Debates- Friday, 3rd August, 2007

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Friday, 3rd August, 2007

The House met at 0900 hours






The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mr Magande): Madam Speaker, I rise to give the House some idea of the business it will consider next week.

On Tuesday, 7th August, 2007, the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. After that, the House will consider stages of any Bills already presented to the House.

On Wednesday, 8th August, 2007, the Business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will consider Private Members’ Motions, if there will be any. After that, the House will consider stages of any Bills already presented.

Madam Speaker, on Thursday, 9th August, 2007, the Business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. The House will then deal with any outstanding stages of Bills before it.

On Friday, 10th August, 2007, the Business of the House will commence with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Then the House will consider any other business that may not have been concluded on Thursday, 9th August, 2007.

I thank you, Madam.




Madam Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members, I wish to acquaint the House with the fact that today, in the Speaker’s Gallery, we are privileged to have three hon. Ministers who are in Lusaka attending the Annual General Meeting for Southern Africa Region Police Chiefs Organisation (SARPCO). These are:

1. Hon. Lincon Rakechate, MP; Minister of Forest and Land Claimation – Lesotho.

2. Hon. Ms Hlobsile Ndlovu, MP; Deputy Minister for Regional Development and Youth – Swaziland.

3. Hon. Lineo Irene Molise, MP; Assistant Minister of Home Affairs – Lesotho.

We welcome them and are happy to have them in our midst.

Thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




The Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Mr Mutati): Madam Speaker, regional co-operation and integration in Southern Africa owes its origin to historical, economic, political, social and cultural factors that have created strong bonds of solidarity and unity between the people of Southern Africa. These factors contribute to the formation of a distinct Southern African personality and identity that underpins political and economic co-operation among the Members.

Madam, since its transformation from the Southern Africa Development Co-ordination Conference (SADCC) to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and following from the independence of member States and the abolition of the apartheid regime in South Africa, the SADC region has grown from strength to strength, especially on the economic front.

Madam Speaker, the SADC vision is one of a common future, a future in a region community that will ensure economic well being, improvement of the standards of living and quality of life, freedom, justice and peace and security for the people of Southern Africa.

In March, 2001, the extra-ordinary summit of the Heads of State and Governments held in Namibia approved the preparation of the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) by the Secretariat with a view to providing a clear direction for SADC policies and programmes over the long term.

Madam, the purpose of the plan is to design regional integration in SADC through agreed timelines. The plan emphasises co-operation in infrastructure in order to ensure the availability of a sufficient, integrated, efficient and cost-effective infrastructure that will support regional integration, trade, investment, agriculture and contributes towards poverty alleviation.

SADC member states, through the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan, revised the trade integration milestones. In addition to the Free Trade Area (FTA) targets that were set at 2008, 2010 has been set as a target for the attainment of a Customs Union, 2015 for a Common Market and 2018 for a Monetary Union.

Madam Speaker, the SADC Trade Protocol was signed in August, 1996 at the Heads of State Summit held in the Kingdom of Lesotho to facilitate the lowering of duties by all member States on tradable goods. Zambia subsequently ratified the SADC Protocol on Trade in 2001.

The SADC Trade Protocol provides for the establishment of a substantive Free Trade Area by 2008 and a full Free Trade Area by 2012, when all products will be traded duty free among participating members.

Madam, the priority intervention area in respect of trade include:

(i) Trade Liberalisation and Economic Development, through the implementation of the SADC Trade Protocol to facilitate the launching of the Free Trade Area by 2008.

(ii) Infrastructure Development to enhance and competitiveness; and

(iii) Elimination of non-tariff barriers.


Despite the progress made in a number of areas, some SADC member states are lagging behind the tariff phase-down implementation of the Trade Protocol. This is a serious challenge in view of the fact that a successful FTA can only take effect upon the successful implementation of the SADC Trade Protocol by all member states.


Madam Speaker, SADC member states stand to benefit from the expanded market for traded goods owing to the liberalisation of duty consistent with the protocol on trade. Further, SADC has adopted the Finance and Investment Protocol in order to facilitate and enhance investment in the region. The SADC Region is currently in the process of establishing a protocol on services that will seek to enhance and expand opportunities in trade in services.

Zambia’s Benefits from SADC

Zambia as a member of SADC benefits in a number of ways, including preferential market access for tradable goods, regional physical infrastructure in energy and information technology, macro-economic convergence, poverty reduction and peace and security.

Madam Speaker, Zambia’s membership to SADC has led to market access to other SADC states. The implementation of the SADC Protocol on Trade has also led to import and export trade expansion for Zambia into SADC. The SADC Regional Grouping is the largest source of Zambia’s total imports amounting to 57 per cent and 59 per cent in 2005 and 2006 respectively. The total import bill within SADC for Zambia in 2006 stood at K1.6 billion whilst exports into SADC stood at K1.2 billion. South Africa remains the major source of Zambia’s import accounting for 47 per cent and 50 per cent in 2005 and 2006 respectively. The main exports include cement, copper cables, sugar, tobacco, base metals and cereals.

The reduction of tariff rates associated with the FTA has meant that regionally produced consumer items have become more affordable. The Zambian consumer, therefore, has access to a better and wider variety of goods. Similarly, the Zambian manufacturer has benefited from the reduced duties on raw materials for their production. As a landlocked country, Zambia benefits not only from the improved market access into the SADC countries, but also market access further afield owing to the accessibility of SADC member states ports.

Regional Infrastructure

Madam Speaker, the robust regional infrastructure such as roads, power pools, bridges and border facilities is key in fostering accelerated regional economic development through reduced transport costs, leading to enhanced productivity, competitiveness and economies of scale. Enhancing trade facilitation, through a vibrant regional infrastructure, leads to the production cost enabling firms to remain competitive in the area.

Zambia participates in a number of regional infrastructure projects including:

(i) the construction of the Kazungula Bridge which is funded by the African Development Bank through SADC;

(ii) the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) project where member states can import power in case of deficit as well as export power when a member state has surplus;

(iii) the Southern African Information Infrastructure (Optic Fibre), and Zambia shares with Botswana, Zimbabwe and Namibia;

(iv) the One-Stop Border Post Project at Chirundu between Zambia and Zimbabwe;

(v) the pilot Regional Bond Guarantee Scheme that involves Zambia, South Africa, Malawi, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo. This pilot has significantly reduced the transit time from two days to one day; and

(vi) Zambia stands to benefit from the New Partnership for Africa Development and Pan-African Infrastructure Development Fund through SADC.

The purpose of the fund is to create an investment platform for basic infrastructure and accelerate growth for sustained development in Africa. Today, the fund has raised a total of US$625 billion and is expected to mobilise a further $US9 billion for investment in various economic sectors by 2015.

Macro-economic Convergence

SADC Member States are working towards macro-economic convergence. This will create a more predictable economy, one that investors will be attracted to. Reducing the uncertainty associated with fluctuating exchange rates and varying inflation will increase Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the region. Zambia reduced its inflation rate to single digits at the end of 2006 and is currently undertaking a tax review to create a reform and more equitable efficient and buoyant tax regime.

Poverty Reduction

Member states have underscored the need to ensure that poverty alleviation is addressed in all SADC activities and programmes. Additionally, the prevalence of HIV/AIDS has been recognised as a major threat to the attainment of the SADC objective and has, therefore, been accorded priority in all SADC programmes and activities.

Peace and Security

One of the objectives of SADC, Madam Speaker, as stated in Article 5 of the Treaty is to promote and defend peace and security. Peace and security in the region is of utmost importance to Zambia, both politically and economically. Zambia relies on its neighbours for its access to ports and transit of goods for both imports and exports. Without this access, Zambia’s trade would be severely limited.


Despite the challenges faced by the region in today’s globalised world, Zambia has benefited in a number of areas by virtue of her membership to SADC. The SADC region has provided preferential market access for Zambia’s export. This can be attributed to the implementation of the SADC Trade Protocol. Additionally, SADC is a source of raw materials that serve as inputs in our manufacturing firms in addition to the multitude of consumer goods. Zambia also participates in physical infrastructure projects that are funded by the ADB under SADC, such as, the construction of the Kazungula Bridge and New Partnership in Africa’s Development’s (NEPAD) infrastructure programme.

Other projects that Zambia is benefiting from include the Southern African Power Pool Project where member states can import as well as export power in case of a deficit. Zambia also stands to benefit from the Pilot Regional Bond Guarantee Scheme that involves Zambia, South Africa, Malawi, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Madam Speaker, Zambia is to take over the Chairmanship of SADC in mid-August this year at the SADC Heads of State and Government Summit, taking place in Lusaka. As Chair of SADC, Zambia’s vision for the forthcoming year will be to expedite the implementation of the SADC Trade Protocol with a view to launching the SADC-FTA by 2008. Improving the market access of SADC preferential trade agreements will require the recommendations of the mid-term review to be addressed, more specifically, a movement towards simplified rules of origin and elimination of non-tariff barriers.

Completing of the institutional framework of the SADC Customs Union is another area Zambia, as Chairman of SADC, will work towards, in collaboration with other SADC member states. Chairing SADC promises to provide Zambia with ample challenges and opportunities, which we look forward to embracing.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the ministerial statement given by the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry.

Mr Milupi (Luena): Madam Speaker, there appears to be a lot of activities in support of SADC. However, would the hon. Minister clarify whether he is pushing Zambia towards membership with SADC or COMESA? The World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules clearly stipulate that a country cannot have more than one customs union membership.

 Further, would he confirm that membership to SADC is not to Zambia’s advantage, as the figures he has shown clearly indicate that we have a trade deficit with SADC while COMESA, which has a wider market, provides us with a greater opportunity to improve our manufacturing base and have a trade surplus within that region.

Mr Mutati: Madam Speaker, the first issue is that of overlapping membership. Within the eastern and southern region, most of the countries belong to more than one economic group. Seven of the countries belong to both COMESA and SADC, five of the countries belong to both SADC and Savings and Credit Co-operative (SACCO) and one country belongs to the East African Community (EAC) and SADC. In this respect, we are not the only ones that belong to more than one regional grouping.

Secondly, we appreciate that there are challenges of belonging to more than one regional grouping. These challenges are, on one hand, associated with the costs of administration, our capacity and resources to negotiate the various trade agreements and conflicting objectives. On the other hand, there are benefits derived from greater market space in SADC and COMESA. The question is: do we need to sacrifice one of these markets? Currently, our trade in COMESA, by 2006, was just around US$300 million and in SADC, we exported US$1.2 billion.

The moment you associate yourself with only one market space, you are reducing the opportunity for job and wealth creation and poverty reduction. You are reducing the opportunity for Gross Domestic Produce in the pocket, particularly for the indigenous.


Mr Mutati: So, these are critical issues that we need to address. The issue is not what WTO says, but the Development Agenda for Zambia’s advancement. For now, we are not the only ones and this is prevalent not only in eastern and southern Africa, but also across the whole continent. I would say it is an African problem that must be addressed at the African Union (AU) level.

Hon. Members will recall that the 1992 Abuja Treaty did recognise that a member country can belong to more than one regional grouping. It was said that the fundamentals under this treaty are the harmonisation and co-operation of regional groupings rather than the divide. We have the Abuja Treaty that explicitly says that you can belong to more than one regional grouping.

Furthermore, the trade in SADC is mainly for semi-finished products. Yes, we had a trade deficit of US$400 million by 2006, and this deficit is because of the volume of mining activities that are currently taking place. When this tempers off, particularly in 2008, we are going to see a trade surplus. Our trade in COMESA is only worth US$300 million. We have a trade surplus, but it is narrow. Therefore, the benefits of belonging to SADC are clear for all to see. For me, at the moment, the issue is not whether we are COMESA or SADC, but job and wealth creation and delivering GDP to the indigenous.

I thank you, Madam

Dr Njobvu (Milanzi): Madam Speaker, can the hon. Minister confirm that there is a clear ambitious programme of achieving Free Trade Areas (FTAs) within SADC countries while there is a cautious approach on EPAs. Why is it so?

Mr Mutati: Madam Speaker, the time table for achieving the FTA for SADC is that it must be fully implemented by 2008. Truly, this is an ambitious timetable. When we carry out the mid-term review, we find that out of the fourteen member States, only nine have implemented the FTA. Most of them had not fully implemented the programme. Obviously, there are critical challenges associated with the complex definition of rules of origin as well as non-trade barriers. This will make it difficult for the full implementation of the FTA by 2008. What we will bring to the table when we become Chair, is help resolve and achieve a significant implementation thrust for the FTA in 2008.

I thank you, Madam.

Ms Imbwae (Lukulu West): Madam Speaker, can the hon. Minister confirm that our participation in these regional groupings is not going to translate into our weakness? For example, I am aware that we have not yet developed our infrastructure, which is a challenge that the hon. Minister spoke about. We have also not managed to bring the trade volumes to a point where we can effectively participate. What will the Government do to ensure that we participate effectively in SADC?

Mr Mutati: Madam Speaker, it is clear that we cannot stand alone. You will recall that an hon. Member from the United Kingdom, Hon. Galore, wrote a book entitled, I am Not the Only One, relating to the events leading to Iraq. We also cannot be the only ones that stand alone.

With regard to the benefits of belonging to SADC, firstly, we have already said we are exporting US$1.2 billion of various products into this region. We were importing US$1.6 billion by 2006 from SADC. Obviously, the benefits are already there. The key issue is to enhance our export space in this region so that more firms participate in the export market in SADC. Currently, there are more than 120 companies in Zambia that are exporting over fifty different products into SADC. For me, that is a level of activity which we can enhance and that is the benefit of belonging to SADC.

Secondly, we are co-operating with Zimbabwe for a one-stop border post to facilitate the speedy transportation of goods between our two countries. Let us not look at the dark side, but build on to what is already there, because the benefits are already being harvested.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Madam Speaker, Zambia has become a dumping ground for clothes in the SADC region. As a result, our manufacturing industry for clothes has collapsed. What is the Government doing to revive companies such as Serials in Luanshya?

Mr Mutati: Madam Speaker, the correct position is that, Zambia, again, is not the only country in the SADC region that has been affected by the influx of clothing material. Apart from South Africa and Zimbabwe, the rest of the SADC member States face a similar challenge of cheap clothing, predominantly from outside the SADC region.

Madam Speaker, we have three options. The first one is an imposition of duty, because the challenge is not within SADC, but outside.

Secondly, we have to try and address the question of whether the framework of incentives that we are giving under the Zambia Development Agency could be a platform for reviving the textile industry.

Thirdly, we have to enhance our exports under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) to the United States of America as a key market. The challenges in the textile industry are immense and there is no way we are going to conquer them over night. We have to build on a step-by-step basis.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has told the House the benefits of belonging to SADC, but that is just one side of the coin. Could he also tell us the disadvantages of belonging to SADC because where there are pros, there should also be some cons.

Mr Mutati: Madam Speaker, to any relationship, there are positive and negative aspects, but the thrust of life should be maximising the positive and minimising the negative aspects.

I thank you, Madam.


Mr L. J. Mulenga (Kwacha): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry has adequately outlined the timetable for achieving a policy framework within the Free Trade Areas. Arising from the benefits that we shall accrue from belonging to SADC, will the hon. Minister also indicate the benefits accruing to Zambia in the form of reduction of poverty and unemployment? Give us a timetable such as at the end of this year, so many employment opportunities will have been created and poverty will have reduced by such a percentage by 2010.

Mr Mutati: Madam Speaker, it is simple arithmetic. In 2005, our exports into SADC were worth $700 million. In, 2006 they were worth $1.2 million, an increase of $500 million in one year. We are projecting that the export into SADC this year will be $2 billion. Obviously, those increases must result in job and wealth creation and enhance Gross Domestic Product in the pocket, particularly, of the indigenous.

I thank you, Madam.


Mr Habeenzu (Chikankata): Madam Speaker, may I have clarification from the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry on the issue of one-stop border post. How is the revenue collection going to be carried out, because previously, what used to happen was that when a truck carrying goods that were designated for Zambia crossed into the Zambian side, the goods were valued and then the customs officers would come up with a value to be paid for the goods? Now, for the one-stop border post, I do not know how the system is going to work or whether the SADC region is intending to come up with one currency.

Mr Mutati: Madam Speaker, a point of clarification. The meaning of a one-stop border post is that if you have a truck carrying copper cables going to South Africa, the clearance of that truck is done on the Zambian side by the joint management of customs of Zimbabwe and Zambia so that when it goes into Zimbabwe, there will be no checking at all. This also has a revenue-enhancing component because of the refunds of the Value Added Tax that the exporter wants to get. He will give the correct value for exports. What we are seeing, particularly for goods that come into Zambia, is that correct documentation was deposited on the Zimbabwean side and another set of documentation was deposited on the Zambian side. In this instance, we will only have one set of documents and the country that is importing collects revenue.

I thank you, Madam.




718. Mr Matongo (Pemba) asked the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry:

(a) what Zambia’s stand was on the assertion that a new European Union trade deal should ensure that ACP countries were able to regulate trade aimed at national and regional development; and

(b) what the Government’s position was on the assertion that ACP countries must be allowed to develop trade co-operation with immediate neighbours before opening up their markets to rich countries.

The Deputy Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Ms Siliya): Madam Speaker, Zambia fully supports the assertion that a new EU trade deal should ensure that ACP countries are able to regulate trade aimed at national and regional development because, as a country and region, it has been recognised that trade is an important instrument for growth and can be a major contributor to economic development and poverty reduction, which are the core objectives of Zambia’s Fifth National Development Plan and the SADC and COMESA integration programmes.

However, the regulation of trade must be managed in a manner that takes cognisance of the special developmental needs of countries at a lower level of development such as the Least-Developed Countries (LDCs), a category Zambia belongs to, and that we are currently chairing. The EU trade deal must, therefore, have special and differential treatment provisions embedded in the Agreement in order to allow countries such as Zambia regulate trade in a manner that contributes to national and regional development and poverty reduction.

Zambia supports the assertion that ACP countries must be allowed to develop co-operation with their immediate neighbours before opening up markets to rich countries and the region offers immediate markets for exports. Sourcing raw materials is at much lower landing costs. Additionally, regional co-operation offers opportunities to enhance production capacities, investment flows and value addition, which ultimately could enable the region access international markets.

Mr Matongo: Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Chimbaka: Point of Order!

Madam Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Chimbaka: I thank you, Madam Speaker. It is rare for an elderly person like me to raise a point of order, …


Mr Chimbaka: … but this morning, I have been called to do so. Is the hon. Deputy Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, a trained diplomat, in order to dress like she is on a field trip? I need your serious ruling.


Madam Deputy Speaker: From this point, it is difficult for the Chair to check the complete dress of the hon. Deputy Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry. However, if there is any question, according to our Dress Code, I am sure the hon. Deputy Minister will recheck herself. The hon. Member for Pemba may continue.

Mr Matongo: Madam Speaker, I thank you and the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry for answering the question. However, with the introduction of free trade which the hon. Minister earlier mentioned, will that not be in conflict with national development in the light of trade?

Secondly, the Cotonou Agreement is binding until 2020. What then is the need for an alternative engagement with the European Union?

Ms Siliya: Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to be providing some entertainment as well this morning, but anyway, to answer …


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Hon. Deputy Minister, it is not your role to provide entertainment.


Ms Siliya: Madam Speaker, on a serious note, to answer the question raised by the hon. Member of Parliament, my hon. Minister, in his ministerial statement yesterday, adequately explained that even though the Cotonou Agreement is still in existence and Zambia actually enjoys the market access, the Everything But Arms Initiative, the initiative was unilaterally granted by the EU. At the same time, we have a number of issues on the complicated Rules of Origin which actually makes it difficult for us to take advantage of the Everything But Arms Initiative.

At the same time, we realise that even if this market access has been offered by the European Union, the question is over what are we actually going to export into the European market? We believe that is why the Eastern and Southern African configuration, to which Zambia belongs, has actually put a lot of emphasis on the development dimension of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) negotiations so that we can address the supply side constraints which should ultimately make our exports more competitive and actually land at a much reasonable price in the EU market.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Madam Speaker, in the absence of willingness by the European Union countries to relax the very strict Rules of Origin for LDCs such as Zambia, what do we really hope to attain from all these negotiations on EPAs which is also related to what hon. Member for Pemba was asking about. It seems to me unless they are prepared to relax the Rules of Origin, we will achieve very little. What is the hon. Minister’s view on that?

Ms Siliya: Madam Speaker, again, I wish to refer to our ministerial statement yesterday. The hon. Minster did state that for the ECA countries to have a win situation in these negotiations, what we would like to come out with as our take away from these negotiations should be simplified Rules of Origin as well as commitment to the Development Agenda of our countries. Outside that, as I just stated a minute ago, the current initiatives such as the Everything But Arms Initiative have given us market access, but we are not able to take advantage of that market access because the rules of Origin are very complicated and translate into a non-tariff barrier for our exports into the EU market.

The Government of Zambia is participating very actively in these negotiations, both from the capital here in Lusaka as well as at our embassy in Brussels to make sure that we put across these issues.

You must also remember that Zambia is Chair of the LDCs and we want to use every leverage and advantage we have both as Chair of the LDCs as well as our participation in negotiations through the East and Southern African configuration to make sure that we come out with a win situation which would ultimately enhance the lives of our citizens.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


719. Mr Simama (Kalulushi) asked the Minister of Health:

(a) how many doctors and nurses were in Kalulushi Parliamentary Constituency;
(b) how many nurses were at the following health centres:

(i) Chati;
(ii) Kafubu Depot;
(iii) Chibuluma;
(iv) Chambishi; and
(v) Kalulushi; and

(c) how many houses were available for the medical personnel at (a) and (b) above.

The Minister of Health (Dr Chituwo): Madam Speaker, there are three doctors and seventy-one nurses in Kalulushi Parliamenta ry Constituency broken down as follows:

 Position of Staff No. of Staff

(i) Nursing Sisters 3
(ii) Registered Midwives 3
(iii) Registered Nurses 8
(iv) Enrolled Midwives 23
(v) Enrolled Nurses 34

The numbers of nurses currently at the Health centres at (b) are as follows:

 Health Centre No. of Nurses 

(i) Chati 2
(ii) Kafubu Depot 1
(iii) Chibuluma 5 
(iv) Chibote Health Post 1
(v) Chambeshi Government Clinic 15
(vi) Kalulushi Central, there are three clinics and one health post in the area

(a) Kalulushi Government Clinic 16
(b) Kalulushi Township Clinic 10
(c) Kalulushi Government Clinic 7
(d) Chembe Health Post 1

The hon. Member wants to know how many houses are available for medical personnel at (a) and (b). There are three institutional houses as follows:

 Health Post No. of Houses

Chembe Health Post 1
Chibote Health Post 1
Lukoshi Rural Health Centre 1

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Simama: Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that health centres such as Chati, Kafubu and Chibote have only one nurse who only works during day time and therefore, at night, Saturdays and Sundays the centres are closed? I would like to find out from the hon. Minister how many, out of the 5,000 health workers to be employed, will be allocated to Kalulushi Constituency.

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, yes, we are aware of the manning levels and, as I stated yesterday, the recruitment process has started and we shall share the health workers that will be available, starting with the health facilities where we do not have a single skilled trained person so that we can have some semblance of quality service and then move on to those where there is one or two, depending on the population of those particular areas.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


720. Mr Malama (Mfuwe) asked the Minister of Energy and Water Development when the following areas in Mfuwe Parliamentary Constituency would benefit from the Rural Electrification Programme:

(i) Chief Mpumba’s Palace;

(ii) Chief Nabwalya’s Palace;

(iii) Chief Mukungule’s Palace; and

(iv) Katibunga Mission School.

The Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Malwa): Madam Speaker, the Ministry of Energy and Water Development identified Chief Mpumba’s Palace in the Mfuwe Parliamentary Constituency and it was, therefore, electrified, using solar energy in October, 2005.

Madam Speaker, as for their Royal Highnesses Chief Nabwalya and Chief Mukungule’s Palaces as well as Katibunga Mission School, my ministry, through the Rural Electrification Authority is still compiling a list of institutions that will benefit from solar energy. These two palaces for Chief Nabwalya and Chief Mukungule will also be considered.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Opposition members: Hear, hear!

Mr Malama: Madam Speaker, what is the Government doing to encourage retirees who are used to facilities such as electricity to settle in rural areas, considering that the Rural Electrification Programme is moving at a very slow pace?

The Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Konga): Madam Speaker, the Government wants its citizens not only to settle or stay in the urban areas, but also in rural areas. In this regard, the Government is doing everything possible to ensure that the rural areas are also developed by providing facilities such as electricity. To this effect, for purposes of not sounding like a broken down record, each hon. Member of Parliament was issued with a Rural Electrification Master Plan which is supposed to identify grave centres in the constituencies and some of these are rural constituencies. Once these grave centres have been identified, the Government is going to provide electricity, which will act as a catalyst, hopefully for some of the retirees to settle in these rural areas.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


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

(a) how many teachers were posted to Chipili Parliamentary Constituency in 2005 and 2006; and

(b) how many teachers would be posted to the constituency in 2007.

The Minister of Education (Professor Lungwangwa): Madam Speaker, twenty-four teachers were posted to schools in the Chipili Parliamentary Constituency in 2005 and more teachers were posted to the constituency in 2006.

Madam Speaker, with respect to (b), the ministry, as I reported, has recently been granted authority to recruit and deploy teachers. From the deployment or the list of vacancies available in the province, 260 teachers will be deployed in Mwense District where Chipili Constituency is situated. Some of these will be deployed in Chipili Parliamentary Constituency when the exercise is completed.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr D. Mwila: Madam Speaker, I am concerned with the issue of accommodation. In Chipili, we have only five vacant houses and we expect to receive more than fifty teachers. I would like to find out what measures the ministry has put in place to ensure that the teachers who will be employed are accommodated. I think it is not our job to look for accommodation for teachers. That is the hon. Minister’s job. Can he clarify that to this House?

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, as pointed out last week, we cannot, as a Government, halt the recruitment of teachers because of lack of accommodation at a particular school. Accommodation is part of the aspects of education provision that we are addressing as a Government, through the Infrastructure Development Programme and housing for teachers, especially in the rural areas is being given priority.

Madam Speaker, to alleviate such a problem, the ministry gives teachers accommodation or housing allowances as part of the strategy to address the accommodation problem. I should emphasise that we are going to continue to recruit teachers despite the current problem of accommodation. The two have to be addressed concurrently because we cannot wait for accommodation to be provided in order for us to recruit teachers.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Chongo (Mwense): Madam Speaker, it is a well-known fact that housing allowances, at many times, take more than seven months before the teachers are paid, and yet they need to pay towards housing rates because there are no institutional houses at schools. How does the hon. Minister expect these teachers to pay house rentals when they even get meagre salaries?

Hon. Opposition Member: That is the worst ministry!

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, the issue of housing allowances is being given very serious attention and every effort is being made to pay our teachers their housing allowances on time. If the hon. Member has been following the reports in the papers, we do advertise the disbursement of housing allowances to our teachers. In fact, this has been running for sometime.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Dr Katema (Chingola): Madam Speaker, arising from the fact that in the remotest areas of Zambia, there are no houses to be rented out and villagers build their own houses for their own use, even if the ministry gives housing allowances to these teachers, where are they going to rent houses from while they are working in those rural places?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, we are aware of the accommodation problem for teachers in the remote parts of the country, but teachers do make their own accommodation arrangements even in the remotest parts of the country.

I represent a remote constituency in this country, and I am aware of the accommodation arrangements that teachers make in such difficult circumstances.   

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Muyanda (Sinazongwe): Madam Speaker, could the hon. Minister of Education tell this august House, how and when, he will provide accommodation to the teachers that sleep in classrooms as a result of the acute shortage of classrooms, also bearing in mind that it is not healthy for the teachers to sleep in classrooms where they teach so many children.

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, I am sure the hon. Member of Parliament for Sinazongwe did not mean what he said …

Hon. Members: Aah!    

Professor Lungwangwa: … because we do not have reports of teachers sleeping in classrooms.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Members: Aah! 


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

(a) which cash crops the Food Reserve Agency was specialised in buying; and

(b) what measures the Government had taken to ensure that all the crops grown in Zambia were purchased by the Food Reserve Agency.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Kalenga): Madam Speaker, during every marketing season, the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) purchases designated crops for strategic food reserve. These include maize, cassava, rice, soya beans and groundnuts. It is not possible for the FRA to purchase all the crops grown in Zambia as this is not their mandate.

Further, the financial resources to do so would be astronomical for the Government. Under our liberalisation policy, the private sector is entitled to participate in the purchasing of crops grown by farmers in Zambia. On its part, the Government has provided K205 billion in the 2007 National Budget for crop purchases for the Food Reserve Agency strategic reserves. The FRA has since announced the crop marketing modalities for this marketing season.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Ntundu: Madam Speaker, what a lie by the ministry.

Hon Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Can you withdraw that word?

Mr Ntundu: I withdraw the word. What a misleading answer by the ministry.

Madam Speaker, I was in Mporokoso, Kasama, a few days ago. FRA is not buying cassava as indicated by the hon. Minister in his answer. Could the hon. Minister come out in the open and say which crops FRA is buying?

In the same light, is the hon. Minister aware that the FRA Board is incompetent and has contributed to the failure of FRA. When will you dissolve this board as you did the ZESCO Board?

The Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Kapita): Madam Speaker, I would like to thank Hon. Ntundu, hon. Member of Parliament for Gwembe for that very important question. I would like to spell out what crops FRA buys.

What FRA buys, is what was stipulated by this House in the FRA Act of 2005. There are five crops, which are maize, cassava, rice, sorghum and soya beans.

This year, the FRA has indicated to the nation that they are going to buy 400,000 metric tonnes of maize. They will buy a given amount of cassava, rice, soya beans and groundnuts. If they are not buying these crops, it is not because the Government has told them not to buy.

Madam Speaker, if they are not going to buy those crops, then I am going to follow it up. I am not aware that they are not buying the crops, although by law and instruction, they are supposed to buy them.

Secondly, with regard to the board, I would like to say to this august House that if there is any board that is competent, it is the FRA Board.

Hon. Members: Aah!

Mr Kapita: First, I am not aware that the Chairperson is campaigning. The Chairperson is the biggest farmer in this country.

Hon. Members: Aah!

Mr Kapita: Yes he is, and he does not buy maize from commercial farmers. The Food Reserve Agency buys maize from small-scale farmers. They are not supposed to touch a single bag from commercial farmers. That is our instruction because the maize from small-scale farmers is worth much more than the K205 billion that we gave them, so they can not go to the commercial farmers. Therefore, the Chairperson of FRA cannot be accused of a conflict of interests because he is not supposed to buy his crop anyway.

Secondly, all the board members are there because of their past experience. They represent various interests of the Farmers’ Union, corporate development, the peasant and small-scale farmers of Zambia, the Ministry of Finance and National Planning and Bankers Association of Zambia. All those on the board are appointed by their various institutions and the hon. Minister has got very little input. As far as I am concerned, I can not have a better board than the one I have. Yes, they might have some problems, but that does not mean that they are incompetent.

I thank you Madam Speaker.{mospagebreak}

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Madam Speaker, from the statements given by the hon. Minister, it is clear that the Food Reserve Agency is not buying all the crops. They target 10 per cent. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister why they have gone ahead to tell the public to deliver all the maize to FRA, and fail to pay them.

The farmers have delivered the maize and for more than two months, they have not been paid. Further, how does he propose to pay them when there are more deliveries than the money budgeted for?

Mr Kapita: Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my old friend, Hon. Request Muntanga for Kalomo Central.

Hon. Member: Awe!

Mr Kapita: He is still my friend, always my friend. The hon. Member is saying that FRA is not buying all the crops despite promising to do so. The FRA did not promise to buy every single grain because it is not possible. It is not possible for the Government to buy every single grain. However, what they have done is take a portion of the crop as per the money that was given to them. This august House allocated them K205 billion and will buy 270,000 metric tonnes of maize with that money.

Madam Speaker, the money from this House can only acquire 270,000 metric tonnes of maize. They are borrowing for 130,000 metric tonnes of crops. If you add 130,000 to 270,000, it gives you 400,000 metric tonnes. Therefore, we are giving assurance that the allocation from this august House will buy 270,000 metric tonnes of crops and their own funding will buy 130,000 metric tonnes. From their own funding again, they are buying the rice, cassava, soya, and the groundnuts.

Madam Speaker, when I came from the Zambia Institute Business Advisory Council (ZIBAC) in Livingstone, I went through Kalomo and visited the Chonga Depot where I found 72,000 bags of maize. The farmers had not been paid for twenty-eight days then. I always want the facts to be said as they are. I immediately telephoned Lusaka and spoke to the Executive Director of FRA, instructing him that the maximum number of days farmers must be made to wait is seven. The reason is that when farmers deliver their maize from various depots, it is impossible to pay them on the spot because it is impossible to verify the figures there and then. Therefore, the senior person must verify that the stocks being mentioned are actually in the depots.

If you remember what happened in Mongu, some farmers were believed to have delivered 200 bags of maize five times and that came to 1,000 bags, but, in the actual fact, they only delivered 200 bags. Therefore, we are trying to prevent that from happening again. The longest you are supposed to wait to be paid is seven days and I have given that instruction. If they are not obeying, another instruction will be given.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mrs Mwamba: (Lukashya): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister why the FRA is directing small-scale farmers and restricting them to growing crops for which they do not have capacity to produce. Why do they not allow them to continue producing what they are used to?

Mr Kapita: Madam Speaker, I am surprised to hear that the FRA tells farmers what type of crops to grow because the FRA has nothing to do with the production. It is only my ministry which can do that. FRA is just a buyer. They buy what is offered, but they cannot tell the farmers what to grow. As a ministry, we do not tell farmers what to grow. We just tell them, as per existing market, what crops are preferred.

Just yesterday, I had a good meeting with the President from Botswana and my counterpart. They said that they want sorghum and I have asked them to give me the seed variety they prefer. Therefore, we shall tell farmers to grow it because there is a market for it. Otherwise, FRA does not tell anybody to grow anything at all.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwenzi): Madam Speaker, I relate very well with this ministry. However, I am disappointed with them. The hon. Minister has told the nation that the board for FRA is very competent, but is he aware that FRA has failed to pay satellite depot supervisors for about three years now.

Mr Kapita: Madam Speaker, I would like to confirm here that we have refused to pay ghost farmers and I will not pay them. Satellite depots were the worst last year. Some people from the district unions have been conniving with people who pretend to be farmers. They have given them delivering documents to claim money from the FRA for having delivered nothing. The people who are claiming not to have been paid are scared to come to FRA because they failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that they actually delivered the maize.

Madam Speaker, as far as I am concerned, the supervisors were conniving with the people. If they can prove that they brought that maize, they will be paid. They have failed to prove that. I am afraid we are not going to pay anybody who did not deliver or anybody who connived with the people who are selling.

I thank you, Madam Speaker

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota: Madam Speaker, in view of the fact that in order to buy grain, you need to store it, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what the state of our grain silos is and what capacity they have currently to hold maize and whether this will suffice for the projected tonnage that they wish to purchase.

Mr Kapita: Madam Speaker, may I thank the hon. Member for Livingstone for that good question.

Madam, there are three types of storage facilities in this country. First, the so-called silos, and shades, are the big round structures that you see. They are provided either by the Canadians or the Swedes. In addition, we have what we call the hard standings. The hard standings are platforms or concrete slabs in our ordinary language. Therefore, there are the silos, sheds and hard standings.

Madam Speaker, if my memory serves right, and I could be wrong only by 2 or 3 per cent, we have 2 million metric tonnes worth of storage capacity in the country. Unfortunately, and I want to say this without apology, between 1991 and 2001, we neglected the silos and none of them is serviceable. Therefore, all the silos that you see cannot be used. They are completely useless. We are depending on sheds and hard standings. However, we have taken steps to rehabilitate the silos, sheds and turn the hard standings also into sheds so that we can only have two types for storage facilities.

Madam Speaker, let me say is that we are one of the beneficiaries of the Chinese support. Just yesterday, we were doing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between FRA and a company from China that has come to rehabilitate all the silos. They have also inspected every single silo, shed and hard standing. Therefore, we are rehabilitating them. As to what capacity there is for the future, our dream and our desire, as a Government, is to produce a minimum of 5 million metric tonnes of maize in the next four years because we have the capacity and the land. Therefore, apart form rehabilitating these storage facilities, we shall be looking for money to building more storage facilities. We are going to have the silos in big cities because that is where we need plenty of maize. I also would like to see some silos near Kasumbalesa for easy export and I mean it. We might export to the other side. The sheds will be in the provincial capitals.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka (Namwala): Madam Speaker, last time I talked about maize marketing. In line with the various answers the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives has given, I mentioned that when the former Minister was speaking to commercial farmers on the programme, we only saw white commercial farmers. There was hardly any indigenous Zambian commercial farmer.

Going by this answer given by the hon. Minister today, and knowing that this is, August, indigenous small-scale farmers started harvesting in April, May, June, July and August, but and they have not been paid to date. Are you sure that the current marketing arrangement, as spelt out by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) and the Government, is ever going to yield results that will be beneficial to the small-scale farmers who put this Government in power?


Mr Kapita: Madam Speaker, let me thank the hon. Member of Parliament for Namwala who happens to represent indigenous interests.


Mr Kapita: That makes the two of us working for the small-scale farmer. The FRA was established to serve largely the small-scale farmer.

Yes, now and then, there are teething problems. According to the record I have, and I am well informed, we are managing to pay farmers. What we need to do is cut the period of waiting, shorter.


Mr Kapita: I am convinced that we are doing …


Mr Kapita: … the right job. It is taking slightly longer for farmers to be paid, but we shall take action to shorten the period to, at least, seven days. However, I do not believe that we can beat the current system because of the distances where the farmers are and the sizeable stock that they deliver. If every farmer and worker at those depots was honest, the question of piling the stocks would not have arisen. Unfortunately, the National Agricultural Marketing Board (NAMBOARD) went under because the farmer and the depot clerk were dishonest. Therefore, we are trying to avoid this.

So, it is us the farmers, and of course, the clerks who are working at the depots who are causing the delays. If we could stop being dishonest, the situation would be completely different. Hon. Member of Parliament for Namwala, we shall work to improve.

I thank you, Madam.


723. Mr Chisala (Chilubi) asked the Minister of Education what urgent measures the Government had taken to help the people of Chichile Island in Chilubi District rebuild the classroom blocks that collapsed in early February, 2007.

The Minister of Education (Professor Lungwangwa): Madam Speaker, the Ministry of Education, in liaison with the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU), submitted a list of schools that were affected by floods this year and the Government is still sourcing funds to assist in the rehabilitation of schools across the country. This includes the damaged classrooms on Chichile Island in Chilubi District.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Chisala: Madam Speaker, since the pupils at the above-mentioned school have been learning under a tree for over six months now, what measures has the Government taken …

Hon. Member: And the rains are coming!

Mr Chisala: … to ensure that by next term, these pupils are availed shelter under which they can learn?

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, as I have explained, once the funds are in place, speedy rehabilitation of the infrastructure will be undertaken in order to alleviate the current problems the pupils are facing.

I thank you, Madam.


724. Mr D. Mwila asked the Minister of Works and Supply when the Government would repair the Mukonshi Bridge in Chipili Parliamentary Constituency.

The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mr Magande): Madam Speaker, I wish to indicate that the bridge that we know as Mukonshi Bridge in Chipili Parliamentary Constituency was inspected only a few weeks ago by the Luapula Province Road Development Agency Regional Office. It was confirmed to be intact, except that on the sides, there was some soil erosion which occurred during the rainy season and this requires some attention. This will only be attended to in the 2008 Annual Work Plan for bridges.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr D. Mwila: Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether they have started sensitising or informing the motorists to stop using the same route, especially those coming from Kawambwa going to Chipili and vice-versa. It seems the bridge is not in a good state as confirmed by the hon. Minister.

Mr Magande: Madam Speaker, as I indicated, in our opinion and according to the inspection by the Road Development Agency, the bridge is intact. Some soil on the sides has been washed away, but it has not reached a stage where it is not usable. So, we have not done what Hon. D. Mwila is proposing, which is to warn the motorist. I am sure that since he is a motorist and having seen what is happening there, perhaps he will advise the other motorists to go slowly when approaching the bridge.

I thank you, Madam.


Mr Kapeya (Mpika): Madam Speaker, how often does the Ministry of Works and Supply inspect all major bridges in the country to ascertain their proper performance in order to avoid another Nkalamabwe disaster? I am asking this question in relation to the Lwitikila Bridge on the Mpika/Kasama Road which is already showing signs of collapsing.

Mr Magande: Madam Speaker, the fact that the bridge on the Lwitikila River is showing signs of wear and tear does not indicate that it has not been inspected. If it was inspected, we are aware of those defects and we will put that in the programme of maintenance.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Kanyanyamina (Kanchibiya): Madam Speaker, can the hon. Minister inform this House and the nation as a whole when this Government will attend to serious problems of bridges. He said that bridges were intact, but at the same time, admitted that they had been washed away.

The other question is on children who have been learning under a tree for six months. Instead of providing tents, he said that he was still sourcing funds. Funds will never come as long we are not serious. When are you going to be serious and provide the funds immediately?

Hon PF Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! I think this relates to the previous Question. This House does not go to a matter that we have just dealt with.

Mr Zulu (Bwana Mkubwa): Madam Speaker, inspection of bridges is a specialised field. I would like to find out the qualifications of the people who inspect these structures, because under normal circumstances, they are supposed to have qualifications in Structural Engineering.

Bearing in mind what we have just seen on television, a bridge, which collapsed in America, what are the qualifications and how often do these Structural Engineers inspect these bridges because they are very unsafe at times?

Mr Magande: Madam Speaker, I want to sincerely thank the hon. Member for Bwana Mkubwa for bringing to our attention the fact that even in the United States where they have engineers who have gone to the moon, a bridge can collapse.


Mr Magande: What more in Zambia where we have limited manpower.


Mr Magande: Roads and bridges are supposed to be inspected by qualified people and I want to assure the hon. Member for Bwana Mkubwa that we now have a lot of engineers under the Road Development Agency (RDA). I am sure they assess and inspect these bridges. However, obviously, we cannot confidently say that nothing like what happened in the United States can happen.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Madam Speaker, erosion can wash a bridge away, and that is a fact. That bridge must be attended to this year and next year. Does the hon. Minister agree with me?


Mr Magande: Madam Speaker, the hon. Member for Bwana Mkubwa just reminded the Government that inspection of roads is a professional job to be done by professionally qualified people. I agreed with him. Now, here is a fully qualified Road Engineer asking me whether I concur with him. I am not a qualified Road Engineer. Therefore, he should help us inspect the roads so that he gives us advice. I want to assure him that we have taken note of his advice.

I thank you, Madam.{mospagebreak}


725. Mr Kambwili asked the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development how many Chinese prisoners were currently employed by the NFC Africa Mining Plc. at Chambishi.

The Deputy Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr M. Mwale): Madam Speaker, my ministry has been informed by NFC Africa Mining plc. that currently, there are no Chinese prisoners employed by the mine. This has been confirmed by the Department of Immigration under the Ministry of Home Affairs which issues work permits.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Kambwili: Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether his ministry has been to Chambishi to find out on their own whether there are Chinese prisoners working at the mine, because I am convinced beyond reasonable doubt that the Chinese Government has brought prisoners to work at NFC in Chambishi. Has the ministry gone to find out other than relying on second hand information?

The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Dr Mwansa): Madam Speaker, we carried out a very exhaustive research to find the answers to this question. Both the Government and non-Government sources confirmed that, in fact, there were no prisoners working at that mine.

Madam, the use of prison labour is governed by various stringent instruments both under our national laws and international conventions. Under our own law, prison labour cannot be used without requisite authority from the Commissioner-General of Prisons through the Ministry of Home Affairs. The rules for using prison labour are very strict. In fact, he rarely grants that authority.

Internationally, there are conventions by the United Nations, which regulate the use of prison labour under what are called the Minimum International Rules for Treatment of Offenders, in this case, prisoners.

Therefore, it would be unlawful for any Government to engage in this type of activity. In any case, we do not even have any reciprocal arrangement with the Chinese Government to bring in prisoners here to serve part of their sentences in this country, neither can we allow Zambians who commit offences in China to come back here and serve part of their sentences on our soil because we have no reciprocal arrangement.

Madam Speaker, there is no evidence whatsoever that Chinese prisoners are serving in any of the institutions owned by the Chinese companies.

I thank you, Madam.

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister said that so far, there was no evidence of Chinese prisoners working at NFC. The hon. Member of Parliament said that he was convinced beyond any reasonable doubt that there were Chinese prisoners at NFC. If the hon. Member of Parliament brought the evidence to the ministry, would it be acted on?

Dr Mwansa: Madam Speaker, certainly, the word “currently” in the answer is reflective of the word in the question. The question asked how many Chinese prisoners were currently employed? In our answer, we used the word “currently”. Now, if the hon. Member has any evidence that there is any Chinese prisoner working anywhere, please, let us have it and we will carry out some investigations.

Let me remind the hon. Member that there are countries today, which are very developed, and were developed by prisoners. There was a country in Europe which had a sentence called Transportation, which was a sentence for committing an offence in their country and people were transported to that country as prisoners, and they have developed that country very well. However, we do not have such an arrangement. If there is any evidence, please, let us have it and we will follow it up.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi):  Madam Speaker, realising that the British at one time used to send prisoners to Australia to develop that place, what mechanism have they put in place to ensure that they screen these Chinese who are coming into this country so that we know whether they are prisoners or not and are rejected at that particular point?

Dr Mwansa: Madam Speaker, before we issue Work Permits, we have to ensure that individuals coming to work here have requisite qualifications in the fields they are coming to perform those functions. If there is any disclosure that a particular applicant is a prisoner, we will probably not allow him to work here because we do not have that kind of arrangement.

I thank you, Madam.


726. Mr Malama (Mfuwe) asked the Minister of Home Affairs when the Government would establish police posts in rural areas whose distance from district centres exceeded fifty kilometres.

The Minister of Home Affairs (Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha): Madam Speaker, the establishment of police posts has no timeframe. However, the establishment is dependant on the initiative of the local community and the local Police Command in respective areas. In consideration of population and crime rates, the local community provides the necessary material resources whilst the local Police Command provides the required manpower.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Malama: Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that crime in rural areas is on the increase? What measures have been put in place to combat crime in rural areas, considering that the neighbourhood watch has failed, especially that they do not receive much support from the Government?

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Madam Speaker, we are aware of certain parts of the rural areas where crime is on the increase. We have gone ahead to improve the manpower allocation to the areas where crime has increased and this has helped. We are also aware of the areas of deficiencies in the neighbourhood watches and, indeed, we would like to improve on the number of policemen that are in those areas.

I thank you, Madam.


727. Mr Mwangala (Nalolo) asked the Minister of Education:

(a) when a permanent solution would be found to the water problems affecting the following schools in Mwandi Parliamentary Constituency:

(i) Sankolonga School; and
(ii) Simungoma School; and

(b) whether the problem above had any negative effects on the examination results at the two schools.

The Minister of Education (Professor Lungwangwa): Madam Speaker, the ministry is aware of the water problems at the two schools in Mwandi Parliamentary Constituency, which are salination and drying up of the water points in the dry season. The ministry has written to the Provincial Water Engineer for technical advice before the ministry takes an appropriate course of action to mitigate the problems at the two schools.

With regard to the second part of the question, the problem so far may not directly affect the examination performance.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Mwangala: Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that the water problem for these two schools has taken too long, six to seven years, disturbing the programmes of the school learning? When will the problem be sorted out?

Professor Lungwangwa: Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1045 hours until 1100 hours.

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, when business was suspended, I had just started answering a follow-up or supplementary question asked by the hon. Member for Nalolo. I would like to assure the hon. Member for Nalolo that the ministry will take appropriate corrective measures to address the problem at the two schools when the technical report from the Provincial Water Engineer is received by the ministry.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Sikazwe (Chimbamilonga): Madam Speaker, as much as the hon. Minister is aware of quite a number of problems in the schools, how soon is the Government Sector Fund in his ministry going to be released to complete the portal frames constructed by the Chinese contractors which are a replica of learning under a tree in colonial days?

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, that particular aspect in our infrastructure development is a continuous programme and we are, at the moment, continuing with the portal frame construction programme.

I thank you, Madam.

Mrs Sinyangwe (Matero): Madam Speaker, Education is a vital ministry and it calls for a person who has passion for the job. I know that education has people who write very well, therefore, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether he just reads what he says here or he has gone to see things on the ground because we need his personal input and passion into education to improve things.

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, the hon. Member for Matero Constituency with whom I always debate education matters very passionately and with a deep sense of commitment for a very long time now is well aware of the passion and degree of commitment that we share when it comes to matters of education, taking into account that education, of course, is a very important ingredient to national development. Indeed, at every opportunity that has occurred, efforts have been made to visit some of the schools. It is very difficult, of course, to touch each and every part of the country. Education is spread all across our country in all its diversity, from early childhood all the way up to the university level. I have been, as I pointed out, to some parts of our country. I have talked to teachers. I have seen for myself the physical situation of some of our schools. I have met provincial education officers at the provincial and district levels and, indeed, this is a continuous process. I will endeavour to physically visit the various institutions that are in the different parts of the country. It cannot be done in the full length as one would like to, but a sampling process will indeed be undertaken.

I thank you, Madam.





The Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Kapita): Madam Speaker, I beg to present a Bill entitled the Fisheries (Amendment) Bill, 2007. The objectives of this Bill are:

(i) to provide for the riparian in fisheries management, ‘riparian’ meaning the surrounding communities;

(ii) to provide for the development and regulation of agriculture; fish farming;

(iii) to establish fisheries development funds; and

(iv) to provide for matters committed with or incidental to the forgoing.

I thank you, Madam.

Madam Deputy Speaker: The Bill stands referred to the Committee on Agriculture and Lands. The Committee is required to submit its report on the Bill to the House on Friday, 17th August, 2007. Hon. Members who wish to make submissions or amendments to the Bill are free to do so within the programme of work of the Committee.



The Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Mr Mutati): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.

On the basis of the objective of this particular Bill, it is necessary that amendments to the 1996 Trade Licensing Act are carried out in order to eliminate inequities and achieve better access to economic activity, which will lead to job and wealth creation.

Among the key objectives of the amendments is to ensure consistency and harmonisation with the Citizens’ Economic Empowerment Policy, ensure the Government raises more revenue from the trade licences and strengthen the provisions that relate to enforcement.

The Bill aims to cure the commercially unjustified and unconventional practice where retail and wholesale businesses are carried out in one premise at the same time. Reasons are as follows:

(a) its unconventional practice in other countries such as South Africa, wholesale and retail business operations are clearly defined in terms of their operating premises. That is why, for instance, we see that Shoprite operates a wholesale outlet away from its retail business, along the Kafue Road in Lusaka.

(b) tax administration is difficult if you are operating in the same premises in that accounts records get mixed up and there is a likelihood of Government revenue not being accounted for fully.

Due to the passage of time, the last revision of Trades Licensing Fees was in 1996. Therefore, it has become necessary to revise the fees to be in line with the economic changes that have taken place since 1996.

The Bill also provides for simplicity in that fees and the definition of Retail Trades Licences that takes into consideration differences according to volume and type of business and will be implemented through passing of a Statutory Instrument.

You may wish to note that currently a grocery store in Kalingalinga, for example, pays K90,000 per year for a retail licence. At the same time, a company selling motor vehicles in Cairo Road, which earns more and is in a high class area, pays the same amount for a retail licence per year. Therefore, the amendments will reverse the current trends so as to ensure equity and fairness in the fees structure, for retail business to be identified according to volume.

The Bill also provides for simple procedures for measures to be implemented by Statutory Instrument to enforce the Act effectively. For example, the definitions of ‘services’, ‘a uniformed trade inspector’, ‘local authority’ and ‘agent’ are clearly defined.

Zambia is defined as a country under the United Nations Conventions and its people are identified on the basis of descent, registration or birth to be Zambians. As such, there are certain rights that are associated to Zambians as citizens. Therefore, one of the aims for the amendments is to reserve certain types of licences and services solely to Zambians, especially in areas designated as markets under the Market Act.

In any case, the ministry carried out provincial consultations in 2004 with stakeholders and they overwhelmingly supported the changes proposed in the Act. In order to proceed to the next stage, I wish to propose the following additional amendments to the Bill:

(i) Paragraph 5 of Section 5 (5), ‘Specified period’ to read ‘1 year’;

(ii) Paragraph 11 of Section 13(3), ‘within 1 month of considering that application’ to read as ‘A licensing authority shall inform an applicant of the decision made in respect of an application made for a license within 1 month of considering that application’;

(iii) Paragraph 13 of Section 18A (3) to read ‘not only when the applicant is renewing the licence, but also when applying for a new licence’ (at the time of renewing and applying for a new licence. This is meant to capture as many tax payers as possible).

(iv) Paragraph 14 of Section 21 (1), by the insertion of the word ‘uniformed’ between the words ‘A’ and ‘trade inspector’.

Additionally, paragraph 15 Section 22 of the Bill will need to be amended by the insertion in Subsection 2 of the words ‘appropriate definition of the type of retail Trading Licence, according to the volume of the business’ so that there is equity and differentiation between a retail grocery owner and a retail motor sales company as an example.

Finally, the reservation of specific areas of commerce, trade and industry for targeted citizens, citizens’ empowerment companies, citizen-influenced and owned companies will be done by amending the appropriate legal provisions of the Citizens’ Economic Empowerment Act of 2006. Specifically, Section 17 of the principal Act is amended by insertion of the following subsection, which will read:

“A licensing authority shall not issue a licence under this Act to an applicant who is not a Zambian to conduct business in an area established as a market and any other related areas as defined by the Citizen’ Empowerment Act.”

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank hon. Members of this House in advance and urge them to support this Bill, as it is a common man’s Bill and is indeed an indigenous Bill.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Madam Speaker, the Committee on Economic Affairs and Labour expressed their gratitude to you and the House for referring the Trades Licensing (Amendment) Bill No.18 of 2007 to them. Recognising the importance of the objectives of the Bill and its potential impact on the social-economic well being of the people, your Committee interviewed seven witnesses, mostly representatives of organisations, and held seven intense meetings. Your Committee were of the view that the intentions of the Bill are not only timely, but also crucial at this stage of our economic development.

In brief, the Bill aims at empowering the hon. Minister to reserve certain trades and provisions of certain services to Zambians. It also aims at making a clear distinction between wholesale and retail trading; and aims at expanding the tax net.

Fourthly, it aims at empowering the hon. Minister to revise licence fees timely through statutory instruments.

After due consideration of the Bill, your Committee has a number of concerns which I now wish to present.

(i) Clause 16 Section 27 (a) of the Bill wishes to empower the hon. Minister to prescribe certain areas of trading for Zambians and it makes reference to the Citizens Economic Empowerment Act of 2006.

Your Committee are opposed to the reference to the Citizens Economic Empowerment Act, 2007 for three reasons.

(i) Section 21(1) of the Citizens Economic Empowerment Act provides that only the President shall prescribe areas reserved for Zambians. I wish to quote the section.

“Notwithstanding any other law after the commencement of this Act, the Ministry responsible for Commerce, Trade and Industry shall reserve, as prescribed by the President, specific areas of commerce, trade and industry for targeted citizens.”

Your Committee are of the view that the Bill, in its current format goes against the Citizens Economic Empowerment Act.

(ii) The Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry should immediately conduct an assessment and recommend to the President a comprehensive list of areas to be prescribed by the President for targeted citizens as provided for in the Citizens Economic Empowerment Act.

(iii) The Principal Trade Licensing Act already has a provision, which empowers the hon. Minister to preclude non-Zambians from acquiring certain licences.

The view of your Committee is that the need for precluding non-Zambians from some areas of trade is long over due and should not be delayed. They, therefore, propose that the Trade Licensing Bill, 2007 should provide for such a provision, serve without making any reference to the Citizens Economic Empowerment Act.

(ii) The second issue of concern to your Committee is to do with the lacuna that exist with regard to the definition of the market under the Markets Act, particularly, with regard to free markets where non-Zambians trade under regional trade agreements such as the COMESA free market. Your Committee urges the ministry to clarify this matter in the Bill.

In addition, your Committee are concerned that the Bill excludes other businesses from being made exclusive for Zambians. These include small enterprises such as block making; metal fabrication and many others that take place in ordinary residential areas and along roads and high ways.

Your Committee is of the view that these also ought to be regulated through licensing and that they also ought to be preserved for Zambians.

Madam Speaker, in conclusion, your Committee wish to pay tribute to the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry for having taken on board the concerns that your Committee raised. Like he stated, he is going to move amendments. I am sure that your Committee shall support the amendment to be moved by the hon. Minister.

Madam Speaker, your Committee wish to pay tribute to all stakeholders who appeared before them and tendered both oral and written submissions. They also wish to thank you, Madam Speaker, for affording them an opportunity to study the Bill.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Madam Speaker, I support these amendments to the Trade Licensing Bill. However, I would like to state that what our Chairman has said is the concern for all of us Committee members. I am very happy that the hon. Minister has addressed most of these concerns.

The issue of empowering Zambians is long over due.

Major Chizhyuka: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: This is the only country in the SADC region that is opening everything to foreigners all the time while others are reserving certain areas for the local people. This Bill is responsive and therefore, welcome. We want a lot of initiatives from many ministries to begin to be responsive to the needs of the indigenous Zambians whose two legs are in this country.

Madam Speaker, when you begin to make such moves, some of us begin to trust you a little bit.


Mr Hamududu: Madam Speaker, recently, the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing, as you are all aware works hand-in-hand with the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry in certain areas such as the Trade Licensing Bill, which is being administered by the Local Authorities.

Madam Speaker, I would like to congratulate my sister, the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing, Hon. Masebo, for cleaning the CBD of Lusaka. Zambians were suffocated from the markets because of foreigners and, as a result, went into the streets. They must leave the streets and go to legally established markets. The foreigners must be removed and Zambians put there.

Madam Speaker, in some countries, the local people are the ones who occupy the markets, which is not the case here. Why are you opening up to the foreigners? Even if you have a house, should you open it up to whoever comes to you? Why should you do that when others are reserving their own houses? What do you have that you should open your country so much to the extent of destroying jobs and opportunities for the local people?

Madam Speaker, I would like to urge this Government and all the line ministries to begin to be responsive and move amendments such as this one.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: Madam Speaker, since I am attached to this Motion, let me state what I witnessed before I came to the House in my constituency. I had a situation where the local authorities went in the villages and closed all the shops because they were owing. In places such as Nteme, Munyenze and Bweengwa, all the shops were closed, and whilst I was there, I met a certain man at the council who told me that you are the ones that pass these laws. Madam, I felt very bad.

However, when I came here, I was happy to see that it is on board and I am also happy that I am on this Committee on Economic Affairs and Labour. It was a good coincidence for me.

Madam Speaker, a big shop in Lusaka pays the same rentals as a small shop in Nteme. What is that? We are destroying the ability of the small and medium-scale enterprises to grow.

Therefore, we need to give the small and medium-scale enterprises space to grow. In other countries such as South Africa, they are growing and will suffocate all of us. We are feeling the pinch now in the rural areas. Likewise in agriculture, our business people are being suffocated because we are not responsive to the cries of our people. It is time we addressed these issues. I would like to see a lot of amendments coming. Let us revisit all the laws and be responsive to the needs of the indigenous Zambian people. We have no other country to run to.

Some of the people are just citizens by registration, but have other legs elsewhere. For instance, if they are Indians, they will give credit there, but we have only one country. This is why we want you to make changes in all your programmes of empowerment from ‘Citizen’ to ‘Indigenous’.

The word ‘citizen’ should be changed because there are citizens here who still visit their countries and get capital from there, but for me, which country will I visit for me to get capital? Can you reserve opportunities exclusively for indigenous Zambians?

Madam Speaker, we have been to places and when they talk of indigenous, they mean just that. For instance, in South Africa, they call it ‘Black Economic Empowerment’ because of racism. The Blacks are the indigenous South Africans. They exclude the other South Africans who are not Blacks. Here, since we do not have apartheid let us use the word indigenous in all the efforts we are making to empower Zambians.

Madam Speaker, can I take this opportunity to say that in this Citizens Economic Empowerment Act, which you are mentioning here, we need to go back and change it and make it indigenous even if some people are resisting?

Madam Speaker, Zambia is the only country that has accommodated a good number of foreigners in the neighbourhood. However, even if they are foreigners, we love them. They are our brothers, but the truth of the matter is that they came from somewhere and still have roots there.

Hon. Member: They still can go back.

Mr Hamududu: … yes they can still go back and get capital here and there and then suffocate us.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: Can we still a little deeper and become truly responsive to the desires and aspirations of the indigenous Zambian people who are our children and their children’s children.

If you are not careful with the way you are opening up this country, very soon, you will be irrelevant in SADC. They will take all our opportunities and then yours and our children will be the only ones suffering.

To tell you the truth, I am not impressed by these chain shops. They have no impact on the Zambian pocket. Then you say the country is developing. Who are buying? It is just a few rich people who are masquerading at Manda Hill and Arcades. Our black people are just passing by in Mini-buses. They cannot even stop here and shop around. We are not impressed by these chain shops.

Hon. Member: You are burning them.

Mr Hamududu: The United National Independence Party (UNIP) Government was right. There were no shortages in their time.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: What was happening was that the Zambians had enough money to buy and that was why things were running out. Someone says there were shortages. That is wrong. The MMD Government is wrong.


Mr Hamududu: We were already adults. We were making our own cooking oil and soap in this country. It used to run out because Zambians had money. Today, these apples and so on do not finish because people have no money and only a few rich ones are buying. Let us protect our markets and the interests of Zambians.

We want locally made drinks …

Hon. Opposition Member: You listen.

Mr Hamududu: … and not the so-called apples. We are not impressed by the so-called apples because these apples are creating jobs in South Africa. My brother cannot get a job and my constituents cannot get jobs because of these apples.

Hon. Opposition Member: Because of an apple.


Mr Hamududu: You want to sell the country because of apples and soap. We can bath without soap.


Hon. Member: Ah, all these can run away.

Mr Hamududu: Madam Speaker, this issue, to me, has a proponent of indigenous black economic empowerment like my counterpart here Major Chizhyuka said. I am very emotional about these matters. The more the Zambians are working, the poorer they are becoming. Do you not see this?

Hon. Opposition Member: Sichilima, can you listen?

Mr Hamududu: Madam Speaker, my father who died just this year died a poor man because of working hard. He worked hard then the chain trade stole from him. That is why we are saying the key ministries in this country – the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Agriculture must become pro-indigenous.  We do not accept this moisture issue from the Food Reserve Agency (FRA). You want to kill someone because of moisture? And then you send your brief case businessmen.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hammer!

Mr Hamududu: It is time we reformed this so-called FRA. In the whole world today, or if you went to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks and the European Union (EU) and African Caribbean Pacific (ACP) talks, agriculture is a prized issue. But here, you are underplaying it.

If you are going to Monze, before you arrive, you see women seated on the roadside selling sweet potatoes to people who are passing by. They are suffering. These sweet potatoes can be used and processed into many products. But you are saying FRA is waiting for the correct level of moisture and is only buying maize. Buy everything. Europe is protecting its agricultural sector. Who are you, small Zambia, to open up? If you do not do that, I am telling you, my friends in MMD, you will not come back after the next elections because we are on the dawn now. We will not tolerate lies.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Withdraw the word ‘lies’.

Mr Hamududu: Madam Speaker, I withdraw the word ‘lies’.

Hon. Member: We are not telling the truth.


Mr Hamududu: Madam Speaker, this time we will travel through the whole country educating Zambians on how they have been cheated in the trade arrangement.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Withdraw the word ‘cheating’ and debate the Bill on Trade Licensing.


Mr Hamududu:  Madam Speaker, I withdraw the word.

So, in summary let me say this is very positive. It is a very first step, but we are still very far from the object of empowering Zambians. Can all ministries go back and begin to be responsive to the cries of Zambians so that we do not accuse Zambians of running in to the streets because they have been suffocated in the markets?

We want these Zambians, including those in my town Monze, to leave the streets. We want clean cities. They must go into the markets and those non-Zambians must be removed because they have markets where they come from. They should just come and buy. They are free to come in to this country.

And now we want these licence fees to be responsive to the small and medium-scale enterprises in our constituencies and be meaningful to those young people there, the future of this country, my fellow young people.

Hon. Opposition Member:  Mulyata, listen.


Mr Hamududu: Hon. Minister, since now you are empowered through this Statutory Instrument, we want you to put a structure for these licences to be truly responsive to those people who are struggling and want to grow into big businesses.

I see here that you want to reserve certain services and provision of services to Zambians. This is very positive, but you must walk the talk. Some of these machines that are coming into the mines, which I meet on the road, can be produced in this country.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Let us debate the Bill. We are not debating generally the economy of this nation.

Mr Hamududu: Madam Speaker, I thank you. In reserving the provision of these services to Zambians, what we are saying is that the ministries responsible in making some arrangements should ensure that these companies procure from Zambians things that can be produced here because we are seeing a lot of things which are coming from South Africa which can be produced by Zambians. Therefore, we need a serious audit of what can be produced and not produced in this country.

Major Chizhyuka: A point of order.

Madam Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Major Chizhyuka: Madam Speaker, is the Leader of Government Business in the House, who is also the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning of this country ,in order not to listen to these very positive contributions by the hon. Member who is deliberating, especially that he is an acclaimed Trickle Down Economist, who believes that the Government of this country and indeed the people of Zambia must only receive trickles and crumbs? I beg your guidance.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Looking at the Leader of Government Business in the House from here, I see him seated in his rightful place, listening and even taking notes.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: Madam Speaker, honestly, this is a very important amendment and an eye opener. Therefore, it is very difficult to just stick strictly to the Bill because even in nature, it involves other ministries. I think people must be serious when we are talking about these issues.

Madam Speaker, I was just summarising that the (Small and Medium Enterprises) SMEs sector in this country is not recognised. The wind of change in trading is the emphasis is on the Small and Medium Enterprises because that is where the majority are. Not these big companies making K300 million profit for three individuals. We must promote the Small and Medium Enterprises where the majority of our people are. Therefore, in all this procurement, we want through these powers that you have been given through this amendment, hon. Minister, that you walk the talk. The people are complaining and you should listen to the cries of the Zambian people, traders, small and medium-scale enterprises, the indigenous people of this country whose country is only this one.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!
Mr Chimbaka (Bahati): Madam Speaker, I want to be very brief. Just as much as we have legislated a number of laws, I think what is most important this time around is to be proactive and implement the laws we legislate. For many years now, laws have been there, but what is missing is the monitoring and evaluation of the law.

Madam Speaker, the Trades Licensing (Amendment) Bill is very important, just like many other laws this House has legislated, particularly, it has aspects of the economic empowerment of the Zambian people. My prayer is to see that the Zambian people understand basically the provisos of this legislation. For them to appreciate this, there is need for the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry to go beyond legislation and create a forum to capacitate the indigenous Zambians so that they are ready to appreciate the law. This will also enable them market with a view to sustaining their lives and even go further to develop and grow.

Madam Speaker, marketing is a business. Besides that, the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, in liaison with the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, must appropriate, in next year’s Budget, money which must go into assisting these marketers by enabling them go to Dubai, Nakonde and South Africa and bring goods that are currently being brought by the foreigners who will cease to operate in these markets. The Zambians, in terms of finances, will not do that if the Government does not come in to support them along these ways.

Madam Speaker, much as the law is quite articulate and clear, really, we have to go a step further even as members of the Legislature to explain to our people. In my constituency in particular, I have always taken time to sit down with the people and explain thoroughly whatever we legislate, such that they appreciate your Government and my presence in this House.

Madam, the problem I have faced in most cases is that much as you can explain and people appreciate what you say, there is literally minimal response given to such in terms of finance and that is my worry. Like my colleagues have said before, we should legislate only when we think, feel and are convinced that we have adequate financial muscle to support what we legislate. Otherwise, legislation may lose its meaning. I thought I should encourage this Government to realise that this Bill requires colossal amounts of money to give the Zambians to take into the markets.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Munaile (Malole): Madam Speaker, I stand to support the Bill, but with reservations on one issue. I would like to state that this is a positive step taken by the Government, but I am concerned about the rural businessmen who will be expected to produce Tax Clearance Certificates. In as far as I am concerned, you can only get this Tax Clearance Certificate from Lusaka. I do not know how shop owners of Malole Constituency will access these documents. Therefore, I suggest that the Government should decentralise the issuance of these certificates. Otherwise, this Bill is long over due.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Chilembo (Chama North): Madam Speaker, I stand to support the Bill, in particular, the provision of empowering Zambians, namely the Clause which provides that the goods, which only Zambians can deal in will be specified, and also, that certain services can only be provided by Zambians. The only worry I have is that this Bill does not go further to provide for what happens in a situation where this particular Clause is breached. I am thinking of a situation where foreigners, because of their financial muscle, are able to give inducement to Zambians so that they can obtain the licences and, through the back door, conduct business. I am of the view that such foreigners should face penalties. Do not punish the Zambians because they are in a weak situation. I concur with Hon. Major Chizhyuka on the issue of indigenous rights to protect our people.

Major Chizhyuka: Hear, hear!

Mr Chilembo: Therefore, Madam Speaker, as we amend these laws, it is also very important that we look at other laws. What are we doing about our lending system? Are we able to give money to Zambians so that they can trade in these goods and services which we are saying they should trade in and provide? We should quickly pass laws which can empower Zambians tomorrow.

Madam Speaker, I am always saddened when I look at the Zambia National Building Society House that is supposed to be one of our lending institutions for housing. I am saying this because I am a former Legal Counsel of that institution. Ten years down the line, nothing has been done to repair that building. When will we rehabilitate that building? Instead, that building has become a large billboard. That is where people who want to put up billboards go. Surely, I think that is a very important asset. I am happy the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mr Magande) is listening very attentively and taking notes.


Mr Chilembo: Madam Speaker, let us do something about that. If we neglect such buildings, then it contradicts what we are saying that we want to empower Zambians so that they can have access to loans. Otherwise, I am looking forward to a Statutory Instrument being issued without further delay on the classes of goods and services that will be sold and provided by Zambians only. The hon. Minister concerned should not delay and I hope the classification of such goods will be done generously.

I thank you, Madam.

The Minister Local Government and Housing (Ms Masebo): Madam Speaker, I stand to support the Bill, and in supporting the Bill, I have two or three points that I would like to raise.

Firstly, amending the current Trades Licensing Act is a very welcome move for us in the Ministry of Local Government and Housing because the benefits of this amendment will go a long way in enhancing the financial base of our local authorities. As you will note, it has been difficult for councils to increase the amounts that are charged for the various categories of licensing.

Madam Speaker, this Bill has taken that into account not only by increasing, but also by giving the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry the power to change the fees to be paid against the various categories of licensing. This is a positive move because it will not take long. All he needs to do is issue a Statutory Instrument.

Secondly, the issuance of licences, in as far as the issue of markets are concerned, takes into account the issue that has always been of concern to many of our people, and this is that, markets should only be run by Zambians.

Madam Speaker, I thought I should make clear this point that even the old and the current Market Act still has that proviso that stops local authorities from allocating market stalls to non-Zambians. The problem has been with the Zambians themselves. It is the Zambians who allow these foreigners to run these markets at a fee. The Government has never allocated any market stall to a non-Zambian. It is the Zambians themselves who have gone through the back door, turned round and accused the Government of allocating stalls to foreigners.

This Bill is good in that it has a clause on fronting, and it has made fronting an offence. This means that if one is going to be used by a foreigner to acquire a licence for trade in goods that are not supposed to be dealt in by a foreigner and we get that information, the Government will take action against such a person.

Madam Speaker, I think that this is very positive and it is the answer to the problem that we have faced, especially in our markets, in ensuring that only Zambians own these markets.

The last point has to do with the issue of tax clearance certificates before one is issued with a trading licence, and I note that this will indeed help us. We have always cried that the only people who are paying tax in this country are those in the formal sector, yet we know very well that many people who are in the informal sector make more money than those in the formal sector, but are not taxed. I think this is a great step towards ensuring that the tax net is extended to include many of our people who are currently making a lot of money in the informal sector. I know that there are some businesses where somebody makes a net of K5 million profit every day, yet those who are getting K5 million per month are paying heavily in the form of taxes. I think that this Bill has addressed that anomaly and it is good.

Obviously, the point that has been raised on administering this needs to be taken into account and I hope that the hon. Minister responsible will look at this as he finalises the Bill.

Once more, I would like to commend the hon. Minister for coming up with this Bill that is long overdue and as Ministry of Local Government and Housing, we are very happy with it.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mutati: Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Members of Parliament who have rendered their support to this Bill that has certainly been overdue. I wish to clarify three points that have been raised by the hon. Members of Parliament.

The first one is associated with citizen versus indigenous. You will recall hon. Members that when we were debating the Citizens’ Empowerment Act, there was a lot of debate on this particular issue and we all agreed, as Parliament, that the word we must use is ‘citizen’. Therefore, amendments can be made through proposals from the Members through the principal Act and not this particular one.

Secondly, is the issue of the COMESA Market that operates outside the Markets and Bus Stations Act. In reality, it is operating as a market, and it is for this reason that we are collaborating with the Ministry of Local Government and Housing to ensure that we re-instate a legal operation of the COMESA Market that was supposed to be a trade centre for wholesale of imported products and not a retail market.

Madam Speaker, another issue raised was that of tax clearance. You will recall that two or three sittings ago, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning introduced the 3 per cent Pre-Emptive Tax. Now, in terms of tax clearance, the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) is empowered, under their Act, to appoint an agent, as nearer as possible from where income is being generated, to collect tax. In this case, ZRA can empower the local authorities in the districts, where the licences are being issued, so that the tax clearance certificates are also issued at the district level. Therefore, that will take care of the tax clearance certificates issue.

Madam Speaker, once again, I thank the hon. Members of Parliament for the support, including those who are passionate about the indigenous Zambians.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

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.


Mr Kapita: Madam Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.

Madam Speaker, Zambia, like many other countries, currently, has in place a Plant Variety and Seed Act, Cap. 236 of the Laws of Zambia. This Act covers all matters relating to seed trade and seed certification. However, the Act is silent on issues relating to property rights in agriculture. Therefore, plant variety materials are at risk of piracy. In order to avert such fears and threats to developing technologies, Zambia needs to have a form of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) that relate to agriculture and genetic resources.

Madam Speaker, the object of the Plant Breeder’s Bill is to enact the Plant Breeder’s Rights so as to protect plant varieties from the risk of piracy. Enactment of the Plant Breeder’s Right will bring about the following advantages to the industry:

(i) there will be legal recognition for plant varieties as these are not covered under the Patents Act of Zambia, Cap. 400;

(ii) technologies that support sustainable farming practices will be developed;

(iii) plant Breeders will be able to recover costs that are incurred  and these are  very heavy as new varieties are being developed; and

(iv) plant breeding materials of superior quality will be developed in Zambia. This will result n the release of more plant varieties best suited for the different agro-ecological zones.

Madam Speaker, allow me at this stage to share with all hon. Members of this august House one old English adage, which I believe will help to put into proper perspective the Bill under consideration this afternoon. It goes as follows and I quote:

 “Put a good seed into the soil and the battle is half won.”

Madam Speaker, this means that just by putting a good seed in the soil, the farmer is already getting half the harvest. The plant population, fertilisation, weeding and the rest of the things are 50 per cent of the requirements. This means that the seed itself, is a very critical factor in the production of agricultural produce,

Therefore, the enactment of this Bill will not only help improve productivity or yield per hectare, but also solidify Zambia’s leadership position in plant breeding, seed trade and offer protection for our superior plan genetic materials as well as protecting intellectual property rights of plant breeders.

Madam Speaker, at this point, hon. Members may wish to know how much we have done and how we need to protect ourselves. Two months ago, our Director of Seed Control and Certification Institute at Mount Makulu Research Institute was elected to be on the International Seed Testing Executive Committee, representing not only Zambia, but the entire Africa. Therefore, whatever other African countries want to tell the international body, they have to go through our Mount Makulu Research Institute Director. Therefore, we want to protect that position. This, in turn, will encourage and attract investment in plant breeding and maintenance of seed varieties.

Madam Speaker, plant variety protection will provide an effective incentive for plant breeding in many different situations and result in the development of new improved seed varieties that will benefit growers, farmers, and consumers.

Madam Speaker, I would like hon. Members of this august House, although I know that they are scared of the effect on the part of the farmer - to take note that we have taken care of the needs of farmers in the use of all seed varieties by the exemptions to rights of the breeder given under Article 8 (1), (2)and (3) so that there should be no fears at all.

Madam Speaker, I would like to conclude by appealing to every hon. Members of this august House to support the Plant Breeder’s Rights Bill, 2007 for the Second Reading stage, as I believe and believe very strongly that it will accelerate agriculture development in Zambia.

Madam Speaker, I beg to move.

Mrs Mwamba (Lukashya): Madam Speaker, I thank you most sincerely for according me this opportunity to brief this august House on issues pertaining to the Plant Breeder’s Rights Bill National Assembly Bill No. 20 of 2007, which was referred to your Committee on Agriculture and Lands on 12th July, 2007 for scrutiny.

Madam Speaker, your Committee invited key stakeholders who included Government ministries, professional bodies, seed producers and their associations to make both written and oral submissions. Your Committee received favourable response and do hope that hon. Members will find the report useful in guiding them in their debate on the Bill.

Madam Speaker, I wish to state that we, your Committee, attached a lot of seriousness to the Bill because, firstly, we believe that the Bill is long over due and, secondly, it will play a pivotal role in stimulating agricultural and economic growth in the nation.

Madam Speaker, the Bill before us aims at protecting the plant breeders’ rights by allowing them to register their claims on plant varieties. A plant breeder is defined as a person, organisation or employee of such organisation with a claim to a plant variety by way of having bred it, discovered it or developed it through extensive research.

Madam Speaker, the agriculture economy in Zambia was liberalised in 1991, and yet breeders in the seed industry cannot yet introduce their varieties because there is no legislation to protect their varieties against piracy. In addition, publicly bred material might be commercialised by private companies, making only minor changes to the existing ones.

Madam Speaker, these practices hinge on infringement of intellectual properties rights. Let me point out that although the Plant Variety and Seed Act of 1995 Cap. 236 of the Laws of Zambia was enacted, it only addressed matters related to Seed Trade and Certification and is silent on issues of intellectual property rights in agriculture.

I am happy to state here that all the stakeholders, apart from one who indicated some reservations, overwhelmingly supported the Bill.

The stakeholder who expressed reservations on the Bill informed your Committee as follows:

(i) there was a need for the country to develop a policy on intellectual property rights first, which should address the agreement on trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights of the World Trade Organisation (WTO); and

(ii) the Bill is silent on the farmers’ rights such as benefit sharing and/or compensation to local communities whose germ plasma is used in the production of new varieties.

However, the House may wish to know that this particular stakeholder was in agreement with the principle of enacting the Plant Breeder’s Rights Bill.

Madam Speaker, allow me now to acquaint the House with the salient features in the Bill.

Part II of the Bill designates the Seed Control and Certification Institute within the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives as the Plant Variety Protection Authority and is responsible for the administration of the Act.

The Committee are in total agreement with the set up as no other entity will have to be created.

Madam Speaker, PART III of the Bill lists the rights of plant breeders and include, among others, the following:

(i) the right to produce or reproduce the propagating material of the variety;

(ii) the right to condition the material for the purpose of propagation; and

(iii) the right to offer the propagating material for sale.

However, the authority may impose restrictions on a plant breeder’s right where:

(i) problems with competitive practices of a right holder are identified;

(ii) food security or health needs are compromised; and

(iii) a high proportion of the plant variety offered for sale is being imported.

Part IV discusses the registration requirements and procedure of Plant breeder’s rights. A plant variety will only be registered if it is new, distinct, uniform and stable.

Part V of the Bill provides for licensing of plant breeders’ rights to another person. It allows a person to apply to the Registrar of Companies for a compulsory licence where the plant breeder refuses to grant that person a licence or the Plant breeder has imposed an unreasonable condition for the issuance of a licence.

Part VI makes provision for appeals to be made to an appeals board, which will comprise three members appointed by the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives.

Part VII deals with offences and penalties.

It should be stated here, Madam Speaker, that enacting a law is one thing and implementing it is another.

It is anticipated that this law will attract a lot of investment in the sector. Therefore, enforcement of this law will be required if the intended objectives and achievements are to be attained.

In endorsing the Bill, Madam Speaker, your Committee observed that the pace of the growth of the agricultural industry is being frustrated by the poor road infrastructure in the country.

The Committee, therefore, urge the Government to show commitment towards the rehabilitation of feeder roads in the country.

With these few words, Madam Speaker, your Committee members wish to express their gratitude to you for granting them the opportunity to scrutinise this Bill. Your Committee also wishes to thank the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for the support rendered to them throughout their deliberations. Madam, the Committee also wish to extend their thanks to all the witnesses who appeared before them for their co-operation in providing their input at short notice.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Madam Speaker, in supporting this Bill, I wish to state that I am a Member of this Committee although I was away when they were considering this Bill. However, I would say that this is one of the legislations that had been delayed to be put in place.

Madam, while we accept this particular Bill to be put in place, I would urge the hon. Minister to quickly put in place mechanisms that will ensure that the institute would work and do extra jobs.

The Seed Control and Certification Institute which has now been designated as a Plant Variety Protection Authority will have to explicitly be changed in terms of references. On one hand, you are calling it the Seed Control and Certification Institute, but now you have designated it as a Plant Variety Protection Authority. This Act does not change that name. It is still referred to as an institute. I think the hon. Minister will need to look into this. If we want to change this institute into an authority, we should specify clearly.

This Seed Control and Certification Institute is changing now to police the various seed companies. It is an institute which was looking at the various seed production. However, there have been problems in that institute. The institute had no vehicles to go round. There are times when the institute had to be helped by various companies or various farmers that are growing seed. In this case, the fact that it must be seen to take appropriate decisions to protect the various varieties, it should be properly helped and funded.

Mount Makulu Research Institute where the Seed Control and Certification Institute is situated is now a sorry sight. There is no proper funding for the institute. We need to upgrade the laboratories because we have to test more samples. Now that there is this beautiful legislation to protect the various owners we are glad because we were getting worried that if ZAMSEED had a germ plasma for various seeds such as MM604/603, and if other people improved or made other varieties without seeking permission from the owners, ZAMSEED, then that would be a Zambian germ plasma.

We now have foreign companies that are bringing in varieties and are not testing them. However, if at all they are making any trials, there are no records to show the actual trials. They conduct their trials in Zimbabwe and South Africa, then bring into this country what is tested from outside. Now, this legislation will ensure that they do not have only to sell their seed here, but make their trials here, which is a very good thing.

For this reason, the institute must be properly equipped now that it will be forcing these various companies to do the testing here. Madam Speaker, this is a legislation that I support and is long over due.

Since 1991, anybody could come in and farmers were cheated. People were painting seeds repack and selling them. There was no way one could appeal against that. Now we have somewhere one can raise an issue if the seed is inappropriate. There is now an avenue for farmers to appeal. I would like this authority to be properly equipped because it will help the farmers.

Madam Speaker, the other point I wish to make is urge the ministry to check the habit that is there. Whenever there is a regulating body instituted by the Government, they sit on the boards as various participants. This is wrong. You do not need anyone in authority from the Seed Control and Certification Institute to sit on the board of the seed producers because some people are members of SEEDCO or members of something else, and they protect those simple companies. We do not need that now. Therefore, we must ensure that this Seed Control and Certification Institute is properly separated from involvement of the various seed companies. That way, we shall get proper directions.

In the last sitting of Parliament, you will recall that we had the problem Diplodia in the varieties produced by SEEDCO. Some arguments in defence came from a former Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives, only to find out later that he was a Chairman of SEEDCO. If we allow this situation to continue, then it will not help.

There is also a similar situation in the Tobacco Board of Zambia. There is a regulative body, and yet the Tobacco Board of Zambia is allowed to sit on the board of another participant in the Eastern Province. As a result, the decisions that are made there are not similar or dilute the power of the regulating body.

Therefore, I urge the hon. Minister to consider these points so that this legislation is meant well and enforced properly.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Kapita: Madam Speaker, I am really indebted to the Committee that looked at this Bill for their great support. In addition, I am very indebted to Hon. Request Muntanga, Member of Parliament for Kalomo, who has made it very clear that in supporting this Bill, he wants to see an improvement in the way we manage the Seed Control and Certification Institute, which now becomes the authority.

Madam, I have definitely taken note of the need for us, through the Ministry of Finance and National Planning to fund it properly so that they can carry out the duties that it has been given. Also, I have taken note of the need to ensure that none of the members of any of these bodies that supervise and oversee the quality of seed sit on the boards of those companies because they become compromised. However, I am not yet aware of anyone. If I know of anyone, I will ask the hon. Member of Parliament to whisper to me, and I will definitely take action, if anybody is involved.

Madam Speaker, I am also grateful of the fact that he has proposed the need for procuring more equipment and transport so that officers are able to visit all areas to ensure that all the players in the game do the right thing. That will be done through, of course, allocations from the Ministry of Finance and National Planning to our ministry.

I would like to conclude by, once again, thanking those who did not speak because I know that they support me, especially those from rural constituencies. Even those from other urban constituencies because when agriculture improves in the rural areas and the food becomes cheap, they will be retained in their constituencies.

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.{mospagebreak}


Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.

Madam, I am delighted to note the overwhelming support that the Bill has received so far. I am also aware of a number of concerns that have been raised by hon. Members of Parliament and others outside the House. These are basically two issues. Firstly, hon. Members of Parliament do not have access to Government resources, and therefore, why should they make declarations.

Madam Speaker, I would like to state, once again, that the reason for asking hon. Members of Parliament to make declaration of assets and liabilities is to make sure that we are open and transparent with our resources. That, in my view, is an important tool in the fight against corruption.

Secondly, there has been registered a fear that the Bill aims at deterring hon. Members of Parliament from engaging in wealth creation. That cannot be furthest from the truth because the Bill that I propose for Second Reading has a provision for hon. Members of Parliament to make a declaration of interest in contracts to be entered into with the Government. That, therefore, goes to show that this is to open up hon. Members of Parliament to engage in any kind of business they would like to for as long as it is legitimate.

Finally, I would like to say that this Bill is aimed at ensuring that hon. Members of Parliament can account for the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in their pockets to the Zambian people.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC. (Chasefu): Madam Speaker, I beg to present the report of your Committee

on the consideration of the Parliamentary and Ministerial Code of Conduct (Amendment) Bill, No. 10 of 2007. The Bill was referred to your Committee on Tuesday, 24th July, 2007. The objectives of the Bill were to provide for the Members of Parliament to submit to the Chief Justice annual declarations of assets, liabilities and income and to provide for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing.

Madam, let state from the onset that your Committee welcomed the introduction of the Bill as it is meant to bring hon. Members of Parliament on board as regards to the practice of declaring assets, liabilities and income by persons in leadership positions. The Bill was also wholly supported by the stakeholders whom your committee requested to submit views on the Bill. The requirement for leaders to make annual declarations of the assets and liabilities is cardinal in that it creates a sense of confidence in the eyes of the public.

I am happy to note that a number of hon. Members have been making declarations of their assets, liabilities and income even in the absence of legal provisions requiring them to do so. This is evidence of this House commitment to the crusade against corruption. This amendment, therefore, seeks to legalise the practice which hon. Members have been undertaking voluntarily. I, therefore, wish to state again that your Committee supports this amendment Bill without any reservations and urge the House to support the amendment Bill.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo (Bangweulu): Thank you, Madam Speaker.

To begin with, allow me to cancel the perception that this bill has been sponsored and may be subsequent Bills by the Patriotic Front. I would like everybody to understand that. You should cancel that perception. This Bill has not been sponsored by the Patriotic Front and also the same Bill will inform this House who the sponsors are in the context of transparency and accountability. He should make a declaration that those who have sponsored this Bill and subsequent Bills are these people and so on. You are taking aback being transparent and accountable to the people of Zambia.

Secondly, Madam Speaker, we are aware that all hon. Members from the time they are elected as Parliamentarians declare their assets to His Lordship the Chief Justice. Hon. Lubinda has not informed this House whether he has a problem with that kind of arrangement. He should inform us. What is his problem because immediately you are elected Member of Parliament, there is a requirement by this House that you should make a declaration of assets to the Chief Justice. I have been doing that. I like to speak for myself. I have always made a declaration from the time I was elected Member of Parliament for Bangweulu Constituency.

The funny part about this Bill is that it was in this House that we used to urge the Government of the day to introduce measures that would empower Zambians after realising that a lot of Zambians were being disadvantaged. They were becoming destitute in their own country. The Government of the day responded favourably by introducing the Citizens’ Economic Empowerment Bill that has now become an Act of Parliament.

Like my hon. Colleague put it to the House, the introduction of this Bill is retrogressive. Though the hon. Member of Parliament is trying to make us believe that this Bill is not intended to suffocate anybody, the implementation of this Bill will be problematic. I am speaking from experience.

There was a Leadership Code that was introduced in this House. Who was penalised? It was the Zambian. A lot of Zambians are now departed souls because they could not sustain their lives. They were restricted from creating wealth.

We should look at other models. This is why before a Bill such as this one is introduced, there is a need to consult others. You should not take it upon yourself to speak on behalf of everybody. Consult widely so that many people can have their input. You should not take it upon yourself to be the only one who should champion the cause of corruption.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: There are a number of institutions that have been created legally to fight corruption. I am aware that our colleagues in a number of organisations are trying to be corrected. The African Parliamentarian Network against Corruption has been bending on their knees to seek donor support. I would not be surprised that these insane Bills are being sponsored by the same donors. It is funny to see that while we are trying to empower Zambians, someone is being used to introduce funny Bills.

Madam Speaker, I can tell you that not everybody is comfortable with the economic strides that we are trying to take. That is why donors can find a weak spot to destroy what we are trying to achieve. Even intellectuals can be used by donors to derail the programme. We have to be careful. Otherwise, we shall dance to the tune of these people. I must emphasise that even in the donor community, there are some people who are not comfortable with the achievements we are making economically. I am sorry to say that here, they have found Hon. Lubinda as a weak spot.


Mr Kasongo: I would like to appeal to you, hon. Members, to be objective because you do not know the source or sponsor of this Bill. As Zambians, we have to support something that is home-grown and not imposed on us. You do not know the intention or author of this Bill. Only Hon. Lubinda knows and maybe members of his Committee. I rest my case.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: Madam Speaker, first of all, I would like to commend your Committee for a thorough analysis of the Bill and for their support. I would like to address a few concerns that have been raised.

Firstly, the fact is that the Bill was not sponsored by any named political party. I agree with this because the sponsor is very well known, and is the mover of the Bill and the Bill was supported by the seconder, who is no other than Dr Chosani Njobvu.

Madam Speaker, I would like to inform the House that consultations on this Bill started way back in September, 2006. Various agencies involved in the fight against corruption in Zambia were consulted.

Madam Speaker, let me also allay one fear that has been stated already that hon. Members of Parliament, by practice, have been making annual declarations of assets and liabilities. What this law is doing is simply legalise that practice. If hon. Members of Parliament have been declaring based on practice, what change does this law bring into effect? It only legalises it.

Secondly, I would like to say, unlike the Leadership Code that was referred to, the Bill does not deter any person from engaging in business. All it does is say, can you be honourable enough and declare your sources of income? What the people out there expect of us as leaders is to ensure that every little bit of money that we have can be traced to a legal source.

Major Chizhyuka: Why?

Mr Lubinda: If there are people who think that their income is not open to public scrutiny, then they must also be willing to say that their sources of income are illegitimate because what is the reason for hiding an asset that one has acquired legally?

Madam Speaker, it is only a thief who runs away when a policeman appears.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: Those who are not thieves and are sure that they have not stolen a kwacha, even at the appearance of a policeman, still stand straight with freedom and zeal. Those with skeletons, obviously, when an investigator knocks on their doors, run back to try and hide the skeletons in the closet.

Therefore, I would like to appeal to all hon. Members of Parliament not to be deterred from the fight against corruption. I would like to assure you that this Bill has been motivated by the desire to rid our society of corrupt elements. I also would like to inform you that we have to be careful because those who are opposing this Bill might have seen some motives. They might have something they are hiding somewhere and I do not think that this is the intention. This Bill is meant to ensure that all of us leave above board.

I thank the Committee of the House for the support that I solicit it from them on this very important Bill.

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 Thursday, 9th August, 2007.






The Deputy Chairperson: Before we move on to the next Bill, I have a ruling to make.


The House will recall that on Wednesday 28th March, 2007, when the House was in the Committee of Supply, considering Heads 21 and 37, Loans and Investments, Ministry of Finance and National Planning, respectively, and the hon. Member for Monze Central Parliamentary Constituency, Mr Jack J. Mwiimbu, MP, was debating, the Hon. Member for Kabwata Parliamentary Constituency, Mr Given Lubinda, MP, raised the following point of order and I quote:

“Sir, I rise on a very serious constitutional and governance point of order. I should have waited to raise it until the officer involved was in the House, but due to the urgency of the matter, I am obliged to raise it in his absence.

“Sir, I said that this point of order is constitutional and it hinges on governance. It is a known fact that there shall be three wings of the Government namely: the Executive, Legislature and the Judicature. It is also known, under the doctrine of separation of powers, that none of the three should ignore the importance and relevance of any other of the three.

“Our Constitution also provides that Zambia is a multi-party democracy, hence the need that institutions of governance, particularly the National Assembly, shall be composed of hon. Members who shall be elected by the Zambian people to represent their various interests without fail.

“Sir, I needed to give this background to this point of order and I hope that my hon. Colleague the hon. Member for Monze Central, Hon. Mwiimbu who was debating will excuse me for disturbing the flow of his debate.

“Sir, in The Post Newspaper of yesterday, 27th March, 2007, on page one, there is a very serious article attributed to one member of one of the wings of the Government – the Executive – namely the Hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, Hon. Vernon Johnson Mwaanga, MP, under the title and I quote:

“MPs want Media Regulation – VJ”

“Sir, in this article on page four, Hon. Mwaanga, MP, is quoted as saying the following words:

‘I would like to encourage the media to regulate themselves. If they do not regulate themselves, the mood in Parliament now is that of statute regulation.’

“Sir, this House comprises 158 hon. Members of Parliament. Each one of them is representing a constituency, except for eight. And each one of them understands matters of national importance such as the control and regulation of media. More importantly, each one is coming from a different political persuasion and belongs to a different political party. Therefore, this institution has not appointed any spokesperson. Is the Government, through the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, in order to imply that this House has agreed to come up with statutes when, in fact, there has not been any caucus to which, at least, hon. Members of the Opposition have been invited to come up with a stand on such a matter? Is he in order to go ahead to make such a statement and threaten the press using Parliament as a whip?

“Is he in order to infringe the doctrine of separation of powers and abuse the power of the various political groupings that are represented in this House? I seek your serious ruling on this very serious point of order.”

In my immediate reaction, I stated as follows:

“Hon. Members, since this point of order is constitutional, the Chair will make a ruling at a later date. I, therefore, defer the ruling on this point of order.”


In line with parliamentary practice and procedure and in the interest of natural justice, the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly wrote to the then hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, Hon. V. J. Mwaanga, MP, Chief Whip and to the Editor-in-Chief of The Post Newspaper to confirm the accuracy of the article-in-question. There was no response received from the Editor of The Post Newspaper. However, the then hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services responded as follows:

“I have taken note of the point of order which was raised by Hon. Given Lubinda, hon. Member of Parliament for Kabwata Constituency and wish to respond as follows:”

‘On 26th March, 2007, I was telephoned on my mobile phone, 097-877574, by a Post Newspaper reporter who wanted to talk to me about the Freedom of Information Bill and the action of MISA to the Supreme Court of Zambia judgment on the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (Amendment) Act and the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) Act. After talking to me informally, I told him the following:’

‘From the recent seminar which was organised by MISA and attended by a number of hon. Members of Parliament, I can state that there are many Members of Parliament who believe that they must by law deal with the media ethics. I also believe that the media in Zambia should regulate itself in order to avoid Statutory Regulations. You may wish to know that I have been approached by a number of Members of Parliament who believe that I should not be in a hurry to bring the Freedom of Information Bill before the issue of media ethics and self-regulation have been dealt with.

The MISA Seminar appears to have changed the minds of several Members of Parliament who now understand the importance of media ethics and self-regulation. I have resisted the temptation to introduce Statutory Regulation and that is why I would like to encourage members of the media to regulate themselves because the mood among many Members of Parliament is that if self regulation fails, I, as the Minister responsible for media laws should bring a Bill to Parliament to introduce Statutory Regulation.’

“That was my response and I stand by it. I cannot be held responsible for whatever discussions which have been carried in The Post Newspaper of Tuesday, 27th March, 2007, (MPs want media regulations – VJ).

“Since I took office as hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, I have been complaining about being misquoted even from written texts and many Members of Parliament, Deputy Ministers and Cabinet Ministers, right up to His Excellency the President, have complained to me about this unfortunate trend. I have in this year’s Budget provided funds for specialised training and re-training with a view to up lifting reporting standards in the public media.

“Further, I wish to draw the attention of the House to some press reports surrounding the issue of press freedom following the Media Institution of Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia Workshop for Members of Parliament on the Role of Members of Parliament in Enacting the Freedom of Information Bill in Zambia which was held on Monday, 26th February, 2007 at the Taj Pamodzi Hotel.”

The Post Newspaper edition of Tuesday, 27th February, 2007, on page 7 in an article entitled and I quote:

  “MPs link FOI to media ethics”

reported in part as follows:

“Some Members of Parliament have declared that they will not support the enactment of the Freedom of Information Bill unless a Media Ethics Bill was introduced to regulate the work of the media.”

Also, the Times of Zambia Newspaper of Tuesday, 27th February, 2007, on page 1, published an article entitled, and I quote:

  “Opposition MPs differ over Media Bill”

wherein, it was reported in part as follows:

“Some Opposition Members of Parliament yesterday differed on whether the Freedom of Information Bill (FOI) should be re-introduced to Parliament in the absence of a Statutory Ethics Regulatory Body for Journalists. At a heated conservative meeting, organised by MISA- Zambia, some MPs said they would only support the FOI Bill if the issue of media ethics was addressed.”

Further, in the Zambia Daily Mail Newspaper of Tuesday 27th February, 2007, on page 2 under an article entitled, and I quote:

  “MPs call for mass FOI support”

It was reported in part as follows:

“Members of Parliament have called for a mass movement support for the enactment of the Freedom of Information Bill that has been pending since 2002 but demanded that new Law has to be backed a strong Media Ethics vote.”

The Zambia Daily Mail article referred to above stated in part as follows:

“UPND’s MPs Ackson Sejani, Request Muntanga, Robby Chizhyuka, Regina Musokotwane and Patriotic Front’s Yamfwa Mukanga and Peter Machungwa said a credible media ethics body was necessary if journalists were to have a legitimate claim on the Freedom of Information Law. But PF MP, Given Lubinda and Sakwiba Sikota of the United Liberal Party disagreed with the proposal of conditioning the enactment of the Freedom of Information Bill to media ethics.”

Hon. Members, what I have quoted above are mere general statements which appeared in the print media on the issue of press freedom and media ethics after the third workshop for Members of Parliament that was organised by MISA-Zambia on Monday, 26th February, 2007. It can be noted that even from the general statements in the media, the issue of Members of Parliament calling for media ethics is not denied. The Post Newspaper itself, reported on similar lines.

However, coming to the point of order, I have already indicated that after the point of order was raised by the hon. Member for Kabwata Parliamentary Constituency, Hon. G Lubinda, MP, the Office of the Clerk wrote to the Editor-in-Chief of The Post Newspaper, to confirm the accuracy of the article, which gave rise to the point of order. Unfortunately, hon. Members, there was no response from the Editor of The Post Newspaper.

In the absence, therefore, of a confirmation from the authors of the article-in-question, to confirm whether the former hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services was quoted verbatim, or it was just a generalised statement similar to the ones I have quoted, it is difficult for the Chair to establish any Prima Facie case on this matter and I therefore, dismiss the point of order and accordingly declare the matter closed.



Clause 1 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 2 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Schedule ordered stand part of the Bill.

Title agreed to.



[MADAM SPEAKER in the Chair]

The following Bill was reported to the House as having passed through Committee without amendments:

The Excess Expenditure Appropriation (2004) Bill, 2007

Third Reading on Tuesday, 7th August, 2007.



The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mr Magande): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1253 hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday, 7th August, 2007.