Debates- Wednesday, 21st March, 2007

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Wednesday, 21st March, 2007

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






370. Mr D. Mwila (Chipili) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:

(a) what the background and the Government’s immediate reaction to the alleged Katanga Border closure with Zambia and the halting of copper and cobalt exports from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Zambia was;

(b) how many trucks carrying copper and cobalt were marooned at the border; and

(c) what socio-economic implications the closure had on the country.

The Minister of Defence (Mr Mpombo): Mr Speaker, contrary to the media reports that the border between Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) at Kasumbalesa had been closed, the report from the Consulate General of the Republic of Zambia in Lubumbashi has sated that the Democratic Republic of Congo Government has not closed the border.

On 6th March, 2007, the Katanga Governor, Mr Moise Katumbi issued a decree, without notice, banning the exportation of copper concentrates from Katanga Province so that the copper could be processed within the province to promote the local industry.

Before the Consulate General officials had a meeting with the Katanga Governor, the owners of the concentrates, most of whom are Congolese nationals, but with links beyond Congo, challenged the authorities in Lubumbashi, demanding that the export merchandise be transported to its intended destination. However, the office of the Governor declined to reverse the decision, saying that it was taken in the best interest of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

For its part, the Zambian Consulate held discussions with the office of the Governor to find a solution, as most of the drivers were Zambian nationals rendered destitute and some of them had entry visas that were about to expire.

Furthermore, the provincial leadership on the Copperbelt also made frantic efforts to have the situation resolved and were promised that the trucks would be allowed to proceed as of today, 21st March, 2007. This undertaking by the Congolese is yet to be put to test.

As testimony to the fact that what happened was not a border closure, other vehicles which were carrying cargo other than copper concentrates were allowed to enter or exit the Congo.

The exact number of trucks marooned at the border keeps increasing by the day. By yesterday, the number was in excess of 200 trucks on the Zambian side.

In assessing the socio-economic impact on the country, it must be understood that transporting copper concentrates by Zambian trucks to processing plants within Zambia and beyond is a trade-in-service. In this case, Zambia is exporting services to the Congo. When a country exports to another country, it is essentially exporting its unemployment to that country.

Against this background, the immediate repercussions of the actions by the Katanga Governor would be loss of employment and therefore, income to the Zambian drivers. Further, the owners of the trucks transporting the copper concentrates would also lose business. The chain reaction would spill over to those who supply spare parts and other services to transporters, as they would also be negatively affected. In short, the losses would be manifested in loss of business, income and employment and thus poverty. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in the service sector and ultimately the overall GDP growth would be negatively affected.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, since the Hon. Minister has said that notice was not given to the Zambian Government, how is the relationship between the Zambian Government and the DRC Government? Further, the decision that was made by the DRC Government not to allow copper and cobalt concentrates to come into Zambia will affect …

Mr Speaker: Order! The hon. Member is now debating.

Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, the diplomatic ties with the Democratic Republic of Congo at the moment are cordial. The decision to impose sanctions on the movement of copper ore from DRC was made by the Katanga administration.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chilembo (Chama North): Mr Speaker, is the Government considering freezing exportation of maize to that country based on principles of reciprocal international law?

Mr Shakafuswa: Hear, hear!

Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, such a step would only exacerbate the already worsening situation. The Government’s approach is to handle this matter through diplomatic channels.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwenya (Nkana): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether this action could be attributed to the souring relationship or the comments that have been raised concerning the Task Force and Mr Katumbi.

Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, allow me to read the official communiqué on the matter. It reads:

‘Dealers in minerals are hereby reminded that pursuant to Article 85 of the Mining Code and Article 218 of its Regulation, export of unprocessed minerals, scraps, malachite etc, is forbidden, except with the conditional authority of the Ministry of Mines.

It has been noted that besides the violation of the above provision, the weight declared is below the real weight carried. It is a fact that the false declaration is a breach of the law on the part of the exporter and the Government. Besides, the undeclared weight damages roads.

In the light of the foregoing and while waiting for the strengthening of the control mechanism of the ex-service concerned, it has been decided to suspended export of the above mentioned minerals until further notice.

Done in Lubumbashi on 6th March, 2007.

Moise Katumbi Chapwa

Governor of Katanga Province.’

Mr Mwangala (Nalolo): I would like to find out from the acting leader of the House what action the Government has taken against the Katanga Province Governor?

Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, we have been informed that the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development and the Minister of Finance and National Planning have gone into Lubumbashi from Kinshasa in order to resolve this particular issue.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Masiye (Mufulira): Thank you, Mr Speaker. While I appreciate the information given through the communiqué by the acting Leader of Business in the House, I believe there is no smoke without fire. Can the nation be informed whether the relationship between Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is amicable at the moment? We already have an influx of refugees from that country and we have enough trouble around the country. Are we assured that our relationship with the DRC is not souring at all?

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, the influx of Congolese refugees into Zambia does not affect the situation we are discussing at the moment.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Mumbi (Munali): Thank you, Mr Speaker. From time immemorial, Congo has been using our country because we know that they have no capacity to process their concentrates. Why, suddenly, have they put this measure in place? Is it possible for them to put up this facility within a month?

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member has raised a valid point. For a long time, the DRC has had no copper processing facilities. It is surprising that this action has been taken, especially when one considers that Luashi Mine in DRC was specifically set up to service Bwana Mukubwa Mine. As a result of this problem, First Quantum in Ndola is losing about $200,000 per day because it has exhausted its copper ore which it gets from the DRC.  There is also a new mine that is about one kilometre away from the Zambian side being set up by First Quantum at a cost of $250 billion whose ore will be processed in Mufulira.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chimumbwa (Nchanga): I would like to find out from the Government the impact this action will have on the budget since most of our mines have been able to declare huge profits depending on the copper that has a very high percentage of content that they were able to get from Congo.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Mpombo:  Mr Speaker, the most negative impact is that most of the trucks involved are marooned on the other side. The trucks are mostly from South African companies which use Zambia as a transit point to transport concentrates to South Africa. The only Zambian-owned company that has been affected is First Quantum Bwana Mukubwa Mine which is losing US$250,000 a day.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): The situation does not seem normal. What security measures is the Government taking in border towns?

Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, in order to resolve this issue, the Government is making diplomatic efforts to sit down with our colleagues in Kinshasa to restore the situation. Historically, Zambia has enjoyed good ties with the DRC. We do not want anything negative to stand in the way of this relationship.

I thank you, Sir.


371. Mr Imenda (Lukulu East) asked the Minster of Home Affairs what joint measures the Governments of Zambia and Angola had taken to stop the following along their common border:

(a) trafficking of light weapons;

(b) movement of hired killers known as karavinas;

(c) movement of livestock; and

(d) out break of cattle diseases.

The Minister of Defense (Mr Mpombo): Mr Speaker, the response to hon. Imenda’s question is as follows:

(a) the Zambia Police Force has not received any reports of trafficking of light    weapons between Angola and Zambia since the end of the war in the neighbouring country;

(b) both the Zambia Police Force and Angola Police carry out operations along the Zambia/Angola border and ever since, incidents of hired killers, karavinas, have reduced;

(c) the Zambia Police and their Angolan counterparts have both formed security wings in their respective countries to control the movement of livestock along the common border; and

(d) the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, through the Veterinary Department, handles the aspect of cattle disease outbreaks.

Mr Speaker, all the above are achieved through the regular Joint Permanent Commission meetings between the two countries and are held alternately. Specialists in respective areas from the two countries meet to strategise joint operations.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Imenda: Mr Speaker, is the leader of Government Business in the House aware that the lack of control of livestock movement has lead to the over spilling of diseases into the Southern Province from the Western Province?

 Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, we are aware of these facts. Hon. Muntanga told the House two weeks ago about the situation. The hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives also spelt out the measures the Government was taking to contain the situation.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sinyinda (Senanga): Mr Speaker, I am aware that karavinas are still rampant in the Western Province. I would like to find out from the Leader of Government Business in the House whether the Government intends to have an amnesty so that people can surrender weapons.

Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, karavinas operate a criminal syndicate. As far as the Government is concerned, our role is to totally eliminate their threat to human life.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwangala (Nalolo): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether he is aware that the cordon line in Shangombo is fifteen kilometres inside the Zambian territory. How easy is the control of livestock movement in that area?

Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, the Government is not aware of that situation. Since it gives a disturbing picture, I want to invite him to bring these details to the office so that appropriate action is taken to redeem the situation.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Order! The Chair would like to guide that in fact, it is true that the cordon line has always been so many kilometres inside Zambia. It is possible; that is why they are reconstructing it.


372. Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing:

(a) how many council employees had benefited from the Workers’ Compensation Fund Control Board from 1990 to 2005; and

(b) how much money each employee had received.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Kazonga): Mr Speaker, according to the records held by councils in the country, no council employee has been compensated by the Workers’ Compensation Fund Control Board from 1990 to 2005 as a result of being involved in an accident.

Mr Speaker, as regards (b), since no one was compensated during the period 1990 to 2005, the question of how much money each employee received during the same period does not, therefore, arise.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.




Ms Mwamba (Lukashya): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the report of the Parliamentary Select Committee appointed to scrutinise the Presidential appointments of Honourable Justice V. H. Chileshe and Mr Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika as chairperson and member of the Anti-Corruption Commission respectively, laid on the Table of the House on 15th March, 2007.

Mr Speaker: Is the motion seconded?

Mr Chilembo (Chama North): Mr Speaker, I second the motion.

Ms Mwamba: Mr Speaker, the terms of reference of your select committee were to scrutinise the Presidential appointments of Honourable Justice Valentine H. Chileshe and Mr Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika as chairperson and member of the Anti-Corruption Commission respectively in accordance with the provisions of Section 7(2) of the Anti-Corruption Commission Act, No. 42 of 1996 which state that:

‘The Commissioners referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b) shall be appointed by the President subject to ratification by the National Assembly.’

To help them carry out a thorough scrutiny of the two appointees, your Committee requested for submissions from State investigative agencies, some relevant stakeholders and the nominees themselves. The witnesses gave written submissions and some appeared before your Committee to make oral submissions.

Mr Speaker, the State investigative agencies, the Zambia Police Force, the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Drug Enforcement Commission, cleared the nominees of any criminal, corrupt and drug related offences.

Mr Speaker, your Committee learnt that hon. Justice V. H. Chileshe is an experienced former Judge who served on the bench for twenty years. In addition, the hon. Justice has exhibited moral uprightness in society and is the immediate past Investigator-General. Your Committee further heard that hon. Justice V. H. Chileshe is well qualified for the appointment and that as a former Judge, he would extend his experience to enhancing the performance of the Anti-Corruption Commission.

Mr Speaker, your Committee were informed that Mr Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika has a high intellectual capacity.


Ms Mwamba: His curriculum vitae is very rich with wide experience in political and governance positions.


Ms Mwamba: Your Committee also learnt that Mr Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika is a very principled person who endeavours to stand on the truth.


Ms Mwamba: Mr Speaker, various stakeholders submitted that Mr Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika is academically qualified with a lot of experience. Despite admiring his curriculum vitae and the service he has rendered to the nation in various positions, some stakeholders had reservations about his appointment because of his evident political affiliation and alleged attack on the Anti-Corruption Commission.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mwamba: Mr Speaker, your Committee are cognisant of the fact that the Anti-Corruption Commission is a non-partisan body charged with the responsibility of preventing and fighting corruption in the country. Your Committee also noted the concerns of the stakeholders about Mr Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika and his political affiliation as an active member of the ruling Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD).


Ms Mwamba: Nevertheless, your Committee are of the view that a person should not be disqualified on the basis of being a member of a political party, unless that person interferes with the work of the Commission.

Sir, without being prejudiced against his political affiliation, Mr Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika is principled …


Ms Mwamba: … and his curriculum vitae is very rich. He is, therefore, suitable for the appointment. Your Committee are convinced that, as a principled person, he would not trade his principles and beliefs for political expediency.

Mr Speaker, your Committee wish to recommend that the House ratifies the appointments of the two nominees.

In conclusion, I wish to register my appreciation to all Members of your Committee for their co-operation and dedication to their work and to all the stakeholders who spared their time to make submissions to your Committee.

Your Committee wish to express their appreciation to you Mr Speaker and the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for the valuable assistance rendered throughout their deliberations.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Does the seconder wish to speak now or later?

Mr Chilembo (Chama North): Now, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker, I wish to second the motion ably moved by the Chairperson of your Committee. In this regard, allow me to quickly amplify what the Chairperson has already highlighted.

Sir, your Committee note with happiness that the two nominees have no criminal record. A thorough name and finger print search was conducted in the police criminal records office and no records were found on the two nominees.

Mr Speaker, your Committee heard that hon. Justice Chileshe had been nominated for Chairpersonship of the Commission in accordance with section 7(3) of the Anti-Corruption Act, which provides that:

‘The Chairperson shall be a person who has held or is qualified to hold high Judicial Office’.

In view of the foregoing, hon. Justice Chileshe is qualified for the appointment as he has held high judicial office.

Prior to his appointment as Investigator-General, hon. Justice Chileshe served as High Court Judge. He is a mature and humble person who has made Christianity his life as an ordained pastor.

Sir, the second nominee, Mr Akashambatwa Mbikusita Lewanika is a well-known person who is highly educated and holds qualifications in development and public administration. He has wide experience in the public sector and at Central Government and parastatal levels. Your Committee noted the recognition by various stakeholders of Mr Akashambatwa Mbikusita Lewanika’s rich curriculum vitae and his experience at various levels.

Mr Speaker, concerning the reservations which the various stakeholders had about Mr Akashambatwa Mbikusita Lewanika following the comments he made regarding the unprofessional handling of corruption cases by the Anti-Corruption Commission, your Committee are of the view that Mr Akashambatwa Mbikusita Lewanika’s criticism of the Anti-Corruption Commission should make it even more compelling for him to contribute his skills to the fight against corruption within the structure mandated to fight corruption in the country.

It is the considered view of your Committee that Mr Mbikusita Lewanika would contribute greatly to strengthening the Anti-Corruption Commission, …

Mr Kambwili: Questionable.

Mr Chilembo: … as he has consistently spoken against corruption all his life. He would, therefore, not be swayed by political patronage when it comes to matters of upholding integrity in the crusade against corruption.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chilembo: We believe, as he also stated to your Committee, that if he would be seen as a hindrance to the Anti-Corruption Commission’s operations, he would humbly resign. Mr Mbikusita Lewanika, widely known as Aka, has proved in the past that he chooses to resign if he sees that his principles and beliefs are being compromised.

Mr Tetamashimba: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Ulifye weka iwe.

Mr Chilembo: I am sure his brother Hon. Chimbamilimo would agree with this.


Mr Chilembo: Your Committee, therefore, favourably recommends that Mr Mbikusita Lewanika be ratified as a member of the Anti-Corruption Commission. I personally find Mr Mbikusita Lewanika a man who is intellectually honest.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Chilembo: Finally, Sir, your Committee were informed that currently two vacancies exist at the Commission; that of chairperson and ordinary member. Your Committee would, therefore, welcome the ratification of the appointments of the two nominees by this august House because having a full Commission would enhance its performance in leading the nation in the fight against corruption.

With these few words, Mr Speaker, I beg to second.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Thank you, Mr Speaker, for according me this opportunity to add my voice to this ratification.

Mr Speaker, I feel that Mr Akashambatwa Mbikusita Lewanika has questionable principles and I feel that he is not the right person for this Commission.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, when he was President of Agenda for Zambia, he condemned the policies of the MMD. When President Mwanawasa came into office, he joined the MMD and changed like a chameleon. How do we trust such a person? In my view, we need to have people of integrity to serve in these commissions. In my opinion, Mr Akashambatwa Mbikusita Lewanika, despite being well qualified academically, has no principles.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: As a result, I feel that this House should reject his appointment as a member of this Commission.

Mr Speaker, with these few words, I thank you.

The Deputy Minister of Southern Province (Mr Mulyata): Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for according me a chance to contribute to this very serious motion.

Mr Speaker, we are talking about a man who is, firstly, very highly qualified …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulyata: … not only for this country, but for the entire world.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulyata: Secondly, I would like to inform this House that when one has no information on certain individuals, he or she should not talk about them because he or she are actually degrading himself or herself.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulyata: In the first place, if someone has any misgivings about a political party, it is fine. Mr Akashambatwa did not agree with the principles of the former MMD. He was not the only one, but there were many others. As a principled man, he could not stay in the party although I am in this party. Now that the New Deal Administration has come into power, Mr Akashambatwa has seen that the principles and manifesto of this party and its leadership are very good. How can a Member of Parliament today stand and reject such material for national development?

Mr Akashambatwa is a very principled man and he has come back. When you are with him, he will tell you the truth. Whether you agree with him or not, he will say what he does not want. I think, as a nation, we should not deprive ourselves an opportunity to learn from this man because he is still a very energetic, principled and highly qualified man who cannot be easily swayed by anybody.

Hon. Members of Parliament: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulyata: I do not want to continue because there is a lot that I can say about Mr Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika. In the meantime, I would like to inform the House that if we have no information on certain individuals, let us not bring politics into issues that are straight forward.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Thank you, Sir.

Sir, I rise to support the appointment of Mr Akashambatwa Mbikusita Lewanika …

Hon. Member of Parliament: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: Mr Akashambatwa Mbikusita Lewanika has suffered for this country. He is a man who has suffered economically, socially and politically because of his principles.

In 1990, when this country was at crossroads, I was a second year student at the University of Zambia and we are the ones who championed the change in this country, Mr Akashambatwa Mbikusita Lewanika joined us and took the risk of challenging the system of the day.  What kind of principles are you asking for?

Had it not been for Mr Akashambatwa and his few friends, we were not going to have the change that we are enjoying today. He risked his life to assemble people to form the Movement for Multi-party Democracy and bring up this democracy that we are enjoying today. This is why some of us are here, including those who are opposing his appointment. It is because of him and a few others that we are here today. This son of the soil is a very principled man who does not fear risks.

Mr Speaker, in 1993, Mr Akashambatwa, together with some progressive forces such as Mr Baldwin Nkumbula, the late Member of Parliament for my area, stood up, again, and complained about the increase in corruption.

Hon Member of Parliament: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: For those of you who do not know how to read, go to the archives? Had the Government of that time, the Old Deal, listened, this country would not have slid back this far. These progressive young men, Mr Akashambatwa Mbikusita Lewanika and the late Mr Baldwin Nkumbula warned us, at the time, of the regime becoming corrupt and we have seen this today.

Hon Member of Parliament: As far back as 1993.

Mr Hamududu: If we had listened to them, the Task Force on Corruption would have not been there today.

Hon. Member of Parliament: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, in 2001, when the progressive son of this soil, Mr Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika, realised that a more reasonable Government had come into power, he decided to help and support them. That is being progressive. You do not just oppose. I am against reactionaries.

Hon Member of Parliament: Until Doomsday.

Mr Hamududu: When something is good, it is best to support it. Mr Akashambatwa stood up and rejoined the MMD to support the progressive Government.

Hon Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: If this Government had not come into power, I was going to be in Windhoek and would not have come to this country. We have seen some progress. You might not be the best Government, but you are reasonable people.


Mr Hamududu: You just listen because you do not know anything! In 2006, …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Hamududu: In 2006, when there were problems in the MMD, this son of the soil took leave from politics. Today, Mr Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika is also a community leader. This man has suffered economically. He has no steady income. He survives by conducting small research …

Hon Opposition Members interjected.

Mr Hamududu: He is not as corrupt as your leader who was there when there was corruption …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon Member will you withdraw the phrase, ‘He is not as corrupt as your leader.’

Mr Hamududu: Thank you, Sir, for your guidance. I withdraw that statement.

Sir, I can support people like Mr Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika even if it means putting my life on the line for them. These are progressive children of the soil. Mr Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika stands among the best in this country; he is able to lead this country. He has left politics now and just wants to support us. He knows the history of corruption in this country. He was in the Government that brought this country to its knees and knows who is corrupt. Therefore, he must be on this commission. Maybe then, we can move a little faster in uprooting the people who have deprived our children and made the people in the rural areas suffer. You destroyed everything, including the mining and agricultural sectors and, today, you want to stand up in this House to support corrupt people.

Mr Akashambatwa must come onto this Commission. He is one of the knowledgeable people who will give us vital information to root out corruption once and for all from this country.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon Members of Parliament: Hear, hear!

Mr Muteteka (Chisamba): Thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker, I stand to support the ratification of Mr Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika as a member of the Anti-Corruption Commission. I would also like to clarify why I am in support of Mr Mbikusita-Lewanika.

Mr Speaker: Order!

There is an hon. Member in the back who is about to be ejected from the Chamber. Be careful.

The hon. Member for Chisamba may continue.

Mr Muteteka: Thank you, Sir, for your protection. With regard to principles, Mr Akashambatwa is very principled for the following reasons. He may have formed another political party because when he supported the MMD, he had principles. Therefore, when the people in the MMD moved away from their vision; the promise they made to the people, he resigned. Even the current President demonstrated similar principles when he resigned on the basis of corruption. When President Mwanawasa came into power, he did not forget that he was fighting corruption and this is why he is fighting corruption today.

Mr Mbikusita-Lewanika says the two of them have something in common, the desire to fight corruption. Now that there is a president who is fighting corruption, Mr Mbikusita-Lewanika can contribute to the fight against corruption. We know that some people who resigned from the previous Government did so because some individuals in that Government were involved in corruption. There is the issue of Merzaf which is still very fresh in our memories. It is very important that we support and ratify the appointment of Mr Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika for the sake of development, fighting corruption and sending signals that stealing does not pay. Let us not politicise matters which are going to develop this country.

Mr Kambwili: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, I stand on a very serious point of order. The hon. Member who is speaking has just been fired for corruption. Is he in order to lecture us on corruption when he was just fired for corruption as Deputy Minister of Lands?

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Order! All hon. Members of Parliament in this House have the freedom of speech. The hon. Member who is on the Floor is free to speak in this House. Let me remind all of you not to think that you are angels. There is someone somewhere who knows something about each one of you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: The holier than thou attitude can backfire at any time. Nevertheless, there was a point in the hon. Member’s contribution referring to Merzaf. That reference is not appropriate for this House and the record shall show so.

May the hon. Member for Chisamba continue, please.

Mr Muteteka: Mr Speaker, I thank you for your protection. I am a very proud hon. Member of Parliament. The Zambian Government is monitoring what is happening. I am very free and that is why I am talking about the issue of corruption. I will support it to its conclusion.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muteteka: It is not wise for people to frustrate this noble cause. For the sake of trying to get into power, some people have made clear statements that if they were to be in power, they would forgive all those who were involved in cases of corruption.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muteteka: Therefore, we are not surprised that some people, today, can stand up and block this ratification. They are on record for saying that if they were in power, corruption would not mean anything to them. It would be the order of the day. It would be business as usual. This is why I am giving a clear account of the consistency of Mr Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika on the matter of corruption.

Therefore, I support his ratification.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order! The Chair wishes to guide the House that there are two names that are up for ratification. You are free, of course, to debate one, both or none of them.

Mr Imenda (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, I stand to strongly support the nomination of Mr Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Imenda: He is a man who has proved beyond doubt that he stands for what he believes in. In 1991, he took over the system. Kaunda was the most power President in the Southern Region. He took him on until he brought him down to his knees …

Mr Speaker: Order! You may refer to former President Kaunda.

Mr Imenda: I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Today, we are all in this House talking about politics of different dimensions. We are now talking about MMD, LP or PF because men of Mr Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika’s stature stood up to fight the system. Who amongst the hon. Ministers since 1964 would stand up and resign because they differed with the system over a matter of principle, which is corruption? It was only the few that have been mentioned by my friend, Hon. Hamududu, Member of Parliament for Bweengwa. Mr Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika resigned because he strongly believes in what he stood for.

Mr Speaker, Mr Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika stood strongly to fight for the streamlining of the system. As someone earlier said, had Mr Baldwin Nkumbula, Mr Emmanuel Kasonde and himself not stood for the fight against corruption, we were not going to hear about the Task Force on Corruption that we are supporting today. The men who could have prevented Government money from going down the drain are now being scolded in this House. We have forgotten so easily.

If Mr Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika was not what he is and did not come from where he comes, today, he was going to be regarded as a hero. However, we are not going to sit and listen to people who are attacking a man who has stood for his principles all his life. If he was an opportunist, today, he would have been in one of the highest positions in the Government, but he is one person who strongly stands for what he believes.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Imenda: We will not sit in this House listening to petty political novices who are benefiting from what Mr Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika stood for …


Mr Speaker: Order!

The phrase ‘political novice’ is unparliamentary. You shall withdraw it.

Mr Imenda: Mr Speaker, I withdraw that phrase.

Sir, today, we are benefiting from the vision and mission of a man who stood against corruption. We are talking about a man who stood for his principles at every turn. Just last year, when he felt his principles were under threat, he stood up and said he was not going to go in that direction if there would not be any change. This was when he realised that parties were merging and people coming from the wings would come to lead the MMD. When he felt that the principles of the MMD were being overridden, against all odds, he withdrew his membership forthwith. Today, we are here benefiting from all those principles, but we are using all sorts of words against him.

Mr Speaker, if we are going to run this country on the basis of masquerading the people that are fighters and who have been strong in maintaining the democratic rights of this country, we will have ourselves to blame. We are running a nation of seventy-three tribes. If we do not stand up to guide the nation in a manner that is going to turn this nation into One Zambia One Nation, this nation will disintegrate.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kanyanyamina (Kanchibiya): Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me this opportunity to debate the motion on the Floor.

To begin with, it makes me sad to see the dignified Zambian leaders in this House quarrelling and debating trivial matters that are out of topic as if we are not the people who were elected to represent the Zambians out there. Our role as parliamentarians, to remind some of my brothers and sisters in this House, is to put reasonable and not questionable leaders in place whether they are our blood brothers or not. This is because the decisions that we are making today will haunt our children and not ourselves. Therefore, I request this House to be more objective.

There is no need to clash and rub noses against one another for a simple reason. I stand here to support the motion with reservations because of one pertinent question. Mr Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika is a very intelligent person, but his principles have not appreciated because he formed a party with his sister which never took Zambians anywhere.

While I appreciate his rich experience and education, I can only say that he worked with the former President because he consolidated Barotseland which most of the people could have forgotten about. He got a mark for that.

Mr Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika’s appointment may be questioned, today, because we want to put him in office, but with reservations. He needs to improve on the articulation of national issues and should not address himself to one tribe. We want to build ‘One Zambia One Nation’.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Muyanda (Sinazongwe): Thank you, Mr Speaker, for according me this opportunity to add my voice to the debate on this motion.

As a senior hon. Member of this august House, I feel very honoured to share my experience with those that have not been in this august House for long.

Mr Speaker, the first thing we look for in leadership is lack of blemish. No matter how highly qualified a person may be, the cardinal point in the judgment of an excellent leader is lack of blemish. To the people of Zambia, the former Justice V. H. Chileshe has no blemish. As a result, the people of Zambia, speaking through their competent representatives gathered in this House, have unanimously accepted him.

Mr Speaker, we have a noble, young and energetic Zambian, popularly known as Aka. Aka has no blemish and wherever he worked, he resigned honourably.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: What has gone wrong for Aka not to be accepted on the Anti-Corruption Commission? It is because there are some people who are paranoid that if he is appointed to the Anti-Corruption Commission, he will certainly catch them.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Quality.

Mr Muyanda: Mr Speaker, there are some people who stripped the railway line from Luanshya to Ndola. As the Chair guided, we are not angels in this august House. Where are they? They could be cited one day. The fear is, ‘Aka is coming.’


Mr Muyanda: Mr Speaker, when the President, his Cabinet and, indeed, other opposition parties in a nation such as Zambia have stood firmly to support the crusade against corruption, why should we, today, say no to Aka?

Mr Speaker, Aka must be endorsed by this august House because he has integrity. In leadership, we need integrity. That is the first quality that must be talked about. Let us avoid petty tribal thinking. We do not want tribalism. We want to march forward for a better tomorrow for Zambia.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: Let us forget about Tongalism and Bembalism. We do not want them here. We want a nation that is well structured. Let us fight corruption effectively.

Mr Speaker, as a senior parliamentarian, I believe I have delivered my message.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Ms Njapau): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the motion on the Floor.

Sir, I just want to say one or two words on this motion. I have worked with this man popularly known as Aka since I started my political career. In fact, he is the person who encouraged me to be where I am now. He is a person who does not fear corruption and other vices. He is a person who will tell you what is right and wrong. That is why we want him to be appointed to this Commission. Why do we fear him? He is a person just like anyone of us. The only thing is that he has it up here (pointing at her head).

Mr Speaker, I do not think some of the people who are condemning him, today, have the right to reject his appointment to the Commission. They are afraid because, as other hon. Members have said, they know that when he is appointed to the Commission, he will reveal everything that they have done, for example, the K2.6 billion in some people’s accounts. Some people are rejecting Aka’s appointment to the Commission. What has he done?

Mr, Speaker, he is the one who started these politics we are enjoying today. Some of us did not know politics, but people like Aka enabled us come into this House. He was part of the system of the late Mr Kapwepwe and Mr Nkumbula. Why should we say no to him today?

If we are going to talk about tribalism in this country, some parties will suffer because people have woken up. We can see where we are going. We are not children to be cheated. Therefore, Aka, like Mr Chileshe, is the right person for this appointment. Let us support them. If we are afraid because we have something to hide, then I am sorry they are going to sort us out. They will reveal whatever we have hidden under the carpet. Let them be supported and appointed to this Commission.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Misapa (Mporokoso): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for according me this chance to add my voice to the debate on the motion on the Floor.

Mr Speaker, firstly, I want to inform the House that if we dwell so much on the issue of tribalism, we will not make any progress. I am sure whoever came up with the names of the two Zambians, Mr V. H. Chileshe and Mr A. Mbikusita-Lewanika, knew exactly why. The names have been floated to us. These people have been found to be excellent. May I pose a question: has anybody come up with a case on any one of them? Were Mr A. Mbikusita-Lewanika and Mr V. H. Chileshe at one time arrested? The answer is no. Therefore, if these people have been found to be clean, they stand to be the right people to help in the running of the nation.

Some people are bound to say that Mr A. Mbikusita-Lewanika belonged to some party some time back. The truth is that if all of us trace our history, at one time, we were UNIP.

Hon. Government Members: Yes.

Mr Misapa: Firstly, we belonged to MMD phase one. We are now in MMD phase two. Are we saying that by virtue of leaving the first party and entering the second and the third one, we do not know what we are doing? The answer is no. We know what we are doing.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Misapa: Therefore, if we identify some people with integrity, intelligence and who are proper leaders, what we need to do, as a House, is support them.

If we start pointing fingers at each other, this will not get us anywhere. We are even wasting time dwelling on an issue that is straight forward. Let us not bend what is straight.

Mr Speaker, in my opinion, the two nominees are the right people. May we, please, support them and bring them to our side so that they can help in guiding us. They are our fathers. Therefore, let us consider them highly.

Mr Speaker, I beg to support.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mtonga (Kanyama): Mr Speaker, I want to add my voice to the debate on the motion on the Floor.

I want to begin by congratulating the Committee that did the selection because I think they did a thorough job.

I note from the report they submitted that they personally interviewed each candidate being debated here. In doing so, they did not set aside any embarrassing question concerning their past. For example, Hon. Justice Chileshe was frankly apprised about the report on a case of suspected corruption involving the Bank of Zambia. Hon. Justice Chileshe had the opportunity to explain away the gossip that had surrounded that issue. That is the way to deal with matters in this country.

Secondly, if my brother, who has been extolled here, were in the House, he would be feeling embarrassed because we are over doing things. I know Aka as Lozi, and yet not Lozi because he is also Tumbuka and Ngoni. He belongs to every tribe

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mtonga: I have known him, even in this House, to stand before you and present issues that cost him at some stages his own sitting in Parliament. He is a very good son of Zambia and we are lucky he is alive.

Mr Speaker, he was also confronted with the criticism of the Anti-Corruption Commission for the way it handled the MMD Convention. He said in his response, adequately too, that he considered that a challenge. Therefore, now it is as if he is being told, ‘You have been talking about corruption, get into it and see what you can do.’

Mr Speaker, I pledge my support for the report. I know that there are no perfect human beings, but these two sons of Zambia have volunteered to come forth and support the fight against corruption.

Sir, allow me to say something that will help them in their effort to fight corruption in our country. I would like to say, through this House, as we ratify these two gallant sons, that Zambia needs a culture of a clear fight against corruption.

For example, presently, the nation has experienced corruption at one of the ministries, the Ministry of Lands. A country which is not as developed as the United States of America would wonder how we handle reports of alleged corruption concerning senior members of the Government. Do we have a system of reporting them? What is on the statutes is that there is no bar to reporting cases of corruption. Any one can report any reasonable suspicion of corruption involving senior members of the Government or anybody else.

Instead, it is a crime to go to the President with a raw report; an uninvestigated position or to take to the President a piece of gossip as if you want to, for example, stab Hon. Magande or whoever you want to report, in the back. It is a crime to do so without an investigated position. This is because the President is a busy person and you would make him make decisions that he regrets and has to retract later. The crime is not his. It is for those officers, leaders and investigators that rush with pieces of gossip or allegations to the Head of State without a system.

Sir, I believe that, at the moment, we do not have a system for reporting allegations involving senior people. In some areas, it is perceived wrong to report a senior officer without first going to the President. That is not the law. The law is that if you want to protect the President, give him investigated positions. Do not give him rumours or gossip however sweet they may be.

Mr Speaker, I believe that people like Mr Akashambatwa and Hon. Justice Chileshe are in a perfect position to give Zambians a practical way of fighting corruption. They should have a free hand to advise. I understand they have been allowed to go into each ministry to support the fight against corruption on the ground, but they should go there with a culture of reporting what they find. There should not be a time lag between the discovery of the report and its being reported to a competent investigator before it is rushed to the President. I think this country has been badly embroiled in corruption.

Sir, I would also like to say that we should be very careful with what we say in this House about people we differ with or about hon. Members of Parliament who may take positions that are different from our own. You imagine that the gossip you have heard about each of them is right and you want to use the Floor of the House to offload it. I do not think that does justice to this House and the nation. We should be slow to paint red or black people who have views that are different from ours.

I believe, when more civilised people listen to a person with a different view, they consider that an alternative however superior or inferior. When you listen to an opposing view, it is a possible alternative. You should not just say that since they disagree with you, they are rotten.

We should avoid dragging into a debate such as this one collective mistakes of the Government. There have been opportunities and there will be opportunities for us to sift every decision by every Zambian. As you know, for now, it may be hard to sift reports involving those on your right, but there will be a time when this will be possible. I am witness to the fact that it is easier to find the wrong that people did when they leave Government. However, we do not have to go to an anthill or Parliament to condemn them in a blanket fashion or to support our arguments. Let us get to the bottom of what Zambians want, especially in the area of corruption, and get on with it knowing fully that the Constitution of Zambia guarantees each one of us the presumption of innocence until proved guilty by a court of law.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mtonga: Mr Speaker, I thank you and I support the report.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munaile (Malole): Mr Speaker, I rise to support the motion on the Floor because I believe the people we are debating are capable of doing what the Zambian people want them to. Hon. Valentine Chileshe served this country with distinction in a very high position of High Court Judge and eventually as Investigator-General and nothing was found against him.

 I do not know Aka very well and I believe most of us saying what we are saying about him do not know him very well. However, what I know about him is what I have read in the newspapers regarding what he stands for. If this man is not given an opportunity to serve on the Anti-corruption Commission, are we not depriving the Zambian people of a man capable of fighting corruption even when it involves his own life?

I believe that we will not do justice to this country if Aka is not given an opportunity to serve on the Commission. In fact, it will be an opportunity to judge whether he can still do what he did in the past. The question I would like to ask myself is whether it would be in the interest of the country if Aka did not serve on this Commission? Also, added to that is whether he is going to add value to the Anti-Corruption Commission. If he is going to add value, then he is the right person and I think he is because I have no iota of doubt that this man will add value to the Anti-Corruption Commission whether we like it or not.

He has left the Government and the MMD because of differences in the fight against corruption. What else are we looking for? Are we going to deny him the opportunity because he belongs to the MMD? How many of us here would not want to be considered for a position because of belonging to a particular party when we leave this august House? How many of us would refuse a job because we belong to that particular party? That would not be fair to the country.

We need people who can work for the country regardless of where they come from, as only then are we going to build a country that is united. However, if we are going to talk about politics even when they do not come into play, we would be shooting ourselves in the foot. We need this man and the best thing to do is allow him to serve on the Anti-Corruption Commission and watch.

The Bible says be quick to listen and slow to speak. There are times we are quick to say certain things and realise at a later stage that we made a mistake. I would like to stand here and add my voice to that of those who want Aka to serve on the Anti-Corruption Commission.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr B. Y. Mwila (Nchelenge): Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me an opportunity to add my voice to the many voices that have already spoken. I support the nominations from the outset. I know there is a conflict of ideas on how principled people such as Aka were. I worked with him. He is a very principled young man. Not only is he principled, but he is also a realist. He is principled because when I worked with Aka, as everybody else has said, he was the first Cabinet Minister to resign at a time when none of us thought of resigning.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker, when Aka realised that he was not going to go very far with the party he had formed, the Agenda for Zambia, he rejoined the MMD at a time when he felt that the new MMD had something to offer. Consequently Aka froze his membership of the new MMD because again he felt aggrieved on principle by what transpired in the New Deal MMD.

 Mr Speaker it only takes a principled person to resign a position. That is what a principled person in western politics would do. A principled person is one who resigns when he does not agree with a particular decision which has been taken. This is what principled persons in western politics do, whereas in our kind of politics, we want to exalt people in a permanent political situation irrespective of whether or not the situation goes against their principles. 

 Mr Speaker, to me, a principled person is one who resigns on principle and a person is a realist if he does not cling to something that will not work. In this particular case, Aka realised that the party he had formed was not going to be of any significance in the political system of Zambia. Consequently, he rejoined the political party of his choice, in this case the New Deal Government.  Again, when he found the MMD wanting, he froze his membership. I think that is a man of principle and a realist.

 That should not work against him because that is western democracy and I hope my colleagues here, the hon. Members, will support Aka’s nomination having seen that nobody seems to fight against the nomination of Justice Chileshe.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

The Minister of Defence (Mr Mpombo):  Mr Speaker, I would like to start by paying glowing tribute to the chairperson and her entire membership for producing a very immaculate report.  I would like to briefly deal with the issues raised by Hon. Kambwili. I think he used defective tools of analysis when looking at the issue of Akashambatwa.


Mr Mpombo: Aka is an intellectual powerhouse with very impeccable political and professional credentials.  He is a man who is above tribal inclinations. The issue of political affiliation is a democratic entitlement of any Zambian and should not be an issue here. Most of us have been through a lot of political parties; hence we should not exploit this particular issue regarding Aka.

Judge Chileshe, Mr Speaker, is a hard coiled spring who has distinguished himself very well and is an asset to the nation. He will bring to the Commission vast experience that will benefit all of us. I would like to assure Hon. Mtonga that the Government will continue to fight corruption in a non-selective way and that the Government will act on water tight evidence.  Whether matters that go to court are successful or not is another issue, but we will have made a move, as a Government, by taking them to court. 

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, there has been some tribal talk and I would like people to guard against this dangerous situation. If we allow tribalism to take root in our minds, this country will plunge into irretrievable political and social chaos.

Therefore, it is important for us, as Members of Parliament, to stand above tribal tendencies.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mwamba (Lukashya): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank all Members of Parliament for their overwhelming support for this motion. It has not been and it is also not easy for all of us to look at things through the same eyes. It is also not easy for us to understand things in the same line.

However, on behalf on my Committee, I wish to thank all hon. Colleagues in this House who have opposed the motion because they livened the debate on this matter. I hope that the appointment of the two nominees will benefit this nation.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to.





The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mrs Masebo): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.

Mr Speaker, I thank you most sincerely for giving me the opportunity to make a policy statement on the Market and Bus Stations Bill which is before this House for Second Reading.

Sir, the Markets and Bus Stations Bill seeks to provide for the following:

(a) establishment and regulation of markets and bus stations;

(b) establishment of the management Boards for the markets and bus stations;

(c) repeal and replace the Market Act Cap 290 which was enacted in 1937; and

(d) provision for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing.

Mr Speaker, as you may be aware, the current legislation on Markets Act Cap 290 of the Laws of Zambia was enacted in 1937. Apart from minor changes, the Act has basically remained the same for the past seventy years. However, over the years, there have been major changes in terms of climate, politics, population and economic development that have taken place in the country that necessitate a complete review of the legislation.

Additionally, several pieces of legislation such as the Public Health Act Cap 295, Food and Drugs Act Cap 303, Town and Country Planning Act Cap 288, Weights and Measures Act Cap 403 as well as the Liquor Licensing Act Cap 167 and the Environmental Protection and Pollution Control Act Cap 204 have been passed without taking into account the provision of the Market Act. As a result, markets and bus stations have been abused, for instance, in the sale of liquor and uncertified meats in the markets.

Mr Speaker, it has now become necessary to repeal and replace the Market Act Cap 290, bearing in mind the pieces of legislation mentioned above. The proposed Markets and Bus Stations Bill will also bring the Act in line with modern market trends that will promote the efficient operation and management of markets and bus stations in the country.

Sir, the intention of the Bill is to address a number of challenges relating to the management of markets and bus stations in Zambia today.

The management of markets and bus stations is one of the many challenges local authorities face today. It is obvious that the current legislation, management structure and procedures employed by councils have not coped well with the current demands of markets and bus stations.

Mr Speaker, in April 2003, the President, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa SC. Directed, through the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, the formation of a task force with all relevant stakeholders to look at ways of improving the operations and management of markets and bus stations in Zambia. In the same year, the Government working with the European Union, commissioned a study on the design and management of urban markets.

Accordingly, two reports were produced. It was established that almost all the markets and bus stations had none or very weak management structures in place. The current Market Act had no provision for effective management structures. However, some markets attempted to come up with what was called the Market Advisory Committee (MAC) which was established through a ministerial guideline to the local authorities, but these were not in all the markets.

Furthermore, the MAC had no decision-making powers on how the markets were to be run. Their functions were merely advisory. They could not employ the market administrators or other staff working in the various markets. They could not decide on how resources raised would be utilised. In most of these markets, monies raised were not ploughed back into the market to improve the needs of the marketeers. Even where monies were allowed to be ploughed back, the maintenance of market facilities was poor.

Mr Speaker, another issue was that the staff level in these public facilities had no bearing on the size and type of market. None of the staff found at any of the markets had any management skills or any type of training whatsoever to assist them in their operations. The major function of the market master in almost all the markets seemed to be primarily focused on levy collection.

In some cases, we also have market cashiers who assisted the market master in the collection of levies. None of the markets was able, when contacted, to produce their job descriptions or, indeed, describe their duties in the management of the market and bus stations.

Sir, the aspect of political party involvement in the markets also constitutes an impediment on the smooth operations of the markets and bus stations. The political factor greatly influenced the overall management framework of markets and bus stations in a negative manner.

Mr Speaker, the presence of associations in markets and bus stations also negatively affect the smooth running of these public utilities in that they became competitors of councils in the management and control of these institutions. It means they are doing exactly what the councils are supposed to be doing in the Market Act.

In short, they act as parallel structures to local authorities in the management of the public facilities. In the case of Lusaka and Copperbelt towns, it was found that in some cases, the local authority was completely sidelined by the associations which, in itself, weakened the authority of the councils who, by law, are the legal owners and managers of these facilities.

Mr Speaker, it was also established that local authorities perceived the markets as a social service to the areas in which they are located. Whilst this may be correct, it is necessary that the management of these social utilities take into account that these are also commercial utilities that are supposed to be run on good management practices.

Sir, this is evidenced by the way decisions are made in the management of facilities, especially as it relates to sites of markets, bus stations, levies and fees charged and when dealing with the problems of street vendors and illegal containers that are mushrooming, with impunity, around established markets or bus stations.

Mr Speaker, in some cases, pieces of land are randomly picked not on any economically and socially basis such as catchment area, customer flow to mention a few, but purely on the availability of free land. This has led to these designed areas being abandoned by the marketeers, resulting in them drifting back to the streets.

Sir, at the level of Director of Housing and Social Services, it was also found that we had no specifically trained officers in market or bus station management or indeed, in business management. This creates a serious handicap when addressing the issues of markets and bus stations at the city or district level, especially considering how and when to establish new markets or bus stations or indeed, improving the existing ones to be able to offer an efficient service to the customers.

Mr Speaker, the marketers and bus operators currently have no role whatsoever in the running of the markets and bus stations. Their contact with the council was through the levies they paid on a daily or weekly basis without any corresponding services being rendered.

Mr Speaker, the difficulties faced by local authorities in markets are almost similar in bus stations. Following the liberalisation of the transport sector and the demise of the United Bus of Zambia (UBZ) in the early 1990s, cities and towns in Zambia have experienced an unparalleled increase in the number of private bus operators and coach operators. This is as a result of Government’s deliberate policy of 1993 to waive tax on imported buses with the view to improving the transport sector. The result of this policy has seen an increase in the number of buses and also illegal stations being established.

Obviously, the challenge of managing this situation is real and legitimate. Apart from the in-fighting between drivers or bus operators, the congestion that was experienced, the accidents and to some extent crime and political activities, have become an every day event in the bus stations.

Mr Speaker, the challenges in bus stations require long-term organisational and financial rearrangements. The proposed Markets and Bus Stations Bill therefore, provides that all markets in Zambia shall be under the control and management of the local authority. It has also been found necessary to come up with an optional management system of markets and bus stations, hence the establishment of management Boards in the proposed legislation. Under this system, the Boards will have decision-making powers enabling them plan and implement smooth operations and managements of markets and bus stations.

Sir, the marketers, bus operators and the community will be part of the decision-making process as they will be represented on the Boards. The House may also wish to know that the proposed Bill will provide for the formation of the management Board which, in turn, shall appoint management teams composed of members with requisite expertise in managing markets and bus stations with the local authorities retaining the ownership of the facilities.

Sir, it is important to note that well-managed markets and bus stations, as envisioned under this system, will create the necessary enabling environment which will attract flourishing business, thereby bringing positive effects on incomes from these institutions which can be reinvested in the improvements of markets and bus stations while at the same time, allowing the local authorities have additional income. The Bill also provides for a Market Fund that will be used to ensure that big markets that are making the money …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was saying that the proposed system will also allow for greater involvement of marketeers and bus operators in the planning process of markets and bus station operations, a phenomenon likely to bring about greater responsibility and confidence on all stakeholders.

Mr Speaker, there are a number of benefits that are expected to be derived from these new arrangements, among them the following:

(a) markets and bus stations are likely to create employment to the citizens;

(b) there will be an improved trading environment, markets and bus stations will contribute to the national revenue base through taxes which cannot be collected under the current trading arrangement;

(c) the proposed management systems will also provide for the maintenance of the markets and bus stations so that trading is conducted in a clean and secure environment which will protect public health;

(d) well managed and orderly markets and bus stations will encourage the marketeers, bus operators and the community at large to improve their business and pay fees or levies to local authorities or Boards regularly, thereby increasing revenue bases for Councils; and

(e) the proposed legislation provides for the effective control and management of markets and bus stations which have been a source of conflict and wrangles as unscrupulous groupings turn these institutions into their personal properties, thereby depriving the local authorities and the Central Government the revenues accruing from these facilities.

In conclusion, Mr Speaker, I would like to state, once again, that the proposed Bill addresses a number of challenges relating to the management of markets and bus stations in Zambia. The proposed Market Bill No. 8 of 2007 is a milestone in the management of markets and bus stations and will, no doubt, address these challenges.

Mr Speaker, when compared to the existing management systems of markets and bus stations in Zambia, the proposed Bill will bring to the fore a new management model which will have the following advantages:

(a) Cost Effectiveness, as the Board will maintain a small structure on non-permanent voluntary basis;

(b) Reduced Bureaucracy in the decision-making process, as this will be significantly reduced and hence ensure timely decisions necessary for the smooth operations of the market;

(c) Political 
Sir, in Zambia, political interference that has constantly affected operations of the market will be reduced.

(d) Increased Income
There will be increased income because the markets will be well managed on the sort of lines envisioned in this model that will create the necessary enabling environment that attracts the flourishing of business. This will have significant positive effects on market income which can be reinvested in markets while at the same time allowing the Councils to have additional revenue. Presently, the Councils’ revenue from markets is far less than would be the case if markets were better managed because many marketeers do not feel obliged to pay the fees, as the facilities and the general environment are in a state of disrepair.

(e) Qualified Staff
The model will allow the recruitment of better qualified staff whose remunerations will not follow the salary structure of the local authorities;

(f) Removal of Subsidies
The benefit of removal of subsidies, as this model aims at attaining financial self sustainability of markets, hence the removal of subsidies from the local authorities. Therefore, the resources saved from subsidies will be redirected to the provisions of other social services; and

(g) Increased Participation
The model will allow for greater involvement of the marketeers in the planning process of the market operations that is likely to bring about greater responsibility and confidence on their part. This is more so when considered that some of the structures were erected by the marketeers.

Mr Speaker, I would like to urge my hon. Colleagues to support this Bill because its objectives are good if we are really going to manage these public utilities for the betterment of the marketeers and indeed, the Republic at large.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr V. Mwale: Quality!

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Mr Speaker, I thank you most sincerely for according me this opportunity to brief this august House on the matters pertaining to the markets and Bus Stations Bill, N.A.B. No. 8 of 2007 which was referred to your Committee on Local Governance, Housing and Chiefs’ Affairs on 28th February, 2007 for scrutiny.

Sir, your Committee were determined to consult widely in order to enrich the consultation process on this very important Bill. Your Committee invited various stakeholders to make both written and oral submissions before them.

Sir, your Committee went further to seek the counsel of the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing who appeared before them to clarify issues that had been raised by stakeholders. Not withstanding the brevity of time, your Committee received overwhelming response and trust that the hon. Members will find the report useful as they debate the Bill.

Mr Speaker, before I highlight the contents of the report, let me state that your Committee was alive to the fact that the Bill that is before the House is on a serious matter. Improperly handled, it could fracture the very foundations of our democracy and economic behaviour. It is therefore, an opportunity for this House to enact a good law that could address the chaotic every day manner in which our markets and bus stations appear to operate. It is time to overcome the emergence of markets and bus station political warlords. It is an opportunity to bring rational economic and political conduct in these institutions and identify and network with legitimate stakeholders in issues of market and bus station management.

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

Sir, I will now take a look at specific aspects of the Bill.

Mr Speaker, one of the contentious issues your Committee were confronted with was the powers which the Bill proposes to give the hon. Minister. In this regard, your Committee wished to satisfy themselves that the Bill was in line with the democratic principles and the Decentralisation Policy before making recommendations. They also wanted to establish if it recognised and respected the independence of economic players in a liberalised economy. The view of your Committee is that some aspects of the Bill do not support the spirit of the Decentralisation Policy in which the participation of sub-structures is cardinal. They are also concerned that vesting too many powers in the hon. Minister will not only overburden the hon. Minister, but also slow down the decision-making process in markets and bus stations. Your Committee contend that if this was allowed to happen, it would lead to inefficiency in the operations of markets and bus stations.

To this effect, Sir, your Committee proposed that:

(a) Clause 6(1)– should be rephrased as follows:

‘A Person shall not, without being in partnership with a local authority and with the approval of the Minister …’;
(b) Clause 9(1) – to read:

‘Any person who desires to sell goods in any market or operate a bus station shall pay such fees, storage or levies as may be prescribed by the local authority or Board and approved by the hon. Minister.’; and

(c) Clause 15(1) – to read:

‘A management Board established under Subsection (1) of Section 13, shall submit its business plan for the market or bus station covering an initial period of five years to the local authority for the approval of the hon. Minister.’

Mr Speaker, the intention of the proposed amendments is to localise decision making and secure the hon. Minister’s as an appellate authority in the event of grievances being raised against the way local authorities and management are making decisions.

Sir, another matter which featured prominently was the banning of market associations from operating within the markets. The Committee observed that the reason behind this proposal was the anarchy that had characterised the operations of markets and bus stations. Your Committee support this clause on the understanding that it is not meant to stifle freedom of association, but rather prevent such market associations from setting bases or offices in markets and bus stations. However, market associations will remain free to set up offices elsewhere, but not within the market and bus station premises.

Sir, there was also the issue of fees to be paid by any person who desires to sell goods and services in any market or operate a bus at any station. Long distance bus operators who appeared before your Committee were concerned that this would mean over levying, as every management Board, through which their buses passed, would legally demand levies. In this regard, your Committee urge the Government to ensure that once the law is enacted, the interests of bus operators are protected through a mechanism that will prevent over levying.

Sir, another matter which your Committee deliberated on was the provision of the Bill that requires that notice, in writing, be granted before the demolition, reconstruction, abolishing, closing or moving of a market or bus station. However, your Committee note the minimum length of the notice is not stated. They are concerned that this could disadvantage aggrieved parties. In this regard, your Committee recommend that the notice period be included in the Bill to foster fair play. They propose that this be twenty-eight (28) days.

Mr Speaker, another pertinent issue was the proposal to introduce price ceiling for food articles sold in the market. Your Committee agree that local authorities, management Boards or even the hon. Minister may make decisions regarding issues such as levies and storage charges related to the services they provide. However, it would be inconsistent with market behaviour for public officers to assume they know each individual’s production cost for the goods they seek to sell to determine their sale price. Your Committee are concerned that this may become arbitrary and even expose the entire system to lobbying and corrupt conduct in price determination. Public interest will be better preserved in allowing for fair competition among suppliers of goods and services at markets and bus stations.

Sir, regarding the appointment of inspectors, your Committee note that the inspectors will, among other things, examine and make copies of any books, records or other documents containing information relevant to enforcement of the Act. The reading of your Committee is that this function will include auditing of books of accounts and are concerned that the said inspectors might not have the requisite skills to do so. To this effect, your Committee recommend that a provision be made in the Bill for auditors from local authorities to undertake the function of inspecting books of accounts.

Sir, your Committee would like to urge the House to consider the contents of their report as they proceed with the Bill.

In conclusion, Mr Speaker, your Committee wish to record and express their appreciation to the witnesses who made submissions before them. They also thank the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing for accepting to appear before them to clarify issues that had been raised by other stakeholders.

Finally, I wish to commend the members of your Committee and the Clerk’s Office for their dedication to duty during the consideration of the Markets and Bus Stations Bill.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Mr Speaker, I stand to support this Bill and wish to commend the Committee that made very pertinent observations. They took the trouble to analyse and explain various phrases.

When I went through their report, I realised that certain points were very important. However, I am happy to hear that the Hon. Minister has conceded and has now submitted recommendations to amend the various clauses.

This particular Bill is important and it is something that the Hon. Minister must be proud of.

I remember Hon. Masebo was a member of the Zambia Republican Party (ZRP) and at the time she joined MMD, the first thing she did when she became Minister of Local Government and Housing was to stop what was known as a tradition in MMD to collect fees from markets. When she suggested stopping that kind of behaviour, I remember that she was accosted and was never given a mere vote at certain functions and was banned from escorting of the President. The party cadres said she was a wrong person for the job. It is in line with this that she has finally succeeded in what she wanted to do; to take away the control of markets from party cadres.

Therefore, I would like to acknowledge that it takes a lot of people to realise that MMD has finally accepted to give away what was their income. I believe they have another source of income somewhere else.


Mr Muntanga: For obvious reasons they have given away the markets. I am still going to find out where else they will be getting their income. I hope it is not the mining sector where they are trying to exempt the mines from tax. However, I will keep watching.

Mr Speaker, I would like to commend the Hon. Minister for bringing a good Bill that will streamline the Act of 1937 that is very old and was enacted seventy years ago. You have now brought a piece of document that will authorise a loss.

However, although the management reports shall pass through the local authorities, you have also said that they will be passed on to your office. In this case, I want to imagine that there are seventy-three or more markets in Lusaka that have Boards and all of them sending the approved reports to you  at once, hon. Minister you are going to have a heap of reports in your office. Perhaps you are going to create a special unit to approve on your behalf because that will be a bottleneck. There will be a bottleneck in this good arrangement.

There is a need to address this problem Hon. Minister. I am glad you have also realised that you do not need to have all the powers. At the moment, it takes six months or sometimes a year to get feed back from your office on the Constituency Development Fund Committee for the 150 constituency. The Constituency Development Fund committees submit their report and the Minister takes six months to approve the reports. You are now going to have hundreds of markets that are going to have management Boards and are going to be sending their submissions for approval. I urge you to ensure that this does not become a bottleneck.

The other good thing that has happened is to prescribe the period. If these people are going to be partners we need to know how long they will stay in the local market. I know that there is a market in Lusaka where there is a build, operate and transfer (BOT) agreement signed for twenty-five years.

Hon. Member: Sixty-five!

Mr Muntanga: I am told it is sixty-five years. They built the market and signed an agreement, therefore, these people are going to own this market for sixty-five years. A number of us will be gone by then.

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes, all of us!

Mr Muntanga: We will be dead. Hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, you will be dead by then. If I add sixty-five years to your age, you will be lucky to be alive then. These are the types of contracts that were signed because there were no guidelines. Anybody could come and agree with the local authority to manage markets. How do you sign a contract for sixty-five years? It means that the market will forever belong to that group of people.

I am happy now that they have brought it down to fourteen years, though fourteen is also too much. Seven is alright because you would need to recover your money. Fourteen years is the standard practice.

When you go to the local authority that you want some land, they initially give you proper ownership for fourteen years. Why did these councils sign sixty-five year leases, but did not realise that they can go for fourteen? We appeal to the Hon. Minister of Justice to look at these agreements and see how he can renegotiate.

The Hon. Minister of Justice promised this House that he would be busy looking at the various legislation to bring it up to date. Therefore, one of the jobs for him is to go out there and find out why longer leases of sixty-five, forty-five or whatever years were signed for these markets. We are now selling Zambia in bits and pieces. This Bill will bring order.

My other worry and concern Hon. Minister is that no proper arrangements have been made for people who own long distance buses. What happens is that long distance bus owners pay a fee in Lusaka and if it is going to stop in Kafue at a bus stop, the Local Authority will demand payment. If it goes to Mazabuka the same happens. They will be paying all the way. It becomes like a toll fee. Immediately a bus operator starts paying these fees, he would like to recoup those fees from the passengers. My fear is that it will raise the fares passengers pay on these luxury buses.

My friend behind here Hon. Willy Nsanda and the others would realise that they have to adjust the price structure since they will be paying in every town they stop as they proceed to Botswana.

On that point, Hon. Minister, I would like this issue to be concluded. It is not very clear. What are you going to agree upon other than the fact that there should be some arrangement agreed on? What agreements would there be? Is there going to be some waiving of some kind? I do not like rules and regulations that are made to regulate and exempt. I detest having regulations or laws that exempt people. You must learn to be specific from the outset. What is it that you are going to do with the long distance bus operators?

Mr Speaker, another issue that may need clear clarification is the special fund that is going to be created. I was told that there are millions of Kwacha that are realised from the markets.

I am told there is a time the Council took over the bus stops in Lusaka and they were able to collect in excess of K20 million a day. That means there is lot of money involved. How are we going to make sure that Councils, especially the Lusaka City Council, will collect this money? If the Lusaka City Council is going to collect all of this money, we should see an immediate change in the city. We should see this money going towards the improvement of infrastructure in the city. If Lusaka is not properly managed, in five years we will not be able to drive.

We need to see roads, the way we have fly-over bridges, constructed. We should not only have the bridge which the president of PF made over the railway line, but have several fly-over bridges. We have talked about the funding of by-pass roads around Lusaka. This should be extended to the roads inside town that are impossible to drive through. If you try to go fast you will kill somebody.

I know this particular Bill has decided to create street markets. Streets that will be designated on special days as markets. This should be properly explained to the people so that they know which street is a market on a particular day. That time they would divert traffic. How do you divert traffic if the roads are not improved? If you turn Freedom Way into a market, where do we go?

The whole of Lusaka has only three roads. You have the Cairo Road, Freedom, Lumumba and Chachacha is the fourth road. That is the centre of town. You must consider roads such as the ones in Bulawayo where there are over twenty avenues in the whole town. Let us now think. We are now giving you the money. We agreed that your Council will be given the money.

I know in Choma they are trying to evict some people from where they are squatting, but I do not know where they are going to re-settle them. If there is anything that the Council should now know is not to evict people before deciding where to put them. The idea of the Minister of Home Affairs and the Minister of Lands giving eviction orders is now becoming something to play around with by Councils. Each Council is saying, ‘we are going to evict.’ Meanwhile they have not done anything to relocate people to a properly designated place. What would happen if tomorrow you went to Choma and chased all those people and you do not tell them where to go? We do not want to support you that way. We want order. When you take them out, please, relocate them to places where they can market. Since we now have legislation on markets and bus stops, let us advise the Councils that they should be able to do a proper job. We know we are Councilors, but it is not everyday that we are there. At the moment, there are a lot of things that are happening, but Members of Parliament who are in Lusaka will wait three months to hear what is happening. It is important, hon. Minister, that you advise the local Councils. All the Councils should now plan properly. They now have the money and the markets and bus stops will be theirs.

I wonder what will now happen with the privately-owned bus stations. Are the Councils going to buy them off? At one time there was a big issue about encouraging people to own bus stations. Now we have said that no individual will own a bus station unless in conjunction with the local council. That is the law we are now going to enact. This means the Council will now jointly own bus stops that are mushrooming in Lusaka with the private owners. This should be done in harmony. We do not want to hear of Council officers harassing people. This might lead to loss of lives. In support of this Bill, I submit with these few remarks.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, I thoroughly endorse the remarks made by the previous speaker. I want to comment on getting rid of the political warlords in the markets. Of course, the main worry for some us who are purportedly powerful at Local Government level, but do control Central Government is that all these small warlords, like in Somalia, will be replaced by one big warlord or war-lady perhaps ...


Dr Scott: …in the form of the Minister of Local Government and Housing. Of course, I do not think the present Minister of Local Government would operate this way. However, it is possible to imagine more cadre minded ministers who might occupy this office and treat this Act as an opportunity to effectively exert an iron control over markets and control large amounts of resources.

I do not understand the claim made by the hon. Minister that this somehow solves the management problems of markets. The present market management Boards have one representative from the Council, three from the markets, marketeers and so forth. They are the ones that are failing to provide management. What I do not understand, which the Committee perhaps understands, is where suddenly the improved management in the markets is going to mysteriously come from. We obviously cannot get the best managers in the world and put them in charge of small markets in Lusaka.

My experience in the Lusaka City Council (LCC), which I want to recount with an anecdote, which might be informative, is that we were persuaded as Councillors in LCC by management to double the charges at the Inter-City Bus Terminal. We were persuaded to do this in November and the new charges came into effect on the 1st January this year. We were persuaded by the argument that by doing so, we would increase the flow of revenue to the Council which would then be used to create roads fit for Hon. Muntanga and so forth. The net effect of doubling of bus charges and the consequent increase of fares has been more money for the Council. The extra money has been snuffled, if that is parliamentary, by the Ministry of Local Government and Housing on the pretext that it was the ministry that had lent some money a long time ago to the Inter-City Bus Terminal and is now recovering it. Attempts to get a clear explanation of what is going on have been met with a deafening silence.         

It is very clear, at the moment, that the real focus of power is with … I will not mention the minister, but the ministry because the bureaucrats are also influential people. The hon. Minister himself or herself also does so depending on where we place ourselves.

Sir, us from this side of the House express worry that this Act is open to abuse, which, I think, your Committee noted. It is open to centralised power simply passing over the local Councils. There is no guarantee of anything. It is similar to the demolition story which Hon. Muntanga alluded to when he said that the Councils and Councillors had not been briefed, let alone consulted in the actions that were being undertaken while the staff of the Councils had been ordered to carry out directives from the ministry. All this does not bond well for the Decentralisation Policy.

Sir, your Committee has done a good job, but various comments such as putting some limitations on the rate at which bus station charges can be increased need to be given some flesh. This has not been done in the amendments that have been circulated to date.

Mr Speaker, there is mention of price control at Clause 33(h) which provides that the new management committees shall have the power to establish maximum prices for certain goods and commodities or designated goods and commodities. I wish to plead with the hon. Minister to remove this provision. We have been there and have done that. I used to make a lot of money as a tomato farmer by playing the price controls. I used to grow a lot of tomatoes because then there were hardly any tomatoes in the country. There was always a way of charging extra. Whenever the price went up, we used to take it and dump it at NAMBOARD along with Mr Aaron Milner who was then the hon. Minister of Home Affairs who grew potatoes which he also dumped on NAMBOARD. They then poured diesel on everything and burned it. Please, let us not go back to trying to oppose market workings which will just open the door to the kind of horror that we saw in the past when people would phone each other and say, ‘There is sugar in such a place,’ and the entire town would get into their vehicles or onto their bicycles and go there. Please, let us not return to that.

Mr Speaker, there is always a worry when regulations are to be made that the devil is in the details. These are the regulations that the hon. Minister makes that are normally in the form of statutory instruments and not subject to scrutiny by this House. This is really where the problems might arise. Therefore, I wish to plead with her to let us have some idea, of exactly how these regulations are going to work. For example, there is a provision that the hon. Minister may appoint or may say that there should be a management Board, but it does not say what she may also do if she does not decide to do that. Maybe, this will be put in the regulations. Will she allow the present advisory Boards to continue or will she let the co-operatives control the markets? How is it going to work? I think we need to know this so that as councillors as well as hon. Members of Parliament we can be satisfied that we are making progress and not just going forward to the past.

Finally, on the question of the sixty-five year private-public partnership arrangements such as in Kamwala and Lusaka Town Centre Markets, the Lusaka City Council has a small committee that is supposed to look into these agreements and review them. That committee was established at a Council meeting in December, 2006, but to date, we are not being led up the garden path. We are only being led round in circles. The staff at the Lusaka City Council has claimed that they cannot find this or that document or that the legal counsel has gone to a funeral and so on and so forth. We are being blocked from doing our job. Therefore, if I sound fearful or worried about the transparency and the forward looking nature of this Act, these are just some of the reasons why.

I thank you, Sir.

The Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mr Liato): Mr Speaker, I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on this important Bill.

Mr Speaker, from the beginning, I want to say that, to me, this appears to be a non-controversial Bill. I am glad to note that even some of my colleagues on your left do not seem to have problems supporting this Bill.

Mr Speaker, I rise to support this Bill because it seeks to make the management of our markets and bus stations better than it was before. From the First Republic, we have a history of having our markets and bus stations managed at high political levels. They were almost political institutions. For lack of better words, we were almost building what could be termed as warlords or gangsters in these markets and bus stations. Consequently, revenues which should have been going to Councils were largely going into individuals’ hands. The managers of the associations which were primarily set up in these institutions were responsible for managing the funds that were generated. However, all these funds were not being used to better the lives of the employees of these institutions.

Mr Speaker, this Bill seeks to move these resources from individual hands to the local authorities. I think that it is cardinal that we transfer the resources to institutions that will ensure that the funds go towards benefiting our people and developing infrastructure in markets and bus stations. These are the areas where our colleagues, on your left, must give credit to the New Deal Government because it takes a great leader, a good President, a good Government and committed ministers to drive this process.

Mr Speaker, many times, when people rise to debate in this House, they talk as though there is no single thing this Government has done which is good. These are the kind of things that we should point out. We need to tell Hon. Hachipuka that these are the good things coming from this Government, from the President of this party and from the committed minister in this Government.

Mr Speaker, much as we have let go of what Hon. Muntanga termed ‘income to our party’, which is not really the case because we do not get revenue from bus stations and markets, it is important that our colleagues in the Opposition to do the same. This is because it is possible that this Government will create very good conditions from which all of us must benefit as a nation, but some people can easily abuse this process and go and do politics in markets and bus stations.

Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has done a good job, but she must go further and ensure that in the bus stations and markets which are going to be managed by the Boards, we must not allow room for associations to be created that will fill the vacuum created by the absence of the MMD in those bus stations and markets. We will be watchful and I would like to appeal to the hon. Minister to be watchful as well because we are not creating room for the Opposition to move in and start doing their things.

Mr Speaker, I know that during the last elections, some people were seeking cheap publicity and politicking by saying that if the people elected them, they would restore the United Transport and Taxis Association (UTTA) because the MMD did not want to be party to the operations of bus stations and markets. They said that if they were elected, they would bring this kind of organisation in the markets. Now, this is the kind of cheap politics all of us must avoid. As a nation, all of us must agree that if the Government is doing well and creating policies which are healthy to the State and to its people, let us not use that for political expediency.

Mr Speaker, I am glad to note that this Bill has provided for market inspectors. I think that is where management should be made better. I have no doubt that with market inspectors in the field, the books of accounts in these institutions will be corrected and revenue will be channelled to the right places.

Mr Speaker, I know that our country, for a long time, has lacked leadership because it does not receive co-operation from the leadership at the grassroots. Today, as I speak to this House, we know that leadership of local authorities here in Lusaka and the Copperbelt is largely in the hands of the Opposition. We will expect co-operation in handling matters such as this one because that is where the problem begins. The problem begins where people begin to put their political aspirations ahead of the nation’s interests. We want Councillors to support the hon. Minister. They should not say that because they were elected on a different ticket, at the implementation stage, everything coming from the hon. Minster is wrong. If their political leader feels that the MMD will gain popularity by doing something good, they will be given instructions not to obey.

 I want to urge the leaders of Opposition political parties to ensure that we respect the Government and consider Councillors part of the Government. Therefore, they must work closely with the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing.

Mr Speaker, I think I have said my part.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze): Thank you, Mr Speaker, for according me the opportunity to debate the Bill on the Floor.

First and foremost, I would like to mention that I am a member of the Committee that scrutinised and considered the Bill that is under consideration in this House.

Mr Speaker, I also want to thank the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing for being considerate and understanding pertaining to the issues that your Committee raised. She did not behave like some hon. Ministers who are so arrogant that even when amendments are proposed, they do not want to listen.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hanjika.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I thank her most sincerely for this.

Sir, the Bill that is before this House, today, is not supposed to be controversial. It is supposed to enhance the trading atmosphere of our people in the various markets and bus stations.

In my debate, Mr Speaker, I would like to appeal to the political parties. The political parties are the major players in the creation of confusion in the markets. Without the co-operation of the political players in the markets and bus stations, we are not going to achieve the intended purpose.

Mr Muntanga: Mpombo.

Mr Mwiimbu: Hon. Liato has laboured to try and heap the blame on Opposition political parties. The major player and culprit in the anarchy and confusion in the markets currently is the MMD.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: The MMD has offices in all the markets. Their cadres have the audacity to insult leaders in their own party who try to create a peaceful trading atmosphere. It is not unusual to hear their cadres harassing ministers who want to bring sanity. They even have the audacity to insult the President and challenge him over issues of anarchy.

Where there are problems relating to land, it is the MMD cadres who are involved. They have issued statements challenging the President of the MMD and the nation that they will not accept the instructions that are coming from the leadership. In the same vein, the MMD cadres are the ones who are causing confusion in the markets.

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes.

Mr Mwiimbu: Immediately, we pass this Bill, Mr Speaker, we will hear the anarchy that will arise from the markets. I will be surprised not to hear demands from the MMD cadres to have Hon. Masebo removed from the position of Minister of Local Government and Housing. Why should you blame us? As a Committee, we considered this issue of political players as the major cause of anarchy. The gangsters in the markets are being used by the political parties. They get money from these gangsters and whenever there is a function, they get buses from the same chaps.

Mr Speaker, …

Mr Speaker: Order!

The terms ‘chaps’ and ‘gangster’ are unparliamentary.


Mr Mwiimbu: I oblige your guidance, Mr Speaker.

These Mafioso rogues who are operating in these markets …


Mr Mwiimbu: … should be controlled. I do not think there is any one of us who would like the anarchy that is obtaining in the markets. There is some decency currently obtaining at Intercity Bus Terminus. At one time, Intercity Bus Terminus was a no go area and high ranking people in the police and the MMD were on the payroll of those managing the bus station. I am happy to note that the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing has decided to cure the mischief at the markets, but she will not succeed if she has no support from the political leaders of the three major political parties in this country.

Hon Members: Which ones?

Mr Mwiimbu: You are asking me which ones. It is the MMD first and foremost. We should ensure that as political parties, we issue instructions to our cadres that markets are not places for politicking. We should stop having offices and branches in markets and bus stations. We know which political parties have branches and offices in markets and bus stations.

Mr Speaker, with these few remarks, I would like to appeal to Hon. Liato to inform his party that markets are not places where politicking should be done. We should let our mothers and fathers trade peacefully in these markets.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Science, Technology and Vocational Training (Dr Chituwo): Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to this non-controversial report by your Committee on the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, Markets and Bus Stations Bill. Let me add my voice to those who have commended your Committee for doing a thorough job.

Mr Speaker, this Bill signifies the direction of the MMD, New Deal Administration. We saw the difficulties and anarchy which were, perhaps, clearly seen towards the tripartite elections where our own minister was threatened with violence. Bringing this Bill is a clear indication that the MMD is a party of laws. 

We are happy that the learned Member of Parliament for Monze has been very clear that it has not been just his desire, but that of the MMD Government also and we are content to have been party to bringing this Bill for the consideration of the hon. Members of Parliament.

We have not been pleased to see the extortion of money from the ordinary hardworking Zambians in the markets. As a caring Government, we have to protect the ordinary citizens, and hence the Markets and Bus Stations Bill.

As the hon. Minister mentioned, I note that there will be a benefit of the rural-based markets once there is order, accountability and transparency by the creation of the Boards in the markets. There is no winner or loser in this case. When there is order in our markets and bus stations, all Zambians stand to win.

The laws made in this House such as the Public Health Act and the Food and Drugs Act have been violated from all angles. To this effect, every rainy season, we have outbreaks of cholera. With this Bill and with people being accountable and with the order that will prevail, we will see that marketeers will trade in hygienic conditions. The children of the marketeers will have a place where they can be cared for. We shall see a reduction in medical bills because we will be able to prevent some diseases in the markets where people spend more than twelve hours a day. We look forward to a day when it will be a pleasure to go to a market to conduct business.

The present Bill is a collective responsibility of this Government. Thus, the hon. Minister has been resilient in ensuring that order is brought to the markets and bus stops and the Councils as well. Most of the points have been raised; but one issue to be noted is: prevention of diseases is two-way. Our citizens must take personal responsibility in issues of hygiene. Otherwise, we can make and prescribe laws, but if the other party is not playing their role, we shall not succeed. I only hope that with this Bill, we shall see responsible citizens in terms of marketeers and their families in our markets and bus stops.

As has already been mentioned, this is a progressive Bill, and we are hopeful that the spin-off will improve the markets in the rural areas. That being the case, the issue of poverty reduction and wealth creation will be meaningful to our citizens.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Masebo: Thank you, Sir, for this opportunity to wind up debate on the Bill before the House. I would like to begin by thanking the Committee that did a very thorough job of bringing out a number of issues, especially those that were given to them by the stakeholders that came to meet with them.

I also would like to thank the Committee for giving me the rare opportunity to be asked questions for clarification at that level and indeed, in agreeing on certain amendments to be effected on the Bill as we proceed. I also would like to thank the hon. Members on both sides who have ably debated this Bill. I have taken note of some of the sentiments that they have expressed.

Allow me, Sir, to give some more clarifications on issues raised by some Members of Parliament.

 Mr Speaker, in establishing the Board, hon. Members will note that there is a minimum of eight Board members that are supposed to be appointed. In appointing those members, the Bill clearly states that, firstly, the stakeholders, the marketeers shall have to elect, from among themselves, three members.

In the case of the bus operators, the elected members will be three as well. Secondly, the local authorities will have to appoint a member to represent their interest, as a local authority, being the owners of the utilities.

 On decentralisation and the participation of citizens at the sub-district level, the Bill provides that in every location where there shall be a market, the communities who reside within that area will be represented on this Board. Therefore, you can see that there is representation from the marketeers themselves, the consumers and even the associations such as the Zambia National Marketeers Association (ZANAMA), ZATMA, Soweto Association because there is a provision that they can also sit on the Board.

This is the Board that will make the policy decisions. The hon. Minster will also participate and ensure that we choose some members to sit on the Board. What is wrong with that? Surely, would you say that is getting too much power? Should we, as a Government, be spectators? That is why sometimes, we say things without analysing them fairly. When you look at the composition of the Board, Central Government does not have the majority of the members, no. They will only have two members on that Board. The rest will come from the community, the marketeers and the local authority. 
 In the Bill, we are proposing that the local authority, being the owner of the utility, will lease this to the management Boards. These management Boards will manage the markets on a day-to-day basis. They will also be the ones who will appoint qualified staff because the Boards are going to advertise for these positions and will get qualified people to manage bus stations and the markets. Therefore, the local authority and the hon. Minister do not come in. It is the Board that represents the interests of the hon. Minister, the local authority, the community and the marketeers.

That, in itself, gives the Board powers to make policy decisions on a day-to-day basis in the interest of the marketeers and other institutions. A certain amount will be charged to the local authority from the money that will be collected. For example, if every month, a certain bus station is making K100 million, maybe K20 million would go to the local authority as a fee. Part of that money will remain in the accounts to be managed by that Board and its management. It will also be used to maintain that same market structure and indeed, any other issue that may arise in the markets.

However, the special fund for which the hon. Minister will come up with regulations will actually instruct these market Boards to ensure that a certain amount is put in the National Market and Bus Station Fund. This is the money that will go to other districts in rural areas to help the rural districts come up with proper markets and bus stations so that we do not have a situation where money only remains in Lusaka and the Copperbelt. We need to share this money because, in any case, these institutions were established using public funds. That is how the fund is going to be used.

Mr Speaker, the other point which came up is the issue of Private Bus Stations that are in existence. Once this Act is enacted, there will be no private bus station. The hon. Member of Parliament for Kalomo, Mr Muntanga, said that at one time, the Government had told people to construct bus stations. At no time did the Government instruct any private person to construct a market because the Act is very clear. Even the Market Act that we are repealing today did not allow anybody to establish a market, let alone a bus station. It is correct though to say that the former hon. Ministers of Local Government and Housing used their powers to allow some private operators establish bus stations. I have one in mind that is in Lusaka.

Now, this Act still encourages the private bus stations except, in this case, they have to be in partnership with the local authorities. We are giving a limit of time to ensure that we do not enter into a lease agreement of sixty-five years with private bus operators who do not have the capacity, as we have seen in the past.

Sir, what is going to happen is that the ownership will remain with the private bus operator, but management of that bus station, in terms of the routing system will be done by the Board which consists of both the Government and the private sector. We shall still encourage the private sector, but in partnership with the local authority. I thought I should make that clarification.

Mr Speaker, there is a point which was raised by the Member of Parliament for Lusaka Central. He raised issues of abuse of both powers by another hon. Minister who will come. This Act does not give powers to the hon. Minister. You must note that this is just another Act. There is the main Act which is the Local Government Act that is very clear on the powers of the hon. Minister. There is nothing new in this Act in terms of powers to the hon. Minister. It is just that many a times, people look at other people’s faces and get worried without knowing what they are worrying about.

Sir, I am grateful, especially to the hon. Members on both your right and left who have ably supported this Bill. I am also calling upon all the major political parties that are in this House, PF, MMD, UDA and ULP to ensure that we work together …

Mr Mwila: What about us!

Mrs Masebo: ZRP, of course.

… and advise our cadres so that they know that this Act is not against them, but for their own good. The problem that we have in this country is that we have leaders who, because they want to be Members of Parliament or President in 2011, they politicise an issue even when they know that it is good. They do not want to say the truth. I would like to advise that for once, we should work together as political parties. What is right is right and shall always be right.

Hon. Dr Scott, Member of Parliament for Lusaka Central, was talking about consultations with the Councils. Although Hon. Dr Scott is in Parliament for the second time, he does not seem to understand how systems of the Government work. I appreciate that and would like him to find time to speak to me so that I explain them to him. The powers of the local authority are derived from the Central Government. He must also understand that whatever I take to Cabinet, as hon. Minister, comes from the grassroots, which are the local authorities. I do not guess those things.

When the Government makes a decision at the Central Government level, they cannot go back to consult a local authority. In any case, in as far as issues of Town and Country Planning are concerned, we have not come up with the law. It is already there. All we have done, as a Government, is give political will and support to the local authority to enforce existing laws. Dr Guy Scott was part and parcel of making these laws in this House. It is important that we do not show high levels of ignorance as leaders, especially those of us who are so experienced …

Mr Speaker: Order! May the hon. Minister withdraw the word ‘ignorance’?

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, I am sorry and I withdraw the word ‘ignorance’ and replace it with ‘we should not mislead our people.’

Mr Speaker, let me conclude by stating that I am most grateful for the overwhelming support that your Committee gave to the Markets and Bus Stations Bill and also the support that all hon. Members of Parliament from the PF, MMD, ULP and UDA gave …

Hon. Independent Members: And the Independent!

Mrs Masebo:  … and the Independent Members of Parliament.

Hon. Independent Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: I hope that this support will also be extended to their political parties, including their political leaders.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

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

Committed to a committee of the whole House.

Committee on Thursday, 22nd March, 2007.




VOTE 89/23 – (Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives – Northern Province – Provincial  Agriculture Co-ordinating Office – K10,564,031,338).

(Consideration resumed)

Mr Sikazwe (Chimbamilonga): Madam Chairperson, when business was suspended yesterday, I rose to seek clarification on Sub-head 3, Programme 2, Activity 2 – Procurement and Maintenance – Nil.

When I read through the Yellow Book, I discovered that K6,960,000 was allocated in 2006 for procurement and maintenance. There is no allocation this year. Is there nothing to be maintained or procured in Kaputa District under General Administration?

Mr Kapita: Madam Chairperson, on Sub-head 3, Programme 2, Activity 02 – Procurement and Maintenance, in answering the question on Kaputa and since this question is bound to arise on several districts, I will give the answer to ensure that we do not repeat the same question for the same answer.

Madam Chairperson, firstly, there are no staff such as executive, procurement officers and accountants in Kaputa District and others. All major procurement is, therefore, done at the provincial level or at Mulungushi House that is the ministry headquarters. The ministry will, however, embark on recruitment of staff because we now have Cabinet authority to fill the vacancies. Once this is done, we are going to begin allocating money for all activities at various districts.

Now, in order to ensure that we control expenditure so that money goes to the intended purpose, we do not send money where we have no officers to handle activities such as

The second point is that where figures show significant reductions, it implies that we did a lot of rehabilitation in the previous year. We intend only to maintain the infrastructure this year. Therefore, the expenditure will be less than last year.

Thirdly, for departments such as fisheries, agriculture, co-operatives, livestock and veterinary, staff at provincial level and headquarters will handle issues for districts where there are no staff. This is why we have taken the allocations to service those areas.

Fourthly, as I said, we do not send money where there is no staff.

Madam Chairperson, this is the answer to the question on Kaputa which should be the answer to all those areas where there is no allocation. We have either sent the allocation to the provincial headquarters or Mulungushi House until we get staff. We are now recruiting.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Vote 89/23 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/24 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/25 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/26 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/27 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/28 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/29 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/30 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/31 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/32 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/33 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

VOTE 46/01 – (Ministry of Health – K1,218,289,707,432)

The Minister of Health (Ms Cifire): Madam Chairperson, I wish to thank you for giving me this opportunity to present the Ministry of Health budget to this august House.

The Ministry of Health, which is responsible for the health of all citizens in Zambia, will continue to focus on the health sector reform vision which is to provide Zambians with equity of access to cost effective and quality health services as close to the family as possible. The National Health Strategic Plan 2006 to 2010, which is a Chapter in the Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP) for the period 2006 to 2010, was used as a guide in the preparation of this year’s budget and the Action Plan.

Madam Chairperson, Zambia has continued to experience an increase in the disease burden mainly arising from diseases that are preventable such as malaria, HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis in an environment of high poverty levels estimated at 67 per cent. One of the contributing factors is that the other sectors that have a stake in contributing to the improvement of the health status of the population have had many challenges. For instance, the Ministries of Community Development and Social Services and Local Government and Housing that are responsible for street children, the aged and various community services have had challenges which impact negatively on my ministry which has had to provide treatment to these groups of people.

For a person to be healthy, he or she needs a good environment, nutrition, safe water, good housing and relatively higher literacy levels. However, these services, including world pro-patient and drug transportation are outside the domain of the Ministry of Health.

Madam Chairperson, due to inadequate investment by other sectors, the pressure is being felt by the health sector through the continuous treatment of preventable diseases such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, cholera and, sometimes, to the same population. We have now resorted to the use of expensive drugs such as Coartem for the treatment of malaria, ARVs for HIV/AIDS, and vaccines that have contributed to an increase in the overall expenditure in the sector compared to the expenditure in the 1970s.

Other examples include the construction of irrigation dams. The impact on health should be fully accessed and measures put in place, as this can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes. We should also discourage the mushrooming of unplanned settlements because these have contributed to the increase in the disease burden such as cholera, HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis. In other words, water and sanitation, which is out of the domain of my ministry, must be adequately provided if diseases are to be contained.

Madam Chairperson, I am aware that there have been various complaints from the population and hon. Members of Parliament concerning the way health services are provided. People have complained that there are inadequate drugs and medical supplies, few trained health workers and obsolete equipment in some health institutions.

I wish to indicate that the ministry is responding to some of these complaints within the framework of the National Health Strategic Plan 2006 to 2010 and the Fifth National Development Plan 2006 to 2010. In certain instances, drugs and medical supplies have been available, but some of these drugs cannot be prescribed and dispensed by unqualified staff currently running our health institutions.

Equally, certain types of equipment available in some of our health institutions cannot be operated by unqualified staff. As such, health facilities are not used optimally for the provision of health services.

Pilferage of drugs is also a major challenge in our health institutions that requires the support of hon. Members of Parliament to contain. The group here (UPND) call this Chigunya.

Madam Chairperson, as you may be aware, currently, the ministry is operating at less than 50 per cent capacity. This has been caused by migration of health professionals to other countries. There is also a need to address the issue of behavioural change in the fight against HIV/AIDS because people with money and those in poverty such as prostitutes and street children are contributing to the spread of the pandemic.

Furthermore, the Insecticide Treated Nets (ITNs) distributed countrywide for malaria prevention are abused and used as nets for catching fish and making wedding dresses- Ba Kasongo.

Condoms that are supposed to be used …


Ms Cifire: … to prevent the transmission of HIV/AIDS are now being used as balloons or for making bangles and bicycle valves.


Ms Cifire: Unless the behaviour of our people changes, the Government will continue spending money on the same items every year, thus making it more expensive to provide health services.

Madam Chair, sometimes there is misuse of public resources and pilferage of drugs and commodities in our health institutions. Consequently, the ministry will now involve Provincial Permanent Secretaries, District Commissioners, Councillors and hon. Members of Parliament to assist in monitoring the use of grants that we send to health institutions countrywide and ensure that these funds are only used on implementation of activities in the 2007 Action Plan and not just workshops and allowances.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Cifire: The removal of user fees in the fifty-four rural districts is a challenge. However, the United Kingdom Government through the Department for International Development (DFID) has provided funds to replace the lost revenue. However, there is a need to monitor the use of the funds so that they are used to improve service delivery and not for allowances as is the case at the moment.

Other measures being taken include disciplinary action and staff transfers where necessary in order to strengthen management of funds and health services at all levels.

Madam Chairperson, according to the recommendations of the World Health Organisation Commission’s (WHO) study report on micro-economics and health, a country such as Zambia in sub-Saharan Africa requires a minimum of US $33 per capita to provide minimum basic health services.

Madam chair, despite the numerous challenges cited above, the health sector has made some progress in the implementation of the health reforms vision. Some of the achievements include:

(a) the HIV/AIDS, Sexually Transmitted Disease/Tuberculosis Council that was created to co-ordinate the multi-sectoral response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic has been strengthened and the HIV Policy has since been approved.  The health sector response to HIV/AIDS is progressing well. The Antiretroviral Treatment Programme has particularly faired well and the number of patients on ART has increased from 50,000 in 2005 to 75,000 at the end of 2006.

(b) Success has also been recorded in the control of malaria through various prevention and treatment programmes. The number of insecticide treated nets distributed countrywide increased from one million in 2005 to approximately two million in 2005.

In terms of indoor residual spraying, the coverage increased from eight districts in 2005 to fifteen districts in 2006.

(c) The Cancer Hospital located at the University Teaching Hospital has finally been completed and skilled human resource are being recruited and licensing is being processed for it to become fully operational in order to reduce the number of patients that are being sent abroad for treatment.

(d) In 2006, my ministry continued with its programme of constructing health posts countrywide, bringing the total number under construction to fifty-four of which twenty have since been completed.

In the same vein, work on the construction of district hospitals commenced with three districts, namely Chadiza, Samfya and Mumbwa. Taking into consideration the three district hospitals that were already under construction namely Isoka, Kapiri-Mposhi and Shangombo, the total number of district hospitals under construction is now six. Work is progressing well and more provisions have been made in the 2007 Budget to facilitate the completion of these works.

(e) The ministry has mobilised resources with co-operating partners that will go towards the bulk procurement of drugs and medical supplies for all health institutions in Zambia using a procurement plan.

(f)  In terms of human resources, the ministry has developed a Human Resource Strategic Plan 2006-2010 aimed at addressing the human resource crisis the sector is experiencing. In an effort to implement the plan, Treasury authority was granted to recruit 743 graduates in 2006. In addition, retired health workers were recruited on contract in order to mitigate the human resource crisis.

A retention scheme has been established, beginning with doctors and is being scaled up to other critical cadres using resources from our co-operating partners. 

Madam Chairperson, the ministry also entered into bilateral agreements to recruit relief foreign health workers. Cabinet also approved a new establishment structure for the Ministry of Health that will lead to an increase in the number of health workers from 23,000 to 51,000. An implementation plan has since been developed, but this will depend on the availability of funds.

The ministry has also begun increasing training output by expanding the number of training places available in our training institutions such as, for example, Livingstone Training School. Plans are underway to re-open training schools such as Kaleni, Nchanga and Roan.

Madam Chairperson, I also wish to inform this august House that under the Africa Capacity Building Initiative sponsored by the British Government, programmes are being developed to ensure that our health and training institutions twin with their counterparts in the United Kingdom in order to strengthen capacity here in Zambia. There will also be exchange programmes where health workers from the UK will work in our institutions and exchange expertise with their local counterparts. In addition, we have also come up with a programme to strengthen the regulation of health services in Zambia. Under this programme, regulatory institutions such as the Medical Council of Zambia will twin with their counterparts in the United Kingdom.

Let me go to the highlights of the 2007 Budget. Madam Chairperson, the 2007 health budget is pro-poor and its major objective is to improve access to quality health services by the poor and those in hard to reach areas of the country. It also seeks to improve the quality of services by ensuring that there is adequate supply of essential drugs and medical supplies, laboratory supplies, health infrastructure, appropriate equipment and human resources within the context of the National Health Strategic Plan 2006-2010 under the Fifth National Development Plan 2006-2010.

(a) The share of the 2007 Ministry of Health budget in the total National Budget is 10.7 per cent compared to 10.2 per cent allocated to the ministry last year.

(b) Out of the total Budget of K1.2 trillion for 2007, K392 billion will go towards personal emoluments, out of which K22 billion will be used to recruit an additional 1,900 health workers. There has been an increase in the allocation compared to the K294 billion provided in 2006. However, we are aware that this amount will not be enough to cater for the payment of other emoluments such as long service bonus and leave benefits.

(c) Approximately K148.7 billion will go towards scaling up various public health programmes, including HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and maternal and child health countrywide.

(d) Approximately K210 billion has been allocated to hospitals and district health services to support the provision of various health services. There has been an increase compared to K147 billion allocated in 2006.

(e) K13.8 billion has been provided for operational costs of training health institutions.

(f) Approximately K44.6 billion has been set aside to meet operational costs and personal emoluments for statutory Boards that have been mandated to support the provision of health services through the provision of technical support, regulation and research. This is an increase compared to K37.5 billion allocated in 2006.

(g) In a bid to improve access to quality health services, the Ministry of Health has set aside K96 billion for the construction of district hospitals, rural housing for medical staff and health posts rehabilitation and extension of rural health facilities and training schools under the Ministry of Health, procurement of medical equipment and ambulances for hospitals and districts.

(h) A provision of K147 billion has been made for the procurement of essential drugs and medical supplies, vaccines and ARVs. The huge increase is intended to improve the drug situation in the country. The funds will facilitate bulk procurement of drugs and other supplies, thereby gain from economies of scale. There has been an increase compared to the K44 billion allocated last year.

In conclusion, Madam Chairperson, my ministry will continue to building on the progress made last year and ensure that the fight against HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis is intensified.

The Chairperson: Order!

Business as suspended from 18 15 hours until 1830 hours.

Ms Cifire: Madam Chairperson, before was suspended, I was advancing a point that my ministry will continue to build on the progress made last year and ensure that the fight against HIV and AIDS, malaria and TB is intensified.

We will also continue with the path that we have taken in addressing the human resource crisis within the framework of the National Health Strategic Plan and the Human Resource Strategic Plan.

I wish to request other sectors that have a stake in contributing to the improvement of the health of the nation to play their role in complementing my ministry so that we can, collectively, contain the spread of some of the diseases and poverty.

In the spirit of partnership, I invite all Zambians, Non-Governmental Organisations, political parties, co-operating partners, Members of Parliament and other stakeholders to continue contributing to the health sector for the improvement of our nation’s health. You, hon. Members of Parliament, are critical partners in ensuring that health services are provided through monitoring of the scarce resources in our hospitals and districts.

In addition, you need to ensure that other sectors are also providing the required services so that they do not over burden my ministry.

Lastly, I wish to commend all our co-operating partners for supporting the Government’s effort in increasing the quantity and improving the quality of health services countrywide.

Madam Chairperson, I now request hon. Members of Parliament to support the 2007 budget estimates for my ministry and possibly request that the allocation be increased.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamir (Chitambo): I thank you, Madam Chairperson, for giving me this chance to contribute to this vital ministry. I am sure the hon. Ministers are doing their job, but I am afraid, the problem is in the implementation.

I was shocked to learn that K122 million per month was given to Serenje District Hospital. I wonder why we lack medicines, beddings and food.

Mr Mukanga: Voice!

Mr Hamir: Where is the problem, one wonders? Do we have too many workshops or unnecessary expenses which are swallowing most of our funds? Why are we stuck? Is there someone out there frustrating Government programmes? We can only improve mother Zambia if every citizen gets concerned.

Madam Chairperson, there is a need for a clinic to be built in Chitambo Constituency too. We also need qualified staff. Very few civil servants are willing to work in rural areas. There is a need to boost their morale by giving them facilities such as solar systems and improved conditions of service. What is the point in having more clinics with no expert staff?

Madam Chairperson, clinics that are far from the hospitals need transport. Even a three wheeled baxget can be of great help. I say this because what would happen if there is a complicated case and the clinic is about 100 kilometres away from the main hospital where there are no transport facilities? I am begging the authorities. Let us have a human heart by looking into such priorities.

It is also important to use and expand the District Commissioner’s Office because it seems that many ministries are ignoring or have no regard for the District Commissioner’s Office. I, really, wonder whether the District Commissioner’s Office is used to bring about development. There is a need to use these offices. There is a need to bulldoze.

Madam Chairperson, priority should be patient schemes. I am happy with the hon. Minister who, in her speech, acknowledges most of my concerns. We hope the needful will be done.

I would also like to remind the hon. Minister that she did not mention when Chitambo Nursing Training School would be opened in her speech, although she promised that it would re-open in December. I hope she will do the needful.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Mr C. K. B. Banda (Chasefu): Madam Chairperson, I rise to support the vote on the Ministry of Health.

In supporting the vote, I would like to state that the money allocated to the ministry is very little. It is very little because at the moment, 75,000 people are receiving antiretroviral drugs. However, 75,000 is not much. I think we need to do better in this area. I know it is a good start, but, you see, people are dying everyday. Therefore, it is our responsibility, those of us who are alive, to ensure that this ministry is given a lot of money to purchase antiretroviral drugs.

The Ministry of Health is working under difficult circumstances such that most of the doctors have left the country in search of greener pastures. I think this is one area where the listening Government must do something to ensure that we attract back those doctors that have left the country. You will be doing a noble thing if you allocated a lot of money to this area. This country has trained many people such as doctors. For your own information, the calibre of our locally-trained doctors is very good. Why should we allow a situation where we are losing well-trained doctors to other countries?

Madam Chairperson, my appeal is that the Ministry of Health should set its priorities correctly. We need to retain even those doctors and nurses that we are training now. Those of us representing rural constituencies know that some of the rural health centres do not even have nurses and clinical officers. Some of these rural health centres are manned by office orderlies. I think we can do better than this. My appeal therefore, is that we should allocate a lot of money to this ministry. It is not too late. If you come back with Supplementary Estimates, we will support you because we are here to ensure that you succeed. If you fail, whichever party forms Government after you, will also fail. So, we are here to ensure that we support all those progressive moves which you are taking.

Madam Chairperson, I am happy that some money has been allocated to the construction of hospitals. My hope and prayer is that Lundazi District Hospital, which had an extension programme that stopped as far back as 2001, will this time around be a beneficiary. Lundazi is a very big district and believe you me, I am surprised that the listening New Deal Government has paid a blind eye to this expansion programme that initiated.

My appeal to the Ministry of Health is to ensure that people are kept happy. We, people from Eastern Province are complaining about a lot of things that I need not mention. We also need the support and the Ministry of Health who should take the lead. We need to have that district hospital expanded. I have seen the money and I hope there is something for us. I need not be ashamed because we are here to ensure that the national cake is shared properly.

Madam Chairperson, we have problems in many countries because of greed and the inability to share the national cake appropriately. Money has been allocated to the Ministry of Health. Therefore, I am appealing to the Ministry of Health to construct health posts in rural parts of the Eastern Province. In Chasefu Constituency, we have very few Rural Health Centres. My appeal is that this time around, we also need a share of that cake. If you do not give us a share of the cake, I will be retained because I will have a lot to sensitise my people on. Make sure that this time around, you deliver.

I am also happy that the Ministry of Health, although working under very difficult circumstances, is trying its best to share the little that it has. The point I want to make is that there are certain parts of this country which are not receiving a fair share of the national cake. My appeal is that you technocrats, as you go back to your offices, ensure that you …

The Chairperson: Order! You are not addressing any technocrats here.

Mr C. K. B. Banda: I am much obliged, Madam Chairperson. My appeal to the Ministry of Health, through the hon. Minister, is that they should ensure that each part of this country receives a fair share of the money that is allocated to the ministry. Some parts of this country have very few people who are receiving Anti-Retroviral Treatment and this is a fact. Where are the statisticians? My appeal is that this time around, let every part of Zambia benefit because all of us are Zambians. Do not make us hate Zambia because of neglect.

Madam, without any hesitation, I agree that this ministry deserves more money. The hon. Minister should not be ashamed to come back with a request for Supplementary Estimates and we shall support her.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Mr Kasongo (Bangweulu): Madam Chairperson, I rise to support the vote for the Ministry of Health. I would also like to begin by congratulating the hon. Minister on her appointment as Minister of Health. The same kind words can be extended to our hon. Deputy Minister of Health. It is my sincere hope that the two hon. Ministers, together with the top managers in the Ministry of Health, will do their best to transform the Ministry of Health into one of the most attractive ministries. I think this is a challenge we are faced with. At the moment, the Ministry of Health is considered one of the most unattractive ministries because of the problems obtaining there. I have no doubt that if you work as a team with your managers, you will have all the managerial competences and you will be able to achieve your goals.

Madam Chairperson, the question of shortage of staff, especially doctors and other medical personnel, has always been a major concern to the people of Zambia. The moment you are admitted to any hospital or clinic, you do not even know whether you will come back home alive. In fact, this kind of environment presented itself when one of the former Deputy Ministers took a patient to the University Teaching Hospital (UTH). He was forced to wait for hours on end until he decided to introduce himself officially to the workers at UTH. He had to tell them to attend to him because he was a Deputy Minister. He was then informed that there was nothing they could do because they lacked personnel.

Madam Chairperson, that is a challenge on the part of the hon. Minister of Health. She should ensure that she trains as many doctors and medical personnel as possible. If that is not done, even the concept of achieving the Millennium Development Goals will be a pipe dream. I am happy to say that these problems have been acknowledged by the Head of State. On Page 41 of the President’s Speech to this House, His Excellency the President did acknowledge the fact that there was a shortage of doctors in the country. Most of them are leaving for greener pastures. Even nurses are not available.

 I would like to appeal to the hon. Minister to take advantage of this acknowledgement by the Head of State to ensure that the ministry is sufficiently funded. For example, if you are not going to get sufficient funds to attract as many doctors or any medical personnel as possible, I am afraid even your programmes will not be implemented.

Madam Chairperson, even transport in our country has now become a rare commodity, so to speak. You will see a lot of patients being ferried to clinics and hospitals on wheelbarrows. Patients are being ferried to clinics and hospitals on beds directly from the bedroom because transport is not available.

Mr D. Mwila: Shame!

Mr Kasongo: Hon. Minister, these are challenges that you should address as quickly as possible. There are so many windows of opportunities that you can pursue for you to achieve these objectives. It is very saddening. For example, where is our pride as a Government, Cabinet Ministers and other officials, when we are seen driving posh vehicles when we are escorting our Head of State to the airport and on our way, we meet patients being ferried to hospitals and clinics on wheelbarrows? Where is our pride as a Government?

Mr Kambwili: Bebe mudala, bebe!

Mr Kasongo: Madam Chairperson, when we are attending state functions, we drive the latest vehicles and in long convoys, but only to see a patient being ferried to the hospital or clinic on a bed which is a shame on the part of that patient. Where is our pride?

Madam Chairperson, for example, where is our pride when patients are asked to buy panadol? Where is our pride as a Government? These are challenges which should compel all hon. Ministers to assist the hon. Minister of Health in order to address these problems sufficiently.

My dear new arrivals, there is nothing like being a student when you are a politician. You will face this challenge the moment this House adjourns. You will be compeled to go back to your constituencies and you will be exposed to all these weaknesses and so on. These are sad stories.

In your respective constituencies, you will see all these experiences where patients are taken to the hospitals on bicycles.

Mr Kambwili: Wheelbarrows!

Mr Kasongo: This is very common, especially in the Eastern Province where patients are ferried on bicycles.

Madam Chairperson, what I am saying is that concerted efforts must be made to assist the hon. Minister of Health to succeed in her new role. You should not offload this heavy load on her alone. All of you, as members of the Cabinet, should see to it that a lot of resources are shifted to the Ministry of Health.

Mr Kambwili: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: It is pathetic. Sometimes, one becomes emotional when he or she realises whether it is even healthy to be a parliamentarian in your own constituency where you see patients being ferried on wheelbarrows to hospitals. Within a short time, you see GRZ vehicles going to drum up support for a person who is standing for a by-election., and yet most of the time, people are dying.

If you went to the UTH today, you would notice that at the moment, UTH has eight operating theatres, but very few are working. Those that are working …

Mr Kambwili: Are dead.

Mr Kasongo:… are not operating at full capacity because there is no personnel. There is nothing.

Patients who have been admitted to the UTH with a view to being taken to theatre have to wait for about six or seven months. I would like to challenge anybody to go to any ward and ask those patients how long they have been waiting for a doctor to take them to the operating theatre. They will tell you that they have been there for over six, seven or even eight months, and yet they have not even been taken to the operating theatre.

You cannot blame management at UTH because this is an issue which is supposed to be addressed by the Government of the day. There are no doctors or nurses at UTH. Even the countries that are floating the concept of IMF and the World Bank are the same countries that are stealing our medical personnel. They are taking our nurses and doctors to the UK, America and other places in Europe. Yet, these are the same people who are asking us to sacrifice our health personnel with no recruitment so that we can qualify to the HIPC Completion Point. Meanwhile, they have opened a door and they are allowing our own nurses to be trekking to their respective countries.

Madam Chairperson, these are serious challenges that we are facing as a nation. Therefore, my earnest appeal to the Government of the day is that they should allow the hon. Minister of Health to succeed. The only way she can succeed is by this Government giving her a lot of financial resources for her to meet all these challenges.

Mr Kambwili: Voka mudala voka!

Mr Kasongo: Madam Chairperson, there are minor illnesses that can be attended to within a short time, but we are failing to do this because we do not have qualified personnel in our respective clinics and hospitals. Consequently, the mortality rate in our country is alarming, whereas, in other countries, I will make a comparison by quoting from the book which was prepared by the UN and I quote:

“A person in Japan can live up to eighty-two years or more.”

Madam Chairperson, in fact, that is the minimum period one can at least survive, yet in our country, we are dying at the age of twelve or fifteen. This is not because of HIV/AIDS. AIDS is a disease which has just come simply because some people are careless. Many people are dying of malaria and minor illnesses. These are challenges that should be addressed as quickly as possible.

Madam Chairperson, in my opening remarks, I said that I had confidence in the hon. Minister of Health, her Deputy Minister and all managers who are surrounding her, but there is nothing that she can deliver in the absence of financial resources. She cannot.

Madam Chairperson, I was privileged to work with her when she was with ZESCO. There is another witness here, Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Hon. Konga. Together, we transformed ZESCO into the most profitable organisation within ninety days. They are here. They can prove me wrong or right.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: They were my managers at the time. Within ninety days, we transformed ZESCO into the most profitable organisation. I know that they have confidence in her. She can meet these challenges, but in the absence of financial resources from this Government, I am afraid, she will be a limping minister.

Madam Chairperson, according to the President’s Speech, on page 42, from this year, the Ministry of Health will begin recruiting personnel. The target is that we are going to move from 16,900 to 51,000. This ambitious programme needs a lot of money. In the absence of money, these will just remain figures.

Finally, the hon. Minister has informed the nation, through this House, that a number of hospitals will be constructed in Kaputa, Lufwanyama and many other places. I would like to appeal to her to ensure that this vision is translated into action. The people of Kaputa and Lufwanyama are looking forward to the hospitals.

Finally, again, …


Mr Kasongo: Madam Chairperson, I wish to record my appreciation to the Government of the day, through the Ministry of Health, for having started constructing Samfya District Hospital. I am humbled by their support.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: I also want to support the person who initiated that project, Hon. Chituwo. When I wrote to him he responded along with his Permanent Secretary. I owe my loyalty to all of them. I would like to ask that you keep funding that institution. It is a national project and you will see the results for yourselves. Construction work has started and I am humbled.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

The Minister for Lusaka Province (Mr Shawa): Madam Chairperson, I would like to thank you for allowing me to debate in support of this very important budget for the Ministry of Health.

Right from the onset, I would like to mention that this budget has shown a high degree of pragmatism and dynamism in that it is showing some level of growth. This issue requires very minimal debate and I am encouraged that already there is support coming from the other side.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shawa: This is very important.

Mr Mwenya: Do not talk on our behalf!

Mr Kambwili: Tuleilandila fwebene!

Mr Shawa: Madam Chairperson, I would like to say that this is a very important ministry because it hinges on life and death. This ministry knows no political party. Matters of health know no creed. These matters affect all of us and, therefore, we need to support very highly this ministry.

I would like to thank the hon. Minister of Health for her support. Recently, we had floods in the province and all the parts were affected; Kafue, Chongwe, Luangwa and, indeed, areas of Shikabeta. I wish to state that you responded at a supersonic speed …

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Shawa: … to assist the people of Luangwa in that you airlifted medical kits to help the people at Katondwe who would have died without your support.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shawa: We need to commend this Government in that …

The Chairperson: Order!

It will be very unfortunate for this House to eject any Member for shouting from their seat. If we do not change, it will be done because this cannot just continue. We are deteriorating into a House of disorder and nobody wants to be associated with that. Let us, for once, learn to listen to the debate of other people in an honourable manner that is expected in this House. Let me request hon. Members not to continuously run commentaries on those that are debating. It disturbs the debater and the Chair. Concentration is disturbed just because of a few individuals. Can this word of advice be taken seriously, please?

Can the Hon. Minister, please, continue?

Mr Shawa: Madam Chairperson, I know that words such as ‘thank you,’ and ‘congratulations’ are very difficult to articulate, but it is very important that we commend the New Deal Administration for making it possible for people in rural areas to access free medical services.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shawa: All of you that are affected should be thankful and I believe that the Minister of Health and the New Deal Administration need to be commended for this.

Madam Chairperson, when we talked about cholera, somebody mentioned Lusaka. I wish to state that I am very proud to say that in Lusaka Province, all the rural districts of Kafue, Chongwe and, indeed, Luangwa were never affected by cholera. Cholera only attacked us here in Lusaka. Compounds such as George, Chunga, Chipata, Garden, John Laing and Kanyama were hit by this disease.

Madam Chairperson, we have taken measures in that 63,405 toilets have been limed. We received about 6,600 bags of lime from UNICEF and we are very grateful to them.

Madam Chairperson, I wish to state that from 12th October, 2006 to 14th March a number of people were affected by cholera. Those that passed through medical centres or the health facilities were 1,376. Nineteen people died from cholera and thirteen were brought in dead (BID). So, out of all the districts which were affected in the nation- I cannot talk about other districts, I will talk about my province- Lusaka constituted 60 per cent in terms of those that were affected by cholera.

Madam Chairperson, we are very grateful to ZESCO and the Zambia National Red Cross that supported us by providing boxes of chlorine to save lives in all these areas that were affected. We have undertaken education campaigns all over the compounds so that our people are sensitised in observing basic health procedures. This is very important. As Lusaka Province, we would like to thank the Ministry of Health for the wonderful job they have done with their staff in Lusaka. At the moment we only have sixty two people that are admitted to our medical centres that are waiting to be treated and I know that most of them will be cleared and very soon we might forget about the issue of cholera.

Madam Chairperson, prevention is better than cure and cleanliness is next to Godliness. Lusaka City leaves much to be desired in terms of cleanliness. All of us here, including all hon. Members must begin a campaign in Lusaka Province. We need to carry out an education campaign to keep our city clean because at the moment, people throw litter anyhow. We have empty bottles all over the city because people throw them anyhow even when they are on buses.

Madam Chairperson, I would like to thank mostly the Government departments that have planted grass and flowers to contribute to the beauty of the city. Others are just watching, we need to go back to our policy of making Lusaka a garden city. We must not leave Lusaka dirty. Therefore, we need to educate our people on these issues.

Madam Chairperson, I need to state that the Minister of Health has done a wonderful job of distributing mosquito nets in most of rural areas and health centres. A lot of people have appreciated this and we have seen the rate of malaria attacks going down. This is very important and we need to commend the Government for this. It is a pity that some of our colleagues, my cousins, unfortunately- I do not like pointing fingers, who have settled in other rural areas – when I say my cousins, you know them because they are skilled in fishing, but unfortunately, they are using mosquito nets for this.


Mr Shawa: This is very sad. I have talked about observance of basic rules of hygiene or health. We can definitely spend less and less money on health or medical services if all of us observe basic rules of hygiene.

Madam Chairperson, may I ask how many of us go for medical check ups regularly? We do not observe that, and yet we are supposed to go for medical check ups. That is very important. These are issues which we are not even supposed to argue about because they are very important.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shawa: I leave it up to you because health matters are personal, anyway. Medical check ups are very important.

Madam Chairperson, another area of concern is our eating habits. Our eating culture has changed.


Mr Shawa: There is now a culture where people have a gargantuan appetite for meat. There is high meat consumption. People do not want to consume vegetables that are protective foods. We must look at this very carefully. Even the consumption of fruit is important. These are basic dietary issues that will help us so that we do not compel the Ministry of Health to have a big budget.

With regard to water drinking, basic rules state that we must take eight glasses of water a day, but we take eight glasses or more of Mosi. While it contains some water, it also affects our brain. This is unhealthy. That is why a number of people are suffering from psychological disorders of incongruity.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Shawa: We must ensure that the number of patients at Chainama Hospital is reduced. We should reduce the number of people going there.

Madam Chairperson, exercise is also very important.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shawa: There are people who do not even exercise here.


Mr Shawa: One Bemba man says they exercise at night. I do not know what exercise he is talking about, but we need to exercise.


Mr Shawa: I know that, sometimes, we are deceived by the size of our bodies. Chingangu defeated Galagata recently and these are huge guys. Some of us exercise and are very energetic and strong.


Mr Shawa: Our health record is super.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shawa: Some of the people who do not exercise and only commit themselves to that other exercise, will be clients of the Ministry of Health. They will be assisted with herbs to reach my level.


Mr Shawa: Madam Chairperson, the last thing I would like to say is that, in our areas, we have co-operating partners and these are the traditional healers. We also have another component of traditional healers. Traditional healers can help and that is why the Ministry of Health has allowed research on some components of their medicine. However, that research must not only concentrate on Anti Retroviral Drugs (ARVs) or cures for HIV/AIDS. Let us also go deeper to research on other medicines that we have for diseases such as diarrhoea and coughing; medicines that can cure lymphoglalioma inguinal.


Mr Shawa: We need these. I know it is only Dr Puma who can know that word.

Madam Speaker, let us help each other not to allow witchdoctors in our constituencies. Witchdoctors have brought a lot of division. Witchdoctors have brought a lot of problems. They are dehumanising people and are tricksters. They are using tricks to dehumanise our people and impoverish them by getting food, goats, maize and even household goods.

Hon. Government Member: Namalata.

Mr Shawa: Namalata kukasuba, so the official tells me.

Madam Chairperson, we need to ensure that we discourage witchdoctors in our areas.

I would like to thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Ms Kapata (Mandevu): Thank you, Madam Chairperson, for the opportunity given to me to join others in contributing to the debate on the vote for the budget for the Ministry of Health.

Madam Chairperson.

Madam Deputy Chairperson: Order!

(Debate adjourned)



[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress reported)




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

The House adjourned at 1917hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 22 March, 2007.