Debates- Tuesday, 7th August, 2007

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Tuesday, 7th August, 2007

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






Mr Speaker: I wish to inform the House that in the absence of His Honour the Vice-President who is attending to other equally important Government business, the hon. Minister of Defence, Hon. George Mpombo, MP, has been appointed Acting Leader of Government Business in the House from today Tuesday, 7th to Friday, 10th August, 2007.

I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




The Minister of Community Development and Social Services (Ms Namugala): Mr Speaker, I wish to make a ministerial statement on the progress and status of the programme to remove children from the streets, rehabilitate and reintegrate them into families and communities.

Sir, the issue of street children has been and is still a concern to the Government and stakeholders. In this statement, I would like to report on the progress made since my last statement to this august House in January this year. I mentioned that the Government had instituted measures and programmes to address the problem of street children to ensure their protection and care.

Mr Speaker, from the outset, let me mention that my ministry appreciates the generous allocation of K6.4 billion for the Street Children Programme in this year’s Budget. The approval of such funds demonstrates the Government’s commitment to the rights and welfare of children. I am pleased to report that from January to date, the Ministry of Finance and National Planning has released K3.9 billion, out of which K647,612,250 has been spent on purchasing eleven motor vehicles to ease the problem of transport for district social welfare officers, while K1,192,213,333 has been disbursed to the nineteen districts which are currently implementing the programme.

You may wish to know that seven vehicles have since been delivered to the various districts in an effort to ensure efficiency in the implementation of the programme.

Mr Speaker, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children and, indeed, our national laws, clearly stipulate the holistic protection of children’s rights to ensure their good welfare. The ministry, so far, has been removed fifty-two children from various streets of Lusaka, mainly from the Manda Hill Foot Bridge. Out of these, thirty-eight boys have been placed at Fountain of Hope Drop-In Centre, while fourteen girls have been placed at Hope Foundation Children’s Home. These children are currently undergoing rehabilitation and will soon be integrated into their families. Families for most of these children have been traced and are being prepared to receive them.

You may also wish to know, Mr Speaker, that a total of 398 children have been removed from the streets in the seven districts of Kitwe, Ndola, Kabwe, Solwezi, Kafue, Lusaka and Kapiri Mposhi. One hundred and thirty eight of these children have been placed in children’s centres for screening, while 260 children have been reintegrated into their families after screening them and ensuring that families were ready to receive them. This was after empowering the families with start up capital for income-generating ventures. In addition, thirty-seven parents and guardians have been provided with various entrepreneurship skills.

Mr Speaker, I would like to assure the hon. Members of this august House that more families will be empowered as the programme gains momentum in all the towns and cities that have exhibited the phenomena off street children. Currently, the programme is focusing on the twenty-two districts that were captured in the 2006 Street Children Analysis Survey, which was conducted b the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services. It is envisaged that all the districts experiencing this social problem will eventually be empowered to be able to employ preventive measures against streetism.

Mr Speaker, the ministry has also renovated and provided various equipment to three children centres to ensure appropriate standards for the care of the children. These institutions are Fountain of Hope Drop-In Centre in Lusaka, Hope Foundation in Lusaka and Sable Drop-In Centre in Kabwe. I also wish to report that rehabilitation works are underway at Nakambala Approved School in Mazabuka and Bwacha Place of Safety in Kabwe. Furthermore, preparations are underway to establish a Government Children Centre at Chikumbi in Chisamba District.

Mr Speaker, the Government recognises the role of other stakeholders in the provision of care and protection of orphans and vulnerable children. In order to sustain and ensure that they continue providing this support to these children, the ministry will continue to give them financial and material support.

Mr Speaker, it is important to mention that in preventing the children from going to the streets, members of the public have a crucial role to play by ensuring that the streets are not lucrative for the children. To this end, bill boards have been mounted in Lusaka, Ndola and Kitwe for the purpose of sensitisation. The ministry has plans to spread this exercise of mounting bill boards to other towns. In addition, radio and television programmes have been planned that will engage different stakeholders in dialogue and information dissemination with the intention of discouraging members of the public from giving money, clothes and food to children on the streets because they are attracted by the gifts they receive. This encourages them to remain on the streets.

I, therefore, wish to appeal to all organisations and members of the public that provide feeding or any other form of assistance to children on the streets to channel their support through the department of Social Welfare in the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services.

In conclusion, let me highlight the greatest challenge that the Government has in removing children from the streets. This is the fact that members of the public continue to give money and food to children on the streets in spite of the calls by the Government to resist the temptation of doing so. Therefore, I wish to call on members of the public to support the efforts by the Government of preventing children from going on the streets because it is not conducive. It is our responsibility to ensure that children are brought up in a safe and secure environment where their lives can be protected.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what ventures the parents of street children are engaged in. Further, I would like to know the monitoring mechanisms that have been put in place to ensure that parents invest the money they were given so that their children do not go back on the streets.

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, as a Government, we realise that one of the major causes of streetism is the lack of capacity by families to provide for their children. In the programme, we have allocated resources for empowerment in the form of grants. This money is only given to parents after they have been trained in skills for income generation. As a ministry, we are making follow-ups to ensure that families are able to look after their children after being trained and are not allowing them to return to the streets. The support is given according to the assessments that are made on the ground by our officers.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Kapata (Mandevu): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what the ministry is doing in line with the fact that the root cause of streetism is non-payment of terminal benefits to retirees.

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, the causes of streetism are more complex than just the non-payment of terminal benefits to retirees. They range from HIV/AIDS, unemployment of parents and just truancy on the part of children.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out what legal framework exists to protect children from abuse and ensure that their rights as children are protected.

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, our national laws, as well as the International Convention on the Rights of Children are enough legal frameworks to provide for the protection of children’s rights.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ngoma (Sinda): Mr Speaker, I want to laud the Government for this good programme of removing children from the streets. However, there are some Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) that are using street children to seek donor funding. They give the children a place to sleep at night, but allow them to go back on the streets during the day. The hon. Minister actually mentioned one of these NGOs in her ministerial statement.

What is the Government doing to discourage this practice? I also wish to find out how your ministry is collaborating with the Ministry of Sport, Youth and Child Development in this respect, so that your efforts are in tandem.

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, it is true that some NGOs are not doing a job in providing care for vulnerable children, but it is also a fact that there are many that are doing a commendable job. The Government has in the recent past introduced a Bill in this House to regulate NGOs. I hope that when this Bill comes to this House, the hon. Members on your left will support it.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, this is one of the ways the Government wants to ensure that the support that is meant for vulnerable persons, including children, is channeled to their benefit. I hope that when this issue comes to this House, we will all agree that we need to regulate NGOs so that they can provide better services.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for …

Mr Kambwili: Roan.

Thank you, Mr Speaker …

Mr Speaker: Order! There are two of you.

The hon. Member for Roan.


Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, the Government has been training nurses and teachers and at the end of the day, they are not employed. What assurance is given to this House that street children will be given something to do upon completing their training?

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, there has been a misconception in this country for a long time that employment can only be created by the Government. I hope that we can move away from that and start engaging in self employment if we have the skills. We hope that the children to be trained by my ministry and the Ministry of Sport, Youth and Child Development will employ themselves, instead of waiting for the Government to do so.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): Mr Speaker, I want to refer to the hon. Minister’s statement that part of the reason for the advent of street kids is the lack of capacity by families to raise their children. It is also true that while these parents have no capacity to raise children, they still have full capacity to produce them. I would like to know from the hon. Minister whether there is any deliberate policy that Government is intending to put in place to reduce the capacity of parents that cannot raise their children from producing them.

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, I am aware that the Government provides family planning intervention through the Ministry of Health. However, let me mention that, as Zambians, we must learn to live within our means. Therefore, if a man or woman cannot afford to look after six children, then they should not have six children.

Hon. Opposition Members: Lungwangwa!

Ms Namugala: Furthermore, with the advent of HIV/AIDS, it is only fair that Zambians have smaller families.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Sinyangwe (Matero): Mr Speaker, since we are talking about protecting children and removing them from the streets, what happens to the children of the blind parents who are always running in the streets with their blind mothers or fathers? Are we doing anything to remove them from the streets because they, too, need a future?

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, the children we are targeting are vulnerable children whose vulnerability is as a result of them being on the streets where their rights are not protected. This, to some extent, includes children whose parents are disabled or in this particular case, blind.

Mr Speaker, let me state that we are also targeting the children of the blind, but I must admit that we have had problems with the blind parents in removing their children from the streets because they need them to guide them around.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Milupi (Luena): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister is commended for her efforts in rehabilitating the children on the streets. However, is the hon. Minister going to come back to this House with a ministerial statement on what she is going to do with children in similar circumstances to those in towns, but in rural areas? We have many vulnerable children in rural areas heading households and are involved in all sorts of work with no support, whatsoever, because they are orphans.

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, indeed, prevention is better than cure. At the moment, we are dealing with the problem that is current and has manifested itself on the streets. We know that this country has so many children out there who are potential street children.

Sir, within the ministry, there are several programmes that help to look after, not just children, but families that are vulnerable. We have the Public Welfare Assistance Scheme which is targeted at children who have the potential of becoming street children.

Mr Speaker, it is true and I appreciate the question that we need to turn off the taps where these children are coming from so that, ultimately, we can prevent them from going onto the street.

I thank you, Sir.




728. Mr Imenda (Lukulu East) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:

(a) what urgent measures the Government had taken to curb the sudden increase in violence, crime and general lawlessness in most compounds of Lusaka as reported in the Times of Zambia Newspaper of Wednesday, 2nd August, 2007;

(b) what factors have caused the situation at (a) above; and

(c) why the Zambia Police Force had suddenly lost control of law and order in Lusaka.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Ms Njapau): Mr Speaker, with regard to part (a) of the question, the Inspector-General of Police issued orders to intensify day and night patrols where plain clothes and combat officers have been deployed to all compounds to detect and prevent the perceived lawlessness. This proactive measure has since drastically reduced crime in compounds.

Members of the public have also been incorporated in the fight against crime through the formation of neighbourhood and crime prevention units coupled with the introduction of community policing through the Community Police Force in all crime prone areas.

Mr Speaker, the Inspector General of Police has since instituted investigations, which are still going on for us to come up with the root cause of the alleged lawlessness.

Mr Speaker, the House is informed that the Zambia Police Force has not lost control of the law and order in Lusaka. To the contrary, the Force has responded swiftly and positively to curb this one-off lawlessness. The Zambia Police Force has the logistical capacity in place to counter any kind of lawlessness so as to protect the property and lives of all citizens and residents in Zambia.

The Police High Command has instituted necessary measures which have since started bearing fruit.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Imenda: Mr Speaker, I would like to remind the hon. Minister of Home Affairs that this is not a general question, but a situation which is currently prevailing in the compounds. Around 1900 hours, Zambians no longer move freely in their residential areas. Crime has become rampant in the compounds to an extent where people’s ears are being cut off by criminals.

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member has debated.

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, neighbourhood associations that are assisting in security are generally formed in the upper class areas and, perhaps, not in the compounds. I would like to know what assistance the Ministry of Home Affairs is putting in place to develop the neighbourhood watch organisations to combat crime in compounds.

The Minister of Home Affairs (Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha): Mr Speaker, the police have continued to train a number of non-police corps. These are reservists who are available within the communities. The neighbourhood watch associations that are available in compounds have also been given certain skills to bring about law and order in their areas of residence.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Mumbi (Munali): Mr Speaker, the situation obtaining on the ground is that we have very few police officers in our police stations because, most of the time, police officers are taken on special duties to line up along the roads. Is the Government planning to train police officers specifically to be lined up along the roads to wait for and guard the VIPs so that the few police officers we have in the compounds can maintain law and order?

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, indeed, there are very few police officers as we have stated several times in this House. However, we will continue to recruit more police officers even this year in order for us to meet the per quota requirement for Zambia to reach the 27,500 policemen by 2011. We are going to continue to recruit more police officers who are going to serve the people of Zambia.

With regard to the issue the hon. Member of Parliament for Munali has raised about police officers lining up on the road, this is not done everyday except when they are called upon. Nevertheless, there are still policemen who are available in the compounds to maintain law and order.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Mr Speaker, I would like to know whether the hon. Minister of Home Affairs has taken measures to get a proper commanding officer after the demise of the late Wasakaza Ng’uni, may his soul rest in peace, who was inspiring the police officers to be active. The present command is not there in the field, thus the reduction in the curbing of crime. Is there anything that the ministry is doing to ensure proper appointment of commanding officers who will instill a spirit of hard work among police officers?

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank everybody who has mourned with us the departure of a very good officer, Mr Wasakaza Ng’uni. We want to place on record that, indeed, he was a wonderful worker. Therefore, it takes some time to search and replace a good worker such as him. We will continue to search for the officers who will ably fit in his shoes in order for the work that he was doing to continue. As soon as that is done, the nation will be informed.

The current command working in Lusaka has capable officers who are in the forefront and had worked with Mr Ng’uni before.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Kapeya (Mpika Central): Mr Speaker, could the Minister of Home Affairs inform this House why the police service ….

Mr D. Mwila (Chipili): On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised. Is it something to do with the procedure of the House?

Mr D. Mwila: Yes, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker, I stand on a very serious point of order which borders on the integrity of this House and the nation.

I will refer to the National Assembly Powers and Privileges Act, Chapter 12, Section 16, and I quote:

“Any person, who before the Assembly or any authorised committee intentionally gives a false answer to any question material to the subject of inquiry which may be put to him during the course of any examination, shall be guilty of an offence against Section 104 of the Penal Code.”

Mr Speaker, that is false evidence.

On 31st July, 2007, I raised a question in this House, Question 685, regarding the construction of staff houses at Musalango Health Centre. I asked the hon. Minister of Health when houses for health workers at Musalango Health Centre in Chipili Parliamentary Constituency would be constructed. The following was the answer that was given by the hon. Deputy Minister of Health, and I quote:

“Madam Speaker, the construction of a staff house at Musalango Health Centre is mainly a community based project. The house was completed and is ready for occupation. The District Health Management Team contributed K500,000 to the community for the project.”

Mr Speaker, I had objected to the answer that was given by the hon. Minister. Furthermore, on Saturday, 4th August, 2007, I travelled to the constituency to verify what the hon. Minister had said. However, it is contrary to what he said. Actually, the house he was talking about was constructed years back and was occupied by a pupil teacher.

Sir, there is no house which has been constructed by the District Health Management Team or the Ministry of Health. I need your serious ruling on this matter.


Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Chipili has raised a point of order to which I have listened carefully.

In his point of order, the hon. Member said he had objected, but did not say what sort of words he used to object to the answer and why he did not follow up, as required in this House, when a person asks a question. Why did he not follow up with what he thought was the correct situation at that material time?

Besides, please, study your Standing Orders on these matters. A point of order that requires clarification from the Executive must be raised immediately when what you consider to be an erroneous answer has been given. Do not wait until weeks or days have passed.

To remedy the situation, however, I shall call on the Minister of Health, during the course of this week, to revisit that question and what is considered to be a correct answer is given before the House rises sine die.

This ruling is an exception to the rule followed by this House. It could be, and without prejudice, that the hon. Minister of Health was right, but we want to know.

Now, how that question may be dealt with, would be subject to discussion among the hon. Member for Chipili, the hon. Minister of Health and the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly.

We will have to investigate whether a question that has been dealt with already can be revived and answered, hopefully, in this case, correctly. So, it is not really a question of a minister deliberately misleading the House and this is correct, but the hon. Minister giving information available to him or her at the material time. That is the point. Let us see if there is any further clarification on this matter before the House adjourns sine die.

Mr Kapeya: Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister of Home Affairs inform this House why the police have abandoned Operation Clean Ups in compounds where these criminals are hiding.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, the old Operation Clean Ups that were conducted during the One-Party State where conducted in order to reduce a number of criminal elements, but I must say that the law was broken. Currently, for us to conduct such a big operation as the one the hon. Member of Parliament for Mpika has mentioned, it requires us to have authority even from various sectors of the Government, including the Executive. As a result, there are limited and restricted Operation Clean Ups that are conducted according to the law in the compounds such as the limited curfews to bring law and order in compounds where there are problems.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


729. Mr Imenda asked the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives:

(a) whether the ministry was aware of an outbreak of the fish disease along many parts of the Zambezi River as reported in the Times of Zambia Newspaper of Wednesday, 2nd August, 2007;

(b) if so, what were the findings of the ministry;

(c) whether or not the disease was contagious and could spread to human beings; and

(d) what measures the Government had taken to control this fish disease.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Kalenga): Mr Speaker, the ministry is aware of an outbreak of a fish disease last year in October/November, in the upper Zambezi River, stretching from Kazungula to Sesheke. The disease was initially reported by Namibia and Botswana on the Chobe River, which is a major tributary of the Zambezi River. The disease killed all fish species.

Sir, in November, 2006, my ministry, through the Department of Fisheries, in collaboration with the University of Zambia (UNZA) School of Veterinary Medicine, carried out studies on the disease. In December, 2006, the ministry informed the nation about the disease. The disease was caused by bacteria called aeromonas hydrophila. The bacterium occurs naturally in fresh water and may cause disease when conditions are favourable for it to flourish. It was concluded that the disease would be self-limiting as is the case for wild fish and more especially with flood conditions. By December, the situation seemed to have resolved itself.

Mr Speaker, my ministry has also been in constant contact with the Fisheries authorities in Botswana and Namibia. Botswana sought assistance from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), who, in turn, invited a team of experts from Thailand. The experts from Thailand also concluded that it was a bacterial infection, but a disease similar to Epizootic Ulcerative Syndrome (EUS), which has affected fish farms mostly in the far East Thailand and Japan.

Mr Speaker, through further research, in March/April, 2007, some lesion (sores) were observed on small-sized fish (barbus species) of lesser economic value and rarely fished. These barbus species are a reservoir of the disease and the disease outbreak may recur, affecting all species if favourable conditions occur again.

Sir, both the aeromonas hydrophila and the EUS are not contagious to human beings. However, the public is advised not eat fish that dies from any disease and animals dying from a disease that are susceptible to other infections that may be contagious to human beings.

Sir, in mitigating the effects of this disease, the Government, through my ministry, has undertaken a number of measures, including the following:

(a) impose restrictions to movement of fish from areas where the disease is, to other fishery areas as a way of curbing the spread to other fishery areas. The modalities of restricting the movement of fish are being worked out;

(b) continue to work closely with the Fisheries authorities in Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and the team of experts in Thailand and the University of Zambia, School of Veterinary Medicine. This is in order to identify the condition that triggers this bacteria to cause the disease with a view to removing that condition; and

(c) replicate the tests done in Thailand, before concluding that the disease is Epizootic Ulcerative Syndrome.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Imenda: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that the presence of this disease has been reported in Lukulu, Mongu and Kalabo districts and that this fish is being transported from the Western Province to the line of rail? I am saying so because the response he gave was for Sesheke District only.

The Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Kapita): Mr Speaker, we are aware that the disease has spread to Lukulu, Mongu and Kalabo districts. Last week on Friday, I got a written report from the hon. Member of Parliament for Luena, Hon. Milupi, which I took to my office before I was aware of this question. That is when I became aware of this fish disease. We are trying at all costs to ban the transportation of fish from the Western Province to other provinces.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sinyinda (Senanga): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that apart from the districts that have been mentioned, the disease has spread to Senanga and Lui River in particular? As hon. Member of Parliament for the area, I have information that some specimens were brought to Lusaka for examination about two weeks ago. I would, therefore, like to know what type of disease it is.

Mr Kapita: Mr Speaker, I am not aware that Senanga has also been affected. Unfortunately, Science has not yet known how to restrict the Zambian waters from entering other countries and water from the neighbouring countries entering Zambia.


Mr Kapita: I think that is a major way of controlling this disease.


Mr Kapita: Sir, at the moment, all the countries bordering the Zambezi River such as Botswana, Zimbabwe, Angola and Zambia are conducting studies on what could have caused this disease. Therefore, I would like to inform the hon. Member that we have not yet known what is causing it. Although the aeromonas hydrophila and the Epizootic Ulcerative Syndrome are known to be the cause, …


Mr Kapita: … these are present in all fresh waters, but there must be something that is multiplying the bacteria at a faster rate and causing this disease. We are studying what is in the water. There are always bacteria in fresh water, but they do not cause any diseases. Why is it reaching a point where it becomes a source of a disease? What happened in March this year regarding the small fish could be the beginning of problems. I will compare that to chickens and ducks.

Mr Speaker, a commercial poultry farmer will not find a single duck at my farm because the duck is a reservoir of all poultry diseases. The ducks will not die while the chickens will be dying. It seems that these small fish could be the reservoir of that disease. When conditions become favourable, the bacteria breed very fast, becoming the cause of the disease, although we do not have the answer yet.

Sir, regarding the second part of the question, I am aware of the specimen being brought to Lusaka. This morning, I talked to Mr Magugwi, the Director of Fisheries and Dr Sinyangwe, Director of Veterinary Services. I have asked them to conclude quickly with the University of Zambia, regarding the new developments. Until they tell me the result of the test on those specimens, both at the University of Zambia and Balmoral, the central veterinary research station, I will not be able to give this august House a proper answer.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that some of the diseases are similar to the bacteria found in Thailand. I want him to clarify that position because of the importation of various species of fish into Africa. For instance, the fish that was imported into Zambia and taken to Luapula is eating the local fish. Is fish now causing us problems?

Now, it is like our fish cannot withstand the bacteria because of the fish being brought into Africa from places such as Thailand. Could the hon. Minister confirm this?

Mr Kapita: Mr Speaker, I am happy that my colleague has raised that question. Last Friday, I introduced to this august House, the Fisheries (Amendment) Bill, 2007. One of the objectives of that amendment is to have control over aqua-culture because the current principal Act does not cover fish farming or aqua-culture.

Mr Speaker, what happens sometimes is that we introduce exotic fish into this country in fish ponds. However, when we have heavy rains, the fish moves from the ponds to the main waters. This causes a problem. I gave an example of what is happening in Luapula now, where we have one type of fish that is eating all the local varieties of fish. We are trying to find an answer to how we can deal with the new fish which is supposed to have come from some other fish ponds.

Further, it is true that the problem that is in Thailand, in the far East, could be one of the problems that we are facing. Unfortunately, until we finish the tests, it is difficult to establish that is the cause, although it is a possibility.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Milupi (Luena): Mr Speaker, this disease could not have come at a worse time than this. Is the hon. Minister aware that following the devastating floods, and the ensuing hunger situation in those parts of the Barotse Plain, the people depended almost entirely on fish for their livelihood?

Would the hon. Minister and the Government, in view of this development declare an emergency situation within those areas so that help can be sought to help feed the people who are affected by the floods and by this strange disease that causes blisters and sores with puss on the fish that they solely depend on?

Mr Kapita: Mr Speaker, I am aware that the February-March floods that we had in the country have devastated the livelihoods of people in the Western Province, and more especially the fact that they are also affected by the Contagious Bovine Pluro Pneumonia (CBPP). Therefore, theirs is a very difficult situation. I am also aware that the population in the Western Province depends heavily on fish for their livelihood; consumption and cash earning.

Sir, with regard to declaring this a national disaster, I cannot say yes at this point until I, as minister responsible for fisheries, know where the problem is coming from; where we are; and where we are going. I am waiting for the results of this one test that is conducted by the School of Veterinary Sciences at the University of Zambia and the Balmoral Central Veterinary Research Station here in Lusaka to give me an idea of whether we can solve this problem or not. Thereafter, I will report to Cabinet and only Cabinet can decide to declare anything disastrous. Once Cabinet makes a decision, this august House will be informed.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mwansa (Chifunabuli): Mr Speaker, I would like to know whether the hon. Minister is considering putting in place measures to ensure that the various species of fish in the Lake Mweru are quickly put in ponds as they look at measures to deal with the fish that is eating other species, as a measure to preserve our local species. If this is not done now, it might be too late and we will have a similar situation in the Luapula Province like that of the CBPP in the Southern Province.

Mr Kapita: Mr Speaker, I am aware that my ministry, under the Livestock Development Trust and the Zambia Research Institute, are fish breeding, especially at Misamfu Agricultural Research Station in Kasama. We are also fish breeding in Chilanga, although we are doing it in conjunction with a private sector operator.

Further, with this development, my ministry will put in place measures to ensure that each of the species that is being threatened is conserved for restocking, once we know how to control and manage the disease.

Mr Speaker, we are very concerned about the threats to local species by these new exotic types of fish. My ministry will do everything possible to ensure that we conserve the local species and restock at the right time, once we have put the disease under control.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Speaker, in the answer to the question, particularly part (c) of the question, the hon. Deputy Minister stated that the disease which has afflicted the fish is not contagious and cannot spread to human beings, but stated that people should avoid eating fish that has died from this disease.

Sir, the question is how authoritative is the hon. Deputy Minister’s statement that this disease cannot spread to human beings and how are those who are going to eat this fish, especially if it has been dried, going to know that the fish they are eating did not die from this disease.

Mr Kapita: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Member for Luapula for that question. The hon. Member is concerned about the possibility of the disease spreading to human beings and how authoritative the hon. Deputy Minister is on this disease.

Sir, I want to confirm to this august House that the answer given by the hon. Deputy Minister is coming from our experts, people who understand the mechanisms of diseases.

Secondly, I believe the fish itself is cold blooded while we are warm blooded. Therefore, it is rare that a disease can be transmitted from one animal type to another.

As to the second part of the question, it is more difficult to ascertain whether the fish is from the areas where the disease has broken out. Looking at the markets on the Copperbelt and Lusaka, it is impossible for anybody to tell whether the fish did not die from the disease or it was caught by the fishermen.

Mr Speaker, all I can say is that we shall look at measures to ensure the fish from these areas, especially the fish that dies from the disease does not get to the markets in Lusaka and elsewhere.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has said that the waters of Mweru, Luapula and Zambezi are affected as far as fish is concerned. I would like to find out from him whether the ministry intends to suspend the Fish Restocking Programme in the nation.

Mr Kapita: Mr Speaker, once we have ascertained the extent of the spread of the disease, definitely, we are going to look at whether it is worthwhile to continue fish restocking. If we find out that there are some areas where, currently, the disease has not yet spread, we might continue restocking these areas, but where the disease is present, obviously, we will not stock. We have to wait until such a time when we are sure that the fish that we are going to introduce will survive. As I said earlier, there is no point of restocking when we know that the fish will die soon. We shall handle the situation carefully and act accordingly.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.{mospagebreak}


730. Mr D. Mwila (Chipili) asked the Minister of Mines and Mineral Development when the report of the Muyoba Commission would be published.

The Deputy Minister of Mines and Mineral Development (Mr M. Mwale): Mr Speaker, I would like to inform the House that what is referred to as the Muyoba Commission was actually, an Administrative Committee of Inquiry which was appointed by the Secretary to the Cabinet in 2003 with the following terms of reference:

(a) to establish the number of ZCCM houses and how many of these were occupied by teachers;

(b) to establish the existence of clear guidelines on the sale of ZCCM houses and carry out a comprehensive analysis of the Government houses;

(c) to establish the constancy in the application of the guidelines on the sale of ZCCM houses;

(d) to establish the allegations of individuals, including non-sitting tenants, being offered and purchasing more than one unit of housing contrary to the objectives of the home empowerment scheme;

(e) to establish whether teachers and non-miners, generally, as sitting tenants, were considered in the guidelines/policy on the sale of former ZCCM houses and treated fairly;

(f) to investigate any other matter incidental to the above; and

(g) to make recommendations on how to resolve the problem of former ZCCM employees and the implementation modalities.

Mr Speaker, the committee was not a commission of inquiry established under the Inquiries Act Cap 41 of the Laws of Zambia. The report was not published as there is no legal requirement that a report of an administrative committee of inquiry be published.

However, the House may wish to know that after the Administrative Committee of Inquiry submitted its report, it was analysed and it was found that there were a number of alleged issues of irregularities and abuse during the sale of ZCCM houses that needed to be investigated further before a decision on its recommendations could be made. However, the committee’s term was not extended due to cost considerations and instead, the Government took other administrative steps to conduct further investigations.

Mr Speaker, the Secretary to the Cabinet appointed a technical committee of officials to look into the report by the Administrative Committee of Inquiry. The technical committee of officials identified a number of inadequacies as follows:

(a) the status of ZCCM houses occupied by teachers and affected by the sale was not determined;

(b) the number of miners who reportedly had not benefited from the sale of ZCCM houses was not provided, and yet the committee reported that there were more houses than employees;

(c) there was no attempt to verify the allegations that ZCCM employees listed in the report purchased more than one housing unit. Consequently, there was a need for another appropriate audit to be carried out in order to verify the contents of the report; and

(d) the Administrative Committee of Inquiry made a number of recommendations that contradict the Supreme Court decision of 1998 on the non-eligibility of non-ZCCM sitting tenants to purchase ZCCM houses.

Mr Speaker, in addition, the House may wish to know that while investigations were going on, a number of cases involving the former ZCCM houses were taken to court by miners and non-miners alike. These have taken time to be concluded. However, it is important to note that the Supreme Court ruling of 1998 is in favour of the ZCCM employees and not teachers and other Government employees occupying former ZCCM houses.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order! Before the hon. Member for Chipili comes in, the House is advised that actually, the name of the commission is not Miyoba, but Muyoba. There is a correction there.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that despite the former ZCCM employees winning the case at the Supreme Court, teachers are still occupying the houses which has resulted in a lot of conflicts. What is the Government doing about this?

The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Dr Mwansa): Mr Speaker, indeed, we are aware that there are a few teachers occupying former ZCCM houses. Lawyers from both sides met soon after the judgement was pronounced to work out the modalities of handling the situation. ZCCM Investment Holdings called for open dialogue with the ex-miners to calm them down because they wanted to forcefully remove the non-miners from the houses. So, they are trying to ensure that nobody is homeless. Even though the non- ZCCM tenants are not entitled to purchase the houses, they have remained in the houses. However, there must be an alternative for them to move out before the ex-miners can purchase the houses.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): Mr Speaker, indeed, the report that has been given by the Deputy Minister of Mines and Minerals Development acknowledges that the guidelines were followed. However, in Zambia, when a wealthy relative dies, there is property grabbing. Likewise, when ZCCM died, there was property grabbing. When is this nation going to know who grabbed the ZCCM property?

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, we are not aware of anyone grabbing ZCCM property. If there is any evidence, let us have it so that we follow up the issue. We have no information that there was grabbing of ZCCM property.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Sinyangwe (Matero): Mr Speaker, I think this issue of houses has brought a lot of misery to many Zambians. I would like find out from the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development about the ten sitting tenants. I believe at the time the decision to sell ZCCM houses was made, the teachers had been occupying the houses for many years. Is it fair that they should be evicted?

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, one of the eligible considerations is the term ‘sitting tenant’. The other consideration was being an employee of ZCCM. We thought that a sitting tenant and an employee of ZCCM would benefit. The same applies to Government houses which were not available to non-civil servants. We had the civil servant and also the sitting tenant.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, the Mpelembe Drilling employees had won a case to purchase the ex-ZCCM houses that they were occupying. I would like to find out from the Hon. Minister, what is the hold up for them to be given letters of offer?

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, we are under obligation to enforce a court judgement and everything is being done to comply with the directive from the High and Supreme courts. So, in due course, the matter will be resolved.

I thank you, Sir.


731. Mr Chanda asked the Minister of Home Affairs:

(a) how many prisons had been constructed from 1991 to 2006;

(b) what the capacities for the following prisons were:

(i) Mukobeko Medium and Maximum;

(ii) Kamfinsa;

(iii) Livingstone;

(iv) Ndola; and

(v) Mufulira;

(c) what the actual holding capacities of each of the prisons at (b) above were; and

(d) how many prisons were classified as open prisons and where they were located.

Ms Njapau: Mr Speaker, there has been no prison constructed from 1991 to 2006, other than the yet to be completed Mwembeshi Prison.

The following are the prisons and their holding capacities:

Prison                      Actual Capacity       Holding Capacity
 Mukobeko Medium               609                            280
 Mukobeko Maximum          1,597                           640
 Kamfinsa Prison                   913                           800
 Livingstone Prison                509                          250
 Ndola Prison                         360                            79
 Mufulira Prison                      227                           78

Mr Speaker, the following is the classification of Open Air Prisons and their location:

Main Prison (Location)                             Open Air Prison
Mufulira                                                            Kamafwensa
Chingola                                                           Ipafu
Luanshya                                                        Kamilenda
Mpika                                                               Lubambala
Mporokoso                                                      Kafwambi
Mazabuka                                                       Neganega
Choma                                                            Singani
Namwala                                                        Naminwe
Serenje                                                           Miloso
Mkushi                                                            Musakamba
Mumbwa                                                        Chitumba
Kabwe Medium                                             (i) Mutwewansofu
                                                                     (ii) B-Farm
Lundazi                                                           Katuba
Chipata                                                          (i) Kasongo
                                                                      (ii) Chadiza
Petauke                                                          Msanzala
Kawambwa                                                   Chimbiri
Samfya                                                          Musaba
Mansa                                                            Milambo
Kaoma                                                            (i) Mukunkiki
                                                                       (ii) Nyango
Kabompo                                                        Litoya
Mwinilunga                                                     Sailunga
Kalabo                                                            Liande
Katombora                                                     Maluka
Isoka                                                              Malalo
Mbala                                                             Luzuwa
Luwingu                                                        Kafusa

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chanda: Mr Speaker, indeed, from the figures that have been given, the prisons are congested. Also, from the same statement, there are no new prisons being constructed. Now, I wonder what this Government is doing in order to decongest the prisons apart from what we are hearing now about pardoning a few prisoners.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, I would like to inform the House on what the Government is doing to decongest the prisons.

First and foremost, we are going to continue building the Mwembeshi Maximum Prison in order to decongest a number of prisons whose populations are exceeding that of the holding capacity.

Secondly, as a Government, we have gone ahead to move a number of prisoners to facilities that have been improved, such as Kamfinsa Prison where the facilities have been rehabilitated and the capacity increased.

We have also moved a number of prisoners out of Lusaka. 700 plus have gone into other prisons in order to decongest such facilities like the Lusaka Central Prison.

Thirdly, a number of prisoners whose conduct and character may need to be considered under the Prerogative of Mercy Committee for them to be released into the community are being released. So far, 800 plus prisoners have been released by His Excellency the President and we will continue to facilitate their settlement into the communities.

Fourthly, Mr Speaker, we also have a situation President Mwanawasa has refused to sign death warrants for prisoners who have been sentenced to death and has allowed their sentences to be reduced to life sentences. This way, we are going to decongest the prisons.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether or not the Government has considered studying what is happening in some other countries in the region where private/public partnerships have been engaged in the provision of building prisons and providing prison services and, if this has been done, whether it is under consideration to introduce such schemes here in Zambia and, if so, when.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, this particular subject is in its infancy of consideration by my Government and, therefore, I am unable to say when it shall be implemented.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, I wonder if the hon. Minister could assure us that it is the Government’s policy to work towards a situation in which the number of prisoners actually held in these prisons does not exceed, very much, the designed capacity because the way I understand what he calls holding capacity is the designed capacity of these prisons. Are these holding capacities realistic, and if they are, surely it must be the Government’s policy to actually expand the prison capacity so that we get parity between held prisoners and planned capacity.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, it is indeed the Government’s policy to be able to go by the establishment of the holding capacities for the prisons. It is also the Government’s policy to continue to increase the capacity for those facilities whose structures are modern and newer. Most of the structures are old since they were built before and soon after Independence. As a result, we have gone towards a plan to establish newer structures like the one that we are talking about not far away from Lusaka, in order to improve on the numbers of prisoners that can be held.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chilembo (Chama North): Mr Speaker, would like to know if the ministry has tried to hold workshops with the Judiciary so as to encourage them to mete out alternative sentencing rather than always resorting to imprisonment, as a way of decongesting our prisons.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, I agree, but it is not just workshops but we work closely with the Judiciary in order to ensure that prisons are decongested. They have been considering areas of community sentencing, for example, in order to allow for people not to be incarcerated and congest the prisons.

Mr Speaker, there are also, within the communities, areas where people can go and work as a way of serving their sentence without necessarily affecting the community.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Mr Speaker, our prisons are congested and that means the police are working extra hard. Would the ministry give the Inspector-General of Police another load by heading the Drug Enforcement Commission when he already has too much on his hands, making sure there is no crime in this country, especially in the absence of our late brother Wasakaza Ng’uni?

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that concern. The issue of the Drug Enforcement Commission is a temporary one when the Inspector-General of Police has to look after and supervise the Drug Enforcement Commission and complete the investigations by the Anti Corruption Commission. After that, like we did at the Task Force on Corruption, the officer will return and another one is appointed to continue.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwenzi): Mr Speaker, according to the Prisons Act, the ministry is supposed to pay the prisoners when they are serving their sentences. Is the ministry releasing this money to enable prisoners travel back to their respective homes?

Mr Speaker, in most instances, prisoners fail to travel back to their homes. As a result, they engage in criminal activities and, thereafter, come back to prison.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, the Government ensures that the prisoners being released have transport to their places of settlement. Of course, we have had a few cases where the prisoners have been in prison for a long time, sometimes for thirty or more years, and when they are released, they find that they cannot remember have their roots. In such cases, they have decided to make the prison their home forever.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}


732. Mr Nyirenda (Kamfinsa) asked the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development what measures the ministry had taken to ensure equity when awarding the following:

(a) contracts in the mining sector; and

(b) conditions of service for both local and expatriate employees in line with the “equal pay for equal work” concept.

 Mr M. Mwale:  Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development is the regulator of the mining sector. In this regard, through the development agreements, the Government and respective mining houses have specific undertakings to ensure that there is transparency and fairness in the process of awarding contracts by providing developmental programmes for local business. These are enshrined in the Development Agreement Clause on Procurement, Monitoring and Local Business Development signed between the Government and the mine owners in an effort to promote local business with the mines as part of good corporate governance.

To enforce the provisions in the Development Agreements, the Government has constituted the Mines Monitoring Committee composed of the following:

(a) the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Chair);

(b) the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development;

(c) the Ministry of Finance and National Planning;

(d) the Ministry of Justice;

(e) the Zambia Competition Commission; and

(f) the Zambia National Tender Board.

Mr Speaker, with regard to the conditions of service for both locals and expatriates, although Zambia ratified the ILO Convention No. 100 (1951) on 20th June, 1972, this has not yet been domesticated into our National Labour Law. In order to give this principle legal effect, the Ministry of labour and social Security has proposed amendments to the Employment Act, Cap. 268 of the Laws of Zambia to bring it in line with the requirement that employees who perform equal work must be remunerated equitably. In this regard, the Tripartite Consultative Labour Council resolved on 13th December, 2006 to amend the Employment Act to insert the following under Section 45: “Every expatriate employee and a Zambian Professional with matching qualifications and experience engaged to perform similar roles shall be remunerated equitably.”

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nyirenda: Mr Speaker, we thank the hon. Minister for making that effort, but does he know that all that he is saying is just theory and nothing is practically going on? Can he please state exactly?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, we refuse to accept that what we have said is theory. It is practical because we conduct research for these answers. We do not just get them from the air. We go to institutions to search for the answers before coming here.

I am not sure exactly what transpired, but we have the Mines Monitoring Committee to ensure that what we provide in the Development Agreements, that is obligations from companies to the Government, and the Government to companies, are complied with. The problem has been that Permanent Secretaries delegate these duties of visiting mining companies to their junior officers. However, we have stopped that so that when they go there as Permanent Secretaries, they can make decisions as and when required on the spot.

Therefore, everything is being done to ensure that we follow all the provisions in the Development Agreements. We have information to that effect that, in fact, in case of procurement, companies like Mopani Copper Mines Plc are sourcing 80 per cent of their requirements from local business houses. That is the information that we have and it is not from the air or theory. It is practical and it is the truth.

I thank you, Sir.

Major Chizhyuka (Namwala): Mr Speaker, talking about equity as a principle in these Development Agreements, and given that answer by the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development, can we know, roughly, what percentage in equity, the owners of the land in Mugoto got in relation to the overall performance of the Nickel Mine, bearing in mind that the mine is going to yield 9,000 tonnes of concentrate in the next ten years, giving rise to close to US$3.6 billion in earnings for the mine? What percentage …


Major Chizhyuka: … are eighty bags of fertiliser, two oxen and two by ten kilogramme bags of seed as a percentage of those billions?


Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, we appreciate that concern and we take it very seriously. We had come here with an answer to respond to a question about people who had been displaced in Mazabuka. We outlined facilities that were provided to each family, including houses, boreholes, animals, seed and fertiliser.

However, as a long term measure, we want to encourage what we call local development trusts. There is a development trust in the area, which Albidon has formed with us to ensure that we continue developing the area as Albidon continues with mining activities. Therefore, through the development trust, we think that we can have a vehicle through which we can develop the area as mining goes on.

Sir, this is an answer to the concerns that we are not getting enough from our mineral resources. This will cut across the board in every mining area, the mining companies involved must develop or establish local development trusts. The alternative would be to ask communities to form companies and then get equity from those companies where they are working. Now, we do not think we can go that route because ZCCM Investment Holdings is already involved with the share ownership on behalf of the people of Zambia. However, we want to cater for the local communities through development trusts, which will be the vehicle for developing local areas.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chongo (Mwense): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that in trying to run away from the ‘equal pay for equal work concept’, some of the employers are changing job titles for indigenous citizens? For instance, in the mining industry, there are mine captains and shift bosses. They leave the other positions for foreigners or expatriates whom they bring into the country. Their salaries are different when in actual fact, they do the same job.

Dr Mwansa Mr Speaker, we are aware about this, and when the evidence is available, we take action. One case which came to us was at Konkola Copper Mines where they wanted to recruit an expatriate to come and do human resource management work. They said that he was very well qualified and had a PHD, but we reminded them that we had local expertise at the PHD level in the country. We stopped that recruitment. The man had actually come and was promised the job, but we made sure that he left the country, because we believed that we had enough expertise in the area of Human Resource Management. Therefore, wherever we have had evidence, we have taken action and stopped the practice.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, this Government has made a lot of promises with regard to the amendment of the Labour Laws. I want to find out when these laws will be brought to this House. This is because even the Ministry of Labour and Social Security mentioned in this House in April that the Labour Consultative Council had agreed, but the amendments have not been brought up to now.

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, in our answer, we mentioned that following a Tripartite Consultative Meeting in December, last year, the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security promised to bring the legislation to the House. He is working very hard on that, I can assure you. This law will come to the House for amendment as soon as possible.

I thank you, Sir.


733. Mr Simama (Kalulushi) asked the Minister of Education how many teachers in Kalulushi District were accommodated and how many were not.

The Deputy Minister of Education (Ms Changwe): Mr Speaker, according to the Ministry of Education records, there were 714 teachers in Kalulushi District by the end of the first term of 2007, out of which only seventy-eight teachers were accommodated and 636 teachers were not.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simama: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that some teachers rent servants quarters from parents of the children they teach? How does the hon. Minister expect these children to respect their teachers as some teachers rent houses in locations where there is no electricity? How do they prepare for the next morning?

Ms Changwe: Mr Speaker, I would like to inform the hon. Member for Kalulushi that the ministry or, indeed, the Government gives housing allowance to teachers who are not accommodated by the Government. The choice of where they should rent the houses is not an issue for the Government to decide. Once we have given them housing allowance, where they reside is an issue that is decided by the teachers themselves.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chazangwe (Choma): Mr Speaker, the policy of the Government at the moment is to continue building classroom blocks at the expense of building teachers’ houses. When will the Government change the attitude and begin building teachers’ houses so that all the children can receive quality education?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Changwe: Mr Speaker, the ideal situation for this Government is to have teacher’s house for every classroom. Among the schools that we have built so far and those that we are yet to build, we are also building a corresponding number of teachers’ houses. We are aware that there are not enough teachers’ houses, but we are in the process of constructing more teachers’ houses. However, I would like to inform this House that if these hon. Members can support the Ministry of Education budget and allocate more funds to this ministry because it is the largest employer, we will be able to construct the required number of houses, but in the meantime, we are doing it in bits.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


734. Mr Malama (Mfuwe) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing whether there were any plans to provide an alternative site for the residents of Misisi Compound with a view to demolishing the compound.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Kazonga): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that the large part of Misisi Compound will not be demolished, but instead, will be upgraded.

My ministry, through the Lusaka City Council, has already started an upgrading programme for Misisi Compound that is expected to commence before the end of the year.

Mr Speaker, the 300 metres on either side of the Kafue Road from the roundabout to Makeni Turn Off, which is reserved for commercial development, will be demolished. This would not entail …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

Mr Kazonga: Madam Speaker, when business was suspended, I was informing this august House that a large part of Misisi Compound will not be demolished, but instead, would be upgraded. My ministry has already started an upgrading programme for Misisi Compound, through the Lusaka City Council, which is expected to commence before the end of the year.

Madam Speaker, the 300 metres on either side of the Kafue Road from the roundabout to Makeni Turn Off, which is reserved for commercial development, will be demolished, but this will not entail compensation to the people living in this area as would be done under normal circumstances. They are considered illegal settlers. However, my ministry is working with the Lusaka City Council, on humanitarian grounds, to find an alternative piece of land where these people can be resettled.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Malama: Thank you, Madam Speaker, for that good answer. What measures is the ministry putting in place to ensure that improved housing structures are put in place, especially in places that welcome our visitors from foreign countries, for example, Misisi Compound itself and Mandevu Compound?

Mr Kazonga: Madam Speaker, firstly, we want to look at that as I have already indicated in the response. For instance, the 300 metres on either side of the Kafue Road is now being targeted for commercial development. I am sure you can agree with me that there is a lot of development taking place along the Kafue Road in an effort to improve the image of our city. As for areas such as Chazanga and the nearby compounds, we are targeting upgrading the area by improving facilities such as road infrastructure. By so doing, we hope even the image from the other direction will be improved.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kasongo (Bangweulu): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether some of the structures will be demolished after or before an alternative piece of land has been found.

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mrs Masebo): Madam Speaker, finding an alternative piece of land for the residents is not a precondition to the programme of demolitions. It is very important that the public gets this matter very clearly. This also applies to the issue of street vendors. There is no precondition for evacuating street vendors from the streets. An alternative space must be found for them. It is important that leaders advise the public accordingly. As a caring Government, we have to ensure that whenever such exercises are undertaken, we look at alternative measures. However, I would not like to make that a precondition because the law clearly stipulates that one must not trade in undesignated places or put up a structure on land that does not belong to that person.

I thank you, Madam.

Ms Mumbi: Madam Speaker, if my memory serves me right, Misisi Compound was legalised in 2004. I can compare this compound with Mtendere East, in my constituency, which came up as a result of politicians giving plots to people to settle. Since Misisi Compound has been legalised, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister when the Government will move in to build a clinic and school for the people of this compound.

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister has already answered that question vis-à-vis the upgrading programmes that have been put in place by the Government. Indeed, Misisi Compound was legalised some years back, but the formalities of that legalisation may not have been completed. Legalisation is not just about the council sitting down and making a resolution, there are other steps to formalising that legal pronouncement.

Secondly, up-grading a slum dwelling such as Misisi means that the area has to be re-planned. This entails looking at the road network and demolishing some houses. You also have to look at whether the area has a police post, shopping mall, clinic and school. In the process of upgrading, you will obviously have to demolish certain houses. That programme is already underway and the hon. Deputy Minister has indicated that we have an allocation in this year’s Budget to assist some local authorities in upgrading some earmarked areas. Apart from that, we also have support from donor countries as regards service provision such as water supply and sanitation.

Let me also say that the 300-metre stretch on both sides of the Kafue Road was already declared by the Government as a commercial area. It was meant for the extension of the central business area of Lusaka. Therefore, anybody who has built there has done so at their own risk because that law has always been there. However, due to anarchy and sometimes political interference, in the past, people have been given plots even in an area everyone knows has been designated for commercial extension. They always hope that politics will come into play and therefore, the law will not take its course.

Unfortunately, this is a new Government that believes in the rule of law and we are trying as much as possible to ensure that the laws are followed. We keep saying that we must not give preconditions because even as these people are dwelling on that piece of land, they know fully well that they are doing it illegally. As a Government, we know that we have an obligation to our people, but we must not glorify anarchy and lawlessness in the country.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Madam Speaker, 300 metres on both sides of the Kafue Road is quite a big piece of land. Could I find out how many families will be affected?

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, I am not in a position to say off-the-cuff, exactly how many households or individuals will be affected. What I know is that most, if not all of that land, was already allocated to other individuals and they have titles. However, on humanitarian grounds; what we call putting a human face to a problem, the Government is working with the private owners to assist these squatters leave that land and go elsewhere. A lot has been done in that respect and that is why you are seeing that, recently, a number of buildings have been constructed by the legal owners. With the assistance of my ministry, the owners of that land have entered into some agreement with the squatters and some money will be paid to the illegal dwellers for them to build elsewhere. That programme is ongoing and a lot of positive achievements have been made so far as millions of kwacha have been spent on compensation for our people. So, where you see buildings coming up, it is because the owners of the land have paid off the squatters.

I thank you, Madam.

Dr Machungwa: Madam Speaker, why does this Government allow people to put up illegal structures and move in later? I am talking about demolishing and moving people from the markets that she has referred to. For instance, as you enter Lusaka in Mandevu, on your right side, some kind of market made of plastic sheets is developing. People are trading there and the hon. Minister is not doing anything about it and is probably waiting until they consider themselves legitimate to go and remove them. Does she have to wait and take joy in demolishing illegal structures instead of preventing this so that she does not cause acrimony and suffering to our people?

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, firstly, most of the problems that we are facing, as a Government, today, are as a result of inertia by previous leaders, including the one who has just asked the question.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! 

Mrs Masebo: Secondly, I would like to say that if people take interest in finding out what has been done about informing people who are developing properties illegally, they would find out that, in some cases, the so-called illegal developers have been taken to court to restrain them from developing a particular piece of land which they acquired illegally. Some people will go to court and get an injunction and thereafter, continue constructing regardless of the fact that the matter is in court and the court may rule against them. People think that when they are many in number or cry out to politicians, they will be allowed to conduct illegal activities. When some of us try to correct the situation, the same people who created the problem call us names.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! 

Mrs Masebo: Yet, we are only doing what is right, in accordance with the law. I would like to say that there is nobody who is constructing illegally in Lusaka who has not been told. The Lusaka City Council has put adverts on radio as well as physically gone to tell the illegal land developers not to continue with the construction, but they have always hoped that some leaders, like those who ask such questions, will protect them for the purpose of political gain.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: This is why we have had problems. It does not matter who takes over this Government next time. However, if we are going to have such leadership, we will not develop as a country. We must agree on certain issues. There is no need of politicking over such matters because these are straightforward matters. You do not have to be a genius or a Masebo to know that to allow illegal development in the country is against the law.

I thank you, Madam.


735. Mr Chimbaka (Bahati) asked the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry what other products besides foodstuffs and copper Zambia exported for foreign exchange earnings.

The Deputy Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Ms Siliya): Madam Speaker, apart from foodstuffs and copper, the other products that Zambia exports to earn foreign exchange are as follows:

(a) animal products;

(b) floriculture;

(c) horticulture;

(d) wood products;

(e) building materials;

(f) chemicals;

(g) engineering products;

(h)  garments;

(i) handcrafts;

(j)  leather;

(k) textiles;

(l) non-metallic products;

(m)  cobalt,;

(n) silver;

(o) petroleum oils;

(p) precious and gemstones;

(q)  scrap metal and electricity.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Chimbaka: Madam Speaker, last week in Livingstone, a business advisory council stated that Zambia was failing to access foreign markets. Could the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry clarify to this House and the nation, the cause and failure to access foreign markets for Zambian products?

Ms Siliya: Madam Speaker, in the last five years, non-traditional exports have steadily increased, an indication that a lot of Zambian entrepreneurs are taking advantage of the various trade protocols that the Government has signed. For example at the close of 2006, non-traditional exports had grown to about US$700 million.

At the same time, we appreciate that we still have to do more to take full advantage of the market access that we have. On the other hand, we are trying very hard to address the supply side constraints which my hon. Minister ably tabled last week in the ministerial statement.

At the moment, we are also trying to encourage the existing exporters through the Joint Integrated Technical Assistance Programme with United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the International Trade Centre. We have conducted a number of sectoral studies, products specific diagnostic studies and markets development studies so that we can assist exporters to fully take advantage of the existing foreign markets.

Therefore, we are working very closely with them by offering them both technical, financial and even market and product development assistance in order to increase the export of non-traditional exports. This is why even under the Zambian Development Agency Act, certain products have been listed as priority products so that we can increase their exports and earn the country foreign exchange.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Madam Speaker, mangoes, in the United Kingdom cost between two to three pounds each, and yet mangoes in Zambia go to waste. What is the ministry doing to access the United Kingdom market?

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Madam Speaker, in answering the hon. Member of Parliament for Roan’s question, let me, again, use my constituency, Petauke Central as an example to illustrate my point.

Petauke District grows a lot of mangoes, and it would add a lot of value if we were able to process the mangoes and export them, not just as raw or ripe mangoes, but also as jam and other products.
However, at the moment, we are not able to do this due to certain circumstances beyond our control. For instance, in my constituency, we have electricity only for eight hours. The big part of the constituency is rural and has little water for irrigation.


Ms Siliya: Madam Speaker, I want to …


Ms Siliya: May I have your protection, Madam?

Madam Speaker: Order!

Ms Siliya: I am just trying to illustrate the point that in the area where there is urbanisation, we only have water eight hours per day. Therefore, these are real supply constraints on the ground that make it very difficult for us to export and add value to some of the potential exports that we have in this country, which my Government has recognised.

Madam Speaker, we have a do or die situation. Therefore, I would encourage all hon. Members of Parliament to fully understand this programme and share this information with the citizens.

Madam Speaker, if we are going to make our products competitive enough for the export market, we have to address the supply side constraints of infrastructure such as electricity, road network and telecommunications. The Government is already working on this.

Madam Speaker, we also believe that there are some supply soft issues that we have to address. These include market knowledge about the example the hon. Member gave the relating to the UK market. What type of mangoes do they want in the UK market? Are they round, oval mangoes and so on and so forth, because in those markets, usually, they have very stringent consumer habits? We have to make this information available to our potential exporters.

Madam Speaker, this Government is doing everything possible through my ministry to make sure that on one hand, we address the supply side constraints and on the other, we provide information to the exporters.

 Madam Speaker, as I already said, through the Joint Integrated Technical Assistance Programme with UNCTAD and the International Trade Centre, we are carrying out under the sector studies, product specific studies so that we can determine our competitive advantage in the markets for these products, and mangoes is one of them under the horticultural products.

I thank you, Madam.{mospagebreak}


736. Mr D. Mwila asked the Minister of Labour and Social Security whether the Government had any plans to enact a law which would allow police officers to belong to trade unions of their choice.

The Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mr Liato): Madam Speaker, the Government has no immediate plans to enact a law that specifically allows police officers to belong to trade unions of their choice. This is because they fall under the Security Sector. As such, they are exempted from joining trade unions in accordance with the Industrial and Labour Relations Act, Cap 269 of the Laws of Zambia.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr D. Mwila: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister is aware that the Government imposes conditions of service for police officers because they do not belong to a union. Are there any plans by the Government to introduce the works’ councils for police officers so that their grievances are taken through works’ councils?

Mr Liato: Madam Speaker, my brother and colleague who is asking this question is a former trade unionist. He knows that all conditions of service and laws that regulate workers, both in the Employment and Industrial and Labour Relations Acts are subject to discussions and negotiation, either at tripartite consultative labour council meetings that involve the Government itself, employers and the employee. These are subject to negotiations between specific industrial unions.

As for employees who do not fall in the category of unionised workers and are thereby not enjoying conditions of service derived from negotiations in a particular union in a particular industry, these will have their discussions covered when the Industrial and Labour Relations Act and the Employment Act are discussed. So the other categories of employees, not necessarily the police alone, who may fall in the non-unionised category, have their representation made at the Tripartite Consultative Labour Council.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mtonga: Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that under the Zambia Police Act, the police have associations which can debate their conditions of service. Is he implying that these have been trampled on and not encouraged so that throughout the ranks, officers cannot speak professionally about their needs and make demands as the law is set?

Mr Liato: Madam Speaker, the question was talking about the police belonging to a trade union of their choice. This does not stop the police or any other organisation that is entitled to have membership to an association.

 Now, associations are defined and regulated by subsidiary laws and the only reason the Government has taken steps to be cautious about the issue of the police belonging to the trade unions is that we want to move cautiously. There are times when strikes are quite illegal and need law enforcing agencies to control. Now, we cannot have illegality on one hand and also have law enforcing agencies participating in illegality. It is for that reason that we are cautious about how to move in terms of regulating the trade unions in the Police Service.

However, there have been no stoppages on associations whatsoever if the organisation is in accordance with the law.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


737. Mr Mwangala (Nalolo) asked the hon. Minister of Education when the Government would build a university in the Western Province.

Ms Changwe: Madam Speaker, the Government has no immediate plans to build a university in the Western Province. However, it has approved a project proposal for building a university in the province using private initiative. Therefore, the private sector may build a university even before the Government builds one and that is if funds will be made available.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mwangala: Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that delays of honouring the Government assurance for this popular and highly respected institution in that region whose site has already been given by the concerned traditional leaders is a serious opportunity denial for the people of the Western Province?

Ms Changwe: Madam Speaker, my ministry is not aware that there was a Government assurance in the province on the construction of this university. If any of the Members of Parliament, especially who by that time were not in the Government, were using that to campaign, they should know that it is not a Government assurance. It was just an opinion by that particular MP. But to the best of my knowledge, my ministry has no plans to construct a university in the Western Province.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Sikota: Madam Speaker, when will this Government have a deliberate policy of providing a university in each and every province in order to bring education closer to the Zambian people so that those who are in rural provinces do not have to look only towards the Copperbelt and Lusaka Provinces and ensure there is equitable access to education?

Ms Changwe: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that question. I want to state that this Government does not only believe in quantitative, but also qualitative provision of education. It is not in the massification of education that we can develop or progress, but in the quality of education that is going to be provided. Therefore, this Government is not in a hurry to construct universities in all the provinces, especially since we want to ensure that the two universities and also the third university in Kabwe are improved to very high standards that will be well acceptable to everybody.

I also want to state that at the moment, the ministry is studying a concept paper on the establishment of higher institutions of learning. It is only when we are fully satisfied on the direction that we will come back and state when we can do that. At the moment, it is not our priority because we want to ensure that we sort out the issues at the two public universities and also commission the third university in Kabwe.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


738. Mr Ntundu (Gwembe) asked the Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development:

(a) how much money the Government  had spent on the Football Association of Zambia on training sessions and international games from 2002 to date; and

(b) how much money was spent on the following:

(i) players’ allowances;

(ii) travel;

(iii) accommodation;

(iv) allowances for FAZ executive committee members; and

(v) other expenses
The Deputy Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development (Ms Cifire): Madam Speaker, the Government spent the following:

 Item                                                           Amount (K)
Training and International games                9,451,549,396. 00                                                                                       Players’ allowances                                  3, 392,819,838.00
Travel                                                        3, 142,096,841.00
Allowances for FAZ Executive Committee Members     692,071,578.00
Accommodation                                            847,346958.00
Other expenses                                           973,104,181.00   

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

The Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development (Mr Namulambe): Madam Speaker, in the first place, I want to state that the amount of money that is paid to the FAZ officials is meant to cover their costs when they are travelling on national assignments. The figure given is covering a period from 2002 to date. I also want to state that it is not right to say that FAZ officials are reckless in spending. I, therefore, wish to inform this House that we, as a ministry, are satisfied with the way FAZ is accounting for the resources under its coffers.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr D. Mwila: Madam Speaker, I would like to find out whether there are rules that have been put in place when it comes to paying allowances. I am saying so because most FAZ officials prefer to be FAZ officials to being Members of Parliament.


Mr Namulambe: Madam Speaker, I do not think it is a question of one choosing whether to become an hon. Member of Parliament or member of FAZ. I also want to state that there are no rules, but there are rates which are standardised as payments for officials in FAZ.

I thank you, Madam.


739. Dr Machungwa (on behalf of Mr Chisala) (Chilubi) asked the Minister of Communications and Transport:

(a) why the workers at the Bangweulu Water Transport and Mweru Water Transport companies had not been put on the payroll for more than sixteen years now;

(b) when the workers at (a) above would be put on the payroll; and

(c) how many workers at (a) above retired from 1996 to date and how many had been paid their benefits.

The Deputy Minister of Communications and Transport (Mr Mubika): Madam Speaker, the workers at both the Bangweulu Water Transport Board and Mweru Water Transport Board are not civil servants. The two institutions have a Board of Directors, which is appointed by the minister and are both Grant-aided Institutions. The workers are on the respective payrolls of both the Bangweulu and Mweru Water Transport Boards.

Madam Speaker, as stated above, the workers are already on the payrolls of the two Water Transport Boards.

From 1996 to date, eight workers retired from Bangweulu Water Transport and six have since been paid their full terminal benefits. At Mweru Water Transport Board, three workers retired and one of them has since been paid his terminal benefits.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Dr Machungwa: Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that these institutions are fully funded by the State even though they are not directly under the Government? It is erroneous to say that they are employed by somebody else when, in fact, these institutions depend on the Government. Is he not aware of that fact?

The Minister of Communications and Transport (Ms Sayifwanda): Madam Speaker, let me say that these two boards raise money on their own. As a Government, we provide a grant, which my hon. Deputy Minister has just mentioned.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


740. Mr Kambwili asked the Minister of Finance and National Planning:

(a) how much money the Government spent on running ZCCM from the Treasury from 1991 to 2003; and

(b) how much money ZCCM spent on buying vehicles for the Government from 1984 to 1990.

The Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mr Shakafuswa): Madam Speaker, between 1991 and 2003, the Government spent a total of K2,103,387.30 to sustain the operations of the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM). This amount was made up of loans of K2,009,599.00 and direct budget funding of K93,788,000.30. The loans were mostly used for the Privatisation Programme of the mines, including payments to creditors and for retrenchment packages.

Madam Speaker, with regard to part (b), the House may wish to note that between 1984 and 1990, the mines were controlled by the Government, through ZCCM, before the Privatisation Programme. This situation created a possibility that ZCCM could have spent money on buying vehicles and other things for the Government. However, it is not possible to determine how much money was spent by ZCCM for this purpose because there are no records to show how much money was spent on the purchase of the said vehicles.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Kambwili: Madam Speaker, expenditure on payments of terminal benefits to ZCCM is not expenditure for running ZCCM. My question is: How much money did the Government spend on running ZCCM between 1991 and 2003 and not to facilitate privatisation?

Mr Shakafuswa: Madam Speaker, we gave loans for a company to operate. However, there is also money which was spent from the Treasury when ZCCM was liquidated so as to cover the packages which have been mentioned in the question.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Mukanga: Madam Speaker, would the hon. Minister confirm that part of the K2 trillion he talked about came from the privatised companies which were privatised earlier, and that is the money they had used to plough back into ZCCM?

Mr Shakafuswa: Madam Speaker, the Government has a big pot in which it pools resources for its operations. Yes, it could be that it was one of those pots, but the bottom line is that we had to spend that money to ensure that people in the mines did not become destitute or that the mines did not close down to make people like Hon. Mukanga and his relatives destitute.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.{mospagebreak}


741. Mr Imenda asked the Minister of Education:

(a) how many academic universities the Government had planned to establish in the country in the next ten years;

(b) what the planned locations for the universities at (a) above were.

Ms Changwe: Madam Speaker, the provision of university education has been identified by the ministry as one of its priorities. In the Fifth National Development Plan, the Government of the Republic of Zambia has plans to establish a third public university to complement the current two public universities. Other public universities will be established in the subsequent development plans.

The Government’s policy through the Triangle of Hope Initiative on Education is to enhance private sector participation in the establishment of universities in the country. This is evidenced by a number of private universities that have already been established by foreign and local investors. The Zambia Open University is an example of an institution that has been initiated by local Zambian educationists.

In addition, the ministry has continued to receive inquiries from both local and foreign investors, who are interested in establishing universities in Zambia in the near future.

Madam Speaker, under the Triangle f Hope Initiative on Education, there is a programme to be undertaken with regard to locations of education infrastructure country wide. Among the programmes the ministry has, is the identification of green fields or land banks meant for education purposes throughout the country.

Currently, the ministry is collaborating with the Ministry of Lands, local authorities and traditional leaders, including a number of stakeholders, in identifying land that can be allocated for education infrastructure development, including universities. It is only after these land banks have been identified by the ministry that we can be in a position to state the locations of the universities to be established in the next ten years.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


742. Mr Nyirenda (Kamfinsa) asked the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development:

(a) how much the Mukuba Pension Trust sold the following buildings:

(i) Mukuba House; and

(ii) Natwange House; and

(b) whether the Government would intervene in the sale of the buildings.

The Deputy Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr Nkhata): Madam Speaker, there are two Mukuba Pension Houses; one is in Kitwe and the other is in Lusaka. These houses belong to Mukuba Pension Scheme and have not been sold.

Madam Speaker, Natwange House does not exist and, therefore, it has not been sold. However, there are houses in Kitwe called Mukuba Natwange houses. These houses were occupied by ZCCM, Nkana and Power Division, prior to the privatisation of ZCCM. Rentals were paid by ZCCM to Mukuba Trustees Limited, which administered the Mukuba Pension Scheme, to which members of the Mineworkers Union of Zambia and others contributed. Since the houses belonged to the pension scheme, they were not included in the sale of ZCCM houses to ZCCM employees as part of the redundancy packages exercised at the time of privatisation of ZCCM Limited.

Madam Speaker, the Government has no intention to intervene in the sale of the buildings because the buildings belong to the Mukuba Pension Scheme. If the owners want to sell the houses, they are entitled to determine how they want to sell the buildings in the interest of their pension scheme.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Nyirenda: Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for the correction regarding the Mukuba House in Kitwe.

However,, is the hon. Minister aware that the Mukuba Pension Trust Limited has double standards in selling houses? For example, the sitting tenants who are former ZCCM employees are told to buy houses at K 56 million, payable in six months and the non-sitting tenants are buying them at K18 million on loans. Is it fair?

Dr Mwansa: Madam Speaker, these houses belong to Mukuba Pension Scheme and it has determined the value of those houses. However, we have been approached by the Mineworkers Union of Zambia and the Mines and Allied Workers Union of Zambia,  both of whom have come to ask us to intercede on behalf of their members because the payment period is very short. We are approaching the trustees with a view to making the conditions less stringent in terms of the period within which they have to pay for these houses. So, we are appealing on behalf of the affected tenants.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kambwili: Madam Speaker, during the sale of ZCCM houses, a discount was given, depending on how long one had served. Does the hon. Minister intend to ask Mukuba to give discounts to those members who are members of the Mukuba Pension Trust, depending on the years they have been with the Mukuba Pension Scheme?

Dr Mwansa: Madam Speaker, part of the dialogue we are having with Mukuba Pension Scheme is to do just that. However, we should bear in mind that it would not be in the interest of the pensioners to sell these houses very cheaply, because the pensioners want these houses to be sold at value and not below value.

Madam Speaker, what is important is to make the payment period a longer than what it is now.

I thank you, Madam.


743. Mr Simama asked the Minister of Home Affairs:

(a) when Kalulushi and Chambishi Police Stations were built;

(b) how many police officers were at these two police stations; and

(c) how many houses were available to accommodate the police officers at (b) above.

Ms Njapau: Madam Speaker, I wish to inform this House that Kalulushi and Chambishi Police Stations were built in the years 1958 and 1959 respectively.

Madam Speaker, there are sixty-seven police officers at Kalulushi Police Station and forty-eighty officers at Chambishi Police Station.

Madam, Kalulushi Police Station has sixty-three housing units while Chambishi has forty-three.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kambwili: Madam Speaker, the population of Kalulushi is well in excess of 40,000. Is it reasonable to have sixty-seven police officers to police 40,000 people?

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Madam Speaker, first and foremost, we consider the wonderful people of Kalulushi very peaceful.


Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Since they are very peaceful, the officers have been able to contain the situation and live well with the community.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Therefore, an increase will only come as the population increases in Kalulushi.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


744. Mr Malama asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing when modern bus stations would be constructed in all the districts.

Mr Kazonga: Madam Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that my ministry is designing a Bus Stations Development Programme, which will gradually cover all districts in the country.

Madam Speaker, building of modern bus stations in all the districts is a mammoth task which requires huge capital investment. Therefore, it will take a long time to build bus stations in all the districts because of the cost implications, considering that we have seventy- two districts in the country.

Madam Speaker, currently, there are no co-operating partners supporting the construction of bus stations in the country. This means that the Government should fully support this programme using local resources.

Madam Speaker, the House may also wish to know that early this year, Parliament passed the Market and Bus Stations Bill, which has since been assented to by the President.

The Markets and Bus Stations Act will not only regulate the management of markets and bus stations, but also give powers to the management boards that will be formed by the councils to plan, construct and manage markets and bus stations, using revenues accruing from these institutions as well as funds form the Government. The bus station boards will develop their own business plans.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Malama: Madam Speaker, could the hon. Minister confirm to this House whether the monies used to construct the Inter-City Bus Station in Lusaka were supposed to go to other districts because it was agreed by the management, at that time, that they were supposed to build one big station which they said would help raise money to start constructing bus stations in the other districts.

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, it is true that the Government has always wanted to construct most of this infrastructure namely; markets and bus stations in the Lusaka City, considering that this is the Capital City. In the long run, the Government’s intention was to continue with the exercise by extending the programme to the Copperbelt which is another province with a big population and thereafter, the provincial centres and finally, the smaller districts. 

In as far as the markets are concerned, one such intention was the construction of the City Market. Although we are aware that a lot of money was spent in developing markets and bus stations in Lusaka, there has been very little benefit from these markets and the bus stations to roll out this programme to the other districts. This is why under the new Market and Bus Stations Act, we have come up with what we are calling “The Bus Stations and Market Fund”. The idea is to draw some resources from the existing markets into this fund and use part of this money to build other markets and bus stations in the district which have not benefited. Therefore, to answer the question, I would like to say yes, there is some element of truth in that question and statement.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


744. Mr D. Mwila asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing when the Government would construct a modern market in Mwense District.

Mr Kazonga: Madam Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that currently, my ministry is designing the National Markets Development Programme, which will eventually cover all our major urban areas, including Mwense.

Madam Speaker, I wish to further inform the House that my ministry has released a total of K60 million in the last two years towards the rehabilitation and improvement of the existing markets in Mwense and Mambilima Constituencies of Mwense District.

Madam Speaker, the House may also wish to know that early this year, Parliament passed the Market and Bus Stations Bill, which has since been assented to by the President as I indicated in my response to the previous question..

Madam Speaker, the Market and Bus Stations Act will not only regulate the management of markets and bus stations, but also give powers to the management board that will be formed by councils to plan and construct markets and bus station using revenues accruing from these institutions as well as funds from the Government.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr D. Mwila: Madam Speaker, I would like to find out form the hon. Minister whether she is aware that there is not a single modern market in Luapula Province. If so, why is it that these promises are only for the Luapula Province? Could the hon. Minister tell me what we have done as a people from Luapula to this Government?

Mr Sichilima: Tamwavotele bwino!


Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, the people of the Luapula Province are very good people …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: … and this Government loves them. It is doing everything possible to ensure they are serviced just like any other province of Zambia.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chimbaka: Madam Speaker is the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing aware that the market she is referring to as rehabilitated in Mwense is in a bad state and was vacated in 1978? Is she aware?

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, I may not be aware that this particular market was vandalised. What I am aware about is that many markets in Zambia are in deplorable conditions. The monies hat councils get from these markets in terms of levies are too low to rehabilitate the markets.

Although these markets belong to the local authorities, in some markets, the marketers themselves put up some makeshift structures on the market land that belongs to the council on account that the councils do not have enough resources to put up a modern market.

Madam Speaker, this is why the Government has come up with this programme and new legislation. The idea behind this legislation is to mobilise resources from the existing markets that have been so far constructed by the Government and also to ensure that the management of these markets is in such a manner that resources can be derived from this infrastructure.

I can tell that there is a lot of money in the markets, but in the past, the management has been poor. If we can manage these markets effectively, we can make so much money that we would not even need the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to give us money for the construction of markets. The markets themselves would generate the money to build new markets.

Mr Mtonga: Zoona!

Mrs Masebo: However, what is required is proper management and the implementation of the Market and Stations Act. Very shortly, I will be issuing a Statutory Instrument to bring the Act into force and so, Members of Parliament must assist in ensuring that the law is enforced according to what we agreed here so that we can improve the management of the markets.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mtonga: Zoona!

Mrs Masebo: However, in the current Budget, we have money under the Ministry of Local Government and Housing for rehabilitation of markets. We have always had this money except that it is insufficient, but we have given it to most of the markets, Luapula in particular. I remember that I sent a lot of money when I was Minister of Local Government and Housing then, to Luapula Province. The problem has been that when money is sent to the local authorities for rehabilitating a market that they have applied for, sometimes it is not utilised in an effective manner.

Therefore, it is important that the Members of Parliament who are members of these councils help in ensuring that the expenditure of these resources is monitored. When we send money for market rehabilitation, they must take an interest in ensuring that the market is rehabilitated, instead of changing the purpose of that money to drilling a borehole or fixing a vehicle for the mayor and so on and so forth.

Likewise, in this year’s Budget, we have some money and have continued sending it to different local authorities to assist them in rehabilitating markets. So, if Members have markets in their areas that they feel need to be rehabilitated, they must go through the normal procedures, through their councils, and whatever little is there we shall share it, as we have done in the past.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


746. Mr Mwangala asked the Minister of Energy and Water Development how many Government institutions had been electrified under the Rural Electrification Programme in Nalolo Parliamentary Constituency from 2002 to 2006.

The Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Sichilima): Madam Speaker, I know my colleagues have been missing my voice.


Mr Sichilima: The following Government institutions were electrified with solar energy under the Rural Electrification Authority in Nalolo Parliamentary Constituency between 2002 and 2006:

(i) Kataba Basic School (2006);

(ii) Mukukutu Basic School (2006);

(iii) Sianda Basic School (2006);

(iv) Nanjucha Basic School (2006); and

(v) Litoya Basic School (2006)

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Mwangala: Madam Speaker, out of the forty primary schools in the constituency, he has only mentioned three, which is a small number that have benefited from this scheme. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether there are plans to electrify more schools and when?

The Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Konga): Madam Speaker, the Government intends to uplift the living standards of all the people in this country, …

Mr Sichilima: Hear, hear!

Mr Konga: … including the people of Nalolo Parliamentary Constituency.

Hon. PF Members: Awee!

Mr Shakafuswa: Mulekana inshi?


Mr Konga: To this effect, between now and December, 2007, the Government, through the Department of Energy, has requested all the Members of Parliament in all the constituencies in this country, including Nalolo Parliamentary Constituency, to verify all the growth centres in their constituencies so that they can be provided with electricity of one form or another,.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Konga: So, to answer the hon. Member’s question, yes, it is the Government’s intention, once the hon. Member submits a verified copy of the Rural Electrification Master Plan, to electrify the centres.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Sichilima: Hear, hear!

Mr Munaile (Malole): Madam Speaker, the Rural Electrification Authority urged ZESCO to electrify Chitimukulu’s palace in Malole Constituency where the Paramount Chief of the Bemba people resides.

Mr D. Mwila: Hear, hear! Hammer!

Mr Munaile: The only Paramount Chief without electricity in this country …

Mr D. Mwila: Why?

Mr Munaile: … since some time last year to date.

Madam Speaker, ZESCO has failed to complete the project despite many assurances by the Rural Electrification Authority.

Hon. PF Members: Shame!

Mr Munaile: What is the Government doing to ensure that this project is completed without any further delay?

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order in the House!

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, the Government has a lot of respect for all the chiefs in the country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Rhetoric!

Mr Konga: To demonstrate this respect that Government has for chiefs, it has undertaken to electrify all the registered chiefs’ palaces, including the Royal Palace of Chief Chitimukulu.

So, I will take up the initiative by the hon. Member of Parliament to find out why there has been a delay. However, I can assure the hon. Member of Parliament that we shall electrify the palace of Chief Chitimukulu.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. PF Members: Shall!

Mr Beene (Itezhi-tezhi): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister said that the Government has a very ambitious programme of rural electrification. Can the hon. Minister tell this House how ZESCO is going to manage to carry out that responsibility when ZESCO right now is almost failing to pay its workers and gets overdrafts from the banks, has shortages of poles which are usually acquired from ZAFFICO, and at the moment, has a fleet of vehicles that is very old and breaks down on the streets.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Beene: Is this programme going to work?

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, the hon. Member for Itezhi Tezhi, who is a former ZESCO employee, must be aware that the Government has contracted a different institution other than ZESCO to undertake rural electrification in this country and this is the Rural Electrification Authority. Madam Speaker, the programme for rural electrification will not be undertaken by ZESCO, but the Rural Electrification Authority whose budget was approved by this august House.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC.: Madam Speaker, could the hon. Minister assure me that Chief Ndake’s palace will be electrified this year since the wiring has already been done. Could I be assured that this Chief who has been crying for power will have it before the end of the year.

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, I know that hon. Members are eager to see that palaces of their chiefs are electrified.

However, Madam Speaker, I seek your protection, the original question was on Nalolo, but now I think we are diverting to different constituencies.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! There is only one Chair to respond to what he is saying.

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, I would like, as I said earlier, to assure hon. Members that it is the Government’s intention to electrify all chiefs palaces.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}


747. Mr Ntundu asked the Minister of Finance and National Planning how many banking and financial institutions were operating in the country and what their trading names were.

Mr Shakafuswa: Madam Speaker, as at May 2007, there were thirteen banks operating in Zambia and with your permission, I will lay the paper with the names on the Table.

Madam Speaker, as for the non-banking financial institutions, a total of fifty-one were in existence as of 8th May, 2007 and these are categorised as follows:

 (a) Bureaux De Change  30

 (b) Leasing Companies 8

 (c) Building Societies 3

 (d) Micro Financing Institutions 7

 (e) Development Bank 1

 (f) other financial institutions 2

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Shakafuswa laid the paper on the Table.

Hon. Members: Quality! Hear, hear!

Mr Ntundu: Madam Speaker, I wonder what the hon. Deputy Minister is hiding by not reading the names of the institutions. However, I would like to find out from him whether the Government is willing to negotiate on behalf of borrowers the lending rates, taking into account the fact that the lending rates in some of these financial institutions are as high as 35 per cent and some of them as low as 15 per cent. Is the Government willing to negotiate on behalf of borrowers the interest rates downwards?

Madam Speaker, I also want to find out whether the Government has the capacity to detect or foresee which of these lending institutions risk liquidation.

Mr Shakafuswa: Madam Speaker, interest rates are determined by several factors. We have market trends and other risk factors. In Zambia, borrowing is expensive because we have a risk factor where people borrow, but do not want to pay back. As a result, when somebody is lending their money, they insure the money in case someone does not pay back and that becomes expensive.

Madam Speaker, as Government, as seen in the recent past, we discovered that the Government was borrowing too much from the market and we have reduced Government borrowing from the market. As a result, you have seen that banks are following people with money to lend and if your risk is low, you will get money from the banks at lower rates.

Mr Munaile: Awe takwaba ifyo!

Mr Shakafuswa: You are saying takwaba because you do not know.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Speak through the Chair and do not listen to any rattlers.

Mr Shakafuswa: Madam Speaker, the bottom line is that as much as banks are complaining today about the Government’s intention to reduce borrowing from banks, this, to us, is a positive move because it will help reduce the interest rates in the long run. I would like to urge Zambians with proposals to borrow from banks. They should also be credit worthy by repaying the money they borrow so that the risk which is compounded in the interest rates is also reduced.

I thank you, Madam.

Mrs Mwamba (Lukashya): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether the Government is monitoring some of the banks to ensure they are operating properly to protect the citizens from losing money, as we have seen in the past.

Mr Shakafuswa: Madam Speaker, you will notice that the Government has increased the minimum capital for running a bank to K12 billion so as to protect the depositors. The bank of Zambia has an inspectorate unit that ensures that banks are operating within limits and that they are not exposed to bad debts and loans.

Madam Speaker, the Government, through the Bank of Zambia, is making sure that there is no recurrence of what happened previously when a bank went into liquidation.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Matongo (Pemba): Madam Speaker, I would like the hon. Minister to advise us, because we all want to be in business and be prosperous. The issue of the cost of money, electricity etc. inhibits Zambians who have not inherited from doing business. Is the hon. Minister saying it is so simple that it can be done? Is it Government made simple in the Ministry of Finance and National Planning; is that true?


Mr Shakafuswa: Madam Speaker, I did not get the question clearly, but for those Zambians who have not inherited and want to go into business, they can borrow depending on the project proposals and other factors. However, as I said earlier, it also depends on our credit culture. As Zambians, we need to change our approach to business. People who borrow to buy Mercedes Benz cars and big houses instead of putting that money to productive use, eventually fail to liquidate the loans. Therefore, the banks’ lending portfolio is reduced, resulting in very little money available for everyone who has not inherited to be able to borrow. Due to the demand and supply kind of arrangement, borrowing becomes expensive.

However, if we can have a situation whereby we become productive, I think we would reduce the interest rates to very considerable rates.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Mwansa: Madam Speaker, taking into account the fact that banking in rural areas is very risky and that the share capital for big banks is being increased, what are the chances for our rural people to have rural tailored banks in place if the amount of money for shareholding is being increased at that rate?

Mr Shakafuswa: Madam, I think we should appreciate one issue. We want to protect the same people who the hon. Member wants us to extend credit to. To protect them, we should embrace the changes which have been effected by the Government. Suffice to say, I just had a meeting with the Zambia National Commercial Bank (ZANACO) Managing Director who reiterated the bank’s commitment to going to the rural areas to open branches, because nowadays, there is business in the rural areas.

The Food Reserve Agency in Nyimba is owed about K3 billion. This means that they need a bank to keep that kind of money in such areas. Definitely, the people in rural areas will be catered for by the banks. We do not have to put up fully-fledged banks. We can put up agencies to look after them. However, the money is going to be made available in banks for those who are business minded. Rather than sharing dividends, they will save money so that their capital base is increased.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister explained to us that part of the reason the cost of money is a little unaffordable is the credit culture of the citizens of this country.

I would like the hon. Minister to confirm whether the bad credit culture of the citizens of this country was adopted from the Government. Going by the fact that just last week, in this House, the hon. Minister of Works and Supply indicated that one of the road contractors, Messrs Sable Transport, was paid very late. As a result, he could not complete his works.

Madam, the K17.6 billion that you gave Messrs Sable Transport, as explained to this House, was meant for further works in building this road and not for his pocket as his invoice states. Could that not be assumed as a perfect example of a bad credit culture, where you commit yourself, fail to pay and then fail to control the contractor because clearly, you are the one who has abrogated the contract.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: Madam, actually, I do not know whether the hon. Member has understood this issue. I do not think that this is a very good example of a bad credit culture. I still maintain that people out there should have a good credit culture. Contractors should make sure that the claims they make on the Government are genuine, and not where you put one gadget here and then claim interest for works which they have not been done. Therefore, it is also a bad culture on the part of contractors to defraud the country by charging interest on works that they have not done. They do not even borrow from banks for them to charge us interest.





The Minister of Justice (Mr Kunda): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.

Madam Speaker, the Matrimonial Causes Bill is intended to provide for divorce and other related matrimonial causes. The Bill has come before this august House in response to the Government’s concern that more than four decades after independence, Zambia does not have a local Matrimonial Causes Law. The High Court is still applying the English Matrimonial Causes Act of 1973 and related rules in the resolution of matrimonial disputes.

Madam, following the Government’s decision that a local Matrimonial Causes Act be drafted, the Zambia Law Development Commission was tasked to conduct the necessary consultations with stakeholders and gather their views on the contents of the proposed Matrimonial Causes Law. At that time, the Zambia Law Development Commission was undertaking a project on restatement of Customary Law and it was considered important that the commission be involved in the drafting of the Matrimonial Causes Act so as to avoid any conflict with the Zambian Customary Law.

The findings of the project on the restatement of Customary Law were useful, as they highlighted important aspects of the customs and practices of various ethnic groups in Zambia with respect to customary marriages and the dissolution of the marriages.

Madam, Speaker, the commission held consultative workshops with stakeholders in order to gather the information necessary for the proposed legislation. In addition to the workshops, the commission held interviews with members of the Judiciary, eminent practicing lawyers and Civil Society Organisations. The persons interviewed were selected based on their involvement in the field of Family Law, women’s right issues, Law and governance.

Madam, while the Marriage Act Cap. 50 of the Laws of Zambia regulate the solemnisation of marriages, the dissolution of the marriages is governed by the Laws of England. The Marriage Act does not deal with divorce and other domestic related matters that include the custody of children, maintenance of a party to a marriage and of children of the family and the settlement of property after the divorce.

Madam Speaker, although the High Court applies the English Matrimonial Causes Act of 1973, that Act has been amended several times in England. The application of the 1973 English Act to divorce proceedings has raised concern in that the Zambian society has values and other conditions which are totally different from the values and conditions obtaining in the English society. Family law in Zambia is undergoing change as a result of social, economic and other development changes. One of the major causes of the rapid change is the inter-marriages, not only amongst the indigenous tribal groups in the country, but also between Zambians and other nationalities and cultures.

Another factor is that Zambians, to a large extent, in contracting marriages, combine customary as well as statutory law in formalising their marriages. There is, therefore, a need to enact a local divorce and matrimonial causes law that will effect Zambia’s unique social, economic and cultural values as they have evolved over the last forty-three years of self-governing.

Madam Speaker, the Matrimonial Causes Bill that is before this august House was drafted based on the recommendations contained in the Report of the Zambia Law Development Commission. As recommended by the Commission, in view of the diversity and complexities of customary law and practices, the law will not apply to marriages under Customary Law.

Madam, the enactment of the Matrimonial Causes Act will give us our very own Statute on Matrimonial Causes and bring to an end the application of the English Law. The Bill is progressive and long overdue.

 I also wish to say that I have perused the report of the Committee which looked into this particular Bill and they have made very useful and constructive recommendations which we have considered, some of which may be taken into account when we come to the Committee Stage of this Bill.

I would like to thank the Chairman of the Committee and the members for producing a very good and well detailed report. I, therefore, urge hon. Members of this august House to give this Bill their unreserved support.

Madam Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze): Madam Speaker, I wish to thank you most sincerely for according me this opportunity to brief this august House on matters pertaining to the Matrimonial Causes Bill, No. 21 of 2007, which was referred to your Committee on Legal Affairs, Governance, Human Rights and Gender Matters on the 12th July, 2007, for scrutiny.

Madam Speaker, in considering the Matrimonial Causes Bill, No. 21 of 2007, your Committee had fruitful interactions with various stakeholders that included the organisations from the civil society, Government wings, the church and generally, members of the public. Not withstanding the brevity of time, your Committee received overwhelming response and trust that the hon. Members will find the report useful as they debate the Bill.

May I take this opportunity to state that as a result of this interaction, your Committee managed to come up with pertinent observations on the proposed Matrimonial Causes Bill which is on the Floor of the House today.

From the outset, I wish to inform the House that most of the stakeholders with whom your Committee interacted with were of the view that the proposed Bill was not only welcome, but also long overdue.

Madam Speaker, before I highlight the contents of the report, let met state that your Committee were alive to the fact that the Bill that is before the House is a serious matter. If not properly handled, it could destroy the very moral fibre of our democracy and society.

Madam, the witnesses of your Committee all registered support for the Bill. In doing so, however, they brought out a number of concerns to the attention of your Committee. The concerns are recorded in our Committee’s report for the consideration of the hon. Members of this House as they consider the Bill.

Madam, I will now take a look at specific aspects of the Bill. The intention of the proposed Bill is to localise circumstances that affect matters of divorce and other matrimonial causes among the people of Zambia. One of the contentious issues your Committee were confronted with was the grounds for divorce as provided for in the proposed Bill. In this regard, your Committee wished to satisfy themselves that the Bill was in line with the Christian principles before making recommendations.

A matter which featured prominently was the issue of allowing divorce on grounds of having a sexually transmitted disease, whether such disease is curable or not. Your Committee did not receive support on this clause on the understanding that it would encourage stigmatisation of those who are HIV positive and water down efforts aimed at encouraging people to know and reveal their status.

Madam Speaker, there was also the issue of grounds for divorce based on one’s unsoundness of mind. Your Committee are of the view that this provision should not stand on its own, but be used to prove that the marriage has broken down irretrievably, especially where one lived in fear of violence or harm.

Another issue of concern was that the proposed Bill, Madam Speaker, excludes marriages under Customary Law despite the fact that both the Marriage Act and the Bill recognise, as valid, marriages under Customary Law. It is important to note that the majority of our people in this country are contracting marriages under Customary Law. It is, therefore, right that this law or the proposed Bill be amended to include the customary laws.

Your Committee are of the view that the Matrimonial Causes Bill be expanded to apply to both customary and Christian marriages. There has been a misconception that once you get married in church, that marriage would be regulated by the Marriage Act. That is not the position. As a result, some of our people have been finding it difficult to divorce based on the Christian marriage they contracted.

Another contentious issue was the definition given of a child in the proposed Bill. Your Committee have noted, with concern, that most children in Zambia start school at the age of seven and are expected to complete secondary school at the age of eighteen and proceed to tertiary education from the age of twenty to twenty-three or twenty-four. The Bill does not provide for children who are above twenty-one years. It is our recommendation that age limit must be amended to allow children who are above twenty-one years and in tertiary education to be provided for by the parents or guardians. To this effect, your Committee proposed that: …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, before business was suspended, I was making a recommendation that this House should allow parents or guardians to support their siblings who are above twenty-one years old due to our unique situation in Zambia. After taking into account all the submissions that were made, your Committee propose that:

(a) Clause 3 of the Bill should be rephrased so as to include customary marriages and those contracted under Christian principles. A further definition of foreign marriages under this Act should be made;

(b) Clause 8 should maintain only one ground for divorce which should be that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. The other grounds mentioned should only be used as proof to the breakdown of that marriage; and

(c) Paragraph 3 of our recommendation, under Clause 44 (2) and (3), should be brought in line with that of the provision of the affiliation and maintenance of children Act to cater for financial provisions for children that may still be in tertiary education at ages twenty to twenty-four.

Madam Speaker, your Committee would like to urge the House to consider the contents of their report as they proceed with the Bill. Your Committee also note that most of the witnesses that appeared before them complained about the short notice that they were given in which to make written submissions. Therefore, they recommended that necessary measures be taken to ensure that in future adequate time is given to facilitate not only qualitative, but above all, comprehensive and encompassing reports.

In conclusion, I wish to register my appreciation to all members of your Committee and the Clerk’s Office for their co-operation and dedication to work and also the stakeholders who spared their valuable time to make submissions to your Committee. I urge this House to support your Committee’s recommendations on the Matrimonial Causes Bill.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Madam Speaker, I want to thank the Committee and the Chairperson for the good report that they have given and I would like to get their submissions and make them like my own. I agree with most of the issues that they have raised in that report and their concerns are also mine. Therefore, I will be very brief in supporting the issues they have raised in the report.

My major concern is Clause 8 that gives chance for divorce. Zambia is a Christian nation and as such, it is important that all marriages be in line with Christian norms. It is for this reason that when we are trying to make regulations in this House, it should be in line with the Biblical principles.

When people are getting married, they stand in front of the presiding officer or pastor who takes them through vows. One of the things that he does is that he leads them in saying, ‘for better for worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.’ Therefore, when people are getting married, it does not matter what their health status, financial power or where they will be staying in future. What matters is the faith and love they have for each other at that particular time.

Madam Speaker, the very purpose of marriage is to bind people together. Therefore, everything that we do, in terms of Acts, should be to try and encourage people to continue staying together. However, Clause 8 encourages people to divorce on aspects of mental problems or sickness. This is contrary to Biblical principles because what God has put together, no man should put asunder, but we are now working in reverse. It is for this reason that I would like this clause to be amended if it is to be fully supported, because we might just open a Pandora’s box, where marriages will now just be breaking up because the law says so. I would not like to be part of a group of people that would make such a law.

I would have loved to see a situation, even in the marriage Act, where marriage and the process that it goes through is defined. This process should also include a clause which will allow couples to go for Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT). This will allow couples to know their HIV status as they are about to enter into marriage. This would be a better substitute for divorce because the purpose of getting married is being together. When my friend falls sick, I need to support her. It should not be like when my friend falls sick, that is when I say, ‘you have been sick for two years, so you can go.’ That is not the Biblical principle. The Bible says two is better than one. It is important that we look at this issue with a better point of view and ensure that proper provisions are effected rather than creating a situation that will backfire in future.

Thank you, Madam.

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC. (Chasefu): Madam Speaker, my contribution is very brief.

Firstly, I would like to thank the hon. Minister of Justice for bringing this Bill. It has been brought belatedly, but it is a move in the right direction. Those who are familiar with the English Law on divorce will agree that under that jurisdiction, there is only one ground for divorce and that is irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. Putting it the other way, the marriage has completely broken down and there are no chances of saving this marriage. I agree that is ground for divorce, and so, let it be, even under this Bill.

Having said that therefore, I cannot support the proposal that facts indicated under Section B, C and D should be grounds for divorce. My submission is that there is only one ground for divorce; the marriage has broken down. There cannot be any other grounds at all.

Therefore, I agree with the report by the Committee that it is not necessary to add these as grounds.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. K. Banda, SC.: Having said that, I would like to also state that in Zambia, there is dual existence of the customary and English law. Those that choose to marry under the customary law are free to divorce under custom.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. K. Banda, SC.: It is a question of choice. Having said that therefore, I beg to differ with the recommendation of the Committee that the Bill be amended in order to cater for customary law marriages. Let us leave custom to custom. Therefore, those who want to marry a plurality of wives should be allowed to do that.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. K. Banda, SC.: The other reason is that we have numerous customs in Zambia. Others are Ilas, Tongas, Tumbukas while others are Bemba. Each of these groupings has their own customary law, which must be followed to the letter. To bring this into this Bill, in my view, would be asking for too much and would make it impossible to implement.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. K. Banda, SC.: I wish to end by thanking the Committee for having done a very good job. It is opportune for me to stop and allow others to debate.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Chilembo (Chama North): Madam Speaker, I must begin by saying that this is a very important law, which we are about to enact. At long last, the umbilical cord, which tied us to our colonial masters, is about to be broken. For all these years, we have been governed by this foreign law when it comes to issues of divorce and property maintenance at the time of divorce. However, this time around, we have taken this solid challenge to cut ourselves off the colonial masters on this particular law.

Madam Speaker, I do agree that we should continue with the current situation where we enjoy a dual system of marriage, that is, the customary and the English law because, as Africans, we are potentially polygamous.


Mr Chilembo: Madam Speaker, what we are looking for is the Africanness and that is why we want to cut off this umbilical cord. Therefore, to achieve that, let us be free to marry, if we wish to, under the customary law. Those who wish can proceed to marry under the English law, but let me remind you that under the English law, if you endeavour to marry more than one wife, you commit an offence called bigamy. Can you imagine, some of our colleagues, especially my natural cousins from the Southern Province, how many of them will be arrested for bigamy?


Mr Chilembo: Even where I come from, the Nsengas and Tumbukas, polygamy is practiced and is a source of pride, supported not only by men, but also women. It is believed that if you do not marry more than one wife, some will remain unmarried, thereby denying them the right to conjugal rights and so on. For those who do not want to be governed by this law, the only escape is that, please, do not marry because the cause of divorce is marriage. If you marry, you are already, potentially, a client under this law. You may one day wish to have these provisions help you. However, in this country, we seem to be undecided in as far as marriage is concerned. There is still a mix between customary law and English law. If you are marrying under the Act, why do you want me to pay dowry?

People pay dowry and take part in matebeto and practice other traditions and thereafter, wear a white dress as a Christian, mixing the two laws. Can we choose one law?

This is why I appreciate the difficult position the Committee had when it thought we can mix the two laws because when it comes to our general practice of marrying, we tend to mix them.

In future, let us consider separating the two laws. Maybe the Marriage Act also should come here one day so that we can make it clear that if one chooses to marry under that Act, they do not have to be inconvenienced with other requirements under our customary law.

Madam Speaker, I have also noticed that under Section 60, for maintenance, the man has been given certain obligations for maintenance that are totally different from what a woman has been given. For instance, it states that when a man is old, lame and so on, he requires support, and yet the woman is not perceived as one who would also be old and lame and therefore, requiring similar support.

Therefore, I tend to think that particular section is discriminatory. It could be that we, the men folk, left our women in the forefront and in the end, they may have made further protection for themselves.

On the whole, it is a very progressive Bill, which should be supported. Let us govern our own affairs as Zambians.

I thank you, Madam.

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Madam Speaker, I will start with Page 3 of the report, item (b) where you want us to wait for two years if my partner has gone bonkers. Two years is a long time, and usually, women are the ones who suffer in these relationships. We need to reduce the time of petitioning to less than two years.

Madam Speaker, under Part V, of the report where it is says the law capacity to marry under the Act for reasons other than the ones in Section 29, one of them is if they are under sixteen, they should not get married. I thought in Zambia, sixteen years is still minor. Why do you want them to get married at sixteen? Why do we not raise the year to eighteen because in Zambia, one will vote only at the age of eighteen? In this Bill, we are saying that minors should get married, but cannot vote, why? We need to raise the years of marriage from sixteen to eighteen because Zambia recognises eighteen years as an adult age.

Madam Speaker, we are saying that one of the reasons I can divorce is if my marriage is not consummated.

After how many days should I petition the unconsummated marriage? Two years again? No. We need to put a date to this one as well because though you have put one reason of incapacity, there are many other reasons people cannot consummate a marriage. These should take into consideration the reason they are not consummating their marriage. I do not think waiting for two years is a good idea.

On Customary Law, Madam Speaker, all these men you see here are married under that law. That is why they do not want to marry under the Act. They want to continue abusing us women.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, after we have passed this law, all these will go back to their villages to register their marriages because they do not want the responsibilities we are giving them in this Act. That is the only reason they want to exclude the Customary Law from the Act. Under the Customary Law, the people who suffer are the women.
Hon. Members: Hear!

Mrs Musokotwane: They are just divorced at will.

Hon. Members: Hear!

Mrs Musokotwane: They are not looked after when they are divorced.

Hon. Members: Hear!

Mrs Musokotwane: They are chased with their children.

Hon. Members: Hear!

Mrs Musokotwane: The children are not supported.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Musokotwane: Now, these men are saying we should leave it out. No.


Mrs Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, most of these men you see in this House are married to two wives.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Musokotwane: That is under the Customary Law. They are not responsible for the women because most of them are working women. They are career women who are looking after themselves. They do not even care and that is why they do not want to include the Customary Law in this Act.

As women …

Mr Mabenga: On a point of Order, Madam.

Madam Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Hon. Member: He is married to four!

Mr Mabenga: Madam Speaker, I stand with a lot of pain to raise this point of order. Is the hon. Member insinuating that these hon. Members, the male hon. Members, can be equated to people who will just divorce and marry at will when they are honourable in the affair? Is she in order?

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

On that point of order, after having listened to the hon. Member debating, the Chair rules that she came out forthright and therefore the hon. Members who have been said to be in that practice would either come out and freely declare that it does not happen or …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker: … they are free to debate and defend themselves on the Floor of the House.

Hon. Member for Katombola, continue, please.

Mrs Musokotwane: Thank you, Madam Speaker. The guilty are always afraid.


Mrs Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, seriously, the ministry should think about customary marriages because most of our women are suffering in these marriages.

Hon. Member: Hear!

Mrs Musokotwane: I thought the idea of an Act was to protect. If the idea of an Act is to protect the average Zambian who is marrying under the Customary Law who is the majority, then the Government should think about that, because this Act we are making is only for the elite who are less than a third of the population of this country.

Madam Speaker, with regard to Christian marriages, I am a Christian myself and because I am a Christian, I know what is good and what is bad. Christian marriages should also be included in the Act. Christian couples should be allowed to divorce.


 Mrs Musokotwane: Why should they be allowed to divorce? I will explain. On the of day their wedding they say, yes, for better for worse. There is also a famous saying which goes “What God has put together, let no man put asunder.”  My question is who knows that those two who are marrying in front of the pastor at that moment have been put together by God? Nobody knows.


Secondly, Madam Speaker, I would like to believe, because in my church a woman does not preach so I might as well preach today, God loves each and every one of us. God is our Father. So, if God is my Father, He is not going to give me a man who is going to batter me everyday.

People are battering each other in these Christian marriages. We know that very well. If God loves my husband He is not going to give him a woman who is going to nag him on a daily basis. No. Therefore, if people are battering and nagging each other in these Christian marriages, this means those marriages were not put together by God.

Hon. Member: So, they should divorce.

Mrs Musokotwane: They should divorce so that they go and look for the right partners.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Musokotwane: None of us here will allow their daughter to be battered by a husband because you gave her away in church on that day? No man here or woman will allow their son to be nagged by a wife on a daily basis. The Bible says …

Hon. Member: Even being battered.

Mrs Musokotwane: … I would rather stay on the roof of a house than stay in a house with a woman who nags. That is the Bible. When the Bible says that, it is not true that you should sit on top of the roof. No. It is telling you to find your way out and leave that nagging woman inside.

So, Madam Speaker, even Christian marriages should be included here. We know of pastors who batter their wives. We know them very well. We do not want to bring it here. We know of pastors’ wives who are horrible, but cannot be divorced because of the belief that what God has put together, no man should put asunder. What guarantees do we have that it is God? They did not even pray for those partners. Most of them became pastors or Christians after they were already married to these partners. At the time of marriage most of them were not marrying in church.

Even those that married in church, we have no guarantee that God put them together because there is nowhere where it says they are not going to fight. As I said earlier, we know they fight and batter each other.  Why then should we make them suffer because ategwa we are a Christian nation. No, Madam Speaker, Christian marriages must be included in the Act.

 Those who are put together by God are not going to divorce. Automatically, there will be no fighting in their homes, but those who are not put together by God, will inevitably divorce. Sometimes fighting is a sign that they are not put together by God. So, let them go and look for their right partners.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Mrs Sinyangwe (Matero): Thank you Madam Speaker. That is the reason we should have more women in this House ...

Hon Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: … because these people are looking at this issue from their own perspective. This law is there to protect women. I agree people are saying from the Christian point of view, people are not supposed to divorce because it is for better for worse, but at the same time, a man vows to say I will love only you and forsake all the others and the woman makes the same vow. In most cases, we keep our vows. The women make the same vow and in most cases, we keep our vows.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

This is a very serious Bill. In as much as we are emotionally involved, we should remember that the nation is listening at the moment. Therefore, our responses to the debates on the Floor will have a bearing out there. Therefore, let us take the debate seriously and not talk continuously without paying attention to what is being said on the Floor.

The hon. Member may continue.

Mrs Sinyangwe: Madam Speaker, we are talking of a situation where the wrong doers know that they will continue doing the wrong things and they will be divorced. Let them be divorced because they deserve it. A woman is normally forgiving. For a woman to decide to go to court, it means she had had enough. If a man loves his wife and considers that she is a human being, there would be no divorces in this country.

 I heard somebody saying that a Zambian man is a polygamous by nature. Who said that it is true? You do not know that women are traumatised. It is not easy to live with a man when you know that he has three or four other women elsewhere.


Mrs Sinyangwe: When you married in Church, it was you and your wife, one to one and not one versus three. What we are saying is that we are going to protect the children. I would like to state that no child is happy in a home where they are always quarrelling. No child will be brought up in a home where a man sleeps away from home five days in a week. What sort of morals are we bringing out? I do not see a woman taking a husband to court because he contracted syphilis once. Syphilis does not just come. This is an indication of infidelity. Jesus preached against infidelity. If we want this to go, why should we be worried? Why should you be divorced if you are doing the right thing? Why should you be divorced if you love your wife? I do not see anything wrong with divorcing somebody because he continuously contracts sexually transmitted diseases. I would only excuse a man who is maybe, mentally ill because it is not by design that he is in that condition. You would want to keep your partner in sickness and health. We can remove that part because I do not agree with it. If a man is mad, why should you divorce him? He needs love and protection. Supposing he gets better tomorrow, what do you do? Do you go back and say now that you are no longer mad, come and marry me. I think that clause should be removed.

Madam Speaker, when we talk of the petition as Hon. Musokotwane mentioned, it is always a woman who suffers. If a couple decides to divorce, it means the situation had got out of hand, and to wait for two years is too long. If you have decided to divorce, six months is enough and that marriage should be dissolved. We should not wait for two years.

Madam Speaker, lastly, I would like to say that whether church or no church, we should respect the institution of marriage. When we make these laws, we are not making them for all of us who went under customary law. We are making it for our children because this Bill will not come again tomorrow. It will be here for many years and all of us are taking our children to the Council and Boma for registration of marriage. Therefore, what protection are we giving our children? I think it will be high time men started fearing to be divorced. That way, maybe, they will start behaving.


Mr Mabenga (Mulobezi): Madam Speaker, first and foremost, I want to say that we cannot discuss divorce without referring to marriage. Just like one colleague mentioned here, it would be of some help, if, indeed, some aspect of marriage would also be discussed in this House. All of us are married and have married off our children …


Mr Mabenga: Oh, some people are not married. I am sorry for those who are not married, but, at least, we have seen people get married.


Mr Mabenga: We have sometimes officiated at those marriages and encouraged the not to divorce. We have said that they must stick together because as we always said, it is the number one customary practice that when two people marry or whether the man goes into polygamy, the understanding is that these people are going to be together for as long as they live. The question of divorce is not a practice that anyone would like to experience. No man or woman would like to experience divorce. There are too many things that happen when divorce takes place.

Madam Speaker, first and foremost, there is a trauma that you go through. You lose your integrity. Secondly, it is the children from that marriage who see that they do not have a mother or father nearby. Therefore, how are these children going to be brought up? Where are they going to inherit good mannerisms? These children will go on the streets and think that what the people do on the street is what is best for them. Regardless of the type, in my view, divorce should not be there.

Thirdly, it is a fact that most of us who are married, at one time went to church to tie our marriage. Therefore, I do not understand what Hon. Musokotwane was talking about. In any church, the person who is a pastor, priest or elder, in biblical terms, is acting on behalf of God.

Hon. Members: Hear, Hear!

Mr Mabenga: That is our understanding. If you do not understand that, then you are cheating yourself. You are not a Christian. A Christian will always understand that the pastor, the priest and whoever is acting on behalf of the people of God is doing that in the name and on behalf of God. When they do that, they tie those two people together. I do not subscribe to polygamy.

Hon. Members: Aah!

Mr Mabenga: I do not, because I am not polygamous.


Mr Mabenga: Madam Speaker, I know that there are some people, especially seated directly across, ….


Mr Mabenga: … those indigenous people there, …


Mr Mabenga: … who think that marriage is marrying ten women, but that is not the point. In fact, how much love do you have to share among ten women?

Madam Speaker, what I am saying is that the rights of the women are equal to the rights of men.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabenga: Therefore, no gender should be made to feel that they are less important than the other. No gender should feel …

Hon. Member: Kozo!

Mr Mabenga: … Now, I am not talking about my brother, Kozo, here.


Mr Mabenga: It is his wish.

Mr Hachipuka: On a point of order, Madam.

Madam Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Hachipuka: Madam Speaker, I thank you for affording me the opportunity to raise this point of order. Is the debater in order to point at this side of the House, when Hon. Kozo …


Hon Member: Hon. Kaingu!

Mr Hachipuka: … is quiet about the subject.


Mr Hachipuka:  I need your serious ruling.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

The ruling of the Chair is that the hon. Member on the Floor did not, as acknowledged through the point of order, hear any opposing views from the …

Hon Members: Kaingu!

Madam Deputy Speaker: … hon. Member seated quietly.


Madam Deputy Speaker: … but did hear some kind of opposing sounds from the corner he pointed at.


Madam Deputy Speaker: May the hon. Member continue.

Mr Mabenga: Madam Speaker, I was emphasising the fact that both men and women have equal rights and so, whoever divorces feels the same. There is no one who will feel good when they are divorcing at all.

What I would also like to say is that the Customary Law must continue. If we say that the Customary Law should not continue, then we should start contemplating doing away with traditional leadership, norms and values. We must do away with them and go with the foreign way doing things, but that cannot work. The main problem we have in this country is that we are copying things that are alien to us, and because they are alien, we are seeing a lot of problems affecting our young ones. It is important that we understand the role of the Customary Law in our lives.

I do not refute the fact that the English way is important, because we have already started with the English Law. It is actually working very well in marriages at the moment, and so, it can play its role. Those who want to go with that can do go ahead. However, the Customary Law must be kept to ensure that our identity as Africans is seen.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabenga: Madam Speaker, my brother who was referred to earlier lives among a certain group of people …

Hon. Members: Aah!

Mr Mabenga: … and they forced him into this.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! We do not debate ourselves.


Mr Mabenga: Madam Speaker, I am emphasising that, it is important to have both of these laws so that our identity continues and we go with our beliefs in the cause that we have believed in, but also, go along with the English Law which we have been going by for quite some time now.

Needless to say, the men in this country are very democratic; both the men who are in this House and outside. This is why we are going to ensure that what the women want is put in place and ensure that they also enjoy the benefits of belonging to this country.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda (Sinazongwe): Madam Speaker, I thank you for affording me an opportunity to support this Bill. I will be very brief. I will not debate frivolous issues, but very pertinent issues relating to this Bill.

Madam Speaker, a good Government is judged by good laws. I have been with this Government for the past five years. You have proved that you can form a good Government and you have done it. Those men, who used to batter their wives and steal other people’s wives simply because they have money, will no longer do this.


Mr Muyanda: Madam Speaker, there were people in this country who, because they had amassed wealth in the most dubious manner, were able to grab other people’s wives without compensation for destroying the marriage. They were there, and you know that very well. You have done a good job to bring this Bill.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: This time …


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Muyanda: … those people will have to follow family values.

Mr Nkhata: On a point of order, Madam.

Madam Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Nkhata: Madam Speaker, I need your very serious ruling. Is it in order for someone to start interjecting a good debater, who is debating so well, and yet he is not even in his seat, Hon. Kambwili.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

The very serious ruling is, that interjection in the House is not allowed, whatsoever. Therefore, the hon. Member interjecting, and in which ever position he may be sitting, is not in order. The hon. Member may continue.

Mr Muyanda: Madam Speaker, one of the leadership qualities provided in national leadership is family values. If you have a leader who has no morals; who can go to his junior or subordinate’s wife and grab the wife because he is in possession of stolen money ...

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! ‘Stealing’ is unparliamentary.


Mr Muyanda: Much obliged, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker, that culture has come to an end because of this Bill and that is why I am supporting it.

Madam Speaker, in the next forty to fifty years, such leaders should never resurrect to lead this country again.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: We shall not allow the implementation of this Bill again to have leaders of such a substandard level of thinking from a point of immorality.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kapeya (Mpika Central): Madam Speaker, I stand here to support the Bill. Indeed, in many of the cases, street children are as a result of the broken marriages.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Could the hon. Member for Mpika Central continue, please.

Mr Kapeya: Madam Speaker, I was saying that I am in total support of the Bill in the sense that many, if not all, of the street children are as a result of broken marriages and negligence by either one party or both parties to the marriage. Therefore, it is important to provide the required maintenance and, indeed, it is of paramount importance.  Having said that, there is a need to come in and help certain marriages which need assistance.

Madam Speaker, I am saying this in the sense that the Act, which we are debating this evening, should also go further in tackling issues related to marriages where one party is interested in having the marriage registered under the Act and the other party is not. This is where we are witnessing problems in the current marriages and the breaking down of certain marriages. There must be a clause in the Act, which should empower the interested party in the marriage to seek for a redress by the courts of law and, indeed, those culprits be subjected to Clause 16, Article 167 of the Penal Code.

Madam Speaker, we should also be mindful that the law does not favour our women folk, especially the Marriage Act. At the moment, under the current Marriage Act, Cap 27 of the Laws of Zambia, our men folk are mostly favoured in every aspect of the Act.

Madam Speaker, this is important in the sense that we would want to avoid massive eliminations of wealthy husbands by their wives in order to remain with this wealth.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! Now, you are talking.

Mr Kapeya: I would like to applaud your Committee for doing a commendable job with the report presented to this House that we are debating this evening.

Madam Speaker, on page 2, Clause 5 of the report, it talks about certain children who are deemed to be children of the family. Yes, I do support this call, but my concern is that when it comes to us, men, I admit that we are not a problem because we do accept children who have come with our new wives.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear! Correct!

Mr Kapeya: The problem is with our women who do not seem to accept children of their new husbands, from their previous marriages. This is where my concern is.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapeya: If at all our women folk would accept the children that we will come along with from our previous marriages, I would have no problem with that.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapeya: Madam Speaker, on page 3, Clause 8, (c) and (d), I am somewhat nervous on the report that has been given to us. My fear is that it looks as though we are contradicting ourselves with the teaching of the Gospel which says, and I quote:

‘I …. do agree to be with my wedded wife or husband in time of happiness or difficulties until death do us part.’

Madam Speaker, when you look at this report, it brings out some restrictions which the Gospel does not bring out.

Madam Speaker, on the same page, Clause 11, I find this clause to be very difficult for a petitioner to claim damages from a co-respondent in this case. Why am I saying so? I am saying this because it is us, men, who are the whistle blowers and the people who are in the forefront of beginning or starting any issue. In this case, I can refer to a person who has been caught poaching in the National Game Park. Then, once that person is caught and taken to court, I do not think any court under the sun would go further and implicate the manufacturer of the firearm.


Hon. Member: Bauze Nachimbusa!


Mr Kapeya: Madam Speaker, again, this is where, I am a little afraid when it comes to the implementation of the Bill.

Madam Speaker, let me conclude by referring to the fear that has been brought by a certain hon. Member of Parliament concerning customary marriages. 
The law is not saying that we do away completely with the customary marriages. We must understand that there is no condition which is permanent. We should redefine the Customary Act. In this case, most children who suffer today are those who come from broken marriages under the Customary Law. We need to protect children of these marriages. Yes, indeed, we are not contemplating to do away with customary marriages, but it is the style in which the women are chased away from these marriages that is of concern.

At the same time, in our customary marriages, Madam Speaker, you find that when a married lady runs away from home, she will take away everything from that poor man and he remains without anything in the home. For this reason, we need to redefine the law which relates to Customary Law.

Yes, Customary Law is there and it will continue to be there, but we need to work out something that will protect the children, wife and husband.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda: Madam Speaker, it was interesting to listen to the various views and, particularly, the interest shown in this particular Bill is noted.

Madam, the issue of mixing Customary Law and English Law, relating to marriage is something which requires some research and careful consideration. The current position is that Customary Law marriages are solemnised under different types of laws and customs. For example, Tongas have their own law …

Mr Magande: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda: … Lalas have their own law and all the other tribes have different customs and practices.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda: Therefore, with these particular laws, if you are dissolving a marriage under the Tonga Customary Law, you need …

Mr Magande: You return the cows!


Mr Kunda: He is talking about returning the cows and things like that.


Mr Kunda: So, these are complex issues which we cannot address by merely saying, “No, this Act also applies to Customary Law.” We need to address this particular issue comprehensively.

If we were to slot a section in this particular Bill that it will also apply to Customary Law, what is the implication of that? To divorce, you must go and hire Hon. Mwiimbu as a lawyer. Under this law, the procedure is so complicated. There are rules of procedure and you need to hire a State Counsel. Do you know how much it costs to hire a State Counsel?


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda: So, do not stray into these areas. This law, which we are making here, addresses the elite class. Those who want to marry under the English Law, when they are dividing property, they pay lawyers. They can even hire three lawyers to deal with the divorce.


Mr Kunda: In property adjustments, maybe, there would be billions involved and we know that a lot of our people are married under Customary Law. Do we want our people in the villages to go to the High Court? Is that what you want? No! What about our culture?

Mr Matongo: Like Magande who was watching the women in bras!


Mr Kunda: Yes.


Mr Kunda: What about our culture? We need to preserve our culture. If you are going to marry under the Marriage Act the procedures are different. Is it not so?

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda: If you are marrying under Customary Law, Ichombela Ng’anda, there is a different procedure which they use and it is less costly. So, why do we want to mix some of these practices?

Having said this, I would say that we cannot mix the two, but what we could do, at best, is to let the Zambia Law Development Commission continue to study these particular laws and, perhaps, they can come up with a different Act to address Customary Law which can protect the women, children and other issues that have been raised.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda: About Christian marriages being covered under this Act, if you look at the Marriage Act, it also provides for solemnisation of Christian marriages. A priest and certain officers who solemnise marriages in churches are covered under the Marriage Act. When you marry in church, they will issue you with a certificate under the Marriage Act. So, essentially …

Mr Mwiimbu: Not all churches issue certificates!

Mr Kunda: If there are churches which do not issue such certificates, let me know and if there are loopholes, we shall seal them. Almost all the churches issue a certificate which is issued under the Marriage Act. Therefore, you are covered under the Marriage Act. There is no need to say this applies only to a Christian marriage.

Marriages intended to be covered, Madam Speaker, are those relationships between a man and wife to the exclusion of all others. That is how we define a Christian marriage so that if you engage in a polygamous marriage while you are married under the Marriage Act, it is a serious criminal offence …


Mr Kunda: … whereas under Customary Law this is different.

Madam Speaker, we have taken note of the concerns raised about the provision of Clause 8 (b), (c) and (d) which talks about insanity, illness and conviction in criminal cases. What we shall do is retain only one ground for divorce and eliminate these others.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda: These are grounds which are coming from NGOs in the process of consultation.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda: People have become addicted to trying to copy from Scandinavian countries and things like that. So, we will adapt this law to our own circumstances.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda: We shall take into account the various views raised on the period during which you can present a petition. However, what I must say is that because this law applies to those who chose to be married under the English Law, we do not want to depart very much from the English Law because we will distort procedures in courts. Lawyers are already used to this kind of law which is the English Law. Therefore, there should not be a major departure from that so that even the procedures in the courts can remain the same.

Having said this, I wish to thank all hon. Members for the overwhelming support that this Bill has received.

I thank you, Madam.

Question put and agreed to and the Bill read a second time.

Committed to a Committee of the whole House.

Committee on Thursday, 9th August, 2007.


The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mr Magande): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.

Madam Speaker, hon. Members will recall that earlier, this House approved the Appropriation Bill, National Assembly Bill No. 12 of 2007 for the financial year ending on 31st December, 2007 on Thursday, 5th April, 2007. We actually went through the details of the Estimates.  However, another scrutiny of this Bill has revealed that:

(a) Head 17/39 Ministry of foreign Affairs, Zambia Mine Action Centre, had a wrong figure of K08,699,878 instead of the correct figure of K908,699,878 as is in the Yellow Book; and

(b) Head 51/04 Ministry of Communications and Transport, Maritime and Inland Waterways Department, with an allocation of K5,986,936,329 was completely omitted in the Appropriation Bill while it appears in the Yellow Book.

Madam Speaker, the object of this Bill, therefore, is to correct the error and the omission, but I would like to assure the House that the total appropriated amount has not changed.

Madam, I beg to move.

Mr Beene (Itezhi-Tezhi): Madam Speaker, in presenting the findings of your Committee to this august House, allow me to highlight a few issues encountered by your Committee relating to the Bill under consideration.

Madam Speaker, your Committee were informed that the purpose of the Bill was merely to correct the record of the Appropriation Act, 2007. We learnt that during the process of finalising the Appropriation Bill, 2007 in readiness for presentation to the National Assembly for enactment, there was an inadvertent omission of Head 51/04 in respect of the appropriation of K5,986,936,329 made by the National Assembly to the Maritime and Inland Waterways Department.

Madam Speaker, in the same light, there was also a typographical error in that the amount of appropriation made to the Zambia Mine Action Centre under Head 17/39 was recorded as K08,699,878 instead of K908,699,878. Your Committee were also informed that the passing of the Appropriation (Amendment) Bill, 2007 would not alter the total figures in the Appropriation Act, 2007, since these were correctly reflected in the Appropriation Act, 2007, as agreed by the House during the deliberations on the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure.

Madam Speaker, in view of the fact that it merely seeks to set the record straight by correcting typographical errors, your Committee recommend favourable consideration by the House of the Appropriation (Amendment) Bill, 2007.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Matongo (Pemba): Madam Speaker, in 2002, when I first came to this Parliament, the Appropriation Bill was in millions and not based on typographical errors. In real terms, that led us to believe that there was misapplication of funds.

Madam Speaker, over the years, and this is my sixth year in Parliament, there has been a tremendous improvement in the reporting arrangements and I am speaking with authority.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Matongo: I am very calculative. If only the figures could be reduced, as the Chairman of your Committee has stated, to typographical errors which have nothing to do with the figures of the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, then we would all compliment him for the further improvement of the computers in his ministry so that next time, they will only have the right figures typed. I am complimenting the hon. Minister.

Secondly, we should be clear about misappropriation, miscalculation, commission and omission. We should be clear about a system that is doing its best to do things correctly. Madam Speaker, I miss nothing in saying I was Chairman of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry for many years, and I can say that we have seen commendable arrangements …

Hon. PF Member: Fyafula!

Mr Matongo: You were not there and so listen. I was there.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Matongo: I would like to state that the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, under very difficult circumstances, to me, reads figures and not words. We should encourage the technocrats and the hon. Minister to continue on this right path of giving us correct figures.

Now I want to tell those of you who were not there …


Mr Matongo: Madam Speaker, in 2002, the figures that were brought for appropriation approval, check your records, were three or four years behind. Am I not correct? Today, we are talking of a year behind, is that not progress?

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Matongo: The position is very clear, Madam Speaker, unless we simply want to be in Opposition to oppose even what is correct except …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Matongo: … I will not accept to be complimented by people who stop trucks on the road. I would like to be complimented by others. Having said that, I want to state that this is a correct a thing and I think Hon. Magande and his friends are doing a good job. Those debating must debate with figures. This is a job well done. Actually, I do not need a favour from anybody. I pay more tax than most of …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Debate the Motion!


Mr Matongo: Madam Speaker, having stated that, I support the Appropriation Bill, but we need to use it to clear certain backlogs of political misunderstandings.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Magande: Madam Speaker, I am, indeed, indebted to the Chair for this Committee, as clearly, they realise that our amendment was really not going to be so difficult before the House. Of course, the only debater, Hon. Matongo, has also indicated that we are always improving at the Ministry of Finance and National Planning. I would like to thank him for giving us this recognition. I would like to assure him that we intend to continue doing good work.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to and the Bill read a second time.

Committed to a committee of the whole House.

Committee on Wednesday, 8th August, 2007.



Mr Magande: Madam Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now read the third time.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!




The Minister of Defence (Mr Mpombo): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1953 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 8th August, 2007.