!

Ms Imbwae: Madam Speaker, some have belaboured the point of the poor distribution of fertilisers throughout the country. This year has seen how fertiliser has not been able to reach the people that it was intended to. I will come to that point shortly. I think there is some hope and the hope I am advocating is actually very simple. The hope lies in organic farming. Let me just state what this is.

Madam Speaker, organic farming is the kind of farming that does not use synthetic chemicals such fertilisers, insecticides, herbicides and the rest either in the production or storage of food. This is also based on environmentally-friendly practices such as crop rotation. It is a pity that people only think about cow dung, but we are also talking about compost, agro-forestry and conservation farming. It is not my problem that other people do not know these things because I am just trying to provide some hope.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!


Ms Imbwae: Organic farming is free of contaminants, pollutants and any other environmental materials.

Madam Speaker, really, if this Government wants to talk about sustainable agriculture, the only way to go, amongst other things, is to increase the emphasis on organic farming. I am not saying that we should cancel whatever we have been doing, but whatever has been done has not been able to meet all our requirements on the grounds. Therefore, if you go organic farming, the ordinary people have been used to doing this kind of farming from a long time ago. Organic farming does not take a lot of land because you can replicate a lot of these things that I have been talking about, namely crop rotation, compost manure and everything on the same piece plot of land. You do not need to move to another piece of land because the place that you have been using is totally depleted.

Madam Speaker, it is very easy for people to get into this if only we can train them to use organic methodologies. Let me explain a little further.

Madam Speaker, organic farming promotes regeneration and growth of vegetation. Vegetation is important in atmospheric balances of gases and the maintenance of climate.

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

Ms Imbwae: Vegetation also provides a cover which prevents soil erosion by water or winds and therefore, maintains the fertility of the soil. Trees and gases are good carbon things. The carbon is a measure element responsible for climate change, as it depletes the overall atmosphere.

Madam Speaker, let me just say that the overall atmosphere is only understood by the scientists as providing a shield against ultraviolet radiation from the sun and it leads to safe nutrients. Climate change also brings about unpredictable weather conditions across locations and at various times. Under a changed climate, it is possible that certain areas could experience drought while others experience floods in any given season.

For example, in the 2006/07 farming season, there were widespread floods in the Eastern, North-Western and Western provinces and many parts of the Central Province just to mention a few. A report from the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) was released to those districts. This causes a lot of misery to the people …

Mr Muntanga: On a point of order, Madam.

Madam Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Muntanga: Madam Speaker, if the speaker on the Floor in order to continue debating when we are desperately waiting to go and watch football–Zambia Vs Sudan. Is she in order?


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Order! I find that to be a very important point of order …


Madam Deputy Speaker: … because then, it is giving the Chair an idea of what is going on in the minds of the hon. Members.


Madam Deputy Speaker: On a very serious note, hon. Members of Parliament have been sent to this House to do the business that we are doing at they moment and not to watch football.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Therefore, at no circumstance will the Chair adjourn Business of the House in preference to watching football.


Madam Deputy Speaker: May I, therefore, guide hon. Members to sit, relax, listen and debate.

May the hon. Member on the Floor continue, please.

Ms Imbwae: I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker, the floods that we experienced last year and the ones that we are begging to experience this year are actually an indicator of climate change. This is an indication that it is important for us not only to think about the urban areas, but also the rural areas in a more systematic way

Madam Speaker, people who go through different hardships that are worse than the ones we are experiencing now are the ones in the rural areas. For example, you would find that because of our unplanned management of housing estates, houses are swept away by floods. You do not need to go far. We have seen those who are not used to Kuomboka failing to even ferry their cattle anywhere because the waters were too much.


Ms Imbwae: Madam Speaker, even as we move towards decentralisation, I would like to emphasise that we still maintain centralism within the centralisation function. Most of what we have to do as a Government is to move in that direction. This is what ULP would think about.

Mr Sakwiba Sikota indicated assent.

We should be able to plan what we need to see this country look like. In our centralisation process, therefore, we need to put certain basics in order. The basics are not only the things that we are talking about now, but also the quality of life of our people in the rural areas.

Madam Speaker, disaster is not good for our country. Every year, we go to the Office of the Vice-President, looking for relief food and this and that. Personally, I have asked for different aid, but this is not for this debate.

Madam Speaker, if we, actually, increase our emphasis on organic farming, the people that always look for food from the Office of the Vice-President would be able to grow varieties of food in areas where they can sustainably look after themselves. We should be able to sensitise the people of Zambia on the quality of housing that we think they should have instead of leaving them unattended to and think that it is okay for us to be called to places where houses are falling.

Madam Speaker, those houses are falling not because people have no wisdom to build, but because the Government has failed to bring a quality standard of housing for our rural people.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Imbwae: It does not cost too much to burn bricks and make sure that they build houses that we are talking about and have one-bedroomed houses. These are the same one-bedroomed structures where a lot of activity takes place. The rural areas are the same places where we need to be able to make those same one-bedroomed structures permanent so that regardless of what time, season ...


Mr Magande: On a point of order.

Madam Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Magande: Madam Speaker, as we get closer to Friday, I am becoming very attentive. Is the hon. Member in order to insinuate that it is Government that has failed to teach its people how to build strong houses and yet she knows that in her own constituency, even the strongest brick built on sand will not stand when the sand is swept away by the water. How does such a house stand? Is she in order to say that?


Madam Deputy Speaker: The hon. Minister has raised a point of order as to who should build strong houses and whether any house would stand on shifting sand. The guidance of the Chair is that the hon. Member debating may consider that point of order and give a solution to the hon. Minister.

Ms Imbwae: Madam Speaker, I am aware that the Arab countries have the most sand than we have in Western Province.

Ms Mumbi: Hear, hear!

Ms Imbwae: In that sand they have found a technology as governments, to make sure that the pyramids can last for a long time; to make sure that there are sky scrappers in the deserts; and to make sure that even the winds that blow in those deserts do not get into the houses because that technology was facilitated by their respective governments and I will continue.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: 10 to 0.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Ms Imbwae: Madam Speaker, I was suggesting that we need to address the issue of our rural communities in much more serious way focusing on agriculture and climate change.

There is no way that the ordinary people we left when we came to school can understand certain things on their own unless this Government facilitates. That is why the President of the Republic of Zambia is saying that agriculture is going to be seen as a sustainable activity for development and he is not wrong in that. I do not want to go the route that says maybe the team is not supportive, but I just want to offer some hope. I know that there are some very hard working people on that side.

Madam Speaker, may I suggest that we need to look at the issue of food security as country. I know that when we had a bumper harvest, whenever we thought we had it, we rushed to sell the little food that we had, and fast on the feet or on the tracks of our own distribution of food elsewhere, we have been hit by floods and we panic. I suggest that in my advocating for organic farming that, in fact you can produce food with various qualities and quantities using organic methodologies. Those who are not aware can please come to OPPAZ we shall train them.

The productivity in using Effective Micro-organisms, (EM) actually nullifies the chemicals and synthetic fertilizers in agriculture. The EM helps soils and crops to recover their inherent healthy states. Polluted environments are purified by EM. EM usage increases the yields not only in tomatoes but also in the production of chickens which makes them bigger, and will not have any of those conterminous that actually affect people who are eating them without realising that they are also getting contaminated. The cost is very cheap and it is possible for each one of us to learn from another farmer on how to go about these things.

The maize that is under EM grows very fast but again, that is for those who are interested. There are organisations in this country that can work side by side with Government except that the focus has been on the distribution of fertilisers which we have not been able to manage either for economic value or for the inability of the people to access it. Therefore, no one in this country can fail to be taught how to compost.

Compost manures are very effective. Agro forestry is very effective and it cuts across two ministries. The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources are in agro forestry and the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives is into that. I cannot see how two ministries can fail to cover the whole of our country and make its people more dependent on themselves rather than looking to Lusaka or some other place to take them food because they are in panic.

As I wind up, Madam Speaker, I just want to mention a small thing that many people may not be aware of and that is the usage of diatomite as a preservative for cereals, control of ticks in cattle and improving soil moisture.

The microscopic sharp edge of diatomite made in contact with any body of a parasite pierces that and when they are pierced, they die automatically. You do not need to use any of those contaminates to spray and kill the ticks. Again, there are examples that we can share.

Large deposits of this diatomite that I am talking about are found in Western Province is being used in Central, North-Western provinces by organic farmers. We want for those that are interested to be able to spread this knowledge so that people are not forced to use chemicals that they cannot afford to buy and which are not only costly to the animals but themselves as well.

Madam Speaker, I think it is something to think about as a Government that we begin to zone certain areas as organic farming zones so that they are not polluted by the contaminates that come from the use of fertilisers and insecticides. That also guarantees as a sure market on the international market because non GMO products are fetching a high price at the international market. And that kind of market can be accessed by our poor people who will only be using organic technologies because they cannot afford to buy the fertilisers that we are forcing them to buy. They will not be dependent on the fertilisers that are inaccessible. I know that up to a certain point last week, there were still fertilisers that were locked up in warehouses when people are crying for it countrywide.

I suggest that the focus lies in our going through the route of organic farming so that we can produce more. The quantities that are needed by our own markets and international markets, make our people self sufficient and gives us not only food security but security as country.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Madam Speaker, thank you for affording me an opportunity to debate. I realise my colleagues are looking at their wrist watches, hoping they will go and watch the Zambian football match, but the match will be at 21:30 hours. So, I wonder where they want to go between now and then.


Mr Hachipuka: Madam Speaker, I wish to, firstly, congratulate the Member of Parliament, Hon. Muteteka, as you all know my major investments are in Chisamba. Therefore, I have often allowed people to stand in that constituency because that is my home constituency.

I would also like to thank Hon. Milupi, …

Mr Milupi: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: … a former colleague in the mining industry, for his support of the President’s Speech. Let me simply state that the debates by other hon. Members have been of excellent value to the process.

I would also like to thank the President of the Republic of Zambia for a speech that I consider to be balanced.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: I have listened to many speeches, as you know this is my ninth year in Parliament. I hope my colleagues who are in the Executive will implement that speech. It will take us a long way, if only we can do that. Of the speeches that have been so far made, I would like to single out a speech that was made by Hon. Kasongo, my brother-in-law for whom I have a lot of respect. In his speech, he expressed concerned about the K900 billion that has been withdrawn from the various bank accounts and taken back to the Bank of Zambia as a control measure. He disagreed with that position. I am sure Hon. Mutati, an accountant of long standing and myself will agree with me that, perhaps, this was the best thing that was done by your Government, …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: … to withdraw the money for accountability’s sake. I hope we do not lose it, as it will be available for the projects that have been earmarked.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: Madam Speaker, the problem is that to bring back funds from the ministries is a symbol of lack of capacity or inadequate capacity in the ministries to spend the money.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: They are many things that can be done with the money. This country has spent a lot of money on training the Civil Service to improve on their capacity to superintend over projects. I wonder when this will stop.

Mr Muntanga: Eeh!

Mr Hachipuka: Madam Speaker, I would like to comment on the Constitution. It is very clear that the people of Zambia want a Constitution and I do not think anybody doubts that. The Constitution-making process was started through the Constitution Review Commission (CRC). We have then enacted the National Constitution Conference (NCC). What I find very interesting in my political life is how politicians turn and twist issues.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: One minute they are pushing the Government in power for a Constitution, the next minute they turn round and put all sorts of spanners in the process. Really, we as UPND, want to go into Government, but we want to go into Government for good reasons.

UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: This is because we have more capacity than them. That is why we want to go into Government.

UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: Madam Speaker, we do not want to go into Government using the back door. I have often told my colleagues that the public out there is listening and wants to know the quality of our debate. That is what …

Power went off.


Madam Speaker: Order! Hon. Member can you take a seat.

Power was restored.

Madam Speaker: Order! We shall continue with our business.

Hon. Member on the Floor may continue, please.


Mr Muntanga: The lights will go again.

Mrs Musokotwane: Konga where are you?

Mr Hachipuka: Thank you, Madam Speaker. I was on the issue of the Constitution-making process. I said that we need a Constitution and the people of Zambia want a Constitution and as far as we are concerned, as UPND, we are attending the NCC.


Madam Speaker: Go on hon. Member.

Mr Hachipuka: Madam Speaker, we have a chance as Zambians to consolidate our experiences of forty-four years by producing a new Constitution. The current Constitution, I realise, gives too much power to the President.

Hon. UPNFD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: It also gives too much power to the Civil Service.  At the moment, under the present Constitution, the Civil Service cannot be controlled. How can the Civil Service be controlled when you one is not even a Chairman of any tender committee?

Mr Muntanga: Eeh!

Mr Hachipuka: How can one control the Civil Service when he or she is not even a bank signatory?

Hon. Opposition Members: Eeh! Shame!

Mr Hachipuka: Do we really understand what power is? Power is about controlling money and decisions that bring development.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: Madam Speaker, we need to reconcile the powers in the Constitution that we think the people must be given. The electorate elect us, including the councillors and the President, but the people they elect have no power to bring development. We are all symbolic. A Permanent Secretary can decide how to spend the money, but half of the ministers are beggars.

The lights were on, but the screens were blank.

Madam Speaker: Order! I will suspend business now for only five minutes to allow for our screens to start functioning. We can linger around for five minutes.

Business was suspended from 1753 hours until 1804 hours.

Mr Hachipuka: Madam Speaker, …


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Hachipuka: Madam Speaker, before business was suspended, I was saying that the current constitution gives too much power to the President. I would like to repeat that it also gives too much power to the Civil Service. It denies power to the voters as well as the Executive, meaning us here, after they have voted. We have no meaningful power because we cannot chair any meeting relating to development. We are not even signatories to any meaningful bank accounts.

Ministers are made to beg around the Civil Service. I am looking forward to a situation where the new Constitution will address these issues because you will continue coming in and out from your ministerial positions and your Government. You will never be able to change meaningfully the best of this country.

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

Mr Hachipuka: Madam Speaker, another point that relates to the Constitution is that the present Constitution reflects Zambia as a Christian Nation. Although Zambia is a Christian country, in my view, we must define the churches in the Constitution, because if churches are not checked, they will continue to propagate. For instance, how many Priests, Deacons, Bishops are in the Roman Catholic Church and from which region do they come from?

In the Anglican setting and in all these churches, if the churches are left unchecked, they will develop and will create a problem that will lead this country to war.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: If churches are not checked and are allowed to play a major political dimension in our set up, this country will go to war like was the case with the Lenshina many years ago.

Madam Speaker, with regard to the Local Government, I simply want to ask this Government to continue the issue of decentralisation; giving power to the people. When you talk about corruption, most of it takes place in Lusaka here. How can we allow this? I have said before that if monies were channeled to the provinces or districts, the Zambians would learn to look after their own affairs.

Mr Kanyanyamina: On a point of order, Madam!

Madam Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kanyanyamina: Madam Speaker, I have been listening very carefully to this experienced debater in this House. However, I need your serious ruling when he begins to talk about the churches and even going as far as mentioning the denominations of the churches when this House is agitating for unity. How can he single out a few churches? Is that really a fair or democratic way of recognising the existing churches? I need your very serious ruling, Madam.

Madam Deputy Speaker: The hon. Member debating may continue.


Mr Hachipuka: Madam Speaker, on economic management, sound economic policies alone will not repair roads nor will they bring food to the tables of the average Zambians. You have to strengthen, as a Government, the economic delivery vehicles. Most resources are either embezzled en route to the people or project or resources are not applied economically and judiciously. Until the level of integrity is raised in the Civil Service, we shall continue to wallow in abject poverty. You have to strengthen your hand in controlling the Civil Service.

As my Chairman for Public Accounts will tell you, those revelations were a sample of a ew ministries that were picked. You will get the picture that across the board, there is serious misuse of national resources. It is not that we do not have enough resources in this country, but the application of those resources is wrong.

Madam Speaker, in changing the subject to mining, I want to say that the announcement by His Excellency the President to introduce a windfall tax and available profit tax on mineral exports is most welcome. I hope that the machinery has been set to expedite the inclusion in this year’s Budget. I also hope that we will have to strengthen the Government’s hand in inspectorates in making sure that the profits and the production that has been declared by mining houses is correct.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: I hope that when this is done, it will turn the tables such that the corporate tax will be higher. In the past Pay-As-You Earn (PAYE) was much higher than the contributions from individual corporate companies. I think time has come when we should expect organisations and companies to pay higher than PAYE.

Madam Speaker, I would also like to make a contribution on the issue of land. When the President announced that there was a land policy coming through, I am hoping that the land policy will not only restrict itself to the land under the President’s powers. I am hoping that it will also touch on land in the hands of our traditional rulers because most of the problems and disturbances that we have had is that with land that is made available to investors only traditional leaders benefit. It has to benefit the people. The traditional leaders hold it on trust for the people. If any investor comes to invest and a piece of land is given to them, I hope the policy will define how the negotiations should go. As for me, I would go as far as defining and making sure that that particular traditional leader and people are shareholders.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: Why build them a school or church and not make them shareholders because their contribution is land. Whichever investor comes in, must bring in the rest, but would you not say that it will be fair for the traditional leaders and their people to hold, say a 20 or 30 per cent shareholding in a company and their contribution is land. Why then?

The other day, I read in the paper that we have chiefs who have been given cars and are very happy because according to their understanding, to be given a car or built a house, is the end of the world. Unfortunately, their subjects are not helping them. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us here to assist them so that they get value for money.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: Finally, I have not debated very freely because the lights are dim.

I thank you, Madam

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

The Minister of Education (Professor Lungwangwa): Madam Speaker, I thank you very much for giving me an opportunity to add my voice to this very important debate.

Madam Speaker, the exposition of public policy by a Head of State draws the attention of both the local and international community. It is a very serious matter which demands adherence of the highest degree of honour and dignity.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: When such an opportunity avails itself, all serious-minded people take time to pay attention to the pronouncements of public policy being made by the Head of State.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, why is it important to give the President our utmost attention when he has the time to speak to the nation on matters of public policy and national direction? The answer is simple. The articulation of policy by the Head of State reflects the heart and mind of the leader. It is in the policy speech of the President that we find his feelings and thinking about the welfare of the people he is privileged to lead and the direction the country should take. Only those with questionable states of mind can afford not to accord the highest honour and dignity to such an occasion.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, the speech that His Excellency, Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC., delivered to this august House fulfils the measure of a great leader.

Madam Speaker, the sign of great leadership lies in the passionate concern for the people that the leader is leading. This speech is deeply anchored in the President’s concern for the people of Zambia, their welfare, quality of life and prosperity. The phrase “the people” is mentioned forty-one times in the President’s Speech. This phrase has been used in the context of the following descriptions: people’s welfare, people’s rights, accountability to the people, governance of the people, to mention but a few.

A close reading of this speech will show clearly that the President is a people-centered leader.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

(Inaudible) – Power failure


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Due to the power failure, I am adjourning without the question being put and agreed to.

(Debate adjourned)


The House adjourned at1837 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday 23rd January, 2008.



49. Dr Kalumba (Chienge) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives:

(a) how many satellite groups had been formed for the Fertiliser Support Programme under the Programme Against Malnutrition (PAM) in Chienge Parliamentary Constituency during 2007/2008 farming season;

(b) where the satellite groups at (a) above were located;

(c) how many bags of fertiliser each group had received for the 2007/2008 farming season; and

(d) how many of these satellite groups were women groups.

The Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Kapita): Mr Speaker, I wish to point out that agriculture inputs programme under the Programme Against Malnutrition (PAM) is the Food Security Pack and not the Fertiliser Support Programme.

PAM implements the Food Security Pack under the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services and not the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives.

Nevertheless, the following are the responses:

(i) There are twenty-three satellite groups that have been formed in Chienge District since inception of the Food Security Pack (FSP) Programme in 2000, with a view of providing services through them.

(ii) The twenty-three satellite groups are spread out through all the seven agricultural camps in Chienge District. However, each year only a few are targeted depending on the number of packs allocated to the district. The details are as per attached Table 1.

(iii) Only four satellite groups within Chienge Agriculture Camp received rain fed packs for the 2007/2008 farming season (issued in November 2007) as per table below:

No of Fertiliser
Received (50 kg bag)  other Inputs (seed)

S/No.Satellite Basal Top Maize Beans Cowpea Groundnuts
 Group Dressing Dressing (10 kg (7.5 kg (2.5 kg (10 kg)
  (D (Urea) Packet Packet Packet Packet

1 Chakaba 16 16 16 20 - -
2 Mangashini 20 20 20 16 - 4
3 Kangalo 20 20 30 3 15 2
4 Semushi 19 29 19 12 6 1
 Total 75 85 75 51 21 7

Note: Quantities of D Compound and Urea fertiliser are distributed as required in relation to area under cultivation, hence the difference in quantities for Semushi Satellite Group. In addition, some beneficiaries sometimes have their own extra fertilisers.

None of these groups are exclusively women. The groups are for the generally community and are jointly owned by or comprise both male and female members of the community.

Table 1: Satellite Groups Formed to Deliver Food Security Packs in Chienge District in 2007

S/No. Name of Group Camp/Location

1 Chakaba Chienge
2 Kangalo
3 Semushi
4 Mangashini
5 Ponde Puta
6 Puta
7 Kalembwe
8 Kalembwe Kalembwe Camp
9 Kapako Mununga Camp
10 Kabwe
11 Kamikonso
12 Kefulwa
13 Mukunta Mukunta
14 Mukompa Kaseke
15 Museka
16 Kaseke
17 Kalungwishi
18 Kapampale
19 Lambwe Chikwama Lambwe Chikwama
20 Lambwe Chomba Lambwe Chomba
21 Kantipa Sambula
22 Kapungwe Mwabu
23 Maoma