Debates- Wednesday, 28th March, 2007

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Wednesday, 28th March, 2007

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






Mr Speaker: I have been informed that in the absence of His Honour the Vice-President from the House, Hon. G. W. Mpombo, MP, Minister of Defence, has been appointed to act as Leader of Government Business in the House.

Thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




The Minster of Mines and Minerals Development (Dr. Mwansa): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to present a ministerial statement in response to your directive issued to me on 15th March, 2007. The directive followed a point of order raised by the hon. Member for Chipili Constituency on 15th March, 2007.

The point of order was raised as a result of the media announcement that ZCCM Investment Holdings had stopped funding Maamba Collieries for salaries and debt payments until the Government shares in the mines were formally transferred to ZCCM Investment Holdings. The announcement was aired by the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) on 14th March, 2007. The print media also carried the article. The Post newspaper for 15th March, 2007 which was laid on the Table of the House when the point of order was raised carried the article.

I regret that due to my recent assignments outside the country, it has not been possible for me to make the statement until today.

Mr Speaker, the announcement arose out of a misrepresentation of a message from ZCCM Investment Holdings’ Chief Executive Officer to the Acting Mine Manager of Maamba Collieries Limited when he requested assistance to pay creditors of Maamba Collieries Limited. ZCCM Investment Holdings had and has not started paying creditors of Maamba Collieries Limited. This position on creditors was misconstrued as ZCCM Investment Holdings having suspended funding for salaries and wages pending the transfer of Government shares to ZCCM Investment Holdings.

Mr Speaker, ZCCM Investment Holdings has reaffirmed its commitment to funding Maamba Collieries Limited to ensure that the mine pays employees their emoluments on time. So far, a total of K14 billion has been provided to Maamba Mine. With this amount, salaries have been paid up to January, 2007. Arrangements are being made to clear the salaries for February and March, 2007.

Sir, may I remind the House that on Thursday, 25th January, 2007, I responded to Question No. 99 asked by the hon. Member for Parliament for Chipili. The question was, and I quote:

‘When will Maamba Collieries employees be paid their salaries and arrears?’

In my answer, I indicated that the Government had decided to sell its 100 per cent shares in Maamba Collieries Limited to ZCCM Investment Holdings at a cost of US$4.3 million. I also explained that ZCCM Investment Holdings would continue to pay from this amount the salaries falling due, as the restructuring of the company’s balance sheet was proceeding to pave the way for satisfactory recapitalisation of Maamba Collieries Limited. This position has not changed.

Mr Speaker, the commitment of ZCCM Investment Holdings to continue funding Maamba Mine is firm and this explains why ZCCM Investment Holdings promptly issued a press release to refute the allegation that the company had stopped funding salaries for Maamba Collieries Limited. The press release was made available to the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation on 14th March, 2007.

Since the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation did not broadcast this press release to correct the situation, ZCCM Investment Holdings management decided to advertise the press release on 15th March, 2007, in The Post newspaper and the Zambia Daily Mail. The press release was published as advertisements in the Zambia Daily Mail and The Post newspapers on 16th and 17th March, 2007, respectively.

I wish to take this opportunity to restate that the continued poor performance of the company prompted the Government to direct ZCCM Investment Holdings to take over the operations for Maamba Mine. The intention is to make the coal mine a profit-making enterprise. The transfer of the Government shares to ZCCM Investment Holdings will be completed as soon as a scheme to pay creditors the outstanding amount of about US$43 million has been agreed upon.

ZCCM Investment Holdings has started looking for an equity and technical partner to contribute the required re-investment at Maamba Mine to resuscitate and enhance production. Several proposals have been received and reviewed by ZCCM Investment Holdings. At the moment, discussions are on going with Maamba Katuya, which is a Zambian consortium.

In conclusion, Sir, I would like to assure the House and the nation at large that the Government is determined to seeing Maamba Mine recapitalised quickly and operate as a profitable enterprise. Meanwhile, ZCCM Investment Holdings will continue with its current obligations to the workforce.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, since I was the one who directed the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development to issue that ministerial statement, I just want to remind the House that this is a very good example showing that it is very slippery for hon. Members to drag to this House whatever they read in the newspapers before checking the facts, perhaps with those in authority. I do not think there is any hon. Member who wishes to raise a supplementary question on this because nothing really has changed.

I have also permitted the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development to make a ministerial statement.


The Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Mutati): Mr Speaker, I am greatly honoured to have this opportunity to address this august House on the subject of rural electrification. As hon. Members are aware, the rural electrification programme has, until now, been implemented on an ad-hoc basis. There has not been a plan to guide its implementation and this has resulted in, among others, the following:

(a) difficulties in the selection of projects to benefit from the available funds. Since the funds have always been inadequate to meet the demands for electrification, there is a need to prioritise the project;

(b) inadequate funds for programmes. Rural electrification by its nature requires massive public financing. However, in the absence of a well-thought out plan, it has been difficult for the Government to attract financial support from co-operating partners and other financiers. As a result, project implementation has been slow, resulting further in some projects costing billions of Kwacha being implemented over several years. Despite the efforts undertaken since 1995 when the Rural Electrification Fund was introduced, the electricity rural access rate is still below three per cent;

(c) mismatch between national economic goals and the Rural Electrification Programme. In the absence of a coherent long-term national development plan, the implementation of rural electrification has not adequately balanced economic prosperity and social equity. This has resulted in some projects, where huge sums of money have been spent, being white elephants in the sense that the electricity supplied has not been put to good use.

In order to correct this situation, my ministry, in conjunction with the Rural Electrification Authority and with the financial support from the Government of Japan, is preparing a Rural Electrification Master Plan (REMP). The plan will cover the period 2008 to 2030 in line with the Vision 2030. By 2030, electricity supply in rural areas should be sufficient enough to support the needs of a middle-income country. Among the objects of the plan, it is intended that by 2030, all public institutions (schools, rural health centres and so forth) should have access to electricity.

In preparing the plan, consultations in all provinces were held in 2006. Out of these consultations, 1,118 Rural Growth Centres have been identified in all districts in Zambia. These Rural Growth Centres were submitted by provincial and district planners under the supervision of the provincial Permanent Secretaries. For the purpose of the master plan, a Rural Growth Centre is the nucleus for electrification in each area. This is the area that should be electrified first and from which electricity will extend to surrounding areas.

In order to ensure that the plan is implemented, my ministry is already discussing the funding requirement for this plan with potential financiers, including the Japanese Government, the World Bank and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA). At least US$ 500 million is required to fully implement this plan. To raise this money, we are working on an Energy Syndicate Plan through which various financiers, including the Government, will make resources available to implement the master plan.

The master plan is scheduled to be completed by December, 2007. At the time, it will be possible to know when each rural area can be electrified, including the mode of electrification as well as the cost for carrying out such work.

Mr Speaker, given the importance of this plan, it is my ministry’s desire that hon. Members will take time to check the list of the 1,118 Rural Growth Centres to ensure that all areas in their constituencies are included in the plan. After December, 2007, it will not be possible for the Rural Electrification Authority to consider electrification of any area that cannot be supplied from an approved Rural Growth Centre.

Through this August House, I also wish to inform the nation that the Government is well aware of the barrier to electrification created by high connection fees. Through the Energy Syndicate Programme, we shall seek funds to support the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) so that the utility company is able to spread the connection fee over a longer period by integrating this cost into the tariff that electricity consumers pay. This, we believe, will accelerate access to electricity by the majority of the population.

While these efforts are being made, the nation should appreciate that we currently have an electricity tariff regime that does not support investments in the electricity sub-sector. There will be a need, therefore, for a comprehensive tariff review for all electricity consumers for the country to achieve its aspirations under the Fifth National Development Plan and the Vision 2030.

In concluding my statement, I wish to thank this House for supporting the efforts to increase access to electricity over the years. Hon. Members should note that the list of the 1,118 Rural Growth Centres is available at the office of the Clerk of the National Assembly, the Office of the Director of Energy and the Chief Executive of the Rural Electrification Authority. We will appreciate inputs from hon. Members as soon as possible to ensure that the plan is completed on time.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members may now ask questions and points of clarification on the statement which has been made by the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development.

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central):  Thank you, Mr Speaker. I wonder if the hon. Minister can clarify what the Government’s policy is. I mean, earlier in this session, we were informed that the Ministry of Finance and National Planning was cutting the rural electrification levy from 5 per cent to 3 per cent. We also know that levy is not chargeable under certain money agreements. We have also been told those money agreements are sacrosanct. The result is that the Rural Electrification Authority is working on about US$5 million a year, which is complete peanuts. Suddenly, we are up to US$500 million. Can we know where this money is coming from or are we just begging as usual?

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, the Government has remained consistent in its policy with regard to the Rural Electrification Fund. Since it was established, the levy has remained at three per cent and it continues to be the same this year.

Secondly, in last year’s Budget, we had K11 billion for rural electrification. This year, with the support of this august House, we have approved K23 billion for rural electrification.

Thirdly, Mr Speaker, in order to increase access in the rural areas from 3 per cent to almost 50 per cent by 2030, we shall need the support of our co-operating partners and other financiers because we require US$ 500 million between now and 2030 to achieve that level of access.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mooya (Moomba): thank you, Sir. I would like to know how possible it is to make the Rural Electrification Plan available to each Member of Parliament. The Ministry of Works and Supply did just that. Why can’t the Ministry of Energy and Water Development do the same?

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, in my statement I said that every hon. Member of Parliament would find a copy of what has been done so far in their pigeonhole. We are asking hon. Members of Parliament to check each and every constituency to see whether their areas have been fully included. We are asking you to check the pigeonholes today and give us the update of your input by Friday, 30th March, 2007 so that we finish the plan.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Milupi (Luena): Mr Speaker, this indeed, is a commendable plan, but let me assure this House that the electricity taken to the more than 1000 centres in rural areas will be robust enough or there will be sufficient capacity to allow for industrial as well as agricultural use not just for lighting.

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, our primary objective is to have reliable supply of power to the rural areas and the quality should enable economic activity in their respective areas. To support this plan, we are expanding the generation capacity in the medium term. We are also going to address the issues of the transmission line and the distribution system so that the power is reliable and firm as we deliver it to the rural areas.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kasongo (Bangweulu): Mr Speaker, in the past, invitations of that nature have been extended to hon. Members of Parliament to submit data to the Government upon which action could be taken. After responding positively to such invitations, our data has been disowned. Would the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development guarantee that this time the ministry will take action on the data that we are going to supply.

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, in the past, we never had Vision 2030 and the Fifth National Development Plan. The reason we are having this Rural Electrification Master Plan is, firstly, to tie it to Vision 2030. The information that is going to be captured by this plan will reflect the ambition of this country that by 2030, we shall be a middle-income country. In the case of Bangweulu specifically, this year, it is one of the projects that have been selected under the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO0 for a mini solar grid in his constituency as one of the ways of extending power to the rural areas.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): Mr Speaker, in the past few weeks, we had power blackouts in Mwinilunga, Mufumbwe and Zambezi. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether the Government has any plans to connect the remaining districts in the North-Western Province to the National Grid or we must wait in the dark until an investor is found to sort out the hydro problem?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, the reason we are capturing this data is to enable us plan properly and extend power to all the districts, particularly in the North-Western Province. As for Mwinilunga, we are now working on the line to Lumwana that will keep a distance between Lumwana and Mwinilunga short enough for us to be able to extend power. To take a line from Solwezi to Mwinilunga without supporting economic infrastructure would have been impossible. Taking power from Solwezi to Lumwana is costing us US$35 million. Therefore, the extra distance will be easy for us to cover. We are going to extend power to Mufumbwe and Zambezi.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}

Mr Chimbaka (Bahati): Mr Speaker, I would like to know from the hon. Minister how the Government applies themselves to rural electrification without a plan?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, I already stated that the programme has been on since 1995. The reason we have gone into the plan mode is to avoid the problems that we have incurred historically in the selection, mode of electrification and areas of equity. Therefore, we have a plan that we are going to follow so that each and every hon. Member of Parliament will know when power will be taken to their specific constituencies and therefore planning will be easier.

I thank You, Sir.

Mr Chilembo (Chama North): Mr Speaker, I would like to know what the cost of coming up with these master plans will be and whether that cost will affect the on-going electrification programme.

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, the cost for the master plan is outside the K23 billion that we have approved in this Parliament. The Japanese Government made the Rural Electrification Master Plan funds available to us and that is a million dollars.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, I appreciate that ZESCO is overloaded. However, is it possible hon. Minister, that rural electrification can be hived off ZESCO so that this project can be dealt with as an individual project under separate management?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, we are going to limit the activities of ZESCO to the peri-urban areas and other commercial connections. Starting this year, electricity to the rural areas will be undertaken by the Rural Electrification Authority. We are going to advertise in the press for the private sector to be engaged in stringing the wires in various areas. We are going to provide an opportunity for those who have retired as electricians to form companies in order to undertake this connection exercise. Therefore, we are going to have 100 per cent private sector participation starting this year.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mschili (Kabushi): Mr Speaker, as much as we appreciate that they are taking development to rural areas, I am wondering when the urban electrification will be completed. For instance, my constituency, Kabushi, half of it is not yet electrified. When is the Government going to finish this programme?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, one of the problems that I have encountered is that we have been compelling ZESCO to handle the electrification for urban, peri urban and rural areas. As a consequence, either the urban, peri urban or the rural will suffer in the process by defining the perimeters of engaging ZESCO. I hope areas such as Kabushi will be electrified because those are commercial areas.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr D. Mwila: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda (Sinazongwe): Mr Speaker, I would like to know when priority will be given to the valley people who were displaced during the Rural Electrification Programme. Has the Gwembe-Tonga Electrification Project failed?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, the Gwembe-Tonga Electrification Project has not failed. That is why we are requesting hon. Members of Parliament to provide the required information so that we can prioritise the project in the Gwembe-Tonga Valley. Therefore, we implore Members of Parliament to do the needful.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Imenda (Lukulu-East): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that the main districts in this country are not connected to the National Grid and that includes Lukulu District. How does he hope to supply electricity to rural areas if they are not connected?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, I am fully aware that a number of districts in Zambia use diesel electricity, including Lukulu District. The cost of using diesel to generate electricity is extremely expensive. On per tariff basis, it is costing us almost 24 cents per kilo watts hour through diesel compared to an average of 3 cents. Therefore, it is logical for us to supply electricity to these areas using the National Grid.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sikazwe (Chimbamilonga): Mr Speaker, …

Ms Njapau Entered the Chamber.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikazwe: … if the hon. Minister follows history, the electrification project was started in 1989 by the Italian Government and then it went to ZCCM and back to ZESCO. To date, the people of Kaputa and Chimbamilonga do not know what has happened to the Geothermal Project and who is responsible for it. Recently, we received a consultant from Kenya in relation to this. We would like to find out the position with regard to this project, as this is part of the Rural Electrification Programme.

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, we are doing three things, specifically for Kaputa. Currently, we are working on connecting Kaputa to the National Grid. Secondly, like Samfya, Kaputa has been selected for isolated generation of power. We are going to install power using biomass in Kaputa.

Thirdly, in Africa, Kenya is very advanced with regard to geothermal. That is why we requested our colleagues from Kenya to come and look at what we have in Kaputa and guide us on how we can finish this project. This is the reason they went to Kaputa.

I thank you, Sir.

Major Chizhyuka (Namwala): Mr Speaker, although I am asking this question, I am groping in the dark because I am not privy to how that form is filled. However, I was happy initially when the hon. Minister said that the Master Plan should be in place by December.

However, towards the end of his presentation, he said he wanted an update by Friday. How is it possible for him to have the update by Friday for constituencies that are along the Kafue Flats? With this cattle development by the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, we are talking about and electrifying that whole network. Is it possible that we can submit the forms by Friday?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, we have provided a form that is going to be filled in by all hon. Member of Parliament. Our basic assumption is that most of the Members of Parliament, having gone through an election in September, are quite acquainted with the various areas in their constituencies and can point out those to be growth centres. These have been defined as areas where you find public institutions such as schools, health centres, police posts and markets. I think these areas are also known by hon. Members of Parliament.

For hon. Members of Parliament that require an extension in order to gather more information, we can do this on one to one basis.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Mumbi (Munali): Mr Speaker, Lusaka is also affected by the load shedding and people are losing their electrical appliances. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister if the Government has a deliberate policy to compel ZESCO to compensate people who are losing their electrical appliances faster than the way it is at the moment.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, do you have a bonus answer?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, we encourage our customers to buy power stabilisers because we do not have a compensation policy.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr C. K. B. Banda (Chasefu): Mr Speaker, for the benefit of those of us who may not know, could the hon. Minister tell us whether the Rural Electrification Authority has been constituted. If it has, what is the composition?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, the authority has been constituted and it is actually working. This is the authority that will advertise for the private sector to be engaged in taking power to the various Rural Growth Centres this year.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development whether the Government has any plans to allow Copperbelt Electricity Corporation Plc (CEC) to start supplying domestic electricity to compete with ZESCO on the Copperbelt.

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, CEC by licence, is a transmission company supplying electricity to the various mines. If CEC desires to be a distribution company to compete with ZESCO, they will need to apply for a licence.

I thank you, Sir.



379. Mr C. K. B. Banda (Chasefu) asked the Minister of Labour and Social Security when the Government would invoke the Zambianisation Policy to ensure that Zambians occupy key positions in the economy.

The Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mr Liato): Mr Speaker, the Zambianisation Programme is an Ad hoc Committee that the Government put in place in the 1970s to ensure that Zambians hold most of the positions in companies. In other words, it is an affirmative action on the part of the Government to ensure that Zambians are given priority in employment and promotions.

Sir, with the amendment of labour laws, this committee will be given legal powers. Its full operations will begin once the proposed amendments of the Employment Act, Cap 268 of the laws of Zambia have been endorsed.

Mr Speaker, it is worth noting that in the proposed amendments of the Employment Act, a chapter on Zambianisation has been included to ensure that the policy is backed by law for it to be fully implemented.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr C. K. B. Banda: Mr Speaker, how soon does the Government intend to bring amendments to this House aimed at effectuating the Zambianisation Policy?

The Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mr Mukuma): Mr Speaker, as has mentioned in the earlier response, the Zambianisation Committee has been included in the chapter being amended and the amendments to the law will soon be made. The Draft Bills have been presented to the Ministry of Legal Affairs and they will be presented to this House in the near future.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: Order! The House may note that there is no ministry known as Legal Affairs. It is the Ministry of Justice.

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, the Draft Bills have been presented to the Ministry of Justice.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mwiimbu (Monze): Mr Speaker, firstly, I would like to congratulate the Deputy…

Mr Mwangala: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwangala: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order regarding the latest reports of serious food shortages in the Western and Northern Provinces. The Western Province issue was carried in the Post Newspaper of 13th March, 2007 while that of the Northern Province was in the Sunday Times of Zambia of 25th March 2007.

Mr Speaker, the Western Province report by the Post Newspaper states and I quote,

 “An international NGO, Concern, has warned of serious food shortages and the widespread of malnutrition in Barotseland as a result of the current floods. The previous problems associated with the province had been compounded when widespread floods destroyed the bulk of both winter and summer crops. As a result, the mostly migrant population on the Barotse plains and the more prominent population on the outskirts of the flood plains have been left susceptible to food shortages, widespread malnutrition and the spread of infectious water born disease, HIV and sexually transmitted infections.” 

Sir, the Sunday Times of Zambia reported Care International having helped the flood victims in the Northern Province where maize, cassava and rice fields were washed away and about 9,370 people were left homeless. The few areas in the Northern Province have been identified in the paper as Mpulungu, Mungwi and Nakonde.

Is the Government in order not to declare the situation in these regions a disaster to enable a wide range of food assistance from international communities and other well-wishers?

Mr Speaker, I seek your serious ruling.

Mr Mwangala laid papers on the Table.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order! My serious ruling to the point of order that has been raised by the hon. Member for Nalolo is that what he has referred to as shortage of food arising from flooding in parts of Zambia is not new. The House will recall that the Head of State, His Honour the Vice-President as well as Cabinet Ministers went round the country to gather information after seeing what was obtaining in these areas. What has not been done, however, is for the Executive to come to this House and inform us on what they are doing with regard to their findings. That is what we require done.

This House hopes that the Executive already has the figures of the needy areas as well as the logistics required to deal with this issue. It is necessary therefore, for the Chair to guide the Executive through the Acting Leader of Government Business to inform the House on how the Government is responding to this need. It will be in that information that the House may know whether there is a need to declare the areas a disaster.

We do not have much time and assuming that information is readily available, the Chair would urge the Acting Leader of Government Business in the House to come to the House with that information as soon as possible.

The hon. Member for Monze was raising a supplementary question, may he continue?

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I was about to congratulate the hon. Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Security for successfully evading the local court messengers pursuant to the acquired dog.


Mr Speaker: Order! I take it there are no further supplementary questions.

Mr Simama (Kalulushi): Mr Speaker, I would like to know whether the hon. Minister is aware that at the Chambeshi Smelter, the mine owners have contracted a Chinese building contractor and have employed Chinese men to operate some tamper trucks.

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, the ministry is aware that there are a lot of bad things going on in various organisations. When I presented my budget, I said that we were going to mount vigorous inspections of all the organisations and through these inspections; we are going to investigate them and correct them. At the moment, we are relying on information that we get from the public and some hon. Members in the House. We are aware of this and action is being taken.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.{mospagebreak}




380 Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola) asked the Minister of Education how many girls were sponsored by the Forum for African Educationalists of Zambia (FAWEZA) from January, 2002 to December, 2005 at the following levels:

(a) Grade 8;

(b) Grade 10; and

(c) University.

The Deputy Minister of Education (Ms Changwe): Mr Speaker, a total of 12, 770 girls were sponsored by FAWEZA between the period under review as follows:

Year   Level     Total

2002   Basic School       758

2003   High School       635

2004   Basic School       793
   High School       841

2005   Technical High School       77
   Upper / Basic School      821
   Basic School    1,898
   High School      413  
   UNZA/College         7

2006   Basic School    2,415
   High School    3,850
   Tertiary         97
   Technical High School     165

Total        12,770

I thank you, Sir.




Report adopted.

Third Reading on Thursday, 29th March, 2007.


The following Bill was read the third time and passed:

Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2007.




VOTE 21 – (Loans and Investments – Ministry of Finance and National Planning – K1,213,695,278,387) and VOTE 37 – Ministry of Finance and National Planning – K1,075,213,046,089)
(Consideration resumed)

 Mr Kasongo (Bangweulu): Sir, when the House adjourned yesterday, I was appealing to the Hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to ensure that funds that are approved and voted for by this House are released to spending ministries timelessly. Likewise, spending ministries and departments should be able to release the same funds expeditiously so that we act on our decisions without delay.

 Sir, it is also noteworthy that the Hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has done his best to popularise the Fifth National Development Plan. However, my fear is that if there is no accountability, his vision will not be realised. It is therefore, important that we ensure that once funds are released to spending ministries and provinces, accountability must not be an exception. Otherwise, the vision will not be realised.

 Allow me also to comment on the importance of the Zambia National Tender Board. A lot of complaints have been associated with this body to the effect that it takes time for it to take action on a number of projects that are supposed to be approved by the same body. I would like to appeal to the hon. Minister responsible for Finance and National Planning to ensure that the Zambia National Tender Board is re-organised so that decisions are made as quickly as possible.

 Mr Mwiimbu (Monze): Thank you, Mr Chairman, for according me this opportunity to debate the motion pertaining to the Ministry of Finance and National Planning and the Loans and Investments of this country.

 First and foremost, I would like to make it categorically clear that the Southern Province is not for sale.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Therefore, we cannot allow somebody to use this House to disparage us when we raise issues that affect the people of Southern Province.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: We take great exception to the remarks that were made yesterday.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to appreciate the good intentions of the Minister of Finance and National Planning from the time he went into office National Planning to try and ensure that there is prudence in the management of finances in this country. I would like to encourage him, though operating under very difficult conditions, to ensure that even this year, he fulfills what he has assured the people of Zambia.

Mr Chairperson, …

Mr Lubinda: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Chairperson, I thank you very much for allowing me to raise this point of order.

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

Sir, I said that this point of order was constitutional and is hinges on governance. It is provided for and it is a known fact that there shall be three wings of Government, namely Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary. It is also known, under the doctrine of separation of powers, that none of the three should ignore the importance and relevance of any of the other three. It is also well known, other than provided for in our constitution, that Zambia is a multi-party democracy, hence the need for institutions of governance, particularly the National Assembly, composed of hon. Members who are elected by the Zambian people, to represent their various interests without fail.

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

Sir, in The Post newspaper of yesterday, 27th March, 2007, on Page 1, there is a very serious article attributed to one member of one of the wings of Government, Executive, namely, hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, Hon. Johnson Vernon Mwaanga, under the title ‘MPs want Media Regulation – VJ’.

Sir, in this article, on Page 4, Hon. Mwaanga is quoted as saying the following words and I quote:

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

Sir, this House comprises 158 hon. Members of Parliament. Each one of them, except eight, is representing a constituency and each one of them understands matters of national importance such as the control and regulation of the media. More importantly, each one comes from a different political persuasion and belongs to a different political party.

Therefore, this institution has not appointed any spokesperson. Is the Government, through the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, in order to imply that this House has agreed to come up with statutes to regulate the media when in fact, there has not been any caucus to which at least hon. Members of  the Opposition have been invited to come up with a stand on such a matter? Is he in order to go ahead and issue such a statement, threatening the press using Parliament as a whip? Is he in order to infringe the doctrine of separation of powers and also abuse the power of the various political groupings that are represented in this House?

Sir, I seek you serious ruling on this very serious point of order.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Members, since this point of order is constitutional, the Chair will make a ruling at a later date.

 I therefore, defer the ruling on this point of order.

Can the hon. Member for Monze, please continue.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for allowing me to continue with my debate.

Mr Chairperson, I was reminding the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning that that he should continue with his usual prudence and diligence in the management of the financial affairs of the nation as he has done in the immediate past.

However, I have concerns that I would like the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to address as we consider the next budget.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to appeal to the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to ensure that when the Government enters into any contractual financial arrangements with any organisation, be it outside or inside, the Government should consider issues that directly affect the people of Zambia pertaining to poverty reduction.

Mr Chairperson, I am saying this because I have noted with concern that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has been entering into arrangements with donor organisations …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! I wanted to wait until you finish, but since I saw Hon. Lubinda standing up, it means that he is going out of the Chamber. I would like to ask him to lay the paper on the Table. Could he do that before he goes out of the House?

Mr Lubinda laid the paper on the Table.

The Deputy Chairperson: Can the hon. Member for Monze, please continue. I am sorry for that disturbance.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, I was saying that whenever the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning enters into financial of contractual agreements with any financial institutions, the government must seriously consider the usage of the loans.

Mr Chairperson, I have noted with concern that some of the loans that are being obtained by the Government are not directly beneficial to the people of this country. I have also noted with concern that the ministry has been borrowing huge sums of money to buy luxurious vehicles for use by Government institutions.

Sir, I am not against at the idea of purchasing vehicles, but surely, is it prudent for the Government to borrow money and buy luxurious vehicles at the expense of poverty reduction in this country?

Mr Chairperson, if you check in most of these Government ministries, the Government has been buying luxurious vehicles as utility vehicles. It is not advisable. I know that some of you do not even know what a utility vehicle is.

Mr Chairperson, What I am saying is that whenever the Government wants to buy vehicles, they must consider the actual usage of the vehicles. Why should they be buying VX vehicles to be used for public sector management? It does not make sense. Even the donors who are giving us this money wonder how prudent we are in utilising the little resources we have. It is not advisable.

Mr Chairperson, the other issue I would like to raise is that of road construction and maintenance. Year in year and year out, the Minister of Finance and National Planning has been providing huge sums of money for the rehabilitation of roads in this country. Alas, the workmanship by some of these contractors is deplorable. To my surprise, the same contractors who are condemned in this House by Members of Parliament and the public are the same ones who are awarded contracts. What benefits is the Government getting from these contractors? These are public funds.

We have been talking about specific contractors whom I am not going to name here, but I think all us know them. These contractors are in Eastern, Northern and Luapula provinces. Their works are so shoddy that even the Government ministers are complaining. Why are they giving them contracts? Why is it that whenever there is a function for our colleagues on the other side the same contractors are always seen making donations? Is that the reason they are given these contracts at the expense of public interest? I have no doubt in my mind that Hon. Magande will review this issue. It is causing a lot of concern to the Zambians.

I am aware that the Vote for roads in this year’s Budget is appearing under the Ministry of Finance and National Planning. I would like to point out to the Hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning that there are certain roads that have been on the drawing board for the last fifty years and nothing tangible has been achieved. These particular roads are the Choma/Namwala, Choma/Nico and the famous Bottom roads.

These three roads in the Southern Province have been under discussion for some time. We have been assured that the Government is going to provide adequate funds to ensure that these roads are worked on. However, in this year’s Budget, the funds that have been provided are not enough to complete the Choma/Namwala, Bottom and Choma/Nico roads.

Now we are told that the Bottom Road cannot be worked on because there are still some landmines on that road. How can that be the case? The Government is contradicting itself. The Government has made public assurances to the people of Southern Province and Zambia as a whole to work on the Bottom Road. For your own information, Sir, the Bottom Road is the only road that can be beneficial to the people of Gwembe Valley after having been displaced after the construction of Kariba Dam. There is nothing tangible the people of the Gwembe Valley have received from the Government after having been displaced. I thought the Government was going to have the Bottom Road as one of the priority roads.

At the famous Lwiindi Ceremony in Monze, His Excellency the President assured the people of Southern Province that he was going to raise US$80 million for that road. That was four years ago. To date, nothing has happened. Surely, how long should the people of the valley wait for any meaningful development to take place there?

Coming to my constituency, Mr Chairperson, from the time the MMD Government came into power, they have not rehabilitated any road in Monze Central Constituency. Even in this year’s Budget, there is nothing tangible that has been provided.

Monze is one of the few towns in the Southern Province where roads have not been worked on. In Livingstone, Choma and Mazabuka towns, the roads have been worked on. The people of Monze are waiting for the Government to rehabilitate the township and feeder roads in Monze. I hope this is going to be done this year.

In 2001, my votes were about 12,000. In 2006, I got 18,000 votes.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: In 2011, if you do not work on the roads, I will get 36,000 votes.

Mr Hamududu: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: It is a protest vote by the people of Southern Province because you have not done anything. I am appealing to my brother Hon. Magande to do something about the roads in Monze.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: You are all aware that Monze is an agricultural area.

Mr Hamududu: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Most of the surrounding areas have potential in ranching and pastoral farming, but nothing much has been done to exploit it.

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

Mr Mwiimbu: I know you want us to rule in 2011 that is why you are failing to repair the roads. However, for the sake of Zambians who utilise these services and facilities, I am appealing to you to ensure that the roads are worked on.

Mr Chairperson, there are four farming blocks in Monze. There is Silwili, Kazungula, Namilongwe and Kayuni. All these farming blocks are very productive, but the farmers in these farming blocks have been crying for water and electricity. You are all aware that without these basic facilities, agriculture cannot be enhanced. I am aware that there have been statements in this House of proposals to sink boreholes in lakes and dams in certain areas where there is a lot of water. Why do you not make the Southern Province a priority so that they can engage in agriculture, and yet you are aware that there is a drought? This year, as we are talking about flooding in a lot of areas, in Southern Province, there is a drought.

Mr Hamududu: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: There is a serious drought there.

Therefore, we are appealing to the Hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to actually create a contingency fund to provide for water and the shortage of food in the Southern Province.

I took note of my brother from the Western Province who was lamenting about the flooding which has occurred in that province when, in fact, two days from now, they will be celebrating the same floods in the Western Province.


Mr Mwiimbu: He will be enjoying because he is one of the paddlers due to the flooding that has taken place.


Mr Mwiimbu: For us, there is a drought and we want some mitigation measures taken in the Southern Province as a matter of urgency.

We are also appealing for funding through the Minister of Finance and National Planning, to control the disease outbreaks that have been occurring in the Southern Province.

According to the report I read yesterday, the poverty levels of the Southern Province, I am told, are one of the highest in the country.

Mr Magande: On a point of order.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Magande: Mr Chairperson, I know this is my motion and I am listening attentively to the contribution by the hon. Member for Monze (Mr Mwiimbu). Is he in order to go back to the budget speech by covering issues which are not under my ministry. We discussed all these issues when we discussed the Budget Address. We are now discussing Head 21 that has nothing to do with agriculture or water and Head 37 that has nothing to do with what he is saying. Is he in order?

The Deputy Chairperson: In view of time, can you take that point of order into account.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, I was talking about contingency funds that are in his ministry and he is the one controlling all these funds. Yesterday, he told us that a number of Votes that are supposed to be managed by other ministries are managed by him. That is why I am appealing to him to ensure that whatever funding that is available for the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives and the Ministry of Energy and Water Development should be released so that they do their duties diligently.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to appeal to all of us in this House to support the Vote for the Ministry of Finance and National Planning…

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! The hon. Member’s time has expired!

Mr Chimumbwa (Nchanga): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on this Vote.

Mr Chairperson, first of all, I would like to congratulate the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning on the commendable job that he has been doing over the years.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chimumbwa: He has done quiet a lot. Mr Chairperson, secondly, I would like to emphasise what I said last month. I feel sorry for the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning because he has a mammoth task. I want to make reference to the recent problem which is still on our hands now and that is the flooding. The floods came after he had presented the budget. Therefore, he has to find money to sort out all these problems emanating from the floods. Where is he going to find the money? We here as hon. Members, what are we doing? Are we doing enough to help him find this money to finance the catastrophe that has befallen the nation? He has so many other problems besides flooding which have come about.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to talk about one of the problems that has been on our hands for some time. Some hon. Members of this House, including Hon. Tetamashimba have complained about the Mutanda/Chavuma Road. It has been a thorny issue and people have been asking when this road will be completed.

Mr Chairperson, the road has been allocated K20 billion in this year’s Budget. Roughly, we have about 3,000 trucks that pass on that road per month. If we put up a toll gate and levied K50,000 per truck and probably levy small vehicles K15,000, we would be making about K2 billion. That, Sir, is already two kilometres of the road done in one month. This is a suggestion.

Sir, as Zambians, we are committed and very hard working people and we are one of the most proud ethnic groups in this continent of Africa. We believe in ourselves and all we are asking the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning is to provide that minor injection of leadership to be able to whip people into being proactive.

Mr Chairperson, we are poor a nation, but not that poor to fail to raise K50,000, K15,000 or K10,000 specifically for the construction of that road. If we repair two kilometres in one month, how many kilometres shall we talk about at the end of the year, coupled with the K20 billion which has been allocated for this road in the Budget. I think we will have made a long step in the right direction.

Mr Chairperson, the other issue I would like to discuss is what is happening in the mines. Very soon China and other developed countries will exert a lot of pressure on the Zambian economy due to their demand for copper ore because of what has happened in the Congo DR. If they legislate and pass a law that no ore should leave the Congo DR unprocessed, then we expect a lot of pressure on the economy of this nation. That is one area which we can exploit to our advantage.

For instance, Mr Chairperson, if the Ministry of Finance and National Planning came up and told the investors in the mines that we have given them the mines for free, we could turn round and become proactive and tell them that whatever amount of money example, for US$10,000 or US$100,000 to any supplier on the mines, subtract a K100,000 from each and every supplier. Now, US$10,000 against K100,000 and against the volume of business that is given by these mines to all the suppliers and contractors, how much money are we talking about? We are talking about a huge amount of money that will probably help Hon. Mutati undertake the electrification programme of one district.

Mr Chairperson, these are possibilities that are not exploited because certain human beings are not proactive. The hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning is not super human; he is as human as all of us and he needs all these ideas to be injected in his ministry. Then he will pick what is viable and leave what is not viable or improve on what is not viable and bring it to a level where it will be acceptable.

Mr Chairperson, instead of asking the mines to make donations to political parties, why do we not ask them to make donations to these developmental projects that will help push the economy of this nation forward.

Mr Chairperson, my third suggestion is a simple one that has been overlooked by all of us here. What I am about to say does not call for a quarrel with the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing, no. What I am about to suggest is that if you look at some of these shanty compounds or the nation as a whole, and we asked Hon. Magande to ask everyone with a title deed for a property in this country to pay K20,000. If we talk of 3,000,000,000 title deeds against K20,000, you are talking about K60 billion to be raised for the Ministry of Finance and National Planning for any project they sees fit at that particular time. They are simple suggestions, but they would go a long way in assisting the hon. Minister attend to the flood victims and other social needs that are pressing.

Hon. Member: He will chew the money.

Mr Chimumbwa: He cannot do that. The man has been complimented for standing against all these vices and I do not see him failing to account for moneys such as these.

Hon. Kasongo talked about imports and enhancing the monitoring system at the border points. I would like to conquer with what Hon. Kasongo said. Yes, we need to put in more stringent measures to make sure that we seal all the loopholes through which the Government has been losing revenue.

Mr Chairperson, there is no businessman who can stand up and say, ‘I have made K20 billion, why is the ZRA not coming to tax me nicely so that I contribute to the Treasury?

Everyone wants to make money and keep quiet. Even where they can positively contribute to the nation, people would rather keep quiet and pocket all the money and go shopping and enjoy themselves. I would love that we discourage these as Zambians and find a way to compel each other and every one of us to contribute to the national coffers.

Mr Chairperson, we could ask the hon. Minister to come up with a deliberate policy on imports and allow people to import so much goods and pay less duty within a given time frame. For instance, if one was supposed to pay K50 million within a month, they are asked to pay K20 million upfront instead of K50 million. I can bet, Mr Chairperson, the money that will be realised from imports will surpass the actual K50 million probably four or five times because people would want to serve the K30 - K40million and pay the K20 million rather than play around with figures and evade paying the K50 million and instead of paying K50 million, they end up paying K5 million or K2 million.

My brother is quite able I do not doubt this.

Secondly, Mr Chairperson, we know that there is a flow of copper on the Copperbelt. If we declared the Copperbelt a copper free movement zone and allowed copper to be transported anywhere on the Copperbelt without any documentation as along as one paid, for instance, K100,000 per 30 tonne truck, I can bet there would be money made in no time rather than allowing our brothers and sisters on the Copperbelt who are transporting copper ore at night without paying anything. They mine the copper, transport it at night go and sell it, make their money and in the morning, they are busy dancing, no one knows what has happened or who has done what or what sort of money has exchanged hands.

 If we make the Copperbelt a free zone, people can dig their copper during the day and transport it to wherever as long as they pay that money. That is another area from which the hon. Minister can make a little more money.

We can do the same for the Northern Province. We can have a tollgate on Kaputa Road which has been a thorny issue in the Northern Province. The money collected could go towards the maintenance of Kaputa Road. Our friends from Kaputa are renown for witch craft. If, for any act of witchcraft, they paid K10,000 ...


Mr Chimumbwa: .. that is money …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! No, I do not think we can go to that extent. No witchcraft.

Can you continue, please.

Mr Chimumbwa: Thank you, Mr Chairperson.

With these few words, I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Thank you, Mr Chairperson. To start with, I would like to say that I support the Vote. In supporting the Vote, I have the following issues to bring to the attention of the Government.

Hon. Mwiimbu, a few minutes ago, talked about this Vote that is supposed to be under the Ministry of Works and Supply. I remember when we had a workshop a few weeks ago. The Ministry of Finance and National Planning promised that this Vote would go to Ministry of Works and Supply. I am surprised it is still appearing under the Ministry of Finance and National Planning. The ministry really is being weakened that way.

I have also in mind the Road Development Agency (RDA) that was removed from the Ministry of Works and Supply. It is still there, but is just on paper. The restructuring and decentralisation of the roads and the procurement unit took its toll on the Ministry of Works and Supply. These activities have been scattered all over now when they are supposed to be centralised at the Ministry of Works and Supply. What I am saying is that the Ministry of Works and Supply is being hammered right, left and centre. It is not as effective as it was in the past.

Yesterday, there was an article in The Post, talking about some internal differences In the ministry, but I can assure the hon. Minister that some of us are behind him to support what he is trying to do in the ministry.

Secondly, under this Vote, there are some programmes such as feasibility studies, road infrastructure development and so on. There is the issue of the four bridges. Let me talk about the Kazungula Bridge that has appeared under Sub-head 2, Programme 7, Activity 05 – Kazungula Bridge Study – K3,400,000,000. I think this is still being studied. For more than forty years now, it has been on the drawing board.

I pray hard that the Government does something so that this bridge is constructed very soon. It is an international bridge. The circus that we had in the past two or three years should come to an end. There was JICA which at one time found money to construct the bridge, but I think there were differences with regard to its positioning. There were three countries that did not agree where exactly it should be. Why can the Government not find money to finance this? I know there is African Development Bank (ADB) that has its strings attached to it.

I want to commend the Government for what it has done to Chembe Bridge. I think that Government is financing this bridge with its own resources.

However, while on this item, let me correct the impression that was created in the Times of Zambia and I commented as follows, ‘Chembe Bridge another Fiasco.’ When this comment was made, I did not mean that the Government should pay for that damage caused by the flooding. It was the other way round. I meant whoever is at fault should be responsible and pay for any damage that is there, but my fears were exacerbated in yesterday’s Zambia Daily Mail in which there was an article on the Chembe Bridge and the one to blame should be highlighted in that article. Mr Chairperson, after reading the article, two issues were raised. The first being that there were similar floods about seven years ago, in 2000. The contractor and the consultants should have factored this in their programme.

The other issue regards planning. The issue of natural calamities or lack of planning was raised. On my part, having read the article in yesterday’s Daily Mail, I concluded that the Government is not to blame, but the consultants and the contractor. Therefore, whatever damage will be caused, whatever extension will result thereafter, the costs must be borne by the consultant and the contractor. It is high time we stopped treating the contractors with kid gloves. I was thinking of using Mohammed Ali gloves to push these people and make them work…

Hon. Member of Parliament: To punch them.

Mr Mooya: To punch them if possible. Better still why not use the local gloves of Esther Phiri to make them work harder. There were complaints yesterday as well as today when the Ministry of Works and Supply was being discussed, regarding the issue of poor workmanship. In addition, I heard on radio the spokesperson for the National Council for Construction, NCC say that the battle will now be for three fronts. Front one will be the contractor, front two will be the consultant and front three will be the Government officials. However, I would like to add a fourth front, NCC itself …

Hon. Members of Parliament: Hear, hear!

Mr Mooya: There is a lot that requires to be corrected. Firstly, I would like them to be independent so that they can bite. Funding to the Ministry of Works and Supply must also be taken into consideration.

Secondly, I think that the National Council for Construction has allowed itself to be politicised. When you look at NCC’s Act of 2003, you will see that everything is hinging on the Minister of Works and Supply.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

I have been trying to see how you are linking this up with the Ministry of Finance and National Planning- Loans and Investments. However, you seem to be dwelling too much on the Ministry of Works and Supply.

You may continue.

Mr Mooya: Thank you, Sir. This is related to Maintenance and Rehabilitation, a unit which is supposed to belong to the Ministry of Works and Supply. This is why I have ventured into construction.

There is also the Government’s policy of investment and maintenance that is a new direction of the Government. Therefore, whatever is being invested and maintained, must be of a high quality and not shoddy work.

My third point, regards the tackling of a few roads at a time …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.


The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Members, I have to acquaint the House with the fact that today, in the Speaker’s Gallery, we have distinguished visitors who constitute the Southern African Development Committee, SADC Parliamentary Forum, Post-Election Mission to Zambia. They are, Ms Nora Schimming-Chase, MP, Vice-Chairperson of the SADC Parliamentary Forum and leader of delegation. Dr. Guido Sigonda MP; Mr Isaac Mabiletsa, MP; Mr Piet Mathebe, MP; Mr Billings Chikhadwe, MP; Mr Michael S. Dlamini, MP and Dr Kasuka. S. Mutukwa, Secretary-General of the SADC Parliamentary Forum. They are accompanied by support staff from the SADC Parliamentary Forum Secretariat in Namibia.

The Mission is in the country to hold meetings with the Electoral Commission of Zambia, leaders of political parties that contested the 2006 Elections, the SADC Diplomatic Corps, the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, Civil Society and Faith- Based Organisations that were involved in election observation and monitoring.

The distinguished visitors arrived in Zambia between 24th and 26th March, 2007. They will depart Zambia on 30th March, 2007. We welcome them and we are happy to have them in our midst.

Hon. Members of Parliament: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

The Deputy Chairperson: Before business was suspended, the hon. Member for Moomba was speaking.

May he continue please.

Mr Mooya:  Before business was suspended, I was looking at the new direction that the New Deal Government has taken of tackling very few projects at a time. This is alright on condition that the process of prioritising is transparent. As such, I propose that we discuss this issue further by moving a motion and if we agree, we could have a workshop such as the one we had before and agree on which roads to embark on first. Personally, I support this new direction because we have spent so much money on a lot of projects. In the process, we are allocating few funds.

Sir, with regard to Programme 24, Activity 04 – Border Post Scanning – K20,000,000,000, the hon. Member of Parliament for Bangweulu, Mr Kasongo, went into details on this, but I would like to request the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to fund the Chirundu Border Post facilities.

 I remember, in 2006 and 2006, I asked him when these facilities would be completed. In 2005, he said they would be completed in 2005, and in 2006, he said they would be completed in 2006. This is 2007. There is a lot of revue that we are losing. When I mentioned the first front that was to correct the poor workmanship, maintenance and rehabilitation, I left out one issue. I mentioned the fourth front.

Mr Chairperson, the other issue that I left out was the registration. Registration is done by the National Council for Construction. There are a few hon. Members of Parliament who expressed unhappiness regarding the workmanship. I feel that the fourth front should also look into the way contractors are registered. Some of them are not supposed to be registered. Two weeks ago, I read about a lot of contractors who have been registered. I think they should be 1,600. Therefore, we should look into this.

The other issue regarding the fourth front is that sometime back, the National Council for Construction awarded a wrong contractor a contract.

With regard to politicising, I remember there was a politician who was awarded a tender for construction. This is should be avoided. Earlier, I said that they should keep away from politicising the institution.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Imasiku (Liuwa): Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank you for allowing me to say a few words on this Vote on the Floor. Before I go further, I would like to appreciate the work being done by the Government in the Western Province.

Before I talk about some problems, I would like to say we are very happy with the rehabilitation of the infrastructure going on in the province. I refer to roads that have been constructed, resurfaced and maintained.

For example, those who will be travelling tomorrow …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Mr Imasiku, can you raise your voice. We need to get what you are saying.

Mr Imasiku: I would like to assure those travelling to Mongu tomorrow that the road is in a good condition. It has been maintained. This is the road that, for many years, has been in a very bad condition. Remember, we used to queue for a long time, waiting for buses which were going to Mongu. The reason was that the road was very bad, but this time, you can drive along the Mongu/Lusaka Road nicely. I know that it is not perfect, but at least the road is good enough to travel on. We have many other infrastructure like the Livingstone and Katimamulilo Road which have been well maintained

Mr Chairperson, the money allocated to programmes such as schools and hospitals is being put to good use. For example, this Government is constructing a hospital and health centres in Shangombo and is financing a number of health posts. We would like to appreciate the work being done by the New Deal Administration.

Sir, as regards the Mongu/Kalabo Road, it is a life for the people of Kalabo. On Programme 13, Activity 01 – Mongu-Kalabo Road RD316 Upgrading – K20,000,000,000, I do not know whether the road will be completed with this amount. I would like to bring to the attention of this House what takes place in Kalabo.

Mr Chairperson, this is our saving road. The people of Kalabo are cut off from the rest of Zambia by a stretch of about 30 kilometres. This time, this is almost like a lake. If you are going to Mongu, …

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

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Chairperson, I stand on a very serious point of order. Is the hon. Member of Parliament in order to debate roads that we have already tackled because we are now debating the Ministry of Finance and National Planning?

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! You will recall that in my earlier guidance, I said that we should, as far as possible, limit ourselves to the Heads that we are discussing. However, I would like to advise the hon. Member not to dwell too much on roads, though Loans and Investment covers roads among others. Therefore, he is in order, except that he is dwelling too much on roads.

May you continue, please.

Mr Imasiku: Mr Chairperson, I thank you very much for your protection.

Sir, I was saying that I was not sure whether this road would be completed with this amount of money. There is no communication between Mongu and Kalabo because it is being hampered by the lack of a good road. When you are in Kalabo at the harbour, you will feel out of place because there is no transport because of the bad road. There is actually no road per se. The Government was trying to construct a road, but it did not work out because, the designer, contractor or consultant did not do a good job. At the moment, we do not have a road. The part of the road which has been tarred is on the other side of the district. Therefore, we are not connected.

The point I am trying to bring is that the Government or the Ministry of Finance and Nation Planning in trying to allocate resources to a number of projects, must look at some projects that are critical such as the ones in Kalabo. If we keep on giving small amounts of money to Kalabo for periods of five or ten years, we will be very disadvantaged.

When you are in Kalabo, it is like you are in Angola because you cannot communicate with the people in Mongu and the rest of Zambia. My major request is that the allocation for Mongu/Kalabo Road should be reviewed. If the road is not completed with this amount of money, the people of Kalabo will stand disadvantaged for a long time. Did you know that the fare from Mongu to Lusaka is K85,000 for 600 kilometres is the same fare that you pay from Kalabo to Mongu, a distance of about 70 kilometres? This is how disadvantaged the people of Kalabo are.

For one to travel from Kalabo to Mongu, they have to pay the same fare that is paid from Mongu to Lusaka. The main reason is that the road network is bad. Even when you go there during the rainy season, we are really at a risk. This time, we are being subjected to banana boats that can capsize anytime. The accidents you are hearing about on the plain or rivers are because of these banana boats that are not conducive. I think the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning should really be sympathetic to the people of Kalabo by just giving them more funds for the road to be completed. If the Government delays in looking into this issue, the people of Kalabo will feel as if they are not part of Zambia.

I think, I have talked about many things, but the reason I stood to contribute is that I wanted to bring to the attention of this House the fact that the Kalabo/Mongu Road must get the attention it deserves so that the people of Kalabo can also feel that they are part of Zambia.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Mr Malama (Mfuwe): Mr Chairperson, it is difficult to talk about investment in certain areas if there are no roads. Because of this, I would like to start my debate by looking at roads firstly in my constituency and then if time allows, I will look at some other issues.

Mr Chairperson, I stand first to support and register my great disappointment at this Vote to this House. This Vote is important just like other ministries. However, this it deals with roads and some other investments. There were projects that were supposed to be funded last year, but money allocated to the projects was not released by the Ministry of Finance and National Planning. Since the ministry did not release the money, I thought those allocations were going to be given back to the projects, but to my surprise they have not.

When I was going through the Yellow Book, I almost collapsed because there is nothing for my constituency. The roads in my constituency are quite bad. For example, the road to Chief Na Bwalya does not exist. You cannot use any other vehicle unless a 4 x 4 vehicle. This is why when I look at fellow hon. Members who are getting posh cars for their comfort, I get surprised. For me, if I get this type of vehicle, I will not reach my area.


Mr Malama: I was disappointed and surprised to find that the K1 billion in the Yellow Book that was allocated last year for the road which goes to Chief Na Bwalya, where our Government makes a lot of money from the parks, has not been provided.

 I have been observing how senior hon. Members debate in this House, but I think they debate in this manner because of the way funds are allocated to the various constituencies. I would like to find out where the K1 billion that was allocated for this road went. There is completely nothing this year for this road.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Malama: I think if money has to be released, it would be better for the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to publicise through the press so that the public knows. As it is, the people in Mfuwe Constituency are saying that K1 billion was stolen. Why? This is because the money that was allocated for this constituency was not released. What do you expect the poor people to say if money is not allocated? They will just say that money was stolen. Surely, I agree with them.

Yesterday, I went to one of the departments of the Ministry of Works and Supply, trying to follow up this same issue so that when I stand here, I do not look ignorant. I was told that this K1 billion was not released for the bridge at Mutinondo River. The K2 billion allocated for the road was also not released. Instead of the good hon. Minister allocating K1 billion for the bridge at Mutinondo River again, he has allocated K500 million. The question is: how can the people in of Mfuwe Constituency invest if there are no roads? My constituency, if anything is one of the richest and biggest constituencies in this country, but no money has been allocated for investment. Out of K12 trillion this year, the only money which will go to Mfuwe Constituency is K500 million. In fact, the Government should not forget that this constituency has two national parks where the imported lions are being kept.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Malama: I perused through the Yellow Book to check whether money has been allocated for tourism, but I was very surprised to find that nothing has been allocated to my area. How do we develop if we cannot open up some areas by providing roads?

Mr Chairperson, from the time this country started experiencing floods, the people of Mfuwe Constituency have not received a single grain. There is a dispute between the Disaster Management and Mitigating Unit and Zambia Air Force (ZAF). When ZAF was ferrying relief food to the North-Western Province, the Disaster Management and Mitigating unit instructed ZAF to use only half of the relief food. When they came back from Chavuma, the department was informed that all the relief food had been distributed and so ZAF was unable to move to Mfuwe Constituency and other areas that were experiencing similar problems in the Eastern Province.

This morning, I got a telephone call from my chief informing me about people dying in the constituency. Why are they dying? Is it because they voted for me as an opposition hon. Member?


Mr Malama: I told my chief that the problem is that the Government did not actually provide a helicopter to the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit. You cannot curb any disaster if you do not provide a helicopter to an important office. Here is a situation where transport was not provided. The people in my constituency are perishing. I talked to my chief and assured him not to worry. Even in Mkushi, people voted for MMD, but they have not received anything, meaning that the problem is genuine. Let me defend the Government on this issue.

Hon. Members: Hear, Hear!

Mr Malama: Mr Chairperson, I sometimes get very worried, especially towards lunch time. I lose my appetite when I think of how people are suffering in my constituency …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!
Hon. Malama, I know that, maybe, you want to seize the opportunity to engage in another cross-country debate, but let us talk about Loans and Investments in the Ministry of Finance and National Planning.

You can go on.

   Mr Malama: I am humbled, Mr Chairperson. You always guide Members of Parliament who want to go astray in their debate.


Mr Malama: The road which goes to Chief Munkungule is another area where there are national parks and a lot of animals. People are asked not to kill animals because they are looked at as investment. Where is the benefit for the people of Mfuwe Constituency if they cannot be given a road and they are told not to kill animals? We really want to know where the benefit is.

This Government has done some good things for the people of Mfuwe Constituency by opening a secondary school in an area that has no road. When you look at this type of investment, how do we expect teachers to go to such a place where you cannot find a proper road? I was told that some of these contractors are being given K18 million per kilometre. Sometimes, the Government of the day should learn to use hon. Members of Parliament because we have interest there. Definitely, if that K18 million is given to me, I will develop my area. I can utilise the money in such a way that even the hon. Minister of Works and Supply would be shocked.

 The biggest problem we have in this country is that we handle certain issues as though we are living in a developed country. We need to sacrifice.  The little resources we have must be put to good use.

Lastly, Mr Chairperson, when I stand in this House, I do not need to beg. My people are entitled …

Major Chizyuka: They are Zambians.

Mr Malama: All that I need to do is inform the nation that there are problems in this area, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hammer!

Mr Malama:… but because of the situation, allow me to use a proverb that I may fail to interpret, but other people will help me. In Bemba there is saying that goes, ‘filikwati bwali bwambusa ubwakulya ucenjele’ meaning that if you are not clever, you cannot get anything out of the share on the table.

Mr Chairperson, in my place, Old Mfuwe constituency, there is a lot of wealth. When my people were voting, they said, ‘we have been sending people to Parliament, who cannot speak. We want somebody who can speak on our behalf.’ I think it is time the Almighty God has started giving us power to stand firmly to debate and contribute in this House. I want to beg the experienced hon. Minister to actually look into this problem. If there is a way, I can even start slashing at the Ministry of Finance and National Planning for that office to release the money for the two roads. I am ready to so. I will even invite people from my constituency to start slashing until the money is released for the poor people of Nabwalya, Mpumba, and Chief Munkungule’s area where the imported lions are being kept when tourists cannot even go there because there are no roads.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Defence (Mr Akakandelwa): I thank you, Mr Chairperson, for giving me a chance to debate this subject. I stand to support the vote. My contribution will be on the role of hon. Members of Parliament with regard to the investment that the Ministry of Finance and National Planning is putting in our constituencies. For a start, the money allocated to every constituency has been increased from K60 million to K200 million in this year’s Budget. Each one of us in this House has received a letter that we have a duty to monitor how this money is going to be used. This is what I call empowerment. The Government wants to demonstrate accountability in the money that you will be given …

Mr Kambwili: Fyapwa ifya kulanda.

Mr Akakandelwa:…and wants to demonstrate transparency and good governance. We all have the responsibility to take stock and report any maladministration of any investment in our constituencies. As citizens, we should all know that the power of arrest is vested in us by the Constitution, even before we received those letters from the President. We have to ensure that what belongs to the public goes to the public.

Mr Chairperson, as leaders, I think the problem that we encounter in our efforts to manage public funds, is the self interest that we develop in Government contracts. When you develop self interest in a contract, you are unlikely to ensure that public funds are used in the way that they are supposed to.      

We all agreed in this House that it would have been desirable that we get more than K200 million per constituency. For now, let us see how well we are going to use the K200 million that is going to be given to each constituency. When we have exhausted the funds, at the end of the day, we will be required to submit a certificate for all contracts to the Ministry of Finance and National Planning showing that money has been used in the best way and to the letter. That information, I suppose should not be kept to ourselves. It is important that we share it with other stakeholders.

We should let the contractors, Heads of Department and the District Commissioners know that you have authority in monitoring and ensuring that the money that the Ministry of Finance and National Planning is investing in your constituency is put to good use and the buck stop at nobody else, but the Member of Parliament.

Mr Chairman, I am not going to waste your time. This was my small contribution to this Vote.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwenzi): Mr Chairman, I also want to contribute to this Vote pertaining to the conditions of the road and other infrastructure in my constituency, Dundumwenzi.

Mr Chairman, when I went through this book, I discovered that around 2006, an amount of K2.3 billion was allocated to for the Kalomo/Dundumwenzi Road. However, I am surprised that there is no way a right thinking person can trace how this amount of money was utilised on this road.

Mr Mtonga: Shame!

Mr Sing’ombe: Mr Chairman, it is surprising that this year, the same amount has been allocated to the same road. Now, the people of Dundumwenzi are worried due to the Government’s non-existence in their area with regard to the construction and maintenance of roads. No assurance has been given to them that the roads will be worked on.

Sir, may I also register my disappointment that most of the bridges in my constituency have been left out. For example, I have in mind the Chizuni Bridge that was washed away two to three years ago. This is a bridge that links my constituency to the only nearest hospital, Macha. We cannot use any other bridge apart from Chizuni. If this bridge is not attended to, I am assuring you that we are going to lose a lot of lives in Dundumwenzi because they will have no access to the only nearest hospital.

Sir, I would be very happy if this Government could also do something about the Munyeke Bridge that was built in the 1980s. Since then, this bridge has never been rehabilitated.

Mr Chairman, at times I wonder how certain things are done. For example, why should we use a stretch of 60 kilometres to go to a place that is just about 10 kilometres? The people of Dundumwenzi need help from this Government. If Chizuni Bridge is worked on, we are going to save a lot of lives for the people living in that area.

Secondly, this Government has put a very good structure at Nkandanzovu and I think the hon. Minister of Health can bear me witness that there is a very nice clinic and school, but alas, there is no proper roads leading to this place. Therefore, I do not know how this Government wants the people to access such facilities.

Mr Chairman, between 2005 and 2006, it was reported that the people of Nkandanzovu area lost two pupils who were trying to cross a river to go to school and since then, nothing has been done to alleviate such problems that my people are facing.

The road from Chikanta branching to Nkandanzovu has become a maternity wing for the people of Dundumwenzi because this is the only place that the Government has put. Often times, women prefer to deliver at that clinic, but due to lack of proper roads, they fail to do so. Therefore, I want to urge this Government to do something. My area has few clinics around and this clinic cannot be accessed because of poor roads.

Mr Chairman, we also need a bridge across Dongo River. For people from Nkandanzovu to get to Kalomo, it takes them two to three days. A person has to drive from Nkandanzovu to Kasupe, which is about 60 kilometres and from Kasupe to Choma is another 60 kilometres while from Choma to Kalomo is another 60 kilometres. Now, here is a teacher who is getting a very little amount of money and has to cover a long distance on the road and paying so much because to access the pay point. If the Government could construct a road from Kalomo coming straight to my constituency, Kalomo would be economically viable.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sing’ombe: Kalomo now is slowly going down economically because this Government made all the people of Dundumwenzi Constituency move to Choma because that is the only place that has proper roads. If we construct roads straight from Kalomo into my constituency, Kalomo will be a town to reckon with.

Kalomo was the first capital city for Northern Rhodesia, but it has been neglected. The bridge crossing from Kalomo, Mawaya going into the Boma is a sorry site, and yet that is the bridge that the Mayor uses and it is the same road that leads to the farming block, but the bridge is not something to talk about. I will be happy if this document attaches concern to this area.

Mr Chairman, I want to ask Hon. Magande to, please allocate something to that constituency. In 1966, Dundumwenzi Constituency had only 16 homes or families because it was a game park, but I want to inform this Government that Dundumwenzi Constituency is no longer a game park. The constituency has more than 44000 people living there.

Please, I beg you on behalf of the people of Dundumwenzi who have never seen any meaningful development to give them a share. I have heard someone say that you have to be clever, but what kind of clever people do you want to have when they are simply telling you what you are supposed to deliver to the people of Dundumwenzi?

Hon. PF. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sing’ombe: We do not want a Government of Taata ulya twe, meaning you crown a person who behaves or a father is cheating people that he is eating ash meanwhile he is using a stroll to get honey underground.

We want you to help us. We are also part of this republic. People there have a lot of problems and if you go there some people have been told not to go further in Dundumwenzi because that is a Game Park, but how do you want them to live when they do not have better infrastructure. They are going there because probably, ZAWA has put up a clinic or bridge. In other words, they want to go there also and enjoy life.

Mr Chairman, I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mr Magande): Mr Chairman, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to wind up debate on my ministry’s estimates for this year.

Mr Chairman, let me say that I appreciate the comments made by most of the hon. Members, as they were making suggestions on how we can improve, particularly on the revenue measures.

For example, Hon. Kasongo’s message was very clear that if we have to earn more money, we have to support the revenue-earning department. I would like to assure him that we have tried to allocate more resources to the revenue-earning departments this year.

Yesterday, the hon. Minister of Lands explained that part of his increased allocation will be used to produce cadastral maps that are demanded by the public. We hope from the sales of these maps, they will generate more income. However, our appropriation procedure is that, they will keep part of that money so that they are able to earn more.

Mr Chairperson, if hon. Members checked on my ministry, under the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), they would discover that the estimates for ZRA this year have increased because we would like to improve the facilities at Chirundu, Nakonde, Kasumba Lesa, Katima Mulilo and Kazungula to be able to earn more revenue. We hope that the ZRA will be able to collect much of the Value Added Tax (VAT) that might not be collected at the moment.

In my budget speech, I indicated that we intended to buy x-ray machines that are going to help us with customs clearance so that we do not detain the vehicles at the borders. These x-ray machines would show us what is in a container without opening and that will facilitate fast movement of traffic.

I appreciate Hon. Mwiimbu’s comments that when we borrow money, we should not use it for things that are not of a priority. Indeed, I do appreciate that concern and this is the concern of my ministry. In terms of any money that we get, whether it is loans from oversees or local revenues, we want it to have value addition and proper outputs.

The only issue I wanted to clarify was that if we get money, for example, for a water project in the Northern Province, in order for people to site the boreholes and supervise the contractors, they will need a vehicle. Obviously, we need to spend money on the actual drilling of boreholes to ensure that officials in the Ministry of Energy and Water Development are able to go and inspect the site. That is how we end up using part of the project money to make sure that these projects are properly done.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank Hon. Chimumbwa, greatly, who spent most of his time making proposals on how and where we can raise additional revenues. His message was, ‘do we find businessmen or Zambians willing to contribute to national development?’ He said sometimes, we just have to charge people a bit of money. However, because we have been dependant on donor funds, both grants and loans, we have not realised that it is our responsibility to raise revenue and develop this country.

Now that our debt has been forgiven and our balance sheet is clean, I would like to say that we should resist the temptation of being a heavily-indebted poor country by depending on outsiders again. We should rely on our resources and by citizens being able to pay a little more for the development of the facilities that they need.

Hon. Mooya talked about the bridges. He lamented the problems of the Kazungula Bridge that has taken us so many years to start. I am aware that he knows why this has taken so long. It is the politics of where this particular bridge is supposed to be positioned. At one time, we had a problem with one country and when we resolved that problem, another problem with another country arose. We had difficulties of the three countries agreeing on the correct site for the bridge.

Not until our President last year took a trip across the Zambezi did he manage to get other political leaders accept that we needed this bridge. We have been trying to get this as a regional bridge under the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) or the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), but because of the boundary issues, this has been a problem for a long time.

Hon. Malama made a passionate appeal for some of the projects in his area. I would like to inform him that the estimates that are in the Yellow Book are estimates of revenue. That is not money in the bank account. It is money we anticipate to realise from the various sources which are shown at the beginning of the Yellow Book. If you look at the beginning of the Yellow Book, you will see the estimates of revenue and where we hope to raise this money. If we do not raise this money, then there is no way we can release the part of the Yellow Book where we are indicating the activities and projects. That is how the Government operates. We estimate what we will raise and then try to allocate that money to the various activities.

Let me also inform Hon.  Malama that the Ministry of Finance and National Planning does not allocate funds to the individual activities and projects. I think that issue was also made by Hon. Sing’ombe who was appealing to Mr Magande to put something on this road. Mr Magande is Minister of Finance and National Planning. He does not decide how your Ministry of Works and Supply is going to allocate money to the roads. We give them a ceiling after we have estimated the revenue. They decide which project, programme and activity to spend that money on. So, your appeal is not only falling on deaf ears, but also falling on the wrong ears.


Mr Magande: You should appeal to the hon. Minister of Works and Supply.

Mr Chairperson, I thought we had enough information on the question of roads construction and rehabilitation this year. When a question arose earlier before the budget was presented, we were asked to attend a workshop by the Ministry of Works and Supply where the Road Development Agency that is now responsible for roads construction and maintenance took their time to explain everything. In those folders you were given, you will find the work plans from this year up to 2009.

Now, those who did not attend that workshop missed a lot. In those folders, you can check whether your road is earmarked for rehabilitation this year, next year or 2009. If it for 2009, even if you went to the Roads Development Agency this year, they will not be able to do that road. That is the kind of planning that we want to do so that we do not put all the 2000 roads in the Budget for this year and at the end of the day, we only do two roads and the other thousands remain undone. After that workshop, I thought hon. Members of Parliament would be competent and confident of why their roads are not done.

Mr Chairperson, the same goes with the budget. We also had a workshop on the budgeting process. We had consultants even helping the Estimates Extended Committee of the Budget. These consultants were to make us understand how the Yellow Book is derived. One would have expected that the issues that have been raised today, in terms of some of the activities and how they found themselves in the Yellow Book, would be clearly understood.

Mr Chairperson, as I conclude, the important aspect is what the hon. Deputy Minister of Defence said. Whatever is in the Yellow Book now, in terms of estimated revenue, is what we project to raise. We expect to fund the activities that are in the Yellow Book. The most important aspect is that hon. Members have now been told that the highest political leader, His Excellency the President, in his political will, wants them to be involved in the supervision of projects whether they are on the left or right side.  This has never been said before.

Sir, for the benefit of the new hon. Members, I would like to tell them that every year, the people on the right and on the left have quarreled in this House. This gave the impression that we, on the right only projected the money and the ones on the left would wait so that we beat them in the next elections. After the current President was given the mandate, he said that he wanted Zambians to develop. Whether they voted for hon. Kakoma in Zambezi or not, they are Zambians and they are part of the territory for which he is Head of State.

Sir, I would like to urge Hon. Kakoma that the projects we are talking about, in terms of oil exploration are not to benefit the people who voted for MMD in Zambezi. They are supposed to benefit the people who voted for you. Therefore, you should support them. These are not Government projects. They are projects for the development of your people. When you go to these people, do not ask for their party cards. Ask them whether they are ready to fold their sleeves and work hard for their own development. That way, this Government is going to assist them by facilitating the allocation of resources.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

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

Vote 21/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 37/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 37/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 37/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 37/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 37/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 37/06 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 37/07 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 37/08 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 37/09 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 37/10 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Mr Magande: Mr Chairperson, in our usual manner of efficiency, we circulated some amendments sometime back and when we came to the individual items, I think I was too busy reflecting on the figures and forgot about them. There are some amendments because that is where we got some money to move to Constituency Development Fund on Heads 37/01 and 37/07.

VOTE 37/01 – (Ministry of Finance and National Planning – Human Resources and Administration – K448,930,397,948).

Mr Magande: Mr Chairperson, I beg to move the following amendment:

Programme 7, Activity 06, Compensations and Awards, by the deletion of K80,000,000,000 and the substitution therefor of K71,000,000,000.

Amendment agreed to. Vote amended accordingly.

Vote 37/01, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 37/07 – (Ministry of Finance and National Planning – Financial Management and Accounting Department – K527,767,524,555).

Mr Magande: Mr Chairperson, I beg to move the following amendment:

Under Programme 7, Activity 04, Payment of Arrears 0 Utilities, by the deletion of K36,289,000,000 and the substitution therefor of K26,114,000,000.

Amendment agreed to. Vote amended accordingly.

Vote 37/07, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 33 – (Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry – K73, 325,949,084).

The Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Mr Konga): Mr Chairman, May I express my gratitude to you for giving me the opportunity to deliver the policy statement of the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry’s 2007 budget. Allow me also, from the onset, to indicate the mission statement of the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry and I quote:

“To effectively and efficiently facilitate and promote sustainable growth, development and competitiveness of the commercial trade and industrial sectors in order to enhance social-economic development”.

Mr Chairman, the 2007 ministerial budget is presented within the context of the 2007-2009 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) of the Ministry of Commerce Trade and Industry that highlights the major programmes and activities that the ministry will undertake in the next three years. The 2007 Budget, however, has been prepared within the specific focus from programmes to be undertaken in 2007.

Mr Chairman, the programmes and activities that are being presented in this budget have been developed with particular attention paid to the priorities identified in the draft 2006-2010 Ministry of Commerce Trade and Industry (MCTI) Ministerial Strategic Plan, the Draft National Commercial, Trade and Industrial (CTI) Policy and the Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP).

Mr Chairman, the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, as one of the key economic arms of the Government, plays an important role in stimulating growth and development through private sector development, promotion of industrial development and trade expansion. Specifically, the role of the ministry is to contribute to wealth creation, employment generation and ultimately poverty reduction. The Ministry’s mandate is fully recognised in the National Development Plan that placed a high priority in making Zambia a middle-income economy by 2030. However, this can only be attained through careful planning and resource allocation to programmes aimed at promoting trade and industrial expansion.

Mr Chairman, in order to carry out its mandate, my ministry is organised into three core departments, namely: Industry; Domestic Trade and Commerce; and Foreign Trade that are mandated to implement its functions and the two support departments namely: Human Resources and Administration; and Planning and Information.

Under its ambit, the Ministry also has six statutory bodies that it closely collaborates with in the implementation of commerce, trade and industrial sector policies. These are: the newly created Zambia Development Agency (ZDA); Citizens’ Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC); Patents and Companies Registration Office (PACRO); Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS); Zambia Competition Commission (ZCC); and finally Zambia Weights and Measures Agency (ZWMA).

The Department of Industry is responsible for facilitating investment and growth of the industrial sectors with the primary aim of correcting distortions in the economy.

The Department of Domestic Trade and Commerce is responsible for the development and implementation of domestic, commercial and trade policies and programmes in order to stimulate competitiveness, restore sustainable growth of the sectors and maintain order in the domestic markets.

The Department of Foreign Trade is responsible for stimulating growth of the commerce and trading sectors through the formulation of strategies and policy instruments that will enhance the competitiveness in the foreign commercial and trade sectors and facilitation of international trade relations.

Mr Chairman, The role of the Department of Human Resources and Administration is to provide support services to the technical departments in the execution of their programmes.

The role of the Planning and Information Department is to ensure that objectives and policies of the ministry are maintained in a co-ordinated and effective manner and on a continuous basis. In addition, the Department reviews ministerial functions, policies and objectives so as to make necessary changes to reflect the demands of the commercial, trading and industrial sectors.

Mr Chairperson, the Government has recognised the important role that development of the private manufacturing and trade sectors can play in stimulating economic growth and development.

In this regard, the promotion of activities aimed at enhancing Zambia’s manufacturing sector and export trade and development have been streamlined in the Fifth National Development Plan and are regarded among key priorities that the Government intends to promote in order to create wealth, generate employment and reduce poverty.

Mr Chairperson, in order to unlock the potential of the manufacturing sector, my Government will continue to provide incentives to promote value-addition. This is because the sector provides forward and backward linkages with other sectors such as agriculture fisheries, livestock, mining and forestry.

Mr Chairperson, in 2007, my ministry intends to focus on a number of programmes as activities aimed at revitalising the manufacturing sector and diversifying the economy that includes operationalisation of the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA), operationalisation of the Citizens’ Empowerment Commission, implementation of the Triangle of Hope  Initiative, the Private Sector Development Reform Action Plan, product quality improvement and elimination of  trade-related to supply-side constraints and review of the various legislation and policies such as the relevant part of the Company’s Act that deals with the  winding up of companies and the Competition Policy.

Mr Chairperson, the Government operationalised the Zambia Development Agency in January this year. The ZDA will among other things, address the high cost of doing business in Zambia and simplify the processing of various business formalities such as licences and others. This is part of Government’s strategy to improve the business climate and encourage investment flows in the country.

Mr Chairperson, through the ZDA, my ministry’s major thrust will be on investment promotion, export promotion, promotion of the micro, small and medium enterprises and undertaking of on-going privatisation and post-privatisation activities. The major investment promotion programme under the agency will be the Multi Facility Economic Zones (MFEZs). The MFEZs are special industrial zones for both domestic and export –oriented industries. In the MFEZs, the Government will offer incentives to both local and foreign investors and provide the necessary infrastructure required for the development of the manufacturing and trade sectors.

Mr Chairperson, the  MFEZ are expected to act as engines for encouraging economic growth by attracting domestic as well as foreign investment and creating a spill over to the whole nation by creating jobs, wealth and increased foreign exchange earnings.

Mr Chairperson, the Government will bear the cost of most of the initial work in the development of the two MFEZs that include development of infrastructure in the MFEZs we will set up in Lusaka and the Copperbelt, develop the road network, telecommunication, water and other services. This will also include the zoning plans and feasibility studies to be carried out. The budgeted figure of K17 ,948,038,980.000  for operationalisation of the  ZDA will go some way towards executing these capital-intensive activities.

Mr Chairperson, following the enactment of the Citizens’ Economic Empowerment Act No. 9 of 2006, the Government is in the process of also operationalising the Citizens’ Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC). The CEEC is a tool for wealth creation and employment generation by integrating economically disadvantaged Zambian citizens into the mainstream economy, leading to sustained individual and national wealth.

Mr Chairperson, the Citizens’ Economic Empowerment Commission is the body that will administer the Citizens’ Economic Empowerment Fund. The fund will provide seed money for supporting the development of broad-based economic empowerment programmes. A total of K5,199,200,000.00 has been proposed in this budget to cater for the operationalisation of  the  Commission this year.

Mr Chairperson, the Government with the help of the Japanese Government, will continue to implement the Triangle of Hope Initiative that outlines actions on increasing investment in the Zambian economy.

The Triangle of Hope Initiative is an investment promotion initiative aimed at replicating the South East Asia miracle in Zambia. The aim of the initiative is to attract investment mainly from Asia to targeted sectors of the Zambian economy. To implement this initiative, the ministry has allocated an amount of K248,078,509 in this year’s Budget.

Mr Chairperson, following the Africa-Asia Summit of April, 2005 and the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation (FOCAC) Summit in November, 2006, the Chinese Government dedicated a fund of US$10,000,000,000 for investment in Africa. The Government is considering how best it can utilise this opportunity to attract a substantial part of this investment into Zambia.

To do this, my ministry, in conjunction with other ministries, will identify areas in which a part of this fund could be invested. The ministry, through the Investment Promotion and Guarantee and Export Promotion and International Competitiveness Divisions of the ZDA, will continue to undertake investment and market opportunity identification missions within the country and abroad.

Sir, the Government will continue to partner with the private sector to facilitate the development of a better business and investment climate. My ministry will this year accelerate the implementation of the Private Sector Development Programme (PSD). The purpose of the PSD Reform Programme is to lay the foundation for faster sustained private-sector led economic growth by implementing a comprehensive action plan for enhancing the business and investment climate and restoring investor confidence.

The Implementation Committee of the PSD Steering Committee was established in 2006 to oversee the implementation of the PSD in order to enhance the pace of implementation of the PSD Programme.

Mr Chairperson, the PSD prioritised areas and corresponding working groups built on what was set in 2005 have been formed and these are: Labour Law Reform; Telecommunications Reform; Administrative Barriers; Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) Reform; Immigration Reform, Land Reform; Tourism Development; Livestock Disease Control; Energy Reform, Trade Expansion; and Citizens’ Economic Empowerment.

Sir, my ministry intends to review and develop a number of legislation and policies in 2007. These include the review of the Companies Act specifically to strengthen the liquidation law and development of a Competition Policy. The Companies Act is outdated and needs to be reviewed, with a special focus on part XIII of the Act provisions dealing with winding up companies.

Hon. Government Members:  Hear, hear!

Mr Konga: Mr Chairperson, my ministry has developed strategies to protect and enhance domestic industry and trade. An amount of K80,000,000 has been allocated for the implementation of safeguard measures. Safeguard measures are emergency actions aimed at protecting the domestic industry from increased imports of particular products where such imports have caused or threatened to cause serious injury to the importing member’s domestic industry such as ours.

Sir, the challenge that we face in the domestic industry is how to deepen and enhance local participation in the economy, especially in the mining sector. The Ministry is taking steps to promote local businesses in local procurement and economic development. To implement these steps, the ministry has allocated an estimated amount of K50,026,190 in this year’s Budget.

Mr Chairperson, the year 2007 is a special year for Zambia, as it takes over the chairmanship of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Therefore, Zambia will be expected to attend a number of preparatory meetings, including hosting some ministerial meetings aside from the Heads of State Summit. The ministry will spearhead the chairing and organising of ministerial meetings related to trade and industry.

Additionally, the negotiations under the World Trade Organisation (WTO)’s Doha Development Agenda were early this year resumed following the suspension in July, 2006. As a member of the WTO and in view of the implications of these negotiations on Zambia’s participation in global trade, my ministry is actively involved in these negotiations at technical and ministerial levels. Zambia will also be expected to participate in the 7th WTO Ministerial Conference later this year.

In parallel to the negotiations of the WTO, are negotiations with the European Commission aimed at concluding new Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) that will replace the preferential market access under the local convention. Zambia is participating in these negotiations under the Eastern and Southern African (ESA) configuration of sixteen countries from the East and Southern Africa. These negotiations are in the final stages, with a view to concluding the process by December, 2007.

Mr Chairperson, I now proceed to present my ministerial budget for 2007 and urge hon. Members to support it.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda (Sinazongwe): Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank you most sincerely for giving me the first chance to debate this Vote.

I wish to start with my unreserved support for the Hon. Minister’s Vote, the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry.

Mr Chairperson, having said so, I have a few salient points that I want to point out in support of this Vote. We, senior Parliamentarians do not just criticise wildly, but advise the Government politely and that is how they listen.

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

Mr Muyanda: If they want they can throw out the ideas. It is not by use of offensive language.

Mr Konga whispered something to Mr Kapita.

Mr Muyanda: In my brief debate, Mr Chairperson, I would like to advise the Hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry to stop whispering and listen to me.


Mr Muyanda: I am now on the Floor.


Mr Muyanda: So, the Hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry should listen.

There is a department under his ministry called Patent and Trade Organisation and Registration of Companies Office (PATCRO).  In PATCRO there is what we call in the corporate world organised confusion. It is very difficult for a person to process documents of registering a private company, particularly a Zambian of black skin. That should not be at this stage.

If we are serious about empowering indigenous Zambians, the most important factor is to make it easy to process documents at PACRO. The easier you do it, the faster you will get more and more Zambians to move into the trade arena that has been neglected by the previous Governments.

Mr Hamududu: There is more tax now.

Mr Muyanda: There you are, you will collect more tax and so the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning will have his GDP much more geared from 70 per cent going up. So trade is a critical industry in this era and time.

Mr Chairperson, I also wish to advise my colleagues on your right to be very serious about processing zones. There is a huge amount of copper in all forms even in sub-processed stage leaving this country. We are talking of a copper boom now. It is the duty of the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry to entice the investors who are the manufacturers in copper to set up small-scale copper processing zones. Look at South Africa De Beers is cutting unpolished diamonds which are mined in South Africa. Why can we not do the same here? Copper is mined in this country and it is the duty of a responsible Government to entice the investors and not to force them because forced investment does not yield positive results.

Mr Chairperson, the Government should encourage investors to set up small-scale processing zones such that we should be able to have our copper cables produced in the country. If you look at the South African motor industry (SAMCO), they have made arrangements with the Japanese companies to have some of the components processed in South Africa and that is what Zambia should be gearing itself for. If you gear in that direction, you will definitely succeed, but if you let the raw materials leave Zambia in huge quantities, you will have achieved nothing. We will all benefit when you succeed and so because we benefit, we want to advise you in good faith that you should consider developing the processing zones. We should not allow copper to betaken outside Zambia in huge forms of raw material.

Mr Chairperson, on the K2 billion for citizens’ empowerment, I want to compare it with the Botswana Meat Corporation. Southern Province is producing tonnes and tonnes of beef, but we have not exported this beef and this includes pork and poultry.

 Mr Chairperson, there is a huge market in China which Australia has failed to satisfy. China needs a lot of our beef. We should eradicate disease and then we can start the processing zones of exporting beef to China. It is a golden opportunity because you have cultivated good working relations with China and that is very important. Do not listen to those who do not understand the importance of trade because Zambia can benefit from such relationships. We have the capacity, you have made a landmark and you have destroyed the culture of stealing and so move forward.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: Do not say, hear, hear, too much because I will lose my direction.


Mr Muyanda: Furthermore, Mr Chairperson, Namibia has a meat corporation, why do you not send a delegation and see why and how that country has succeeded. It is a small nation, but they are exporting beef of a high grade. The same Braman that we Tongas breed in the Southern Province is of a high quality. I must declare interest because I also breed Braman that is a high grade cow for those who do not know. It is not like a monkey that you can chase in the bush, it is high grade beef that the international community needs. I urge the Government to heed this advice. The meat can be exported because it is from a high grade quality animal beef which we are producing in the Southern Province.

Mr Chairperson, I would also like to talk about the fishing industry. There is nowhere in the country where the Government has encouraged canning of fish. De-boned fish has a huge market in the trade circles, but there is no part of Zambia producing this. I have been as far as Nchelenge in Luapula and all those places, we should encourage the people in these areas because they have the potential to catch fish, can it and have it exported. The bones can be used for feeding chickens or used in the poultry industry. This potential lies in Luapula. In Sinazongwe, on the entire Lake Kariba we have the fish industries. Zimbabwe, a salient example of comparison, has succeeded in de-boning and even caging the fish. When I say caging the fish, I mean growing the fish in the lake. When the fish is big it is extracted and processed along Binga Siansali on the Zimbabwean side, but Zambia is not doing it because you have not empowered the people.

Mr Chairperson, Sinazongwe Fisheries Training School is dilapidated and I wish to chip in here by alerting the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives to rehabilitate it. With the small-scale trading capacities we have, we can have Sinazongwe as a fish processing zone. These are not canned ideas without tin openers. They have tin openers, meaning that we can implement them.

Mr Chairperson, the fact that the hon. Members on your right have listened very well, I wish to thank them for being attentive and collecting ideas and not to use bad language because this is a House where we build the nation and not destroy it.

With these few words, Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): I thank you very much, Mr Chairperson. Somebody was saying to me the other day what a strange people you Zambians are because one minute or decade, the worst thing on earth is a foreign investor. It is like they are all spies and possibly loose cats and the only few exceptions are personal friends of Dr Kenneth Kaunda such as Andy Roland of Lonhro who flies in like a diplomat in a fake old school tie …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


The Deputy Chairperson: The Chair would like to guide Members to avoid mentioning individuals’ names because this may cause problems.

Will the hon. Member continue, please.


Dr Scott: Mr Chairperson, I appreciate your guidance. I thought it was alright to mention a name.

Mr Chairperson, the next decade an investor of any stride can do no harm. It was like we were driving one minute …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

Dr Scott: Mr Chairperson, when you suspended business, I thought you had suspended me.

When business was suspended, I was just saying that some people have commented to me how, in Zambia, we seem so inclined to extremism. One decade or minute, we are decrying all forms of foreign investment and foreign errors, being sabotaged, anti-Zambia and Zambian. I know a foreign investor who was recruited by the Former First President to organise his farm at Shambalakale in Chinsali and was arrested for having an apple from the President’s farm and spent four days in jail.

In this decade, we have a different view that no investor can do anything wrong. It seems like we either drive our vehicle with two wheels in the left hand ditch or with two wheels in the right hand ditch. The sense of balance of keeping the straight track in the middle of the road seems lost to us.

There are dangers in foreign investment and trade just as there are benefits to be had from both, but we should not be going over the top in either direction; either becoming a closed society because we are frightened of foreigners or becoming a ridiculously open society because we seem incapable of discerning any kind of danger. I would urge the hon. Minister to tell us what protections for Zambia he has put in place.

Mr Chairperson, in many cases, it is the same people who were evil investors those days who have become even bigger wrong investors of these days. Some of these so-called Australian and Canadian investors on the copper mines were at school with me. It was not in Canada or Australia, but in Southern Rhodesia. They are registering their companies elsewhere. Therefore, let us be balanced. Let us not go crazy and say there are also loose cats and all that. At the same time, let us not say they can do no wrong because they can do a lot of wrong.

I will give a very simple example to the House. I was very curious in 2005 when the Kwacha strengthened from around K4,500 to as low as K3,000 to the dollar. The prices of imported goods on average will have to have dropped by nearly a third. Even if you take the Zambian value added, it should have at least by 20 per cent, but the prices of imported goods across the board did not drop. Why did they not drop? I was naïve, I expected the Minister’s Competition Commission to look into it and that they would find that the local retailers had formed a cartel. They had decided that they would take the benefit. What I eventually discovered is very interesting. The foreign suppliers of imported goods, ranging from motor vehicles to maize, from simple commodities to the most complex technology, were monitoring exchange rates in small countries such as Zambia. When they see the strengthening of the exchange rate, they move to take advantage of it before we have even noticed that anything is untoward.

I want to use imaginary commodities and imaginary countries because I do not want to get involved in pointing fingers. Let us say the commodity was giant freezers and the country of supply was the Republic of Amnesia. The manufacturers of these giant freezers in the Republic of Amnesia would get together and form their own cartel and say, ‘this little country in the middle of Africa, what shall we charge them? Let us keep the price in their currency terms very constant. There were things like 30 and 40 per cent import cost hikes due to lack of competition in countries such as the Republic of Amnesia which would never tolerate cartels in their own markets like they tolerate them in export market to countries such as Zambia and, especially where the main importer in Zambia is the Government, which has already budgeted in Kwacha terms for these giant freezers. The prices are allowed to go up everyday unspotted and we hope to be spotting it.

I would urge the hon. Minister to look into the history of this business because I think he would find it very interesting. The benefit of that appreciation was not so much to the Zambian people except in some areas such as second hand cars. It was mostly to the benefit of foreigners who exported to us. It was not due to local monopolies, but due to foreign monopolies just taking us to the cleaners for a little bit of extra cash. I would urge him to look it up.

Incidentally, Mr Chairperson, if you want to annoy a member of PF, mention the word ‘commission’ or ‘regulatory authority’. We are against this excessive outsourcing, if you like, where you take a ministry’s function and you put it in a quango or quasi-autonomous NGO or whatever you want to call it and you soon to discover as the sociologist - I see the hon. Minister Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources nodding his head because he is the champion order of quangos; ZAWA, Forest Commission and chakuti, chakuti. I shall come to him when his turn comes.


Dr. Scott: These organisations such as the Zambia Competition Commission are much more interested in their own survival than that of Zambia or the effective delivery of services. Why should they be more interested than the ministry itself? I would say the ministry ought to take care of this problem that I have mentioned.

I congratulate the hon. Minister on having managed to fuse together four or five quangos to make the Zambian Development Agency so that the People’s Republic of Amnesia will be very happy when they come to invest in Zambia.

Mr Chairperson, another example, of course, is the foreign investment were people have not even been informed of what the bill was of the Zambia National Commercial Bank (ZANACO). Can t hon. Minister, please, tell us when he is winding up debate, how much he has sold ZANACO for? If he cannot, can he give us some kind of assurance of when he will tell us?

I am sorry to see that this ministry, like many others, is starting to use terms such as capacity building, workshops, workshops, workshops. The problem in this country is that the quality of administration is poor. There is a lot of under training, bad morale and discipline and you cannot correct it by bringing in magical solutions like capacity building workshops. The people who do not know what there are doing need to go back to school. They need to go NIPA or the University of Zambia to learn their jobs. You cannot learn it in one day or two days or three days workshop where you are paid allowances and spend half of the time going shopping with the same allowances.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: If you want to irritate a PF member twice, you mention quango and workshop. I am sorry to see the workshops are creeping in. If you just have the right data processing, computer equipment and telecommunications and so forth, somehow running Government will become much simpler and the machinery will run the Government instead of the people.

My one area of expertise, if I can claim, is the interaction between people and computers. One thing that I have learnt is that you do not make a person clever by giving him or her a computer. You do not make a person who lacks integrity have integrity by giving him or her a computer. You do not take a person who cannot add two numbers together without missing out some zeros and give him or her a computer and you expect a computer to teach him arithmetic.


Dr Scott: It is a merely a tool and a very sophisticated tool. Its only good history is as a research instrument. It is not a governance instrument. In that context, this is the debate on the budget in general. I am very concerned about the budgetary control system, Integrated Financial Management and Information System (IFMIS), that I see another K60 billion being spent on.

The British Government has just got a scandal on its hands from trying to computerise the National Health Service in Britain, to the tune of over £3 billion equivalent to Zambia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the whole thing has been disastrous, and yet these are highly educated, highly motivated and highly sophisticated people. They have blown the equivalent of Zambia’s entire budget thinking they could substitute doctors, nurses and accounts for computers. It cannot be done. 

I would like to urge the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, when he finally winds up debate, to tell us that he is going to test-run his IFMIS on the smallest ministry he can find so that when anything crashes, it does not cause that much damage. The hon. Minister should test it and make sure that it works. Otherwise, I will come and stand in this House again in two or three years’ time if he announces that he has discontinued with the system and tell him, ‘I told you so’.

With these few words, I rest my case. Of course I support this Vote, but at the same time, I have queries.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr C. K. Banda (Chasefu):  I rise to support the vote for the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry for the simple reason that it is a key ministry in the economy. However, I wish to register my disappointment at the lack of transparency in the way this ministry has sold some of the national assets. The first asset being the Zambia National Commercial Bank (ZANACO). Why is the Government being very economical with the truth and facts regarding this sale? It was this same Government that enacted the Banking and Financial Services Act that was enacted after pressure from the donors with the sole object of ensuring that no single shareholder holds more than 25 per cent shares in a financial institution.

This Government, however, bent to the pressures from the donors and did exactly what they wanted. When it came to selling ZANACO, why did this Government, a Government of laws that listens, deliberately offer 49 per cent shares to RaboBank? Up until now, we have not been given a reasonable explanation to why this Government flouted the laws which it prophesies to follow and honour to the letter.

Hon. Member of Parliament: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Mr C. K. Banda: Zambians, I submit, deserve a credible explanation from their Government. That is what transparency is all about. Having said that, the Government has not only failed to give a reasonable explanation, but also to tell us how much has been earned from this deal. We need to know. ZANACO was a public institution, a Zambian bank …

Hon Member of Parliament: Created using Zambian money.

Mr C. K. Banda: Created with public funds. Why are you failing to tell the Zambians how much the Government got from the deal? Explanations have been given by this Government that 4 per cent of these shares will be offered to the Zambia National Farmers’ Union by Rabobank, the question is, at what cost?  All we are asking for is an explanation.

As if that was not enough, an explanation has also been given that 20 per cent would be offered to the Zambians, at what cost? How much will Rabobank reap from this sale? We are asking for an explanation because you are a Government of laws and we are proud to have this Government.

 I am raising these points because the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) that has been created falls under this ministry and we expect nothing short of transparency. This is because it is important, when we are dealing with public assets, to ensure that the owners of the property are not denied the much needed information. I support the Vote in so far as it relates to Zambia Development Agency, but my worry is the K17.9 billion that has been allocated. Is it sufficient? Have we taken care of the benefits that we will accrue to former employees of the Zambia Privatisation Agency? As much as it is good to create a good institution, it is important to make sure that those who will not join that institution will receive their benefits at the right time and not wait for Christmas. I do hope also that this K17.9 billion will be sufficient to pay debt that Zambia Privatisation Agency owes the numerous institutions. If this will not be taken care of, I can assure the House that the Zambia Development Agency will start on a rough note, yet it is not our intention that it starts on a rough note, but a smooth one so that it achieves the noble objectives for which it was formed.

 Many times when you go outside the country, you will be told that Zambian goods are not imported because they are of a poor quality. Indeed, some of the goods produced in Zambia are of a poor quality. Some may not be of a poor quality, but have poor packaging. This is why some of us are keen to support the Zambia Bureau of Standards. However, worrying enough is the K200 million that has been allocated to this important institution. I submit that this is too little and if we are serious about encouraging the export of goods from Zambia, we must strengthen the Zambia Bureau of Standards so that it operates to full capacity.

There is also the aspect of Citizens Empowerment Fund. This particular fund has only been allocated K49.2 million. How many Zambians can you empower with that amount? Is that being serious with the empowerment of Zambians? My appeal to the ministry is to allocate more money because this is also a noble cause. Besides, this ministry is tasked with the responsibility of promoting Zambia to the outside world.

The Buy Zambia Campaign has only been allocated K90 million. How effective a campaign can you mount with that amount? Are we really being serious in promoting the Buy Zambia Programme? Why can we not, for a change, allocate money where it is needed most? With these few words I support the vote.

I thank you, Sir.

The Deputy Minister of Northern Province (Mr Chibombamilimo): I stand to support the adoption of the budget for the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry…


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Chibombamilimo:  When we opened our economy for participation by investors from outside the country, we began to realise just how weak our business sector was compared to that outside the country. We saw the closure of those businesses that could not stand the competition and began to receive submissions from those who sought Government’s assistance to enable them turn back the tide.

Mr Chairperson, it is now about seventeen years from the time we embarked on the liberalisation of the economy. Many are lessons we have learnt and rich is our experience in the process of economic reforms.


Mr Chibombamilimo: Sir, as a nation, we now have sufficient expertise capacity both in the public and private sectors to enable us provide the necessary environment …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! I think we are consulting quite loudly. There is no problem in consulting, but do so quietly. People out there listen and they ask me why people talk loudly in the background when somebody is debating. This is the reason we guide the House to consult, but without necessarily attracting attention such that the people listening get disturbed. Please, bear that in mind.

May the hon. Minister continue, please.

Mr Kambwili interjected.

Mr Chibombamilimo: I will sort you out, outside.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! I would like to ask Hon. Kambwili to go outside and rest for ten minutes.

Mr Kambwili left the Assembly Chamber.

The Deputy Chairperson: May the hon. Minister continue, please.

Mr Chibombamilimo: Mr Chairperson, as a nation, we now have sufficient expertise and capacity both in public and private sectors to enable us provide the necessary environment for the growth of commerce and industry. However, we still need to work closely with the business community to facilitate appropriate packaging of products …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Please let us keep order. I want to maintain discipline in the House.

May you continue, please.

Mr Chibombamilimo: … so that they may be attractive for exports. We need to strengthen the capacity of the Zambia Bureau of Standards to enforce adherence to nationally and internationally acceptable standards of products and production of goods and services.

Mr Chairperson, at this point, let me share with the House something that saddened me. I learnt that the cement being used in the construction of Chembe Bridge was not from Chilanga. This is sad because it is Chilanga Cement that has built countless structures in the country, among them, bridges and several storey buildings. This is not the Government’s desire, but one of those sad developments in our economy. I feel it requires the representatives of the Zambian people to apply their minds to finding solutions.

Sir, with our foreign missions, the ministry, I believe, could gather the necessary trade, commerce and industry related information that could be used to help our local industries understand what is happening in other markets.

Mr Chairperson, there is more that needs to be done to enable the Export Board of Zambia play an effective role in providing the much needed information on the foreign markets where Zambian goods and services could be traded.

Sir, through our affiliation to regional economic growth such as the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), we have been exposed to a lot of business opportunities that we are yet to take advantage of, fully.

Mr Chairperson, we are also faced with the challenge of investors that we accept in good faith to do business in our country, but leave prematurely and unannounced, leaving our workers in the dark and desperation.

Sir, at the level of the international community, we have continued to participate in trade negotiations that take place at various levels and fora.

Mr Chairperson, all these issues that I have itemised constitute part of the on-going challenges of the Zambian Government through the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry. However, being in the frontline of today’s trade negotiations with countries that are determined to protect their local industries at whatever cost, is not an easy task. I actually feel for the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry who has to lead this battle on behalf of all of us. However, this House can help the hon. Minister and his members of staff bear this burden by providing helpful suggestions that should include the approval of this budget.

Sir, I feel and believe that the approval of this budget will enable the ministry address some of the issues that I have raised and step up its efforts in those areas that are now permanent features of the work of the ministry.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chishya (Pambashe): Mr Chairperson, I stand to support the Vote on the Floor of the House. However, I have reservations concerning the Zambia Bureau of Standards. We have seen now and again, goods coming into Zambia that seems to be a dumping place. We have seen electronic equipment such as music equipment bearing the name of Phillips, but spelt with three ‘ls,’ coming from a firm which is purporting to be European. We have seen products like auto spares all over the place, which are not even labeled. We do not even know the manufacturer, but we are using them. We are buying them at exorbitant prices. No wonder the rate of accidents on our roads is high.

Nevertheless, we have the Zambia Bureau of Standards. One hon. Member has alluded to the fact that it has been allocated the K200 million. In support of the previous speaker, this is not enough. At the same time, the Zambia Bureau of Standards uses technical committees to set standards. These committees fail to work satisfactorily in terms of personnel. I would like to ask the hon. Minister to look into this issue. If you compare with other technical committees in other countries, you will find that these people are highly specialised in their own areas of operation. However, what is obtaining in Zambia is that we tend to engage those who are involved in production of the items they would like to set standards for and the representative and qualifications are quite questionable.

For example, you can set standards on a commodity such as wine. We all know that wine is a fermented drink made from grapes, but if it is from another source or material, that material must be stated. That is the international standard. In Zambia, wine can be made from any source and nobody cares. Again no one cares, for example, to check on how the food items are produced. If you talk to the manufacturers, for example, about nutrition, they will tell you so much is contained in the food item, the better it is, but the body can only take a particular amount. It does not take the rest. These nutrients are also chemicals which are quite bad and could affect our bodies.

Mr Chairperson, the Bureau of Standards that has been given the responsibility to set standards for these items and other things need to be strengthened. They need personnel. I heard that sometime back, our staff from the Bureau of Standards went to Kenya for a seminar, but our representatives could not talk because the level of qualification is just too low. They need to be upgraded and supported. Without this, they will never ever set standards.

I urge the hon. Minister to ensure the Bureau of Standards is strengthened not only in personnel, but also the legal power to inspect and prosecute those who deal in sub-standards goods. Now, it has even become our culture to accept poor services. The reconstruction of some of the buildings and roads is below standard. People keep complaining, but we have accepted this as if that is a norm for everyday when it is not. We must have an institution such as the Zambia Bureau of Standards to check our goods and services whether imported or locally produced. This will help the export market.

Mr Chairperson, let me also talk about the Zambia National Commercial Bank. No matter what we do, this issue will still remain a thorny issue in our midst. An explanation is required. People are asking how much it was sold at. What is the benefit to Zambia? It can be swept under the carpet. It must come on the surface. People are still asking more and more about it.

Thank you, Sir.

The Deputy Minister of Commerce and Industry (Ms Siliya): Thank you very much, Mr Chairperson, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on my ministry as presented by my hon. Minister.

Mr Chairperson, I wish to inform the hon. Members that my hon. Minister and I have taken note of all the issues that have been raised. My hon. Minister will ably address, I am sure, some of the issues when he is winding up debate.

However, from the onset, I wish to inform the House in relation to what Hon. Muyanda said about the problems of registering a company at the Patents and Company Registration Office.

With the millennium challenge; the threshold account, we have actually reduced the cycle of registering a company from about seventy-two days to less than fourteen days sometimes. Now the actual maximum is fourteen days, but one can actually manage to get it in less than fourteen days.

I also wish to inform this House, for those of you that were following the events last week, that the ministry actually launched what we are calling the Blue Book on some of the priorities that should be considered in the next one year to ensure that we continue to play our role as Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry. That is the role of creating wealth, employment and ultimately contributing to the reduction of poverty. We did launch what we are calling the Blue Book with the support of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and these ten points are meant to support the continued flourishing of the private sector in this country.

I wish to remind hon. Members of the House that as citizens and through this Parliament, we agreed that we want to have a vision. We are tired of being a poor country and that by 2030 we want to become a middle-income country. This, we agreed as citizens through this Parliament that resulted ultimately in the Citizens’ Economic Empowerment Act.

I wish to remind you, hon. Members as you support our budget estimate for the ministry, that as the English say, ‘if you do not know where you are going, it does not matter what road you take.’ You can be going sideways or backwards, it does not matter because you do not know where you are going.

However, as citizens of this country, we have agreed that we know where we want to go. We want, by 2030, to be a middle-income country. We do not want to be part of the least developed countries in the world. That means we must support an enabling environment for the private sector to expand. Only then can we generate the wealth and employment that is required and contribute to poverty reduction.

My ministry is leading this effort and we are working with other ministries through the Private Sector Development Reform Programme. I am sure the hon. Members of Parliament are aware of this very ambitious programme in my ministry. We realise that the Government has an important role to play in enabling the private sector flourish. It means that we cannot continue to have business as usual. We cannot continue to do things the way we have always done them. The Government is alive to this fact. The Government is also alive to the fact- if I can borrow the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development’s statement, that we do not want Zambians to continue to just experience the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on paper. They want to experience it in their pockets. They want this GDP to translate into household increased income. It means that we must support the flourishing of the private sector in this country.

With regard to the Citizens’ Economic Empowerment Fund, I heard one hon. Member of Parliament talk about the fund not being enough. I would like to urge the hon. Members not to think about this as a fund, but as an effort to overhaul the whole process. That is the private sector process and the Government process in the way we do business. If we are going to achieve the 2030 Vision, we cannot have business as usual.

Mr Shakafuswa: Hear, hear!


Ms Siliya: We have to change our thought processes.


Ms Siliya: In the past, we always thought that the problem with the Zambian business; the capacity to flourish, was merely because of lack of funds. That is not enough. I have told you that we have launched the Blue Book Booklet and one of the things on the ten points to be implemented this year, is that Government institutions that deal with investment promotion must be client oriented. PACRO is the answer to that. That is one of the examples of the Government trying to be client oriented so that we can continue to support the flourishing of the private sector in this country.

We know that the road to the 2030 Vision is not going to be an easy one. It                                                                                                                                                                                                                 is going to require the citizens of this country to acquire entrepreneurship skills.

I informed this House a few weeks ago that since 2001 to December, 2006 the Investment Centre then had recorded an investment in this country of about US $1,421,557,760 billion. This investment came from all around the world. This means that there is something good happening in this country that other people can see.

Is it that we, as Zambians and citizens of this country cannot see that? No, I am sure we can, and the Government is alive to this fact. However, our Government also recognises that there are probably some structural inadequacies that make it very difficult for citizens to broadly participate in the economy of this country to start enterprises and so on and so forth. The Citizens’ Economic Empowerment Act is trying to address all these infrastructural problems in the economy so that Zambians can actively participate in the growth of the economy of this country and create wealth and more jobs.

Mr Chairman, I was on the Copperbelt a few weeks ago and I said to the people in Ndola who were complaining about lack of economic activities. I said that let us take for example, the Chinese that are going to Ndola to build a Stadium, and if for arguments sake, this stadium is going to cost a $1 million, how much of this do we want as Zambian citizens and entrepreneurs to pay from this investment? We must fight because if we do, other people will come in and start offering the services that we, as Zambians could be offering because we continue to be cynical. I want to inform this House that I am a very happy Member of Parliament because I am in this House to continue a long tradition of good things happening in this country.

You can see from the interest from all over the world. Why do we want to sit back and continue to be cynical? I want to say more about the Citizens’ Economic Empowerment Programme because I know that for a long time, there has been debate that the Government does not make available to the private sector business opportunities. Again, the Citizen Economic Empowerment Programme recognises that giving loans is not enough. Processes must change and when I talk about process, sometimes I even want to go further and talk about the mental process; what I call mental infrastructure re-engineering.


Ms Siliya: This is why one of the priority areas for these engineering, mental infrastructure re-engineering is a tender board to recognise that at least, in the next five to ten years, 50 per cent of Government businesses must be given to Zambian entrepreneurs and that, at least, 30 per cent of that has gone to the women entrepreneurs in the country. As the old adage goes, if you educate a woman, you educate the family. I am sure if one woman becomes wealthy, it is the whole country that becomes wealthy.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: One of the hon. Members of Parliament was talking about the lack of adequate funding for the Buy Zambia Campaign, and yet there is about K90 million that has been given, but it is also being supported by counterpart funds through the Citizens’ Economic Empowerment Programme.

Therefore, even though, , there will be K90 million for the Buy Zambia Campaign itself, there will be support through the Citizens Economic empowerment Programme.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Mr Chairman, I wish to urge the hon. Members of Parliament …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress reported)


The House adjourned at 1917 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 29th March, 2007.