Debates- Tuesday, 20th March, 2007

Printer Friendly and PDF


Tuesday, 20th March, 2007

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






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

I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!




Minister of Education (Professor Lungwangwa): Mr Speaker, I rise to make a ministerial statement on the 2006 Grade 12 Joint School Certificate and General Certificate Examinations (GCE) Results.

I wish to inform the nation that my ministry has now completed the processing of 2006 Grade 12 School Certificate and General School Certificate of Education Examinations.

The analysis of these results is as follows:

Candidates entered for the Examinations
  Boys ― 27,091
  Girls ― 19,411
Total ― 45,506

Candidates who sat for the examinations

 Boys ― 26,478
 Girls ― 18,890
 Total ― 45,368

Candidates with full certificates

 Boys  ― 17,017
 Girls ― 10,773
 Total  ― 27,790

Candidates with GCE Certificates

 Boys  ― 8,948
 Girls  ―  7,729
 Total  ― 16,677

Candidates who failed the examinations

 Boys   ― 513
 Girls  ― 388
 Total  ― 901

Candidates who were absent

 Boys  ― 613
 Girls ― 521

 Total ― 1,134

Mr Speaker, the performance of candidates in the 2006 Examinations shows that 61.3 per cent of the candidates obtained full certificates in 2006 compared to 56.9 per cent in 2005. 36.75 per cent of the candidates obtained General Certificate of Education in 2006 compared to 40.43 per cent in 2005, and 2.40 per cent of the candidates were absent from the examination in 2006 compared to 2.08 per cent in 2005.

Mr Speaker, fifteen schools recorded 100 per cent pass rate. Ten of these are Church-run schools and five are private-run schools. These schools are as follows:

Northern Province

St Francis Secondary School

Luapula Province

 St. Charles Lwanga Secondary School

Southern Province

 Canisius Secondary school;
Lwengu Secondary School (PVT);
Mukasa Minor Seminary; and
Nakambala Private School.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, that is wonderful!

Eastern Province

 St. Monica’s Secondary School; and
Chongololo Secondary School.

Copperbelt Province

 Fatima Girls Secondary Schools;
Ibenga Girls Secondary Schools;
St. Johns Convent School;
Sacred Heart Convent;
Kalulushi Trust School; and
Mpelembe Secondary School.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Lusaka Province

 Kasisi Girls Secondary School

Mr Speaker, North-Western, Central and Western provinces had no schools with 100 per cent pass.

Hon. PF Members: Shame!

Mr Speaker, twenty-five candidates were involved in examination malpractices in the 2006 Examinations compared to sixty-eight in the 2005 Examinations. The nature of malpractices were largely those of candidates being assisted by someone, theft of question papers prior to writing and smuggling of materials into the examination rooms.

Sir, the reduction in the number malpractice cases was a result of stringent measures that the ministry adopted to curb this negative vice in the education system. Schools were closely monitored during the whole examinations period by standards officers at all levels and other interested key stakeholders in quality education delivery in the country.

Mr Speaker, individual statements can be obtained from schools and examination centres where the candidates sat for the examinations. No results will be given from the Ministry of Education headquarters or the Examinations Council of Zambia.

Mr Speaker I beg to move.

Hon. Members: Hear, Hear!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members may now ask questions on points of clarification contained in the statement by the hon. Minister of Education.

Mr Imenda (Lukulu East): Thank you Sir. We would like to find out why there is no 100 per cent pass recorded in schools in the Western Province and the North Western Province.

Professor Lungwangwa: There are a number of factors which deal with the teaching related environment. Availability of teachers, educational materials and other factors contribute eventually to the outcome in the performance of children. However, in education circles, we have what we call a normal curve. On the one hand, we can have extreme pass rates and on the other hand, we can have lower pass rates.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr. C. K. Banda (Chasefu): Sir, may the hon. Minister of Education tell the House why there is no 100 per cent pass mark in all Government schools? Is it because of poor teaching or lack of educational and teaching materials?

Professor Lungwangwa: As I pointed out earlier, there are number of factors that contribute to this particular phenomenon that has emerged. Of course, private schools and the Church-run schools have a number of factors which contribute to high performance. Availability of teachers is one of them. Furthermore, educational materials, pupil-teacher ratios, the general environment and the teaching-learning environment are all factors which contribute to their high performance. Most of our Government schools have a number of challenges which border on these various factors that are important for the performance of the children. Even matters of discipline are part of factors contributing to high performance and I know  that we are all very much aware that most of the private and the Church-run schools institute very high disciplinary measures among the children. There are a number of variables which contribute to the variances in performance across the different types of schools.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chilembo (Chama North): Thank you, Sir. May I know if they will be able to absorb all the pupils who passed the examinations into colleges? If that will not be possible, may I know what measures the hon. Minister is putting in place for the future to ensure that all the pupils that passed can get into institutions of higher learning?

Professor Lungwangwa: We have a number of colleges which cut across all the different ministries. For example, the Ministry of Health has a number of health institutions which absorb school leavers. The Ministry of Education does have a number of institutions which absorb school leavers. The Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training has a number of such institutions, including private run institutions, and also the Ministry of Agriculture. So, clearly…

Hon. Government Member: Ministry of Tourism!

Professor Lungwangwa: I am also being informed of the Ministry of Tourism. Clearly, most of our school leavers, those who pass, do eventually find places in various training programmes across different levels within our tertiary education sector. However, in terms of long term measures, the ministry is considering expanding the tertiary education sector, especially with the assistance of private investment. This will see more and more of our school leavers access various types of training at the levels of acceptable quality.

The short term goal is to turn Zambia into a centre of excellence in education and technology training. This is what we are working at.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kanyanyamina (Kanchibiya): Is the hon. Minster of Education aware that the picture painted about Northern Province having poor rating and passing mark for Grade 10 was due to the negligence of the Government because results are still in a mess? Can the hon. Minister say something about because that is very bad for the province?

Professor Lungwangwa: We are presenting Grade 12 examination results…


Professor Lungwangwa: … and I was expecting a comment on the Grade 12 Examination results. Nevertheless, if the hon. Member wishes to have some information on the Grade 10 Examination results, which were presented a few weeks ago, we can supply that information.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): I thank you, Sir. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Education if he consents with the fact that his results are becoming pro-urban. Our rural people are eventually being left behind in these results.

Professor Lungwangwa: Sir, it is not quite correct to say that the results are pro-urban. Our analysis of the results indicate that Southern Province is actually the best in the overall performance of the Grade 12 school leavers, last year and this year, consecutively. Therefore, it is not quite correct to say that the results are pro- urban.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Masiye (Mufulira): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister inform the House how many scholarships the ministry has available for the school leavers to study…


Hon Members: Order!

Ms Mwamba crossed the floor.


Ms Masiye: …how many scholarships are available for the school leavers to study abroad?

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, I cannot say precisely how many scholarships will be available next year for students going to study abroad but we have that provision in our bursaries. We do sponsor or support students who are studying abroad although that depends on the budget for the year.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Malama (Mfuwe): Mr Speaker, what measures has the hon. Minister taken on those pupils who were caught with written answers for examination questions? I would also like to find out whether any teacher was involved.

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, normally such cases are handed over to the police. The process has started as reported in the papers not long time ago.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, thank you for catching your eye. Sir, I would like to find out why the certificates for Grade 12 take so long to produce and what the Government is doing about the high number of forged Grade 12 certificates.

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, I am not quite sure whether the certificates take that long to be released.

Mr Kambwili: If you are not sure, then you do not have children!

Professor Lungwangwa: Probably it is a matter of individual cases where certain individuals take long to collect their certificates.

As far as the other question is concerned, I am not quite sure whether he meant ‘high’ or ‘eye,’ …


Professor Lungwangwa: … forged certificates. The question was not clear.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister, arising from his own admission that the quality of results from Government schools may be a result of many factors including discipline, what this Government is doing to change the pattern so that the Government schools can also attain results to equal those of private schools?

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, a number of interventions are currently being pursued.

Firstly, it is the recruitment of teachers at high school level as we give attention to the recruitment of teachers for high schools. We give a lot of attention to the training of our members of staff at this level, in addressing a number of factors which are important in the quality of education provision. We carry out inspections and we have taken measures to ensure that our District Education Board Secretaries (DEBS) and District Education Standards Officers (DESO) are mobile, so that they can carry out routine inspections in our schools. So, all these are interventions that we have put in place and we continue to put in place in order to ensure that children who are attending Government schools perform at the highest possible levels.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwenya (Nkana): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister about the gradual increase in the number of pupils who sat for Grade 12 last year, or whether the numbers are stagnant or very minimal. What measures is the ministry putting in place to make sure that they create more places for the pupils?

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, expansion of education facilities at high school level is one of the factors we have paid attention to. There are quite a number of new schools that are coming up that have expanded access to high school education as we are progressively expanding the high school sector. Therefore, the number of pupils that sat for examinations last year is slightly higher when compared to 2005 and we expect slightly higher numbers as we progress. As a ministry, that is a matter we are giving attention to. We know very well that the expansion of high school education was constrained in the past, but now the Government has taken measures to expand this sector.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sejani (Mapatizya): Mr Speaker, would the hon. Minister explain why pupils of these private schools, in spite of posting very good marks and passing with flying colours, drop out when they get to university and higher institution of learning? Many of them end up being redirected. What is the reason?

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, Hon. Sejani’s question is too general. I wish he was a bit more specific. However, if you look at the rate of redirection at the universities, it would have been better if we had statistics to inform us as to the proportions of redirected students at first or second year level across the different school types in the country. That would be more informative than a general statement like that. However, there are a number of factors which contribute to a student failing in their first, second, third or fourth year at the university. Some of these factors could be personal reasons or academic or general university environment which is much freer compared to a secondary school environment. There are a number of factors which contribute to the redirection of students in the university. Therefore, it would have been more helpful to have more specific facts cutting across the school types in the country.

I thank you, Sir.

Major Chizhyuka (Namwala): Mr Speaker, I just wanted to find out from the hon. Minister of Education, who is a respected traditional cousin, the reasons why there was such a low pass rate in Western Province. Could one of the reasons be that the province, particularly Nalikwanda, which boasted of luminaries like the late Mufaya Mumbuna and Fines Liboma and, indeed, the Professor himself, was due to the demise of the hundreds of thousands of cattle …


Major Chizhyuka: … from the a disease known as Contagious Bovine Pleural Pneumonia (CBPP), and that because there is no milk any more, which is an important ingredient for the brain, …


Major Chizhyuka: … hence the backlash on Western Province which we have always known to be the seat of education?


Mrs Masebo entered the Assembly Chamber.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: I am not sure whether I should direct that question to the hon. Minister of Education or the hon. Minister of Local and Housing.


Dr Machungwa (Luapula): In the ministerial statement, the hon. Minister has indicated that the success rates at Form Five level is much higher this time and he has also indicated, in answer to supplementary questions, that the numbers of students getting out of the high school system will be increasing. In view of this, has the hon. Minister in conjunction with his colleague, the Minister of Science, Technology and Vocational Training, started looking at increasing the number of places at tertiary level so that more and more of these successful students can find places there for training?

Mr Speaker: The hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing, answer the question. Aaa!


Mr Speaker: Correction!


Mr Speaker: I have to correct this. I was calling on the hon. Minister of Education.


Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, expansion at the tertiary education level is what the Ministry of Education, and Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training are planning to do.

Mr Speaker, as I pointed out, we have plans to expand the tertiary education sector in joint partnership with the private sector so that we can avail our people with more opportunities for training in diverse areas in line with the Fifth National Development Plan as well as Vision 2030 which considers human resource development as extremely important in pushing forward the goal of wealth creation and employment generation.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.




368. Mr Chitonge (Mwansabombwe) asked the Minister of Defence:

(a) How many male and female Zambian soldiers were sent on peace-keeping missions abroad from 1995 to 2006;

(b) how many male and female soldiers died while on peace-keeping missions in the period above and how much was paid out as compensation; and

(c) what benefits the Zambian Government has derived from the above activity.

The Deputy Minister of Defence (Mr Akakandelwa): Mr Speaker, a total number of 7,989 male and 367 female Zambian soldiers were sent on peace keeping missions abroad from 1995 to 2006.

A total number of one female and thirty nine male soldiers died while on peace keeping missions from 1995 to 2006 and a total sum of US$1,030,500 was paid out as compensation from the year 2000 to 2003. Summary of the details will be laid on the Table.

The Zambian Government has derived the following benefits:

(a) International exposure; and

(b) knowledge in conflict management.

Mr Speaker, the money received has assisted the Zambia Army in infrastructure development in terms of renovations, building of new houses, purchase of utility vehicles, uniforms and many other items including the purchase of United Nations major equipment.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what criteria are used in choosing officers and soldiers to serve on peace keeping missions abroad.

Mr Akakandelwa: Mr Speaker, the command decides which contingent should be sent on those peace keeping missions abroad.

I thank you, Sir.


369. Mr C K B Banda (Chasefu) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives:

(a) When the Government would repair Chaboli and Tigone Dams and the other dams in the Chasefu and Lundazi Parliamentary constituencies which were washed away a decade ago; and

(b) when cattle dip-tanks would be constructed in the Chasefu Parliamentary Constituency.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Kalenga): Mr Speaker, every year, the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives provides funds for dam construction and rehabilitation in its annual work plans and budgets, especially for drought prone areas.

Communities of Chasefu Parliamentary Constituency should make a request to the District Agricultural Co-ordinator’s office (DACO) for the repair of Chaboli and Tigone dams.

Mr Speaker, construction of livestock disease control structures such as dip-tanks is demand driven and constructed mainly for the control of tick-borne diseases such as East Coast Fever. Currently, there are no plans to construct dip-tanks in Chasefu Parliamentary Constituency. However, communities in need of dip tanks in the area should contact the District Agricultural Co-ordinator’s Office (DACO) for additional information and facilitation.

I thank you, Sir.




VOTE 44 − (Ministry of Labour and Social Security − K16,375,818,658).

(Consideration resumed)

Mr D. Mwila (Chipili): Madam Chairperson, I will begin by saying that, as hon. Members, we should support the allocation to this Ministry because most of the people who are suffering are workers.

Madam Chairperson, in supporting the ministry’s budget, I want to start by saying that the allocation is not adequate. There are labour laws, which are in place, that are not being observed by employers, including the Government.

Secondly, there are labour laws which need to be amended and there are no laws to protect the workers of this country. The laws can only be changed through what is called the Tripartite Consultative Council. That council is made up of the Government, employers and unions. Last year, K533,000,000 was allocated to the Tripartite Consultative Council. The question is, “How many times did they meet?” If you look at this year’s allocation - even though it does not show under the Tripartite Consultative Council, it falls under the Social Dialogue - it is K156,000,000.

Madam Chairperson, the laws have to be changed in this country. I am talking about the labour laws which are bad to the workers. The Ministry of Labour and Social Security must justify why only K156,000,000 has been allocated. I am told that, already, they have met one or two times. I do not know whether they continue will meeting because we have not seen any Bill that has come to this House for amendment.

Madam Chairperson, I want to start with the infrastructure. If you went to the offices of the labour officers, you would cry. The offices are dirty and the furniture there was bought by Dr Kaunda. I want to thank him for that because if he had not bought those chairs, the labour officers were now going to be sitting on the floor. This is a shame. There is need for us to give them enough money. We also have to talk about the conditions of service for labour officers who are poverty stricken.

Madam Chairperson, I want to repeat that this Government is a bad employer. They have to change their attitude towards workers. The labour officers are dealing with companies that are making profits in dollars like Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) and Mopani. How do you expect them to inspect employers violating the laws when they are poverty stricken and you are paying them K800,000?

Hon. PF Members: Shame!

Mr D. Mwila: That is a shame. There must be a change by this Government towards the workers. All the workers in the Government are poverty stricken. We cannot allow that. Some people are even laughing, Madam Chairperson.

How do you expect them to operate if they have no transport? I don’t know whether the hon. Minister or his ministry has ever visited these offices to check on how they are working. The whole ministry is in shambles. Yes, we have the technocrats who are very intelligent, like PS Chisupa, but what we are lacking is the political will. The politicians, who are sitting there, must jack up their standards.

Madam Chairperson, how do they check on the companies which are violating the laws? The workers of this country have suffered a lot. Secondly, we are talking about the conditions of the workers in these companies and these labour officers cannot go there and inspect what is happening. These companies, especially the mining companies, are making a lot of profits. They have to check how much the workers are getting compared to the profits the companies are making.

Madam Chairperson, if the Government cannot work to the expectations of the workers, where are we heading? This ministry is dormant. It is dead. That is the reason they did not vote for them on the line of rail. Their policies on labour laws are bad.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mwila: They are extremely bad. Sometimes I wonder if we have got a government. Yes, I wonder if we have a Ministry of Labour and Social Security – maybe, you want me to put it that way. There are disparities in salaries between the expatriates and the local Zambians. An expatriate, who is an engineer, is getting US $10,000 while a Zambian is getting US $1,000, which is about K4,000,000. It is the job of that ministry to ensure that the disparity is not there. If the Government cannot act on that, who is going to? They have to do their job. That is why they were elected into Government. We are there to advise, not to do their job. It is a pity that as long as we retain this Government, the workers of this country will continue suffering, the way they have continued suffering. They think paying a labour officer K700,000 is enough. It is shame.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, Hear!

Mr D. Mwila: Employing of expatriates is done at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and, sometimes, they even go and shout at the employers as if they are the ones who brought them. Employment is controlled through the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. This ministry must change its approach. Even for the jobs which can be done by Zambians, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security brings in expatriates.

Hon. PF Members: Drivers!

Mr D. Mwila:  I was saying that it is the political will which is lacking, and they have no apology to make. They have to change their approach.

Madam Chairperson, for the inspection of social security schemes, they have budgeted for K30,000,000. This ministry has concentrated on the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA), not knowing that in the mining industry, there are other pension schemes. I was saying that under the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development, that is where this agreement was signed, where the Government allowed the investors to set up their own pension schemes. This resulted in killing our own pension schemes.

I will give you an example of Mukuba Pension Scheme. How much does the Government owe Mukuba Pension Scheme after the privatisation? You do not need K29.7 billion. The Mukuba Pension Scheme is dying and the people in the Government are seated there quietly and comfortably.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hammer!

Mr D. Mwila: Madam Chairperson, the Government owes Mukuba Pension Scheme K2.2 billion and Mopani Copper Mines owes Mukuba Pension Scheme K7.9 billion. Therefore, you need to be reminded. It is a pity they did not bring PF into Government.

PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D Mwila: So, they will continue suffering up to 2011 because this Government does not care about workers’ problems.


Mr D. Mwila: Kwaliba quality kuno mudala.

On the formation of unions, it is this Government, through the current laws, which has allowed too many unions to exist in this country. How do you have four or six unions in Government? How do you negotiate with 100 people? Firstly, it is unproductive but, maybe, they do not know that. Secondly, how do you finish the negotiations? As we are talking, the Government is negotiating. According to the laws of this country, negotiations are supposed to start three months before the expiry of the collective agreement. The civil servants’ collective agreement expired on 31st December and a new one was supposed to start on 1 January. What is the date today? To begin with, you create anxiety. That is how you bring strikes. It is because of the wrong procedure of negotiating. How do you negotiate for six months and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security is watching? That is unacceptable. The hon. Minister came here and gave a ministerial statement that a minimum wage can only be reviewed after two years. Which law was he talking about? K268,000 is peanuts. They must be reminded that K265,000 of the minimum wage is for the workers who do not belong to the unions. It is only this Government which can protect the workers and they think K268,000 is a lot of money. That is unacceptable. They have to review the law and I am talking about the minimum wage. A Bill must come to this House to be debated so that the workers can be given a meaningful salary.

Hon. Opposition Member interjected.

Mr D. Mwila: He knows what I am talking about. He was the President of Zambia United Financial Institutions and Allied Workers Union (ZUFIAWU). I have to talk about the office of the Labour Commissioner which has been politicised. All the unions which are strong in this country are being intimidated by this office.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mwila: For example, ZUFIAWU is being intimidated by the office of the Labour Commissioner. I want to say that we must seriously look at this office. Why is it politicised? Is it a branch of the MMD? They have to tell us. It has been politicised. Whoever is strong and stands up will be intimidated the way they are intimidating me. That is unacceptable. Things must change. They have to bring in laws which will protect the workers. If the workers cannot be protected by this Government, who else is going to protect them? You have to do your job. We will not do your job. Our job is to advise you. Madam Chairperson, echo tamumfwila.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mwila: Sorry, Madam Chairperson.

Madam Chairperson: Order! what do you mean?

Mr D. Mwila: Madam Chairperson, they do not understand. So, they need to be reminded.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mwila: Lastly, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security must ensure that workers are paid on time because they do not even know when teachers are supposed to be paid. Some of the retirees have died before they are paid their retirement packages. It is that hon. Minister who is supposed to be prosecuted because a lot of people have died before being paid their money.

The Chairperson: Order!

Mr D. Mwila: Thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Mr Bonshe (Mufumbwe): Thank you, Madam Chairperson, for according me this chance to support this vote on the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. I think in his ministerial statement, the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security was very categorical in saying that the conditions of service for the workers were going to be improved. This means that the Government is doing its work by doing everything possible to ensure that workers are satisfied. I will tell you one thing. The conditions of service are always bargained for by the labour leaders. If you remember correctly, in 1990, the labour leaders stood up to campaign so that they could go and correct the situation because they saw that the conditions of service for the workers were not good. We supported them. They used a civil servant’s pay slip to campaign and, for sure, these labour leaders became employers. All the employees were very expectant that they had put in their own people to look after their affairs. As workers, they were all expectant to see that their conditions of services were improved. Today, we are talking of bad conditions of service and these bad conditions of service were brought about by these same union leaders who assumed power.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chimbaka: Naubuta iwe.

Mr Bonshe: They are the people who destroyed the system. When they were on the ring, they never improved the salaries for the workers. Now that they are outside the ring, they are trying to prove to be champions that they can improve the conditions of service. The exodus of employees in Zambia was as a result of Zambians losing hope in the union leaders who had taken over power. They made a landmark in the history of the country by freezing negotiations and bargaining for improved salaries and conditions of service. That is what happened. It was a landmark for a union leader who fights for conditions of service to just bring to a halt the discussions for the improvement of salaries for civil servants. That is what they did.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Bonshe: Even when we are talking about casualisation, it was brought about by these same people when they were selling companies.

Hon. Opposition Members: It is the law.

Mr Bonshe: When they were selling these parastatal companies, they did not put in a mechanism to protect the workers who were being employed.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Bonshe: So, when these people were employed, there were being employed as casual workers because there was no protection and no social security put in place.

Hon. Opposition Member: It is because of the debt.

Mr Bonshe: That is what we are talking about. We never knew of casualisation before the labour movement leaders came into power.

Mr Kambwili: Muteteka, alefwaya kukupyana uyo.

Mr Bonshe: The only casualisation we knew was during the WEMELA days when casuals from Mongu …


The Chairperson: Order!

The House is guided every time that shouting from your seats does not help anybody. The hon. Members know that we are honourable here and one way to prove it is through self-control. When you feel like shouting, which you know is not acceptable, you should keep quiet until your time comes so that those that are listening, may listen. What we debate or say, including the shouting from our seats, is filtered through to the nation, thereby, putting your own House in a state of disrepute. Can we listen quietly to those that are debating.

May Hon. Bonshe continue, please.

Mr Bonshe: Madam Chairperson, the casualisation, which we know in Zambia, was during the WENELA period, when my cousins from Barotseland - Kalabo and Senanga - were being exported to South Africa to do the cutting of sugar cane. Even then, they came out of there richer, and not the casualisation of today.


Mr Bonshe: That is a fact. Our casualisation has brought misery. Because the union leaders were freezing any kind of negotiations, workers had no hope of living in Zambia because their conditions of service did not improve. As a result, they started looking for greener pastures outside the country. That is what brought about the exodus of employees.

However, when the New Deal Administration came into power, they changed the system.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Bonshe: When you look at the statistics, there are few employees who have gone out of the country. The doctors were not driving, but under the New Deal Administration, every doctor is driving.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Bonshe: They are also getting on-call allowances which they never used to get. Their conditions of service have improved. The teachers and all civil servants are now happy. At least, the New Deal Administration has done something because they increased the salaries …

Mr Kambwili: On a point of order, Madam.

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kambwili: Madam Chairperson, I rise on a very serious point of order. Is the hon. Member of Parliament who is debating in order to mislead this nation that when the New Deal Government came into office, the number of people trekking to other countries for greener pastures reduced? It is on record that between 2001 and to date, we have lost a lot of nurses to the United Kingdom. That is the time when the New Deal Administration has been in power. I seek your serious ruling.

The Chairperson: Order! The hon. Member has debated his own point of order. If he has any extra information, when he has an opportunity, he will add to that.

May the hon. Member continue, please.

Mr Bonshe: Madam Chairperson, it is on record that the New Deal Administration has done quite a lot to improve the working conditions of the civil servants. When you look at what was outlined by the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security, there are a lot of laws which will come to this House for amendments.

Mr Mwila interrupted.

Mr Bonshe: These were laws which were not made in good faith by those leaders we are talking about.

Mr D. Mwila: Aah!

Mr Bonshe: Those same leaders …

Mr Shakafuswa: On a point of order, Madam.

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Shakafuswa: Madam, I rise on a very serious point of order. Is Hon. D. Mwila in order to continue debating from his seat, interrupting the flow of the debate in this House, because this is causing confusion in this House? Is he in order to be making noise instead of listening and waiting for his time to debate? I think we need order in this House. I seek your serious ruling.

The Chairperson: Order! The Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning has seen Mr D. Mwila, Member of Parliament for Chipili, continuously interrupting the debate. The Chair’s ruling is that interruption from anybody is not acceptable. Therefore, let us listen to the one debating.

May Hon. Bonshe continue, please.

Mr Bonshe: Madam Chairperson, I was saying that the New Deal Administration means well because they are changing a number of bad laws which were made in bad faith. The Zambian workers have now got hope that their conditions of service are being improved. There will be security for their jobs. Every worker needs protection so that he will not be dismissed any day.

We know how the union leaders who were in the Government victimised other union leaders who were outside Government. We have hon. Members in this House who were victimised because they were quite strong. However, because they did not want them to come into power, they were victimised. These are the same people who are outside now and have formed political parties. They are now talking of making good laws when they were in the forefront of destroying the laws. People know them.


Mr Bonshe: Yes, all the workers know them and it is for this reason that the New Deal Administration was brought back to power because of the confidence and hope it has brought to the people of Zambia. They are being given another mandate of five years and they will lead beyond 2011 because of the better conditions that they are bringing. The salaries for workers are being improved.

Madam, during the period when the leaders I am talking about were in power, not even a single ngwee was increased on the workers’ salaries. This is a fact because we belonged to the Civil Service. Maybe, even our partners still belong to the Civil Service. We are following the trend of events. We know that this Government means well and we should give support to this budget. We should also support the Bills which will come so that the workers of Zambia can have a relief from this punishment they have gone through.

I thank you, Madam.

Ms Mumbi (Munali): Madam Chairperson, I thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to debate on this very important issue. I would like to remind each one of us in this House that as we debate issues concerning labour, we should be level-headed because our children, brothers and sisters who are affected by the poor conditions of service in our country because of bad laws, are listening. The politics of using propaganda in this House to please others, are long gone.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mumbi: If this Government thinks that they are going to do things better, they do not need to come to this House and boast about what they are going to do. They should put things into practice.

Madam, if investors and those who are giving our brothers and sisters bad conditions of service feared this Government, nobody would go to any media organisation openly. I do not fear anybody because nobody can chase me from this country. I watched this on MUVI Television where the Head of State was mentioned. This shows to me that people have lost respect because they hear how we debate issues of no importance in this House. They even joke about them. There are very few hon. Members who were in the First and Second Republics who are in this House. Most of us are new and if we have to make our country better, we should work and not blame anybody.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mumbi: If we look at our brothers and sisters and our own children, they are moving from places like Kabulonga and Sunningdale to go and live in Kabwata and Mtendere. When I was growing up, there were better labour laws. I looked at people who were working and I was encouraged because I had hope that one day I would move from Kamuchanga to Kabulonga. However, there is nothing like that today. We should not come here and speak the way we are doing.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mumbi: We should remember that when we are gone, our children will, one day, come and whip our graves because we have not left any pension for them.

Hon. PF Members: Shame!

Ms Mumbi: We sit comfortably and shout as if we are not mature people. It is a shame.

Madam Chairperson, no one has talked about improved conditions of service. How much do workers get? Most workers do not even have money to go to the hospitals. When I was growing up, my father had the privilege of taking me to the hospital because the company he was working for, which is Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM), was paying for the family. No one should come to this House and say that the conditions of service are improving. Which conditions of service are improving? People have died at the hands of foreign investors and they have not been compensated. Let us be serious. Otherwise, history is going to judge us very badly.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mumbi: When we walk in the streets of Lusaka or Shangombo, we should remember.

Hon. Government Member: Which Shangombo?

Ms Mumbi: My children are in Lusaka and so I want to leave a legacy that I spoke for the people of Zambia. I should not blame anybody.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mumbi: On the issue of casualisation, we have encouraged it to grow. One day, our children, because they have seen us work for Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation Limited (ZESCO), Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM) and Mopani Copper Mines Limited, they would also want to work because they saw how nice you looked when you were working there. They would also be affected because they would be casual workers.

When we come to the House, let us debate with caution in what we say. I plead with the Government to give this ministry more money in the next budget so that more inspectors can be employed. Let us not waste money on useless things, such as, seminars. The officers in this ministry need vehicles to go to the provinces to inspect. The offices where they are operating from are also dilapidated. Some of you because, you are well dressed, cannot even go to their offices which have cobwebs.

With these few remarks, I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Hon. PF Members: Shame!

Mr E. C. Mwansa (Chifunabuli): Thank you, Madam Chairperson, for giving me this opportunity to contribute on the vote that is on the Floor of the House.

I have been listening attentively as blame has been attributed to various individuals and parties within the same party and I have been prettily excited about it except that I am worried that we are distorting history to make a point and that, in my view, is very unfortunate.

I was, Madam Chairperson, part of the MMD when the law was changed, for example, to allow multiplicity of parties and we have had unions in one industry. I was in the back-bench before I was appointed a Deputy Minister and I raised concern about that decision by the then MMD Government. It is not any other Government, but the MMD Government, and please do not divide the MMD into New Deal and MMD. It is one political party.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr E. C. Mwansa: Those who felt unhappy about it left MMD. If you stay there, take responsibility for what has happened in that political party.

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

Mr E. C. Mwansa: It is one of the calamities of our country to hide from the truth or to attribute wrong things to other people while we claim the right things for ourselves. If we do not learn to accept mistakes we make as a people, we will never develop. Our friends learn from the mistakes they make and make progress and because we deny our mistakes, the result is that we end up repeating the same mistakes year after year.

When we stood up and I am one of those who stood, and records in the Hansard will show, to say that we needed to keep one union in one industry, the argument at the time was constitutional that made me to keep quiet. This was the right to associate and form unions of our choice. I had wanted that we let sleeping dogs lie for the very reason that my able hon. Member has articulated. This is the reason that when we have many unions in one industry, you paralyse the power of trade unions. We were defeated and the result is what we have today and none of the labour lawyers has done anything and I know what I am talking about. I would have thought that this Government would allow people to use the privileges that the law has provided and that is the right to form unions even if it is one industry because that is the law. We agreed to that law and if we have to change it, we must come here and change the law. However, what I have noticed, experienced and seen in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security is that we wanted to keep one union one industry by order of the hon. Minister when the law ruled otherwise. It never works like that and my appeal, if we are concerned for our workers, is that we must revisit what we did years back and make the right amendments and changes to ensure that our unions become stronger. We should never run away from that. This was done by the MMD and MMD must get the courage to bring the law back here to reconsider what was made then. This idea of saying it was this who did that has never saved any country. There was a mistake made and that mistake must be corrected.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr E. C. Mwansa: Madam Chairperson, the issue of casualisation has been blamed on the old MMD again, as if the new MMD has made sure that all the problems of casualisation have ended. We have that problem of casualisation in the New Deal Government. You are in power and accept the fact that casualisation is going on, that our people have no security of tenure in their employment and that our people are being given short-term contracts with little or no benefits at all due to them. When you have done that, you will be able to look at the law and make amendments. I said before that law can be used as an instrument of development. There is nothing stronger than the law to make the changes we want in our country. Once the law is made, then everyone abides by it.

We always ask why people get very little money in our country. We got a report and, in fact, it was the hon. Minister of Home Affairs, if my memory serves me right, who was answering the question where we have the Inspector-General of Police getting K6 million per month. This is the highest man in the land in relation to police matters. You ask yourself what the salary of an inspector or just a mere police officer or constable who has nothing, is. What can be his salary when his boss is getting K6 million? If we do not structure the salaries well for senior people in our country, then we can not expect better salaries for those who are junior to them and we know these things. We know that we have to do the right thing. We have to raise the standard of those who are senior so that those who follow can also be raised. There is no Permanent Secretary who will get less money than his Director.

Therefore, if a Permanent Secretary’s salary is at K1 million, then this MMD Government has accepted that those who work under the Permanent Secretary must get less than a million. It just follows and why do we not look at the way we structure the salaries of our people, starting with the seniors and end with the juniors? We have heard about the food basket and the minimum amount of money that our people should get. Unfortunately, this Government says very little about that and yet that is the starting point. We need to have some kind of base salary for those who are very lowly paid so that each one of us, whether poor or rich, will be able to, at least, have a decent meal every day.

However, if we do not take into account these concerns, it will be impossible to structure salaries. I heard hon. Members talking about these foreign investors coming in our country, and even boasting about them. I want to tell you that one of the things these guys like doing when they go to any country is to ask about the salaries of senior people in that country. When they know what the amounts are, they will then structure the salaries of their workers accordingly. If we undermine ourselves and, in the long run, undermine our own right as a people, then you should not be proud to be poor because there is no pride in poverty. If we give our friends poor wages, then we are acknowledging that we are poor and must live poorly.

We must be serious with what we want to do as a people, we must be structured in the manner we are running our own country. Pride must be the hallmark. I know countries like Switzerland, where you find that the Government has made it a policy that no citizen of theirs will do manual work. Therefore, they invite people from the third world countries to do manual work while they ensure that their people have serious jobs such as working as Accountants and so on. What is this Government doing to ensure that we begin to provide for our people and make them pride?

There is no pride in poverty and, hon. Minister, as you consider your ministry, which I think is very serious - and it is just that this is in the Presidential prerogative - I was going to say that it should have become the Ministry of Employment so that we move away from these labour ideas because it is like we will always be labourers in our country. We need to be serious in the manner we deal with this in this country. I am a proud Zambian and I want to see our country proud. Proud individuals make proud leaders and proud individuals ensure that their country rises because each one of them moves with the chest out, and sitting like the hon. Minister of Health, enjoying herself. That is the way life should be.


Mr Mwansa: However, what do we see in our country? We pride ourselves in undermining one another and destroying each other. It is a shame and the sooner we get away from this mentality, the better for the development of this country.

Madam Chairperson, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Madam Chair, I thank you very much for the opportunity to contribute to this vote.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security is an important institution in Government as it deals with work and, personally, I believe that work, we must because it is an imperative of life. Perhaps, you may be so rich that you do not need to work, but I am sure you even get up to exercise and that is work. All people and even animals work for them to get their food.

In this ministry, we could imagine, if we asked one person to put up this building, how many thousands of years it would take, but because we have organised labour and organisations, we can do it within the shortest possible time. It is, therefore, extremely important that everything that we get comes out of our labour and, so, it must be appreciated.

In this regard, I feel extremely sad when I look at the allocations in the budget. Our budget, this year, is about K12,042,409,035,760 and when I look at how this is distributed across ministries, I look at ministries like Agriculture and Co-operatives - K1,019,063,951,992; Finance and National Planning - K1,075,213,046,089; Education - K1,885,094,406,427; Defence - K809,606,035,597; Works and Supply - K260,999,237,515; and Labour and Social Security - K16,375,818,658. Maybe, the other ministry that got the least is the Ministry of Lands with K24,283,533,138. As for the Ministry of Labour and Social Security at K16 billion, looks like it is not a ministry, but a department of some ministry. There is a problem there because not very much can be attained with that. This ministry has to look at the welfare of the workers. We are now attracting foreign investors into our country and there are new zones that are going to be formed. The work practices, ethics and labour laws in the countries of some of these people who are coming are not consistent with our laws, not even with the international labour laws.

Therefore, it is incumbent upon the Government, through the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, to ensure that they go round inspecting to ensure that the new employers who are coming are going to provide the necessary working environment that is conducive to the Zambian workers for us to develop and for people to live with some level of dignity.

Unfortunately, we see that the Department of Labour has been given a figure of K104 million for labour inspections. I do not know what they can do with that. It is not a secret, and I have said this before, that some of our new investors - like our friends, the Chinese who are investing in this country, - their labour practices and standards and occupational health and safety are really not much to talk about.

However, since they are coming to this country, we have to push them so that they subscribe to the labour standards that are acceptable in this country. If we do not have our labour inspectors from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to go round and ensure that they do the right thing, what do we expect? When you look at Occupational Health and Safety, it has been given K918 million and we have pollution, accidents and new mines opening up. Nobody is coming here like Jesus Christ, wanting to be good. They are coming to make a profit and if they can cut corners, they will do so. It is incumbent upon the Government to ensure that our people are protected. I am afraid with these amounts, this is not going to be done. When you look at the amounts of money given to the ministry to inspect pressure vessels, only K80 million has been allocated; inspecting of factories has K600 million; inspection of occupational diseases and accidents has only K50 million; and lifting machinery equipment for inspection has K180 million, which is nothing. These figures are not adequate.

Madam Chairperson, let me talk about the role of the Department of Labour in working with the social partners. There is what we call a symbiotic relationship between the employers, the Government and the workers. We need each other to survive. The employers need the workers for them to perform and make a profit. The workers need the employers to be employed and the Government is needed to provide regulations and see that everything is running. However, when one of the partners begins calling the others names, you have a corrosive hatred. That is not acceptable, especially if it is coming from the Leader of Government Business in the House.

You see, the union leaders are there to fight for the rights of the employees. They always do that and, in fact, that is why they exist. If they are not properly paid, they will cry foul and keep pushing and pushing. We must understand what they do. They are just like the police who have to maintain law and order. If you break the law, they will come after you. That is their role, and you cannot say that they have hatred when they are carrying out their functions. It is a misunderstanding on the part of the Government to be labeling labour leaders as having corrosive hatred for the Government. They do not have corrosive hatred. They are just fighting for their rights. Now, it is not the role of the Labour Commissioner to begin writing correspondence to Cabinet Office to say such a labour leader must be prevented from standing in elections or should be thrown out of office. It is shameful when a Labour Commissioner, who is supposed to adjudicate and oversee elections, decides one cannot contest in an election. I know these things because I have been a Minister of Labour and have been at International Labour Organisation and I know the role of these things. These people are supposed to ensure that there is balance among the social partners…

Mr Tetamashimba: On a point of order, Madam.

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Tetamashimba: I know that Parliament is not supposed to be debating and insinuating issues that can easily be connected to the Judiciary. Is the hon. Member of Parliament, on the Floor, a former Minister of Labour and Social Security, in order to insinuate about the dealings of the Labour Commissioner whose decision we know, as at now, has been challenged by the Federation of Free Trade Unions of Zambia (FFTUZ) which openly stood up and campaigned for the PF? Is he in order to bring issues that are in court?

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: The hon. Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Works and Supply is concerned that in Dr Machungwa’s debate, there are insinuations about the Commissioner of Labour and the labour movement and that this issue is actually before the courts of law.

Let Hon. Dr Machungwa take that into consideration as he continues.

Dr Machungwa: Thank you very much, Madam Chairperson. The issue I was stressing was that the Government must work with the labour unions just much as it must work with employers. That is why I began by saying there is a symbiotic relationship. We stand or fall together. As for the hon. Deputy Minister of Works and Supply who is talking about the PF being supported by the labour unions, that is not strange in this country. What he does not know, because he is new to the MMD, is that the MMD was supported by the labour movement and that is why they got into power. It is normal for trade unions to support a party which they think is going to push their cause. It is normal everywhere around the world in case he did not know.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: Madam Chairperson, let me come to the issue that has been mentioned by a number of colleagues here. Like my colleague has said, we need to build on our strengths and also learn from our mistakes. Some hon. Members have come into the House for the first time and I forgive them because they are new or, maybe, because they do not have all the facts and the historical developments. You see, some of the labour laws you are talking about were made in this House. For example, when the law he was talking about was made, the Leader of Government Business in this House was the current President of the country. So, be careful with what you say. You see, there are ‘musical chairs’ going on just like I now welcome Hon. Muteteka to the ‘Back Chair’ and these things are going to continue. So, if you want to debate, please, debate factually. What we are saying about wages is that, in fact, they have been increasing for some time now but the problem we have is that the magnitude of increases, considering the cost of living, is not commensurate and the people are finding it difficult to survive. Now, if you give me K5.00 to go to Ndola and the bus fare to Ndola is K55, 000 I shall still complain. However, you cannot go and boast and say that you have given me the money to get to Ndola. What we, the labour movement and those that are debating to support our people are saying is that we need to improve further. You see, the economy of this country began declining from 1975 throughout the 1970s, 1980s and continued to do so in the early 1990s. We started restructuring in the early 1990s and now we have got to this HIPC Programme which has been completed. The debate from some hon. Members is like it started yesterday. It is important to appreciate where we are coming from. That is the only way we can make progress. What I wish to say, Madam Chairperson, is that I urge the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security, even with his limited resources, to redouble his efforts because, with the new investors coming in, we are going to have a lot of labour problems and that is why this ministry must be supported. Looking at the limited resources, I think you have a mountain to climb, but we expect that when the workers come to you, you will answer, and not label them as corrosive. This is where the problem is.

I thank you, Madam.

The Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mr Liato): Thank you Madam Chairperson for giving me this opportunity to make a contribution to this vote. Let me start by making one or two points of clarification. I have heard that anywhere in the world, trade unions do support political parties because it is normal for them to support a political party that will enhance or uphold their wishes. The only danger we must learn is that if a trade union is supporting a political party in the process of an election, it must do it at its own risk, knowing very well that if that political party does not come into power, the trade union runs into difficulties on how to live with the winning political party because it will be in office for a period of time. So, during elections, the trade union will be supporting a political party at its own risk.

When the United National Independence Party (UNIP) was supported by the trade union movement in the colonial era, it was confident that black rule would take the reigns of power. So, the trade unions did not run into problems and that also happened in 1991, but if you support a party which loses, just know that the party that takes office will have a field day because they will definitely not want political leaders in certain organisations. That is the problem. The second issue I want to talk about is that I have heard people castigating the Office of the Labour Commissioner. Madam Chairperson, the Government and Government officials do not operate in isolation. I think it is wrong, in this House, to attack civil servants, our technocrats, who are doing a very good job in those offices. The Labour Commissioner does not act in isolation at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. He consults frequently and sufficiently and it would not be good to conclude on matters coming from his office as though he dealt with them at a personal level. The Labour Commissioner does things which are within his office…

Mr Nsanda: On a point of order, Madam.

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Nsanda: Madam Chairperson, is the hon. Deputy Minister in order to mislead this House that union leaders should not support political parties when he was a union leader, himself, when I was running the United Taxis and Transport Association (UTTA), and that is how he found himself here? Is he in order, Madam?


The Chairperson: Sometimes, we need points of order that will lighten the mood of the House. Let us raise points of order that are there to build the procedure and practices of the House. The point of order raised by Hon. Nsanda is that the hon. Deputy Minister was a member of the union and I do not know how it is connected.

May the hon. Deputy Minister, please, continue.

Mr Liato: I thank you very much, Madam Chairperson, for that guidance, but my union was deregistered by Hon. Dr Machungwa when he thought I was doing politics.


Mr Liato: However, I would like to say that the Office of the Labour Commissioner is a very important office in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. It interprets and executes the law. It is pivotal in the day-to-day running of trade unions. It should not be seen as though the Labour Commissioner makes decisions at a personal level. I thought that I should make this point very clear. Hon. Members should know that the decisions made in that office are advisory and are made after adequate consultations.

Madam Chairperson, I would like to comment on a very important issue that relates to trade union organisations. Trade union organisations are workers’ organisations. They are formed, primarily, to represent the interests of employees at places of work. Therefore, it is important for us to know that in trade unionism, it is not appropriate to represent workers if you do not belong to that class or that society of employees.

The first criterion used for one to qualify to be a trade unionist is that, he or she must be an employee of that organisation. The issue of eligibility in the trade union is very important. The people who have retired or have resigned from employment will not be qualified to hold office of the trade union. Before you start accusing the Office of the Labour Commissioner, or the Government, of targeting certain individuals, first of all, check their status as employees. We have the law in place which prevents non-employees from holding office in the trade unions and Hon. Dr Machungwa knows that. If there are employees that have retired and have already received their benefits and the Labour Commissioner says, “You hold on, you have got a court case,” it would not be right for us to begin to target his office and say, “He is wrong.”


Mr Liato: Madam Chairperson, in fact, the Government will come to this House to, perhaps, make that point clearer. If, at the moment, our law is not as clear as it should be, …

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

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr D. Mwila: Madam Chairperson, I stand on a very serious point of order. Is the hon. Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Security in order to be discussing the issue that is before the courts of law because…

Hon. PF Members: Just that is enough.

Mr D. Mwila: I need your serious ruling.

The Chairperson: Hon. Deputy Minister, take that into consideration.

Mr Liato: I thank you, Madam Chairperson, …

The Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

Mr Liato: I thank you, Madam Chairperson, for allowing me to continue my debate. Before we broke for tea I was advancing a point regarding the issue of illegibility in the trade unions. I hope we all agree that we should leave trade union organisations to people who are in employment. It is only fair to allow people who are in that industry or environment of work to stand as trade union leaders.

I would also like to comment on the issue of having so many trade unions existing in one particular industry. Since we are signatories to Conventions 87 and 98, we have to domesticate the law so as to allow this freedom of people to associate and belong to trade unions of their choices. Obviously, it has to come with so many other disadvantages just like a person on medication will have so many side effects. Now, I think that the mischief we have to cure is how to achieve productivity at places of work whilst avoiding infringing the freedoms of employees to associate with organisations of their own choice.

That is the challenge we have today. I now take it that our colleagues on your left will agree with us when we begin to move amendments on the law. We will try to achieve this by ensuring that we recommend dealing with those trade unions or organisations which are most representative. Madam Chairperson, in other words, even though we may have many unions or many federations at places of work, it is important that, as a Government, we avoid being non-productive, which point I have raised. I hope to deal with only those organisations which are more representative. I think by so doing, we will avoid being non-productive.

Madam Chairperson, this is also, in fact, in line with the principles and practices at the International Labour Organisation (ILO). ILO handles issues relating to employers and employees in a manner that recognises the most representative group. I think the Government has taken note of that and will come to this House at an appropriate time. In this regard, the Government will be able to assist in handling or dealing with issues of this nature.

Madam Chairperson, I think it is important to note that this Government has made a lot efforts in improving the welfare of employees. What we must all share or appreciate is the fact that the task of moving an economy upwards is a great challenge to everyone. There is no Government that will find it so easy to just change this economy overnight. If the economy is still growing, we must all understand that it is impossible to have very high salaries in such an economy. It is common sense that until we have created wealth, it will be difficult to have salaries which are desirable. We are obviously in an economic transition where you cannot expect that everything will be in order. An area which needs a lot of improvement is labour. We want to encourage trade union organisations to do their best bargain. We have opened up or liberalised our economy. Naturally, when we liberalise an economy such as ours, many things must find themselves in the market.

Madam Chairperson, the new investors coming in this country must now find what is obtaining in this country. Those investors must now deal with trading organisations in Zambia. The problem I see is that many people have been employed by these new investors and they expect the Government to determine exactly what they should get from those organisations or companies. It will not be possible for the Government to do that. I think that every person must be told to either form a trade union in an organisation where unions do not exist or train existing unions so that they bargain for their conditions of services and salaries.

Madam Chairperson, it is so easy and I have seen, in many institutions, that when employees find themselves disadvantaged, the first institution to blame is the Government. That is totally wrong because the Government has done its part by attracting investment. The Government must just provide an environment where employees can find employment. The issue of conditions of services is purely the corrective bargain between the employers and the trade unions. The Government will not go and negotiate for every employee in the private or parastatal institution. Even in the Government, there are trade unions in the Public Service. I am talking about principles of politics and I am very consistent.

Madam Chairperson, when I was a labour leader, conditions of service were bad at ZESCO and I never went to ask the Government to come and give us salaries there.


Mr Liato: Madam, I bargained for ZESCO employees and achieved better conditions for them. Therefore, it is bad to sit idly as an employee and expect the Government to come and redeem you. You should form trade unions and bargain for your members. That is what you should encourage people in the constituencies to do. Do not tell them that the Government is bad because it has not come to officiate at your place of work. That is wrong and very misleading.

Madam Chairperson, as I wind up, I want to say that we must advise our brothers and sisters in the trade unions to stay away from politics. Trade union organisations must deal with issues pertaining to workers and their interests. When the Government suspected that I had political interests, they deregistered my union and no one complained. They deregistered even the trade union which was not personal but public. I am sorry Dr Machungwa is not in the House but I want to say that …


Mr Liato: …he was responsible for deregistering that organisation. They told me that they would withdraw the recognition agreement for the trade union because they felt that I had political interests. That is how much harm the Government can do to trade unions when they think you are doing politics. This Government has even been more polite and more accommodating to trade union leaders now.


Mr Liato: Madam, they have not deregistered anyone’s organisation. They will only do so if people over step their boundaries and begin to do politics instead of doing trade unionism. Let us restrict ourselves to what we were elected for and operate within the law.

Madam Chairperson, I want to finalise by saying that this Government has done a lot in terms of consultations. We have done a lot in terms of social dialogue with our social partners, namely the employers and the trade unions. This year alone, we have had three consultative meetings called the Tripartite Consultative Labour Council Meeting. It is a very good record to have three meetings in the first three months of the year to consult where we have done our Employment Act, the Industrial and Labour Relations Act and Factories Act. We will bring legislation to this House very soon and we hope we shall prepare for this with our colleagues.

Madam Chairperson, I thank you.

The Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mr Mukuma): Madam Chairperson, thank you for giving me this chance to wind up debate on the allocations for the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. I wish to begin by thanking all those that have participated in the debate for the support that they have shown to my ministry’s course and, indeed, the encouragement that we have received from them that we need to work hard. We regard those criticisms as an encouragement rather than a discouragement.

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

Mr Mukuma: Madam Chairperson, it is an encouragement to us in the ministry in that we should put in a lot of effort to make good what is wrong on the labour market. We do appreciate all those criticisms. I wish to explain briefly to fellow hon. Members of Parliament about labour issues. I have heard from one or two speakers on the Floor mentioning that the labour market is changing and it has now become more complex. This is simply because we are saying that the private sector will be the engine of our economic growth.

Madam Chairperson, we are encouraging the private sector to expand. We are also encouraging foreign as well as local investment. This, therefore, means that we are getting investors coming into our country to invest and make money. These investors come from different countries with different backgrounds and laws. It is, therefore, the responsibility of this ministry to ensure that all those investors who come from diverse backgrounds come here and operate within the limits of our law.

You will agree with me that the challenge that this poses is not the same as the challenge that we had some twenty years ago when we were dealing with Zambia Industrial and Mining Corporation (ZIMCO) group of companies. The ZIMCO group of companies represented Government investment and so, abiding or complying with the law was not a difficult thing with these Government companies. Now, since these are private sector companies whose prime aim is to make profits, all other things, are secondary. Therefore, as a ministry, the amount of work has substantially increased. I am very much encouraged to note that quite a good number of hon. Members, if not all of us here, appreciate the amount of work that the ministry is carrying.

Madam Chairperson, in response to the complex nature of the labour market that we are facing at the moment, the ministry has come up with various measures to try and meet these challenges. Therefore, there is need to for this ministry to update the labour laws. The existing labour laws have got loopholes either because certain definitions were not complete or certain activities in it are not covered within our existing laws. So, these have to be included in our labour laws.

I was happy to hear Hon. Dr Machungwa say that there is symbiotic relationship existing in the labour market that has formed the tripartite sort of arrangement that we have. That is the labour and employers’ movements as well as the Government.

Madam Chairperson, it should be appreciated that whatever changes that need to be effected to our labour laws, there is an effective participation by our social partners. When I say social partners, I mean the labour movements, unions and the employers’ organisation like the Federation of Employers. We sit and agree on the issues that we need to introduce. Once everything has been agreed upon, it is the duty and function of my ministry to ensure that those issues that have been agreed upon are enforced.

Again, one of the issues that we are carrying out is to sensitise, to all the employers, the existence of our labour laws in Zambia. There are some who are genuinely, and not deliberately, making mistakes because they are not aware of the existence of our labour laws. Therefore, we are carrying out sensitisation campaigns among all the employers for them to, first of all, bring to their attention, the existence of the labour laws and then, pointing out to them the need to comply with these laws. These are some of the activities that we doing.

Madam Chairperson, by so doing, my ministry is doubly enforcing the law to make sure that these laws are complied with - whether we are talking of laws that affect the organisation and administration of the unions or the laws that affect the administration and organisation of employers. Therefore, if is any of these organisations do not comply or obey these laws that we are enforcing, I am sorry, such an organisation may think we are targeting it when, in actual fact, we are merely implementing the law and the law must complied with.

If you do not want to comply with the law, then, obviously, you will not be a friend with the law. The law is never a friend with wrong doers, but for those that obey the law, the law s always friendly. Therefore, on our side, we are within the law and all we do is enforce it.

Madam Chairperson, the main office in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security that enforces the labour law to ensure industrial harmony in our labour market is the Labour Commissioner’s Office. This office carries out the implementation of all the laws that we agree upon. Therefore, it is not advisable for the Labour Commissioner to support anything outside the law. Therefore, these instructions are not only by me, but from the law itself. Therefore, the Labour Commissioner has to carry out the law as it is. When a law is carried out and it is against our wishes, we always label all sorts of names against this office and yet, it is merely implementing its statutory functions which are clearly stated in the labour laws.

Therefore, the positions of the Labour Commissioner and Labour Inspector are very clear and they are clearly stated in the labour laws.

Madam Chairperson, considering the amount of work that we have before us and what I have briefly explained, I would like to respond to some of the observations that have been made on the Floor of this House.

The hon. Member for Chipili supported the functions of the ministry. On behalf of the ministry, he has called for more allocations to enable us operate effectively. We are very thankful for that. He also wondered how many times the tripartite meeting would be held before we see the laws being amended.

I would like to assure this House that these meetings have already come to an end. The Bills have almost been finalised and will soon be presented to this august House for consideration. Looking at the amount of support that has been shown this afternoon, I have no doubt that when these Bills comes here, we shall have overwhelming support to have the laws amended.

Madam Chairperson, the infrastructure in the ministry is dilapidated. This is making the operations of the officers difficult. The conditions of service for the labour officers are also bad. Apart from that, inspectors have not transport for them to work effectively. I, therefore, wish to assure the House that the ministry has already recognised these constraints in the capacity of the ministry and these issues are already being addressed.

In addition, the ministry has bought six new vehicles which are already being used by our inspectors. Therefore, once this budget is approved, we will use some of the allocations to purchase more vehicles to enable our inspectors operate more efficiently and effectively.

Again, we are addressing the issue of furniture to make the environment conducive for our officers to work in. As a result of this, most of our offices have had new furniture bought for them. We have bought some computers so that the Ministry of Labour and Social Security can be modern like any other ministry in Government and, indeed, any other operating organisation.

Madam Chairperson, somebody said that the Government has bad laws. Yes, we do say it has got bad laws, because we still have the labour laws, which we used to use during the ZIMCO era. That is why; we are now tuning up these laws to suit the current conditions of the privatised economy.

The question of Disparities in salaries between foreigners and Zambians is a problem that this country has been fighting against for quite a long time. Right from the start, there has always been a tendency by our colleagues, the whites, to give themselves more than what they give the blacks. This issue is being effectively handled through the amendment of the laws because we are introducing the equal pay-equal salary clause within our laws and so, I believe that this will assist us to enforce the narrowing of the gap between the salaries of the foreigners and the locals.

Madam Chairperson, In addition to that, we are saying that the stay of the foreigners in the country should be limited to a number of years depending on how complex the scale is for the Zambians to learn. So then, each time foreigners are brought in and given work permits, there is always a demand by my ministry, on the organisations concerned, to provide succession ladders that will give us a time frame. Furthermore, there should also be Zambians recruited to under-study those expatriates that have been given work permits.

Madam Chairperson, we have a situation where the Ministry of Labour and Social Security has been cited to be favouring the NAPSA at the expense of other schemes. At the moment, there are only two organisations that are directly under the supervision of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, that is, NAPSA itself and The Workers Compensation Board. However, I wish to mention that my ministry has been given the responsibility of working out a policy that can harmonise the operations and organisation of all the social security schemes in this country.

A committee has already been set up and work is in progress. We hope that this policy on harmonisation and operation of the social security schemes in this country will soon be produced and that our social schemes will operate, at least, to deliver the services that the community expects.

Madam Chairperson, it has said that my ministry has allowed too many unions which are not working in the interest of the Workers. Indeed, this is one of the difficulties that we have also recognised and I wish to assure the House that my ministry is seriously addressing the problem of proliferation of unions in the industries. While we are appreciative of the fact that we ratified the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention which allowed freedom of association for the workers, we also recognise the fact that we do not want to bring anarchy in our labour market. We do not want this freedom of association to be synonymous with anarchy. We want to bring order in our labour market. Therefore, we are addressing this issue and the ministry will adopt the normal practice within the convention’s rules and regulations, where the most representative union becomes the leader, especially at the time of collective bargaining, because I think that is where disunity, anarchy and problems come in.

Many employers have complained that each union presents them with its own package. There is no harmonisation of packages so that, if you have three unions in your sector, each one has its own package in its pocket. When the bargaining period comes in, you do not know which package to pay attention to. At that moment, each union wants to show that its cleverer, more intelligent and superior in negotiations, but at the same time causing anarchy in the bargaining process. Therefore, we want to bring sanity and order to the collective bargaining process.

Madam Chairperson, on the minimum wage, I think the Minimum Wage and Conditions of Employment Act; Section 276, gives the power that these wages need to be reviewed every two years.

Madam Chairperson, one hon. Member said there is intimidation of union leaders by the Labour Commissioner. The hon. Member also said strong unions are being intimidated by the Labour Commissioner. As I have already mentioned in my opening statement, the Labour Commissioner does not do anything more than the rights that are given to him by law. I think it is only when a union’s activities contravene the laws or when we see that they are at crossroads that, in most cases, the one who refuses to obey the law is the culprit. I wish to re-emphasise that the Labour Commissioner is a statutory office conducting statutory functions.

Hon. Bonshe stood up and, indeed, supported the operations of my ministry and defined our operation as if he is one of those working for my ministry. I wish to thank him for all those good words that he said about the ministry…


Mr Mukuma…because what he mentioned is exactly what is happening.

Hon. Mumbi again supported the functions of the ministry and called for more allocation to the ministry because of the work that we are doing. However, she did say that the laws in the past were better because they were being educated by the mines and so on and so forth. I must agree that the laws were alright in those days for that environment, but I think things have changed and those laws can no longer fit in the modern circumstances, hence the need for us to update them.

On the conditions of service, again I, wish to mention, here, that my ministry, through the tripartite arrangement, only creates an enabling environment to the bargaining. We, as a ministry representing the Government, recognise the employers and employees as very important partners of production. Therefore, all that we do is to ensure that there is harmony in our labour market and an environment which is conductive for the two parties - the workers representatives and the employers - to negotiate freely and arrive at a collective agreement. So, it is really not the responsibility of the ministry to dictate as to what should be given.

Hon. Mwansa was concerned about the proliferation of unions, and he was also concerned with the level of wages that are being paid. We should look at our workers as people who should be given decent wages so that they can proudly move about. Certainly, we are doing everything possible to see an improvement in the conditions of service of our workers.

I wish to inform the House that there is what is commonly known as a Decent Worker Agenda. In this programme, we are looking at promoting the rights of the workers to ensure that their rights are observed. We are ensuring that all of them, including women, actually have decent work, and decent and equal pay. So, we believe that once this programme on Decent Worker Agenda is implemented, the issue of trying to bring decency in our workforce will actually be implemented.

Lastly, Dr Machungwa also mentioned that the allocation is inadequate. We have also agreed that the investors have brought a complex problem on our market, and hence the need for the ministry to work extra hard. This, we do appreciate.

Obviously, there was an issue that he brought in of labour officers not doing their work properly, but as I have already mentioned, the Labour Commissioner or Inspectors do follow the law.

Madam Chairperson, one matter that I wish to finally point out is on the minimum wage. On minimum wage, I have heard that there is need for the National Poverty Datum Line and so on and so forth. For the datum line to be set up, there are certain conditions which need to prevail in the country for it to work because it will meant it is applicable to all. Inflation is one of the factors to look at. All along, this nation has experienced a very rapid inflation rate which, if we had to set up a datum line, we would set it up today and, by probably tomorrow or next year, it would mean nothing. Since there is stabilisation in the inflation, there could be need to address that issue. At the moment, there is a minimum wage which is applicable but you should also understand that even the minimum wage is agreed upon on a tripartite basis. It has to be discussed by all the three players - the Government, the union and the employers. It is not something that the Ministry of Labour and Social Security improvised. It is something that is collectively agreed upon.

At the moment, it is selective. However, let us not forget that even when we sit here to demand an increase in the minimum wages, some of us here also have workers. Either our domestic workers or those workers at the farm will be affected by these minimum wages. For this reason, we are, again, looking at the capacity to pay because when we stand here to say, “We want K1 million minimum wages,” I hope that we are not excluding ourselves. As long as you employ a person, who has access to this particular document on minimum wages, he will demand to be paid that by you. I hope that you will give the ministry the opportunity to come up with minimum wages based on the tripartite organisation.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Vote 44/0 1 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 44/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 44/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 44/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 44/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 44/06 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

VOTE 89 − (Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives − K1,019,063,951,992)

The Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Kapita): Madam Chairperson, it is an honour and privilege for me to address the House on the issues pertaining to agriculture and the estimates and expenditure for the Ministry for the year 2007.

The Ministry covers crops, livestock, fisheries and co-operatives. We have a very important vision to promote the development of an efficient, competitive and sustainable agricultural sector which assures food security and increased incomes. It recognises enormous potential in agriculture, the imperative to exploit that potential, the need to strengthen and expand the emerging opportunities and also the challenges facing the agricultural sector.

Madam Chairperson, this vision also strives to contribute to the overall goal of the poverty reduction strategy paper (PRSP) which is to achieve poverty reduction and economic growth. Madam Chairperson, in line with this vision, the specific objectives to the agricultural sector are to:

(i) Assure national and household food security,

(ii) ensure that the existing agricultural base is maintained and improved upon because we want to farm today on the same land, we want to farm tomorrow and in the future on the same land. That is the importance of that objective.

(iii) generate income and employment to national feasible levels.

(iv) contribute to sustainable industrial development and

(v) expand significantly the sector’s contribution to national balance of payments.

Madam Chairperson, the ministry is divided into nine departments and two sections and these are:

(i) The Human Resource and Administration Department;

(ii) Policy and Planning Department;

(iii) Agriculture Department;

(iv) Zambia Agriculture Research Institute (ZARI), formerly, the Department of Research;

(v) Veterinary and Livestock Department;

(vi) Fisheries Department;

(vii) Agribusiness Marketing Department;

(viii) Co-operatives Department; and

(ix) Seed Control and Certification Institute.

We also have two sections which are the National Agriculture Information Services and the Training Institutions.

Madam Chairperson, allow me now to give the House a brief description of the objectives that govern the functions of the departments I have mentioned above.

(i) The Human Resource and Administration Department provides administration support activities including placement of personnel and facilitates training of Ministry staff;

(ii) The Policy and Planning Department is there to provide appropriate policy analysis and advise to monitor and evaluate the Ministry’s projects and programmes to establish and maintain the agriculture data base, to disseminate agricultural statistics and to co-ordinate the preparation and monitoring the budget of the Ministry like the one I am debating now.

(iii) The Agriculture Department is the core of the ministry, whose function is to promote improve and sustain productivity of farms and agricultural lands and to contribute to increased agricultural production through the sustained use of appropriate farm machinery and equipment, appropriate tillage techniques, farm structures, crop storage, processing and packaging techniques suitable for farmers.

(iv) The Zambia Agricultural Research Institute’s functions are to generate and adapt technologies for increased and sustainable agricultural production and provide high quality, appropriate, cost effective and efficient service to farmers in the country.

(v) The Veterinary and Livestock Development Department functions to improve the productive efficiency of the livestock sector in a sustainable manner and support the marketing of both livestock and livestock products and to control and combat the occurrence and spread of livestock diseases, thereby contributing to food security and incomes in the country.

(vi) The Fisheries Department is critical to my colleagues from the Luapula Province and so they must listen very carefully. It is there to increase fish production and promote sustainable utilisation of fisheries resources, thereby contributing to the economy through the generation of employment, incomes and improved nutrition.

(vii) The Agri-business and Marketing Department has functions to promote the development of a competitive, efficient and transparent private sector driven agricultural marketing system and to promote agro-processing and value addition as well as promoting trade.

(viii) The Co-operatives Department is a very important department which has been neglected in this country. Since 1991, this is the only department that could ensure the provision of service to the village level by the Co-operatives Department which I want to discuss now. Its function is to create an enabling institutional and legal environment for the development of autonomous, transparent, viable and demand driven cooperatives and other farmer organisations that will contribute to poverty reduction. Further, to promote input supply, production, processing, marketing, storage, transportation and provision of farm credit to co-operators.

(ix) The Seed Control and Certification Institute is very critical. This is the department which ensures that we have the right seed. In agriculture it is said that when you put a good seed into the soil, the battle is half won. That is how important this department is to this country. The objective of this department is to ensure the development of an effective efficient and sustainable system of producing and supplying high quality seeds of crops to satisfy national seed requirements.

Madam Chairperson, allow me to highlight the performance of the agricultural sector during the last season, 2005/2006.

As we are all aware, more than 60 per cent of the Zambian population depends on agriculture for their food security, incomes and livelihoods. Agriculture is so important to the welfare of both the rural and urban dwellers that achievement of broad based poverty reduction may not be attainable without significant growth in agricultural output and productivity. In the past three years, the sector has been contributing between 18 per cent and 20 per cent to the National Gross Domestic Product annually and has been accounting for as much as 22 per cent or more of total exports in this country. That is how important we are in agriculture. Over the years, exports such as cotton, flowers, horticultural products and tobacco have constituted a good example of successful diversification in export earnings.

Madam Chairperson, I must say that the sharp appreciation of the kwacha between November 2005 and June 2006 reduced the kwacha value of agricultural exports by 30 per cent causing reduction in farm prices and export profits. It is for this reason that out put for cotton, tobacco and other export crops for the 2006/2007 season may not be as high as in the previous years.

However, the future holds well for cotton, tobacco and other crops as the cost of borrowing is reducing and the lower cost of bio-fuel will reduce production costs further. So I am hopeful that the future holds very well. During the 2005/2006 season, the agricultural sector experienced favourable weather conditions and we must always thank the Lord Almighty for giving us very good weather conditions. The result was very good yields for crops such maize, sorghum, millet, cassava, sweet potatoes and other crops as follows:

(i) Sunflower increased from 8,000 to 15,000 metric tonnes;

(ii) Maize increased from 866,000 to1.7 million metric tonnes. The maize production increase of 64.5 per cent was a significant recovery after a severe drought experienced in the 2004-2005 farming season which affected most maize producing areas of Central, Eastern, Southern and Lusaka provinces. The maize production, therefore, in the last season, posted a surplus of 160,000 metric tonnes;

(iii) Millet increased from 29,000 to 48,000 metric tonnes;

(iii) Mixed beans increased from 23,000 to 27,000 metric tonnes;

(iv) Soya beans went up from 89,000 to 135,000 metric tonnes;

(v) Sweet potatoes went up from 66,000 to 101,000 metric tonnes;

(vi) Wheat, of course, went up from 136,000 to 156,000 metric tonnes in the last year;

(vii) Our popular cassava increased from 1,056,000 tonnes in the 2004/2005 farming  season  to 1,059,000 metric tonnes representing, of course, 0.37 per cent increase. {mospagebreak}

Madam Chairperson, there was also an increase in agriculture export of commodities such as cotton lint, burley tobacco, fresh flowers and sugar.

Madam Chairperson, in the year 2006, the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives continued implementing the Fertiliser Support Programme aimed at improving household and national food security, and rebuilding the capital asset base of smallholder farmers through matching grant or subsidy. A total of 50,000 metric tonnes of fertiliser was procured and distributed among 125,000 small-scale farmers. These are the vulnerable but viable small-scale farmers.

Madam Chairperson, during the 2006/2007 marketing season, the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) purchased a total of 397,000 metric tonnes of maize at a cost of K286 billion. The FRA is using 150,000 metric tonnes as a strategic food reserve. The balance of 247,000 metric tonnes is being sold on the open market. The FRA also purchased 2,226 metric tonnes of cassava at a cost of K1.1 billion; 607 metric tonnes of paddy rice at a cost K485 million; and 1,085 metric tonnes of soyabeans at K868 million. This brings the total value of the crops that the FRA bought last season to K288.4 billion. Of course, the Government gave FRA only K140 billion but they paid out K288 billion, which means that the FRA is working. It is no longer business as usual. It is now working.

Madam Chairperson, the National Irrigation Plan (NIP) covering the period 2006 to 2010 has been formulated and finalised after consultations with various stakeholders. The plan spells out the development agenda in the irrigation sector, including the establishment of the Irrigation Development Fund (IDF) to support the small-scale, medium and commercial farmers.

Madam Chairperson, the ministry also embarked on the development of new farm blocks to expand the existing commercial farming blocks that would revitalise and expand the agriculture sector for local and export crop production. The ministry has identified one farming block in each province. These farming blocks will be developed in phases as funds become available. Some of the areas identified include Nansanga in Serenje (Central province), Luena in Kawambwa (Luapula province) and Kalumwange in Kaoma (Western Province). The farming blocks have been designed to settle farm sizes from small-scale to large-scale commercial farmers. So far, the ministry has started doing some work in the three areas.
In Nansanga, K10.5 billion has so far been spent on seventy kilometres of a 33 KV power line out of a total of ninety-five kilometres, with 700 poles erected. A twenty-kilometre feeder road has also been rehabilitated.

In Luena, that is Kawambwa, a survey for the road embankment across Pambashe Swamp in the Luena Flats has been done. Line surveying, pole pegging and digging of holes for electrification have also been done. A total of K356,859,000 has been spent on the Luena Block in Kawambwa.

Madam Chairperson, in Kalumwange, that is the Western province, the proposed area has been identified and appraised. Kalumwange Health Centre has been rehabilitated and eighty-one kilometres of the road has been rehabilitated. The total spent, so far, in Kalumwange is K783,099,080.

Madam Chairperson, I now come to a very topical subject. Livestock diseases continue to ravage production in major livestock areas. For example, cattle population in Southern province has continued to decline since 1990, from 1,052,000 to 554,127 in 2000, representing a reduction of 47 per cent in cattle numbers. This is mainly because of diseases like Contagious Bovine Pleuro Pneumonia, popularly known as CDPP, East Coast Fever and Corridor Disease.

In order to mitigate the effects of disasters such as diseases, floods and droughts on livestock, the ministry embarked on restocking and breeding programmes in the affected communities of Southern Province. This was in accordance with the National Transitional Development Plan for 2002-2005.

The main objective of the Cattle Restocking Programme is to provide cattle to small and medium scale farmers who lost cattle due to diseases. The restocking programme targeted beneficiaries in eleven districts in the province. A total of K3 billion was released in 2003-2004 for this exercise. About 2,615 animals were planned to be procured out of this money. However, only 2,489 were bought and distributed to beneficiaries, representing 95 per cent level of programme effectiveness. Funds were also released for the construction of cordon lines in the affected areas of Western and North Western provinces and, even now, this is being implemented.

Madam Chairperson, during the period under review, the ministry continued to promote community-based management of fisheries in major fishing areas, including Luapula and Northern provinces. Fish farming has continued to receive active attention from the Government and, with the injection of more resources, more people will be attracted to the business. Eighty dams have been restocked with fish in Southern province. A fish pen has been constructed in Lake Mweru Wantipa in Luapula Province. Fish is being bred and restocked in Lake Mweru Wantipa from the constructed fish pen. Preparations for restocking of fish stocks in lakes in Luapula province are underway.

Madam Chairperson, during the period under review, the seed sub-sector also recorded remarkable achievements especially in the establishment and development of the formal seed sub-sector led by private companies and Government agencies.

In 2006, a total of eighty new varieties were tested for adaptability and value for cultivation and use in Zambia, out of which twenty-eight were officially released for commercial production. I want hon. Members of Parliament of this august House to take note of the fact that to arrive at one seed variety, it takes a lot of money and many years. Last year, out of eighty varieties that we tested, only twenty-eight passed the test, but the testing cost us money. That’s how much it costs for us to continue providing a good seed.

A total hectarage of 35,025.5 hectares seed was under production and only 46 per cent of the total hectare planted to seed crops was rejected during the field inspection. Seed production was done in conformity with the regulations. Over the same period, the ministry tested 6,923 seed samples, while the licensed seed testing laboratories analysed 1,412 samples submitted for various laboratory analysis. Plans are under way to establish another seed testing laboratory in the Western Province.

Madam Chairperson, having dwelt at lengthy on the performance of agricultural sector during the last season, I will now state some of the plans that the ministry has for 2007. Listen carefully, please, on a very important province as I get to the end. The ministry’s general policy framework remains focused on long term attainment of market liberalisation and commercialisation throughout the private sector driven economy. The vision is, therefore, to see the development of an efficient, competitive and sustainable agricultural sector which ensures food security and increases income at all levels.

Madam Chairperson, as we are aware, the Government has allocated a total of K1,062.9 billion to agriculture which is 8.8 per cent of total National Budget. This year’s allocation is 33.1 per cent higher than last year’s allocation. At the weekend, I was talking to a colleague of mine who came from South Africa and we had a meeting on agriculture. Zambia is one of those countries that are very close to reaching the 10 per cent declared by the African Heads of State in Maputo 2003, confirmed in Libya in 2004 and when I was in Abuja last year, in 2006, we reconfirmed the same figure where Zambia had 8.8 per cent. They were only allowing 1.2 per cent below the requirement. I think we are doing very well from this year.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapita: Madam Chairperson, from that allocation, a total of K37 billion has been put aside for irrigation development and support. The ministry has finalised the National Irrigation Plan and Strategy (NIP) to spearhead irrigation development targeting small-scale, medium and large-scale commercial farmers. Under the National Irrigation Plan, the sector plan is to develop at least 70,000 hectares of irrigated land by 2010. The ministry intends to spend 80 per cent of the allocation to irrigation on activities that will directly benefit farmers. The balance of 20 per cent will go towards co-ordination of programmes as well as training of both ministry staff and farmers in various aspects of irrigation.

Madam Chairperson, K47.5 billion has been allocated to livestock development. These allocations are for combating diseases like Contagious Bovine Pleural Pneumonia, commonly called CBPP, Foot and Mouth Disease, East Coast Fever and Corridor Disease which my colleagues in Southern Province generally call denkete. This is the one.

Madam Chairperson, the money will also go towards construction of the cordon line to help prevent disease transmission. Restocking and sensitisation of farmers on good animal husbandry and disease control are also covered in this allocation.

The ministry has, therefore, embarked on a number of programmes aimed at reducing incidences of livestock diseases. These measures include good livestock management, a ban on movement of livestock from disease-infested areas, appointing and training community livestock auxiliaries and intensifying vaccination programmes. In addition, the ministry will sensitise livestock farmers on the need to maintain communal service facilities, such as dip tanks and the need to avoid illegal cattle movement as this is the main cause of disease outbreaks. This is because we are moving animals from Sesheke in Western Province at night, going through Kazungula, via Zimba. As a result, the disease is now in Zimba. We, the farmers, are very much to blame because we want to hide what we do at night, but now we are going to catch up with you.

Madam Chairperson, K20 billion has been allocated to agriculture infrastructure and land development. As I said before, the allocation is for the development of farm blocks. In fact, inadequate and poor agricultural infrastructure has tended to limit progress in the agricultural sector in the past. The Government, through this year’s budget, has made substantial amount of funds available to increase investment infrastructure. The Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives will promote the commercialisation of farm blocks so as to attract investment in agriculture. To this effect, synergies between large and small-scale producers will be encouraged.

The ministry will continue developing the identified areas in Nansanga in Serenje, Luena in Kawambwa and Kalumwange in Kaoma.

Madam Chairperson, K25.7 billion has been provided for fisheries development. The fisheries sub-sector is one of the programmes that the ministry wishes to promote with a view to increasing and diversifying sources of protein. The ministry will facilitate the availability of fish through conservation measures and promoting appropriate fishing gear technology. In addition, participatory community fisheries management and training in fish processing techniques will be encouraged. Efforts will also be directed towards promoting fish farming in areas of great potential and there plenty of areas in this country.

Madam Chairperson, the Government has provided K15 billion in this year’s budget for co-operatives. We have moved from K2.5 billion last year 2006 to K15 billion this year showing the importance that we have attached to this. This is the only private sector institution that is at village level. Others shun this, but co-operatives are there and we are going to ensure that they work. The Government is committed to spearheading agricultural development through co-operative development as evidenced by increasing the number of genuine co-operatives participating in critical Government interventions such as the Fertiliser Support Programme and Maize Marketing Programme because they act as agents of FRA.

The ministry will ensure that the preparation of the Co-operative Development Policy (CDP) is completed in 2007 so that revision of the existing co-operative related legislations can commence. The review of the Co-operative Societies Act No. 20 of 1998 has been planned for this year. Poor performance of co-operatives has been partly attributed to flaws in the legal framework.

Out of the K15 billion allocated to co-operatives, an amount of K4.6 billion has been allocated for co-operative education, training activities for both MACO staff and co-operators, and provision of transport. The Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives will ensure that co-operatives are transformed into business ventures that should depend on sound management practices will not get any funding from the state because there supposed to do a business. They must understand that.

Madam Chairperson, the ministry will also continue promoting the production and distribution for improved seed for crops such as sorghum, millet and cowpeas. The cultivation of cassava will be encouraged in drought-stricken areas, as an alternative to maize in order to ensure food security in rural areas. Cassava, which has actually been declared a staple food in Zambia, is also targeted now as an export crop this year 2007. In November when I was in Nigeria, I envied what the people were doing there. The market for cassava is very good outside this country and we intend to export cassava which is being grown almost everywhere in Zambia - Northern, Luapula, North-Western, Western, Copperbelt and Southern provinces, including our friends in Eastern Province. Unfortunately, the Easterners call cassava as ichinangwa, meaning something you just throw away. Cassava is a very good food.


Mr Kapita: Madam Chairperson, the Government has allocated K5.46 billion in this year’s budget for the activities to promote research into production and utilisation of good quality seed. The ministry has projected a total of about 30,000 hectares of seed to be produced and about 100 new crop varieties to be tested for adaptability in Zambia in 2007. To ensure that seed going on the international market and local market is of high quality, the institute has estimated to test over 7,000 seed samples for various laboratory analyses.

The ministry also has a mandate to protect farmers from being supplied with inferior plant varieties and to ensure that candidate varieties are orderly tested, evaluated and released. The ministry will conduct trials for both rain-fed and irrigated crops, setting up a Plant Breeders Office and formulation of regulations of Planned Breeders Rights (PBR), while the Planned Breeders Rights Bill is enacted. Part of this funding is for the purchase of capital items such as agricultural equipment, laboratory equipment and buying consumables for the biotechnology laboratory.

Madam Chairperson, to ensure that seed production and supply services are within the set seed standards, there is an allocation of K761,229,260,000. This funding will ensure that all seed produced in Zambia or outside the country are registered, inspected, tested and certified countrywide. No seed should be used in this country. For the advantage of hon. Members of this House, too many people travel to other countries and bring plant material. That is why we have the Large Grain Borer (LGB) in Chama and Kazungula. People bring in plant material without inspection. Anybody that brings in plant material or any seed and we come to know about it - if my department cannot burn it - I am coming to burn it because you are taking advantage of this country.

Madam, a provision of K291,465,240 has been allocated for development of seed programmes in rural seed system to help develop a sustainable cottage (rural) seed industry with a view to making seed more available and accessible to all farmers, especially women farmers in rural areas.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, through the Zambia Agricultural Research Institute (ZARI) will continue to conduct public good as well farmer demand-driven research and services in soils and crops, plant protection and farming systems. With this year’s allocation for the Zambia Agriculture Research Institute, amounting to K17.04 billion, the ministry will continue to generate and adapt crop and soil technologies in order to increase agricultural productivity and diversify production. This will include the development of low cost sustainable farming systems for all major agro-ecological zones and farm sizes through participation of both the public and private sector in research activities.

Madam Chairperson, the ministry will continue to develop strategies for developing agriculture marketing which will support both small scale and large scale traders in this country. The ministry will, therefore, continue supporting the Food Reserve Agency in order to ease crop marketing problems that our farmers have continued to experience for a long time. The Food Reserve Agency will continue taking care of both strategic reserves and be a buyer of the last resort of designated crops in the outlying areas. It is envisaged that the Food Reserve Agency will contribute to increased food production and improve incomes of farmers as it will buy at a price that will enable farmers recover their production cost.

Madam, in this year’s budget, a figure of K205 billion has been allocated for the Strategic Food Reserve to facilitate the purchase of maize and other crops. In 2006, the Food Reserve Agency was initially allocated K50 billion for the purchase of 80,000 metric tonnes. An additional K90 billion was released to increase the quantity of maize to be purchased in response to the bumper harvest. This year’s allocation has increased by K65 billion which is 46.43 per cent. Despite the late coming of rains and floods in some parts of the country, another bumper harvest is expected for this year.

Hon. UPND Members: Where?

Mr Kapita: Yes, believe us because we know what we are talking about.

I am, in fact, very worried because right now I have a problem. The new crop is coming in now. The farmers’ warehouses are still full of last year’s maize because we did not allow much export. Yesterday, my Permanent Secretary was in Mpongwe and he telephoned me from there saying that they were going to begin harvesting now, but they had no storage. He was asking me what they could do with the maize. I believe we are going to have a good harvest.

Madam Chairperson, K150 billion is the 2007 budgetary provision for the Fertiliser Support Programme for 2007/2008 season. This amount is K48 billion lower than last year’s budget of K198 billion and K103 billion lower than the actual expenditure of K253 billion in 2006/2007 season. We had a supplementary allocation. The extra expenditure was the additional 20,000 metric tonnes of fertiliser and 1,000 tonnes of seed. As a result of the reduced allocation, the comparative figures for the Fertiliser Support Programme will be as follows:

(i) In the 2005/2006 season, we gathered K129 billion and bought 50,000 metric tonnes of fertiliser, 2,600 metric tonnes of seed and supported 125,000 farmers.

(ii) For the current season, 2006/2007, with the crop on the ground, K253 billion was given out for 80,000 metric tonnes of fertiliser, 4,800 metric tonnes of seed and 210,000 farmers benefited.

(iii) For the 2007/2008 season, only K150 billion has been given, which translates into 50,000 tonnes of fertiliser and 2,500 tonnes of see and, therefore, reducing the number of farmers from 210,000 to 125,000, but when the time comes, do not ask me why you have not received more fertiliser in this coming season because you know the figure. We are going to give only 125,000 instead of 210,000 farmers.

Madam Chairperson, with regard to agricultural training, the Government allocated K15 billion for the year 2007. This allocation will enable agricultural colleges continue playing their role, providing trained manpower for the agricultural sector. The training colleges and institutes will offer diploma and certificate courses to school leavers. Various in-service training courses will also be provided as the need arises among the staff employed within the ministry and the various agro-related industries and co-operators. The effectiveness of colleges and training institutions has been seriously eroded as a result of inadequate funding in the past. The ministry will endeavour to rehabilitate and improve training facilities at the colleges and all other training institutions.

Madam, the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives,, through two sections, which are National Agricultural Information Services (NAIS) has implemented an industrious multimedia information and extension service for the farming community and stakeholders in the agricultural sector. The allocation, therefore, for the National Agricultural Information Service in this year’s budget amounts to K3.19 billion. Through this allocation, the ministry will continue to provide not less than 1,145 radio and television programmes as well as numerous news and printed products during the year. These information products are assisting the farming community to make informed decisions and be abreast with new developments in the agricultural sector.

Madam Chairperson, I now come to a very critical area for all provinces. Listen to see if your province is there. These are the programmes that we are carrying out throughout the country.

Madam, a total of K318 billion has been allocated for agricultural development programmes. These are the donor funded programmes that used to be housed under the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, Head 21. These are now under the Department of Policy and Planning at the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives.

As regards Project Number One, a Small Holder Enterprise and Marketing Programme (SHEMP) is a seven year on-going International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) funded programme that targets smallholder farmers and market intermediaries in selected district of Southern, Central, Lusaka, Copperbelt and Eastern provinces.

The objective of the Smallholder Enterprise and Marketing Programme is to improve smallholder incomes by improving smallholder access to input and output markets and other services in the private sector. The programme components includes smallholder enterprise good development, market linkage development and institution support.

Madam Chairperson, the Agriculture Support Programme (ASP) is a Swedish International Development Agency funded programme that targets small-scale farmers with potential to develop into entrepreneurs in selected districts of Central, Southern, Eastern and Northern provinces. The objective of the programme whose components include entrepreneurship and business development, land, seed, crop and livestock development, infrastructure fund, improved service delivery of support entities and management, information and learning system is to improve food security and income among the target groups.

The Small-scale Irrigation Programme (SIP) is an African Development Bank funded programme to target farmers in Sinazongwe and Mazabuka districts in the Southern Province and Chongwe in the Lusaka Province. The objective of the programme is to increase food production and household income of the target group. The programme components include irrigation development, rural savings and credit and capacity building.

The African Development Bank-Zambia Agricultural Marketing, Processing and Infrastructure Project (ADP/ZAMPIP) Support Programme to Eastern Province with an objective to contribute to increased gross domestic product, poverty alleviation and increased household incomes and food security has programme components that include crops, livestock development, infrastructure, rural finance and technical assistance. The programme targets small rural based households in all the districts of Eastern Province, baku maba as our home.

The Participatory Village Development in Isolated Areas is a Japanese International Co-operation Agency funded programme that targets extension officers and rural households in the Chongwe and Luangwa districts of Lusaka Province as well as Luwingu and Mporokoso districts of the Northern Province. The objective of the programme is to establish a practical model for sustainable participatory village development in isolated areas. The project components include sustainable agricultural practices, participatory village development and the institutionalisation of the model into the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives.

Madam Chairperson, the Support to Decentralised Rural Development in Southern Province is a GTZ funded programme that targets small-scale farmers in seven districts of Southern Province and district councils. The programme components include agricultural extension in food production, mobilisation of monetary income sources, service provision of district administration, participatory planning and monitoring of poverty reduction and national reform processes, especially the decentralisation process.

The objective of the Crop Monitoring Project (DFID), which is ours at the ministry, is to assist Government to timely and regularly assess crop conditions during crop growing seasons and consequently attain some level of preparedness in times of crisis in forty-five districts of Eastern, Western, Southern, Northern and North-Western, Central, Lusaka and Luapula provinces.

The objective of the Global Environment Facility-GEF (Sustainable Land Management in the Zambian Miombo Woodland Ecosystem) is to reduce carbon emissions from unsustainable slash-and-burn agricultural practices in the miombo woodlands, mainly in Serenje and Mkushi, and the conservation of globally significant bio-diversity and improvement of the food security of the local population. The project is supporting studies, capacity building, promotion of sustainable land management, scaling up of the sustainable land management approach to other areas in Zambia and project management, monitoring and evaluation and information dissemination are project components of the programme.

Madam Chairperson, the objective of the Support to Small and Medium-scale Trade and Investment Programme is to support micro, small and medium-scale enterprises and small-scale agricultural producer groups to secure the technical, managerial and marketing assistance they need to enhance their capacity and profitability. This is a nation wide programme funded by the African Development Bank and the Government of Zambia.

The Small Agricultural Production and Marketing Support Project’s objective is to increase agricultural production of high value crops – most of them are export crops - as well as traditional staple food crops and expand the export market of fresh produce and other high value crops and increase the domestic supply of staple crops, milk and other livestock products. The programme components include scaling up of small-scale commercial agriculture, rural seed production, strengthening animal health and phytosanitary services, which means the hygiene in agricultural production, especially the crops, and project management support

The Agricultural Development Support Project is a World Bank funded programme that targets private and public sectors nation wide. The project component includes support to farmers and agri-business enterprises with sub-components of supply chain credit facility, market improvement and innovation facility and feeder roads improvement facility. The other components include institutional development and project management and co-ordination.

Madam Chairperson, the other project is Support to Agricultural Diversification and Food Security Project. This is a European Union funded project. I want my friends from North-Western and Western provinces to know this is the one. The objective of the support to agriculture diversification and food security project is a huge and funded project which tackles rural household in North-Western and Western provinces to improve the performance of the rural small holders with respect to food security and agricultural diversification strategies. The programme components include operationalisation of food security component of the national agriculture policy, support to MACO’s extension services and a grant facility for support to production, processing and marketing. This project will be very important and well funded for the two provinces. I would like to have a lot of interaction from hon. Members from those two provinces.

Madam Chairperson, the programme for Luapula Agricultural and Rural Development is a Government of Finland sponsored programme which aims to contribute to the development of an efficient, competitive and sustainable agricultural and rural sector, which ensures increased income and food security for small-scale rural households in Luapula Province. The programme components include fisheries and fish farming, agriculture and non-farm economic activities, marketing and communication and institutional support.

The last project is the Small Livestock Investment Project which is an IFAD funded project, with programme components of animal disease control, draught animal power oriented restocking and project management. This project aims to increase income and food security among small holder farmers through the restoration of their access to draught animal power. It targets poor households with no ownership of and limited access to draught animal power, but enough productive capacity to fully realise the benefits of improved access to this resource.

Madam Chairperson, before I conclude, let me just remind you of one thing. The one who made us intentionally put this tank in front so that we do not forget about filling it. That is the ministry.

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

Mr Kapita: We are going to have a thought about filling this tank and it requires to be filled everyday and we are talking about three square meals a day. I need your support to ensure that we keep filling and we fill with nutritionally balanced food, those I represent as I stand here.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapita: As I conclude, Madam Chairperson,…

Hon. Members: Aah!


Mr Kapita: …I want to appeal to all hon. Members of this august House to support the budget estimate for agriculture in order for us to continue with the work that we started in 2002 and that work is to commercialise the 1.3 million small-scale farmers so as to assure national and household food security, reduce poverty, reverse rural-urban drift, increase the volume and earnings of agricultural exports and to exploit the enormous agriculture potential so as to turn this country. Yes, we are going to turn this country into the home of agriculture in Africa.

Madam Chairperson, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Thank you, Madam Chairperson, for giving me this opportunity to contribute.

The hon. Minister has taken almost forty-five minutes talking about what he intends to do. You will allow me to speak for fifteen minutes.

Madam Chairperson, I want the hon. Minister to acknowledge that out of this K1 trillion, K700 billion is donor funded, so during his preach, you will see the companies that are going to fund us.

Already, he has indicated that they are going to start forty new small projects in Sinazongwe, Mazabuka and Chongwe, but we have already, in place, a big irrigation project that we have talked about. However, I get a bit worried when I see that a bigger chunk of money is donor funded because they will restrict themselves to allowing money into those areas.

Madam Chairperson and hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives, if you want to have an impact on agriculture, ensure that money is released on time and you have an extensive building of dams to hold water everywhere, especially in Southern Province.

Hon. PF Members: Aah!

Mr Muntanga: I am specific about Southern Province because we do not have enough rainfall in those areas. The second part that I debated and articulated here was that there was not enough money allocated for the same, but when we go to areas where there is water, nothing is being mentioned. I have looked at the district allocations …


Mr Muntanga: Please, go and look at the district allocations and you will find that on support to irrigation programmes, very little has been put there. You talk about a lot of money for Kaputa irrigation, which is not there.

We have a problem because we only managed to raise K14 million and K27 million extension when we have plenty of water in Luwingu. Unfortunately, there is not enough money for building canals for simple irrigation structures that the Zambian people need, and that is the point that I am trying to drive home. We need to ensure that those irrigation projects are sustained.

Furthermore, how you are going to ensure that this money that is donor funded is released early to you, is up to you. I have mentioned this because of the K1 trillion that has made us reach the 8 per cent of our budget levels, which is quite high when you compare it in the sub-region. It is only Ethiopia that has 10 per cent. The rest are low. However, even if they are at about 4 per cent in Kenya, and the fact that they did not destroy the infrastructure for agriculture, they are able to sustain themselves.

In Zambia, after 1991, we went on rampage, destroying everything. Co-operatives were destroyed because we believed that we did not need them. We also went ahead and destroyed the very structures for the control of animal diseases and now we are spending money on the cordon line that was there. The veterinary assistants were removed. We had a structure in Kazungula for quarantining animals - and I understand that that particular farm was given to the people and as of now, there is no quarantine and yet that was an international quarantine farm. Therefore, where are you going to quarantine the animals that you are going to bring in this country since that was the only place where you were going to study their behaviours so as to protect your country from whatever diseases that are coming in the country? In the meantime, lung diseases have also spread to quarantine areas like the Natural Resources Development College (NRDC) land which has been shared.

We are now talking about revamping farm training centres, but I have seen that there is no money for Kalomo. Last year, there was K100 million, but this year, it has been left out and are these the things that will help the farmers? You have all talked about small-scale farmers and you even went ahead and signed protocols everywhere. In Maputo and other places where you signed the protocols, you were all talking about the small-scale farmers. What are you doing to the small-scale farmers? These are the problems that we are talking about. If you formed training centres and funded them adequately, small-scale farmers were going to benefit from the maintenance of these farm training centres in their respective districts.

We do not want to see the destruction, like you have done in Mochipapa, where you created an organisation for the Livestock Development Trust, which is totally useless. If you go to Mochipapa right now, and this is a challenge to the Livestock Development Trust, there was research for crop husbandry as well as a cattle research station, but they have sold the animals there.

Mr Hachipuka: They have shared, not sold the animals.

Mr Muntanga: If you go there, you will find that the animals were sold cheaply, but if we took over today and tomorrow we are on that side, we will know which people we will pick up over night, to arrest you.


Mr Muntanga: The first President created State farms and at the time you were taking over as MMD Government, there were 18,000 cattle owned by the State. Then, came the privatisation of the State farms, the ranches that used to supply animals that people wanted to take - I have told you before that I was one of the Managers that took animals to Kasama and Chishimba from Chisamba Ranches for three months on foot. Now Chishimba Ranch is a sorry site. If you go to Mbala Ranch, you will find that they have sold the farm. What sort of people are you?


Mr Muntanga: Madam Chairperson, when we come to agriculture, I want seriousness in this issue my brother, Hon. Kapita, and I am very open to you.

Madam Chairperson, when I was in Cape Town for a day’s seminar, I explained to them what the problems are and I have told him …

Hon. Government Members: Did you go there on foot?

Mr Muntanga: If I could manage on foot. Yes, I did go there.

Mr Simbao: On a point of order, Madam.

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Simbao: Madam Chairperson, I rarely raise points of order. Is the hon. Member on the Floor in order to tell the whole nation that people in Mbala have shared the cows? I need your serious ruling.


The Chairperson: Mr Muntanga, who is debating, has heard the point of order that the whole nation has been misled that the people of Mbala have shared the animals. Please, take that into consideration or you clarify.

Mr Muntanga: Madam Chairperson, Mbala Ranch, at the time I was managing as Regional Manager, had close to 6,000 cattle. There was the sharing, firstly, of the farm at the main headquarters and he knows who got the farm and later sold it to a white man who is there right now. The reasons given were that Zambians must be empowered. I do not want to mention names of people who are not here, but he knows them.

The Lunzuwa Agricultural Research Station in Mbala is no longer operating. It is closed.

Mr Simbao shook his head.

Mr Muntanga: He is shaking his head and yet he knows very well that these problems have been there, and all I am saying is that these places must be properly accounted for. When our colonialists came, they picked certain areas and Lunzuwa was one of the areas that they picked. Chishimba was another place where they made investments. They selected various places and took animals there.


Mr Muntanga: Although I was one of those who were taking animals to these areas, I did not like the idea and when I hear that they have killed them, I get annoyed.

Madam Chairperson, the entire department has forgotten tsetse control. The Tsetse Control Services …

The Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

Mr Muntanga: Madam Chairperson, before break, I was about to bring out a point on tsetse control. In this country, we had more or less managed to control tsetse flies. You may be aware that tsetse flies cause a disease called Trypanosomiasis to cattle and, to human beings, a disease commonly known as Sleeping Sickness and this was well controlled. Some of you who come from Northern Province will remember that near Chief Munkonge, as you are branching off into the valleys, you had a barrier to control tsetse flies, but now there is no longer such a thing. 
Furthermore, Madam Chairperson, we had physical wires in areas surrounding the game parks as well, but there has been less control except on the Great East Road where we see something of a replica of what you do on tsetse control. Under the Rural Development Corporation, we had created the Rural Air Services to control the spread of tsetse flies. This organisation used to control the spread of tsetse flies by spraying the affected areas. It is one serious problem bwana Minister. I am happy that there is money now that has been allowed in the department for tsetse control.

Of late, we are not doing any more picketing and I have seen very little of it. If you went on the Zimbabwean side you could see all these Pickets that show you that they are able to detect the presence of tsetse flies. In Zambia, we seem to have gone to sleep after 1991 and called it a liberalised market. Though we have liberalised everything, we would need emphasis in the control of these diseases.

One ranch that was created, Kalungwishi Ranch in Mporokoso, was closed. It has beautiful grasslands like the Kafue Flats. The intention was that all these ranches dotted all over the country were going to be a hoard to buy cattle from and this should be done.

The Mbesuma Ranch, which was formerly owned by a white person, was created to stop the Corridor Disease and the East Coast Fever from the eastern side and we had goats and sheep running with cattle because that is one of the ways you control the disease. Now, what you see of Mbesuma is nothing but lantana which has completely taken over the farm and we are losing every investment because all these ranches have been destroyed and ripped open, and we are doing nothing under the guise of privatisation. 

I would like to urge that besides the controls we made, I want to emphasise control for CBPP. Hon. Minister, the K700 million you have been given for emergency disease control is too little. We need not less that K2.5 billion for that particular emergency fund. The Minister of Finance and National Planning should release that money to the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives for emergencies.

The Permanent Secretary should not come to your door to beg when there is a disease outbreak. Let that money be released and be put in the bank so that when there is an outbreak, there is no question of asking for the money again. In most cases, the money is not there. We should not do things that will make this budget to be nothing but just a song by next year.

Lastly, I am glad that the Minister of Energy and Water Development has indicated plans to dig some dams around the country though that is not enough. I want to invite the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives to Kalomo to discuss what we can do in damming and how we can hold water. The Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives also has some allocations for dam creations. It is these dams that you can create with smallholder irrigation projects. The hon. Minister is welcome in Kalomo so that we can show him what happens on a Smallholder Irrigation Programme. He will need the money released unless you want people in Southern Province to ‘water’ with sand because there is no water.

We have seen an allocation in this budget for restocking of fish in Southern Province, which is a very good thing as we must also be fishermen. I want to tell you, hon. Minister, about the dam in Kanchele which you want to restock. One time, when we had a drought, the fish the dam dried and we had a field day getting free fish because it could not survive without water. I want you to go there and use that K109 million allocation to re-deepen, widen and make the dam bigger so that it can hold more water. In the times when we have less water, we will not have the dam drying up and the fish which you want to put in will not just go to waste. In that case, the fish industry will develop at a better pace, as it had done in the Kaunda times. The Kaunda times were very good as he did everything. I want to see a change for once where something will be done for co-operatives and for the people of Zambia. I hope that the money will be released to the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives without hesitation.

Thank you, Madam.

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Thank you, Madam Chairperson. I do not want to sound like a stuck record or whatever the modern equivalent is, but I was a little bit surprised that the hon. Minister, in his long introduction to the Agriculture Policy, never alluded once to climatic instability. Since the very short time that I mentioned it in the debate on Foreign Affairs, there has come to the United Nations Security Council the issue of global warming and Britain has actually introduced legislation concerning global warming. I think for my old ministry to fail to even be abreast of the times is actually a failure and I think it needs to be corrected when the hon. minister winds up. 

Madam Chairperson, let us just remember the context of our agriculture. 500 years ago there was no agriculture worth talking about in this country and the reason is that there were no varieties and no suitable domesticated plants for growing. There was finger millet, which is, of course, quite different from blue rash millet which grows in Western Province; sorghum and one or two other crops, but that is not enough in a country where you allow yourselves to be assaulted by red locusts, sleeping sickness and birds that can wipe out an entire block of sorghum in about an hour.

So, people here hunted or you hunted - or whoever - our ancestors were hunted and ate off the land. They ate everything from mbeba to elephant, and they ate the wonderful wild rice from Siavonga, fruits and so forth. That was only able to change with the discovery, by Christopher Columbus, of the Americas and then the Spanish brought black gold, but the agriculturists brought back an enormous range of crops with the most famous, probably, being tobacco and potatoes which really ought to be called Mexican potatoes. The ones which had the most profound impact upon Zambia were the groundnuts, cassava, sweet potatoes and maize. This was the new armoury with which the agriculturists coming in to Zambia, or born in Zambia, could use to develop systems of agriculture which would enable farming people to get through every day of the year filling their stomach, as the hon. Minister said. This was the innovation. This was what led to the Chitemene System. Do not laugh at the Chitemene System. There are agronomists who sit and are dumbfounded by the brilliance of that invention. Given the fact that there was no fertiliser, no seed breeding, no World Food Programme and no Vice-President’s Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit, there were only people and nature. It worked and it kept people alive.

The other system up there is called Fundikile. The book on agriculture in the Barotse Flood Plains entitled The Soils and Agricultural Systems of North Western Rhodesia, by Chapman and Claudia, is still read throughout the world with wonder as to how you can take such an unstable weather system and such weak soils as we have in Zambia and feed children and adults year in and year out.

This problem of diversification was never a problem. The problem is the anti-diversification that has been taking place since then. This is what you might call the industrial age of agriculture where a single crop has come to dominate. That crop depends on the importation of nearly half its value in chemicals from fertiliser-producing countries like South Africa, Norway or wherever. The crop depends on absolute precision. It depends on having an average, or a moderately average season, not the one that is too wet or too cold.

The amount of money that we pour or claim to pour into that crop which we believe is traditional - even though it came from the outskirts in South America - and has never been seen here before that time. That crop brought down Kaunda’s economy, his Government, his Treasury and his Exchequer because every year it gobbled more and more as people tried to meet the gaps between the expenditure and revenue, between the price to the consumer and the price to the producer. I fear very much the slow clipping in of an increase in subsidies, increase in support, increase in the talk about the vulnerable but viable. What does vulnerable but viable mean? Those are two words in English beginning with ‘v’ and mean the exact opposite of each other.


Dr Scott: I think, we need to let maize have its place, but let us not measure the success of the agricultural policy by whether the maize crop is up or down. Let us have some genuine attempts at diversification.

We are not just subsidising consumers and producers, we are subsidising the people that make beer or castle. We are subsiding people who feed maize to their animals because it is cheap. Why not subsidise a bit of cassava, hon. Minister? Let the animals eat cassava, let the beer brewers use cabbage or amale to make katataa and subsidise it. Let us have some sort of balance.

Mr Mtonga: Zoona!

Dr Scott: It is amazing that so good as cassava is, it is without a single kwacha of subsidy. Really, cassava is grown as much as the maize crop.

Madam Chairperson, the richest farmers in Zambia are those around Chingova or Kingovwa. This village is between Solwezi and Chingola. This is where they collect those sweet potatoes which they also call chingovwa and transport them to Botswana and even as far as Johannesburg in 30-ton trucks without the ministry even noticing, and without the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning taxing them. Those are the richest small farmers that I know in Zambia.

The cassava is there trying to show us what it can do. The sweet potatoes are there trying to show us what can be done. Let us have a balanced marketing policy. It is good to say that the Food Reserve Agency bought this and that crop. The fact is that 99 per cent of what it bought was maize and soft hybrid maize which is extremely difficult to store because it came from America, and that which was grown by villagers here was called kankata. It was hard, long wearing and easy to store in the village. There was nothing like this floury hybrid maize that we grow these days and which we try to make work.

I know, I am a not three-times-per-day maize eater and, so, I may not be qualified to talk, but I do think that any healthy country and agricultural economy, especially in times of the impending uncertainty of floods, one-year drought scenario, agriculture needs to be properly and thoughtfully diversified, and not just rhetorically diversified. This rhetoric about diversifying is nothing if you cannot back it with economic measures that are actually going to motivate the farmers today.

The subsidy on a hectare of maize, by my estimation is about a K1 million on the input side and about another K1 million on the marketing side. If you gave somebody growing cassava, K2 million to grow one hectare of cassava, you would have cassava coming out of your ears.

The same thing goes for cotton. The fact that you cannot eat cotton is irrelevant. The hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives is not food secure because he grows his own food. He is food secure because he gets a minister’s salary and can go to Shoprite and buy food. If it is in the rural areas, he can go to the nearest trader. Money is food security.

Those crops like cotton which should have received no subsidy, in fact, are receiving the opposite from the Western Countries which are subsidising their own producers and bringing down the prices. Those are crops that are very resistant to rain and drought. They have an important part to play in the successful agricultural economy of Zambia, particularly in Southern Province and, of course, also Eastern and Central provinces. Everybody wants to be secure and the kind of security we have at present, where the moment anybody shouts ‘drought’, everybody sells their crop, pockets their money and sits, waiting for the World Food Programme or somebody to come and feed them. That is not a healthy development. We are turning, one year, from a bumper farmer, into a complete destitute and a victim of nature the next year. I am sure no self respecting person in any part of this country would prefer that life style to a successful balanced agricultural economy.

The last thing I would like to say is that I appreciate that the hon. Minister, who is well known to me- somebody was suggesting that he should become the Minister of Home Affairs because he is always saying, ‘I am putting them behind bars- they better be careful- I will lock them up if they do not repay.’


Dr Scott: I very much appreciate his attempts to get the systems working again, but he must not underestimate the difficulties. When we found the co-operative system, at the end of Kaunda’s era, it was a witchcraft infested and bankrupt system. It was corrupt to the head. It could have been and should have been slowly corrected into something.

Unfortunately, politicians, who I do not wish to have ever associated with, took a part in various provincial co-operative unions, reaped from them, gutted them and took their assets away. This is very, very shocking. I think, through you, Madam Chairperson, I would urge people not to simply flip from one side to the other and say well the aftermath of making the co-operatives stand on their own feet was that they collapsed and that, therefore, we have to go back to the system we found before.

The hon. Minister has to find a new way. He has to find a way which is more like, for example, the way it used to be in South Africa where, if they lent money to you as a farmer and bought your crop, in between, they owned virtually everything that you had, barring, maybe, your wife, dog or children. Everything else they controlled until you cleared your nkongole. It was not a matter of whether you had a bad year when they would, ‘We forgive you your debts and let us start again,’ that they would clear the sheet.

The hon. Minister needs to think of something new. It does not seem right to sound draconian here in Lusaka such that everybody says make him hon. Minister of Home Affairs. When it actually comes out to the villages or rural areas, what you will get is just the same old corruption, patronage and use of political power to economic ends. The same, of course, goes for his disease control programmes and all these things he mentioned.

Madam Chairperson, we have had denkente and Contagious Bovine Pleuro Pneumonia for decades and it has always failed on the lack of political will at the national level to make it work at the local level. Even compulsory dipping has gone and people will want to find an easy way round it. CBPP is always in Western Province. It has now migrated in. The hon. Minister must make sure he has the money to carry out the job. You cannot call a farmer, slaughter his cattle and then tell him to wait for his money for one, two or three years. It will not work and they will not co-operate with you. They will look after themselves and move their cattle illegally wherever they need to use them in order to get rid of them and change them into cash. Therefore, I wish the hon. Minister the best of luck, but I think he should also keep the perspective more than he is inclined to do sometimes.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Madam Chairperson, thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this very important ministry. In the first place, I would like to thank the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives and his Permanent Secretary. When the money for the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives is released, it reaches the districts. This is where you find that a Camp Officer is going to benefit from this money unlike some of these ministries, which we talked about last time.

Madam Chairperson, before I go further, I would like to register my disappointment with the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hammer!

Mr Mbewe: Madam Chairperson, I was expecting him to say something tangible that we could see in our Yellow Book concerning the Co-operative Bank but he is very silent. I feel we are doing very much injustice to the farmers. That bank usually assists the farmers and for the ministry to leave it out, I find that it is quite very unfair.

Madam, I also want to register my disappointment that when you look at the Budget, most of the money is going to Food Reserve Agency (FRA) and the other amount of money is going to Fertiliser Support Programme (FSP), releasing very little money for the operations. When we look at the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, it is the ministry which has highly qualified staff which are being under utilised. We are underutilising these people because we do not give them the resources they need. I therefore, ask the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to consider the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives in terms of funding.

Madam, we have very qualified personnel who we are using fully because of lack of our support. The qualifications of these people starts from Mulungushi House up to the camp and they are all qualified. We frustrate them because we do not give them enough allocations. In this regard, I feel that when the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning is giving out funds, he should consider agriculture separately. We should not think that because last year we gave them K3 billion, this year we should give them K5 billion. That is very unfair. Let us go and see what these people are doing and we will appreciate. We are really going to appreciate what these people are going through. The Permanent Secretary of agriculture is a man who uses his initiative. Without him using initiative, this ministry would come to a halt.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: Madam Chairperson, at the same time, we could approve this Budget but the problem is that this money will be released very little and late. The Ministry of Finance and National Planning is making most of these ministries ineffective.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: Madam Chairperson, we are still asking the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to release the money on time. This money should be released according to what the ministry is requesting. When you look at the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, we have to look at colleges as well.  For example, Monze was established in 1952…

Mr Mwiimbu: Ya!

Mr Mbewe: … and up to now, it is still giving out certificates.


Mr Mbewe: Why can we not have a system whereby these colleges can grow? We are budgeting to make the future good but in the actual fact, we are what we were in 1952.


Mr Mbewe: Madam Chairperson, from 1991 to 2001, we had problems of food in Zambia but when the New Deal Government came into power, we thought we would get food everywhere but we need to put our…


Mr Mbewe: Madam Chairperson, I need your protection.


Mr Mbewe: Madam Chairperson, from 2001, we have had enough food stocks even in our rural places. If this Government wants us to grow, let us criticise ourselves constructively…

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe:… so that we have enough food stocks. What Hon. Muntanga said was there and in the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, we have qualified personnel. Why can we not give them money so that whatever was destroyed is revamped. Therefore, in short, I am asking the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives to start preparing for a Supplementary Budget. I know that this ministry is already under funded.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): Madam Chairperson, I get very surprised when Government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives start bragging that agriculture policies in Zambia are working and we are succeeding.

Madam Chairperson, the policies of agriculture in Zambia have lamentably failed. This is being seen in terms of what is on the ground. If we start boasting about the bumper harvest for example, this is a simple economic equation. If there is a bumper harvest, it means that the supply of food on the market is more than we demand. We therefore, expect prices of food to come down but if there is a bumper harvest even in terms of maize and prices of mealie meal are still going up, we are in the success.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kakoma: Madam Chairperson, right now in Zambezi, the price of a 25kg bag of mealie meal is K65,000.


Mr Kakoma: When we are saying that there is a bumper harvest and plenty of food in Zambia, why have the prices of food not come down? We were expecting that from last year and this year, when we had bumper harvests, the prices of mealie meal should have dropped from K40,000 to K10,000 per bag by now. Then, we can boast and say we are succeeding in our agriculture policies on production. When the reverse is happening, then, you have to be ashamed of yourselves that you are leading a Government while you are failing to provide for the people.

Madam Chairperson, right now, we are not only talking about the affordability of food, but also the availability…

Mr Tetamashimba: On a point of order, Madam.

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Tetamashimba: Madam Chairperson, it is well known fact that the staple food of the people of Zambezi where Hon. Kakoma, Hon. Konga and others come from is cassava. Is the hon. Member debating in order to be telling us that there is shortage of food when we know that there is more than enough food? His parents have been growing cassava all these years and there has never been any hunger except for these floods. Is he in order to imply that the people in Zambezi are failing to grow cassava and are now turning to maize when we have always depended on cassava? I need your serious ruling.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: Order! The concern of the Deputy Minister of Works and Supply is that the people of Zambezi predominantly grow cassava and are dependent on cassava. Therefore, the cost of the maize meal may not be a big factor.

The hon. hon. Member debating is talking about the cost of maize meal whether eaten by many or few. It is that fact.

May he continue?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Chairperson: If it is not a fact, you may appraise this House accordingly.

Could the hon. Member, please continue.

Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): I would like to thank you, Madam Chairperson, for your guidance.

It is not only mealie meal prices that are rising, even the price of other food products are on the increase. Right now, even in the constituency of the Acting Leader of Government Business in the House (Mr Mpombo), people are failing to eat chicken because they cannot afford it.

Mr Mpombo indicated dissent.

Mr Kakoma: The Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives is boasting about poultry industry in Zambia. We are talking about the majority of Zambians that cannot afford beef. Some of them have not eaten beef for a long time because they cannot afford it. Why should we talk about success in the agriculture sector when it cannot be translated into tangible results on the ground?

Madam Chairperson, there was one old man who came from the village. His son who is a civil servant wanted to fete his father by giving or killing a chicken for him, but he could not afford a chicken. Therefore, the best he did was to go to some shop, buy some chicken legs and cooked. At least, there was soup for a chicken. His father was very disappointed that he could be given legs which he usually throws away in the village.

Madam Chairperson, the bottom line is that these things are becoming unaffordable, when it is not a luxury. People must be eating chicken and beef. They must at least  be having three meals a day.

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

Mr Kakoma: If there is plenty of food in Zambia, why is it that it is documented that a lot people are only affording one meal per day? The Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives should ask himself. If indeed, we have plenty of food and we are succeeding in our agriculture policies, why is it that people would even be luck to have a meal per day? In rural constituencies, people cannot even afford one meal per day. They go hungry.

Mr Mwiimbu: Yes!

Mr Kakoma: Sometimes, it takes them two to three days without food. When I tour my constituency, people come to the vehicle looking for food.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Mwiimbu: It is true.

Mr Kakoma: This is because there is food security in Zambia.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Kakoma: If the agriculture policies are working, we should see these things translated in real economic indicators. In countries where agriculture is succeeding, you can see that even income in rural economies, communities and the agriculture sectors are increasing. In Zambia, poverty in the agriculture sector and in rural areas where people depend on agriculture is increasing. If your agriculture policies are working, people that are working in agriculture should be earning more. Why is poverty increasing in this sector amongst small-scale farmers in particular? It is precisely an indication that we have failed.

Madam Chairperson, if agriculture is succeeding in Zambia, we must be seeing an increased level of employment levels in the agriculture. We should not even be complaining that there is unemployment in Zambia because the agriculture sector has the highest potential to create employment in Zambia, but people have no jobs even in the agriculture sector.

Madam Chairperson, countries like Kenya, who, apart from tourism, depend on agriculture for their survival. Agriculture is supposed to be and it is the obligation of this Government from a long time ago that agriculture should become the main stay of the economy. Could you tell me that agriculture is the main stay of the economy? Could you survive even in terms of contributions of revenue to Government from agriculture?

Madam Chairperson, Hon. Muntanga has just demonstrated that in fact, the larger part of this expenditure for agriculture is from donors. This simply means that the industry cannot sustain itself.

Madam Chairperson, the bottom line is that we should not be under the elusion that we are succeeding when we are failing. For those of us who are hon. Members for rural areas…

Mr Muntanga: On a point of order, Madam.

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Muntanga: Madam Chairperson, is the my neighbour who is speaking now in order not to emphasise the hunger situation in Hon. Imasiku’s Constituency and Liuwa in particular, where people are eating green mangos. Even Hon. Mwangala is failing to debate because of hunger. Is he in order to fail to declare that?


The Chairperson: Order! The serious ruling is that the hon. Member debating is in order not to declare the hunger situation in Liuwa because he does not come from Hon. Imasiku’s Constituency. He has no facts on that.

You may continue.

Mr Kakoma: Madam Chairperson, I would like to thank you fro your wise ruling.

Madam Chairperson, let me now come to the issue of farming blocks. I have noted and I am very happy that for the first time, Government is considering establishing a farming block in North-Western Province. This is long over due because North-Western Province has never run out of water. Meanwhile, we are all failing to produce maize because…

Mr Mwangala: On a point of order, Madam.

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwangala: Madam Chairperson, I am getting worried to see my young brother, Hon. Kambwili, seated like that for the first time. Is he holding a funeral?


The Chairperson: We appreciate the light moment. Hon. Kambwili is very much in order because that is the discipline we expect from him to listen quietly.


The Chairperson: Mr Kakoma, can you continue.


Mr Kakoma: I was saying that creating a farming block in North-Western Province has been long over due. In fact it should not just be one farming block, it should be full of farming blocks because that is a province that has good climate, soils and has the potential to feed the whole country and even export. However, for a long time this has been ignored.

When you talk about diversification, it must be diversifying regions that are prone to drought and other calamities, to provinces which have got potential to develop in terms of agriculture. I think the same argument applies to other northern regions such as Northern, Luapula, Copperbelt and Central provinces. We must begin to shift the maize belt from areas that are prone to drought so that we feed this nation.

Madam Chairperson, I am shocked at the level of negligence and irresponsibility …

Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!

Mr Kakoma: … shown by this Government over issues of animal disease control.

Major Chizhyuka: Hear, hear!

Mr Kakoma: For a long time now, we have been talking about Contagious Bovine Pleural Pneumonia (CBPP) …

Hon. Member: Denkete!

Mr Kakoma: … and they have not brought a tangible solution to this problem. For example, North-Western Province is one of the victims of CBPP because of Angola our neighbour. The animals there have been whipped out by CBPP and nothing tangible has been done.

The Government keeps on talking about vaccination programme. For the past six years, they have been preaching about the vaccination programme in my constituency which they have never carried out effectively and the animals are still dieing. What they are doing now is to talk about the cordon line. They have been talking about this cordon line for more than five years. There is nothing on the ground. If you go to Chavuma, Mwinilunga, Zambezi, Lukulu and Kalabo there is no cordon line.


Mr Kakoma: I understand that instead of a cordon line there is now a ‘condom line’.


Mr Kakoma: We do not need a ‘condom line’ but we need a cordon line.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kakoma: Madam Chairperson, one of the solutions that you have proposed is that because you have failed to control diseases and have no money or capacity to control these diseases, the solution is to slaughter all those animals and start a new cattle restocking programme. That is the only way you can control that disease.

The World Food Organisation …

Dr Chituwo: On a point of order, Madam.

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Dr Chituwo: Madam Chairperson, I was listening intently to Hon. Kakoma who I wonder whether he has got a Lima to contribute to our bumper harvest …


Dr Chituwo: … but is he in order, whether he is by intention straying to talk about ‘condom line’ when we are very clear about the cordon line? Is he in order?


The Chairperson: The Hon. Minister of Science, Technology and Vocational Training is concerned about the use of ‘cordon’ and ‘condom’.


The Chairperson: Since he is a former Minister of Health and a medical practitioner, he would want the hon. Member debating to be very clear of what he is talking about.

The hon. Member may take that into serious consideration.

Mr Kakoma: Madam Chairperson, what I am advocating for and what we want is a cordon line to keep and control the movement of cattle between the two countries and not a ‘condom line’.


Mr Kakoma: Madam Chairperson, we are victims of the civil war in Angola. During that civil war, a lot of cattle were stolen from Zambia in districts such as Chavuma, Zambezi, Lukulu and other neighbouring districts to the borders. And because of that, peasant farmers have become impoverished that was their own source of wealth. In times of trouble they could kill an animal sell and have an income. They could use that for marriage purposes and all other needs. This time the animal population has died and Government is not even considering restocking or compensating those people.

This Government must be very serious with the lives of people. There are people who have become poor now because of those activities, and this Government is on record saying that they are not the ones responsible. How responsible can such a Government be? Have the feelings of the people at heart.

Madam Chairperson, lastly, this Government has been talking about fish restocking. And they have been talking about restocking Lake Kimwange in Zambezi. I went to see the Minister on the same issue and written reports on that. Environmental Council of Zambia (ECZ) has been there as well as the DACO officers, but all we have is a big lake measuring 15 kilometres by 3 kilometres which needs fish restocking.

It is a well known fact even the Lozis like Professor Lungwangwa knows that that is where they used to get litapi or fish. Hon. Sikatana had been there and promised to restock this lake in Chief Chinyama Litapi’s area but he left the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives without restocking the litapi in Lake Kimwange. Can we have positive action on this matter? We cannot have people suffering and being affected by malnutrition when they can easily have access to proteins by eating fish.

Madam Chairperson, this is why I believe that this Government has lamentably failed. They are just interested in listening. They are a listening Government but after listening to whatever we advise or tell them, they take no action. How will it help you by just listening but taking no action? You must be a Government of action and not of listening.

I thank you, Sir.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister for Eastern Province (Mr Nkhata): Madam Chairperson, thank you for giving me this chance to add my voice on the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives.

I am very happy today that I will talk on agriculture on behalf of the people that sent us here, especially those from Eastern Province.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkhata: The MMD Government that is there today means well for the people of Zambia in the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkhata: Since 2002, the New Deal Government has done a lot through this ministry. It has changed the whole system of agriculture in this country. This was one country that hunger was looming at the time when other people were ruling this country some few years ago, from 2002 going backwards.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mwila: Talk about MMD!

Mr Nkhata: Yes, I am talking about MMD. There are some people that were here, but are there who made things worse and ran away from this team…


Mr Nkhata: … thinking that they would do better that side. When they left bad things here, they thought people would not know them.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkhata: This is the reason the people of the Eastern Province are not able to forget about them and when they run away from here to form small parties so that maybe they would run this country, the people still remember their activities whilst they were in charge of the country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkhata: This is the reason why the people of Eastern Province said no to those who wanted to come in because they are remembering the injury that they did during the time they were running the Government.


Mr Nkhata: Even after running away, the people of the Eastern Province still remember them. In Eastern Province we have good agriculture cooperative systems. We had many buildings and trucks for the cooperative movement but these were all destroyed by selfish leaders who want to stand today …


Mr Nkhata: Madam Chairperson, the New Deal Administration is trying to rebuild and also bring sanity in the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives. The people of the Eastern Province have seen quality leadership in the President of this country His Excellency, Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC. They have seen that his administration is good and thinks for the people of Eastern Province and the country at large.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkhata: Madam Chairperson, people are talking of animal diseases, but this Government has not just sat idle on this issue. The Government is busy and medicine or vaccines have already been bought and veterinary officials are already there manning the problem of diseases. The Government is everywhere where there is a problem, they have not just sat down but have moved in to try and solve the problems being faced by the people.


Mr Nkhata: This Government means well. In the last season, the Government prepared a good marketing system and the people have not forgotten about it. They got their money in good time. The people of Eastern Province were paid in good time and I know that all the farmers countrywide have been paid.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkhata: Madam Chairperson, no matter what a person grows, the Government has created an enabling environment for everybody to grow any type of crop and sell to the Government and to traders.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkhata:  For the coming season, I know that the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives is making good plans for all the marketing centres to be ready. The Government has put in a lot of money for this venture which others who were in here failed to do. The agriculture sector had collapsed completely but this Government that means well is revamping it and everything is coming to life and the people will never forget this and as such the MMD Government will run this country for the next twenty years because of its good policies.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkhata: At the moment in Eastern Province and the rest of the country, we are busy finding ways and means on how the crops are going to be stored. The Government is busy preparing for the bumper harvest. We know that there are areas where the yield is not good because of floods but the Government is ready to handle the matter nicely because they are right now busy preparing for this.


Mr Nkhata: There are a lot of things that are happening. I heard some of the hon. Members complaining about the cordon line. The Government is busy preparing for this. After all, the Government has finished putting the cordon line in some of the areas like in Lukulu and Kalabo. You know that the Government is doing something, but you just want to be heard that you can also talk and you are not saying the truth. In Shang’ombo cordon line is there.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkhata: So, we are doing everything possible. Let the country be settled. The New Deal Government means well for everybody, especially in terms of agriculture.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkhata: The crops that are being cultivated in this country will not be left without being bought. That is why we have put enough money into this year’s budget so that we buy every crop that is put on the market for the people of Zambia.

I thank you Madam Chairperson.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munaile (Malole): Thank you, Madam Chairperson, to give me a chance to say one or two things. So much has been spoken, but I will try to speak on areas I feel have not been touched. It is really very disheartening when you hear some hon. Members of Parliament debating in this House. I stand to support the budget for the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, of course, with a few reservations.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munaile: First of all, poverty has its multi dimensional and I think the fight against hunger will reduce poverty if it is properly handled.

Mr D. Mwila: Hammer!

Mr Munaile: The Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives has told this august House that they want to change small-scale farmers to become self reliant. The question I want to ask myself is that, how many of those small-scale farmers are able to sell their produce? How many of those farmers are able to realise money from their labour, especially those in the rural areas of our country. The distance is too far from their points to the places where they sell their produce. In those areas there is no transport, no roads, and yet, we are told that their able to buy these produce from every small-scale farmer in the entire country. This is not possible. I think the hon. Minister is going to do something since he has known the problems the people are facing in my area.


Mr Munaile: Madam Chairperson, the distribution of fertiliser is another issue. If people cannot be able to sell their produce, where are they going to get the money to buy the fertiliser and seed? Added to that, what about the distance? I will give an example of my district, Mungwi District. You can only access fertiliser when you go to Mungwi, and yet, there places that are more than 100 kilometres away from Mungwi. So, how can people manage to go to Mungwi? I think distribution points should be increased hon. Minister. Then, it will be easy for our people to access the farming implements unlike the situation is today.

Fisheries Department. This is one area which has not been given due consideration and it has not been helped much. When there is a fish ban, you will find that the fisheries officers have no transport to go round and check on those who are illegally fishing. Therefore, I would like the hon. Minster to say something about transport to these officers. They have no means to check and I think those who come from areas where there is fishing will attest to this.

Madam Chairperson, sheds were built throughout the country for storage of fertiliser, maize and other stuff that may be bought from the farmers, but today, they are being wasted and nothing is done about it. So much money was spent on these sheds, but they are not being utilised. What is the ministry doing about this? We need to ensure that we make use of the money that was spent on these things. We are not going to sit back and say we are doing something when the money that was spent on a lot of things have just been wasted. Most of the sheds in this country are now white elephants, as they are called.

With regard to farm institutes, long time ago, there was what was known as farm institutes. These farm institutes trained the Grade 7, Form II and III, to supplement the efforts of those with diplomas and degrees. Today, this is not there and yet, we are saying we are helping the small scale farmers. If I were to ask the hon. Minister Agriculture and Cooperatives, how many camp officers do we have in this country and does every constituency have enough? The answer is no. I believe and trust that the hon. Minister will look into this and ensure that some of these farm institutes are brought back so that we can train our Form V who are roaming the streets because they need jobs. They will be able to help our farmers in the rural parts of our country.

Madam, there is not enough staff in the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives. In my constituency, for example, there are not more than five, and yet, Mungwi District has more than 130,000 households.

Madam Chairperson, having said that, I want to urge the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives to put a distinction between a District Fisheries Officer and a District Agricultural Coordinator. In many situations, you will find that money is controlled by the District Agricultural Coordinator, and yet, you have a District Fisheries Officers who has his own section to control, but has not ability to control the resources that are brought in the district. As a result, he depends on the District Agricultural Coordinator and if they do not get along, whatever plans he has for his department, comes to a standstill. I would like to urge the hon. Minister to look at that and ensure that the two departments complement each other.

Mr Sichilima: Okey, fyafula!


Mr Munaile: Finally ...

Hon. PF Members: No! Continue! Hammer!

Mr Munaile: Well, I said I will dwell on what has not been spoken. I will not go on because everyone wants to speak.

Finally, Madam, we must understand that we need to do much about agriculture. Hon. Kakoma said something, which is very important that if we say that we are working hard, we should ensure that the cost of our staple food is brought down. I think that should be the first thing we need to as a country. We need to ensure that the price for our staple food begins to go down. In some countries, if the cost of bread goes up, it would spark riot because that is their staple food. In our country, we need to ensure that the price for the staple food is reduced.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Kapita: Madam Chairperson, I want to begin by thanking the hon. Members of this august House for the wonderful support that I have received from all those who have debated. I know some of them were very critical of their performance. Some of them supported us without any criticism, but I thank both sides because they have enriched my appreciation of the issues that play in terms of ensuring that this country becomes, as I said earlier, the home of agriculture in Africa.

I am indebted to Hon. Muntanga for the long list of ideas which are all very practical because they are coming from a practical person who has been in this agriculture for a very long time. I am grateful for your proposal to increase the Emergency Disease Control Fund from the current K786 million to K2,500 billion. I am also grateful for pointing out and mark my words that we have got to re-establish the disease control systems which unfortunately were destroyed between 1991 and 2001 and I make no apologies for saying that because that is what happened. We destroyed the control systems in this country and, as I said before, we are now paying the full price and we are going to continue paying until we put more money to re-establish the systems. For example, there is no picketing for tsetse fly, yes because we destroyed the system. However, I want to say to Hon. Muntanga that this Government under the New Deal administration, it is not the old MMD, which came in 2002…

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapita: I am telling you that it is very focused.

Coming to Hon. Kakoma, my good friend, who is the hon. Member for Zambezi West, I think he must accept the fact that since 2002, this country has changed from being a net food importer to a net food exporter because we are exporting everyday that means great success. We will never take it away from President Mwanawasa. What he has achieved, he has achieved. You can not take it away from him.

I want to thank all hon. Members who have contributed to the debate. Hon. Scott, my good old friend, we have been friends since 1973,…


Mr Kapita: He has given us a very nice history of agriculture since 500 years ago. Yes, I treasure his advice.

On the question of not making maize the only crop, I have said it and I want to say it today that unfortunately in this country because maize is the staple food, we have over glorified it, but I am aware that it is taking so much resources. But let me say one thing. You go to America today, they will not tell you about their strategic food reserves, but they spend billions of dollars to pay for those strategic food reserves. That is the truth. I get very surprised people say that we must not spend so much money on maize. Maize is the staple food of this country whether you like it or not. This Government, as a responsible Government, will continue to make sure that maize is bought from all small-scale farmers because that is the only way we can survive.

There as again an idea which was given by I think Hon. Scott or somebody else which worried me a lot. I want to dwell on my 40 years in agriculture. I feel like giving a change. Yes, you can have food security in money. That is very true, but today where do you get those from if you have money in the bank. In Argentina, it will cost you a fortune. The theory of giving food security in the pocket is a very good theory, but I am afraid, it assumes a number of things. Firstly, you have got have the money at that time. Secondly, there will be maize around in the neighbouring country and thirdly, you are going to be in good terms with the country having the maize. However, it is taking too much of a chance.

I wan to thank Hon. Nkhata, Minister of Eastern Province for his support for my market. I want to assure him that I want to use Eastern Province as a case in point. When they got paid for the maize from the Food Reserve Agency (FRA), they could tell almost everybody that the hon. Minister should send more fertiliser because we have got so much money this year.

This Government has put so much money in the farmers’ pockets that everywhere and I do not agree what Hon. Kakoma said that there is no maize …


Mr Kapita: … poverty is going down and if you tell me that people in the villages are starving, I will not believe it because as I talk to you now, people in Eastern Province sent Hon. Namulambe when he was there to ask the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives to go out and buy maize again. Therefore, I do not think that there is anybody who wants me to buy his/her maize when he is having only one spare meal per day.

Hon. Members of this august House, I want to close by thanking all of you for being very supportive and for suggesting that we must have a supplementary budgetary agriculture because as I said, in Kenya this November, they are copying from Zambia on FSP.

Mr Sichilima: Especially Mbala.

Mr Kapita: In Malawi, the farmers did not want to support the FSP last year, but this year, they are competing to support the FSP. Hon. Members of Parliament, what we have, we hope we are on the way forward and we are going to become the home of agriculture in Africa.

Madam Chair, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Vote 89/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/06 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/07 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/08 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/09 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/10 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/11 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/12 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/13 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/14 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/15 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote89/16 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/17 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/18 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/19 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/20 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/21 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/22 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

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

Mr Sikazwe: Madam Chairperson, on Kaputa District, Programme 2 – Activity…

The Chairperson: Can you tell us the page on which you are?

Mr Sikazwe: Madam, I seek clarification on Page 1062 – Sub-head 3 – Activity 02…

The Chairperson: Order!

(Debate adjourned)



[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress reported)


The House adjourned at 1956 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 21st March, 2007.