Debates- Friday, 13th July, 2007

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Friday, 13th July, 2007

The House met at 0900 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]




The Vice-President (Mr R. B. Banda):  Mr Speaker, I wish to give the House some idea of the business it will consider next week. On Tuesday, 17th 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.

On Wednesday, 18th July, 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 Member’s Motions, if there will be any.

On Thursday, 19th 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.

On Friday, 20th July, 2007, the Business of the House will begin with His Honour the Vice-President’s Question Time. Then the House will consider Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. The House will, thereafter consider any other business that may not have been concluded on Thursday, 19th July, 2007.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from His Honour the Vice-President what was resolved at the World Heritage Commission Meeting which was held in New Zealand in July, this year. I would like to know whether the Victoria Falls is still an endangered world heritage site.

The Vice-President (Mr R. B. Banda): Mr Speaker, Livingstone and the Victoria Falls are still endangered sites in the world and everything will be done to protect them.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, in the interest of national development and local empowerment, what decision has the Government made on the Internet based quad ram contract system which Mopani is trying to introduce and is likely to disadvantage the local suppliers.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I do not have the privilege of taking up some seconds by going at the Table with the new system here. Therefore, I will try my best to be as fast as possible.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the decision by the Government is well known in that publicly, it was announced in the newspapers, on radio and other public media that His Excellency the President intervened immediately after this announcement that the quadrum system was an acceptable. If the hon. Member will recall, this was done when His Excellency the President visited Livingstone and was informed about it. He said that if the Zambian business community and the Zambian people do not like a system, however good those who are presenting it may think it is, it is unacceptable. It is a system that is discriminatory to the Zambian suppliers to the mines. We are still discussing with the mines to see what modifications they can make to take our position into account.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sinyinda (Senanga): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out whether the Government has got any plans to honour one of the true sons of Zambia, the author of the Zambian National Anthem, the late Jonathan Lichilana.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I thank my colleague for bringing up this important question on behalf of the Zambian people. The late Jonathan Lichilana was personally known to the Vice-President We were at school together at Munali. He was a great musician, but who seems to have been forgotten in the process of honouring various people.

We are very gratefully to you, hon. Member, for reminding us about this man’s contribution to the nation. As you know, the responsibility or initiating the process of who gets honours falls directly under the Office of the Vice-President. We thank you for this and we will consider it at our next meeting.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, sometime early this year, I asked His Honour the Vice-President to indicate what efforts his office was making to combat hunger in view of the drought situation in the Southern Province and also in the areas that were flooded in the rainy season. He has not been able to brief the House on what his office is doing. Can he, please, brief us on the state of affairs on food distribution to hunger-stricken areas, both those that were hit by excessive rain and those that were hit by drought, in particular, the Southern Province?

Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Mbabala for raising the subject that is so important to the people of this country. The question is on the effects of the previous floods in the 2006-7season, and in particular, how it impacted on the people of the Southern Province.

Mr Speaker, I crave your indulgence that I indicate the districts that were affected and leave out the actual details that I will lay on the Table. I think this is a very important subject that impacts on our duties as Members of Parliament and as leaders of this country. I am sure Mr Speaker would say I am not supposed to read, but we will try. We have set up a Committee of Prophets in my office to predict what questions are current and important so that information is prepared and laid on the Table. This way, hon. Members can digest whatever we have found out. This is one of those questions that the Office of the Vice-President has looked into.

Mr Speaker, most of the provinces that were hit by the floods where in the northern part of Zambia. The Southern part of Zambia experienced the opposite, floods. Both of them have been affected. The ones in the Northern provinces had their crops destroyed by the floods. The ones in the Southern provinces, which experienced a drought, have problems because they do not have enough food. This is actually a national problem. We have undertaken an impact assessment. We started with the northern parts of the country and have completed. We will now proceeding to assess the impact in the southern parts that are: Central, Western, Southern and Eastern Provinces.

I will lay on the Table, Mr Speaker, with your permission, this booklet produced by the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) which sets out all the food that we provided province by province and district by district. Also, all the other items of support besides the food, such as items to do with disease such as cholera, malaria prevention and all other forms of support that we provided district by district. I will, therefore, with your permission, Sir, I will lay this on the Table.

In doing so, I would like to assure all my colleagues here that the purpose of providing this information is that you read it. Where information is less than accurate, for instance where it is indicated that so much was delivered, but you did not receive it, you are invited to come back to our office so that we can verify and ensure that you receive what we have promised you. It may be lying somewhere in the province and lack of the required logistics, has not actually been moved to its actual destination. I wish to assure this august House that with the support of the Ministry of Finance and National Planning and all other line ministries, the Ministry of Works and Supply and various departments of the Government, we are determined to continue to support all the districts in the country which were negatively impacted in the last rainy season. These are areas where either the crops were destroyed or did not germinate or grow to maturity.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munaile (Malole): Mr Speaker, the Zambia Under 20 Soccer Team has been eliminated from the on going Under 20 in Canada where they performed beyond expectations. What is the Government going to do to ensure that these boys are paid what is due to them?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, allow me to start by thanking the hon. Member for Malole who, himself, will go down in the history of this country as one of the famous footballers we ever had and for raising this question which is current in the minds of many of us.

As we saw off His Excellency the President this morning at the Airport, one of the members on the line came to me and said condolences, Mr Vice-President. I thought that one of my relatives had passed away. So, I said condolences for what? He said for the loss last night. I was very happy that he recognised the fact that I am one of those millions of Zambians who are very interested in this sport of football.

As I speak now, Mr Speaker, I see that the hon. Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development is here with us and is one of those hon. Ministers who are tired of my phone calls. I have been constantly with him through this tournament. I wake him up in the middle of the night to ask him to watch as I myself watches the match on television because I am sure that many Zambians have followed the tournament. This young team of the Under 20 has given great inspiration and happiness to the Zambian people.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: I was saying to myself, Mr Speaker, that traditionally and as Zambians, when somebody is dancing well or doing something very well, we usually put our hands in the pocket (inaudible)

Hon. Member interjected.

The Vice-President: … and (inaudible) on the table. We call this kusowela in my language. It is a show of appreciation for making people happy. It is a pity that these games were taking place in Canada. We were not able to do that since we were so far away.

My first response to the question raised by the hon. Member for Malole is to call upon the Zambian people to show their great appreciation for what these young men have done by sowelaling, …


The Vice-President: … paying them for the good work that they have done. We did not expect that they would play so well and go so far. The question, Mr Speaker, is what the Government is doing about this.

Hon. Opposition Members: Answer the question.

The Vice-President: I am sure that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning and the Chief Whip and everybody are going to make their own commitment. I am not going to say that. However, I am going to say that we will definitely consult among ourselves because we are all very happy with what the boys have done. We should, at least, give them a thunderous welcome, together with the bench and the management of the team. We are appreciative of what they have done and the statement by His Excellency the President in which he encouraged them to proceed is in all the newspapers.

Once again, I thank my brother for raising this question because I think that we, the Zambian people are grateful. At least, the young men should come back with their heads up and not ‘drooped’ …


The Vice-President: …because they have reached a point where no other …

Hon. Opposition Members: Answer the question.

The Vice-President:.. National Team of Zambia has ever reached in the past.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ndalamei (Sikongo): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from His Honour the Vice-President if there are any funds to repair the roads, bridges and schools which were destroyed by the floods.

Mr Kambwili: Speak English not Lozi.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Sikongo for raising a question on the roads, bridges and other infrastructure that was damaged in the last rainy season. I was listening to my colleagues around the House and I realise that he has asked a question that was asked earlier. However, I am quite happy about that. I shall repeat the answer since I have been asked.

Sir, yesterday, I approached the hon. Minister of Works and Supply. I told him that I was sure that somebody might raise a question on the issue of the infrastructure. I asked him to tell me something about it. The hon. Minister said he would give me the reply today. I was so nervous that I went back to him and told him that it would be too late because at 0900 hours, hon. Members of Parliament would be waiting to eat me alive over this question.


The Vice-President: I told him that I needed the answer immediately. He told me not to worry. I can see Hon. Dr Scott is already trying to eat me, but fortunately, the distance will not allow him to do that.


The Vice-President: I got home and to my surprise, my wife came with an envelope and gave it to me.

Mr Speaker, I wish to pay tribute to the hon. Minister of Works and Supply for his great efficiency. He immediately, sent his people to bring me the report. I am going to lay this report on the Table for the hon. Members to read and digest.

Sir, the point that I wish to underline, which I made earlier, is that the provinces in the north of Zambia, on an annual basis, normally have a lot of rains. So, the destruction of roads, bridges, culverts, schools, clinics and health centres was more evident in the north. Our people went there and have come back with the report indicating that so far, we require K11.2 billion in order to overcome this problem. They will now go to the remaining four provinces. That is, the North-Western, Copperbelt, Northern, Luapula and Central provinces to make the final assessments. As soon as these final assessments have been made, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning knows that we will queue at his office to get additional financial support. Hopefully, before the end of this year, we will start solving the remaining problems.

Mr Speaker, I wish to take this opportunity to thank everybody for their understanding and participation in establishing these problems, and, in the end, ensure that the Government is put under pressure in order to attend to these problems.

Sir, I will lay this paper on the Table. However, it will take long to walk over there and back, but will hand it over slowly so that it is laid on the Table.


The Vice-President: I thank you, Mr Speaker.

The Vice-President handed over the paper to the House Messenger who laid it on the Table for him.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Soctt (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, I promise not to take seven minutes and forty seconds to ask this question.

What is the progress with the renegotiation of the Mining Development Agreement? It is nearly three years since the apples started falling from the tree and no windfall tax of any description has been seen and actually the whole boom seems to be melting down. What is the problem or are there any secret agreements which have not yet been divulged to this House that should be divulged to this House.

I thank you, Sir, for entertaining my question.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me yet another opportunity to answer the question from the hon. Member of Parliament for Lusaka Central, who is known for his hard work in this House and who puts to task people like myself, who are supposed to answer to the needs of the people in the country. I thank him for the question about development.

Sir, the negotiations are still continuing.

Dr Scott interrupted.

The Vice-President: I am coming. Thank you very much for delaying me further.

The Government is aware of the problems that have arisen from the shortage of tax from the mines. We have taken steps to find out what other countries with similar mining arrangements are doing in order to maximise the tax base from the mining companies. We are preparing the reports from what we were able to obtain. A delegation was sent by the Zambian Government to other countries such as Chile They have come back, and we think we are wiser now on this issue.

Mr Speaker, I wish to take this opportunity to explain one point to this honourable House. This Government is very conscious of its responsibility, firstly, to the people of Zambia and secondly, to the investors in Zambia. I am sure Hon. Dr Scott is one of our best informed and qualified hon. Members in this country and, indeed, in Africa who know that we, as a Government, are known to keep our promises. We cannot just turn round and say that we need more money, and therefore, Mopani, Konkola Copper Mines Plc. and so on, should give us so much more. We cannot do that. That is a privilege of some Opposition hon. Members who may think it easy to say because they are not the ones who are answerable.

Sir, if the mining industry does not grow in Zambia; if the existing investor becomes uncomfortable and new investors do not come to Zambia, the same hon. Members will criticise us for not allowing the economy to grow. The many questions that have arisen on the Floor of this House, right through the many sittings, all relate to money. Where does money come from? It comes from investment.

Mr Speaker, I am proud to be associated with this Government, which, over the last five years, has been able to turn this country around …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: … by making it possible for investors to come to Zambia to resuscitate the mines which were dormant before these five years.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: I am privileged to have been part of the previous Government and history reminds me that we managed to send away most of the investors because of the policies which did not encourage them. Therefore, it is a difficult problem for this Government, and, indeed, for all hon. Members of this House. I believe that we are one group that is interested in the same matter. We want the economy of this country to grow from where it is to the higher level so that we have more money to build more schools, hospitals, rehabilitate our bridges and culverts, build new roads and change this country for our children to have a future to look forward to.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: We cannot achieve that by making reckless decisions which will force investors to give us the money which we promised them that they will only give us so much. We have to negotiate. It is necessary always, even for man, to talk it over, when there is a problem,

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Mr Speaker, this is a follow up to Hon. Hachipuka’s question. Yesterday, I got a call from the Law and Development Association (LADA) in Monze that the food which was supposed to be taken there for the hungry people in Moomba and the entire Monze District has been lying there since March this year because there is no money for the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) and the Disaster Management Unit (DMMU) to pay transporters. I would like to have a comment on that.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I thank my hon. Colleague, Member of Parliament for Moomba, for raising this very pertinent question, again, about food for our people in the various districts.

Hon. Members will recall that when I talked about relief food earlier, I was asking for assistance and wanted to know whether relief food had reached the intended destinations. The relief food that is sometimes sent from Lusaka is stuck on the way as logistics do not permit it to proceed. We have had meetings in my office with hon. Members of this House together with the FRA and the Ministry of Finance and National Planning at the highest level possible at which we have agreed that the formula will be revised so that the various ministries will have the facilities to transport the food to the intended destinations. I know that in Solwezi, North-Western Province, there are bags and bags of maize which are supposed to go to either Zambezi or Kabompo, but the maize has not been transported. I can assure you that we are going to attend to that.

I would like to ask all hon. Members of this House to assist us fund raise. Many people have been affected by this problem of floods. Only today, I received a cash donation from an organisation outside Zambia that feels that we need to be helped. I ask all our people, especially businessmen, to assist. If they do not know what to buy, they should assist us with money so that we pay transporters to ferry the available relief food.

 I really thank the hon. Member for Moomba for raising this question because it calls upon our collective responsibility to encourage people to support us. We did not declare the hunger situation a disaster last year despite the fact that we were under a lot of pressure from non-governmental organisations and other organisations to do so because we felt that we should try to solve our problems on our own. If there are problems that we cannot solve, we will seek help from outside the country. I think you will agree with me that we had enough maize grown by the people that you represent here collectively. We had enough maize within the country to feed the rest of the country as well as some of our neighbouring countries who, in my life time, I did not believe we would feed.

Zambia is making progress and that we should be proud of. Credit should not only go to the Vice-President’s Office, but all of you who are encouraging the people to produce as much as possible.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the Vice-President on what basis the Zambia Electricity Supply Company (ZESCO) is investing US$10 million in an area which is a preserve of the Zambia Telecommunications Corporation (ZAMTEL), putting up an optic fibre. Why is it not ZAMTEL that is investing that US$10 million? Why is it being installed by ZESCO?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, Hon. Lubinda is usually very well informed. I did not know the figure that is involved in this. I thank him for the figure that he has given, but ZESCO has its own optic fibre network and they install optic fibre as they require. The question why this company and not the other is doing this does not arise in the sense that each one of them has a responsibility and they plan how they want to go proceed with regard to the installation of the optic fibre.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




463. Mr Kanyanyamina (Kanchibiya) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives:

(a) whether the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) would, this month, not buy maize from Luapula and Northern provinces as reported in the Zambia Daily Mail newspaper of Monday, 9th July, 2007;

(b) if so, what measures the Government had taken to ensure that the majority of the people in the two provinces who depend on maize sales for their livelihood sold their maize to FRA at the earliest opportunity to avoid being exploited by unscrupulous maize agents; and

(c) when the restriction at (a) above would be lifted.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Mulonga): Mr Speaker, the reason for the delayed buying of maize by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) from Luapula and Northern provinces is due to the high moisture content which is above 12 per cent. Immediately it goes below 12 per cent, the FRA will start buying maize. In fact, FRA is ready to start buying maize even today if the moisture content goes down. However, in Luapula, FRA is already buying maize in Kawambwa, Mwense and Mansa where the moisture content is already low. That is within the required standards.

With regard to part (b) of the question, Mr Speaker, the ministry is constantly sensitising the people in the affected areas about the situation. At the same time, we are monitoring the moisture content so that immediately it goes down, FRA can start buying maize since all the logistics are already in place.

As regards part (c) of the question, it is not a restriction by human nature as such, but as soon as the level of the moisture content goes down, FRA will start buying maize from the affected areas.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kanyanyamina: Mr Speaker, can the hon. Deputy Minister inform this House where the samples were taken and, if possible, which farmers had samples tested because from his answer, it does not show when the restriction is going to be lifted.

Mr Mulonga: Mr Speaker, the sampling of the moisture content of the maize is done per province. Farmers have their maize sampled from the areas where the moisture content is suspected to be high. These are taken to various laboratories per province. It is not a very big assignment, but a very simple way of determining the moisture content in the crop. Each area will have the crop sampled. The samples are taken to the district and once they find out that a specific district has a very high level of moisture content in its crop, they do not buy it. If they buy maize with a moisture content above 12 per cent, the maize will not stay for more than four months before it starts discolouring. Once it loses its colour, it will not be used for maize meal. It can only be kept if the moisture content of the crop is below 12 per cent.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, I would like to know from the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives what measures have been put in place to stop the exploitation of small-scale farmers by unscrupulous businessmen who are in the field before the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) comes in to buy the maize. This must be stopped because the people who produce maize get nothing. The Government must come up with measures to stop this exploitation because you are creating poverty by not putting up measures to stop this. What mechanisms are you putting in place to stop this?

Mr Mulonga: Mr Speaker, as a Government, we put in place all the required logistics in the provinces before even the moisture content of the crop went down and the Southern Province is one of the provinces we targeted. Furthermore, we sensitised the people about the floor price of maize, this year, which is K38,000.00 per 50Kg bag.

May I take this opportunity to inform the House that sometimes it is very difficult to stop a farmer from selling maize to whoever he wants because it is his crop and can make his own decision. So, when we put a floor price, he can either sell his maize at that price or not.

First of all, as a Government, we have put logistics in place and secondly, we are carrying out sensitisation programmes for our farmers. Last week, my hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives was at a show in the Southern Province sensitising the farmers about the value of selling their crop to FRA.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Silavwe (Nakonde): Mr Speaker, while I agree with the hon. Minister on the situation in the Northern Province, we are told that there are very few grain bags that has been supplied to the province. When is the ministry going to instruct FRA to send the shortfall so that when marketing starts, there will be no further delays?

Mr Mulonga: Mr Speaker, prior to the buying of the crop, we had already sent about 10,000 grain bags to the Northern Province in readiness for buying the crop. After that, a tender was given to two companies to produce about 3 million grain bags. We are now waiting for another company to supply grain bags because we could not depend on only two companies to supply bags for the whole country. We thought one company was not going to manage. Therefore, FRA has added another company from Zimbabwe to also supply grain bags. So, the farmers will be adequately catered for.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sikazwe (Chimbamilonga): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out the position of the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives in relation to the exploitation by the agents or co-operatives in my constituency, who are charging K3,000.00 per grain bag thereby reducing the floor price of maize to K35,000.

Mr Mulonga: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Chimbamilonga for that revelation. That could be one of the isolated cases where the co-operatives, as he has said, maybe ─ I do not know their organisation or why they are charging K3,000 per grain bag. It could be a local arrangement of the co-operative to raise revenue for other businesses. Therefore, I would not give an ultimate answer regarding what we are going to do to such a co-operative.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Singombe (Dundumwezi): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives when it is going to address the critical shortage of grain bags in Kalomo District. While I appreciate that the restriction of movement of animals is still in force, how are the farmers going to transport their maize produce to far away satellite depots?

Mr Mulonga: Mr Speaker, I think the first part of his question has already been covered. For the second part of his question, I do not know how the hon. Member expects to use a sick animal as a means of transport.


Mr Mulonga: We have put the restriction in place because we suspect those animals to be sick. Therefore, there can be other means of transport apart from using sick animals.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives whether he is aware that the marketing arrangements which were put in place by FRA throughout the country have been chaotic. There was no planning, and this is when they are planning to purchase grain bags for this season. What measures are they putting in place to ensure that the marketing arrangements in the country do not affect the farmers’ intentions and planning for the next season?

Mr Mulonga: Mr Speaker, first and foremost, we have introduced depots for marketing. We have also instructed FRA to introduce mobile depots apart from those that are stationed. That will help reduce the distance the farmers have to cover to transport their produce from one area to another and it will also cover-up for transport costs.

Apart from that, we intend to buy grain bags in advance in the next farming season. Of course, that has to be after assessments of the crop that will be harvested and what the Government intends to buy. For example, this year, we delayed a bit at arriving at what the Government was going to buy through FRA. We decided to purchase the bags after realising that we needed 400,000 metric tonnes. Therefore, it starts with planning. We are sure that there will be stability now and from there the orders will also follow that stability.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Mr Speaker, regarding Government plans for the next season, do they intend to fund FRA in advance so that they start buying maize before the briefcase buyers? Farmers are selling their maize to briefcase buyers because the FRA starts buying maize late and yet farmers need money for school fees for their children and to prepare for the next farming season at the same time.

Mr Mulonga: Mr Speaker, apart from the FRA buying maize, as a Government, we have introduced co-operative unions in the districts. This will help the buying of grains from farmers. It is our vision that these co-operative unions will be made up of co-operators themselves or the farmers.

They will organise themselves in such a way that they prepare adequately and in advance. This should be at an affordable cost to all its members such that there will be no distance to cover in order to transport their crops. The district co-operatives will empower smaller co-operatives in the localities to buy maize on behalf of the district apart from the FRA. Mr Speaker, this is another method of helping our farmers.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Mumbi (Munali): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives how much publicity has been done concerning the introduction of these co-operatives. I have in mind the people of Kapoche. Have they received the information and where are they going to sell their maize?

Mr Mulonga: Mr Speaker, as a ministry, in March this year, we organised a workshop for all the District Agricultural Co-ordinators where they were taught how to form co-operatives, revive those that were weak and strengthen those that were already in existence, but did not have the muscle to participate. Again, if my memory saves me right, we came to this House and informed the House to encourage their farmers to form co-operatives.

Mr Speaker, may I take advantage of this opportunity to say that this House approved the Budget to improve on the irrigation system in the country. Therefore, the irrigation system and the irrigation loan that will come will not be given to individuals, but to co-operatives. If that information has not been disseminated, we should go and encourage our farmers to form co-operatives because loans will no longer be given to individuals, but to co-operatives.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Before I give the Floor to another hon. Member, I wish to guide the hon. Members to avoid stepping on the public address system cables. We nearly had a problem just now.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): The main answer to the question was that there is a high moisture content to the maize.

Sir, maize dries at different times for each particular farmer. We have been to Mporokoso and we took samples. One farmer’s maize had 10.2 per cent moisture while another farmer’s maize had 12.5 per cent. Could the hon. Minister state other reasons why they have not launched the marketing of maize as it is true that each farmer will have different moisture content levels and that they can buy maize from one farmer and leave the other farmer with high moisture content. Can he explain the real reasons?

Mr Mulonga: Mr Speaker, testing means taking a sample and when you are taking a sample, it must be a representative sample. Testing also goes with costs. It would be very difficult for FRA to place a testing kit at each depot to detect whether the maize is dry or not. What we do is to take a representative sample and when this representative sample is positive, that is when the crop is bought, but when it is negative, you tell them to wait. That is what we are doing, Sir.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


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

(a) how many miners were paid from the Employee Share Ownership Trust established by the Anglo-American Corporation;

(b) what criteria was used to pay the miners at (a) above;

(c) how much was paid out to each miner and what the total amount paid was; and

(d) why the miners who were in employment during the time of the Anglo-American Corporation, but left employment between August, 2002 and October, 2006 were omitted from the package at (a) above.

The Deputy Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr M. Mwale): Mr Speaker, I would like to inform the House as follows:

The total number of miners who benefited from the Employee Share Ownership Trust was 102 in management by issuance of shares and 7,918 for the rest of the workforce in cash.

Criteria Used to Pay the Miners

The shares in the Employee Share Ownership Trust established by the Anglo-American Corporation Plc. were divided into two parts, 75 per cent for management employees and 25 per cent for the workforce.

To pay the management employees, share transfer certificates were issued. The certificates were given as evidence of the transfer.

To pay the rest of the workforce in the Konkola Copper Mines Plc, the 25 per cent shares were translated into cash. The cash was distributed equally in December, 2006 among employees who served under Konkola Copper Mines when it was owned by the Anglo-American Corporation Plc. The amount distributed was less statutory tax.

Total Amount Paid to Each Miner

Employees other than management staff were paid K27,641,473,720.34 in total. Each of these employees received K3,490,967.

Miners Who Were Omitted From the Package

The rules on eligibility to receive the payments as resolved by the Trustees did not include employees who had left Konkola Copper Mines Plc. prior to 1st November, 2006. The rules were as follows:

(i) beneficiaries must have been in full employment up to 1st November, 2006;

(ii) beneficiaries must have served for at least six months with Konkola Copper Mines Plc;

(iii) beneficiaries must have been in grade KCM 1 to 5;

(iv) those in grade KCM 6 and above did not benefit from this cash payout as they benefited under the management category; and

(v) those employees who had separated with the company through retirement, medical discharge, death and redundancy, but had been in employment up to 1st November, 2006 and had served for at least six months would qualify.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, despite KCM not having shares from the Anglo-American Corporation Plc. established shares, they got 10 per cent. Why?

Secondly, Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether the employees who owned shares had a say in the shares.

Mr M. Mwale: Mr Speaker, that follow up question has gone into details. I wish it were submitted as a separate question.

I thank you, Sir.


465. Mr C. Mulenga (Chinsali) asked the Minister of Works and Supply:

(a) why Minestone (Zambia) Limited abandoned the construction of the Mbesuma Bridge on the Chambeshi River in Chinsali Parliamentary Constituency; and

(b) when construction of the bridge would commence.

The Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Simbao): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House as follows:

(a) Minestone (Zambia) Limited were not the company engaged by the ministry to carry out the construction of Mbesuma Bridge across Chambeshi River. The Company engaged in 2000 was actually Millers Construction.

The ministry fully suspended the works in 2005 because of insufficient funding that had been released to the bridge project. The full suspension of the works was aimed at stopping the Government from incurring wasteful expenditure in claims for interest and time-related preliminary and general items.

(b) The ministry has resolved to terminate the existing contract this year, in 2007. The ministry will readvertise the new tender for the construction of Mbesuma in 2008 after the updating of the design by the consultant who has been supervising the Mbesuma Bridge construction. The ministry may also consider the option of constructing the Bridge by Force Account.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

466. Mr I. Banda (Lumezi) asked the Minister of Energy and Water Development when the following institutions in Lumezi Parliamentary Constituency would benefit from the Rural Electrification Programme:

(i) Lumezi Technical High School;
(ii) Lumezi Hospital; and
(iii) Ng’onga National Service Camp.

The Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Sichilima): Mr Speaker, Lumezi Technical High School is one of the forty-three projects to which the Rural Electrification Authority committed K500 million in 2006. The balance of the funds was provided by the Ministry of Education. By the end of 2006, bush clearing for the cable and pole pegging had been done. Further, poles, conductors and insulators had been procured.

However, due to the late delivery of some materials, the project could not be completed as scheduled. The project will, therefore, be completed by December, 2007. The cable will be extended to Lumezi Hospital.

The Electrification of Ng’onga National Service Camp was not included in the original project scope and has, therefore, to be assessed separately. The Rural Electrification Authority has included it in the list of projects under consideration in the Rural Electrification Master Plan under preparation. At a planning meeting held in Chipata on 22nd November, 2006, Provincial and District Planners presented the full list of all projects in the province to the ministry. These projects have been included in the Rural Electrification Master Plan that has a list of 1,118 rural growth centres countrywide.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


467. Mr Mbewe (Chadiza) asked the Minister of Education:

(a) when the construction of Taferansoni Secondary School in Chadiza would be completed; and

(b) whether there were any plans to construct more day secondary schools in the district.

The Minister of Education (Professor Lungwangwa): Mr Speaker, Taferansoni Secondary School in Chadiza has started with the construction of four staff houses which have been roofed and plastered. Flooring, glazing, fixing of doors and other related works are yet to be completed. All works for the four staff houses are expected to be completed during the course of this year.
The construction of classrooms and laboratories will be another phase of the project which will be continued when funds are made available.

The answer to part (b) of the question is that the district has plans to construct, in the long term, seven day high schools in the following areas: Chief Mulolo, Chief Pembamoyo and Chief Zingalume. However, the construction of the schools will depend on the availability of funds to undertake the project.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that the Grade 10 class started and is learning under a mango tree? Is he also aware that the teachers are sleeping in classrooms?

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, the construction works for the school have not been completed as they are just starting. If efforts to introduce a Grade 10 class have been made, without the authority of the ministry, the consequences are that eventually the children end up learning under a tree. That is because the introduction of the class has been undertaken illegally, without proper facilities and that is not permissible.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Sinyangwe (Matero): Mr Speaker, does the hon. Minister realise that this is the situation all over Zambia? Has he got any plans to have a systematic plan of work so that we do not have unfinished work everywhere whose impact we cannot see?

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member is well aware, having been in the Ministry of Education, that there was no construction of schools for a long time.

Mr Speaker, this Government is constructing high schools and in this year’s Budget. This House approved some funding for the construction of high schools which is a clear indication that this Government, as resources are made available, has embarked on a systematic construction of high schools throughout the country. This Government has undertaken a systematic process of completing the unfinished projects which were abandoned several years ago.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mwansa (Chifunabuli): Mr Speaker, according to what the hon. Minister is saying, there is dire need for many more secondary schools in the country. Would the hon. Minister, therefore, confirm that he can work with local communities who want to build this infrastructure and provide teachers thereafter?

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, it has been stated several times in this House that the Education Policy of this Government allows for partnership between the Government and other agents. The other agents are communities, the private sector, churches and so on. The policy is very clear. The communities that are willing to participate in the provision of education are welcome.

I thank you, Sir.


468. Ms Kapata (Mandevu) asked the Minister of Health:

(a) how many couple were on microbicides;

(b) how successful microbicides were; an

(c) which health centres in Lusaka stocked microbicides which couples could access.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Dr Puma): Mr Speaker, there are two sites in the country conducting research on microbicides. One study is in Lusaka and the other is in Mazabuka. The site in Lusaka is Kamwala Clinic. This is a multi-centre study being carried out in seven different countries including South Africa, Malawi, USA and Zimbabwe. Zambia is only one centre. The target of the Kamwala site is 320 women. Currently, there are 228 that have been recruited. This research started last year and is expected to end next year. The study in Lusaka commenced in 2006 and the trial is being conducted with support from CIDIRZ.

 In Mazabuka, the target total is 1,330 women. The feasibility study was conducted in 2002. The study started in July last year and is scheduled to end in March, 2009. The number of participants enrolled on this study by 31st May,2007 is 644. The sites are Nakambala Sugar Estates and Lusumpuko Hall in Apollo Town area.

Mr Speaker, the results on how successful microbicides are are not yet ready for publication and research has continued. There are no centres in Lusaka which stock microbicides because these products are still at the research level.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that the neighbouring countries in Africa and America where the microbicides came from have since abandoned the project due to side effects? When is Zambia going to abandon this project and if we are going to do so, what are we going to do for the women that are already exposed to the microbicides?

The Minister of Health (Dr Chituwo): Mr Speaker, we are aware of similar studies being discontinued in some countries in Africa. I therefore, would like to confirm to the House that there is no a single microbicides. We are using a different type of microbicides, which is not related to that which was being used in other countries.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}


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

(a) what the position of Mukuba Pension Trustees Limited concerning the former ZCCM employees currently working for Mopani Copper Mines Plc and Konkola Copper Mines Plc was; and

(b) whether the Government was aware of the fact that ZCCM houses of the same type valued at K3.6 million were now being sold at K56 million, payable in six months, to former ZCCM employees, who are the sitting tenants, by the Mukuba Pension Trustees Ltd.

The Deputy Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr M. B. Mwale): Mr Speaker, Mukuba Pension Trustees Ltd recognises its obligations concerning former Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Limited (ZCCM Ltd) employees currently working for Mopani Copper Mines Plc. and Konkola Copper Mines Plc.

From inception, on 31st March, 2000, Konkola Copper Mines Plc. withdrew from the Mukuba Pension Scheme and set up it own pension scheme to which all its current employees belong. On the other hand, Mopani Copper Mines Plc. (MCM) joined the Mukuba Pension Scheme and only withdrew in September, 2005. Therefore, whereas the entitlements for Konkola Copper Mines Plc. (KCM) under the Mukuba Pension Scheme had been fully funded up to March, 2000 by ZCCM Ltd, Mopani Copper Mines Plc. has an outstanding financial obligation of about K7.9 billion to Mukuba Pension Scheme arising from an actuarial funding deficit covering the five-year period from March, 2000 to September, 2005. Therefore, Mopani Copper Mines Plc. pensioners’ benefits are being paid to the extent funded by their employer.

Mukuba Pension Trustees Ltd is currently in discussion with Mopani Copper Mines Plc. to resolve the actuarial funding to pay Mopani Copper Mines Plc. employees the full pension as is the case with Konkola employees.

Mr Speaker, the houses being sold by Mukuba Pension Trustees Ltd belong to the Mukuba Pension Scheme and were never at any time owned by ZCCM Ltd. The price of K56 million was arrived at after professional valuation and is reflective of the value that the scheme expects in order to maintain value for its pensioner members.

Since the year 2000 to date, the sitting tenants have not been willing to pay any rent nor have they incurred any cost during their seven-year occupation thereby financially disadvantaging the pensioner members of Mukuba Pension Scheme.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out if the hon. Deputy Minister of Mines and Minerals Development is aware that KCM employees have subscribed to the pension scheme belonging to the owners of ZCCM and that the head office of this pension scheme is not in Zambia? Is he also aware that all the contributions are externalised to South Africa?

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, I indicated in my response that KCM set up their own pension scheme and this Government is aware of what is happening there. However, I would like to state that any responsible Government would take into consideration such issues. What I am referring to is that even our budget always has a deficit. Therefore, to fill the gap of that budget deficit, there is what is termed as internal borrowing and external borrowing. Internal borrowing can only come from the Pension Schemes, the banks and the Government Bonds. This is an issue of concern and, as a Government, we will follow it up.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out whether the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development is aware that the same houses, which have been valued at K56 Million, are sold at K18 million to employees of Mukuba Mines.

Mr M. B. Mwale shook his head.

Mr Speaker: What has happened? The hon. Minister did not get the question.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Is the hon. Minister aware that Mopani Copper Mines plc. is up to date with the contributions to Regna Saturnia Pension Scheme, but is in deficit with Mukuba Pension Scheme because they are not interested and that miners who worked for a long time and have contributed so much to this country are dying in destitution? What is the Government doing about this?

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Member for Kantanshi for the follow up question. I would like to assure this House that as a responsible Government, we will follow up this matter with the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines IH.

I thank you, Sir.


470. Mr Milupi (Luena) asked the Minister of Works and Supply whether the Government would compensate the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) for the environmental damage caused by the failed Mongu/Kalabo Road.

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House as follows:

Mr Speaker, before the Mongu/Kalabo Road project started, an environmental impact study was carried out to determine the nature and gravity of damage that would be occasioned during the period of construction.

My Ministry is compensating all the people affected by the construction of the road for any crop and infrastructure damaged. The project has ensured that all environmental occurrences are mitigated during the project implementation. Great care has been taken to make certain that no permanent environmental damage is left uncorrected so as to warrant compensation to the Barotse Royal Establishment.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Milupi: Mr Speaker, as the hon. Minister is usually very knowledgeable …

Mr Kambwili: On a point of Order.

Mr Milupi: … as the hon. Minister is usually very knowledgeable about these matters …

Mr Kambwili: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order!

The Chair has not heard any commission by any hon. Member of this House of any breach of Parliamentary Procedure. Maybe the Chair will benefit from the hon. Member for Roan?

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious constitutional point of order. This House is guided by the Constitution of Zambia, and the provision of Cap. 12, Section 16 as regards the evidence to Parliament, which states, and I quote:

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

Mr Speaker, I refer to yesterday’s debate in which I raised a follow-up question on the Ministry of Local Government and Housing. I posed this question and I quote:

“I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing when her ministry is going to release the K1.5 Billion owed to Luanshya Municipal Council.”

Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister’s response was, and I quote:
“The Government, in the last two years, has released all the resources owed to Luanshya Municipal Council as a result of the Roan Antelope Mining Corporation of Zambia (RAMCOZ).”

 She further said that she was not aware of any debt owed by the Government to Luanshya Municipal Council.

Mr Speaker, I have two letters with me, and, with your permission, I would like to quote from a letter dated 20th December, 2006, signed by Hon. Masebo and addressed to the Chairman, Secretary of ZALAWU, Luanshya Branch. She stated, and I quote:

“The Government has taken a new position on the issue, through the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, which has indicated, will make a provision of a balance of  Owners’ Rates as a result of RAMCOZ’ K1.5 billion in this years Budget of 2007. Meanwhile, I advise that you wait until Parliament approves the draft Budget.”

Mr Speaker, I have also another letter written to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and National Planning by the Director of Local Government Administration, a Mrs Z. Zulu from the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, and I quote paragraph 2, which states:

“We are also finding out when your ministry will release the balance of K1.5 Billion in outstanding property rates owed by Roan Antelope Mining Corporation to Luanshya Municipal Council in receivership.

“The same debt of K1.5 Billion was provided for in the 2007 National Budget by your ministry as stated in Minute No. MFAL/102/12/8/6, dated 3rd November, 2006.”

Mr Speaker, being a councillor in the Luanshya Municipal Council, I am aware of the fact that the Government owes Luanshya Municipal Council K1.5 Billion. Is the hon. Minister in order to seriously contravene the provisions of Section 16 Cap 12 of the Laws of Zambia by misleading this House, with impunity, that her ministry does not owe Luanshya Municipal Council any money? 
Mr Speaker, is she, therefore, in order to cast doubts on us, hon. Members of Parliament, with regard to all the answers given by hon. Ministers in this House? I pray for your serious ruling.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili laid the paper on the Table.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order! Arising from the point of order that has been raised by the hon. Member for Roan, all that is required is to ascertain the facts. When the facts have been ascertained, the House will be informed.

The hon. Member for Luena was raising a Supplementary Question on his main question.

Mr Milupi: Mr Speaker, all I wanted to know from the hon. Minister was the cost for the proposed twenty-seven bridges and when work was going to start between Mulamba and Tapo.

Mr Simbao: Sir, the cost of the twenty-seven bridges is estimated at the K20 billion that has been put in the Budget. This will be enough to procure the twenty-seven bridges. When the flood waters recede, soil sampling will be done where it was not done this year.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sikota (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, now that an environmental impact assessment has been carried out, but was based on faulty engineering assumptions as has been shown by the fact that all large culverts and bridges have been swept away, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether the Government is going to undertake a fresh environmental impact assessment in the light of the information which has come now.

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, the answer is, no because the alignment of the road still remains the same. There will be no re-alignment of that route because it still remains the same and is valid.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Sinyinda (Senanga): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether he is aware that if the road that is there will not be removed, the damage to the environment will still continue. At the moment, the northern part of the road is prematurely flooded as a result of blockages. Are there any plans by the Government to completely remove the failed road to prevent the damage that has been caused by the road?

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, there are no plans to do that. The idea of bridges is to widen the openings. The openings will be between forty and sixty metres and this will leave a lot of room for the waters to pass unlike now when the openings are about twenty to twenty-five. Therefore, the blockages being talked about will not be there.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Major Chizhyuka (Namwala): Mr Speaker, is there any prudence in the continuation of the Mongu/Kalabo Road given the fact that:

(a) it is a huge environmental negative;

(b) it does not save any purpose with regard to military planning and strategies; and

(c) it is not economical compared to the road that the white man designed, which is an all-weather road and runs along the border of the two countries and is good for commerce and trade in this country which has scarce resources.

Given the inadequacy of the resources of this country, is there any prudence in continuing with this project which is a huge quagmire environmentally and in the other areas that I have discussed? Should we continue to waste billions of taxpayers’ money on something that is a huge monument and which might turn out to be a white elephant?

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, I need to say that a feasibility study was carried out on this road and it was found to be economical. It is the shortest route to Angola from the Western Province. Therefore, it is going to serve Zambia and the people of the Western Province very well. It is a very expensive project, but these are some things that we must do as a country so that we have connectivity to other people.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


471. Mr Chanda asked the Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources:

(a) what the effect of sulphur dioxide is on the following:

(i) human beings;
(ii) natural resources; and
(iii) iron roofing sheets.

(b) what the permissible level of discharge of sulphur dioxide was;

(c) what the penalty for discharging more that the permissible amounts of the chemical above was ; and

(d) who was responsible for monitoring the levels of discharge.

The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources (Mr Kaingu): Mr Speaker, I would like to inform the House that with high sulphur concentrations, adverse human health effects are likely to be mainly irritation. Irritant effects occur mainly in the upper respiratory tract, especially the lungs, therefore, making breathing difficult. The eyes are also affected because sulphur dioxide dissolves in the first tissue water with which it comes in contact. Chronic exposure to sulphur dioxide leads to increased respiratory infection in addition to any direct tissue damage.

Mr Speaker, chronic exposure of plants to sulphur dioxide even at low concentration, causes leaf yellow as a result of inhibition of chlorophyll synthesis; a process through which plants manufacture their food. This is associated with accumulation of sulphur in the leaves.

At high concentration, sulphur dioxide causes rapid leaf damage. As is the case with any other substance, reactions to sulphur dioxide exposure vary from species to species and with environmental conditions.

Mr Speaker, sulphur dioxide causes corrosion of iron roofing sheets, depending on the concentration of this substance.

Mr Speaker, there are two types of permissible levels of discharge of sulphur dioxide under the Environmental Protection and Pollution Act, Cap. 204 of the Laws of Zambia.

(i) “intermediate emission limit” which means an emission limit that is lower of the higher levels than the long-term emission limit, but is in the interim acceptable to the Environmental Council of Zambia; and;

(ii) “long-term emission limit” means an emission limit that is the ultimate the acceptable limit of discharge of sulphur dioxide which is 50 microgram per cubic metre.

Mr Speaker, the Environmental Protection and Pollution Control Act, Cap. 204 of the Laws of Zambia in Section 91 provides for the following penalties for offences committed under the Act, including discharging sulphur dioxide beyond permissible levels:

91(1) A person who pollutes the environment or contravenes any provision of this Act for which no penalty is provided shall be guilty of an offence and liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding fifteen thousand penalty units (i.e. K2,700,000.00) or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to both

(3) Where an offence under this Act is committed by a body of persons –

(a) in the case of a body corporate, every director or similar officer of the body shall be guilty of the offence; or

(b) in the case of a partnership, every partner shall be guilty of an offence.

Mr Speaker, the responsibility of monitoring the levels of discharge lies with both the operator of the industry that is responsible for the emission and the ministry, through the Environmental Council of Zambia (ECZ). The industry is required to monitor their emissions so that they report to ECZ on a quarterly basis as required by permit conditions. The ECZ is required to monitor the levels of emissions so that they determine compliance to statutory requirements.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chanda: Mr Speaker, it has been established that sulphur dioxide, indeed, is capable of destroying the environment and roofing sheets. The people of Kankoyo, or Mufulira as whole, lost their crops and roofing sheets. Is the Government and Mopani Copper Mines going to compensate the people who are affected?

The Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources (Mr Pande): Mr Speaker, the answer to that question is that the people who are affected can put in a claim to Mopani Copper Mines Plc.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwansa (Chifunabuli): Mr Speaker, it is a well known fact that sulphur dioxide is the basic ingredient for the manufacture of sulphuric acid. Is the hon. Minister considering taking measures to simply put up a factory of the acid instead of letting it …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1045 hours until 1100 hours.

Mr Mwansa: Madam Speaker, when business was suspended, I was asking the hon. Minister that he takes into account that sulphur dioxide is the basic ingredient for the manufacture of sulphuric acid and sulphurous acid. The question was: Does the hon. Minister not think that it would be cheaper and more environmentally friendly for him to consider looking for an investor to manufacture both sulphuric and sulphurous acid?

Mr Pande: Madam Speaker, I am glad to inform the House that this is what is actually happening. Mopani Copper Mines is now trapping sulphur dioxide to produce sulphuric acid. Additionally, even a number of these smelters that are coming up, going by the trend, are currently coming up with acid plants for this purpose.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Mukanga: Madam Speaker, during the construction of the smelter plant and the acid plant at Mufulira MCM (Plc), the smelter plant increased the concentration sulphur dioxide emissions so that they could extract it in the acid plant. Is he aware that upon construction, that has not worked and emission of sulphur dioxide in the atmosphere has increased its concentration? May I know what the Government is doing to ensure that this breach of contract is brought to a halt?

Mr Pande: Madam Speaker, initially, the smelter plant at Mufulira had problems, but this has since been rectified. Like I said earlier, now they are trapping this to produce sulphuric acid.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Milupi: Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that when sulphuric acid comes in contact with water, it reacts to create sulphurous acid which is a weak solution of sulphuric acid and, therefore, any amount of sulphur dioxide in the air breathed in by people causes damage to the internal organs? What is the hon. Minister doing to ensure that emission limits which he mentioned in this House are reduced even further?

Mr Pande: Madam Speaker, the ECZ constantly monitors the amount of acid for sulphur dioxide being emitted in the air and ‘constantly monitoring’ means that we have to ensure that they are at permissible levels as per ECZ Act.

I thank you, Madam.{mospagebreak}


472. Mr Singombe asked the Minister of Health:

(a) when a radio communication system would be installed at Mubanga Health Centre and other health centres in Dundumwenzi Parliamentary constituency; and

(b) whether the Government had plans to build a health centre in Kasukwe Ward in Dundumwenzi Parliamentary Constituency.

Dr Puma: Madam Speaker, Dundumwenzi Constituency has nine rural health centres. Six out of these have working radio communication systems while three, namely, Mubanga, Nkandanzovu and Mabombo do not have. Zambia Electricity Company (ZESCO) has donated a radio set which is yet to be installed at Nkandanzovu. Kalomo District Health Office has already pressed an order for a radio for Mubanga Rural Health Centre. It is expected to be installed by September, 2007.

Madam Speaker, as regards part (b) of the question, the residents of Kasukwe Ward are currently accessing health services from Naluya Rural Health Centre.

However, the district has realised the need for a health post and has thus drawn up a project proposal which has been submitted to the World Vision International for possible funding.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Kasongo (Bangweulu): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether the programme of installing the radio communication system will embrace all the clinics and rural health centres throughout the country.

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, I am sure that by now, hon. Members are aware of the fact that the planning starts at district level. If the district prioritises radio communication, that is what will be consolidated and funded. So for us, we only need to look at the district plans and their priorities and those are the ones that will be tackled first and funded.

I thank you, Madam.


473. Mr C. K. B Banda SC. (Chasefu) asked the Minister of Works and Supply when the following roads would be graded:

(a) Lundazi/Chama Road passing through Chikwa and Chitheba (Tembwe) via Emusa; and

(b) Lundazi/Kazembe/Mapamba Road.

Mr Simbao: Madam Speaker, the 156-kilometre road between Lundazi and Chama has been included in the programme for the periodic maintenance of the trunk, main and district roads by Output and Performance based Road Contract (OPRC) for package No. 06 in the Eastern Province.

The programmes comprise the carrying out of light rehabilitation of roads in the first six months included in this package including the Lundazi/Chama Road. The light rehabilitation is followed up with the maintenance of the roads for a period of three and half years. Madam Speaker, the light rehabilitation of roads under package No. 6 started on 2nd July, 2006 and maintenance started in December, 2006 and the same contractor will carry out the maintenance.

Madam Speaker, there are no plans to rehabilite of the Lundazi/Kazembe/Mapamba Road in the Annual Work Plan for 2007. However, there is a sum of K3.4 billion available to the regional engineers and this money might be used to carry out light rehabilitation of the Lundazi/Kazembe/Mapamba Road.

I thank you, Madam.


474. Mr Nyirenda asked the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry:

(a) how many Zambian companies were in the manufacturing sector and what goods they were producing;

(b) why the mining sector preferred to import products at the expense of those that were locally produced which were usually available in sufficient quantities and were of superior quality; and

(c) what measures the ministry had taken to protect the local manufacturing industries from undue competition by cheap imports.

The Deputy Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Ms Siliya): Madam Speaker, there were 1,031 manufacturing companies in Zambia by December 2005, according to the Establishment Register obtained from the Central Statistical Office and the goods they were producing included food and beverages, tobacco, chemicals, rubber and plastic products; wood, wood products and furniture, bricks, ceramics, glass, cement and similar products; clothing and footwear; coal and petroleum products; leather, leather goods and furniture; metal products (except machinery and equipment); paper and paper products; scientific, optical and similar equipment; textiles; and vehicle parts and accessories and other products.

Madam Speaker, as regards part (b) of the question, the mining sector prefers to import products because of the uncompetitiveness of the local suppliers. The mines have advised that they are merely taking advantage of the lower prices of imported goods like any businessman would because of the incentives associated with imported goods such as the 25 per cent duty exemption on imports offered by the Government to goods with certificates of origin. There is also a 14.5 per cent export rebate offered by the South African Government on export goods from there and other export incentives offered by other governments, just to mention a few.

Although Zambia is a signatory to regional trade arrangements, these are not cast in concrete and Zambia’s interests should always be put first to promote our local industries.

Madam Speaker, in answer to part (c) of the question, since 1991, Zambia has pursued an open trade policy, which allows the industry to compete with products from other countries. However, in recognition of the undue competition that may be associated with imports, Zambia has domesticated existing trade remedy provisions embedded in regional and multi-lateral trade treaties which she is party to, by enacting specific legislation to deal with situations of undue competition.

The following are the specific pieces of legislation enacted to deal with different types of undue competition:

(a) Safeguard legislation embedded in the Control of Goods Act No. 12 of 2004 to address the sudden influx of imports that have caused injury or threaten to cause injury to domestic industry.

(b) Anti-Dumping and Countervailing provisions embedded in the Customs and Excise Act No. 4 of 1999 to offset any effects of subsidies on imported products.

Madam Speaker, the ministry has also embarked on sensitisation and training programmes for both the private and public sectors on the utilisation of these provisions.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Nyirenda: Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what the Government is doing to make it easier for the manufacturing sector to produce goods cheaper by reducing the taxes?

Ms Siliya: Madam Speaker, the ministry has decided to approach the problem of expanding the manufacturing base through an integrated approach. We understand that there are a number of problems such as supply constraints and that these supply constraints make it very difficult for us to produce products competitively. As a result, they make it very difficult for us to export products and take advantage of trade protocols we have signed both regionally and internationally, such as in those in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the European Union (EU).

Madam Speaker, among the supply constraints, there are software and hardware issues. We are trying to address these issues through the Private Sector Development Programme. In terms of the software, we have issues to do with regulation, administrative barriers and corruption. There is a working group in the Private Sector Development Programme which is actually looking at how we can reduce administrative barriers. It also looks at how it can be made possible for the Government to process and make private processes client oriented so that they create efficiency, are effective and ultimately, reduce the cost of conducting business in Zambia.

On the hardware side, there are issues of infrastructure. Again, one of the working groups in the Private Sector Development Programme is looking at private-public partnerships in an effort to develop infrastructure. As you know, Zambia is landlocked. We believe that by making Zambia land linked, we can easily take advantage of the regional markets and also access the seas that surround our neighbours to penetrate the international markets. Some statistics are showing that by 2010, Zambia will have to transport about 1,000,000 tonnes of copper. This means that we have to invest in physical infrastructure which will make it easy for us to transport this product because, presently, with the high copper prices, nobody is thinking of the effects of transport costs, but once this advantage, this window of hope closes, we will have to seriously consider transport costs. Therefore, our approach, to just answer your question, is to take a wholesome approach to reducing the cost of conducting business in Zambia and we, through the Private Sector Development Programme, are reviewing all processes so that we can create efficiency.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Members: Quality!

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister in agreement with the widely held view that manufacturing in Zambia is essentially uncompetitive for the reason that the currency of the country, the Kwacha, is grossly over valued and that manufacturing is thus disadvantaged in exactly the same way as cotton and tobacco production or the production of anything is disadvantaged except copper which is actually subsidised by the tax payer?

Ms Siliya: Madam Speaker, the economic policy of Zambia is to grow the economy of through transforming and diversifying the economy, and that this will be private sector- led. This is the only way we are going to create wealth, generate jobs and ultimately reduce poverty.

In this line, coming back to the question by the hon. Member of Parliament for Lusaka Central, it is not enough just to look at one issue in terms of the physical policy or the monetary policy. That is not the only answer to growing the economy. Again, I repeat that, through the Private Sector Development Programme, there is a wholesome integrated approach to fiscal policy and manufacturing policy, communication, energy and infrastructure because that is the only way we are going sustain development. We have decided to review all processes so that we can have sustained economic development.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): Madam Speaker, based on the hon. Minister’s response regarding what Government is doing to protect the local industry from undue competition from importers, I would like to know whether the hon. Minister is aware that there are illegal sugar imports from our neighbouring states via the Zambian/Malawian border and the Zimbabwean/Zambian border which are fully controlled. The sugar is also being repackaged in Zambian packaging. If she is aware, I would like to know what the Government is doing to curb this scourge.

Ms Siliya: Madam Speaker, first of all, I would like to reiterate that Zambia’s economic policy has been quite consistence since 1991. It is a liberalised economic system and as such the various trading protocols we have signed both in the region and internationally demand that we continue to practice a liberal type of economy. This means that we are not putting any barriers on imports and exports.

However, the Government also recognises that, there are some sectors, some products and some industries that we must protect to accelerate economic growth in those areas so as to benefit the people. On that basis, we are talking with our neighbouring countries such as, Malawi in terms of sugar issues, and of course, even on the international level such as the EU.

Therefore, I am aware of that issue and we will continue the discussions. Recently, we sent a very high level delegation to Malawi to discuss issues of sugar and wheat imports, but if, within the Common Markets for Eastern and Southern African (COMESA) context, the issue is the certificate of region and we know that sometimes this is abused, we will continue to engage our neighbours who are party to the COMESA protocol so that we can all benefit at a regional level.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


475. Mr Simama (Kalulushi) asked the hon. Minister of Works and Supply whether the Government had any plans to construct a dual carriage way on the Kitwe/Chingola Road.

Mr Simbao: Madam Speaker, the Government is currently seeking to engage a consultant to undertake a feasibility study to establish whether or not to construct a dual carriageway on the Kitwe/Chingola Road.

Currently, we have a team of engineers from the Road Development Agency Regional Office, carrying out a traffic count exercise to establish the number of vehicles and the type of vehicles using that road in order for the ministry to come up with an appropriate design.

The Engineering Institute of Zambia Report has also pointed out that the dual carriageway is a long-term solution. The short-term solution is to widen the shoulders and provide road markings and signs. The short-term measure is now under tender and tenders are being evaluated. As a Government, we are committed to reducing accidents on that road. In the economic sense, the dual carriage way is the most preferred option. It will reduce the delivery time of vehicles using that road.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Nsanda (Chimwmwe): Madam Speaker, (inaudible) the same consultant is a contractor and at the same time, they are the clerk of works. Who is going to supervise and make sure that the quality of these roads they are working on is good because the contractor cannot check himself.

Mr Simbao: Madam Speaker, a consultant has just been appointed. We are looking for a consultant. We have not even tendered the works for this road. We shall have to make a decision when the feasibility studies are complete. With regard to this question, I think the hon. Member’s question is misplaced.

I thank you, Madam.


476. Mrs Musokotwane asked the hon. Minister of Education:

(a) how many upper basic schools were currently in the country;

(b) how many schools at (a) above failed to send pupils to Grade 10 following the Grade 9 Examinations in 2006;

(c) what were the reasons for failing to send even one pupil to Grade 10; and

(d) what measures the Government had taken to improve education standards at the schools at (b) above.

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, there are 1,634 upper basic schools in the country. Sixty-three failed to send pupils to Grade 10, following Grade 9 examinations in 2006. The following are the reasons they failed to send pupils to Grade 10:

(i) some pupils had good marks, but failed to proceed because they did not reach the cut-off point; and

(ii) effective monitoring of examinations reduced cheating and gave pupils no chance of cheating in the examinations;

Madam, the Government has taken the following measures to improve the education standards in the schools:

(i) more teaching and learning materials are being procured and in this year’s Budget, the Ministry of Education is to spend K90 billion on teaching and learning materials. This will go a long way in reducing the shortages of teaching and learning materials in the schools;

(ii) the Government, through the Ministry of Education, will recruit and deploy trained teachers in the schools and this will help in reducing the shortage of teachers in needy schools;

(iii) teachers are being encouraged to upgrade their qualifications by distance learning and full time study; and

(iv) the Teacher Training Programme is under scrutiny with a view to improve the quality of teachers trained at this level.

I thank you, Madam.

Mrs Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, in the schools where children failed, what is the ministry doing, through the Standards Office, to make sure that by December 2007, there will be pupils who will proceed to Grade 10?

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, the Standards Officers are the quality assurance officers in our ministry, who will ensure that the teaching and learning process is as effective and efficient as it should be so that pupils are able to perform at the level that we all expect.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr L. J. Mulenga (Kwacha): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out whether the ministry has adequately visited all the schools in our country. In my constituency, each school which should have may be twenty, there are five teachers and teaching materials are non-existent in most schools. Can the hon. Minister assure this House that his ministry will visit all the schools in the nation?

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister of Education, indeed, would like to visit most of the schools in the country. However, as the House and hon. Members are aware, we have well over 7,000 basic and 500 high or secondary schools throughout the country It is, indeed, practically impossible to visit each and every school in our Republic, but efforts are being made to sample schools in our country through visitation by the hon. Minister. So far, I have been to some parts of the country and I have seen for myself the situation of the schools in different parts our country.

However, the ministry has officers on the ground. There are Standards Officers at the district and provincial level, including other categories of officers. These are in touch with the realities of our schools. What the ministry is doing is facilitate the monitoring of the teaching and learning process as well as the conditions of our schools through these officers. They bring information to the headquarters like in every other educational system. That is how the system ought to operate.

Madam Speaker, in terms of the shortage of teachers, this is a subject which we have been discussing on the Floor of this House and have acknowledged that indeed, because of the expansion that is taking place in the educational system and the increasing numbers of children who are in school, there are constraints on the teacher supply. As a ministry, we are doing everything possible to increase the teacher supply, through various training programmes, as I have indicated in the response.

I thank you, Madam.

Dr Kalumba (Chienge): Madam Speaker, can the hon. Minister and very educated professor help us confirm a worrisome, but popular view? This is in relation to his response to Question 476 (a) and (b), that the education sector in general is facing a crisis of access, quality, confidence and finance, and that it is about time his ministry seriously and urgently reviews the current educational policy.

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, indeed, as the hon. Member has pointed out, the education system is founded on the policy principles of access, equity, participation, efficiency and decentralisation. All these are key to ensure that our education system is as equitable as can possibly be.

It is operating at the highest level of quality and its management is efficient and effective in the delivery of the education provision. This is clearly outlined in the 1996 policy document “Educating Our Future”, which is available for everybody to study and understand what is going on in the education system.

Truly, over the years, there has been a lot of pressure because of, firstly, the increasing population of children, the changing realities in our country, socially and economically, and this has created a lot of pressure on the education system as I have indicated in the earlier responses. This being the case, efforts are now being made to critically review the state of the education system ten years after the current education policy. This review will look at the different dimensions of the education system from the early childhood level up to the tertiary level.

There are a number of changes which have taken place over the years and we want to see how well we have performed in the past ten years since the new education policy came into being; what the constraints are; where we ought to go; repositioning and re-aligning the education policy with the national vision of this country, which is the Vision 2030, based on wealth creation and employment generation. The critical issue in the education sector is how we prepare the human resources of this country so that we have the knowledge, skills and right attitudes in our people to drive the economy as we increasingly develop a knowledge-based economy.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Chimbaka (Bahati): Madam Speaker, can the hon. Minister of Education clarify why the passing percentage for pupils in mission and private schools are higher than that of those in Government schools? Secondly, could he shed light on whether the Government has intentions to hand back schools which were previously run by missionaries?

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam, those two questions are new and so I request the hon. Member to ask them afresh so that we can research and provide the answers.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Beene (Itezhi-tezhi): Madam, the hon. Minister of Education has said that he has some officers to monitor activities in the schools that he may not manage to reach. How are these officers going to monitor activities in those schools when they do not have transport? For example, my constituency covers Mazabuka up to Sesheke. Are there any plans to purchase vehicles for all the districts?

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam, it is extremely disappointing that we easily forget facts. Just a few months ago, we approved the Ministry of Education budget in this House and there was a provision in that budget for purchasing motor vehicles for the district staff. I am surprised that the hon. Member has forgotten that fact which is clearly stated in the Yellow Book and budget of the ministry which was approved in this House.

I thank you, Madam.


477. Mr Mwansa asked the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives what the minimum hectarage required by a peasant farmer in order to sustain an annual farming activity without any support from the Fertiliser Support Programme was.

Mr Mulonga: Madam, depending on the crop, a peasant farmer requires between 0.5 to one hectarage in order to maintain an annual farming activity without support from the Fertiliser Support Programme.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Mwansa: Madam, could the hon. Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives kindly explain why then this programme has been going on when there does not seem to be anyone graduating into self-sustenance since the programme began?

Mr Mulonga: Madam, I just believe that the hon. Member is referring to the Fertiliser Support Programme in his question and why people are not continuously graduating. I think this question was asked earlier. For a person to graduate, one is given one pack which contains four bags of basal dressing and four bags of top dressing, with a 20 kg bag of seed to use in one hectarage. In the normal management of farming, a commercial farmer is expected to produce about five to seven tonnes of maize. This means that a farmer will produce between 120 and 140 bags of maize. Peasant farmers with good management skills are expected to produce between sixty and eighty bags of maize from one hectarage.

If we calculate, for example, using this year’s buying price of K38,000 per bag, someone can realise above K2 million from which, if one has to maintain one hectarage, he or she will spend about K1.2 million on fertiliser, K100,000 for seed plus labour. The total will be about K1.3 million and one can still spend about K1.5 million and easily maintain this.

Now, to answer the hon. Member’s question, let me say that we did not have enough extension officers in our farming blocks to show our farmers how well to prepare and manage their farms so that they can harvest the number of bags they are supposed to from one hectarage. It is for this reason that my ministry wrote to the Ministry of Finance and National Planning to seek permission to employ more, among others, extension officers, who are supposed to teach our farmers good management skills of their farms. Only then, are we going to have a realistic way of weaning farmers.

Madam, I thank you.

Major Chizhyuka: Madam, going by the figures that the hon. Minister of Education has just given this House where K1.5 million is the amount of money a peasant farmer who is on the Fertiliser Support Programme gets from the K2 million which is his gross, he earns K500,000 per annum. On the basis of that calculation, hon. Minister, do you see a situation where peasant farmers will graduate from this perpetual dependency syndrome on the Fertiliser Support Programme, one day?

Mr Mulonga: Madam Speaker, I was trying to calculate the minimum someone can get from one hectare. Depending on good management, as I have already said, if farm management is improved, they can easily get well and above that. The vision of the Government is to see to it that good land management practices are introduced to the farmers so that they maximise their yields. We have a vision that, sooner than later, once we employ these people and everything is in place, our indigenous farmers will easily graduate to another level.

I thank you, Madam.{mospagebreak}


478. Dr Njobvu (Milanzi) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives:

(a) what the number of agricultural farming blocks in the country is, province by province; and

(b) how many of the farming blocks at (a) above are not manned, province by province.

Mr Mulonga: Madam Speaker, the answer is as follows:

(a) there are 346 agricultural farming blocks in the country broken down as follows:


Province Farming blocks

(i) Central  38
(ii) Copperbelt 44
(iii) Eastern  42
(iv) Luapula 18
(v) Lusaka  16
(vi) Northern 51
(vii) N/Western 36
(viii) Southern 47
(ix) Western 38

(b) There are ninety-five unmanned farming blocks in the country broken down as follows:

Province Farming Blocks

(i) Central  10
(ii) Copperbelt 2
(iii) Eastern  15
(iv) Luapula 20
(v) Lusaka  1
(vi) Northern 18
(vii) N/Western 20
(viii) Southern 0
(ix) Western 10

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Dr Njobvu: Madam Speaker, when is the ministry will deploy officers to man these unmanned farming blocks?

Mr Mulonga: Madam Speaker, as I said earlier on, immediately we are given a go ahead by the Ministry of Finance and National Planning to employ, it will not take us a week to deploy extension officers where they are needed.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Kapeya (Mpika Central): Madam Speaker, what form of transport has the ministry provided for extension officers in various farming blocks and in the absence of any form of transport, how does the ministry expect them to perform?

Mr Mulonga: Madam Speaker, we know very well that transport is cardinal for these officers to work properly. In April this year, we sent about seventy-two motorbikes to various districts. On Tuesday, this week, we sent about seventy-one motorbikes, again, to various farming blocks. As a Government, we are trying to equip them with transport so that they work effectively.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Sinyinda (Senanga): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out the definition of a farming block. I say so because, as far as I know, the Western Province has got only two farming blocks, which are, Kalumwange and another one which I cannot name. Could the hon. Minister give the definition of a farming block?

Mr Mulonga: Madam Speaker, in simple words, a farming block is an aggregate of farms with acreage that varies from district to district. For further explanation or theories, he can come to the office so that we discuss.

I thank you, Madam.


Mr Kambwili: Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister, which farming block is the highest maize producer in this country.

Mr Mulonga: Madam Speaker, the hon. Member was not specific on the types of farming blocks. I am not sure whether he asking about medium or commercial farming blocks. If he meant medium farming blocks, the Katete Farming Block has the highest maize production. With regard to commercial farming blocks, the Mkushi Farming Block has the highest maize production.

I thank you, Madam.


479. Mr Mwapela (Kalabo Central) asked the Minister Works and Supply:

(a) how many registered indigenous Zambian-owned construction companies were currently in the top two categories as determined by the National Construction Council;

(b) how many indigenous Zambian contractors were currently on contracts above K10 billion; and
(c) what plans the Ministry had to empower contractors to participate in big contracts.

Mr Simbao: Madam Speaker, I wish to inform the House as follows:

(a) there are only two indigenous Zambian companies currently registered in the top two categories ( Category 1 and 2). These are A. M. C. Contractors Ltd and Raubex Construction Zambia Ltd out of the twenty-five contractors registered. However, the total of non-indigenous Zambian companies is eight (8);

(b) there are no indigenous contractors that are currently on contracts above K10 billion;

(c) there are capacity building courses and workshops that the National Construction Council conducts, through the Construction School, to enhance the contractors’ skills in project management, tendering procedures and various construction techniques.

The ministry and the National Council for Construction are trying to facilitate access to finance for contractors from the commercial banks and a study is ongoing to determine the best mechanism for the establishment of the plant pool.

The Government is also trying to encourage contractors to partner or go into joint ventures with their fellow Zambian contractors so that they enhance their capacity and compete favourably with the foreign contractors.

In addition, joint ventures are being encouraged with foreign contractors in order to build capacity through transfer of skills and technology.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Madam Speaker, there is a general complaint regarding poor workmanship. At times, you have to be unkind in order to be kind. Why can the hon. Minister not prosecute or blacklist the contractors that perform badly?

Mr Simbao: Madam Speaker, all contracts are run by a signed understanding in which case, the issues of performance range very highly, and if proved, for whatever reason, either by poor performance or defaulting, then a company can be blacklisted or removed from the register. However, when there are such complaints, an investigation is normally instituted and there must be proof that this has happened. That is the only time that you can take action. Actually, we have the power to do that.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Sikota: I would like to find out if, indeed, there are any firms or companies that have been blacklisted for those reasons, and if there are none, why not?

Mr Simbao: Madam Speaker, I did say, upon proof of such an occurrence, a company may be blacklisted. There have been cases of complaints and arbitrators have been appointed, and, in some cases, the companies have been found not to be at fault.

Mr Speaker, we know that there have been a lot of complaints, but we have not yet had written proof and that is where the problem is. If written proof can be obtained that this was caused by the contractor, we can blacklist these contractors.

I thank you, Madam.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Madam Speaker, the regulation by the hon. Minister that there is no single Zambian company that has a contract of up to K10 billion is rather sad. Why is it that none of the indigenous Zambian companies - at least, the two top ones - are not able to access contracts of K10 billion which is just a little over US$ 2.5 million. Is it because they lack capacity or what factors could contribute to that? I would like to believe that other foreign companies are able to get contracts well above that. What explanation can the hon. Minister give for that?

Mr Simbao: Madam Speaker, there are two issues that are generally known. In some cases, the contractors will not bid for these big jobs, while in other cases, the bidding documents are incomplete and, as such, they will be disqualified on that basis.

I thank you, Madam.


480. Mr Chimbaka asked the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development what measures the Government had taken to market the large deposits of high grade manganese in Bahati Parliamentary Constituency with a view to attracting potential investors to the constituency.

The Deputy Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr Nkhata): Madam Speaker, the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development, through the Geological Survey Department, has surveyed and mapped the area and published a geological map and its accompanying report where the manganese deposits are described. The report, No. 26, which is about the geology of the Mansa Area is currently on sale at the Geological Survey Department.

Besides, the information is promoted at various local and international fora to attract investment.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Chimbaka: Madam Speaker, beyond Bahati, there are huge deposits of precious and high grade copper concentrates in Kaputa, Nchelenge, Mambilima and Mwense constituencies to name just a few. When is the Government planning to send people to invest and begin mining in these areas to balance employment creation and development like in North Western Province?

Mr M. B. Mwale: Madam Speaker, just for the information of the hon. Member, if there were copper concentrates in Kaputa and other areas that he has mentioned, we would be talking of smelters and not looking for investors.

Madam Speaker, the ministry is aware of these deposits and we have made all the efforts to bring it to the attention of the various investors. Some of them are local investors so that they can move into these areas and participate, apply for prospecting licences and advance to the mining stage.

I thank you, Madam.

Mrs Mumbi: Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister if the Government has any deliberate policy to resuscitate Mansa Batteries which was using this manganese, and if so, how far have they gone?

Mr Nkhata: Madam Speaker, that question is better directed to the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Madam Speaker, how does the hon. Minister expect investors to move into Kaputa and the other areas that the hon. Member mentioned when they have suspended the issuance of small-scale mining and exploration licences?

Mr M. B. Mwale: Madam Speaker, I am sure the hon. Member is referring to the moratorium. The moratorium that is in place only affects the new applicants. Those licences that are in the backline will be handled. However, new applications will not be received by the ministry until the end of this year. Thereafter, we will identify a number of areas that could be allocated to new investors.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


481. Mr D. Mwila asked the Minister of Labour and Social Security:

(a) how many trade unions had their books of accounts audited in the 2005 and 2006 financial years;

(b) how many trade unions were not audited in the financial years above, name by name; and

(c) whether the audited accounts at (a) above had financial irregularities and, if so, what action the ministry had taken against the erring trade unions.

The Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mr Liato): Mr Speaker, in 2005, fourteen trade unions out of thirty-eight had their books of accounts audited and financial statements submitted to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security whereas in 2006, only two, by the time of responding to this question, out of forty had submitted their books of accounts to the ministry.

On part (b) of the question, Madam Speaker, in 2005 twenty-four trade unions had not audited their books of accounts whereas in 2006 thirty-eight trade unions had not audited their accounts. The following is the list of trade unions that had not audited their accounts in 2005. The list is quite long and I would have laid it on the Table, but I will read it, anyway, because we have to answer part (c) of the question.

(i) Bankers’ Union of Zambia;
(ii) Copperbelt University Academics Union;
(iii) Agricultural Technical and Professional Union of Zambia;
(iv) Hotel Catering and Allied Workers Union of Zambia;
(v) Health Workers Union of Zambia;
(vi) Mineworkers Union of Zambia;
(vii) National Energy Sector and Allied Workers Union of Zambia;
(viii) National Union for Technical Educational Lecturers and Allied Workers in Zambia;
(ix) National Union of Plantations and Agricultural Workers;
(x) National Union of Miners and Allied Workers;
(xi) National Union of Transport and Allied Workers;
(xii) National Union of Communication Workers;
(xiii) United House and Domestic Workers Union of Zambia;
(xiv) University of  Zambia and Allied Workers union;
(xv) Zambia National Union of Teachers;
(xvi) Zambia Union of Financial and Allied Workers;
(xvii) Zambia National Union of Health and Allied Workers of Zambia;
(xviii) Zambia Revenue Authority Workers Union;
(xix) Zambia Union of Broadcasters and Other Information Disseminators;
(xx) Zambia Congress of Trade Unions;
(xxi) Zambia Union of Journalists;
(xxii) Federation of Free Trade Unions of Zambia;
(xxiii) Grain and Meat Workers Union of Zambia; and 
(xxiv) Zambia United Local Authorities Workers Union.

The trade unions without audited accounts in 2006 were as follows:

(i) Bankers’ Union of Zambia;
(ii) Airwaves and Allied Workers Union of Zambia;
(iii) Power Generation and Allied Workers of Zambia;
(iv) Secondary School Teachers Union of Zambia;
(v) National Union of Building Engineering and General workers;
(vi) National Union of Public Service;
(vii) Copperbelt University Workers Union;
(viii) Copperbelt University Academics Union;
(ix) Agricultural Technical and Professional Union of Zambia;
(x) Hotel Catering and Allied Workers Union of Zambia;
(xi) Health Workers Union of Zambia;
(xii) Mine Workers Union of Zambia;
(xiii) Railway Workers Union of Zambia;
(xiv) Workers Union of Tazara;
(xv) National Energy Sector and Allied Workers Union;
(xvi) National Union of Technical Education Lecturers and Allied Workers Union;
(xvii) National Union of Plantations and Agricultural Workers;
(xviii) Zambia Typographical and Allied Workers Union;
(xix) Zambia Water, Sanitation, Engineering and Allied Workers Union;
(xx) National Union of Miners and Allied Workers;
(xxi) National Union of Transport and Allied Workers;
(xxii) National Union of Communication Workers;
(xxiii) United House and Domestic Workers Union of Zambia;
(xxiv) University of Zambia and Allied Workers Union;
(xxv) Zambia National Union of Teachers;
(xxvi) Zambia Union of Financial and Allied Workers;
(xxvii) Zambia National Union of Health and Allied Workers;
(xxviii) Zambia Revenue Authority Workers Union;
(xxix) Zambia Union of Broadcasters and other Information Disseminators;
(xxx) Zambia Congress of Trade Unions;
(xxxi) Federation of Free Trade Unions of Zambia;
(xxxii) Grain Meat Workers Union of Zambia;
(xxxiii) Zambia Union of Journalists;
(xxxiv) Zambia Union of Security Officers and Allied Workers
(xxxv) Zambia Union of Commercial and Industrial Workers;
(xxxvi) Civil Servants and Allied workers Union of Zambia;
(xxxvii) The Zambia United Local Authorities Workers’ Union; and
(xxxiii)  University of Zambia Lecturers and Researchers Union;

On part (c), Madam Speaker, the audited accounts referred to in (a) above were carefully scrutinised by the accountants in the ministry with the result that the verifications made did not reveal any financial irregularities and, therefore, the ministry did not take any step against the concerned trade unions.

I further wish to inform this august House that the Ministry of Labour and Social Security has since written to the trade unions that have not submitted their books of accounts to do so in the shortest possible time, failure to which punitive measures will be taken against them as provided for under Section 21 (3) of the Industrial and Labour Relations Act, especially now that the ministry has trained prosecutors to undertake such responsibilities.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr D. Mwila: Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security if at all the ministry does monitor the use of monies which are members’ contributions to ensure they are used for the intended purpose such as, for example, training of its members?

Mr Liato: Madam Speaker, the ministry does monitor the use of funds in the trade unions, through the submitted financial statements to the ministry, and that is why the ministry has taken this step to ask those who have not submitted reports to do so, so that we can, as a ministry, monitor how the money is being used. It is encouraged, obviously, that money should go more to workers’ education so that workers become more productive and know their rights and obligations.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr L. J. Mulenga: Madam Speaker, I would like to find out why there has been no deliberate policy to follow up all the unions that have not had their accounts audited. These unions are collecting money from employees and that money ought to be accounted for effectively so that the objectives of the union are made. Why should we allow a situation to take such a long time without taking any action?

Mr Liato: Madam Speaker, we know that it is important that institutions are accountable. In this case, trade unions are accountable to their members. The problem is that there has been weakness on the laws that govern the relationship between the trade unions and the Office of the Labour Commissioner. The law was not so compelling and specific on time. Efforts have been made by the Government to normalise this situation by making changes in our laws. The laws that will be coming will ensure that they take care of the provisions that will be compelling in terms of time and specifics on the trade unions being accountable to their members. I think it is just a question of the weaknesses that existed in the laws. We would like to ensure that we address those inadequacies and we will do that quite soon.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kapeya (Mpika Central): Madam Speaker, could the hon. Minister inform this House whether the idea of plural unionism in one industry has yielded positive results in Zambia.

Mr Liato: Madam Speaker, obviously that idea came from the fact that Zambia is a signatory to Conventions 87 and 98 which give the freedom to associate and form trade unions of our own choices as workers. This meant that domestication of this law gave rights to many people to form unions of their choice. If people were not allowed to do so, it would have been the breach on the International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions that we have ratified and also the Constitution of Zambia. I think we must be honest with ourselves. The idea of pluralism in trade unions, in some cases, has created a big problem. We have created a situation where employers have to deal with more than one union, taking a big chunk of productive time instead of doing what the organisation or co-operation is intended to do. In some ways, they have become quite counter productive.

As a Government, we would like to move towards ensuring that we achieve productivity whilst, at the same time, allowing these rights to prevail. The way forward is for us to encourage dealing with unions which are mostly represented. That way, we will not be violating rights of individuals forming unions of their own choice. At the same time, we will not over burden employers with the task of negotiating whilst not being productive. I think this is the most representative concept worldwide. It is also an ILO concept and I think this is our way forward.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Dr Machungwa: Madam Speaker, can the hon. Deputy Minister confirm that part of these amendments to the laws are aimed at stopping certain named labour leaders from occupying offices?  Laws will be amended so that some people may not be eligible to continue to serve as labour leaders.

Mr Liato: Madam Speaker, the New Deal Administration is a very democratic Government.


Mr Liato: Madam Speaker, it would not do anything to impede or inhibit any trade union official or officer from holding office for political reasons because there is no reason for doing that. In fact, the relationship between this Government and the trade unions is quite good. We enjoy warm a relationship with the trade unions.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Liato: We have no battles to fight. Therefore, there would be no reason whatsoever, to do that. I would like to say that, as a Government, we want to encourage trade unionism to be for people who are in employment in industry or in any field that they are in. Trade unionism should not be for non-employees. If there is anyone who wants to hold office and has already retired and the law will not allow him to hold office, that should not be seen as targeting a particular individual. We must make this very clear. There are people who may not be in employment who want to hold office. I think even to be an hon. Member of Parliament, you have to be a member of a particular constituency. If you are not a member of a particular constituency, you may not be elected. For example, if you want to be in leadership in Zambia, you must be a Zambian. There are always qualifications that will be required to be a member of a particular activity or society.

Madam Speaker, the New Deal Administration is an accommodating Government and we have an excellent relationship with the unions. I would like to confirm to the hon. Member that this Government has no such intentions.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Services whether it is right for mining companies to determine the membership of employees to the union by qualification. In the mining industry, all graduates, technicians and technologists are exempted from belonging to the union. Is it not one way of weakening the union so that only the people who are not very educated belong to the union?

Mr Liato: Madam Speaker, membership to trade union organisations depends on the employees themselves to decide whether they would like to belong to a trade union or not.

Secondly, we have provisions that if you are in the management category, in other words, make management decisions, you cannot be part of those proposed decisions that you make. Therefore, the disqualification should be on the basis that the people in management are making decisions. As a result, they cannot be part of a team which will negotiate against management decisions. In this case, it is important that membership is left for those who are not decision makers.

In cases where they define membership way beyond the line of management-decision makers, it is open to trade unions existing in those organisations or industries to negotiate and take these categories upwards to where they deserve to be. Currently, the challenge in the mines is on the trade union organisations existing there now. They must negotiate to take the cut-off point in scales higher. That is a challenge for the trade unions. It should not be the responsibility of the Government or anyone else. It is something that is subject to negotiations. They must negotiate to take the category higher.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.{mospagebreak}


482. Mrs Banda (Chililabombwe) asked the Minister of Health:

(a) what the major challenges and constraints in the provision of quality health care in Zambia were; and

(b) what strategies and plans the ministry had taken for the provision of quality health care in the country.

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the major challenges and constraints being faced by the Ministry of Health are:

The Human Resources Crisis

Availability of appropriate human resources at all the levels of health care is a critical factor in ensuring the delivery of quality health care. At the moment, the health sector is operating at a staffing level of 50 per cent.

Infrastructure, Essential Drugs and Medical Supplies

The vision of the Ministry of Health is to provide quality health care as close to the family as possible. However, the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of the health service delivery are, to a large extent, determined by the availability of appropriate staff, infrastructure and equipment, essential drugs and medical supplies. Some of the equipment in our health institutions has outlived their designed period of usefulness.

Disease Burden

The advent of HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis has negatively affected the health care of the people of Zambia, therefore, presenting a challenge on my ministry. Malaria, cholera and other diarrheal diseases have continued to be major causes of illnesses in the people. The high maternal and infant mortality rates are a major source of concern.

Madam Speaker, in answer to part (b) the Ministry of Health in its National Health Strategic Plan of 2006-2010 has put in strategies and plans to ensure the provision of quality health care as close to the people as possible and these include:

(i) increasing the workforce in the health sector from the current 26,088 to 51,797. This is to be done in phases, with an initial 1,900 health workers to be recruited this year and progressing on to a figure of 30,000 by the end of the year;

(ii) expansion of the number of training places available by increasing the number of training schools and the number of applicants for nurses and mid-wives. For instance, we have plans that Roan School of Nursing, Nchanga, Kalene and Chitambo become operational;

(iii) scaling up of the Retention Scheme to include different health personnel with emphasis on rural areas;

(iv) procurement of drugs, including the 27,000 health centre kits, that will last a year. A number of these kits have already arrived in the country;

(v) procurement of motor vehicles for all districts from the allocated K19 billion in this year’s Budget.

(vi) construction of forty health posts. Already, the Ministry of Finance and National Planning has released funds for the construction of twenty health posts at a total cost of K5 billion;

(vii) increase in the number of construction of district hospitals going on in Samfya, Chadiza, Mumbwa, Isoka and Shang’ombo;

(viii) continued procurement of equipment that started under the ORET Programme. These include theatre and X-ray equipment;

(ix) scaling up and strengthening community and facility-based integrated management of childhood illnesses in all districts.

(x) strengthen the Expanded Programme for Immunisation (EPI) in all districts. Currently, we are undertaking the National Measles Campaign from 9th to 14th July, 2007.

(xi) scaling up prevention activities through the increased promotion and support to Abstinence, Be faithful and Condom use (ABC) programmes in our fight against HIV/AIDS and instituting culturally sensitive Information, Education and Communication materials (IEC);

(xii) increase access to HIV counselling and testing, strengthening the Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV activities and expanding access to Anti-retroviral Therapy (ART);

(xiii) strengthen the quality and expand the coverage of emergency obstetrics, including family planning, Anti-natal Care (ANC) and Post-natal services; and lastly,

(xiv) plan and institute scaling up of malaria prevention through integrated vector management interventions, including the access and usage of Insecticide Treated Nets (ITNs) and In-door Residue Spraying (IRS) for effective treatment of clinical malaria.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mrs Banda: Madam Speaker, I would like to know when Zambians will be assured of quality health service. I say so because most of the hospitals offer poor health services. Looking at the plans which the hon. Minister has just given us, …

Madam Speaker: Order! Ask the question. Do not debate.

Mrs Banda: … I would like to find out from him when most of those plans would be implemented. We have not been given a specific timeframe when quality health services would be provided.

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, in my response, I indicated the guiding principle of these strategies and plans. I clearly stated that the ministry’s National Health Strategic Plan was from 2006 to 2010. I think, I mentioned that timeframe, hon. Member.

Madam Speaker, the issue of quality is a continuous process. I am not aware of any country in the world which has said that they have now reached quality. There is always room for improvement. In terms of these services, one of the areas that we can show as having some quality is through the National Measles Campaign in 2003 at which we reached well over 4 million below the age of five and in which we were also able to give vitamin A and deworming tablets. We were also able to give mothers insecticide- treated nets (ITNs). We have not recorded a single death from measles in Zambia since 2003. Surely, this is one of the widely-quoted success stories. The second country is Ghana. In so doing, we are contributing to the reduction of the child mortality rate and that can only be attributed to the quality of services that we are trying to improve.

Madam Speaker, in other areas, quality, as I have stated, is a continuous process by starting from prevention to curative, where the question has been on hospitals. In order to maximise on the limited resources we have, we embarked on a programme of training and of costing the services in our hospitals. All these are aimed at improving the quality of services in our health centres and our hospitals.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Ms J. Phiri (Luanshya): Madam Speaker, since there is a constraint of human resource in the Ministry of Health, I would like to find out the existing insurance policy for health workers who contract diseases such as TB and HIV/AIDS in the process of trying to give us good or quality health care because we seem to have a very big problem, especially in my constituency.

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Member for Luanshya for that question.

In our institutions, we have hospital policies regarding the prevention of infections. In the area of HIV/AIDS, we have the Post-Exposure Prophylaxis Policy in each hospital. This means that if a health worker has got an accidental needle prick, there are laid down procedures as to what should and must be done, one of which is for that health worker to be subjected to counselling and HIV/AIDS testing. If they are positive, they are to be started, within the shortest possible time, on an Anti-Retroviral therapy.

Secondly, with regard to TB, there are policies to isolate patients who have got what we call “Open TB” where, as they cough and spit, they are found to have sputum which is positive or to have Tuberculosis Bacilli. In the early stage, they are managed in an isolated ward. As soon as the diagnosis is made, they are started on treatment so that they do not transmit the tuberculosis to the nurses or other health workers.

Madam Speaker, these are the administrative procedures we have put in place to protect our health workers from contracting infectious diseases.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mwansa: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has told this House that he can only afford to employ one 1,000 workers each particular year. From his elaborate explanation, when and how does he imagine he will complete filling up the vacancies for health workers which are in various constituencies, particularly in the various health institutions throughout the country at the rate he is employing?

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, the recruitment and employment of health workers is dependent upon the supply. Our strategy is that with this recruitment, our plan is to ensure that each health facility has got at least one trained worker while we are increasing the intakes in our nursing and midwifery schools. Clearly, these take a long time. We are talking of three years.

Further, I would like to thank the hon. Member for asking that question. We have been thinking ahead in planning that in the area of midwifery training, we must institute a shorter course. My experts are looking at a midwifery course instead of the current situation where, in order to enter into a midwifery school, you must have been trained as a registered nurse. Right now, plans are advanced, where the first stage of analysis of the syllabus has been completed to have a direct entry from Grade 12 and at the end of two years, to have a cadre of midwives who will be called Certified Midwives so that they can cut down from a period of, perhaps, four to five years to enter into midwifery school to that of direct entry. In so doing, we shall accelerate the filling of vacancies in our health facilities that is really needed at this time in order for us to try to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mwansa: That is the way forward.

Mr Mukanga: Madam Speaker, knowing that we need about 51,000 health workers to have quality health care provision, could the hon. Minister confirm that Zambians will not be assured of any quality health care as long as they do not have the numbers that they need in the ministry?

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, I do not know what sort of a question that is.


Dr Chituwo: I am trying to understand it. I will try to answer the question the way I have understood it.

Madam Speaker, quality service depends on many factors, one of which is human resource. If you have a human resource that is not skilled, whose mix of skills is not appropriate, if you do not have enough medication - the right kind of drugs - and if you have no equipment, all these impact on the quality of service. From what I have said, the hon. Member of Parliament for Kantanshi can deduce our attempt at the provision of quality health services to our people. As I say, quality is a situation in which we strive at every level, from prevention to curative measures.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


483. Mr Chella (Wusakile) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing when the dilapidated and non-functional public conveniences in Wusakile Parliamentary Constituency would be replaced with modern amenities befitting the city.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Kazonga): Madam Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that Wusakile Township is a former mine township in Kitwe which was built in the 1940’s. The township has 3,900 houses. At the time of construction, the township was meant to serve as single quarters with communal ablution blocks. The communal bathrooms and toilets were placed to serve fifty-two male miners. However, over the years, the single quarters have been occupied by families of more than ten members. This resulted in overloading of the communal facilities which were meant for small families.

Madam, the deplorable situation has been further worsened by rampant vandalism of the facilities which result in massive water losses.

Madam Speaker, despite all these problems, Nkana Water and Sewerage Company constantly cleans the communal toilets at no cost to the community. In addition, 820 individual toilets were built in 2005 at a cost of US$550,000 to ease the problem of overload. The Government is still sourcing an additional US$1,800,000 to build 2,800 individual toilets so that the problem can be solved once and for all.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Chella: Madam Speaker, I wonder whether the hon. Minister is aware that presently, there are no communal toilets at all. Young children, women and men go into bars to answer the call of nature during the day and at night, they use Shake Shake packets to help themselves or should I say shitting, if that word is allowed As a result, there is a danger that a lot of people are going to die. Is she aware of that?

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mrs Masebo): Madam Speaker, I am aware about that problem because I visited the site two to three years ago. Nevertheless, the Government, through the then AHCMMS Company, organised resources from the World Bank to improve sanitation in same constituency, except that the resources were not enough. Currently, the ministry is working with Nkana Water and Sewerage Company to raise resources so that we can assist the communities there.

However, it is important for leaders in these constituencies to mobilise the communities themselves to improve their sanitation facilities.

I thank you, Madam.


484. Mr Chilembo (Chama North) asked the Minister of Education:

(a) whether there were any plans to commence construction of Nkhanga School in Chama North Parliamentary Constituency; and

(b) what punitive measures the Ministry had taken against the contractor who failed to complete the project.

The Minister of Education (Professor Lungwangwa): Madam Speaker, the ministry has plans to construct Nkhanga Basic School in Chama North Parliamentary Constituency. The current position is that the African Brother Corporation which is the contractor of this project has moved on site and is mobilising materials to begin the construction of the school.

The construction of the school was delayed due to the earlier contractor by the name of Nashinga Constructing Company whose performance was not good. Having realised that the project could not take off, the ministry had to terminate the contract as way of correcting the situation.

Madam Speaker, it is unfortunate that some of our local contractors have not performed to the expectations of the ministry and as a result, a number of infrastructure projects such as this one had to be terminated because of poor performance.

I thank you, Madam.


485. Mr Chazangwe (Choma Central) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives what measures the Ministry had taken to eradicate and contain cattle diseases in the Southern Province, in general and the C.B.P.P. in Kazungula District, in particular.

Mr Mulonga: Madam Speaker, livestock diseases are classified into two categories namely; management diseases and diseases of national economic importance.

Management diseases are diseases whose control and prevention is the responsibility of the farmer. These include haemorrhagic septicaemia, lumpy skin disease, brucellosis, anthrax, rabies and black leg, which are controlled and prevented by regular vaccinations. Corridor/East Coast Fever, Anaplasmosis and Babesiosis are controlled and prevented by regular dipping; while worms are controlled by good husbandry practices. The role of the Government in the control of these diseases is the provision of advisory and extension services offered through the provincial and district veterinary offices.
Madam Speaker, diseases of national economic importance are trans-boundary livestock diseases that present a sudden major threat to livestock production vis-à-vis food, animal traction, public health, and export of livestock or livestock products. These are epidemic in nature and include the Contagious Bovine Pluero Pneumonia (CBPP), Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), African Swine Fever (ASF), Rinderpest, and Avian Influenza (AL). The control and prevention of these diseases is the responsibility of the Government. The Government procures vaccines and pays for all the services for the control and prevention of these diseases.

For the management diseases, the Government has been providing extension services by educating farmers on the importance of regular dipping, vaccinations and good husbandry practices. Veterinary Assistants …

Madam Speaker: Order!


The House adjourned at 1255 hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday, 17th July, 2007.