Debates- Friday, 27th July, 2007

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Friday, 27th July, 2007

The House met at 0900 hours






Madam Deputy Speaker: I wish to inform the House that in the absence of His Honour the Vice-President, who is attending to other equally important national duties outside Lusaka, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, Hon. N’gandu P. Magande has been appointed Acting Leader of Government Business in the House today, Friday, 27th July, 2007.


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, 31st July, 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 consider stages of any Bills already presented.

On Wednesday, 1st 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. Thereafter, the House will consider Private Members’ Motions, if there will be any. After that, the House will continue with consideration of the various stages of Bills that would have been presented earlier.

Madam Speaker, on Thursday, 2nd 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. The House will then deal with the outstanding stages of any Bills before it.

On Friday, 3rd 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 any. After that, the House will consider any other business that may not have been concluded on Thursday, 2nd August, 2007.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.




The Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Konga):  Madam Speaker, it is with a sense of great honour and humility that I take this opportunity to brief the nation on the status of the electricity sector through this august House.

As the hon. Members are aware, the Government recently dissolved the Board of Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) limited. This decision was made so that the utility company would get the right guidance and thereby, enable it to provide electricity to the country in a cost-effective and sustainable manner.

Madam Speaker, in re-constituting the board, there are critical issues that need to be considered, and these include the following:

(i) the board members should have a comprehensive understanding of the National Energy Policy on electricity, and should be able to effectively implement it;

(ii) the board should address public concerns on the quality of service, including the issue of delayed electricity connections;

(iii) the board should address all issues identified in the Cost of Service Study which was recently completed; and

(iv) the board should ensure that it provides the necessary leadership that will assist the institution to effectively execute its mandate.

Madam Speaker, there is growing concern that the power supply in the country is not adequate. This may constrain economic development and also lead to increased load-shedding. Kindly, allow me to specifically address the issues of security of power supply in the country.

The most realistic manner of immediately dealing with the current and looming power deficit is that of load management. All of us now have a duty to use power as efficiently as possible by switching on lights and all electricity appliances, only when required, and by using energy efficient technologies, such as energy efficient bulbs.

This practice of efficient use of energy would have to be targeted at major consumers such as the mines, the Government and other areas of commerce and industry as well as households.

Madam Speaker, to this effect, my ministry will immediately engage the mining companies through the Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) since they consume more than half of our electricity produced to discuss measure and options that ministry will adopt to minimise load shedding.

Secondly, my ministry will immediately engage Government institutions together with areas of commerce and industry to discuss measures and options on their part that would include energy-efficiency that will help the process of load management.

Madam Speaker, thirdly, ZESCO needs to immediately meter all its domestic customers for them to see the impact of energy efficiency measures. This must include removal of all domestic customers currently on fixed charged so that they realise the benefits of energy efficiency in their utilisation of electricity.

Madam Speaker, another important exercise in mitigating the threat the security of supply is the rehabilitation and up rating the current power stations. Up rating entails increasing the generating capacity of power out put of the power stations so that it can provide more electricity. As hon. Members are aware, all the three major power stations in the country have been undergoing rehabilitation. The status of each power station is as follows:

Victoria Falls Power Station

The Victoria Falls Power Station has an installed capacity of 180 mega watts and the rehabilitation works have been completed. The reliability of the machinery at the power station has improved and the life span has been extended. However, due to the need to share the available water with the tourism sector at the Victoria Fall Power Station, the station cannot generate at full capacity in the dry period of the year. The current generation is 94 mega watts. Because of exceptionally good rains in the last rain season, it is anticipated that the generation profile of 94 mega watts will be maintained until late August. It will then, drop to 70 mega watts in September and further, down to 40 mega watts in December, 2007.

The need to share the water with the tourism industry has been recognised. ZESCO Limited, Sun International Zambia, National Heritage Conservation Commission and the Livingstone Tourism Association have been engaged in discussions regarding the sharing of water at Victoria Falls between tourism and hydro-electric generation especially during the dry season. An operating regime has since been agreed where ZESCO will reduce generation by 40 per cent of possible generation whenever river levels fall below 400 cubic meters per second.

Kariba North Bank Power Station

The Kariba North Bank Power Station has four generating units that were commissioned in 1976/77 and had an original capacity of 150 mega watts each. Under the current power rehabilitation project, two units have been refurbished up rated from the original out put of 150 mega watts to 180 mega watts each. The third unity is currently undergoing refurbishment and up rating and will be followed by the fourth units immediately thereafter.

The station is currently running only three of the four units. The three units include two of the already refurbished ones and the one that has not yet been refurbished. The maximum out put from the three units in service is 510 mega watts that is 180 mega watts each from the two units that have been rehabilitated and up rated and 150 mega watts from the old one.

The rehabilitation and up rating of the third and fourth units are each scheduled for thirteen months. Works on the third unit commenced on 2nd March, 2007 and is expected to be completed by 30th April, 2008. Unit four will immediately after and it is anticipated that works on this machines would be completed by 31st May, 2009.

Madam Speaker, it is therefore, means that full generation at Kariba North Bank Power Station is only possible after the fourth unit is rehabilitated and up rated towards the end of the first half of 2009. The total capacity then will be 320 mw.

Kafue Gorge Power Station

Madam Speaker, the Kafue Gorge Power Station has a total of six machines with an original output of 150 mega watts each which when summed up comes to 900 mega watts. Each of these machines will be up rated by 15 mega watts and will come to a sum total of 990 mega watts thereby providing additional power of 90 mega watts.

Rehabilitation and up rating works has still going on and four machines out of the total six are running. Currently, the station is producing 630 mega watts out of the installed 900 mega watts due to rehabilitation and up rating that have taken place. Unit three and four have been rehabilitated and up rated while unit one and two are currently undergoing rehabilitation and up rating. These will be followed by up rating of up rating of unit five and six. All rehabilitation and up rating works will end by March, 2009.

Madam Speaker, it should noted that because of physical arrangements of the power station equipment, two machines have to be taken out for rehabilitation at a time.

Madam Speaker, ZESCO has commenced refurbishing and upgrading the small hydro stations in the country, that is, the one at the Chishimba Falls with 6 mega watts, Lusiwasi 12 mega watts, Musonda 5 mega watts, Lunzuwa 0.7 mega watts, in order to improve their output and liability. The current combined designed capacity of these falls is about 24 mega watts, but all of them are operating below their capacities. For example, Lusiwasi which has a design capacity of 12 mega watts is only operating at 4 mega watts.

Studies have been carried out to determine the refurbishment and upgrading requirements. A two-phased approach has been adopted. Phase one, which entails restoring the stations to their original design has commenced. This will be followed by the second phase where up-rating and increasing the number of units will be undertaken.

Additionally, the Government will spearhead the development of other mini-hydro power stations, particularly the following:

(i) West Lunga Mini-Hydro Power Project from which 3.5 mega watts can be produced. The estimated total cost is US $7.5 million;

(ii) the Chikata Falls Small Hydro Project, from which 8 mega watts can be produced. The estimated total cost is US $9 million; and

(iii) the Chavuma Falls Mini-Hydro Project from which 1.5 mega watts at a cost of US $2 million.

Madam Speaker, the costs of each site vary depending on the supporting infrastructure that will be put in place to increase the capacity.

West Lunga Station will supply Mega wattsinilunga District; Chikata Falls Station will supply Kabompo and Mufumbwe while Chavuma Falls Station will supply Chavuma and Zambezi Districts. It is planned that work on these stations will commence in 2008. In this way, all the towns in the North-Western Province will be supplied by hydro power and will do away with expensive diesel generation and improve supply and reliability.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Konga: On the 13th of July, 2007, a mini hydro power station was commissioned in Mwinilunga District. The station has an initial capacity 750 kilowatts with a potential capacity of 1.5 mega watts. The power station will initially supply power to Kalene Mission Hospital and the surrounding schools and communities. In the same way, other mini-hydro stations will be developed. For example, work on a 1 mega watts plant at Shiwang’andu will commence. This station will be commissioned in 2008.

Another measure to mitigate the anticipated power deficit is through interconnectivity with the region where the interconnection with Namibia has been completed. Further, the East Africa one is in the process of implementation.

The long-term measures that will give this country stable electricity supply include the development of new power stations. The new generation projects include:

(a) the Kafue Gorge Lower (750 mega watts) output;

(b) Itezhi-Tezhi (120 mega watts);

(c) Kariba North Extension (360 mega watts); and

(d) Kalungwishi (210 mega watts)

Allow me, through this august House, to announce that the works at Kalungwishi have actually been awarded to Lunzuwa Hydro Project Development Company.

Madam Speaker, the other issue of concern to the nation is the management of power outages and load shedding.

The load shedding that the country is currently experiencing is a result, as I have said, of the ongoing Power Rehabilitation Programme on our major power stations. Machines with an equivalent production of a total of 450 mega watts have been taken out for rehabilitation. This has left a huge deficit in the supply of power leading to load shedding.

To mitigate the load shedding, imports from the region are procured, though they are usually not available in quantities to meet the shortfall as the whole Southern African Region is experiencing power deficits. This includes big power suppliers such as South Africa.

In view of this, the Government has requested ZESCO to continuously dialogue with its customers to inform and request them to use electricity efficiently. Further, ZESCO should as much as possible rotate the areas that are load shedded in order to minimise the inconvenience to particular customers.

However, there will still be situations when this cannot be done due to unforeseen circumstances such as non-availability of imports or demand on that day being unusually high, then additional load shedding has to be carried out to safeguard the power system from total collapse.

Due to these factors, prior announcement regarding areas to be load shed may not serve much purpose apart from frustrating the good intentions of information. There are some areas that are usually not affected by load shedding. These are mainly areas that have security, medical or other sensitive installations. As much as possible ZESCO has been directed to be fair to all its customers in its load shedding programmes.

It is worth noting that on 8th April, 2007 when an inspection was carried out at the Kariba North Bank Power Station and with appeals to customers, load shedding was very minimal. This goes to show that customers have a big role to play in minimising the impact of load shedding through their consumption patterns.

Therefore, through this august House, I wish to, again, appeal to all customers to co-operate and assist ZESCO by switching off all appliances that are not required during the peak demand period which occurs from 1800 hours to 2000 hours daily. I also wish to encourage the nation to start using energy efficient appliances (such as energy saving bulbs) so that load shedding can be minimised.

Madam Speaker, as the House may be aware, the Government, in 2003, decided to commercialise ZESCO instead of privatising it. As a commercialised company, ZESCO needs to have cost reflective tariffs to sustain its operations. In this regard, the Government, through the Energy Regulation Board, engaged an international consultant to undertake a cost of service study for the electricity sector in 2005. The study, among others, revealed that the current tariffs that ZESCO is charging are too low to sustain the commercial viability of ZESCO.


Mr Konga: Therefore, there will be a need to increase the tariffs upwards. This will help ZESCO to access financing for its investment portfolio and attract private sector investment into the electricity sector. You may also be aware that, despite the Government’s liberalisation of the electricity sector in 1995, no private sector has invested in new generation, transmission or indeed distribution of infrastructure, particularly due to the prevailing low tariffs.

Madam Speaker, due to the issue of tariffs, the Government policy of an open electricity market has not been actualised because these low tariffs do not meet the private sector objectives of return on investment. ZESCO has already opened negotiations with the Copperbelt Energy Corporation Plc. which supplies power to the mines. With these negotiations that are on going, ZESCO will soon submit proposals for review of tariffs for all other electricity consumers.

Madam Speaker, I also wish to inform the nation that the Government has set targets for national electrification as follows:

Fifty per cent in rural areas by 2030. This means that by 2030, at least, 50 per cent of the total population in rural areas should have had access to electricity. 90 per cent of urban areas by 2030; this also means that by the year 2030, at least, 90 per cent of the total population in urban areas should have access to electricity.

Madam Speaker, in the rural areas, this target will be achieved by implementing the Rural Electrification Master Plan. The master plan has identified 1,216 rural gross centres throughout the country. These will be the initial focus for electrification. Preparation of the master plan will be concluded in December, 2007. Hon. Members are also reminded that the components of the Rural Electrification Master Plan for their constituencies were distributed for them to comment on. Those who have not done so should contact my ministry through the Department of Energy for new copies.

Madam Speaker, a similar plan will also be prepared for the urban areas. Further, my Ministry will, in 2008, commence preparations for a national power systems master plan to cover the period 2009 to 2030. These measures will ensure that electricity is available to power our economy, not only now, but in the long run.

As I stated in this House on 19th July, 2007, my ministry is working on an energy strategy covering a twenty two-year period from 2008 to 2030. This strategy will define the path which the energy sector will take to ensure it provides the energy that will continue to turn the wheels of the Zambian economy.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the ministerial statement.

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Madam Speaker, this Government is causing the nation serious problems regarding the energy sector. You have dissolved the ZESCO Board, but have not been able to come here to explain the inadequacies of that board and you are now planning to set up another board. You have not told us the criteria for putting people to that board. You have just given us a series of statements.

Madam Speaker, I would like to know the reasons for dissolving the board and what criteria he will use to appoint new members to move the energy sector forward.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, the hon. Member for Mbabala probably did not hear my introductory statement on what we expect from the reconstituted board to do on behalf of the Government and the Zambian public at large.

Madam Speaker, for the sake of those hon. Members who did not hear, I will reiterate the measures. The board members will need to have a comprehensive understanding of the national energy policy on electricity and be able to effectively implement that policy. The board members should be able to address the public concerns on quality of service, including the issue of delayed electricity connections, among others.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Madam Speaker, in a competitive market, when there are problems such as the ones the hon. Minister alluded to, the first solution is to increase efficiency. In a non-competitive environment such as this one, the first solution is to increase prices and tariffs. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister why his ministry allowed ZESCO to invest US$10 million in telecommunication optic fibre at the expense of increasing investment in their core business, power generation and distribution so as to increase efficiency and not inconvenience the Zambian people by coming up with ideas of increasing tariffs every three months.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, I would like to state that ZESCO is a technical company. I think hon. Members at some stage will need to take a tour of the utility to understand its operations.

One of the functions that ZESCO performs is to telesignal communication because some of the functions are computer controlled. The functions that take place at the power stations at various switching stations are computer controlled. For computers to operate, they need communication. For this purpose, ZESCO and all other utilities world-wide have their own communication systems.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Konga: So, for that purpose, ZESCO invested in communication to send signals, and that improves efficiency, as a matter of fact.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Konga: When switching has taken place at Kafue Gorge and signals have to be sent to Lusaka or, maybe, Pensulo or on the Copperbelt, the most efficient way of doing this is through communication through fibre optics.

ZESCO and other utilities worldwide do not rely on the local telephone operator, no. They have their own communication systems. This I can confirm to you hon. Members.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Konga: For that purpose, ZESCO had to invest in its own fibre optic system that will help improve the efficiency of operations of the utility company.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr I. Banda (Lumezi): Madam Speaker, could the hon. Minster give this House reasons for the delay in finishing the project to import power from Malawi to Chama District. The project was started and then abandoned. The Malawian side have already completed their side of the project now, but why has our ministry not finished the project?

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, I think the hon. Member is not up date with what is happening. Actually, the line to Chama is under construction. I am aware and we are aware as a Government that our colleagues from Malawi have already constructed the line to the border and the Zambian Government, through its agency ZESCO, is also constructing the line to the border so that the two can be interconnected and the process improves the quality of supply to Chama District.

So, it is not true at all that this project has been abandoned. There have just been a few technicalities that needed to be addressed. In this country, we privatised some of the parastatal companies such as ZAFFICO. Although ZESCO requires a monthly consumption of about 5,000 poles a month to construct lines, it is getting very few poles and this is affecting the operations of line construction which could have just delayed the programme of connecting Chama to the Malawian Grid. The Government is taking all measures possible to quickly expedite this programme.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Deputy Speaker: May I remind the hon. Members that if you have to consult, do so quietly because the Chair would like to get everything that is being debated here.

Mr Misapa (Mporokoso): Madam Speaker, while we do appreciate that we really have a problem of power, I would like to ask the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development why the Government cannot consider putting up small-hydro stations in certain areas so that the big stations can be left for industrial use while the small ones can be for domestic consumption? Therefore, I am asking the hon. Minister to explain why they have not started working on the proposed sites at Lumangwe and Kawelume falls in Mporokoso.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, I think the hon. Member did not hear what I said about the efforts the Government is making to secure supplies in the nation. Other than the big hydro power stations that already exist, the big hydro stations that have potential for development such as, Kafue Gorge Lower, Itezhi-Tezhi, Kariba North Extension, I did allude to Government’s intentions to develop mini-hydro stations that are scattered throughout the country. I mentioned among others, the upgrading and rehabilitation of Lunzuwa, Musonda Falls, Chishimba Falls, the development of other mini-hydro power stations at Chikata and Chavuma falls. I might have omitted Lumangwe and Kawelume, but it is the Government’s intention to develop all these small hydro-power stations to provide energy in these isolated areas without the services of the national grid.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mtonga (Kanyama): Madam Speaker, I ensured the hon. Minister that here is a question of Government credibility. You were last time sitting next to us here and you were asked a similar question on the confusion that reigned in the realm of cement supply. You stood on those grounds and defended the situation, saying it is a matter of kilns being finished, this cement will be available. Shortly after that, Parliament adjourned and we were told a different story that in fact, there was a shortage of cement.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Can you ask a question …

Mr Mtonga: That is my background …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! I am giving guidance and the hon. Member may simply listen and get what I am trying to guide. The point of clarification will only be on the Ministerial Statement that the hon. Minister has given.

You may continue.

Mr Mtonga: Thank you, Madam Speaker, I still want to say that my feelings are very strong when the Government does not tell the truth. So, I do not think the Chair will muzzle me on this point. Why is …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Hon. Member for Kantanshi.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out what the total cost of rehabilitation is and whether it is prudent for ZESCO management to continue to be in employment when they have plunged the country and the Government in this situation which would have been avoided with efficient management and engineering.

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, I appreciate the fact that the hon. Member has made clear the operations problems on management of ZESCO, but if he listened carefully to my statement, the issues that have plunged this country into having an energy deficiency do not necessarily lie with the management of ZESCO. We have taken out almost a third of the energy out of the system to prepare this country for development. We are upgrading and refurbishing the equipment. This is a temporary measure; it is not a permanent situation. When all the machines have been put back in service, energy load shedding will not be there.

So, it is not necessarily a problem of management. Management have, actually, been proactive because they would have sat down and let the whole system collapse. Then, I would have said fire them, yes, but now they have been proactive by taking measures to mitigate the collapse of the system.

The other issue that I have spoken about is investment in the sector, Madam Speaker. Like any other business, if we do not invest in this sector, we will not expect to get a good return.

How do you invest in the sector if what is obtaining as tariffs is below cost? These tariffs are not even able to replace a transformer. Therefore, the Government, through the Energy Regulation Board, has requested for a study to be undertaken to evaluate the tariffs that obtain in this country. They did not prove cost effective. The Government wants tariffs to be charged so that the utility can reinvest in the company and sustain its operations. That way, we are going to improve its efficiency. It is not necessarily the fault of management.

I thank you, Madam.

Ms Mumbi (Munali): Madam Chairperson, looking at the scenario which has just happened in our country. Our civil servants have just received their 16 per cent salary increment. Is ZESCO being used by this Government to get the little 16 per cent from our poorly paid civil servants in form of paying tariffs?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, I have just, maybe, I do not know …


Mr Konga: I have just answered that question. I said that we needed to make ZESCO financially efficient as well. Not only operational efficient, but financially efficient like any other business. If you produce tomatoes at K5,000 and you sell them at K2,000, you are going to incur a loss. The next season, you will fail to produce tomatoes. I think it is very simple economics.

That is why we are saying that the cost of producing energy is less than what is currently being charged. We need to come to a level where the utility can charge a rate that will make it financially and operational efficient so that it can reinvest into the operations of the company.

Now, the fact that civil servants have been awarded 16 per cent does not mean that the Government is using ZESCO to get back this money. However, if ZESCO collapses, even the civil servants will not have lights in the houses. Therefore, the 16 per cent will be useless.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Matongo (Pemba): Madam Speaker, industries in Zambia have been siphoned in the sense that the cost of production in this country is very high because of interest rates from banks and indeed, ZESCO How does the hon. Minister reconcile the ambitious Fifth National Development Plan which will require a lot of investment, vis a vis increasing the cost of electricity? What is the cost of electricity in terms of generation in the region? We want a straight and professional answer.

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, we have just come back from ZBAC in Livingstone where we had meetings on Monday and Tuesday. Independent consultancy submitted at that meeting that in order to put up a generating cost, generation is cost between 6c and 8c per kilowatt hour. ZESCO is charging 2.9c per kilowatt hour. This is just a third of what is obtaining in the region. Now, I hope hon. Members understand what I am talking about. ZESCO is actually subsidising 66 per cent of what consumers should pay at generation. Forget about the time when you had the transmission or distribution costs.

Madam Speaker, we need to appreciate that it is in our interest as a nation that ZESCO charges cost reflective tariffs. This is because if we do not do that, the electricity sub-sector is going to collapse and this country will be forced because members will have nowhere to run to, but stay in this country. For them to be productive, this country will be forced to import much higher energy or electricity than what ZESCO would have charged.

Not without sounding like a dooms day prophet, I would like to urge hon. Members that we need, as a nation, and a matter of priority, to realise that it is in our interest as a country that we charge cost reflective tariffs. If we do not, this country will be plunged into darkness.

ZESCO has been subsidising all along. This is why we are having these effects of load shading now. Had we been reinvesting the utility by charging cost reflective tariffs, we would have attracted ZESCO to private Zambian investment in generation. However, as it stands now, no one is interested in putting up a 60 kilowatt generation equipment in generation if they are going to charge 3c because it is not make economic sense. Everybody is waiting on the fringes.

Madam Speaker, for our industry and the new investment which we are talking about in mining and agriculture to develop, we need to have the energy to drive this economy in order for us to attain that growth.

I would like to urge hon. Members to please explain why we should contemplate increasing tariffs because it is in our interest as a country.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr V Mwale (Chipangali): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has been appealing to this House repeatedly to submit growth points where the Rural Electrification Programme should be extended. Is he aware that the Rural Electrification Agency is no longer getting any submissions? They have closed down because JICA told them to.

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, the ministry is definitely not aware. That is why I urge hon. Members that those who have submissions to make, as I clearly stated in the Statement, should go to the Department of Energy to make their submissions. The submissions will end in December, 2007. I reiterated that in the Ministerial Statement.

Thank you, Madam.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Madam Speaker, from what the hon. Minister has told this House, power outages, load shading and attendance suffering being inflicted on businesses and the Zambian people will continue until the year 2009.

Now, in a country where there is no war and where there is no calamity like burning down of Kafue Gorge like what happened in 1988 and 1989, where we have been operating normally, can he justify the continuing of his management in office when they have failed to bring in measures that can sustain the industry? Instead, he is coming to tell us now, in the middle of load shading, that there will be tariff increases.

He has fired the Board at both ZESCO and Energy Regulation Board, and yet the management remains intact. Can he justify why they should continue when they are inflicting this damage on the Zambian people because they have failed to plan and make sure that we do not experience this. It is going to get worse because more industries and mines are coming up. Why should he retain them when they cannot perform, instead, he fires the Board?

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, I am very grateful for that question raised by the hon. Member. I stated in one of the responses that, of course, there are issues of governance. If the hon. Member is aware, governance of the institutions is by the board …


Hon. Opposition Members: Explain.

Mr Konga: Corporate governance which this country subscribes to.

I stated earlier that due to the good foresight of management, they undertook measures to rehabilitate infrastructure in the electricity sector. If it was poor management, these measures probably would not have been undertaken. Management is making efforts to supplement the generation that is obtained from within the country by importing power from within the region despite the region itself suffering the shortage of power. We do not necessarily have to put the blame on management because of load shedding. Management has taken out a third of the power in the anticipation of the growth of this economy. We need to plan, rehabilitate and upgrade the existing infrastructure because management is anticipating economic growth. Issues of governance will be addressed once the boards are in place, but needless to say that efforts have been made by the current management to ensure that energy is available in the short-term from the current generation within the country and from within imports.

I thank you, Madam.




640. Mr Matongo (Pemba) asked the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development whether following the closure of the arbitration proceedings with the Zambia Copper Investments, it was prudent to allow the increase of the Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) Plc shareholding by a further 28.4 per cent as a result of the said arbitration.

The Deputy Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr M. Mwale): Madam Speaker, the House may wish to know that the Anglo-American Corporation was the majority shareholder of Zambia Copper Investments (ZCI) Ltd, with a 58 per cent shares in Konkola Copper Mines. The Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines-Investments Holding (ZCCM-IH) had 42 per cent shares in Konkola Copper Mines.

When Vedanta Resources, Plc, came in as a strategic partner in KCM in 2004, ZCI reduced its shares from 58 per cent to 28.4 per cent and ZCCM-IH reduced its shares from 42 per cent to 20.6 per cent. In this way, Vedanta purchased 51 per cent shares in KCM and became the majority shareholder.

Madam Speaker, at that time, among the agreements that were signed was an understanding that should ZCI want to sell its shares to KCM, Vedanta should be given the option to buy the shares. Given that the Call Option Deed that was signed is legally binding, Vedanta is at liberty to exercise the option of first refusal. However, the sale of the shares provides an opportunity to support the Citizens Economic Empowerment Act and we hope that Vedanta would be in a position to give this support.

Madam Speaker, in line with the Citizens Economic Empowerment Act, the Government would like the 28.4 per cent shares currently held by Zambia Copper Investments Limited to be sold to Zambian citizens. I would, therefore, wish to appeal to Vedanta Resources Plc to consider not to go ahead to exercise their option of first refusal.

I should, however, state that for the take over of the shares of ZCI by Vedanta to occur, Vedanta is required by law to notify the Zambia Competition Commission which has the mandate to assess such transactions and decide whether to authorise or reject the transaction.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Matongo: Madam Speaker, this is extremely impressive. Congratulations! I wish your other Deputy Minister was as good as that one.


Mr Matongo: Having stated that …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Matongo: I withdraw, Madam.

Madam Deputy Speaker: The statement is withdrawn.

Mr Matongo: Madam Speaker, given the choice between putting pressure on Vedanta selling these shares to Zambians which is in the agreement and developing Konkola Deep Mining Project, what would be the priority of the hon. Minister in weighing the two options?

The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Dr Mwansa): Madam Speaker, before I respond to the supplementary question, I want to commend Hon. Matongo for asking this question because of the tremendous public interest. It must be given the chance to be commented on.

The relationship between the two, as indicated by my hon. Deputy Minister, and the development of KCM are totally different undertakings. We are very pleased with the development of Konkola Copper Mines, particularly, Konkola Deep and the Smelter Project all undertaken by KCM. However, fair shareholding by Vedanta and KCM is what concerns us more now and the way to proceed is by persuading Vedanta not to go ahead with the option. We appeal to them to ensure that they proceed in accordance with the Citizens Economic Empowerment Act and in accordance with their corporate social responsibility to empower Zambian nationals and the companies based in the country. We also hope that the Zambia Competition Commission will look at this matter in the broadest perspective and within the confines of the Citizens Economic Empowerment Act. All is not lost. We hope that part of the substantial shareholding part of it should go to the Zambian people and companies.

I thank you, Madam.


641. Mr D. Mwila (Chipili) asked the Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development how much money the Government released to the Football Association of Zambia for the Africa Cup of Nations which was held in Egypt in 2006.

The Deputy Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development (Ms Cifire): Madam Speaker, the Government, through my ministry, released K3 billion to the Football Association of Zambia for the Africa Cup of Nations that was held in Egypt in 2006 broken down as follows:

(i) K1,514,049,353 was spent on allowances for the players, technical bench and other officials;

(ii) K427,755,147 was spent on air travel; and

(iii) K247 million was spent on local and foreign camping in France en-route to Egypt.

The K3 billion released for the team was meant to carter for the entire period of the tournament in Egypt, but since the team was eliminated in the preliminary stages of the tournament and returned home much earlier than planned, the balance of funds amounting to K810,975,825 or US$240,645 was retired to the ministry and was spent on other programmes.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr D. Mwila: Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister when the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) will be financially independent so that they will be able to fund their own programmes.

The Minister of Sport, Youth and Child development (Mr Namulambe): Madam Speaker, for now, FAZ is independent but because of the Zambia national football team which was involved, the Government is obliged to make some expenditure. Otherwise, for its daily operations, FAZ is independent and we only give them grants.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Mwenya (Nkana): Madam Speaker, why is football the only sport in this country that receives the largest chunk of allocation of finances at the expense of other sporting disciplines like boxing?

Mr Namulambe: Madam Speaker, I think Zambia is not the only country that spends money on football and it is a well known fact that this is the number one sport in the country, which everyone is interested in. However, the Government even spends money on other sports disciplines. Boxing, that he has referred to, is a professional sport and in most cases, companies have come on board to help and in this regard, I would like to request to the hon. Members here, that those who are businessmen should also come on board and help to contribute and finance football.

I thank you, Madam.


642. Mr Mbewe (Chadiza) asked the Minister of Energy and Water development when Chanida Border Post, in Chadiza District, would be electrified.

The Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Malwa): Madam Speaker, the specific order in which particular places will be electrified will become clear when the Rural Electrification Master Plan is finalised and projects are prioritised throughout Zambia. At this stage, the ministry is not able to advise as to when Chanida Border Post will be electrified.

According to the records in our office, amongst the Rural Growth Centres that were identified by the Eastern Province planning officers, at the provincial rural electrification workshop held in Chipata on 22nd November, 2006 include Chanida Border Post. So, hon. Mbewe, the plans are currently underway as resolved at the mentioned workshop.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Mbewe: Madam Speaker, I would like to find out whether the hon. Minister is aware that this border post makes billions of Kwacha per year and yet the money is not ploughed back to the officers so that they are encouraged to collect more revenue.

The Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Konga): Madam Speaker, the hon. Member must be aware that monies collected on behalf of the Government go into the Central Treasury and then the money is disbursed according to the needs as assessed by the Government. Therefore, it is not a deliberate effort that the Chanida Border Post police officers are not provided with incentives like having power supplied to them. The response that the hon. Deputy Minister has given is that there was a stakeholders’ meeting held in Chipata in 2006 and one of the areas that was included in the Rural Electrification Master Plan is Chanida Border Post. So, it has not been forsaken at all.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Ngoma (Sinda): Madam Speaker, following the response from the hon. Minister, why is it that the Government cannot prioritise this area due to the fact that there is a lot of money being raised and I do believe that with electrification of this border post, more money will be raised leading to the Government becoming more resourceful?

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, all areas in the country are a priority for the Government. The only constraint is that sometimes the resource basket is not adequate to cover all areas at one time. However, the Government, as I mentioned, has taken Chanida as one of the areas that is going to be included in the Rural Electrification Master Plan. So it is just a matter of time, this area is going to be electrified and our people in Chanida will have the benefits of rural electrification.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Ntundu (Gwembe): Madam Speaker, Chanida Border Post is of great importance as indicated by the hon. Member for Chadiza in his supplementary question. So, I would like to find from that hon. Minister, that one sitted there (pointing at Hon. Konga)…


Mr Ntundu: …when the Government will provide Chanida Border Post even with solar energy or a diesel generator.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Konga: Madam Speaker, for the sake of repetition, Chanida Border Post has been included in the Rural Electrification Master Plan. After the studying of the plan, the Government will know what kind of electricity to provide to Chanida, whether it will be solar energy or if it would be prudent to connect it to the national grid or to put a generator set. I will just ask the hon. Member to be patient so that this study is concluded. Otherwise, we shall just do something in abstract.

I thank you, Madam.


643. Mr Nyirenda (Kamfinsa) asked the Minister of Lands when the Government would demarcate land and issue title deeds in the degazetted areas of Kamfinsa and Mwekera as alluded to by the Government during the election campaigns in 2006.

The Minister of Lands (Mr Machila): Madam Speaker, I wish to notify that the degazetting processes of the parts of the Misaka (Kamfinsa) and Mwekera forest areas has been commenced by the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources who have sent a draft Statutory Instrument to the Ministry of Justice.

The portions of the two national forests are not yet degazetted. However, upon being degazetted, they will be planned and demarcated into plots by the planning authority, following which, the plots shall be numbered. Thereafter, the council in whose jurisdiction they are will recommend this issue of allocation of plots to my ministry, which will, then, proceed to offer the plots and issue the title deeds.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Nyirenda: Madam Speaker, could the hon. Minister tell this House when the demarcation of the land will start.

Mr Machila: Madam Speaker, I mentioned earlier that the process of degazetting does not fall under the ambit of the Ministry of Lands, but the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources. The process is under way and the degazetting process is in progress. The Statutory Instrument has been drafted by the Ministry of Justice and the formalities have to be concluded before we can proceed further.

I thank you, Madam

Mr Kasongo (Bangweulu): Madam Speaker, when will the process of issuing title deeds be decentralised in order to accelerate the process of issuing title deeds?

Mr Machila: Madam Speaker, the process of the decentralisation of the issuance of the title deeds is currently underway. At present, we have a regional office in Ndola, on the Copperbelt, which is facilitating the issuance of title deeds for that region, in particular, and as and when we are able to, we shall further broaden the issuance of the title deeds.

I thank you, Madam.


644. Mr Chanda (Kankoyo) asked the Minister of Health:

(a) what the ratios of doctor to patient and nurse to patient were in both urban and rural hospitals; and

(b) how many hospitals and rural health centres were currently equipped with CD4 Count machines.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Dr Puma): Madam Speaker, the hon. Members may wish to know that we have reported, on the Floor of this House before, that the Ministry of Health is operating at about 50 per cent capacity. For instance, the population of Lusaka is around 1,760,000 people against a total number of 2,232 nurses, translating it into a ratio of 788:1.

In a rural set up, the population of 7,480,000 inhabitants is currently attended to by 4,929 nurses, which translates into a ratio of 1518:1.

On the other hand, the doctor population in Lusaka with 1,760,000 people against 255 doctors is 6,902 to 1 while in the rural set up a population of 7,480,000 against 228 doctors translates into a ratio of 32,807:1.

It is clear from the above scenario that the patient to doctor and patient to nurse ratios are not conducive at the moment. That is the more reason the Ministry of Health has embarked on the recruitment exercise.

Madam Speaker, there are fourteen urban hospitals and eight urban health centres equipped with CD4 Count machines.

In the rural parts of Zambia, there are thirty-two health facilities equipped with CD4 Count machines and these are in facilities that have both personnel and related laboratory equipment.

I thank you, Madam

Mr Chanda: Madam Speaker, talking about CD4 Count machines is talking about HIV/AIDS and this borders on life and death. When is this Government going to be serious enough and introduce mobile AIDS clinics in far-flung places parts of Zambia?

The Minister of Health (Dr Chituwo): Madam Speaker, I would like to assure the hon. Member for Kankoyo that this Government is very serious about tackling the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

With regard to CD4 Count machines, it is acknowledged that in order to provide the services in this area, you need not only machines, but also trained personnel. With our co-operating partners, mobile Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) facilities have been mobilised. It is true that VCT, being the entry point to treatment, can be enhanced. Therefore, it is an appeal to our people to take this opportunity to avail to these mobile facilities so that they can find out whether they are eligible for treatment or not.

I thank you, Madam

Ms Kapata (Mandevu): Madam Speaker, when is the Government going to enact and ensure the enforcement of registration to assure respect for human rights and dignity of the people living with HIV/AIDS?

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, that question is not clear because there is already a provision for the respect of human rights in our Constitution which encompasses those she has referred to. Perhaps she may be invited to participate in the conference on the Constitution to contribute on that specific issue. This is what we agreed upon by consensus.

Mr Mwansa (Chifunabuli): Madam Speaker, looking at the doctor to patient ratio, which the hon. Minister has intimated to this House, the challenge of providing health services to our people is obviously enormous. When is the hon. Minister, therefore, thinking of transforming one of the central hospitals into another learning institution for doctors so that we can accelerate the provision of doctors to our health institutions?

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, true enough, as we have stated, the doctor to patient ratio needs to be improved, but with regard to the training, the Central Hospitals are engaged in the training of our doctors by providing tuition at the internship level. The training of medical doctors is an expensive venture, which currently at the School of Medicine, we have to improve not only in terms of the available teaching personnel, but also the lecture rooms and accommodation facilities. We, indeed, have plans that it will be beneficial to decentralise the training of medical doctors.

Madam Speaker, let me take this opportunity to state that with regard to the overall provision of health care, the doctor certainly is a team leader of any health team. However, we have a unique arrangement in this country where we have a cadre of clinical officers, some of whom have been trained at medical licentiate level to take care of surgical and obstetric emergencies.

This is all in an effort to bring health care as close to the family as possible.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Habeenzu (Chikankata): Madam Speaker, talking about the recruitment exercise, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Health when this exercise started?

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, in a related question within this week, we informed the august House that, in fact, we had started the process of recruitment. We stated in this House that Treasury authority had been given to recruit 5,263 health workers. Since the recruitment process has started, the hon. Member of Parliament for Chikankata is likely to see some of the personnel posted to his constituency, particularly Chikankata Mission Hospital.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

645. Mr Nyirenda (Kamfinsa) asked the Minister of Finance and National Planning:

(a) how much revenue the Government realised from the following taxes from January, 2003 to December, 2005, year by year:

(i) PAYE;
(iii) Withholding tax;
(iv) Presumptive tax;
(v) Company tax;
(vi) VAT; and
(vii) Customs and Excise Duty;

(b) how much revenue the Government received from non-tax measures in the same period above; and

(c) how much money the Government spent as recurrent and capital expenditures in the same period above.

The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mr Magande): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the Government realised the following revenues:

Tax Type                                    2003                       2004                             2005
                                                   (K’bn)                      (K’bn)                           (K’bn)
Pay As you Earn                     1,130.30                 1,484.50                         1,729.10
Withholding Tax                          193.50                   215.51                          246.91 
Presumptive Tax                          -                               0.99                          1.38
Company Tax                             289.30                   332.10                          447.60
Value Added Tax                    1,019.30                1,361.40                          1,423.61
Customs and Exercise
Duty                                            908.90               1,155.22                          1,423.61

Total                                        3,541.30                4,549.72                          5,481.68

With regard to how much revenue the Government received from non-tax measures in the same period above, the following is the response:

Tax Type                                               2003                          2004                         2005
                                                              (K’bn)                         (K’bn)                       (K’bn)

Non- Tax Revenue                              107.12                        108.74                       83.60

The answer to how much money the Government spent as recurrent and capital expenditures in the same period above is as follows:

Expenditure Sub-Head                                                2003                                          2004                2005
                                                                                    (K’bn)                                        (K’bn)               (K’bn)

Recurrent Departmental Charges                             707.90                                       983.30               1,585.80
Capital Expenditure                                                   928.10                                       702.80                 822.50

Total                                                                       1,636.00                                     1,686.10              2,408.30

Madam Speaker, these figures are in the various documents of the Government which are produced every year. I would have preferred this question to have been a written one because I have already spent ten minutes of this House’s time when this could have been easily found in those documents.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Nyirenda: Madam Speaker, from the answers he has given, can the Minister of Finance and National Planning tell this House why we have excess in salaries if at all we know the figures we get annually. The examples come up from the revenues which go up 10 per cent each year, yet in the excess we have more than necessary. Why is there an excess on emoluments? Can you explain that to the House?

Mr Magande: Madam Speaker, I am not quite sure what is in excess of what?

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! No conversation, you cannot dialogue here.


Mr Kasongo (Bangweulu): Madam Speaker, there are a number of factors that have worked against the process of collecting a lot of revenue. Some of these activities are namely; congestion at our border areas and shortage of accounting documents. What measures is the hon. Minister putting in place to ensure that these managerial problems are addressed in order for the Government to continue to generate more revenue from some of these activities?

Mr Magande: Madam Speaker, in the 2007 Budget Speech, we did indicate that we intend to improve the facilities at the borders so that the queuing up can be reduced. I indicated to this House that we intend to buy scanning machines or in common language ‘x-rays’ so that it will be easier to determine what kind of merchandise is being carried to enable our officers not have to actually physically go into these trucks. That is one of the measures.

Madam Speaker, at Chirundu Border Post, we intend to complete the construction of the facilities thereto facilitate transport of both cargo as well as persons. Once we finish there, we have a programme of gradually improving the facilities at Nakonde, Kasumbalesa and Kazungula Border Posts, which has major points for our external trades. It is obvious that internally, we also need to improve. There are a lot businessmen who are not paying the taxes. Without collecting these taxes, we will not be able to provide these businessmen with the security they want. We need money to employ more policemen. Therefore, we are working out measures to improve the operations of the Zambia Revenue Authority.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


646. Dr Chishimba (Kasama Central) asked the Minister for Justice how many lawyers were currently operating in the Attorney-General’s Chambers compared to the required total number.

The Minister of Justice (Mr Kunda): Madam Speaker, the Attorney-General’s Chambers has various departments and these are as follows:

Civil Mitigation Debt Collection and Prerogative of Mercy Department.

State Advocates
Position Filled       19 
Vacant Positions   2

Learner Legal Practitioners  

Positions Filled (all)     8

Total establishment    29

Department of International 
Law and Agreements  

Positions Filled      9
Vacant Positions  5

Total    14

Legislative Drafting and 
Law Revision 

Positions Filled       7 
Vacant Positions   8

Total     15

Madam Speaker, it should be noted that although the situation reflected above shows that the Attorney-General’s Chambers has a number of vacancies, the ground reality is that Learner Legal Practitioners are held against the vacant positions. The ministry has been sponsoring Learner Legal Practitioners at the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education (ZIALE) for the past three years.

However, steps have been taken in liaison with Public Service Management Division to elevate a number of state advocates who have clocked over two years so that we can recruit some more lawyers. The ministry currently has over ten applications from lawyers who would like to work for the Government.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1045 hours until 1100 hours.{mospagebreak}

Mr Kunda: Madam Speaker, before we broke for tea, I was saying that the ministry, currently has over ten applications from lawyers who would like to work for the Government. The positions under Legislative Drafting Department can only be filled by officers who have undergone training in Legislative Drafting. The ministry is at present sponsoring two lawyers at ZIALE, who are doing a Legislative Drafting Course.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Dr Chishimba: Madam Speaker, from the hon. Minister’s submission, it is very clear that there are a number of staff in the Attorney-General’s Chambers, who are undergoing various skills training progamme which confirms that they have of course, distinctive competencies that are required for them to handle any legal matters that are arising in Zambia. Can the hon. Minister therefore, confirm that the Government has horrendously failed the people of Zambia by seeking legal consultancies from foreign lawyers in the country where huge sums of money are paid at the expense of national development? In fact, some of those legal consultancies they give, in their own countries are criticised as being incompetent.

Mr Kunda: Madam Speaker, I am surprised with that question. The cases where we engage foreign lawyers involve litigation in foreign jurisdictions.  Therefore, we cannot send our lawyers to go and represent us in foreign jurisdictions because practice rules do not allow that. Even in Zambia, we only allow those people who have Practicing Licences or who are trained in Zambia to practice in Zambia. There are times of course, when we need particular skills which may not be available in Government circles and consultancies are allowed in such situations so that we can deliver service in certain unique situations.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


647. Mr Simama (Kalulushi) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing when Kalulushi and Chambishi Districts would be provided with the following:

(a) a modern market; and
(b) a bus stop.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Kazonga): Madam Speaker, firstly, I would like to correct the record that Chambeshi is a district. It is not a district, but a sub-centre in Kitwe.


Mr Kazonga: I will start by saying that my ministry is currently designing the National Markets Development Programme, which will cover all districts in the country, including Kalulushi. Therefore, Kalulushi will be provided with a modern market after the market development programme has been designed and funds for the construction of the market sourced.

Secondly, arising from the passing of the Markets and Bus Stations Bill by this House and assented to by His Excellency the President early this year, my ministry will embark on the development of a programme to build markets and bus stations starting with major towns in the country.

Madam Speaker, building of modern markets in all the districts is a mammoth task, which requires huge sums of money to complete. It will, therefore, take some time to build markets in all the districts because of the cost implications, considering that we have seventy-two districts in the country.

Currently, the European Union (EU) is supporting the construction of markets in Lusaka, Ndola and Kitwe.

In addition, the Market and Bus Station Bill will not only regulate the management of markets and bus stations, it will also give power to the management boards that will be formed by the councils to plan and construct markets and bus stations, using revenues accruing from these institutions and  funds from the Government.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Simama: Madam Speaker, I will start by correcting the hon. Minister that Chambeshi is not a sub-centre in Kitwe; it is a town in Kalulushi.

Is the hon. Minister aware…

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Your question talked of Chambeshi District on the Order Paper. Withdraw your correction.

Mr Simama: I withdraw my correction, but I still remain…

Hon. Members: Aah!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Hon. Members, we do not argue with the Chair. If you have any reason at all to disagree with the Chair, there are procedures provided through our Traditions and Practices, Standing Orders and the Handbook. You may ask your supplementary question.

Mr Simama: Thank you very much Madam Speaker. Is the hon. Minister aware that with the coming of the Chinese investors in Chambeshi, the population will increase and consequently, there will be need to put up a bigger market and bus station in the area?

Mr Kazonga: Madam Speaker, the Government is aware of the possible increase in population and this is why we are talking about the programme that is being designed to take into consideration, some of these aspects. However, as a councilor in that district, the hon. Member of Parliament can influence the council to prioritise that within their activities, and in turn, we will assist them to mobilise resources.

Madam Speaker, with the Markets and Bus Stations Act in place, the management boards and local authorities will have a lot of power, and the hon. Member of Parliament can make use of them in order to address that particular issue.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


648. Mr Malama (Mfuwe) asked the Minister of Lands whether the ministry would consider providing plots to institutions and individuals with resources to construct the following in residential areas:

(i) secondary schools;

(ii) primary schools;

(iii) markets and shopping centres; and

(iv) recreation centres.

The Minister of Lands (Mr Machila): Madam Speaker, I wish to advise that it is in the Ministry of Lands’ Mandate, to provide plots to institutions and individuals with resources for the construction of secondary schools, primary schools, markets, shopping centres and re-creation centres.

However, before this can be done, the areas concerned must be planned by the Planning Authority. It has been the practice for the planning authorities to submit new creations of plots with provisions for the user zones created. The Ministry of Lands then, allocates these to institutions and individuals with resources, after their local authorities have duly recommended them. In other instances, persons with resources who may already own land can apply to the planning authority for change of use to provide for the fore-mentioned services.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Malama: Madam Speaker, seeing as the Government is facing some difficulties in constructing such institutions in residential areas, especially in Lusaka. I would like to find out whether the hon. Minister is aware that most of these townships have grown without any provision for such institutions and as a result, old institutions like schools, markets, are being congested. I want to find out how the ministry is looking at this situation.

Mr Machila: Madam Speaker, the first point of call on planning issues is through the local Government. The role of the Ministry of Lands is simply to facilitate the titling of the land that has been zoned and planned by the relevant planning authority or council. We are aware of the problems that are being faced in Lusaka and other areas in terms of availability of suitable land for various developments. Hence, we are looking at how best we can address this problem together with our colleagues in the Ministry of Local Government and Housing.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Chimbaka (Bahati): Madam Speaker, aware that councils are agents of land distribution on behalf of the Government. When is the Ministry of Lands considering giving back authority to councils, whose authority to give land to people has been withheld?

Mr Machila:  Madam Speaker, the issue of authority of agencies to give land that was revoked through the ministry is being addressed. A number of the agencies have already been restored, and this has been on account of them having addressed the concerns that led to the revocation in the first place. When we are satisfied that the concerns which led to the revocation have been addressed, we will restore the remaining agencies.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


649. Mr Chimbaka (Bahati) asked the Minister of Finance and National Planning by what percentage the following had been reduced since the attainment of HIPC Completion Point:

 (a) poverty in rural areas; and

(b) unemployment.

Mr Magande: Madam Speaker, the country reached the HIPC Completion Point in April, 2005, and after reaching the HIPC Completion Point, we went into negotiations for debt write off with our creditors.

By 2006, we had some debts written off. Because of those written-off debts, the 2007 Budget has been able to improve the allocations for spending by various ministries. Therefore, it is not possible by the budget which we are implementing, because we have already seen the results of reduced poverty. Some of the money is still going into projects and programmes.

Madam Speaker, let me say that, as a Government, we also assess parameters of the living conditions through what we call Living Conditions Monitoring Survey. Normally, we do these surveys every four years. We had one in 1998 and another one in 2004. We have since reduced those periods or intervals. We are now doing a survey to monitor what has happened between December, 2004 and 2006. The results of that survey will only be available later this year. Those are the results that might have been impacted by the HIPC Completion Point which was in April, 2005.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Madam Speaker, since the advent of the MMD Government in 1991, there has been a systematic way of impoverishing the Southern Province. That Government has been making assurances and one particular assurance was through the declaration of Southern Province as a disaster area in 2002. The people of Southern Province have not benefited. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning what measures they are putting in place for Southern Province to ensure that the effects of droughts which have been with us for some time are alleviated.

Mr Magande: Madam Speaker, the statement being made by Hon. Mwiimbu is very unfortunate.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Magande: Madam Speaker, with my kind of experience, it is very rare, if it has ever happened, to see a Government taking deliberate measures to impoverish its own citizens.

Mr Mwiimbu interjected.

Madam Deputy  Speaker: Order!

Mr Magande: In this particular case, and since I started working in 1971, I do not remember any Government programme which was deliberately meant to impoverish any community of this Republic.

Mr Mwiimbu interjected.

Mr Magande: If drought comes, that is not by Government design. I know that science can actually cause rain by going to cede clouds, but I am not quite sure that science can also stop clouds being into rain so that there is a drought in Southern Province. Therefore, the drought that has been there has been a natural disaster. How do you deal with a natural disaster? You get statistics of who is affected.

Madam Speaker, in terms of the Southern Province, after the declaration, efforts have been made by this Government, or various administrations, to provide water. If you do provide water, you can do it either by damming rivers when they dry so that they can retain the water or you dig to get water underground.

Madam Speaker, Hon. Mwiimbu is clearly hon. Member of Parliament for Monze Central. He is not a Member of Parliament for Pemba, which is a rural constituency. If only he takes care to go to these rural constituencies, he will find that a lot of efforts have been put in creating new water points.

Mr Mwiimbu: Where?

Mr Magande: In Southern Province.

Mr Mwiimbu interjected.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Magande: Therefore, I want to say that the current administration, in particular, has made efforts to mitigate the effects of the drought in Southern Province. Apart from providing boreholes as well as dams, we have resuscitated the pumping stations for the water at Syatwinda. If only Hon. Mwiimbu could go to the Gwembe Valley, he would see for himself. Hon. Member, if you do not know about that, please, go to Syatwinda. You will find that the engines are working in order for the people to resuscitate the irrigation programme which was started some twenty to thirty years ago before you actually went there to become a Member of Parliament.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Magande: It is surprising that people are not using these facilities for irrigation.

Mr Mwiimbu: Why?

Mr Magande: I do not know. That is a question for you to answer.


Mr Magande: You are a Member of Parliament for that area. Therefore, I would like to assure Hon. Mwiimbu that this Government is looking after the people of Southern Province by giving them water points, but also, where there are other problems, we are even giving free livestock like goats and pigs in the villages.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

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


650. Mr D. Mwila asked the Minister of Work and Supply whether the Government had any plans to tar the Mansa/Munganga/Kawambwa Road and, if so, when.

The Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Simbao): Madam Speaker, I wish to inform the House that my ministry shall rehabilitate the Mansa/Munganga/Kawambwa Road to a good gravel standard after carrying out a feasibility study which shall be included in the 2008 Annual Work Plan. The feasibility study shall assess he viability of reconstructing and repairing the Luongo Bridge.

However, my ministry has no immediate plans to tar the existing road between Mansa and Kawambwa, through Munganga, because of its commitment to other on-going upgrading projects such as the tarring of the Kasama/Luwingu/Mansa Road. The ministry will only start considering other roads for tarring when the on-going projects are fully completed.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


651. Mr Kapeya (Mpika Central) asked the Minister of Home Affairs how many police stations were opened countrywide from 1991 to 2006.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Ms Njapau): Madam Speaker, I would like to inform the House that six police stations were opened countrywide from 1991 to 2006. These are:

(i) Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe Police in Avondale, Lusaka;
(ii) Chirundu Police;
(iii) Kansanshi Police in North-Western Province;
(iv) Baluba Police in Luanshya;
(v) Chawama Police in Lusaka; and
(vi) Chiawa Police in Chiawa.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kapeya: Madam Speaker, since the construction of police stations has not been enough, how does the Government expect to fight crime, which is on the increase in the country?

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, we do have plans to keep on increasing the numbers of police stations. Clearly, this House will be party to enabling the Minister of Home Affairs fulfil those plans when we bring budget requests so that we can be funded adequately in order to deal with the crime, of course, taking into account the population that is increasing.

Ms Mumbi (Munali): Madam Speaker, Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe which was opened in 2006 is one of the police stations that has cells for juveniles. The question to the Government is: Why are they not using this facility for the detention of juveniles especially in Lusaka? I say so because when there were riots at University of Zambia (UNZA) young people, some as young as fifteen, were detained in cells in which adults were.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, the statement from the hon. Member of Parliament for Munali is correct in terms of provision of juvenile detainees. However, I am surprised that at the University of Zambia, they would have students under the age of sixteen.

Ms Mumbi: They are there!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo: Please, do not shout from your seat! I am sorry, Madam Speaker.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Withdraw.

Dr Chituwo: I am not aware that at the University of Zambia you can have students under the age of sixteen. That is something that is out of this world.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


652. Mr Mwangala (Nalolo) asked the Minister of Home Affairs whether the Government had any plans to establish immigration posts at the following places in Sesheke and Shang’ombo districts in order to control the illegal movement of people between Zambia and Angola:

(i) Imusho;
(ii) Sinjembela;
(iii) Kaunga Mashi; and
(iv) Mambolomoka.

Ms Njapau: Madam Speaker, first and foremost, the House may wish to know what is obtaining at each of the border posts.

At Imusho, the Department of Immigration has an immigration post. The post is currently run in a patrol-like manner where one officer is deployed to post on rotational basis each month. This arrangement is attributed to the lack of infrastructure at the post culminated by the general low staffing levels.

In view of the above, the post has not been fully operational. The need to enhance effective border patrols along the area has been recognised and measures to rectify the situation have been instituted.

At Sinjembela, the Department of Immigration has no post. The place is, however, a well gazetted border post. The post has not been operational mainly due to the inadequate staffing levels coupled with the lack of infrastructure. Nevertheless, due to proximity, people entering and leaving Zambia through this border area are expected to appear before immigration officers and get clearance at Shang’ombo which is the nearest border control. Plans are there to develop infrastructure for a post at Sinjembela.

Kaunga Mashi is a border area with Angola which is 240 kilometres from the Nakutuma Turn-off, south of Shang’ombo District. The Department of Immigration has no post at the area. Persons entering and leaving Zambia through this border area are expected to appear before an immigration officer at Shang’ombo which is the nearest border control.

Mambolomoka is a border area near the Kwando River in Shang’ombo District. The Department of Immigration has no post in the area.

Madam Speaker, the plans to establish or enhance immigration posts at the four mentioned places in Sesheke and Shang’ombo districts in order to control the illegal movement of people between Zambia and Angola are there. These have been highlighted in the Fifth National Development Plan 2006 – 2010 under the Public Safety and Order Sector, Infrastructure Development.

As to the increasing of the establishment, that is human resource, Cabinet has approved the Ministry of Home Affairs Restructuring Report and recruitment will be effected in 2008.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mwangala: Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that the delays in establishing immigration border posts between the areas shared amongst the three sister countries namely; Namibia on one side, Angola in the middle and our country, will in future cause security risks because of the movement of the people from those nations that is uncontrolled?

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, we are definitely aware of the difficulties we have had with the establishment of immigration border posts as it has been stated, but taking into account this concern, we have planned for recruitments, starting next year. Once that is done, we will ensure that the security concerns raised are attended to in these cross border posts.

I thank you, Madam.


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

(a) what had been the average monthly revenue collection by the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA);

(b) how much revenue had been collected by the ZRA from January, 2002 to December, 2006; and

(c) whether the ZRA met its monthly revenue collection target.

Mr Magande: Madam Speaker, the monthly revenue collection by the Zambia Revenue Authority, year by year, is as follows:

Year                                  Monthly Average (K’bn)

2002                                  237.4
2003                                  295.8
2004                                  379.5
2005                                  460.2
2006                                  527.5

Sir, it is important to note that the monthly collection by the Zambia Revenue Authority fluctuates depending on the tax rules governing some tax types as well as seasonal factors in the economy. As such, the monthly collections differ from one month to the other. For example, our tax year is end of April and, therefore, most of the people would want to pay the taxes which had accumulated by that month. In fact, the collections in April might be twice as much as the collections for May - the following month - because everybody would have already met their tax obligations.

Madam Speaker, the following was the total revenue collected by ZRA from January, 2002 to December, 2006:

Year                          K’bn

2002                         2,848.8
2003                         3,549.3
2004                         4,554.3
2005                         5,521.8
2006                         6,329.4
Total                       22,803.6

Madam Speaker, the Zambia Revenue Authority usually meets its monthly revenue collection target. Practically, there are months when collections are lower and months when they are higher, and these even off on average. Because these targets are based on a number of assumptions and parameters that can change in the course of the year, targets are also adjusted accordingly. The idea is that the targets set must be reasonable and within what the economy can achieve.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Ntundu: Madam Speaker, the receipt books that are used by ZRA in their tax collection are printed by a company contracted by ZRA and as such I would like to find out from the Minister how the Government ensures that all the revenue that ZRA collects is remitted to the Government. I also would like the hon. Minister to explain the mechanism that the Government has put in place to countercheck ZRA personnel from conniving with the printer in making duplicate books. What measures has the Ministry put in place to check that ZRA does not engage in such activities?

Mr Magande: Madam Speaker, I wish to thank Hon. Ntundu for that question which obviously borders on dishonesty. For our purposes, we would not really be interested in knowing whether1,000,000 receipt books used in collecting tax have been printed because they are useless at that point. My ministry does not go to them and ask how many receipt books they have printed, for example, for the Kasumbalesa Border. We are mainly interested in the receipt books used when you pay your customs duty.

Madam Speaker, for any system, you have checks and balances. However, for our purposes, once we give a target to ZRA, if it is meets the target, we believe they are collecting tax according to the rules which are clearly known by all the workers in ZRA.

Madam Speaker, if a member of ZRA connives with the company which is supposed to pay us tax of K100,000,000 for it to only pay K50,000,000, that is corruption. If cases like that are known, it is not only the concern of the people at the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, but we would prefer the members of the public like Hon. Ntundu to go to the law enforcement officers to have the corrupt people arrested.

Madam Speaker, the last one week we have been talking through Hon. Lubinda’s Bills about corruption. I would like to state that corruption cannot be eliminated if it is left only to some individuals or Government departments, but it is for each one of us to get involved. Even when you yourself are being corrupted by a Zambia Revenue Authority officer, come out of that corrupt sphere and report the officer. That way, we will reduce the leakages of revenue which is supposed to come for national development.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Mr Kambwili: Madam Speaker, Indian and Chinese traders have been known to connive with their customers to avert paying VAT by issuing non-VAT receipts. What mechanism has the Government put in place to capture this loss of revenue through VAT.?

Mr Magande: Madam Speaker, I would like to believe what Hon. Kambwili is saying. He knows these Indians who are corrupting people, but he has to wait until he comes to the House to ask what the Government is doing. We also have personal policing. If you find this happening, like I have said, report to the law enforcement officers for them to take action. If you were also to report to ZRA, we have a wing within ZRA whose job is to investigate malpractices by the people working at ZRA and so they would be able to follow up these matters and stop these illegal activities.

I thank you, Madam.


654. Ms Kapata (Mandevu) asked the Minister of Health whether the ministry had any plans to adopt alternative HIV/AIDS prevention and control measures to supplement the existing ones and, if so, what they were.

Dr Puma: Madam Speaker, the ministry is conducting a study in Mazabuka on the use of the microbicides. These have the potential of protecting women from HIV/AIDS transmission through unprotected sex. This may enable women to be empowered with the means to protect themselves that does not necessarily require the co-operation of the partner.

Madam Speaker, the ministry, in collaboration with some partners, is undertaking a study on male circumcision. Studies in the region have indicated a reduction in the risk of HIV infection by as much as 50 per cent. However, a word of caution, male circumcision must be embraced with other preventive measures. Male circumcision will not protect individuals who engage have unprotected sex with multiple partners.
In partnership with the National AIDS Council, a scientific study to assess the efficacy of some traditional remedies (herbs) was conducted. Although preliminary results were unsatisfactory, the ministry will continue to research on traditional medicines.

I thank you, Madam.

Ms Kapata: Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister when the Government is going to translate political will and commitment, through existing laws and policies and adequate resources, into action needed to develop and integrate issues of HIV/AIDS.

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, the political will is everyday being translated into effective interventions in the fight against HIV/AIDS. First of all, this Government brought to this House a Bill for enactment which brought in the National AIDS Council whose mandate is to provide a multi-sectoral response. In this regard, the ministries have workplace programmes; there are community-based organisations, and NGOs, all working together on programmes on prevention by providing information, education materials and through drama at various levels.

Madam Speaker, in the sphere of prevention, in schools and teacher training colleges there are programmes to do with mother-to-child transmission. All these are efforts focussed at translating the political will into tangible programmes in the country.

With regard to treatment, we have shared in this House the fact that initially, we only had two sites providing ARVs and these are the University Teaching Hospital and the Ndola Central Hospital. Madam Speaker, currently the provision of ART has substantially increased in every district. Yes, indeed, challenges still exist, but surely if one does not interpret and understand that as a translation of political will, I do not know what will.

Further, Madam Speaker, we have the issues of monitoring and evaluation. Are we looking at the performance of all these factors so as to provide a measure of success or not?

Madam Speaker, the issue of bringing on board all the players, including hon. Members of Parliament in the prevention aspect has been requested and many hon. Members of Parliament, in fact, are active players in the fight against HIV/AIDS. To us, this is a clear manifestation of the translation of the political will. Never before has Zambia received such assistance from the international community in the fight against HIV/AIDS. This is in recognition of the collective effort that this country is undertaking.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out where else microbicides have been tried because using Zambians as guinea pigs may, in the process, re-infect them.

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, in fact, we may have some problems in understanding. What is a microbicide? A microbicide is a jell-like substance which is used by ladies prior to sexual intercourse to provide protection. I responded to a similar question by the same hon. Member of Parliament, and I stated that there are various types of microbicide jell. The study which was in Uganda was discontinued because it was found not to be as protective. We are using different types of microbicide under a multi-country study. There are eight countries involved and the Lusaka/Kamwala Centre is one of them in the multi-country study. The study is likely to end by next year 2008. We will only be able to know the benefit of these particular preventive measures when we collect all the data from the eight countries.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


655. Mr Chisala asked the Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development:

(a) how much money the Government of the people’s Republic of China would spend on the construction of a modern stadium in Ndola; and

(b) whether the funds to be spent on the project at (a) above would be a loan to Zambia and, if so, what the repayment period and the interest rate in percentage terms were.

The Deputy Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development (Ms Cifire): Madam Speaker, the cost of the construction of the stadium would be availed to the Zambian Government at a later stage. Currently, we are awaiting the arrival of Chinese experts who will work with their Zambian counterparts in carrying out the feasibility studies. The total cost would be known after the feasibility studies for the 70,000 seater stadium have been conducted.

Madam Speaker, the funds to be spent on the construction of the stadium in Ndola will be a grant to the Zambian Government from the People’s Republic of China and not a loan.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Chisala: Madam Speaker, this talk about the construction of a stadium has been on for too long a period, so to be specific. Could the hon. Minister state the root cause for this delay in the commencement of the works at the site.

The Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development (Mr Namulambe): Madam Speaker, I do not think there is any delay because when the President of China came to Zambia, he stated that they were going to construct a stadium in Zambia. The preparations for the architectural works and everything else are going to be made by the Republic of China. They are making the designs and everything. So, all we have to do is wait, as this gift has already been given to Zambia.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): Madam Speaker, five months ago, the hon. Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development indicated to this House after I asked a question regarding whether or not a bill of quantity had been prepared for construction of this stadium. He responded in the affirmative. I would like to know what the actual cost of the construction of the stadium is if they have done the costing.

Mr Namulambe: Madam Speaker, yes, as a country, we made our own bill of quantities, but because the design is going to be different from what the Chinese Government are going to offer, it is very difficult for us to give the nation the amount of money that we had calculated for the bill of quantities that we had prepared simply because the new design is being made by the Chinese themselves. Therefore, the Chinese are the people who will be able to know the amounts of materials that are required. As such, the cost cannot be estimated since we do not have the design. However, we are going to inform the nation the total cost of the project once completed.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

156. Mr D Mwila asked the Minister of Communications and Transport:

(a) how much was made by the Zambia Postal Services Limited in 2004, 2005 and 2006 in the form of profits; and
(b) how much of the profits at (a) above were declared to the Government as dividends.

The Deputy Minister of Communications and Transport (Mr Mubika): Madam Speaker, the ZAMPOST has, since inception in 1994, been making losses. The following losses were incurred by the corporation:

(i)  April 2003-March 2004            K13,624,912,000
(ii)  April 2004-March 2005           K19,195,961,000
(iii)  April 2005-March 2006           K22,853,834,000

Arising from the losses incurred, the Corporation could not declare any dividends to the Government.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr D. Mwila: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has just informed this House that ZAMPOST has made a total loss of K54 billion for the three years he has mentioned. I would like to find out if there are any plans by the Government to privatise ZAMPOST. I also would like to find out the shareholding structure of ZAMPOST.

Mr Mubika: Madam Speaker, I do not think there is anyone who can be interested in buying a company that is not making any profit.

Further, the ministry has put in place a Board of Directors who has vast experience in postal service and other fields. We have also recruited a new Chief Executive Officer to revive the corporation.

Madam, the corporation has come up with a master plan which has outlined the measures to make Zampost a profit making organisation.

Mr Kambwili: Madam Speaker, I would like to find out whether this Government is being consistent. We were told in this House that the mines were privatised because they were making losses and they had to find people to buy the mines. However, today, he is telling us that nobody would be interested to buy a company that is not making profit. Is this not a sign of being inconsistent?

Mr Mubika: Madam Speaker, there is no one who is interested in buying Zampost.

I thank you, Madam.


657. Mr Kambwili (Roan) asked the hon. Minister of Communications and Transport why the Government removed the rail line from Luanshya to Ndola and thereafter transferred the rails to the Muchinji Rail Project in Eastern Province.

Mr Mubika: Madam Speaker, when Luanshya Mine ceased operations, the Ndola rail line became redundant in that there was no sufficient railway freight business. Unfortunately, vandalism or rather scrap metal dealers took advantage.

Madam, the status of the Ndola/Luanshya Rail Line as at June 2004, was as follows:

28.5 Vandalised, while some rails and wooden sleepers were stolen.

3.4km Wooden Sleepers were stolen, but were recovered

1.1 km 1,440 Wooden Sleepers were recovered by the Rail Systems of 

4.0km Was intact out of 37.0km

Madam, as can be seen, only 4.0km out of 37km were intact. It was feared that even the remaining scattered materials would be vandalised if not recovered. Rather than lose this material to vandalism, we decided to utilise these for the Chipata/Muchinji Project. Had rails not been moved to Chipata, they would all have been stolen by now. Further, it is not correct that the rails were removed from the line to Ndola for storage. Only a small amount of rails recovered from thieves or vandals were kept in Ndola. By 2006, the recovered rails were equivalent to 21km of rail line, thus 11km have been stolen.

From the above, it made sense to move the materials to Chipata as it would have been practically impossible to guard the 37km line in the absence of train operations.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Kambwili: Madam Speaker, with the coming of the Mulyashi Mining Project, the Mashiba Underground Mining and the resuscitation of Luanshya as a whole, I would like to find out whether the Government has any plans to rebuild the rail line to avoid damaging the roads by road transport.

Mr Mubika: Madam Speaker, we will discuss with the mine owners in the near future. We want to partner with the private sector in putting up the rail line from Luanshya to Ndola. We would like to advise all scrap metal dealers in the country to stop vandalising the rail infrastructure in our country because we will need it in the near future.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr L. J. Mulenga (Kwacha): Madam Speaker, can the hon. Minister confirm that there are no scrap dealers in Chipata, but only on the Copperbelt.

Mr Mubika: Madam Speaker, it is correct because nothing has been stolen from the materials in Chipata, for the past 25 years. Everything is still intact. That is why we decided to take the many materials which were recovered from Luanshya to Chipata. The people from Chipata are not thieves.

I thank you, Madam.


658. Mr Imenda (Lukulu East) asked the hon. Minister of Home Affairs whether there were any plans to increase the number of Open Air Prisons as a way of implementing the following:

(a) decongesting prisons;

(b) involving prisoners in productive farming designed to promote increased food security; and

(c) imparting farming skills to inmates as a reformatory tool.

Ms Njapau: Madam Speaker, with regard to the use of open air to decongest prisons, the service has over the years increased its capacity in order to decongest prisons by opening new air prisons. For example, at Independence, we had only three Open Air Prisons, namely, Shantumbu in Lusaka, Maluka at Katombola Reformatory School in Kazungula and Mutwe wa Nsofu in Kabwe. We now have thirty-three Open Air Prisons. However, most of these facilities have substandard structures and are limited to accommodate less than 10 per cent of convicted prisoners. We, therefore, have plans to improve and increase the intake capacity of Open Air Prisons by improving infrastructure, which optimally used to accommodate 2,000 prisoners.

As regards involving prisoners in productive farming, our current daily unlock indicate that most of our prisoners are convicts. Therefore, with our plan of improving infrastructure and increasing the intake capacity of Open Air Prisons mentioned above, we plan to engage most of our convicts in productive farming.

On imparting farming skills to inmates, with improving infrastructure at Open Air Prisons, we plan not to use prisoners for labour, but pass on the prisoners farming skills as well.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Imenda: Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that crime is on the increase in the country, and places like Lukulu District which was founded in 1967, still do not have a prison and is relying on Kaoma, which is 200km and Mongu, which is 400km.

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, we are aware of this deficiency in Lukulu. As we stated earlier, with the increase in population and activities in Lukulu, we anticipate criminal activities to increase. This has been stated by the hon. Member of Parliament who has noticed increase in criminal activities.

As stated earlier, there are plans as follows:

(i) recruitment which has been authorised;

(ii) As has been stated, improvement in infrastructure which is dependent upon this House allocating adequate resources.

I thank you, Madam.


659. Mr Simama (Kalulushi) asked the Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources what plans the ministry had for the research centre for Baikiaea Plurijuga (Mukusi) at Machile in Mulobezi.

The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources (Mr Kaingu): Madam Speaker, the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources has plans to improve the research centre for the management and conservation of Baikiaea Plurijuga…


Mr Kaingu: … commonly known as Mukusi in Lozi at Machile in Mulobezi. The funds for carrying out this exercise will be provided through the Fifth National Development Plan.

Thank you, Madam.

Mr Simama: Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that the Government had put in a lot of money in this research centre? What is the ministry doing on the infrastructure which has been left rotting?

Mr Kaingu: Madam Speaker, in fact, hon. Members laughed at me when trying to pronounce the scientific name for Mukusi, but you can see the cross section of this House is of policemen, doctors and nurses. If all of us are going to use the language that we use in our disciplines, I do not think we would be able to understand one another. We should try to avoid using professional or scientific words. We should use common English.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kaingu: Madam Speaker, as for the research centre, I have already said in my answer that the ministry is going to take care of the research centre during the Fifth national Development Plan. Starting from 2008, money will be provided in the budget to do the same.

Thank you, Madam.


660. Mr Chanda (Kankoyo) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:

(a) how many condemned prisoners were hanged from 1991 to 2006, year by year;
(b) how many prisoners escaped from lawful custody in the period above;
(c) what the main causes for the escapes were;
(d) how many prisoners died while in custody in the period at (a) above; and
(e) what the main causes of the deaths at (d) above were.

Ms Njapau: Madam Speaker, the number of condemned prisoners who were hanged from 1991 to 2006 is eight and this was in 1997. The number of prisoners who escaped from lawful custody between 1991 and 2006 is 4,057. The year by year break down is as follows:

Year          Number

1991         321
1992         275
1993         278
1994         207
1995         213
1996         243
1997         259
1998         323
1999         231
2000         390
2001         290
2002         288
2003         190
2004         238
2005         188
2006         123

Total      4,057

Madam Speaker, the main causes for the escapes were:

(i) congestion – there are more prisoners, but few staff to carry out supervision of inmates;

(ii) lack of state-of-the-art security cameras and closed-circuit television for observations and monitoring; and
(iii) bullying, beating and harassment among inmates and staff.

Madam Speaker, the number of prisoners who died while in custody from 1991 to 2006 is 4,536 broken into year by year as follows:

Year           Number

1991                98
1992                111
1993                156
1994                274
1995                367
1996                104
1997                175
1998                232
1999                591
2000               483
2001               383
2002               550
2003               453
2004               234
2005               183
2006               142

Total            4,536

Madam Speaker, the main causes of the deaths which have been just read out are the following diseases:

(a) pulmonary tuberculosis;
(b) chronic gastro – Enteritis;
(c) malaria;
(d) retroviral diseases; and
(e) pneumonia.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Chanda: Madam Speaker, the number of prisoners who died while in custody is very high and of late, there have been reports that prisoners who are accessing ART are being transferred even to prisons were there is no such facility. What is the ministry doing abut this?

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, Government is concerned with this high mortality among inmates in our prisons and this is why we have put in place to strengthen the medical services in the prisons by the creation of the Prisons Medical Directorate. The transfer of patients, who are on ARVs to stations where this facility is not available, clearly is not a policy issue, but a question of administration. When this is brought to our attention, these inmates will be kept where these services are available.

Thank you, Madam.

Mr Sikota (Livingstone): Madam Speaker, how many of these prisoners who escaped are still at large? If there are any, are they from amongst the condemned prisoners? What efforts have been made to alert the public as to which ones of these who are at large are still out there for the public to be aware and assist in their recapture?

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, in order for us to provide a much more comprehensive answer, I think we need to research and come up with specific and accurate information. However, with regard to alerting the public, whenever we have escapees, information is sent out to the locality alerting them of the fact that we have had some escapees from our prisons. For a more comprehensive answer, we need to research in order to be much more accurate.

Thank you, Madam.

Mr Mtonga (Kanyama): Madam Speaker, would the hon. Minister explain what is supposed to happen to condemned prisoners that are waiting to be hanged. All they do is wait for their sentences to take place, but for many years, since 1997, nobody has been hanged. How are you dealing with the issue of jail space and why are you not commuting their sentences to life imprisonment so that they can do some work?

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, we have stated in this House that there is, in fact, congestion in our prisons, but for condemned prisoners, there is periodically a Committee on the Prerogative of Mercy that reviews these sentences and advises accordingly with regard to commuting these sentences to life imprisonment.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Habeenzu (Chikankata): Madam Speaker, I would like to relate to the escaping of prisoners and the rising crime in Lusaka, which is worrying now. What is the Government doing to curb this vice because everyday, you hear of someone being murdered or nearly battered to death? Has the Government failed to replace Wasakaza Ng’uni?


Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, that question appears to specifically talk about Lusaka and I find it difficult to relate it to the subjective question of escapees but, clearly, as a bonus answer, everything possible is being done to protect the residents of Lusaka and in this regard, we have repeatedly had assistance from the public. They have been able to give us information and a lot of crimes have been prevented. Clearly, this is a battle that has to continue to be waged in order to protect property and lives of our people in the city.

I thank you, Madam.{mospagebreak}


661. Mr Simama (Kalulushi) asked the Minister of Works and Supply when Lufwanyama Road would be tarred.

The Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Simbao): Madam Speaker, in answering the question asked by the hon. Member for Kalulushi, I wish to inform the House that the ministry wishes to report that there are no immediate plans to upgrade to bitumen standard the existing gravel roads in Lufwanyama District. The ministry is desirous to carry out and complete the on-going upgrading works before embarking on new ones.

The ministry, however, wishes to report that the road between Lufwanyama and Kalulushi is under periodic maintenance funded by the European Union and the Zambian Government. The light rehabilitation of the project road started in June 2006, and was supposed to be completed in December 2006 and thereafter maintenance was supposed to be carried out for three and a half years ending in June 2010. The contractor initially had problems in mobilising plant and equipment to the site. However, progress has improved significantly.

I thank you, Madam.


662. Mr Chimbaka (Bahati) asked the Minister of Health what measures the ministry had taken to protect Zambians from carcinogen which is released by some Zambian products in the construction industry in the country.

Dr Puma: Madam Speaker, the response to the question asked by the hon. Member for Bahati is as follows:

Two products that are used in Zambia in the construction industry that could be termed carcinogens are asbestos and chlordane. Asbestos is used in roofing materials and chlordane is used for treating foundations for buildings.

Currently, there is an Asbestos Working Group comprising the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Ministry of Health, the University of Zambia, Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development and the Environmental Council of Zambia whose task is to look at the effects of asbestos on the environment and people’s health and to raise levels of awareness.

TAP Zambia Limited, which processes asbestos products, has put in place measures to ensure that there are no loose asbestos fibres that can be harmful to people when inhaled. Workers for TAP undergo periodic medical examinations to determine their health status. Further, TAP obtains licences from the Environmental Council of Zambia for their waste dump site to ensure that it complies with provisions of the law.

Chlordane is being phased out in Zambia because we have become party to the international treaty called the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants and its importation is currently restricted. Furthermore, the Government is working out measures to completely ban its importation and use.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Chimbaka: Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister telling this House and the nation that none of the cancer cases that the Government is treating are as a result of carcinogen substances that I have referred to?

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, it is not possible to categorically state that some of the cancers we are treating now could not have arisen out of exposure. However, we are confident that the measures that have been put in place, for instance, focusing on the mining industry, the Occupational Health Board has been in existence for a long time; transformed from the Pneumoconiosis Bureau to the Occupational Health Board. This has worked very closely with the mining industry in carrying out periodic examinations, not only for those who are in active service but also for the retired miners. With regard to the general health, this is provided for in collaboration with health inspectors in various councils. There are factory and mining inspectors in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security who specifically look out for inhalation exposure to some of these pollutants.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Zulu (Bwana Mkubwa): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether you have cases of asbestosis which is a disease caused by asbestos.

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, we have had lung cancers but I am not in a position to specifically state whether these were as a result of asbestosis.

I thank you, Madam.


663. Mr Kapeya asked the Minister of Labour and Social Security when the qualifying period for NAPSA contributions would be reduced from the current 55 years to 45 years.

The Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mr Liato): Madam Speaker, the determination of a qualifying age for National Pensions Scheme Authority (NAPSA) benefits is done by an actuary appointed under Section 4 of the National Pensions Scheme Act. In determining the retirement age, an actuary will take into account the National Policy on Retirement and several factors including the benefits they have been promised, the funding level of the scheme, the demographic profile of the membership and the investment and general economic climate in the country.

An actuary has been appointed to carry out the actuarial valuation of the scheme as at December, 2004 and this valuation is expected to be complete by July, 2007.

However, it is worth noting that the last census of population indicated that life expectancy in Zambia is above 50 years for both sexes. In the light of the foregoing, it is not possible for NAPSA, at this point, to determine when and if a reduction in the retirement age from 55 years to 45 years of age is desirable or even feasible at this point.

However, I also wish to add that only yesterday, we answered a question from the same hon. Member of Parliament where he was asking the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to increase the retirement age from 55 years to 65 years. This is in total contrast of today’s question in terms of reducing the period of qualifying for contributions, which suggested that we should drop it from 55 years to 45 years. The two do not seem to reconcile. We want to appeal to the hon. Members and stakeholders that as we try to seek better conditions of service for our employees or former employees, let us try to reconcile workable positions.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Kapeya: Madam Speaker, since it has been globally established that life expectancy for Zambians today has fallen contrary to what the hon. Minister has said, to between 35 years and 40 years, how do we then continue tying ourselves to NAPSA qualifications at 55 years?

The Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mr Mukuma): Madam Speaker, we have not yet validated those figures that the hon. Member has quoted. However, as far as we are concerned, we go by the figures that were given to us based on 2000 census. As we have mentioned, the actuary has already been appointed and it is looking into the performance of NAPSA and also various factors including the demographic profiles of this country.

NAPSA alone cannot determine whether to reduce or increase the retirement age. It will be a national issue. The retirement age is a subject of wide consultations and discussion as it is a major policy issue. At the moment, it is not possible for NAPSA to make a definite decision on this.

I thank you, Madam.


664. Mr Mwangala asked the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives:

(a) when the planned joint agricultural project between Zambia and Namibia in Sesheke District would commence;

(b) why the project had taken long to take off; and

(c) what the envisaged benefits of the projects were to Zambia and Namibia.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Kalenga): Madam Speaker, the following is the answer:

(a) the Joint Venture Project commenced soon after the feasibility studies were concluded in June, 2007. A team of experts comprising Zambian Government officers and consultants from Namibia has already drawn up some designs, selected enterprises which the farm will be engaged in, and is currently working on the economic and financial feasibility of the joint venture;

(b) the project has taken long to take off because of the nature of the joint venture, which requires the two governments to be satisfied with all the issues pertaining to the joint venture. The team of experts has to prepare a thorough planning report, undertake various impact studies and a preliminary environmental impact study as demanded by our laws. Furthermore, the project is in the former Sichinga Forest, which needed to be degazetted and the title deeds processed. This has since been done; and

(c) a project of this magnitude will provide jobs to the local population in both countries. From the preliminary design, the farm is supposed to engage in the production of viable crops and livestock which will help in providing income and food security in both Zambia and Namibia. Some of the crops to be grown on the farm are meant for export, so the farm will also contribute to the growth of non-traditional sector. Furthermore, it is envisaged that the farm will engage in value addition through setting up agro-processing industry in both countries. This is a good project by the Government, as doing so will increase the food security, job creation, value addition to agro-processing, strengthening our relationship between Zambia and Namibia.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Mwangala: Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that the delay in implementing this very important project in the district has discouraged a good number of the locals who expect job opportunities with the project by reducing the high level of youth unemployment in the district?

The Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Kapita): Madam Speaker, we are aware that the delay in the implementation of these projects has caused some problems with the local people. However, I want to assure this august House that the project is now on course.

On the 6th July 2007, I was in Katima Mulilo, together with Dr Nyambo, the Minister of Agriculture in that country (Namibia). The Joint Technical Committee briefed us. The consultants from Namibia and South Africa presented the final report to us and we spent a day analysing that bulky report. We are now reporting to our Presidents. I did report to His Excellency the President, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, on the 20th of July. I gave him the final document and we are just waiting for the two Presidents to make the final decision. Otherwise, we are on course.

I thank you, Madam.


665. Mr Ntundu (Gwembe) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing:

(a) how much money the Lusaka City Council collected as ground rates, on average, every year;

(b) how the money was utilised;

(c) how much was owed to the council in outstanding ground rates by defaulters from 2002 to date; and

(d) how many properties were seized by bailiffs for defaulting during the period at (c) above and how much was raised from the sale of these properties.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Kazonga): I wish to inform this august House as follows:

(a) on average, Lusaka City Council collects about K11,855,000,000 (Eleven Billion, Eight hundred and Fifty Five Million Kwacha) per year;

(b) 90 per cent of this amount which is K10.6695 billion is used to pay salaries and wages and other operational costs while the remaining 10 per cent calculated as 1.1855 billion is used for the provision of services;

(c) the outstanding Property Rates Arrears from 2002 to date is K12, 534,331,000 (Twelve Billion, Five Hundred and Thirty Four Million, Three Hundred and Thirty One Kwacha); and

(d) for the last part, from the year 2000 to April 2007, the council has collected K2,328,638,247 (Two Billion, Three Hundred and Twenty Eight Million, Six Hundred and Thirty Eight Thousand, Two Hundred and Forty Seven Kwacha) from the executions of warrants of distress by the Sheriff of Zambia on the defaulters.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Ntundu (Gwembe): Madam Speaker, with all these monies that have been outlined by the hon. Minister that Lusaka City Council collects in form of rates, why is it then that the Lusaka City Council is failing to collect garbage using some of this money? It had to take the Republican President to launch the ‘Keep Zambia Clean Campaign’. Why does the Lusaka City Council not collect garbage using this money?

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mrs Masebo): Madam Speaker, the Lusaka City Council, with all its problems, is trying very hard to collect garbage in this city. Suffice to say that the issue of waste cannot be left to the local authority alone. The Government launched the ‘Keep Zambia Clean Programme’ so that people, at their own level, should learn to throw litter in designated places. This way, the council can find it easy to collect the litter.

The other point is that the Lusaka City Council has zoned Lusaka in various areas and sub-contracted these areas to the private sector. It is expected that people are supposed to pay to these private contractors who collect the garbage. However, in some cases, communities do not co-operate. They do not assist these people who have been sub-contracted.

However, I note that, in some areas, where people are paying, some of these companies are not doing a good job. Therefore, we have instructed the Lusaka City council to terminate contracts of those who are not performing to the expected levels.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


666. Chisala (Chilubi) asked the Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development whether there were any plans to construct football pitches of reasonably modern standards in rural districts in order to promote and develop soccer talent in the country.

Ms Cifire:  Madam Speaker, sports infrastructure development is one of the key areas of focus for the National Sports Policy. The Government is thus committed to the provision of adequate sports infrastructure across the country and not only football pitches.

However, due to resource constraints, the Government has been unable to fully address the problems of infrastructure, especially in rural areas.

Madam Speaker, it is also important to note that football pitches of some kind exist in almost all rural districts of our nation particularly as part of school infrastructure. At the provincial level, there exists reasonably adequate football pitches which require rehabilitation in order to bring these pitches to modern standards.

My ministry has started a programme of rehabilitation of these facilities and a sum of K300 million was allocated in the 2007 Budget for rehabilitation of provincial stadia. Local authorities at the district level should help construct such facilities. My ministry has no immediate plans to put up stadia per district.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Chisala: Madam Speaker, has the hon. Minister any plans of decentralising the operations of his ministry as a way of promoting sport in the country?

Mr Namulambe: Madam Speaker, my ministry has plans to have at least, one officer per district to co-ordinate what the ministry is doing because presently, we only have officers at the provincial level.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


667. Mr D. Mwila (Chipili) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing when the Government would procure a new grader for Mwense District Council.

Mr Kazonga: Madam Speaker, the Government has embarked on a programme to procure road rehabilitation equipment for use by local authorities, but due to limited funding, the implementation of this programme has been slow.

However, road rehabilitation equipment will be procured gradually as we receive funding from the Ministry of Finance and National Planning. Ideally, it is the Government’s intention to procure at least two graders per province.

I wish to also mention that the Government has been supporting councils with grants for spare parts and servicing of graders.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr D. Mwila: Madam Speaker, is it possible for the hon. Minister to give us the number of graders which are working in the councils and which councils do not have graders?

Ms Masebo: Madam Speaker, I do not have the details because that is a new question. However, I would like to add that the Government will this year procure some equipment under the Ministry of Works and Supply. The graders will be placed at the provincial officers under the provincial roads engineer and all local authorities will be able to access them in accordance with the programme that they will draw as a province. This is just a stop-gap measure, considering that the cost of graders is currently very high.

Madam Speaker, a number of local authorities do have graders except that most of these are not in good condition. In the past, we have assisted the councils in repairing the graders and even now, we continue giving small grants to councils that have graders that can still be serviced.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


668. Mr Kambwili (Roan) asked the Minister of Finance and National Planning what measures the Government had taken to ensure that the low monthly pensions being paid to retirees and widows by the Government Pension Schemes and the Mukuba Pension Scheme are increased to meet the hard economic situation prevailing in the nation.

Mr Magande: Madam Speaker, the Public Service Pensions Act No. 35 of 1996 provides for the retirees and beneficiaries both lump sum of pension benefits and annuities to those eligible retirees. According to this Act, retirees can commute two-thirds of pension benefits as lump sum and the balance of one-third is retained by the pension fund for annuities over the lifetime of the pensioner or eligible beneficiary. In other words, when somebody retires and their total retirement is K100 million, immediately as lump sum, they will claim K60 million and then only leave a balance of K40 million which is now divided and collected over the life of that particular retiree.

Currently, the fund has a stock of 59,107 pensioners on its pension payroll with a monthly bill of K6.6 billion inclusive of pension arrears. Of these, 87.3 per cent are receiving less than K1.2 million as pension per year. The remaining 12.7 per cent are getting between K1.2 million and K15 million. The low monthly pension payments are therefore, due to this particular scheme whereby, the retirees only take away on retirement 66.67 per cent of their benefits as lump sum. The last time the monthly pension was increased was in 2003, although some Christmas bonus was paid to pensioners in both 2005 and 2006.

However, the Government is exploring ways of improving the quality of the month pensions that are being paid. In the medium term, the Government aims at reforming the Public Service Pension Scheme into a financially viable and sustainable pension scheme. Other measures are also being considered and among them are the following:

(i) to come up with specific measures to specifically address the widening financing gap;
(ii) to explore the possibility of infusing new assets into the Fund’s Investment Portfolio in order for the funds to have a wider margin of income; and

(iii) to get rid of the accumulated unpaid amounts as Government as well as collections from private people.

Madam Speaker, the Government expects that the implementation of these measures will not only address the plight of the current pensioners but will also guarantee that the current serving members also get their pensions in future.

Madam Speaker, with regard to the Mukuba Pension Scheme, the Government has no immediate plans or measures to intervene because this is a privately owned and operated pension scheme. However, the Government expects the management of the Mukuba Pension Scheme to be innovative and come up with the plans and strategies of growing its funds taking advantage of the current boom in the mining industry and to the benefit of its members.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kambwili: Madam Speaker, in this year’s Budget, we provided K8 billion for the payments of Mukuba Pension Scheme to ex-RAMCOZ employees. I would therefore, want to find out from the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning when this money would be released to Mukuba Pension Scheme so that it can subsequently pay the x-employees of RAMCOZ in Luanshya.

Mr Magande: Madam Speaker that is a new and very simple question which the hon. Member of Parliament could easily get from us and not wait for this time.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Njobvu (Milanzi): Madam Speaker, may I know whether the Government is considering decentralisation of the schemes to avoid the suffering of many people who come to Lusaka to get their money.

Mr Magande: Madam Speaker, the hon. Member could really have gotten and answer by asking the learned hon. Member of Parliament on his right side who asked a similar question less than ten days ago. We explained what efforts we are making in decentralising the payments of pensioners. It was a question which was answered during this session. I want to assure him that we have decentralised that. What you see now are the people that are waiting for a lump sum, which is paid in Lusaka. For monthly payments, these can be collected at the nearest pay points which could be banks or other organisations.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Lubinda: Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether in their measures to improve the annuities, they are also considering the option of pegging annuities to the salaries of current office orders as is obtaining in other offices in the country. I also want to know if they will consider that annuities are increased proportionate with the increases in salaries for civil servants annually.

Mr Magande: Madam Speaker, we have considered that issue but it will obviously be difficult to run a Government system with the same equal number of civil servants who have retired getting the same salaries with current civil servants. The current officers who are on those conditions might only be less than twenty and that is much cheaper. Therefore, while we are looking at that, it is only to improve the annuities. Obviously, if members decided to take less than two-thirds of their pension in lump sum, it will give them much higher payments on monthly basis over their life time.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Sikota (Livingstone): Madam Speaker, the question of pensions and how to improve them has been in this House ever since I have been here in 2002. The answer has always been that we are considering various measures and so forth as has been given to us today. Can the hon. Minister tell this House when the Government will finish this process of consideration and come to the House to tell us what specific measures will be taken to resolve this perennial problem?

Mr Magande: Madam Speaker, we are considering these issues but at times, we also make wrong decisions. This House did pass a law which actually meant that new entrants to the Civil Service contribute to the pension fund ...

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

(Debate adjourned)


The House adjourned at 1255 hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday, 31st July, 2007.