Debates- Tuesday, 14th August, 2007

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Tuesday, 14th August, 2007

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






813. Mr Simama (Kalulushi) asked the Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources what plans the ministry had for the following places:

(i) Chati Research Centre;

(ii) Kitwe Research Headquarters; and

(iii) Riverside Research Centre.

The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources (Ms Tembo): Mr Speaker, my ministry attaches great importance to research development activities aimed at achieving sustainable forest management and utilisation.

Consequently, among the programmes in the Fifth National Development Plan to be implemented by the ministry in the five years, from 2006 to 2010, is the strengthening of the Forestry Research Branch by rehabilitating infrastructure, providing equipment and training human resources.

Mr Speaker, this House may wish to know that the strengthening of the Forestry Research Branch is to enable it carry out the following main research programmes:

(a) tree selection, breeding and field testing to produce best performing plus trees for seeds for the seed production used in commercial plantation establishment;

(b) tree growth, survival and yield studies to determine forest productivity;

(c) plant diversity conservation and management, especially in the indigenous woodlands and forests;

(d) detection, monitoring, prevention and control of tree pests and diseases;

(e) determination of timber strength and working properties for both indigenous and exotic trees;

(f) wood-fuel studies, especially charcoal yield and calorific value of different tree species;

(g) development of energy serving wood-fuel based stoves;

(h) development of preservation methods to enhance natural durability of timber in use; and

(i) developing extraction and processing techniques for plant extractives such as resins, gums, dyes, fibers and traditional medicine.

Mr Speaker, the following are the works that are going on at the stations in question:

(j) Chati Research Centre

My ministry has started rehabilitating the office block and the water reticulation in the nursery so as to improve seed production in the nursery and expand planting programmes to over 50 hectares per year.

(ii) Kitwe Research Headquarters

My ministry is rehabilitating the office block, replacing obsolete laboratory equipment and restocking the library.
(iii) Riverside Research Centre

My ministry is rehabilitating the Forest Protection Laboratory so as to meet the international standards.

In addition, the transport problem is being addressed and, to this effect, a vehicle has been provided to be stationed at the Forestry Research Headquarters in Kitwe.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simama: Mr Speaker is the hon. Minister aware that Kitwe Research Headquarters used to be the biggest research centre in Central Africa whereby other countries used to come for consultations. This centre also worked hand in hand with herbalists in the Herbalism Department to discover medicinal uses of trees. However, at the moment, the research centre has no resources to run. What immediate plans has the Government got for this institution?
The Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources (Mr Pande): Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister’s response, indicated that this is being rehabilitated. This year’s Budget shows that the resources for this project have increased from about 280 per cent from last year. All this is being done to enhance the facilities at all the research stations so that they can get back to their original standards. Therefore, we are concerned, especially, with the issues of the environment that are in the world today.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, this Government inherited Chati Research Station when it was functioning well. Can the hon. Minister confirm that this Government’s failure to manage these research stations is the reason they are constantly thinking of rehabilitations?

Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, where one fails to do something, he would not be pumping in money. Every institution or structure requires maintenance. At some point, the standards of these structures were falling down. However, the Government realised that those standards must be improved upon. That is why we are putting in so much resources to improve the current standards of these research stations.

I thank you, Sir.


814. Mr D. Mwila (Chipili) asked the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development:

(a) how much profit was made by the NFC Africa Mining Plc in 2005 and 2006, year by year; and

(b) how much of the profit at (a) above was spent on monthly salaries of the following employees in the same period above, year by year:
(i) local employees’ and
(ii) expatriate employees. 

The Deputy Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr M. Mwale): Mr Speaker, I would like to inform the House that NFC Africa Mining Plc made a total profit of US $42,661,378 between 2005 and 2006 broken down as follows:

2005                   2006

US $39,494        US $42,621,884

Sir, no profit was spent on salaries because a salary is not payable from the profit, but is deducted from gross earnings. However, the company spent a total of US $22,329,695 between 2005 and 2006 in monthly salaries for both local and expatriate employees not from profits, but as a cost to the company broken down as follows:

                                                       2005                                  2006

(i) Local employees                       US $7,410,748                 U S $12,810,120
(ii) Expatriate employees               U S $980,521                   U S $1,128,575

I thank you, Mr Speaker

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, I have been informed that in 2006, NFC African Mining Plc made a profit if U S $42.6 million. What is the Government doing to ensure that our workers are better remunerated looking at the price of copper which is at the peak?

The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Dr Mwansa): Mr Speaker, in this country, we encourage free collective bargaining and every year employers and employees meet to look at salaries and improved conditions of service. Therefore, we encourage dialogue and yearly negotiations between workers and employers.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister if NFC African Mining Plc has a deliberate policy of introducing a profit sharing scheme.

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, the question is about the profit the company made and how much was paid to the employees from the profits. It is not about profit sharing.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Chimbaka (Bahati): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the minister for Mines and Minerals Development whether the ministry will consider re-introduction of copper bonus to miners especially the price of copper has now risen.

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, that is a very progressive idea. At ZCCM, we used to embark on that regime of awarding workers. We will do everything possible to encourage the current mining owners to do the same.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the Minister, if he could be in a position to tell us how much tax was paid out of the U S $42 million profit made by NFC African Mining plc.

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, surely, from these earnings, I do not think that we can know how much was paid in form of tax. What I can say is that there is no evidence that NFC African Mining plc did not pay tax, the reason being that they complied with all the tax obligations during those two years.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, looking at the figures that we have been given as money spent on salaries between locals and expatriates, we have a ratio of seven to one. May I know the ratio of employees in as far as locals and expatriates are concerned so that we compare the two properly.

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, we had a question in this House during this session about how many employees were employed by NFC African Mining plc and that question was answered very adequately in the House.

I thank you, Sir.


815. Mr Ntundu (Gwembe) asked the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry:

(a) how many security firms were currently operating in the country, name by name and district by district;

(b) how many those at (a)  above were engaged in private investigations; and

(c) whether any of these security firms had their licences withdrawn and, if so, what the reasons were.

The Deputy Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Ms Siliya): Mr Speaker, there are 808 security firms currently registered and operating in the country according to the register obtained from the Patents and Companies Registration Office, the list of which I lay on the Table.

Mr Speaker, most of these companies which are registered with the Patents and Companies Registration Office provide investigative, physical security, escort and guard services and they have to be cleared by the Ministry of Home Affairs before commencement of business.

Sir, the Patents and Companies Registration Office only issues certificates and not licences.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether there are any firms which have gone into private investigations without licences. For instance, there are some newspapers that go deeper in investigations.

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, the laws of this country requires that for anybody to operate the business, they must register with the Patents and Companies Registration Office. Therefore, as a ministry, we are not aware that there are some security firms that are operating without licences. If the hon. Member of Parliament has that information, we will be very pleased to have it so we can deal with the culprit.

I thank you, Mr Speaker, and I will lay the rest of the answer on the Table.

Ms Siliya laid the paper on the Table.

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


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

(a) whether the Government had any plans to resume providing grants to the Zambia Postal Services; and

(b) when the last time the Zambia Postal Services Limited received a Government grant was.

The Deputy Minister of Communications and Transport (Mr Mubika): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the Government has not stopped providing grants to the Zambia Postal Services Corporation. The Government has been providing grants for the operations of Post Boats on the Zambezi River in Western Province and Lake Bangweulu in Luapula Province.

Sir, the Zambia Postal Services Corporation still continues to receive grants from the Government. In this year’s budget, the following has been allocated to the corporation:

 (i) Construction of post offices  K1,150,000,000
 (ii) Support to Zampost Rural Services K200,962,007
 (iii) Post Boat (Bangweulu)  K200,000,000
 (iv) Post Boat (Zambezi)   K200,000,000

 Total     K1,750,962,007

Mr Speaker, so far, the ministry has released K91 million to Zampost Rural Services, K103 million to Zampost Bangweulu and K03 million to Zampost Zambezi.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, two weeks ago, the hon. Deputy Minister informed this House that this company had been making losses which amounted to K52 billion. May I find out from the hon. Minister where the money has been coming from since the company has been making losses in billions for the past three years? Where has this money been coming from?

The Minister of Communications and Transport (Ms Sayifwanda): Mr Speaker, the question is similar to one we had two weeks ago. Two weeks ago, we said that the Government had not been providing grants to the Zambia Postal Services Corporation (ZAMPOST) and this is true. However, the Government was concerned with the dual projects concerning the postal boats on the Zambezi River in the Western Province and Lake Bangweulu in the Luapula Province. So, this is what really helped the two projects to progress.

Sir, maybe, I should ask the hon. Member to clarify which money exactly he is talking about. The question is not very clear.

I thank you, Sir.


817. Dr Chishimba (Kasama Central) asked the Vice-President what measures the Government had taken to ensure that the motto of “One Zambia One Nation” continued to flourish in the wake of anti-tribal sentiments currently being expressed.

The Deputy Minister in the Vice-President’s Office (Ms Lundwe): Mr Speaker, the Government has continued to uphold the motto of “One Zambia One Nation” as a unifying factor as it has continued to be provided for in the National Constitution. The motto has also continued to be part of the National Coat of Arms and the National Anthem.

Furthermore, the Government is of the view that the issue of tribalism, undesirable as it may be, requires education and does not require criminalising. However, it is an offence under Section 70 (1) Cap. 87 of the Penal Code of the Republic of Zambia to express or show hatred, ridicule or contempt for any person because of his race, tribe and place of origin or colour. In this regard, Section 70 (1) provides as follows:

“Any person who utters any words or publishes any writing expressing or showing hatred, ridicule or contempt for any person or group of persons wholly or mainly because of his or their race, tribe, place of origin or colour is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years.”.

Further it is an offence attracting imprisonment of seven years or a fine not exceeding six thousand penalty units or both to publish, print, distribute any seditious publication or utter seditious words which in terms of Section 57, and 60 of the Penal Code Cap. 87 includes publishing, printing distributing materials or uttering words with the intention of promoting feeling of ill will or hostility between different communities or different parts of a community (Section 60 (1) (f). For proposes of Section 60 Sub-section 3. “Community” is defined as including persons having a common tribal or racial origin.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, in the Kaunda days, “One Zambia, One Nation“ was a household motto. At any function, people used to be reminded by the shout of “One Zambia, One Nation“. Why has this Government abandoned this kind of practice?

The Vice-President (Mr R. Banda): Mr Speaker, it is true that in those days, the slogan “One Zambia, One Nation“ was always referred to at functions. It has not stopped as you can see that it is part of the Laws of Zambia. And it is expected that the Zambian people have matured and can remember to say it to themselves.

Thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Mr Speaker, how is this motto being effected in appointments at all levels of decision making in this country so that all corners of Zambia are represented and enjoy being Zambians?

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I can assure this honourable House that those of us, who are in a position to make the appointments, make sure that, at all times, every corner of this country and all the people of this country who are suitably qualified are always remembered in the appointments. I know for sure that my principal does that in all appointments. He does take into account the fact that we come from different constituencies, provinces and tribes.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chimbaka (Bahati): Mr Speaker, could I find out from the Vice-President why the “One Zambia One Nation“ motto is not there in the Vision 2030 Document. Are there any plans by the Government towards seeing a modified motto apart from “One Zambia One Nation“?

The Vice-President: We believe that the Constitution of Zambia is superior to any other document and we believe that the fact that this is reflected in the Constitution and the Coat of Arms of this country is adequate.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


818. Mr D. Mwila asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing how many boreholes had been sunk in Chipili Parliamentary Constituency from 2005 to date.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Kazonga): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that three boreholes were sunk from 2005 to date. Sir, two boreholes were sunk in Nsenga Ward while one borehole was sunk in Mwenshi Ward.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, I am not impressed with the response from the Minister. Can the hon. Minister inform this House what measures this Government has put in place to ensure that we also have boreholes in Chipili Constituency?

Mr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, as a Government, we know there is a situation on the ground, as we have already indicated. However, what we are doing as a Government in order to improve the situation is put in place a programme for improving the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation which is a national programme. It is looking at the supply of clean water and this is also part of our meeting the Millennium Development Goals.

Mr D. Mwila interjected.

Mr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, as an immediate measure, I would like to propose to the hon. Member for Chipili to submit the requirements in the whole constituency through the council in the area. The council in Mwense will then submit to us and our role is to mobilise funds and when that is done, we should be able to ensure that the people of Chipili Constituency have clean water supply and sanitation.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order! There is an hon. Member in the back who thinks he has a better answer because he was shouting whilst the hon. Deputy Minister was replying. Let us have the better answer. He has none.

Mr Chongo (Mwense): Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister has indicated that they know the problem prevailing in the constituency. Why should the hon. Minister wait for the council to submit a report when they actually know about the situation? Is it not their responsibility to intervene given that they know that there is a shortage of the service in the area?

Mr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, as far as this Government is concerned, for planning, as always indicated, we use the bottom-up approach.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, let the people on the ground identify the priority areas. It is not possible to have all these done at once, but once the district has identified its priority areas which we may not know here in Lusaka, that will assist us in addressing them. I would propose to the hon. Member for Mwense, to ensure that these requirements are submitted to us in the order of priority. Once we have the resources, we shall follow that priority list.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chimbaka: Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister tell us whether he has a new version of the plans he is asking from councils because he told us of the arrangement that is there between the Ministry of Energy and Water Development and the Ministry of Local Government and Housing and councils to dig wells. Apart from that, he mentioned the United International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) giving money to the Ministry of Local Government and Housing to dig wells. Is the hon. Minister saying that what they are basing the decision on is different from what he is expecting, especially that the Japanese International Co-operation Agency (JICA) is on the ground making an assessment? I would like him to tell us when money will be released because people are waiting out there.

Mr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, as I indicated, let me emphasise that we would like these submissions to be forwarded, through the councils, to us. Conditions change and we have said that we are not the experts in identifying the priority areas on the ground, therefore, let us give power to the people on the ground to submit to us the priority activities. Let the councils include those priority areas for water supply and sanitation.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nsanda (Chimwemwe): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister the number of boreholes Chongwe District has.


Mr Speaker: Order! The hon. Member for Chimwemwe will note that Question 818 is specific to Chipili Constituency.



819. Mr Ntundu (Gwembe) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing how much money was owed to the Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company by the following institutions:

(i) ZESCO;
(ii) Lusaka City Council;
(iii) Commercial banks;
(iv) Workers’ Compensation Fund Control Board;
(v) NAPSA;
(vi) ZAMTEL; and
(vii) Communications Authority.

Mr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that the following institutions owe Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company a total of K1,853,060,910. The breakdown of these amounts are as follows:

Name of Institution                          Amount Owed in Kwacha

ZESCO                                            404,442,087
Lusaka City Council                        1,352,710,997

Bank of Zambia                                4,556,281
Barclays Bank Zambia                     380,224
Liquidated Lima Bank                        5,322,690
Standard Chartered Bank                 8,855,442
Stanbic Bank Zambia                        826,494
Finance Bank Zambia                       219,910
Zambia National Commercial Bank    111,377
Calvmont Capital Bank                      5,023,628
Indo Zambia Bank                             1,225,858

NAPSA                                                            69,385,922
ZAMTEL                                                          NIL
Workers’ Compensation Fund Control Board  NIL
Communications Authority                              NIL

Total                                                               1,853,060,910

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out when or why this Government is not compelling the institutions to do a debt-swap in order to reduce this debt.

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mrs Masebo): Mr Speaker, in the past, councils used to do debt-swap, but that is an internal administrative arrangement, as you will note some of the figures are very small and they do not even need debt-swap, all we need to do is ensure that the institutions pay by following them up as a council.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, arising from the answer given by the hon. Minister that the total indebtedness amounts to K1.8 billion, I would like to know the source of these figures that have been given for fear that we might mislead this House if the numbers have not been agreed between the individual patterns.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, they are from the Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company (LWSC).

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, the financial situation does not appear too bad, but could the hon. Minister, perhaps, enlighten us on what will happen when bankrupt councils such as Chongwe are included now as shareholders …


Dr Scott: ... in this intended expansion of LWSC to cover the whole province which the city has refused on grounds that they are not up to the job in Lusaka City. Nonetheless, they are going out to the rural areas, how does she expect these figures to change?

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, although the question is unrelated, I will endeavour to answer it. The issue the hon. Member of Parliament for Lusaka Central is referring to has to do with the policy of the Government to come up with provincial water utility companies in the respective provinces, or indeed, to get utility companies to take care of water supply and sanitation. In this regard, the Government has directed the Lusaka City, Chongwe District, Kafue District and Luangwa District councils to form a provincial utility company in line with the policy of the MMD Government.

The councils do not have to agree, as I have always indicated here, it is the central Government that gives policy directives to local authorities. I am aware that it may not be a PF policy, but this is an MMD water reforms policy and that is what we are implementing. Therefore, Lusaka, Chongwe, Luangwa and Kafue will form a provincial water utility in line with the MMD policy. Our role as central Government is to ensure that there is equitable distribution of wealth to all the people of Zambia. Therefore, from time to time, we shall come up with policies that try to address equity in terms of distribution of wealth.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members may note the content of question 819. So, please, move away from policy issues. Let us deal with ZESCO or the LWSC and others.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Speaker, LCC presently owns 100 per cent LWSC. Now, here is LCC owing K1,352,000,000 to its own company and I am aware LCC also provides some kind of services to LWSC. As my colleague indicated earlier, why has a debt swap not been done? Why is the hon. Minister not encouraging that instead of being so phobic about PF that when she is answering questions that are not related, she has to bring PF into her debate.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, it is necessary and important that I give correct answers in as far as some of the questions that are raised, especially when they touch on policy, are concerned. It is important that I make it clear so that people are not under the illusion that they can run Local Government or they can run a parallel Government as we have heard in the past.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: So, I always have to make it very clear for my colleagues. So, I am not drunk about anything, I am just trying to be factual about a situation that is on the ground and I would like councillors who are PF in the LCC to understand that they are part of this Government. That is point number one.

Point number two, I did answer that question as it relates to the question of debt-swap that in the past councils have entered into debt-swaps, that is an internal matter. In some cases they can agree to do debt swap while another company may not want to do debt swap. The fact that LCC owns the LWSC does not mean that they are not supposed to pay for water.

I thank you, Sir.


820. Mr Chisala (Chilubi) asked the Vice-President when the books of accounts at the office of the District Commissioner in Chilubi District, which have not been audited since 2003, would be audited.

Ms Lundwe: Mr Speaker, the Office of the District Commissioner in Chilubi was, in fact, audited in 2003 and 2004. The audit was conducted by the Senior Internal Auditor from the provincial administration and external auditors from the Maritime Department who audited the funds sent to the Office of the District Commissioner for canal clearance. The Auditor General’s Office has planned to undertaken an external audit next  year.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, is His Honour the Vice-President aware that there have been serious rumours of financial mismanagement that the office of the Permanent Secretary, Northern Province has lamentably failed to address.

Mr Speaker: His Honour the Vice-President wants to deal with rumours? You are free to do so, Sir.

The Vice-President: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, I prefer not to deal with rumours.

I thank you, Sir.



821. Mr D. Mwila asked the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development how many employees who were retired from the following companies had not been paid their Mukuba Pension Scheme contributions from 2003 and 2006;

(a) Konkola Copper Mines Plc;
(b) Mopani Copper Mines Plc;
(c) Luanshya Copper Mines Plc;
(d) Chibuluma Copper Mines Plc; and 
(e) Copperbelt Energy Company Plc.

The Deputy Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr M. Mwale): Mr Speaker, all the employees who were retired from 2003 to 2006 from the listed companies were paid their pension benefits except those from Mopani Copper Mines Plc and former Roan Antelope Mining Corporation (RAMCOZ) who have only been paid part of their pension benefits with some balances still outstanding to date. A total of 557 employees have not been paid their pension benefits in full as follows:

Company                                             2003        2004          2005        2006       Total

Mopani Copper Mines Plc                      1             12               82           76             171

Roan Antelope Mining                           132         48               101         105           386
Corporation Plc (RAMCOZ)  

Total                                                     133          60               183         181           557

Mr Speaker, RAMCOZ is still under receivership. This means that the receiver will eventually pay the outstanding pension benefits to the affected employees after selling all the assets under the receivership.

Sir, Mopani Copper Mines Plc has not yet paid its employees in full because the company has raised a dispute on the amount of the actuarial deficit which must be paid to the Mukuba Pension Scheme. The matter is in court.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, this Government is aware that for the past seven years, Mopani Copper Mines Plc. has not been remitting employees’ contributions. What is the Government doing to ensure that people are paid their pension benefits so that they are not inconvenienced?

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, Mopani Copper Mines Plc. is ready to pay except that there is a dispute over the figure. That is why the matter has been taken to court. Therefore, there is very little we can say now until the court has disposed of the matter. This is when payment will be made.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simama: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out whether the money is attracting interest since some of these workers have not been paid their dues.

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, with regard to the matter in court, the part of the settlement may include the question of interest. RAMCOZ, which is the receiver, is compiling all the assets under the receivership. Once that is done, all the outstanding dues will be paid, interest included, if that will be possible.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chanda: Mr Speaker, if Mopani has not been remitting pension contributions for seven years, I can safely say that its intention is to destroy Mukuba Pension Scheme. What is this Government doing in order to protect local pension schemes like Mukuba?

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, the local pension scheme is still viable. Mukuba is still there and Mopani will pay as soon as the matter has been resolved by the courts.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Machungwa: Mr Speaker, can the Government confirm that it has been cuddling and prodding these companies, particularly Mopani Copper Mine Plc so that they are intransigent even when they should pay. They while time by going to court because they know that the Government is not robust.

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, it is not Mopani Copper Mine Plc that is delaying. In fact, it is the pension scheme that took the matter to court because they were disputing the outstanding amount of K7.9 billion. Mopani is not to blame.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out whether it is not inconsistent on the part of this Government when the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning stated in this House that K8 billion has been provided for in the budget to pay the receiver so that they pay RAMCOZ Mukuba Pension Scheme. However, today, the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development is saying that this cannot be done until all the assets are sold. Which is which? Who can we trust? Is it the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning or the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development?

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

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, there is no contradiction between my ministry and that of my colleague, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning. All I can say is that as a Government, we owe RAMCOZ about K22 billion for workers pension benefits. I would actually confirm that in this year’s Budget, there is a provision of K13.8 billion towards liquidating the Government’s indebtedness to RAMCOZ. Therefore, there is no contradiction at all.

I thank you, Sir.


822. Mr Ntundu (Gwembe) asked the hon. Minister of Works and Supply:

(a) how much profit was realised by the Government Printing Department from printing private jobs from 2002 to date;

(b) when the Government would purchase modern printing equipment;

(c) which companies were contracted to service the equipment at the Government Printing Department; and

(d) how much was spent on servicing the equipment at (c) above.

The Deputy Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Tetamashimba): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that there are no private jobs being printed at the department per se. You might wish to know that just before the department was restructured, the Government decided that Government ministries, departments and individual citizens who wanted anything printed by the department should actually pay for the services. From 2000 to date, from this cost sharing arrangement, the Government has realised K5.7 billion. However, gazettes, Statutory Instruments, Bills, Bills of Signature and Acts are not directly paid for by the Government. The Recurrent Departmental Charges funding takes care of this cost.

Sir, the department started buying modern printing equipment in 2006 when the Government allocated K11.3 billion. From the stated amount, the following machines were purchased, and I will lay the list on the Table, but will supply the hon. Members of Parliament with a copy of the list:

Name of machine                                    Cost (K)

  Speed Master                                         2.9 billion
  Print Master 74-4-P                                 2.7 billion
  Print Master 74-2                                    1.2 billion
  Saddle Stitcher ST100                           994 million
  Stah Folder Folding Machine                  486 million
  Ultre Image Setter Online Processor      411 million
  Litho Assembly Graphic Light Tables    81.4 million
  Plate Maker/Burner Machines               362.4 million
  Holner Multi-Head Pad and Folder Wire
 Stitching Machines                                  236 million
 Duplo Digital Copy Machine                     399.5 million
 Guillotine Machines                                 586.8 million

  Total                                                        11.2 billion

Mr Speaker, the rest, which is the difference between K11.3 billion and K11.2 billion, was used to purchase consumables for the machines.

This year, Mr Speaker, a further K1.4 billion has been released. From this amount, we intend to buy the following pieces of equipment:

(i) computer to plate pre-set equipment  K1 billion
(ii) desktop computers                            K67 million
(iii) digital hot foiling machine                  K116 million
(iv) papers file hole punching machine  K40 million
(v) papers spiro binding machine          K21 million
(vi) water purification plant                   K35 million

Total                                                       K1.279 billion

As regards to part (c) of the question, Mr Speaker, the department does not usually contract private companies to services its printing equipment. It has a section which services and maintains the equipment.

The House may further wish to know that the Government Printing Department was established for the sole purpose of printing Government documents. In this regard, Cabinet Office, through its Circular No. 8 dated 22nd December, 2006, directed all ministries and departments to have all stationery printed at the Government Printing Department.

Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Tetamashimba laid the paper on the Table.

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, this Government is too wasteful.


Mr Ntundu: It is one extravagant Government ever known in Africa. Why did it take this Government to engage a South African Printer to print the 2006 election materials? Why did they have to engage a foreign contractor and spend such a colossal amount of money?

Mr Tetamashimba: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for that question coming from the hon. Member for Gwembe. This Government is very transparent. This Government depends on negotiations and discussions.

Before the elections, the political parties agreed that the Government Printing Department, under the Ministry of Works and Supply, would print the ballot papers. Before we printed, the President of the Patriotic Front complained that he did not support the printing of ballot papers by the Government Printing Department and because we wanted to satisfy all the stakeholders, the Government decided to have them printed in South Africa at a printing company where all the political parties had agreed to have the document printed.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Tetamashimba: If we did not do that, even if those people who are leaders in these political parties, who did not tell us how they were rigging when they were in the MMD, would have stood up to say there was rigging when, in fact, there was not. It was not the intention of this Government. We are a transparent Government and we are very good at understanding and that is what we did. Now you know who made you spend a lot of money by going to South Africa.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


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

(a) when the construction of Kalundu Basic School in Chipili would be completed;

(b) which contractor was engaged in the construction of Kalundu Basic School in Chipili; and

(c) what was the estimated total cost of the project of constructing Kalundu Basic School in Chipili.

The Deputy Minister of Education (Ms Changwe): Mr Speaker, the answer to the first part of the question is that the construction of a 1 x 3 classroom block at Kalundu Basic School will be completed as soon as funds are disbursed to the school.

With regard to part (b) of the question, a contractor by the name of Chichis Contractors was selected to construct the project.

Lastly, the estimated cost to build Kalundu Basic School is K250 million.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, I want this Government to tell this House whether they are ready to complete this project because it has taken three years now without completing this project. Looking at the amount of money that is involved, it is not enough. Will the hon. Minister tell this House whether the Government is ready to complete this project?

The Minister of Education (Professor Lungwangwa): Mr Speaker, the project is on our plan and, indeed, we are ready to complete it as the resources become available.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Sinyangwe (Matero): Mr Speaker, I also want to find out from this transparent Government what the criteria is for constructing schools because we are all in need. For example, in Western Province, ten schools were given and seven schools are in one constituency.

Hon. PF Member: Which constituency?

Mrs Sinyangwe: Nalikwanda has seven, Mulobezi has one, Senanga has one and Lukulu has one. Other constituencies do not even have any. What is the criterion of this transparent Government in being so unfair in the distribution of schools?


Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Matero, if she cares to know the criterion for constructing schools in Lusaka itself to begin with, we have the information to that effect. The schools which are being referred to are the pole and mud structures which are being reconstructed in the country. We have identified ninety such schools inherited at the time of independence which we are reconstructing. This year, we have identified twenty-five such schools to be reconstructed. We have, so far, advertised the tendering process in the papers in those areas where the surveys have been completed. The information on designing is available.

If the hon. Member cares to come to the office, we shall give her the information …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Professor Lungwangwa: … on the process of reconstructing those eight schools that have been selected this year and the process of reconstructing the entire thirty-three schools which are in the province which will be completed by the end of the reconstruction process of the pole and mud structures which have been identified and which were inherited at the time of independence.
The earlier decision which was made by the ministry was to adopt the most efficient way of reconstructing the schools taking into account blocks of schools so that the contractor does not waste time in reconstructing the schools identified. This was what the ministry identified as the most cost effective and efficient way of undertaking the reconstruction process. Of course, some concerns have been raised by hon. Members that they would like to adopt a different approach from the one taken by the ministry. These concerns are being addressed by my ministry.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister answer the question directly by confirming whether, indeed, it is true that there are seven schools being constructed in Nalikwanda Constituency, the one he represents.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, as I pointed out, the approach adopted by the ministry …


Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, can I be protected.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Professor Lungwangwa: Thank you, Mr Speaker. The ministry adopted an efficient approach and it was based on identifying schools that are close together before engaging the contractors. The first district was Mongu and, later on, other districts were also identified. This was an efficient way of undertaking the construction process so that the thirty-three schools in the province are constructed within the shortest possible time available.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Next Question.

Hon. Opposition Members: Awe, awe!

Mr Speaker: Order! The House is stepping-out of proper procedure. As I sit here, I have listened to the answers. Beyond what I have heard, it becomes personal.


824. Mr Ntundu (Gwembe) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives:

(a) how much money the Government has spent on subsidising the Fertiliser Support Programme from its inception to-date;

(b) how much has been paid to Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (Z) Limited to purchase fertiliser for the above programme;

(c) how much has been spent on imported fertiliser; and

(d) how much has so far been paid to the transporters and other agents handling imported fertiliser and from the Nitrogen Chemicals (Z) limited.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Kalenga): Mr Speaker, in response to the hon. Member for Gwembe’s question, the following is the answer:

(a) The Government has spent K384.8 billion on subsidising the Fertiliser Support Programme, broken down as follows:

Season   Subsidy (Billion Kwacha)

2002/03    50
2003/04    57.3
2004/05    56.3
2005/06    75
2006/07  146.2

Total       384.8

(b) The Government has paid Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (Z) Limited a total of K153,937,943,869 for supplying basal dressing fertiliser to the Fertiliser Support Programme, broken down as follows:

Season   Amount (Kwacha)

2002/03         378,562,573
2003/04      8,458,236,358
2004/05    24,238,347,438
2005/06    57,862,797,500
2006/07    63,000,000,000

Total         158,937,943,869

(c) The Government has paid private sector companies contracted to supply imported fertiliser to the Fertiliser Support Programme since inception K309,056,082,504, broken down as follows:

Season   Amount (Kwacha)

2002/03    44,324,879,226
2003/04    49,278,883,644
2004/05    79,797,933,075
2005/06    46,410,357,879
2006/07    89,244,028,680

Total        309,056,082,504

(d) The Government has paid transporters and other agents handling imported fertiliser and from Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (Z) Limited to Fertiliser Support Programme since inception K55,105,460,918.41, broken down as follows:

Season   Amount (Kwacha)

2002/03    3,376,606,568.50
2003/04    5,003,650,606.33
2004/05  12,047,643,878.44
2005/06  12,540,926,909.76
2006/07  22,136,632,955.38

Total       55,105,460,918.41

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, I remember that in 2002, the Government funded the resuscitation of operations at Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (Z) Limited. However, with all the money that has been paid to Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (Z) Limited, through the Fertiliser Support Programme, the company is still not able to operate at its full capacity. I would like to find out what this Government is doing to correct the syndicate of siphoning money out of Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (Z) limited.

Mr Kalenga: Mr Speaker, the Government is doing everything possible to correct the situation. This is why the tender for D-Compound is given to Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia to help it recapitalise the plant.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}

Mr C. K. Banda (Chasefu): Mr Speaker, I know that this Government is committed to strengthening Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia. With this in mind, when does this Government intend to give Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia the money it owes in respect of fertiliser purchases?

Mr Kalenga: Mr Speaker, as a Government, we are doing everything possible. When funds become available, we will clear the backlog on retirees’ benefits.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chazangwe (Choma): Mr Speaker, in the past, this Government distributed Top Dressing instead of Basal Dressing to farmers. Last year, most of the farmers received underweight bags of fertiliser. When will this Government correct this mistake so that this season, it does not happen again?

Mr Kalenga: Mr Speaker, this question has already been dealt with in this House and corrective measures have been taken and those who were involved have been prosecuted. As I am talking, top dressing fertiliser is already in the provinces. We have given Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia about K66 billion for the supply of 25,000 metric tonnes to the Fertiliser Support Programme and also enable them produce 15,000 metric tonnes for the open market.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze): Mr Speaker, the Government has been providing subsidised fertilisers to peasant farmers in the country. Unfortunately, the programme has not been effective. Is the Government considering reviewing the policy of subsidising fertiliser to the peasant farmers so that the programme can be effective?

Mr Kalenga: Mr Speaker, at the moment, there is nothing wrong in the policy. As I said, it is just certain individuals who have abused it, but we have prosecuted them as correcting measures.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwansa (Chifunabuli): Mr Speaker, the soils of this country differ from province to province and in fact, sometimes from place to place within provinces. How sure is this Government that only ‘D’ Compound, as basal and Urea as top-dressing will work throughout the country?

Mr Kalenga: Mr Speaker, in this country, we have liberalised the economy. Therefore, we are encouraging other farmers to also go into organic farming. There are also a lot of private companies selling different types of fertiliser. Therefore, people are free to choose what type of fertiliser they want to use.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, from the numbers that the hon. Minister gave us, I heard, distinctly, that in 2005, the cost of the inputs was in the range of K75 billion and in 2006, it nearly doubled to K140 billion despite the depreciation of the kwacha. Can he tell us when the practice of increasing the quantum of inputs as well as the money to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) in an election year will cease so that we can return to a nice even keel?

Mr Kalenga: Mr Speaker, the figures fluctuate as I indicated. From the 2002/2003 season, it was K50 billion, 2003/2004, it was K57.3 billion, 2004/2005, it was K56.3 billion, 2005/2006 it was K75 billion and this year, the 2006/2007 season, it is K146.2 billion. We should not forget that it is this House, which approves the Budget for fertiliser.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Njobvu (Milanzi): Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister tell this House whether there have been graduating farmers from the Fertiliser Support Programme since its inception.

Mr Kalenga: Mr Speaker, I can confirm that farmers have been graduating. This is manifested by the harvest. We have had a bumper harvest and even FRA is failing to buy all the maize from the farmers. This indicates that we are doing fine in as far as farming is concerned.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister’s answer is worrying me. I would like him to give a correct position. If he is not able to answer questions, he should state that he is not able to. He was asked why they distribute the same type of compound fertiliser throughout the country when the soils differ. His answer was that this is a liberalised economy therefore; they can do whatever they want.

Mr Speaker, if that is the Government’s position, why are they trying to destroy soils? They are not taking into consideration the variations in the soil from one place to the other because of a liberalised economy. Could I get a proper answer, Sir.

Mr Kalenga: Mr Speaker, as Government worker, under their request, we have allowed farmers to bring soil samples to Chilanga for testing. Therefore, we cannot compel them to use a particular type of fertiliser or to grow particular types of crops. As I indicated, this is a liberalised economy.

I thank you, Sir.


825. Mr D. Mwila asked the Minister of Health:

(a) how many nurses were employed in Mwense District as of April, 2007; and

(b) what the current establishment of nurses in Mwense District was.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Dr Puma): Mr Speaker, there were twenty-five Enrolled Nurses, six midwives, eleven Registered Nurses. The current establishment for Mwense District is forty-eight.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister is aware that in Chipili Constituency, there is no Midwife. Since there is no single Registered Midwife in Chipili Constituency, is it the policy of the Government that deliveries should be administered by untrained traditional birth attendants, if not, what is the Government doing to address the situation?

Dr Puma: Mr Speaker, the establishment for Chipili is forty-eight nurses and currently, we have a total of forty-two nurses. This is a very good number compared to other districts. In addition to that, we have six midwives who attend to deliveries. The training for nurses is such that both Enrolled Nurses and Registered Nurses are able to attend to the deliveries.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chongo: Mr Speaker, the statistics in Mwense District are indicating that forty-five (45) out of the ninety-five (95) workers in the health sector are guards and cleaners. This leaves only a paltry balance of fifty workers that are well trained to man twenty-three (23) health centres. Can the hon. Minister tell the House when properly qualified and adequate personnel will be sent to Mwense District to serve the people? Fifty (50) individuals serving a population of about 200 is inadequate. When are they going to send these qualified health workers to Mwense so that people are not serviced by guards and cleaners as the situation obtaining now is?

Dr Puma: Mr Speaker, we have indicated on the Floor of this House that, as a ministry, we have recognised the problem of human resource countrywide and we have actually started recruiting nurses and other health professionals who will be sent to the various districts throughout the country.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Dr Kalumba (Chienge): Mr Speaker, is there a specific timeline when districts such as Mwense will actually see the deployment of the newly-recruited nurses?

The Minister of Health (Dr Chituwo): Mr Speaker, we did state that we would deploy some as soon as the exercise was completed. Right now, the exercise is fairly well advanced. However, I cannot really say whether it will finish in one week or a few days, but it will certainly be before the end of this year. The reason being, we are simultaneously doing the recruitment as well as the process of mainstreaming those from the previous Central Board of Health into the health system. As soon as that is done, I will come back to this House with information about the progress made on the recruitment.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chimbaka: Mr Speaker, can we, through this House, be told how many of the health workers being recruited are going to be deployed to the Luapula Province to avert the situation that we are witnessing in Education, where one man gets seven schools against all other constituencies? Can the hon. Minister inform us, considering that he has the data of the number of personnel they are going to employ?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, I am afraid it is not possible at the moment to indicate the number of health workers that will go to each province.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister state the reasons for rural districts being understaffed in the health sector?

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, the truth of the matter is that we have understaffing in both rural and urban, admittedly, worse so in the rural areas. The reason is what we have an internal migration where health workers, like any other, choose to work along the line of rail. This migration also occurs in urban areas where health workers leave the public sector for the private sector. The reason is very clear. This is why we have instigated the Rural Retention Scheme to mitigate the situation and focus on the rural areas so that our young people can serve their own people in the rural areas.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Kanyanyamina (Kanchibiya): Mr Speaker, health matters are very serious matters. Can the hon. Minister of Health assure this House when they going to run the adverts on the electronic media like the Ministry of Education did during the Agricultural Show week? Additionally, how many have they employed so far as he is running away from facts? We are desperate for health services because we do not want to die here while the rich ones go out there. Kindly tell us what your problem is and why you do not want to run electronic media adverts for the positions so that we know we are making progress.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, I take it the hon. Member of Parliament for Kanchibiya is talking about health and not ‘elth’.


Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, we have shared, through the hon. Members in this House, what we are doing in terms of recruitment. Yes, we have not used electronic media. We have already used the print media and we there are applications that are being processed right now. If the print media is as effective as the electronic media, I am not obliged to use the electronic media because my colleague the hon. Minister of Education used it. Therefore, all I am saying is that, please, exercise a bit of patience and the health workers we shall recruit will be posted to those areas.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


826. Mr Ntundu (Gwembe) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:

(a) whether the Government had any plans to replace the current passports with new ones and, if so, when;

(b) whether there were any intentions to revise the amount of the passport fee of K72,000 upwards; and

(c) how long it took to process and issue a passport from the date of application.

The Minister of Home Affairs (Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha): Mr Speaker, the Government does not only have plans, but will actually replace the current passport with a readable digitalised photograph machine to be supplied by a German company called Giesecke and Devrient. The replacement will take place before the end of the year.

There are a number of factors that are involved in this passport. For instance, the security factors, apart from the digital part of it, there is also the photography side. The new passport will have state-of-the-art security features which will be difficult to tamper with.

The supplier, the German company, is a high-tech security firm involved in printing security documents as well as currency such as the Euro. The company profile is a global one.

Currently the building is underway and construction is near completion. This site will only be for the production of the passport application and collection will be done at another location.

Mr Speaker, the proposed system is designed to support a smooth extension of the hardware and soft ware configuration for the future production of passports with a chip for secure storage of biometric data in accordance with the latest International Civil Aviation Organisation current standards as and when need arises.

The change of the current passport was inevitable. The passport and the current system are clocking ten years this year, therefore, they are susceptible to forgery.  Further, we are taking advantage of the new technology.

Mr Speaker, the current chargeable passport fees will certainly be revised upwards in view of the state-of-the-art system that is being incorporated into the new passport and the advanced technology used in producing the passport booklet.

The period it takes to process and issue a passport to an applicant is twenty-one (21) working days after receiving all the completed documents at the receiving centre.  However, deserving urgent cases are dealt with in the earliest possible time.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has given his answer in riddles. He has not come out openly with regard to how much the people will pay for the passports. I would also like to find out whether current passport holders would also be compelled to pay the K72,000 when the passports are revised. If the answer is yes, is that not swindling the Zambian citizens?

Mr Speaker: Order! The hon. Member will withdraw the word ‘swindling’.

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, I withdraw the word ‘swindling’.


Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, the new passports are totally different documents. Anybody who needs a passport will have to pay for that passport. The current passports that people have will be phased out and people will need to pay for the new passports. It is going to be costly because of the new technology that is being employed. Therefore, there is no need for us to argue. The new passports will be needed by everybody in order to travel outside the country.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): Mr Speaker, this Government is on record of changing passports every now and then. Each time they want to change the passports, they come up with very good words and say that the features on the passports would be so special that no one would tamper with them. What guarantee is the Government giving us that they will never come back and say they want to change the passports in future?

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, these are changing times and technology also continues to change. Therefore, as a nation, we have to catch up with technology. The fact that criminals are advancing technologically entails that we must also move many steps ahead of them so that our documents are not forged. The guarantee is that as technology improves, we must also guarantee technology advancement in the Zambian passports.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda (Sinazongwe): Mr Speaker, five years back, the hon. Minister of Home Affairs told this House that the Government would change passports in line with regional development. Has the geographical position of Zambia changed to warrant a change of new passports?

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, Zambia has not changed its geographical position. Many of our neighbouring countries have changed their passport positions in that they have machines that read passports at the airports and entry points. The Zambian passport is now failing to be read by the machine and indeed, certain features on the passport are not passing the current situation in other countries.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munaile (Malole): Mr Speaker, …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.{mospagebreak}

Mr Munaile: Madam Speaker, before business was suspended, I was saying that because of the time taken to process passports, most Zambians, especially those from the rural parts of our country, do not collect their passports. What is the Government doing to ensure that the period is reduced?

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Madam Speaker, the process to produce passports has been reduced considerably to three weeks, which is twenty-one days only. When a person makes an application, twenty-one days later, they can go to the Passport Office and pick up their passports, including those in the rural areas. Those who would have not collected their passports, it means that they would have no intentions of travelling or using their documents.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota: Madam Speaker, arising from the hon. Minister’s answer that there would be an increase in the amount to be paid for the passports, I would like to know whether consideration has been made for those people in the rural areas living along our borders, who, on a daily basis, have to cross borders because they have relatives and keeping in mind that the economy there is such that they would not be able to afford the raised prices for passports. Is there an assurance that the fees for travel documents they currently use will not also be increased and that there would be an assurance that the neighbouring countries will continue to accept the travel documents as opposed to the passports.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Madam Speaker, the current travel documents that are being used by those living near the border areas to cross and see their relatives will continue to be used. We have bilateral agreements between Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Malawi and Tanzania for our people to use the border pass system that works very well with those who are living along the border areas.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Dr Kalumba (Chienge): Madam Speaker, could the hon. Minister allay the public fears quite commonly expressed that there is a lot of corruption at the Passport Office in line with Government’s commitment to zero-tolerance to corruption.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Madam Speaker, this Government continues to fight against corruption and this fight continues even at the immigration office where there are reports that are brought to our attention. Therefore, if there are any members of the public who know the areas of corruption, they need to report against the immigration office. Let them not have the fear, but rather come and report so that we can deal with the cases.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mtonga (Kanyama): Madam Speaker, considering the problem of security on passports, would the hon. Minister kindly explain what measures have been taken into account in that since 1991, when this Government came into power, Zambians travelling within Commonwealth countries, especially United Kingdom have been embarrassed because our passports have consistently been bound compromised. Now that you are bringing in new measures, to what extent have you involved Commonwealth countries where Zambians travel most?

Zambia is to the United Kingdom what German is to Namibia, where you are getting the new printers from. To what extent have you involved the experiences of the Commonwealth countries, particularly, the United Kingdom to get around the issue of within-house cheating and corruption to which you have recently…

Madam Deputy Speaker: What word did you use, cheating?

Mr Mtonga: Yes, within house forgeries.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Use another word.

Mr Mtonga: I am replacing the word cheating with within house forgeries of Zambian passports.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha:  Madam Speaker, I noticed that there are about three or four questions, however, I will answer the easier one.


Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: To answer the hon. Member of Parliament for Kanyama, the features that are embodied in the passport will not allow for forgeries to be effected because these are not only electronically read, but also digital and will be read together with the machines that are being employed in the Commonwealth countries, especially the United Kingdom. We have looked at the area of passports and the difficulties that the travelling public has had with the Zambian passport and these have been employed, and you will be happy with the new passport.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Madam Speaker, a passport is a document that assures enjoyment of a constitutional right, which is the freedom of movement of citizens. Is the hon. Minister cognisant of the fact that continuously increasing the cost of passports like the new one will curtail the enjoyment of movement of citizens, in that the poor may not be able to afford a passport.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Madam Speaker, I am surprised that the hon. Member of Parliament for Luapula has not taken cognisance of the fact that the freedom of movement is costly. Those who want to travel outside Zambia need the passports and if they have the means to travel, the passport requires that they pay for it. This passport will help people travel well and be respected where they go.

I thank you Madam.


827. Mr Mtonga (Pemba) asked the Vice-President:

(a) why only two foreign Heads of State witnessed the inauguration of His Excellency the President, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC. after the 2006 Tripartite Elections;

(b) which of the eight neighbouring countries of Zambia sent congratulatory messages on the re-election of President Mwanawasa; and

(c) which of the losing presidential candidates in Zambia attended the inauguration of the President or sent congratulatory messages.

Ms Lundwe: Madam Speaker, invitations were sent to Heads of States in SADC and the East and West African countries. However, under article 34, sub article 9 of the Constitution, a person elected as President must be sworn in and assume office immediately, and not later than twenty-four hours from the time of declaration of election results. That is why although invitations were sent, some of the invitees could not make it within the short period.

Madam Speaker, all neighbouring countries sent congratulatory messages on the re-election of His Excellency the President.

Lastly, Mr Ken Ngondo of the All People’s Congress Party attended the inauguration ceremony at the National Assembly.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Matongo: Your Honour the Vice-President, as an accomplished diplomat, would you educate me on whether the period of time is a constraint to Presidential visits for such inaugurations?

Secondly, why did we not attend President Kabila’s inauguration as the Republic of Zambia? Sir, I expect a diplomatic, but clear answer.

The Vice-President (Mr R. Banda): Madam Speaker, I would like to ask my colleague to repeat the two questions.

I thank you, Madam.                

Mr Matongo: Madam Speaker, may I proceed?

Madam Deputy Speaker: The Clerk will now read the Orders of the Day






The Minister of Justice (Mr Kunda): Madam Speaker, I crave your indulgence to defer the Bill for further consultations.

Question put and agreed to.

The debate on the Bill deferred accordingly.


The following Bills were read the third time:

The Trades Licencing (Amendment) Bill, 2007

The Matrimonial Causes Bill, 2007




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

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1645 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday,15th August, 2007.